Wes Anderson's Next Takes Place Mostly in Late '20s, Will Look Deliberately Artificial, if You Couldn't Have Guessed

November 1, 2012


Dated outfits and a purposeful sense of artificiality? Yes, those things will still be in Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Speaking to The LA Times, Anderson gave expectedly cagey responses about his latest project, but did give some light hints as to what sort of carefully-crafted world we can expect to polarize audiences between twee revile and utter admiration of craft. There will be a hotel involved! Said Anderson:

"Uuuuum ... it's a ... as you might gather from the title, a hotel figures prominently in it. And it mostly takes place about 85 years ago. And it's kind of European ... a bit inspired partly by Hollywood Europe, and also by some European writers around that time. Yeah. That's a little bit about it. Kind of vague, but ..."

Prodded for more about what he meant by "Hollywood Europe"--because that could mean "acting pretentiously like Gwyneth Paltrow," for all anyone knows--Anderson explained that, as with pretty much everything he's done, what he's trying for a man-made, imagined look with his setting, even though he actually is shooting his European film in Europe. Then asked if he was going for "the tone of movies by directors like Ernst Lubitsch and Billy Wilder," the director responded:

"Yes, like 'To Be or Not to Be,' the Lubitsch with Carole Lombard, that Europe which is not made in Europe at all," Anderson says, warming to the subject. "Or 'Shop Around the Corner.' Or did you ever see 'Love Me Tonight,' the one Rouben Mamoulian made with Maurice Chevalier? I'm not a big musical fan, but it's a wonderful one."

"So I think we've got a little bit of that feel, that Europe on the Hollywood back lot, even though we're actually going to Europe to do it," Anderson continues. "It's got some of that kind of thing in it. The Lubitsch ones are always good to aim for."

For those interested in seeing exactly what Anderson is going for, the Lubitsch film Anderson referenced, To Be or Not To Be, is available to watch for free in its entirety, and is embedded below. For those who can't be bothered, just keep thinking of Bill Murray somberly smoking in front of a matte painting of the Danube.

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