Author Topic: The Grand Budapest Hotel  (Read 7551 times)

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picolas

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Re: The Grand Budapest Hotel
« Reply #30 on: March 16, 2014, 11:07:28 AM »
0
[from mah letterboxd]

for wes anderson, this represents the pinnacle of playfulness, the culmination of his technical craft, and the sum of nearly every actor he's ever worked with. it's hard not to admire the scope and exquisite detail of this world, and the spirit of invention behind nearly every moment. i found stretches of the film somewhat hollow in spite of their perfect storybook quality, and began to worry that it was all going to end up feeling like a big, beautiful cake without a shred of substance; however (quasi tonal ending spoilers?), the final moments pack a surprisingly powerful punch that will definitely affect future views. i wish this tone/idea had been sprinkled throughout, because the narrative framing devices seemed practically irrelevant until just before the end. (end quasi tonal ending spoilers?)

if wes anderson were to make rushmore now, i would be shocked and amazed. don't get me wrong. i love this world, and from any other filmmaker budapest would be a big deal, but i know wes can do this kind of thing in his sleep (albeit this is the most complex version of 'this thing'). i'm still hoping his next movies manage to tunnel into a different realm.

i hate criticizing this. it's GREAT. i just want wes to catch his breath sometimes.

modage

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Re: The Grand Budapest Hotel
« Reply #31 on: March 17, 2014, 09:33:59 AM »
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if wes anderson were to make rushmore now, i would be shocked and amazed he would ruin it.
fixed.
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

samsong

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Re: The Grand Budapest Hotel
« Reply #32 on: March 23, 2014, 06:21:58 AM »
+1
i guess he felt he owed marty a powell and pressburger movie?  i can't help but feel it was all a bit slight and too fast for its own good, though the more i think about it the more depth i want give it credit for.  i suppose a second viewing is in order to see if that benefit of the doubt is warranted or not.  typical wes anderson shit yadda yadda... it's starts out promisingly enough, and then... WHIMSY!!! i can say without a doubt i liked this the best (or was least underwhelmed by) of everything he's done since the life aquatic.

Cloudy

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Re: The Grand Budapest Hotel
« Reply #33 on: March 24, 2014, 02:36:21 AM »
+2
i suppose a second viewing is in order to see if that benefit of the doubt is warranted or not.
I wrote a pretty flaming review for this film here but removed it after chewing on the feelings I had for a few more hours, and after that period I woke up sensing a different way to approach it than I did. I brought expectations into the film, and the expectations weren't met. In my second viewing, I went in knowing what this could be, and that made the film...hilarious and musical.

First off, RALPH FIENNES IS A FUCKING RIOT. Honestly one of the best comedic performances I've seen in the cinema in a little while. So much craft oozing out of his pores, in a sort of Peter Sellers type of undertaking. The way this man laces words together with such fucking velocity is intoxicating really. I could feel the heart of this man, weighing more and more internally throughout the humor.
Second, the film is not worth taking seriously, every so often little quirks tell you to just shut off your brain and laugh, and in this sense a musical comedy with incredible attention to rhythm with the dialogue. I realized this film reminded me of the Marx Brother's films of the past, that type of intricately styled humor of the 20's and 30's. Not AS funny, but the musical rhythms/stylistic undertaking makes it its own.
Third, the melancholic core to the film was felt this time, and it wasn't contrived to me at all. It obviously wasn't incredibly full of depth, but for what it was it felt proper to the film, not put on. The artificial, aesthetic quality itself felt melancholic this time in a determined way.
i can say without a doubt i liked this the best (or was least underwhelmed by) of everything he's done since the life aquatic.
I think along with Life Aquatic, Rushmore, and Darjeeling this ranks up there with them. Some of the humor builds with Ralph Fiennes in such a satisfyingly explosive way.

