Accidentally Wes Anderson: A Cinematic Journey

Who hasn’t dreamed of exploring The French Dispatch director’s symmetrical decors and bright color palettes in real life? A New York couple made this dream come true in 2017 when they launched the @AccidentallyWesAnderson Instagram account, featuring some of the world’s most Wes Anderson-esque places.
The Sinking House, in Montmartre, is a must-see for trompe-l’oeil amateurs and Paris lovers. © Claudia Devillaz

With 1.5 million followers, Accidentally Wes Anderson has become a Mecca for aesthetes and adventurers looking to travel differently. Some will see it as a source of inspiration, others as a bucket list of places to visit. All pictures are sent in by contributors, while Wally and Amanda Kowal curate them and provide some background information, turning the original photographic project into an ever-expanding travel guide.

Throughout the pandemic, everyone’s travel fantasies have been put on hold. In this context, the account has been successful because it provides a certain escapism. What’s more, a book spanning some 300 pages was released in October 2020, featuring 200 hand-picked locations along with stories behind these unique places across all five continents: an Art Deco swimming pool in Paris, a baby-blue lifeguard tower in Deauville, Normandy, a vintage train car in New Jersey… Not exactly a handy book to travel around the world with, but definitely a must when looking for inspiration.

So what does Wes Anderson have to do with it? The Texan filmmaker did write the book’s foreword, but generally speaking he has sparked a craze for the aesthetic universe created through his ten films. Famously a Francophile, he has always managed to infuse his various projects with French elements, from clothes to soundtracks. The French Dispatch, his latest film, was shot in Angoulême. It takes place in the fictional town of Ennui-sur-Blasé and follows the adventures of American journalists in France who work for a magazine inspired by the New Yorker.

With the movie now showing in French and U.S. theaters, here is a portfolio of the best Wes Anderson-inspired locations – the perfect way to spend a little longer daydreaming in this macaron-colored universe. And on November 12 at 11 am EST, don’t miss our Instagram Live with Wally Koval and the Accidentally Wes Anderson photographers!

The fully-restored observation lounge car of the 20th Century Limited – a luxury train that connected New York to Chicago until 1967 – is part of the collection of the United Railroad Historical Society, a rail museum in Boonton, New Jersey. © John Graziano
Now an iconic family-run gift shop, the colorful building of the Old Arcade Trading Company in Silverton, Colorado, used to house a brothel... © Kayla Heersink
With its Art Deco pool and tango-yellow walls, the iconic Molitor swimming complex, inaugurated in Paris in 1929, is now a luxury hotel. © Piergab
The Beaux Arts carousel in Asbury Park, a seaside resort in New Jersey, serves as the backdrop to Charlotte Rampling and Woody Allen’s kiss in the film Stardust Memories. © Chris Centrella
The pink cottages of Oceanside, on the California coast between San Diego and Los Angeles, exude 1950s flair and beach vacations. © Paul Fuentes
The mural that adorns the post office in Wrangell, a small town in Alaska, was painted in 1943 by the American artist Austin Mecklem, renowned for his commission work during the Great Depression. © Robin Petravic & Catherine Bailey
The red cabin of the Brévent cable car, in the Alps, offers breathtaking views of Mont Blanc and the town of Chamonix in the valley below. © Jaime Doytcheva

Portfolio publié dans le numéro de novembre 2021 de France-Amérique.


Accidentally Wes Anderson by Wally Koval, foreword by Wes Anderson, Voracious, 2020.

Portfolio published in the November 2021 issue of France-AmériqueSubscribe to the magazine.