Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Specialty Box Office: 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck' Primes HBO Pump, Russell Crowe's 'Water Diviner' Is Spotty Specialty Box Office: 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck' Primes HBO Pump, Russell Crowe's 'Water Diviner' Is Spotty Friday Box Office: 'Adaline' Bumps 'Furious' for a Day; 'Kurt Cobain' Big in 3 Theaters Friday Box Office: 'Adaline' Bumps 'Furious' for a Day; 'Kurt Cobain' Big in 3 Theaters Remembering Film Critic Richard Corliss (1944-2015) Remembering Film Critic Richard Corliss (1944-2015) Cannes: Denis Villeneuve Says Drug War Film 'Sicario' Is "Very Dark" and "Quite Violent" Cannes: Denis Villeneuve Says Drug War Film 'Sicario' Is "Very Dark" and "Quite Violent" How Do You Solve a Problem Like Erika? Universal Hires Husband to Write 'Fifty Shades Darker' How Do You Solve a Problem Like Erika? Universal Hires Husband to Write 'Fifty Shades Darker' 'Age of Ultron' Director Joss Whedon on Self-Doubt and Why It's His 'Rio Bravo' 'Age of Ultron' Director Joss Whedon on Self-Doubt and Why It's His 'Rio Bravo' Watch: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tina Fey, Patricia Arquette and Amy Schumer Hilariously Slam Hollywood Sexism (NSFW) Watch: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tina Fey, Patricia Arquette and Amy Schumer Hilariously Slam Hollywood Sexism (NSFW) CinemaCon: How Tom Cruise Stole the Paramount Show CinemaCon: How Tom Cruise Stole the Paramount Show Meet the Director of 'Tangerines,' the 2015 Dark Horse Oscar Nominee You Missed (Exclusive Video) Meet the Director of 'Tangerines,' the 2015 Dark Horse Oscar Nominee You Missed (Exclusive Video) LA Film Fest Unveils Horror Slate, More World Premieres, Zoe Cassavetes Film LA Film Fest Unveils Horror Slate, More World Premieres, Zoe Cassavetes Film Cannes: Directors' Fortnight Lines Up Vet Auteurs and American Indies Cannes: Directors' Fortnight Lines Up Vet Auteurs and American Indies Joe Wright's 'Pan' Gets Fall Release Date: Good News or Bad News? Joe Wright's 'Pan' Gets Fall Release Date: Good News or Bad News? Seeing Ryan Gosling's 'Lost River' Through Composer Johnny Jewel's Eyes (STREAM SOUNDTRACK) Seeing Ryan Gosling's 'Lost River' Through Composer Johnny Jewel's Eyes (STREAM SOUNDTRACK) 3 Women Genre Directors Get SF Film Society Fellowships 3 Women Genre Directors Get SF Film Society Fellowships Here's Why Jon Stewart Quit 'The Daily Show' Here's Why Jon Stewart Quit 'The Daily Show' Watch: From Tarantino to Cronenberg, Great Directors Talk the Art and Anxiety of Filmmaking Watch: From Tarantino to Cronenberg, Great Directors Talk the Art and Anxiety of Filmmaking Specialty Box Office: 'True Story' and 'Child 44' Flop as 'Ex Machina' Lures Audiences Specialty Box Office: 'True Story' and 'Child 44' Flop as 'Ex Machina' Lures Audiences 10 Films Booed at Cannes That Every Cinephile Should See 10 Films Booed at Cannes That Every Cinephile Should See 5 Things You Didn't Know About Lars von Trier, Who's Going Back to Work 5 Things You Didn't Know About Lars von Trier, Who's Going Back to Work 7 Things to Learn from 'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner About Compelling Storytelling (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO) 7 Things to Learn from 'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner About Compelling Storytelling (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)

Berlin: 'Grand Budapest Hotel' Press Conference Sets the Bar High, with Anderson, Fiennes, Murray, Swinton and More

Thompson on Hollywood By Tom Christie | Thompson on Hollywood February 6, 2014 at 2:17PM

Things are bound to go downhill at the 64th Berlinale, at least in terms of press conferences. The festival opened today with Wes Anderson’s "The Grand Budapest Hotel," and when you have Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Jeff Goldblum and Willem Dafoe flanking Anderson on the dais, you’re not likely to improve on either the form or the content.
0
Wes Anderson and Ralph Fiennes in Berlin for 'The Grand Budapest Hotel'
Wes Anderson and Ralph Fiennes in Berlin for 'The Grand Budapest Hotel'

Things are bound to go downhill at the 64th Berlinale, at least in terms of press conferences. The festival opened today with Wes Anderson’s "The Grand Budapest Hotel," and when you have Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Jeff Goldblum and Willem Dafoe flanking Anderson on the dais, you’re not likely to improve on either the form or the content.

Murray did his part, dryly. When a reporter lobbed a question to the cast at large how Anderson manages to “get all these terrific people to participate” in his films, Murray cut in loudly -- “I’d like to answer that one if I could” -- before settling in to his usual deadpan: “We are promised very long hours and low wages. And stale bread. It’s this crazy thing. You lose money on the job because you spend more on tips than you ever earn, but you get to see the world. We allow Wes to live this wonderful life, where his dreamscape comes true. I guess it’s because we like him that we do this.”

Grand Budapest Hotel

Relationships were the theme of the day. Asked how he would define his with the director after making so many films together, Murray said, “Well, the romance is gone.” It’s clearly not, of course. Producer Jeremy Dawson noted that it didn’t matter where they make a film as “we kind of have a family, whether they be cinematographers or music supervisors or prop people or actors.”

The young Irish actress Saoirse Ronan added that during the shoot in Goerlitz, a small town on the border of Germany and Poland, the entire ensemble would come together at night for dinner and often go out. And sometimes they would watch movies that served as an inspiration for "Grand Budapest Hotel," including "Grand Hotel," "To Be or Not To Be," "The Good Fairy" with Margaret Sullavan, "Love Me Tonight," "The Mortal Storm" with Frank Morgan, and Bergman’s "The Silence."

As for a direct inspiration for "Grand Budapest Hotel," Anderson said that it grew out of his reading the writer Stefan Zweig, immensely popular in Europe but still largely unknown in the U.S. “It’s really more or less plagiarism. It’s Zweig’s introduction to 'Beware of Pity' that we have adapted into our film. He says that when people know you’re a writer, they bring their stories to you. I always thought that it’s just as likely with him that he added this intro because it sounded good, not necessarily that it was true but that it lead into the story he wanted to tell, and established a theme. It was a way to express what was coming. For me, it’s really because I liked it in his book and I thought it set a mood.”

This article is related to: Festivals, Berlin International Film Festival, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Wes Anderson, Wes Anderson, Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes, Bill Murray


E-Mail Updates