Forthcoming: The Grand Budapest Hotel

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boywonder
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Re: The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014)

#201 Post by boywonder » Tue Apr 01, 2014 12:09 am

Did anyone see the money of the occupying forces in the film itself? I have seen a photo of a 100 Klübeck banknote from Zubowka ... I really wanna get one!

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Black Hat
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Re: The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014)

#202 Post by Black Hat » Tue Apr 01, 2014 4:26 pm

That's a great question Swo.

For me, altho I find all his films extremely entertaining, I don't believe Anderson has produced work that is all that powerful. Outside of maybe Rushmore his films as far as I can tell don't resonate much with people, not even with his biggest fans, but what they do have the ability to do is make people happy. People don't walk out of his films feeling worse about themselves or pondering any existential question, they walk out smiling. Where his genius lies is that he taps into our childhood nostalgia, well specifically that of the middle class experience, but not just of the experience itself but of what the dream was like at that age to be an adult. We see if not a little bit of ourselves in his world and in his characters but who who we thought we'd be, who we still might become.

Tying that in with The Grand Budapest Hotel what was most interesting for me, looking at the film in context with the rest of his work, was that for the first time there was an acknowledgment of the world being unpleasant, irrational and violent. There was a cynicism to the film that took the sadness we have often seen with his characters away from the audience relating on a personal level but rather to a place with the audience asking questions about the human condition as it exists outside of Wes Anderson's world.

As I alluded to in my initial post on the film I was interested to see how people, specifically his fans, would react to this change of course or rather evolution, but I'm glad to see the reaction be overwhelmingly positive. Now that Anderson's dipped his toe in the water I'm for the first time extremely excited to see where he goes next.

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Red Screamer
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The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014)

#203 Post by Red Screamer » Tue Apr 01, 2014 5:17 pm

Black Hat wrote:That's a great question Swo.

For me, altho I find all his films extremely entertaining, I don't believe Anderson has produced work that is all that powerful. Outside of maybe Rushmore his films as far as I can tell don't resonate much with people, not even with his biggest fans, but what they do have the ability to do is make people happy. People don't walk out of his films feeling worse about themselves or pondering any existential question, they walk out smiling. Where his genius lies is that he taps into our childhood nostalgia, well specifically that of the middle class experience, but not just of the experience itself but of what the dream was like at that age to be an adult. We see if not a little bit of ourselves in his world and in his characters but who who we thought we'd be, who we still might become.

Tying that in with The Grand Budapest Hotel what was most interesting for me, looking at the film in context with the rest of his work, was that for the first time there was an acknowledgment of the world being unpleasant, irrational and violent. There was a cynicism to the film that took the sadness we have often seen with his characters away from the audience relating on a personal level but rather to a place with the audience asking questions about the human condition as it exists outside of Wes Anderson's world.

As I alluded to in my initial post on the film I was interested to see how people, specifically his fans, would react to this change of course or rather evolution, but I'm glad to see the reaction be overwhelmingly positive. Now that Anderson's dipped his toe in the water I'm for the first time extremely excited to see where he goes next.
I disagree, though this territory may really be too based on personal reaction to debate.

Anderson's films resonate with me deeply and often, even as they have me laughing, hit me emotionally like a ton of bricks. Usually, as you noted, the movies come with a happy ending. The Grand Budapest Hotel breaks with this tradition, but is surely not the first to deal with cynicism, or the idea of an unpleasant, irrational, violent world.

In fact his first film, Bottle Rocket, is about the conflict between innocence (or innocents) and cynicism. One of the most famous lines from the film ("They'll never catch me because I'm fucking innocent") gives that away right there.

As for an unpleasant, irrational, violent world, the majority if not all of his films are about characters dealing with and finding a way to survive in this world. This theme is also one of the key components of Charlie Chaplin's and Hal Ashby's (notably a favorite of Anderson) works as well. Many of his characters are perfectionist impresarios, trying to make everything in their personal world as controlled and rational as the outside world is chaotic and irrational. You could see this as a meta-textual self critique when considering how controlled Anderson's work is.

