The story takes place in Italy, 1955, during a Formula One race when the Italo-American pilot played by Schwartzman crashes his vehicle at a small village and gets stuck there. The accident, a total wreckage of the car and cause of same moodiness to the pilot turns out to be something unexpectedly good when he gets involved with the local people, their routine, awakening an almost forgotten memory. He belongs there, and losing the race is no longer so important.
Anderson references some classic Italian films in the short, including several by Federico Fellini, such as La Dolce Vita (1960) and Amarcord (1973). Castello Cavalcanti is essential viewing for fans of Wes Anderson's work. With beautiful set pieces including a famous prop from Fellini's "La Dolce Vita" (both were filmed at the same studio in Rome) and a number of distinctive background characters, Anderson immediately establishes a truly memorable period atmosphere that evokes positive memories from both his own work and classic Italian films. Furthermore, Jed Cavalcanti, a Formula 1 driver played by Jason Schwarzman, is a funny, unique protagonist who fits comfortably alongside Max Fischer and Steve Zissou. Brisk and enjoyable, the film is a wonderful surprise that bears no resemblance to an advertisement and does not overstay its welcome. Anderson has stated that, with the further participation of Prada, he hopes to follow Cavalanti in more adventures filmed at other great studios around the world. Let's hope he follows through on that promising idea and that Cavalcanti becomes the star of many more Anderson shorts.
The 8-minute film was filmed at Cinecittà in Rome, Italy and financed by Prada. It first debuted at the Rome Film Festival and was released online on November 13, 2013. It quickly became viral and received critical acclaim.
Directed by Wes Anderson
Starring: Jason Schwartzman, Giada Colagrande, Renato Agostini