The Grand Budapest Hotel by Wes Anderson

Last night, a friend of mine and I went and saw the new Wes Anderson movie: “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” And I can’t get it out of my head. Visually, I’ve never seen anything like it. I don’t think I’ve seen a Wes Anderson movie before and I don’t consider myself a movie buff (obviously).

Here is the trailer:

The visuals in this movie are simply stunning and the way it was filmed was breath taking. The cast of actors is a whose-who list of big names. The astonishing thing is how every little detail was thought out. I think I actually have to go and watch it again, which I never do.

I’ve never really contemplated the details of a movie set. And all of a sudden, I’m now interested in what it took to pull the set together, where did they film, who did the graphics, how much money did they spend. I want details on how to pull together something with that much thought process behind it. I came across an interview with the head Graphic Designer who said that Ralph Fiennes (who plays the main character) appreciated the personalized notebook that he kept in his pocket. Then he went on to request that the pages be lined instead of blank in keeping with the character. Wow – what a level of detail to aspire to. We should customize our interiors to be reflective of who we are at this level. Can you imagine? And the notebook is only one very small prop in a set of what must be millions, but they all add to the overall experience of the movie (or your interior). Everything has a purpose and no detail is too small. For example, they re-did the newspaper layout 40 times to get it just right and when they flash it on-screen you can only read the headlines, but all the articles have meaning even though you can’t possibly read them.

I highly recommend reading this article if you want to see all the details from a graphics perspective: Creative Review.

The interiors are of course what I was blown away by. The actual building is the Görlitz Warenhaus department store  in Germany. The production designer, Adam Stockhausen (who was nominated for an Academy Award for 12 Years a Slave), must have had to rebuild everything in this 1913 building. Wouldn’t it be great to tag along and see where they source everything that goes into a film set? Like the antler desk below, which came from a shop outside Munich. And what happens after the movie is over? I should really check EBay more often.

(image via Dwell)

The Grand Budapest Hotel Set

(image via Architectural Digest)

For the luggage above, they asked Prada to develop a range of custom pieces that were appropriate for the era. The director went back and forth with materials until it was perfect: lining the inside with mauve satin, swapping metal for brass, keeping the color, but vetoing the texture. Can you imagine the time?

The Grand Budapest Hotel Set

(image via Architectural Digest)

The Grand Budapest Hotel Set

(image via Architectural Digest)

The Grand Budapest Hotel Set

(image via Architectural Digest)

I think you get the point – go see the movie.


2 thoughts on “The Grand Budapest Hotel by Wes Anderson

  1. Thank you Tara for sharing about this movie, and for the very intriguing perspective. Now I am definitely going to see it, and soon.

  2. The main reason i drag myself out to the movies and leave my sanctuary is for the visual on the big screen, I’ve seen the Royal Tenenbaums, not my favourite, Angelica Houston was the best thing from what i remember, it was some time ago…

    I watched the first bit of the trailer and then stopped because i find some trailers ruin the movie for me.

    Thanks for the tip – i will go check it out!

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