The settings in Wes Anderson movies look so well-considered and fully realized, it seems as if they must actually exist somewhere and the director just happened to stumble upon them during a particularly fruitful location-scouting session. Of course, all of these spaces are actually just products of Anderson’s meticulous design process and only live onscreen. There is one place Anderson dreamed up, though, that now has multiple dimensions in the real world, but to get there you need a ticket to Italy, not the movie theater.
Bar Luce, located in Milan, is a place where one can see the distillation of a singular aesthetic, all while drinking distilled spirits at a vintage formica table. The director designed the bar to go inside the Fondazione Prada, a new art and culture complex for the fashion house that has funded Anderson’s work before, and for whom he has done adverts.
Like everything the director has ever touched, the delight is in the details. The mesh of pastels, the old-school jukebox, and economical use of space—it all could be a part of the dollhouse-style setting of any of his films. The only thing you’ll find in Bar Luce that you wouldn’t find in any Anderson films is a reference to other Anderson projects (one of the pinball machines is adorned with the likeness of Steve Zissou, a character played by Bill Murray in The Life Aquatic.) With that pinball machine, though, it’s even easier to imagine at least one of Anderson’s character hanging out at his bar.