The Grand Budapest Hotel

Briefly: Wes Anderson‘s latest film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, set a major box office record this weekend. Playing on just four screens, it grossed $811,166 total. That’s an average of $202,792 per screen, making it the highest-grossing limited live action debut of all time. The previous record holder was from that other Anderson, Paul Thomas, whose recent film The Master made $147,262 per screen on five screens. (Kevin Smith’s Red State actually grossed $204,230, but with the higher than normal ticket prices for that tour, some tallies account for it differently.)

The film didn’t come close to the all-time per screen average for any film, however. That record is held by Disney’s The Lion King, which grossed $1.59 million on two screens on its opening weekend. The Grand Budapest Hotel expands over the next few weeks. [Variety and Box Office Mojo]

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Wes Anderson painting

Every single day, artists make art based on films they love. It’s a little more rare for that art to influence the filmmaker it was originally about.

In 2010, the San Francisco art gallery Spoke Art debuted an exhibit called Bad Dads, based on the films of Wes Anderson. The exhibit featured work based on all of Anderson’s films up to that point. Since then, Bad Dads has become an annual event. It even gained the interest of Anderson himself, who said the following about the show in 2012: “Seeing somebody make artwork inspired by things in my movies is one of the most exciting things to me in a very selfish way. I feel like it’s a communication to me almost, even though they probably don’t intend it that way.” In one case, Anderson actually turned that communication into something quite literal.

In Anderson’s latest film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, paintings are part of one of the major narrative threads; several original paintings are essential to the story. To create one of them, Anderson contacted artist Rich Pellegrino, who first gained the director’s attention at the aforementioned Bad Dads show. Pellegrino made a piece in the film called “Two Lesbians Masturbating,” and told /Film he was contacted specifically because Anderson liked his work in Bad Dads.

It’s a crazy case of pop culture art not only piquing the interest of the original subject, but inspiring that artist in his own work. Below, read the story of how the whole thing went down. Read More »

Grand Budapest Hotel elevator

Wes Anderson‘s movies have always felt like kindred spirits to one another. They’re films made with similar visual styles and tonalities; stories that could very easily share one universe. His latest film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, feels that way too, but for the first time Anderson has made a movie about that very concept.

This film is well aware it is the 8th feature film by writer/director Wes Anderson, because here Anderson wants to explore the nature of storytelling itself. The passing down of stories; how stories tend to be similar; the real meaning of originality. He does this by framing the film in multiple layers, Inception style, until we get to the main narrative.

That narrative revolves around dapper 1932 European concierge Monsieur Gustave (Ralph Fiennes) and his trusty lobby boy Zero (Tony Revolori), who are involved in murder, sex, robbery, war, skiing, and so much additional wackiness you can’t help but think Anderson is purposefully filling this film with tropes that look like his, but aren’t. And that is most definitely the case. This is, again, a story about how we digest other stories. Anderson’s approach is to make the most un-Wes Anderson movie ever, under the guise of it being the most-Wes Anderson movie ever. As a result he’s made one of the best Wes Anderson movies. Read More »

Wes Anderson First Animated ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Wes Anderson‘s The Grand Budapest Hotel is so meticulously art-directed that at times, it looks more like a painstakingly handcrafted animation than an actual live-action film. And as it turns out, there was an animated version once upon a time, before production officially began.

Star Jeff Goldblum revealed that, as part of his creative process, Anderson had created a sort of early draft of The Grand Budapest Hotel using animatics and voicing all the characters himself. “You could see the whole movie,” Goldblum recalled. More details, including when and where you might see it, after the jump.

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Wes Anderson / James Bond

Wes Anderson, James Bond director? Yeah, that’s never going to happen — but the filmmaker is still more than happy to share some thoughts on what might ensue if it did.

During a lengthy recent interview, Anderson revealed that he actually does have an idea for a 007 called Mission: Deferred, which involves a purposeless Bond, a busy M, and a really fancy coffee machine. Watch Anderson tell Skyfall star Ralph Fiennes all about it after the jump.

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Ralph Fiennes Grand Budapest Hotel

Few things can brighten up a film fan’s day like behind the scenes footage. Film sets are some of the most isolated, protected working environments out there so to catch a glimpse of any set, let alone something that’s become a huge part of popular culture, really is a delight.

Below, we have some new footage from the set of the fourth season of Game of Thrones as well as from Wes Anderson‘s upcoming film, The Grand Budapest Hotel. Check it out. Read More »

grand-budapest-poster-header-2

As we get closer to the March release of Wes Anderson‘s acclaimed new film The Grand Budapest Hotel, distributor Fox Searchlight isn’t wasting an opportunity to let us know more about the movie. The latest rounds of promotion include a poster from artist Peter Strain, and a new featurette that features a great rhythmic opening before proceeding to explain the opening volleys of the story. See both below. Read More »

fantastic-mr-fox-criterion

The new Wes Anderson movie, The Grand Budapest Hotel, is garnering praise left and right. While you wait for its March opening date, there’s plenty of time to take in the new blu-ray release of an older Anderson movie, Fantastic Mr. Fox. The Criterion Collection disc, which hits stores next week, features an extensive suite of making-of features — enough to place the disc in good company with the rest of Criterion’s Anderson releases.

Below you can check out a trailer for the release, narrated by voice actor and former Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker. Read More »

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