'Isle Of Dogs' Is A Dive Into The Creative Mind Of Wes Anderson's Love For Japenese Culture And Man's Best Friend

'Isle Of Dogs' Is A Dive Into The Creative Mind Of Wes Anderson's Love For Japenese Culture And Man's Best Friend

A review of Wes Anderson's new movie, "Isle of Dogs."
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Wes Anderson movies always have a creative and unique way of expressing themselves. When I see an Anderson movie, I know it’s his movie. "Isle of Dogs" was released April 13th this year and contains a large array of actors from Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Liev Schreiber, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, etc. There are many elements that stood out to me like cinematography, camera positioning, and screenwriting but the reason this movie deserves to be seen is the amount of love that went into making this movie. While watching "Isle of Dogs," I realized that this movie was so much fun to make just because it was so much fun to watch.

The story follows a group of dogs that have been left, like all other dogs in the movie, on Trash Island to fend for themselves when they are found to have snout fever, a deadly disease to all humans. Everything sucks, and they all want to get back home when they encounter a little boy looking for his lost dog, Spots. They all try to help him get back and then problems ensue, as is expected. It is a very interesting plot story but nothing too complicated. The only things that would not make sense to a large audience would be the references made about Japanese culture, at least to me. I know there were a lot of nods to Japanese elements that I did not catch but I still respected the whole movie. One thing I did catch was the mayor of the main city, Megasaki, was named Kobayashi, as a nod to the famous Japanese hot dog eating contest winner. This is one of those examples of a "just for fun" reference to something non-serious.

When watching this movie in the theaters, there were a lot of trailers for children’s animated movies for the only reason that "Isle of Dogs" is a Claymation movie, which means that it is a shot-by-shot take of all small movements of clay figurines. Despite the trailers, the movie never seemed childlike, especially since it was not a happy-go-lucky story with no moral. It is definitely a more adult movie, especially with some graphic scenes involving blood.

Speaking of morals, Wes Anderson tackles a lot of current problems today in this movie. A huge issue is the idea of refugees and why the United States and other countries are forcibly removing them, for political and economic reasons instead of moral ones. Another allusion was the concept of a corrupt and unreasonable leader, which can be seen in many countries today. This movie is about dogs, after all, so Wes Anderson shows his love for canines without being cliché. Like most children movies today, the only things dogs do are smell each other’s butt or play dumb or do silly things. "Isle of Dogs" contains intelligent and vulnerable dogs with human personalities and they talk about issues that bother them. For example, there is a stray dog that bites even though he doesn’t want to or know why he does it. It gets into the emotional struggle between owner and man’s best friend, from the dog’s perspective. There is a lot of current and moral concepts that Wes Anderson tackles and executes beautifully.

This is a Wes Anderson film, after all, and I could tell it was one even if I never looked it up because of his trademark camera work. There are many wide shots taken of a large room or field with all the characters interacting with each other in one long take. Most of the time, several events are happening at once on the screen and paying attention to any of them would still result in an enjoyable movie experience. An example from the movie occurs when the mayor is talking with his staff members about an issue. The left side of the screen has a rotating image switching every time someone else talks. The right side has a continual close-up of the typewriter paraphrasing the conversation on the left, getting closer with each turn of the left side. And again, all of this is being done with Claymation figurines that take a lot of time and patience to get right. To coin Wes Anderson as a genius would be an understatement.

5/5. This movie is for all audiences (at least old enough to see a little blood) that can enjoy true creativity and genius. A fun and enjoyable story that could only have been created by Wes Anderson. He also directed a Claymation before with his adaptation of "Fantastic Mr. Fox," originally a Roald Dahl book.

Cover Image Credit: The New York Times

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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.
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Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.


Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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Poetry On Odyssey: I was I am

A poem for those struggling with who they were.

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it seems almost like a page

in someone else's book now


how there was

a time that i thought

i could have been happy

with someone like you


a million years before

i knew who i was

and that i should mean so much more

than i ever did to you


i almost can't remember

the way you held your elbows or

the way you said the letter o or

the way you told me goodnight


it seems now

that all i can recall

are my relentless tears and

the fear that this was the love

that everyone spoke about


the fear that this

was what id have to live with

for the rest of my life


i remember those late nights

just you and i

you always got what you wanted

i was always too afraid to upset you

looking back i wonder why

i couldnt leave you then


but you kept me

my misery maintained until

i felt like nothing


that night was the record scratch

When I knew my life

Shouldn't be like this.


It wasn't until I finally broke our ties

That I started to remember

Who I am.

But my mind is clear now.

I can remember

How strong I am,

How perfectly happy I am

On my own.


It seems almost like a page

In someone else's book now.


You're finally fading away.

I just wish my scars could fade as quickly.

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