It’s late in the evening, it’s storming outside and Thomas (Mathieu Amalric) just wants to go home to his girlfriend and eat some sushi. It’s been a long day of auditions. None of the women that auditioned seemed right for the part. Thomas is just about to leave, when out of nowhere a mysterious and voluptuous woman shows up. Her name is Vanda (Emmanuelle Seigner), like the just like character in the Leopold von Sacher-Masoch-inspired Venus in Furs. Thomas has no intention of auditioning her, but she is very persistent. As she starts reciting the lines, he becomes entranced by her. Soon the lines between fiction and reality start to blur. Continue reading
After watching Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), three things were clear for me. First, The Grand Budapest Hotel is one of Wes Anderson’s best films. Second, Willem Dafoe should be in every movie. Third: Alexandre Desplat is a genius. Now, it’s not like the name sounded exactly foreign to me or that I hadn’t heard and enjoyed anything he had previously composed, but his score for The Grand Budapest Hotel just elevates the film to a whole new level. Continue reading
Monsieur Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes) is a legendary and dashing concierge at the famous Grand Budapest Hotel in Nebelsbad, Zubrowka. The year is 1932 and the war is about to begin. One of Gustave’s wealthy, but elderly lovers, Madame D. (Tilda Swinton) has just died. The police think it was murder. The murderers try to frame Gustave and have him arrested. Luckily his loyal lobby boy Zero (Tony Revolori) helps him get out of prison. Once out Madame D’s evil son Dimitri (Adrien Brody) and his henchman Jopling (Willem Dafoe) are after them, because they know the truth. Continue reading
I finally made it: I got to see Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine! One of my most anticipated films of the year. It was my first time watching a Woody Allen film in a theater. I’ve only discovered this fantastic filmmaker in 2011 when I watched Midnight in Paris an experience I’ll never forget. So anyway, that was the highlight of my week, in terms of movies, but there were also two others I’d like to discuss.
Lust, Caution (2007) – 7 (IMDb 7.5) – War, Drama, Romance (Taiwan)
Ang Lee is one of those directors I should get more into. It seems that everyone loves his films and while I can certainly see why, for some reason I never really love them as much as everyone else. I can’t connect somehow. Lust, Caution is probably my favorite of his so far. I mainly checked it out because it won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. To me there are three “authorities” when it comes to cinema: The Criterion Collection, Sight & Sound and the Venice Film Festival. I will literally believe and watch anything they praise. Continue reading
While some of the year’s best films haven’t even been released yet, new awesome sounding projects for 2014 are already shaping up, like Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel. The sure to be quirky comedy/drama about a hotel concierge (Ralph Fiennes) and his friendship with one of his younger employees will surely delight fans of the director. The film is written and directed by Anderson and set in 1920s France. Alexandre Desplat, who composed the music for Anderson’s last hit indie Moonrise Kingdom, will be returning to score the film shot by Wes’ long time cinematographer and collaborator Robert Yeoman. The editing however will be taken over by Barney Pilling (Never Let Me Go) who will work with Anderson for the first time.
Also new to a Wes Anderson film are cast members such as Jude Law, Lea Seydoux, Saoirse Ronan and the aforementioned Ralph Fiennes. Returning actors are Edward Norton, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Jason Schwartzman, Willem Dafoe, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Owen Wilson and, of course, Bill Murray. The first poster for the film clearly echoes Wes’ aesthetic and his passion for center shots, detailed set designs and minutia. Usually the posters for his films are also indicative of the color palette of the “final product”. Once again he seems to have something very specific in mind and a pink-brownish tone seem to be what he’s going for. I love the poster because it just shows the hotel, which seems to be a “main character” of the film and lists all the talent involved. It’s also great for indicating a time (the 1920s) and place (Europe), by simply evoking the hand-painted early 20th century marketing billboards.