So this weekend Wes Anderson’s new film, The Darjeeling Limited, opens at the New York Film Festival, and his 13 minute short film, Hotel Chevalier, is now available for free on iTunes. Lots of chatter about the reception for the new feature and over Natalie Portman baring flesh in Chevalier, but for me this is the most welcome piece of news: Bottle Rocket (1996) is finally getting its due place amongst his following films in The Criterion Collection.
As Anderson told MTV News, “We’ve just begun work with the Criterion Collection to do ‘Bottle Rocket’ on a new DVD that’s going to have all kinds of stuff. There’s a lot of ‘Bottle Rocket’ that was on the cutting room floor, so we have a lot to work with on that one.”
Bottle Rocket will always go down for me as Wes Anderson’s most important film to date. Unfettered by the aesthetics which would become his calling card, and paired with co-writer and then first-time screen actor Owen Wilson, their first film would arguably go on to shape the American indie landscape in this decade as much as Pulp Fiction did in the 1990’s. Simple is good. Bottle Rocket is sublime.
Video: Bottle Rocket (1994) - The original 13-minute short film.