I saw the latest Wes Anderson film, Isle of Dogs, over the weekend, and somewhat predictably, can’t get the set design out of my head. It’s Wes Anderson’s second foray into animated film and set in a dystopian Japan, twenty years into the future. The gist is that the mayor of fictional city Megasaki hates dogs and has them all banished to Trash Island under the guise of a dog-flu epidemic. However, he doesn’t bank on his brave 12-year-old nephew travelling to the island to rescue his beloved giard dog Spots.
The film really is a visual treat, with all the signature Wes Anderson stylistic hallmarks: symmetry, flat composition, specific colour palette and overhead tableau shots. The sets are just something else, and after the film I did a bit of research *cough* Googling *cough* to try and see them up close – and stumbled across the exhibition that’s currently on in London town.
The exhibition, at The Store X on The Strand, has 17 original hand-crafted sets and puppets from Isle of Dogs on display inside the iconic Brutalist building, whilst a specially-curated soundtrack plays Alexandre Desplat’s score.
And get this: for extra Instagrammable goals, the Noddle Bar as featured in the film has been made into an IRL version for the exhibition, so once you’ve feasted your eyes, you can satisfy your taste-buds with traditional Japanese Ramen made byHead chef Akira Shimizu of Soho’s Engawa restaurant.
The best bit? Admission to the exhibition is absolutely free (unlike the cinema ticket, which apparently costs £291049201 these days. That’s before popcorn). If you can’t make it to the exhibition (it closes on the 8th April), watch the cool behind-the-scenes ‘making-of’ video instead from Fox Searchlight pictures HERE).
Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs exhibition and Noodle Bar runs from 23 March to 8 April 2018 at The Store X, 180 The Strand.