The Grand Budapest Hotel

I watched the The Grand Budapest Hotel today; I loved it. I am already a fan of Ralph Fiennes, seeing Tilda Swinton in that outfit was an added bonus, and the colours, the caricaturized gestures and the irony were simply marvellous. As I looked up the film last night, I learned that it was directed by the same person – Wes Anderson – as the Moonrise Kingdom. I’d enjoyed that movie too, and having watched this one, I can see the similarities in mood and atmosphere. Now I want to see all other films of Wes Anderson 🙂

I loved all the hotel scenes (and the colour combinations!) – this video explains what sort of an effect the crew aimed at in the film:

I once stayed in Splendid Palace Hotel in Büyükada/Prinkipos. Nowhere near as grand and decorated as the Grand Budapest (I couldn’t have afforded it in that case), it evoked a similar sense of nostalgia for me.

The names in the film were funny: the lobby boy is called Zero Mustafa, the super-rich family’s surname is Desgoffe und Taxis and a mustachioed inmate goes by the name of Pinky. I’m curious about where they come from…

It was not easy following the subtitles, because in some scenes Monsieur Gustave spoke extremely fast, but I must say I really admired the work of the translator, though they were unfortnately not acknowledged at the end. The translation might be too domesticated for some people’s taste, but it was perfect for me.

The credits indicated that the script was inspired by the writings of Stefan Zweig. Maybe just the right moment to reach for the Journey into the Past that’s been sitting on my shelf for some time. I’ve been trudging my way into If on A Winter’s Night a Traveller, but I must say I’m a bit disappointed. It’s a renowned example of postmodernist fiction, and from the beginning I had the feeling that it would feel like looking at the work of Escher, but unfortunately it didn’t work for me. I found it too fragmented, with the author’s self-referential narration too intrusive.

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