As for violence, all his films contain emotionally and physically violent acts. Some are much tamer than others (I'm looking at you Bottle Rocket and Fantastic Mr. Fox) but quite a few have the capacity to be quite unpleasant.

The aftermath of death in Rushmore, along with a notable montage of the main characters trying to hurt each other, concluding with one's attempt to murder the other. In Royal Tenenbaums, it's the aftermath of divorce and hurtful families, along with racism, a stabbing and a suicide attempt. In Life Aquatic, the film begins with the violent, irrational and unpleasant "murder" of Zissou's best friend and there is a fairly bloody hijacking (though I concede that's not taken nearly as seriously). And so on.

The sheer amount of violence, emotional and physical, and accidental, unexplainable deaths (Rushmore, Darjeeling Limited, Life Aquatic,) are enough to say that Anderson's work has been dealing with these themes since the beginning, just this time around more people are noticing it.

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matrixschmatrix
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Re: The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014)

#204 Post by matrixschmatrix » Tue Apr 01, 2014 5:28 pm

Yeah, the attempted suicide in Tenenbaums is so jarringly powerful that I've barely been able to watch the movie for years. That said, I think I can see what Black Hat is getting at- Anderson's movies are usually set in these really insular worlds into which the outside world just barely penetrates, where his New York and India and everything else are turned into idiosyncratic Anderson spaces, sooner or later. Budapest mostly sticks to that, but the overall feeling of it is that the world Anderson loves to create is a doomed one, one that may never really have existed in the first place. In that respect, it's sort of the opposite of the desperate optimism of Moonrise Kingdom- melancholy regret has always been a color in Anderson's palette, but here it becomes the dominant shade, and as a result the work feels like something from an older, sadder man.

I also think that the movie constructs a character I haven't seen before, one who in other movies might be dismissed as a useless, fussy comic relief character, or a magical sidekick- here, he is no less the dashing hero for his love of perfume and fussily wrapped desserts. It's a modernization of Herbert Marshall, a bisexual character who isn't sneaky or a villain, and a hero very much in the Anderson mode, all at once, and to me he's a really impressive creation.

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Black Hat
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Re: The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014)

#205 Post by Black Hat » Tue Apr 01, 2014 5:34 pm

Indeed, these things have existed in his films but what I was trying to explore was that these conflicts, for lack of a better word, were always contained inside his and his characters controlled, fixed world. When the world you operate in as an artist is one of whimsical fantasy, whatever conflict that arises within that world isn't going to have the same gravity as it would in a world of realism. Although The Grand Budapest Hotel was once again rich in fantasy there was a realism operating outside of it that I found unique to his work. In other words for the first time a realism existed that posed a threat to his fantasy. In a sense I think he relaxed his grip a bit and for a filmmaker like him at this stage of his career, it can only be a good thing.

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Black Hat
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Re: The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014)

#206 Post by Black Hat » Tue Apr 01, 2014 5:40 pm

matrixschmatrix wrote:It's a modernization of Herbert Marshall, a bisexual character who isn't sneaky or a villain, and a hero very much in the Anderson mode, all at once, and to me he's a really impressive creation.
That's a great comparison. I don't mean this as a knock to all the the rest, many who are fantastic in their own right, but I would say that Gustav is by far Anderson's most outstanding character.

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Re: The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014)

#207 Post by cdnchris » Tue Apr 01, 2014 6:20 pm

Fiennes was brilliant in the role and I can't imagine anyone else in it. His line deliveries alone caused my jaw to drop on many occasions. The character was so proper and mannered, of a different time, (as I believe the older Zero said) yet he threw around f-bombs without a moment's hesitation, which I oddly found rather endearing.

