Wes Anderson is one of the most unique (if not the most unique) directors of this generation of filmmakers. He is a man with a very set vision and each of his films display this to their full ability and his latest, The Grand Budapest Hotel, which is due to hit cinemas this March appears to be no exception.
He is famed for working with fantastic ensemble casts, casts to whom he is loyal and they are in turn loyal to him. Proof of this can be seen by the frequency that many of the actors he chooses to work with appear in his other films…Bill Murray especially. His aesthetic style, quirky stories and glorious imagination is a true playground for actors and viewers. To say I am looking forward to the March release of Grand Budapest is an understatement.
Now, I have often wondered if Anderson is as quirky as his movies (I mean he would have to be, right, with that imagination and eye for amazing colour palates?). And in a recent Q&A with The Hollywood Reporter he definitely backs up my suspicions (a little).
When asked how he would describe the experience of making Grand Budapest Hotel, he had this to say:
“We were filming three minutes or six minutes away from where we were living. All of our production offices were in the old department store that served as the hotel. At one point, I thought we should try to buy it. They wanted one million euros. But I don’t know what we’d exactly do with a department store on the edge of Germany.”
I wonder who else would have thought to buy a department store? Though I am sure if he had decided to, whatever he chose to do with it, it would have looked fabulous. Did I mention that his design aesthetic is amazing?
I am particularly a fan of the design and overall look of The Royal Tenenbaums and the Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. I especially love the Tenenbaums house design and how each room portrays the personality of each inhabitant perfectly and the bright pops of colour and overall costumes within the Life Aquatic. The colours that Anderson chooses to use and the set design are characters in themselves and it is touches of detail like these that are evident in all of his films that are swoon worthy. They are also what people who are not fans of his work dislike… Well, that and the quirky storytelling. In an interview with New York Magazine, he reflects on the criticism his films sometime receive.
“When they say a movie is ‘too smart for its own good,’ as if we’re trying to show how great and cool we are…sometimes it hurts my feelings.”
The Grand Budapest Hotel was the opener for this years Berlin Film Festival which, apart from the fact that it is very fitting being that filming took place in the German town called Gorlitz, which is also on the border of Poland, also means that due to the timing of the release it completely misses award season. When asked how he felt about this, Anderson responded to The Hollywood Reporter with the below:
“I don’t even have an opinion about it anymore. Every movie I’ve ever done was released in November or December until Moonrise Kingdom, which opened in May. It did better than any of my films had done in ages. It seemed like it helped that it didn’t come out in the middle of all this stuff [awards contenders]. It didn’t round up all kinds of prizes, so why not be released in May? And we weren’t finished with Grand Budapest in time to come out last year. I would not have wanted to try to rush it out. At the same time, I’m very happy not to wait 10 more months to release it. And Berlin seemed perfectly suitable, since we filmed the movie in Germany.”
This refreshing attitude towards award season and not wanting to rush something out so that it can be danced out in front of various people and judged is nice. He is obviously a man who just likes to make movies and likes to get them seen. Hopefully Grand Budapest will make as big as an impact as Moonrise Kingdom did as, really, more people need to see what true gems Anderson’s films are.