Grand Budapest Hotel
Director: Wes Anderson
Production designer: Adam Stockhausen
About the movie
The movie is a comedy that tells a story of a charming hotel concierge M. Gustave (Ralph Fiennes) fighting for a heritage his beloved client (Tilda Swinton) left him. The movie is also starring Adrien Brody, Jude Law and Owen Wilson. The background for the movie is Europe of an interwar period.
Location and interiors
The hotel is not actually set in Budapest but in a city called "Lutz" in a fictional country Zubrovka (after famous Polish vodka Żubrówka ;)) somewhere in Eastern Europe. Lutz was inspired by Vienna, Budapest and Prague and a lot of elements - as you're going to see below - are taken from charming Czech city Karlove Vary.
The movie was made mostly in Gorlitz, Eastern Germany, close to the border of Poland. For the interiors' location the director Wes Anderson and the production designer Adam Stockhausen chose the Gorlitzer Warenhaus, an empty Art Nouveau department store. The director who loved the building was even considering buying it to save it from being demolished but fotunately, after having read an article in a newspaper, a private investor Winfried Stocker decided to buy it and the store is now soon to be open.
For me the set design is gorgeous. It had been known earlier that the director like the sets to be perfect (as we could see in The Royal Tenenbaum). Coloristically roses, reds and purples dominate the movie (the whole hotel's facade is pink). The color spectrum for each scene is amazing (look at the color palettes below). Various shots in the film are perfecty symmetrical which is also very interesting.
As the production designer says the German style Jugendstil (in France called Art Nouveau) was the primary influence for the hotel’s decor, however, we can also see many Art Deco inspired elements.
An interesting thing is the hotel's surrounding, created as flat background. The filmmakers found inspiration in 19th century paintings by Caspar David Friedrich (below). His creations are foggy, airy, rich in color landscape paintings.
Unfortunately I haven't seen the movie yet (it has just hit the theaters in Poland) but I will this week and I can't wait to do it!
The hotel's surrounding was inspired by 19th century paintings by Caspar David Friedrich...
(click on the picture below to enlarge)
...and here we have the inspiration for the architecture - castle in Karlovy Vary
(click on the picture below to enlarge)
The deer that overlooks the hotel is also an inspiration from Karlovy Vary
The hotel does not really exist, there was a model built for the movie
In the movie there are clear references to fascism and fascist symbols ( “ZZ,” the signature emblem, recalls the alliterative “SS”), and the characters played by Willem Defoe and Adrien Brody are being called "fascist assholes"
|Screen from the movie|
Art Nouveau department store Gorlitz-Karlstadt (Gorlitzer Warenhaus) in Germany
"The columns, the staircases, that really magnificent window and that huge chandelier, that was already there, that's all original," says Stockhausen, the production designer. "We built everything else."
The hotel’s pool and is an ancient bathhouse (built around 1900), discovered in Görlitz during production.
The spaces in the hotel are a mix of Jugenstil (Art Nouveau) and Art Deco influences.
Every detail was meticulously designed - look who designed the set of period-style suitcases for the movie
(click on the picture above to enlarge)
In Grand Budapest Hotel colors are fabulous in each scene - just look at the color palettes
The hotel lobby from the movie's eposode set in sixties. Cheap wooden wall panels, low ceilings, ugliness - the production designer describes it. But the color palette is ery interesting again.
Every scene is a piece of art. See below how the director loves
The hotel's lobby from the twenties/thirties.
(Its sixties' version above )
And if you liked the set design, watch the trailer :-)
See my other posts on movie sets: