Irish Film Institute -BOTTLE ROCKET



104 minutes, U.S.A., 1996, Colour, Blu-ray

This film will be preceded by a screening of Anderson’s original 13-minute short.

Producer James L. Brooks was sufficiently impressed by Wes Anderson’s 13-minute short film Bottle Rocket (showing here before the feature) to convince a Hollywood studio (Columbia) to bankroll a full-length version.

It promptly disappeared at the box-office, but not before serving as a handy calling card for Anderson and sibling acting duo Owen and Luke Wilson, all making their feature debuts. This slight and sunny shaggy-dog tale concerns the misadventures of a trio of directionless small-town buddies (the Wilson brothers, plus Robert Musgrave) with criminal aspirations.

It boasts at least one truly hilarious set-piece involving a botched bookstore robbery, and an appearance from the great James Caan in what might be viewed retrospectively as the Bill Murray role. Seeing the film today, it’s remarkable how fully formed Anderson’s talents and obsessions were from the outset – everything from his signature slow motion coda to the Rolling Stones on the soundtrack.

No wonder Martin Scorsese named it one of his ten favourite films of the ’90s.

Showing as part of the OOH LA LA: WATCHING WES ANDERSON season throughout June.

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