These are two worthwhile interviews:
Charlie Rose:
http://charlierose.com/watch/60353702
Elvis Mitchell
http://www.kcrw.com/etc/programs/tt/tt140319wes_anderson_the_gra

JG

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Re: The Grand Budapest Hotel
« Reply #34 on: March 24, 2014, 05:41:47 PM »
+2
feel the need to speak up, if only because i'm surprised there's not more gushing around here. i've seen it twice, and rank it among his best (for me: rushmore, fantastic...). as much as i liked stop-motion clooney its nice to have a real adult here. fiennes is hilarious, but also imbues m. gustave with a pathos that is serious and sad. i liked that we know nothing about gustave's life outside zero's purview. the moment on the train when the narrator speaks to this, as gustave stares up at the ceiling, is one of the most poignant moments of the movie.

i don't think the framing device is getting enough love. wrapping the story up inside a novel based on a reminiscence provides wes the perfect context for one of his worlds. it works so well, because the film speaks to these stylized, mannered "constructions" we seem compelled to upkeep, from the pristine condition of the grand budapest, to the characters' mutual appreciation of Mendle's desserts, ultimately, to the author's rendering of zero's story.

i've been revisiting an old favorite all week, donald barthelme, and there exists a nice link between wes and barthelme. barthleme builds these precious worlds built on absurd premises that are constantly on the verge of falling apart ("the balloon" is one of my all time favorites). the worlds are, like the writing, often silly, always sharp, and pull from a slew of 20th century sources; films, book, music, etc. But so many of his stories pull back to reveal a sweet and simple core. A lot of them are about falling in love, or trying to preserve the way we felt then. That's Wes's mission statement in many ways, and grand budapest hotel exemplifies that.. zero's final few lines to jude law's version of the author speak to wes's entire body of work.

i cried both times!

 :yabbse-thumbup: 

Cloudy

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Re: The Grand Budapest Hotel
« Reply #35 on: March 24, 2014, 05:55:34 PM »
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Fiennes is hilarious, but also imbues m. gustave with a pathos that is serious and sad. i liked that we know nothing about gustave's life outside zero's purview. the moment on the train when the narrator speaks to this, as gustave stares up at the ceiling, is one of the most poignant moments of the movie.
...
But so many of his stories pull back to reveal a sweet and simple core. A lot of them are about falling in love, or trying to preserve the way we felt then. That's Wes's mission statement in many ways, and grand budapest hotel exemplifies that.. zero's final few lines to jude law's version of the author speak to wes's entire body of work. 
Spot on. These two points are where the essential depth of the story lies.

pete

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Re: The Grand Budapest Hotel
« Reply #36 on: March 24, 2014, 07:10:43 PM »
+1
I think wes anderson isn't going to change his "style" in the way that people hope. I think it's especially silly to expect it to change dramatically when one can glean all of that from a trailer. I think many good directors - take Ang Lee or Clint Eastwood for instance - have the tricks they like using and the themes they're interested in exploring, and we let them because cosmetically they look very different. I think Wes Anderson has aesthetics are so pronounced, anyone can pick up on his symmetry and art direction, but I don't know, just because you can point it out doesn't mean it's a sin, while one could make the same argument about Black Swan and The Wrestler but we don't because somehow we all have the decency to understand what Aronofsky was up to.

I don't know, at this point I'm not even trying to defend Wes Anderson - I have some thoughts and reservations about the film, but it's really hard to discuss him seriously because both his supporters and critics seem to not be able to get over this whole fucking symmetry thing. why not just say "the Coen Bros are soooo dark! We get it you're crazy dudes!" while you're at it.
“Tragedy is a close-up; comedy, a long shot.”
- Buster Keaton

jenkins

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Re: The Grand Budapest Hotel
« Reply #37 on: March 24, 2014, 08:43:22 PM »
+3
But so many of his stories pull back to reveal a sweet and simple core. A lot of them are about falling in love, or trying to preserve the way we felt then. That's Wes's mission statement in many ways, and grand budapest hotel exemplifies that.. zero's final few lines to jude law's version of the author speak to wes's entire body of work.
where the essential depth of the story lies.

