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French Dispatch: four artists whose work was shaped by mental illness

By Benedict Carpenter van Barthold, Pricipal Lecturer, School of Art & Design, Nottingham Trent University
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Wes Anderson’s new film The French Dispatch is about the final issue of a magazine that specialises in long-form articles about the goings-on in the fictional town of Ennui-sur-Blasé. The film is an anthology of shorts representing three of the articles.

A piece by the magazine’s art critic (Tilda Swinton) explores the life and late success of the abstract artist Moses Rosenthaler (Benicio Del Toro). Talented from a young age, Rosenthaler pursued art with a dogged determination that drove him to slowly lose his mind. In a fit of rage he commits a triple homicide that lands him in jail,…


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