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knives
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Re: The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014)

#208 Post by knives » Tue Apr 01, 2014 6:25 pm

Though even the use of the f bombs has some casual characterization to it as he changes demeanor around respected authority like Ed Norton's character and for most of the reading of the will.

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Re: The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014)

#209 Post by FrauBlucher » Tue Apr 01, 2014 7:40 pm

Black Hat wrote:Indeed, these things have existed in his films but what I was trying to explore was that these conflicts, for lack of a better word, were always contained inside his and his characters controlled, fixed world. When the world you operate in as an artist is one of whimsical fantasy, whatever conflict that arises within that world isn't going to have the same gravity as it would in a world of realism. Although The Grand Budapest Hotel was once again rich in fantasy there was a realism operating outside of it that I found unique to his work. In other words for the first time a realism existed that posed a threat to his fantasy. In a sense I think he relaxed his grip a bit and for a filmmaker like him at this stage of his career, it can only be a good thing.
Very good. I couldn't have said it better. The line that separates Anderons's world and the outside world has become a little blurred in The Grand Budapest Hotel. This is why The Grand Budapest Hotel is at the top of my Wes Anderson list.
Black Hat wrote:I don't mean this as a knock to all the the rest, many who are fantastic in their own right, but I would say that Gustav is by far Anderson's most outstanding character.
The character was so full and rich, and so developed it wouldn't surprise me if Anderson said Gustav was somewhat autobiographical.
cdnchris wrote:Fiennes was brilliant in the role and I can't imagine anyone else in it. His line deliveries alone caused my jaw to drop on many occasions. The character was so proper and mannered, of a different time, (as I believe the older Zero said) yet he threw around f-bombs without a moment's hesitation, which I oddly found rather endearing.
And unfortunately, come Oscar time Fiennes will probably be neglected.
Last edited by FrauBlucher on Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bottled spider
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Re: The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014)

#210 Post by bottled spider » Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:02 pm

Kick me in the balls if this has been discussed already, but is anyone familiar with the writings of Stefan Zweig? The film has me interested in checking him out. Is the film an adaptation as such, or more 'in the manner of'?

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knives
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Re: The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014)

#211 Post by knives » Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:05 pm

It's in the manner of. If you want a more straight forward adaptation look at Ophhuls' fab Letter From an Unknown Woman. I also really like 24 Hours in the Life of a Woman if you are interested in reading.

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Gregory
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Re: The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014)

#212 Post by Gregory » Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:17 pm

In an interview with The Telegraph, Anderson suggests that Zweig became an influence after he picked up Beware of Pity and then noticed there were new editions of other works by Zweig (mostly from the great NYRB Classics imprint). He also read The Post-Office Girl and borrowed from those two books when writing the film. I would also recommend checking out Zweig's memoir, The World of Yesterday.

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Black Hat
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Re: The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014)

#213 Post by Black Hat » Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:21 pm

FrauBlucher wrote:Very good. I couldn't have said it better. The line that separates Anderons's world and the outside world has become a little blurred in TGPH. This is why TGPH is at the top of my WA list.
I would agree. When I look back at his output, save for the times I introduce someone to them, I don't have much of a desire to revisit the films. With The Grand Budapest Hotel the film has so many layers to peel that I can't see how a person won't go back for repeated viewings.
FrauBlucher wrote:The character was so full and rich, and so developed it wouldn't surprise me if Anderson said Gustav was somewhat autobiographical.
No question. I think his new found obsession with Zweig, along with him living in Europe for part of the year these days speaks to that.
bottled spider wrote:Kick me in the balls if this has been discussed already, but is anyone familiar with the writings of Stefan Zweig? The film has me interested in checking him out. Is the film an adaptation as such, or more 'in the manner of'?
I'd say more in mood than anything. The style of speaking, the excitement Gustav shows towards the past with an almost equal resignation to the present or future. Personally I've read Beware of Pity & Confusion both had a profound impact on me at a time of my life where I really needed it.

