(BY ALI NADERZAD) The word is out that the 51st BFI Film festival will close with Wes Anderson’s The Darjeeling Limited (starring Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, and Jason Schwartzman). The story goes like this: three American brothers who have not spoken to each other in a year set off on a train voyage across India. Things veer rapidly off-course and they eventually find themselves stranded in the middle of the desert with eleven suitcases, a printer, and a laminating machine. Those bonding expeditions can turn to gooey sentimentalism, sometimes, so let’s hope Anderson’s read The Sheltering Sky.

Anderson is a bit of a mysterious figure: the slightly neurotic intellectual evokes Woody Allen preaching to intransigent youths. Most of his recent films have been noticed in a big way. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004) and The Royal Tennenbaums (2001) have enjoyed a cult following, especially on college campuses. Is Anderson one of the great underestimated directors of his generation? As is often the case, some time should pass before this becomes clear. BFI’s nod to Anderson helps cement his standing as leading filmmaker, however. The 51st BFI Film Festival will be held from 17th October to 1st November in London.

© 2007 Ali Naderzad

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