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The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News


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COLUMN: How ‘Asteroid City’ catfished me

Ashanti Thomas
Staff profile for Cam’ron.

Picture a beautiful girl with a bland personality. That is exactly what “Asteroid City” is. “Asteroid City” is the latest film from Wes Anderson, who is known for his quirky and unique films.

As expected, the cinematography was beautiful, and each shot was symmetrical and his display of shot composition was immaculate.

The film follows a playwriter whose latest film is about Augie Steenbeck, Jason Schwartzman, who travels with his four children to Asteroid City for a technology-based competition. While there, they are greeted by other individuals there for the competition and a supernatural creature.

I have been anticipating this movie for months. I recently found out about Anderson in January, and he introduced me to a new style of film that could be implemented to everyday life, such as fashion, designing, architecture and more.

The first film I watched was “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” which is my favorite film of his, and after that, I went back and watched about half of his filmography.

Ecstatically going to the theatre, my mood was slowly disappearing after the film started.

The film started out very slow.

Initially, we are greeted with a storyline about the making of “Asteroid City.” It is hosted by Bryan Cranston, and the screenwriter is Schubert Green, played by Adrien Brody.

This was shown in black and white with a different aspect ratio than the main storyline. The screenwriting storyline is shown in black and white, with a different aspect ratio. The main story is shown with color.

After given context about Green’s story, we switch over the Steenbeck’s story.

We are greeted with an extended amount of B-roll to show the setting and a decent amount of time passes before a word is said.

After the dialogue starts it still felt as though it was dragging. It only starts to pick up when we are informed that Steenbeck’s wife passed away and he had to tell his children.

Surprisingly, she had been dead for three weeks before he told them, he just could not build up the courage to tell them.

The biggest conflict was when the creature came down to Earth, took an artifact and left.

The entire movie just felt like a bunch of random events going on and a random assortment of events. There was no conclusion with the alien coming down, all that happened was that it was supposed to be kept a secret from the general public, and everyone in the vicinity was put on quarantine.

We don’t get a conclusion to the story and we’re kind of just left wondering what the point of everything was. Everyone just leaves the city at the end.

With a cast flooded with A-List actors, such as Scarlett Johansson, Bryan Cranston, Adrien Brody and more, it’s disappointing that their skills were wasted on this film.

Along with the quirky filming style, Anderson includes a quirky soundtrack. The recurring composer in his soundtracks is Alexandre Desplat, who has composed music for other movies as well.

For the other movies that I’ve seen of Anderson, there’s usually a song that sticks out, but with this movie I did not find that song. I went in expecting to find something to add to my music library, but nothing really stood out.

That isn’t a big downfall for the movie, but it adds onto the personal dislike for the movie.

Referring back to the cinematography, it had a unique oversaturation that was foreign to me. The vibrant color was visually appealing, but the best shot was towards the end when Margot Robbie character and Steenbeck were talking.

This scene was displayed during the screenwriting/narration storyline, and the black and white made it stand out a lot and then there was faint snowfall. There was a song playing in the background that fit well with the scene as well, and everything going on in the scene felt allocated.

During the scene, there was a movie advertisement for a movie called “The Death of a Narcissist.”

Obviously that was put there intentionally, but it feels as though it had some relation to the film. I’m not 100 percent certain on that, but it seems like it. Nonetheless, it’s just a cool movie title.

There were reports and reviews that this was Anderson’s best film, and I have to disagree. I’m not sure if the film was made to be like a thought-provoking film with an underlying meaning, but it does not come off that way.

As stated earlier, the film comes off as something with a bunch of random assortments of events, leaving audience members with nothing.

I hope Anderson comes back in a few years with a better film, because this was highly disappointing. Luckily, he still has other films to hold him credible to being a good director.

Rate: 1.5/5

Cam’ron Hardy can be reached at [email protected] 0r 217-581-2812.

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About the Contributors
Cam'ron Hardy
Cam'ron Hardy, News Editor
Cam'ron is a junior journalism major. He previously served news editor and campus editor at The News. 
Ashanti Thomas
Ashanti Thomas, Photographer
Ashanti Thomas is a senior digital media major. She previously served as photo editor and assistant photo editor at The News.

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