do you mean when the writer asks zero moustafa why he keeps ownership of the faded-glory hotel, if it's from reverence to gustave, to which zero ~replies that its glory days "disappeared long before he arrived. but he was graceful about maintaining the illusion that it existed" and he says he keeps the hotel in tribute to agatha. i like that scene so much and agree it helps establish the roots

i can see the grand budapest hotel as a bit of a thing about wes anderson and his enduring tryst with cinema. i don't think that's crazy to say, or fully right to say, so i think it exists somewhere within the realm tom wilkinson describes at the beginning, when he says a writer isn't always working within personal imagination, a writer's personhood opens along with craft, and material opens to the writer from life

taking the grand budapest hotel as an emblem for cinema, anderson arrived as a bell boy with his bottle rocket short, found himself promoted when bottle rocket became a feature, acclaimed by rushmore, and now there's bare remembrance of why he began. new hires are jason schwartzman, there to be there, but without the urgency of the best days (schwartzman plays the modern day concierge, who isn't paid enough to care about his job, there's an analogy there as well, i'll skip it) . i don't think it's an accident the star of rushmore was chosen for his role, i don't think it's an accident bill murray was chosen for his role -- the particular roles they were chosen for and what they mean

i think wes anderson sees his career with a perspective he isn't given credit for. i think he's a concierge for a type of cinema. as to say, it's not difficult to see the movie's cross-pollination with the creator. i don't have trouble spotting the emotions sitting in the shade of this massive movie. of course it's not all about or only about what i described above, because anderson has a storytelling talent, and a story works best when a story works on its own. ooh i think this one does, and beyond the highly-likable gustave and grand budapest there is indeed zero, his relationship with agatha, madame d and her badnews family, henckels and war outbreak, ludwig and mush waitering, these people and events and more people and events, all reflections from the past, told through another life reflection, and lodged inside the present

the downhill skiing/sledding scene alone! padded by awful, unbearable, detestable, anderson-has-lost-his-talent scenes of prison escape, concierge networking, gondola switching, cathedral confessing, police confrontation, and hotel shootouts

just, if this is someone beginning to suck, lots of people need to work on sucking this good, you know. i think it can be said all nice and easy like that. i've said it before: he's still the same, and now there are five of him

JG

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Re: The Grand Budapest Hotel
« Reply #38 on: March 24, 2014, 09:03:29 PM »
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But so many of his stories pull back to reveal a sweet and simple core. A lot of them are about falling in love, or trying to preserve the way we felt then. That's Wes's mission statement in many ways, and grand budapest hotel exemplifies that.. zero's final few lines to jude law's version of the author speak to wes's entire body of work.
where the essential depth of the story lies.

do you mean when the writer asks zero moustafa why he keeps ownership of the faded-glory hotel, if it's from reverence to gustave, to which zero ~replies that its glory days "disappeared long before he arrived. but he was graceful about maintaining the illusion that it existed" and he says he keeps the hotel in tribute to agatha. i like that scene so much and agree it helps establish the roots

yea that's it, i didn't remember the quote exactly.

jenkins

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Re: The Grand Budapest Hotel
« Reply #39 on: April 11, 2014, 03:41:34 PM »
+1
david bordwell wrote Wes Anderson takes the 4:3 challenge, and thanks again as always señor bordwell

excerpts:
Quote
Just as Kitano Takeshi shows us gangsters behaving like little boys, Anderson’s dollhouse-room frames make adults seem to be toy people arranged just so–like items laid out in a Joseph Cornell box. It’s a style suitable for magical-realist premises like The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, and in Moonrise Kingdom it finds its echo in children’s illustrated books.

All in all, then, I have to salute an American filmmaker who thinks about his images carefully and has incited sensitive viewers to notice them. I think we should go further, though. We can ask: How does Anderson, staying loyal to this tradition, vary the look of the shots? And how does he cut them together?

