admin On marzo - 4 - 2014

by Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi

Wes Anderson’s ultimate feature film, creates an enthralling pastel-coloured-cosmos of melancholic characters, whose adventures take place in The Grand Budapest Hotel, set in the fictional alpine destination of Zubrowka in the 1930s. The story recounts the mishaps of Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes), the legendary concierge of the famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa (Tony Revolori), the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend.

Wes Anderson shares in this interview the making of the movie:

How was Stefan Zweig one of your main inspirers?

The first of his books I read was ‘Beware of Pity’ and I loved this book from the first page and then I read some of the short stories and started to get to know his body of work and I started to think that I might adapt one of his works or do my own version. Then I read ‘The World Of Yesterday’ his memoir and this made a very strong impression on me in a different way. It’s his description of Vienna and Europe before 1914 and the series of changes for him are just a slow suicide of the entire culture. I somehow took that. The story in the movie doesn’t really have anything to do with Zweig and the characters don’t come from him, nevertheless I feel I tried to do my own version of his world.

In your films there’s a recurring loss of paradise or innocence…

Zweig calls it “the world of security.” Art was the centre of everything. Morning papers had poetry and philosophical texts. Musical compositions were debuting all the time. They didn’t have passports, freedom was assumed. In my films I usually don’t think thematically. I just like to make an experience for somebody and I’m interested to see how they interpret it and read into it. Most of my movies follow solutions to problems and how we are going to get our story across. I don’t like to define or interpret the story because I want it to have enough abstraction and unconsciousness like life.

How do you establish your own characteristic tone on set with new actors?

I want them to make the scene feel real, even if it’s a fantastical or surreal setting. I want them to make it feel like it’s really happening. Maybe there are other aspects to it, but that’s the main thing. Everything is planned very carefully in advance and then when everybody gets together I feel like it’s chaos: they take over, we do a lot of takes but very quickly without stopping. There’s a wild energy and I like that.

How does living both in New York and Paris have an impact on your sensitivity in this film?

I think that primarily this is the reason why I wanted to do it in the first place: make a European movie in the abstract. In a way these days I want to do a movie on what most takes my interest at a specific time. I had grown very specific of India at one point, that’s home The Darjeeling Limited came about. In this case I was interested in Europe and what I was reading. Even if there’s a historical context it’s very personal to me because I have my own relationship with that part of the world and the character of Gustave (interpreted by Ralph Fiennes) was inspired by a dear European friend. So the entire film in its way comes from things I have seen in my life and what I’ve observed.

Are old movies a strong influence?

Yes, for every movie I steal ideas from other films. For The Grand Budapest Hotel more than anything were 30s American movies such as Grand Hotel, To Be Or Not To Be, Shop Around The Corner, and Central European directors who ended up in Hollywood.

What is currently interesting you that may lead to your next film?

I have a very vague idea of what I want to do next, it’s too unformed. But one thing I’m right in the middle of is David Copperfield, which I had never read before and what an experience is going through that! Who knows, maybe that will lead somewhere…


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