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Re: The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014)

#214 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:42 pm

TGBH is at the top of my WA list but not quite as high as HC/TDL or TLAWSZ but pretty close to IAMMMMW in terms of best all time lazy abbreviations

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Re: The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014)

#215 Post by FrauBlucher » Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:03 pm

FrauBlucher wrote:Very good. I couldn't have said it better. The line that separates Anderons's world and the outside world has become a little blurred in The Grand Budapest Hotel. This is why The Grand Budapest Hotel is at the top of my Wes Anderson list.
Abbreviations gone.
mfunk9786 wrote:TGBH is at the top of my WA list but not quite as high as HC/TDL or TLAWSZ but pretty close to IAMMMMW in terms of best all time lazy abbreviations
Happy?!

GN and HAGDT. :wink:

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Re: The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014)

#216 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Thu Apr 10, 2014 11:41 pm

Watched it today (at Fort Wayne, Indiana's Cinema Center, a nice little arthouse theater smack dab in the cultural district of what's seen as one of the Midwest's more conservative cities) and enjoyed it immensely. While there is a presence of humor throughout I can say I only truly laughed at a couple of bits, which is okay. The grand visual style presented here is taking over from the situational comedy of films like Rushmore, Tenenbaums and Life Aquatic. That's not to say I wasn't invested in the story, the characters felt as fleshed out as anyone in those movies (the first two anyway).

Let me say I was also impressed with the music. I'd always hoped Mark would work again in the role of primary composer, but with this film Alexandre has really stepped up and manage to weave a style wholly appropriate to the Anderson aesthetic.

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knives
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Re: The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014)

#217 Post by knives » Thu Apr 10, 2014 11:59 pm

flyonthewall2983 wrote:Let me say I was also impressed with the music. I'd always hoped my best friend Mark would work again in the role of primary composer, but with this film my good buddy Alexandre has really stepped up and manage to weave a style wholly appropriate to the Anderson aesthetic.
Might as well.

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Re: The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014)

#218 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Fri Apr 11, 2014 12:29 am

?

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Roger Ryan
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Re: The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014)

#219 Post by Roger Ryan » Fri Apr 11, 2014 8:06 am

flyonthewall2983 wrote:?
I think knives is commenting of your overly-familiar use of a first name. Board etiquette recommends "...I'd always hoped Mothersbaugh would work again in the role of primary composer...", etc.

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Re: The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014)

#220 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Fri Apr 11, 2014 8:19 am

Okay. I can see that a little bit. Sorry.

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014)

#221 Post by Michael Kerpan » Fri Apr 11, 2014 9:22 am

flyonthewall2983 wrote:Okay. I can see that a little bit. Sorry.
On the other hand, if these ARE personal friends -- tell us more .... ;~}

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Re: The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014)

#222 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Fri Apr 11, 2014 10:09 am

Ha, no.

Still, awesome movie. Really tempted to get the Fox Blu in anticipation of double-dipping later on.


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Re: The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014)

#224 Post by karmajuice » Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:45 pm

knives wrote:
SpoilerShow
Saw this yesterday and have to keep with the same glow. It didn't affect me personally as much as Moonrise Kingdom continues to, but as a movie it easily strikes me as the pinnacle of his career being such a sad confectionery. It also seems his most explicit comment on the rich and the want of the worker to rise. M. Gustav is a very melancholy character no matter what, but by the end of the film he becomes so removed (or as Zero says so identical to those he once catered for) from the energy that at least made the problems a joy that his eventual death can only be seen as a suicide. Though of course the film only makes this more explicit with Zero himself and how ascension into wealth coincides with the death of Agatha. These characters, and I suppose all Anderson characters, live by contradiction of class.
SpoilerShow
Very keen observation, and while there's nothing in the film to establish that beyond doubt, it's a logical conclusion to reach. Zweig, whose own personality apparently had an influence on the way Gustave was portrayed, killed himself in despair over the rise of Nazism and the collapse of the cosmopolitan Europe he adored.


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