Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Isle of Dogs

(USA, Germany, 2018)

Isle of Dogs (2018) (USA, Germany) Wes Anderson is one of my favorite directors. He’s got a distinctive style that is a little hard to define, but you know it when you see it. I thought The Grand Budapest Hotel was a masterpiece, and Moonrise Kingdom was not far behind. But he is a fan of stop-motion animation, and while I don’t dislike it, it’s never been my favorite animation technique. So I’m revealing my prejudice here before saying that though it’s visually arresting, most of it didn’t really work for me. I also was not a fan of his Fantastic Mr. Fox, which most people liked.

It is set in a future Japan, and one of the odd things about it is that there is a great deal of Japanese dialogue with no subtitles. I don’t know why. It doesn’t really make much sense to me.

The last thing I want to note is that some people, mostly those who make a profession of being offended, were offended by what they called the “cultural appropriation” shown by a white director daring to make a film about Japanese people. And to those people, and in fact to all people who whine about this new reason to get offended by anything and everything, I have this to say:

Fuck you.

Did you know that a white person (or a black one, for that matter) wearing a sombrero is cultural appropriation these days? So they say. Did you know that the enlightened students at Oberlin College rose up in righteous fury when the campus cafeteria dared to serve sushi? Cultural appropriation. (Is it okay to serve tacos? Spaghetti? Chow mien?)

And to those people I also say, fuck you.