This companion to the New York Times bestselling book The Wes Anderson Collection takes readers behind the scenes of the Oscar®-winning film The Grand Budapest Hotel with a series of interviews between writer/director Wes Anderson and movie/television critic Matt Zoller Seitz.
Learn all about the film’s conception, hear personal anecdotes from the set, and explore the wide variety of sources that inspired the screenplay and imagery—from author Stefan Zweig to filmmaker Ernst Lubitsch to photochrom landscapes of turn-of-the-century Middle Europe. Also inside are interviews with costume designer Milena Canonero, composer Alexandre Desplat, lead actor Ralph Fiennes, production designer Adam Stockhausen, and cinematographer Robert Yeoman; essays by film critics Ali Arikan and Steven Boone, film theorist and historian David Bordwell, music critic Olivia Collette, and style and costume consultant Christopher Laverty; and an introduction by playwright Anne Washburn. Previously unpublished production photos, artwork, and ephemera illustrate each essay and interview.The Wes Anderson Collection: The Grand Budapest Hotel stays true to Seitz’s previous book on Anderson’s first seven feature films,The Wes Anderson Collection, with an artful, meticulous design and playful, original illustrations that capture the spirit of Anderson’s inimitable aesthetic. Together, they offer a complete overview of Anderson’s filmography to date.
- The author of this new book Matt Zoller Seitz, also published “The Wes Anderson Collection” which covers the first seven Wes Anderson Films. I own the book and all the films and greatly enjoyed reading the informative book. This new book follows the same format, but instead of covering a film in 35-45 pages, we have 256 pages about “The Grand Budapest Hotel” only. Lavishly illustrated with many photographs, stills, production drawings and illustrations by Max Dalton, this book is very informative, not only about the latest Wes Anderson film, but also his method of working, research, sources and filming. A lot can be learned about the world of Wes Anderson by reading this book.
The book is divided into three sections, “The Idea of Europe”, “The Snow-Globe Version” and the “At The Algonquin Hotel”. Each section begins with an interview of Wes Anderson by Matt Zoller Seitz. The first interview concentrates on the characters and the actors, the second on the making of the film and the third on the sources of the film, in particular the works of author Stefan Zweig. That said, many other subjects also come up in the three interviews. They make for interesting reading.
There are also interviews of Ralph Fiennes, who played Gutave H. the main character in the movie, cinematographer Robert Yeoman, Production Designer Adam Stockhausen, Costume Designer Milena Canonero and several others. Each one of these are interesting to read and we learns more about Anderson’s well thought out meticulous style and manner of working.
Interspersed are many photographs from the film as well as reference photographs from other films such as “The Shop Around the Corner”, “Amadeus”, “The Red Shoes” and many others. There are vignettes of the careers of Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Jeff Goldblum and other actors. There is a whole section on the role of the narrator in this and other films such as “Barry Lyndon”, “A Clockwork Orange” and “The Big Lebowski”. There are also some pages of the script, the building of the model of the Hotel, excerpts from the writings of Stefan Zweig and most fascinating to me how certain scenes were shot. In short this is a gold mine of information about the film.
A well written and informative essay by Ali Arikan “Worlds of Yesterday” offers one of the most interesting interpretations of the film I have read, and of its structure and meaning.
The book is well printed and bound as books published by Abrams usually are!
My guess is that you will do what I did when I finished the book and that is to watch the movie again.
One of my favorite books of all time. One of my favorite movies of all time. I love all of the incredible information provided in this book. I’m a movie and photography buff so getting a glimpse into all of the behind the scenes crafting involved-especially in a movie such as this-was such a treat. I found myself reading a chapter, and then watching the movie again to see exactly what they were describing and showing through pictures in the book. What a treat to read the interviews of great actors, director, and composer, among other contributors to the movie. I love all of the small details pointed out which I had missed when watching. I love knowing the background of Stefen Zweig, whose writings Wes Anderson based the movie on. I think that in a movie such as The Grand Budapest, you can certainly just enjoy it as you see it, however it is so much more fulfilling to dig deeper. very cool aspect of this book is the in depth look at all of the older films which inspired Wes Anderson. Also, I like the filmography overview of the main actors. I could go on and on! If you are: a Wes Anderson buff, a movie buff, a photography buff, a non fiction buff, a buff of all things creative and beautiful, get this book!
I would like to first point out the quality of the book is fantastic. The photos, illustrations, page designs, typography— it is absolutely perfect and not in a flawless way, but in the overall presentation. I loved the interviews. Reading the details and getting insight on the creation of this brilliant movie, plus all the different design elements that contributed to creating Anderson’s magical reality, was thrilling. After reading this book, I have a very excited and creative energy I’ll be using towards my next design projects. Thank you, Seitz.