Seen from a distance, this is the week of the multiverses; of the universes that are exactly equal to themselves and, nevertheless, multiple; of the realities that are reflected in the desires of the characters and, therefore, acquire the consistency of the unreal (or surreal); of the gardens whose paths are lost on the way to the only meaningful home with a newly lit fireplace: adventure, fiction, dreams. There are obvious and somewhat crude multiverses in the superheroes on the billboard who insist on being what they are not by dint of walking backwards in the past and, much more interesting and right next to it, we find the only multiverse that deserves to be taken into account in the fiery, full, baroque, convoluted and specular vindication of creation (of scenic creation, to be exact, as a creator of alternative realities, although not necessarily better ones) in the prodigy that is Asteroid Cityby Wes Anderson.
Because what exactly is Asteroid City? This is the question. On paper someone might think that we are in front of a movie. It is, there is no doubt because the newspapers include it in the increasingly hidden section of Culture. But not only. If one has a little more interest and even training, one could infer that we are facing the latest creation by Wes Anderson. This is also true. And yet, everything in it are contradictions. Nothing is obvious, nothing fits. The story that is told takes place in a desert in the United States in the 50s, but it is well known that it was filmed in the very Spanish and garlic-scented town of Chinchón. The characters that actually appear are the creation of other characters that also appear and who are not clear about their own story, much less the story they are telling us. They are characters so self-aware that, for a moment, they seem as spectators of their own lives as we are of theirs. What if it turns out that we, the viewers, are nothing more than characters in an absurd Wes Anderson movie? and Wes Anderson himself is nothing more than a creation of Artificial Intelligence that is there to discuss with ourselves the ability to be, precisely, ourselves? We still don’t know what exactly it is. Asteroid City.
Seen from a certain distance, from where you see things in the desert, in life or in the desert of life (as you like), Wes Anderson’s films have long been inhabited by a strange race of duplicate beings. His characters are capable of doing what they do while, hieratic and somewhat unhappy, they tell themselves what, precisely, they are doing. Let’s say that they are dreamed of, rather than simply told, as if they were the protagonists of their own story. Or movie. Hence this effort to point out and place each object that surrounds them in a rare and perfect emotional symmetry and props. The outside is the inside and vice versa. They are both those who suffer from the adventures that drag them along and the authors of the world they inhabit: they are real from pure fiction; they are a fabrication within the fabrication itself, which is the film in which they live. And they act.
to situate ourselves, Asteroid City It takes everything described above to a paroxysm, which is to say that few films will irritate the disbelievers as much as they will excite the faithful. Asteroid City It is the story of a group of people lost in the middle of nowhere; in a nothing where atomic bombs explode; the atomic bombs that were detonated in the 50s when the world was threatened by the threat of blowing up at any moment. It was a world threatened by the threat, which is not little. But really, the story of Asteroid City is that of the narrator who tells the story of Asteroid City and that of the actors who give life to the characters that are themselves at the same time that they interpret the characters from before who are in the desert, in nowhere, in the threat. It seems like a ‘Pirandellian’ labyrinth or a joke that is too farfetched, and indeed it is.
Actually, nothing that happens in Asteroid City It is relevant except for the very possibility of dreaming and creating a world completely outside of what is really happening. And it is at this point where the film gives the exact measurement and precise explanation of what that multiverse means. Asteroid City it is a non-existent city and an impossible film; It is a story that is known as a story and a story that claims the privilege and certainty of being simply a dream.