The initially dispiriting thing about Wes Anderson‘s Isle of Dogs (Fox Searchlight, 3.23) is that (a) it’s set in Japan, which Hollywood Elsewhere has never been a huge fan of, (b) it’s about a dystopian future and (c) it’s largely set on “trash island,” which seems to be all about grayish colors, rotting food and industrial waste. Which of course makes you feel sorry for the poor dogs who live there. One presumes (hopes) that the third-act involves some kind of escape and/or transformation.

Wiki boilerpplate: “Set in a dystopian future Japan in which dogs have been quarantined on the remote eponymous island due to a “canine flu”, Isle of Dogs follows five barkers — Chief (Bryan Cranston), Rex (Edward Norton), Boss (Bill Murray), Duke (Jeff Goldblum) and King (Bob Balaban). They’re fed up with their isolated existence until a boy named Atari Kobayashi (Koyu Rankin) ventures to the island to search for his dog, Spots (Liev Schreiber),” etc.

Factoid #1: The Isle of Dogs is an actual area in the East End of London that is bounded on three sides (east, south and west) by one of the largest meanders in the River Thames.

Factoid #2: In 1597 Ben Jonson and Thomas Nashe wrote a play called “The Isle of Dogs”, a socio-political satire that offended some in the nobility and provoked their wrath. Jonson was imprisoned for a year; Nashe avoided arrest by fleeing the area.

Another Tokyo post, filed on 11.30.12.