+:
Quote
I think well of many of his films, particularly the most recent ones, and I appreciate anyone who takes on a challenge of narrowing his range of creative choices. Once you narrow that range, it turns out there’s a host of new possibilities that pop out. Call it the Ozu strategy: refine your means and you discover nuances nobody else notices.

he also links to the asc article on grand budapest

tpfkabi

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Re: The Grand Budapest Hotel
« Reply #40 on: April 18, 2014, 10:31:22 AM »
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SPOILS


I don't know if I will like any of his films like his first 4. I don't know if it's me or what.
I don't get why he keeps killing little animals in his films. Something from his childhood?
Sat on a row by myself and, of course, right as it starts an older lady sits a couple seats away. Half way through she turns to her accomplice and says something like, "I don't know what's going on."
A Mexico facial birthmark for what purpose? Whhhhhhy? Ha.
Just 'cuz. That's how I roll. -Wes Anderson
The scene that comes to mind is after the long prison escape.
The long lecture while the other inmates take over the bus and leave.
The comedy is in the absurdity of taking the time you should use to be escaping to talk about something unimportant, and that there's other stuff going on in the background.
But I don't know. It felt forced? But it was meant to be. That's the joke.
Timing off - too much time for some, too little for others?


Maybe I will connect more on a 2nd viewing.

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Alexandro

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Re: The Grand Budapest Hotel
« Reply #41 on: June 15, 2014, 11:31:55 AM »
+4
come on. let's just say it. this might be his best film. this one is a perfect illustration of what happens when his stuff REALLY works and does not miss one beat as opposed to when we wish for it. just compare the emotional effortless moments here with anything in the life aquatic and the darjeeling limited; there is less of it here, but somehow feels more powerful. all the jokes, the comedy, the performances. ralph fiennes is just like gene hackman, he will breathe life into things. looking back, this is one of the best actors in the world, and has been from day one. where are the flaws with this dude? has he ever given a bad performance? the is one of wes anderson's more colorful characters and he nails it and just makes him come alive. but he's not alone because even though the approach is basically the same as in the other films, there's not one actor who feels constricted are excessively still. adrien brody gets to be intense. willem dafoe gets to be psychotic. it's fucking joy this movie.

then there's the delicacy of the music choices and the seductive attention to detail, and how it never takes away from the story and the characters. it feels like an old movie. like a classic already.

Lottery

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Re: The Grand Budapest Hotel
« Reply #42 on: June 15, 2014, 11:54:28 AM »
+1
Hmmm, wouldn't say it's his best but I did certainly like it. Ralph Fiennes is absolutely incredible in it (though regarding bad performances, his interpretation of Voldemort is pretty lame).

There's this deeper emotional content which you pick up every now and then in the film which is great (there's one particular shot in the train which just blows me away with how effective it is). I hope it's not lost under rapid-fire gags for most others. Maybe that's a risk with W. Anderson in general. I feel like there's more to unearth in this regard (and the framing). The framing devices in the film feel effortless. Very much appreciated that. I would like to hear a bit more about that because it was one of the more interesting choices made in the film.

People were discussing his style above and how it leads up to this film, where does the man go from here? The easy answer is more of the same (for better or worse) but I'm curious to see what other approaches he could consider (sidenote: he should do another animated film at some point).

Alexandro

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Re: The Grand Budapest Hotel
« Reply #43 on: June 15, 2014, 01:54:25 PM »
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it has tremendous replay value and that's something that really was missing in his films since the royal tenembaums.

also, I like fiennes's voldemort...

03

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Re: The Grand Budapest Hotel
« Reply #44 on: June 15, 2014, 02:34:38 PM »
+2
hahaha i like the fact that all of these recent posts came out the same time that the torrent finally became available.
wanted to see this in theatres, wasn't able to. but man alive what a beautiful film this was.

i have never ever EVER understood the criticism of wes anderson, because it seems that everyones argument is:
a: he is making wes anderson movies.
and
b: nothing will ever be as good as royal tenenbaums

i mean, come on, really?
i know this has been gone over numerous times, but do you go to a GWAR concert and you're all like "holy shit why are they wearing these crazy costumes like monsters and stuff?!?!? meerh!". i love what wes anderson does, and no one can do anything close to it, no matter how they try. amazing amazing film, five million stars.

 

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