Jozi Film Festival, now in its third year and running from 21 to 23 February in Johannesburg, announces the South African premiere of Wes Anderson’s new film, The Grand Budapest Hotel on Saturday 22 February at Cinema Nouveau in Rosebank. The movie screened to great acclaim on opening night at the Berlin Film Festival, currently underway.
Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes) is a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and newcomer Tony Revolori plays the role of the lobby boy, Zero Moustafa, who becomes Gustave’s most trusted friend. A priceless Renaissance painting that gets stolen and returned also features, while a battle for an enormous family fortune ensues.
This is Anderson’s eighth feature film which, the director says, was inspired by the precode comedies of the 1930s and the stories and memoirs of Stefan Zweig, a Viennese writer.
Recalls the director of the script’s beginnings: “I had an idea with my friend Hugo. He and I had talked for some years about a character inspired by a friend of ours, an exceptionally, supremely charming person with a unique and wonderful way with words and a very special view of life. Someone unlike anyone else we know in the world. Then, separately, I had this thought to make a kind of a European movie – inspired especially by Stefan Zweig, a writer who I’ve come to really love in the last several years.
“There were some other things that I was reading that might not seem connected to this movie, like Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem, which had very little directly to do with this, but it contains a fascinating analysis of how each country in Europe responded to the Nazis, and how the whole place came unglued; as well as Suite Française by Irene Nemirovsky. Those were some of the things I started with, and I mixed them with the idea that Hugo and I had about this friend of ours. And that’s what this movie is, sort of, in a way,’ concluded Anderson.
Set in a fictional spa town in the imaginary country of alpine Zubrowka, Anderson created not only a complete visual aesthetic but also a cohesive 20th century history mirroring Eastern Europe, depicting the fascist takeover in the thirties and the Communist period after that – but also a more distant past similar to the belle epoque.
The Grand Budapest Hotel also stars, among others, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson and Owen Wilson.
The screening takes place on Saturday 22 February at Ster-Kinekor’s Cinema Nouveau Theatre at 20h15 and bookings can be made through www.sterkinekor.com.
Watch the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Fg5iWmQjwk.