Hello everybody. In this pixeLess Thursday I want to show you a book and movie I truly like as an inspiration for images, as far as colouring and mood is concerned: Grand Budapest Hotel.
So what’s it all about?  In this Wes Anderson movie we see Ralph Fiennes as a concierge who teams up with one of his employees to prove his innocence after he is framed for murder. Doesn’t sound too exciting as a story at first, but it’s the whole styling that really makes this comedy work.

Paul Schlase, Toni Revolori, Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes © 2013 Twentieth Century Fox

Paul Schlase, Toni Revolori, Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes © 2013 Twentieth Century Fox

The movie and the book are poetic, the story is almost surreal at some points and the images deliver the most beautiful colours and settings to get inspired as a photographer.
To get a better idea about it you might want to have a look at the official trailer:

Matt Zoller Seitz: Grand Budapest Hotel; Abrams Books

Grand Budapest Hotel
Matt Zoller Seitz; Abrams Books

If you’re more a book person you can get a copy of the really well made book about the Grand Budapest Hotel from Amazon.
The book takes the reader behind the scenes of the Grand Budapest Hotel. Through a series of in-depth interviews between writer/director Wes Anderson and cultural critic Matt Zoller Seitz, Anderson shares the story behind the film’s conception, personal anecdotes about the making of the film, and the wide variety of sources that inspired him–from author Stefan Zweig to filmmaker Ernst Lubitsch to photochrom landscapes of turn-of-the-century Middle Europe. Previously unpublished behind-the-scenes photos, ephemera, and artwork lavishly illustrate these interviews and essays. The Grand Budapest Hotel has been published by Abrams.

The Story
The way we get introduced the whole plot is beautifully constructed in itself. It starts of in the present, where a teenage girl reads the memoir of an author and we find the author narrating his story, namely a tale about a trip he made to the Grand Budapest Hotel in 1968. The hotel itself is located in a fictional Central European state and, at the time the author visits it, is in a pretty poor state. During his stay he encounters the hotel’s elderly owner, Zero Moustafa, who tells him how he took ownership of the hotel.

Ralph Fiennes © 2013 Twentieth Century Fox

Ralph Fiennes
© 2013 Twentieth Century Fox

Now we’ve arrived at the core story, taking place in 1932, when the hotel owner was a lobby boy in the Grand Budapest Hotel.
His boss is Monsieur Gustave H., the Grand Budapest’s concierge, who, when he is not attending to the needs of the hotel’s wealthy clientele or managing its staff, courts a series of aging women who flock to the hotel to enjoy his “exceptional service.” One of the ladies is Madame Céline Villeneuve “Madame D” Desgoffe und Taxis, with whom Gustave spends the night prior to her departure. About a month later, Gustave learns that Madame D has died and that she has bequeathed to Gustave a very valuable painting, Boy with Apple. Her family is enraged about it and managed to get Gustave arrested and imprisoned for the murder of Madame D.

Jeff Goldblum © 2013 Twentieth Century Fox

Jeff Goldblum
© 2013 Twentieth Century Fox

Gustave ends up in prison with hardened criminals and later manages to escape together with some of the inmates. Gustave then teams up with Zero to prove his innocence. Here a lot of dramatic (and hilarious) events take place till Gustave can retrieve the painting and prove his innocence.

Edward Norton © 2013 Twentieth Century Fox

Edward Norton
© 2013 Twentieth Century Fox

In the end Gustave inherits the hotel and becomes one of the hotel’s regular guests while appointing Zero as the new concierge. After the war, the country is annexed and soldiers inspect Gustave’s and Zero’s papers during a train journey across the border. Gustave gets into a fight with the soldiers and is being taken out and shot, Zero inherits the fortune Gustave leaves behind and vows to continue his legacy at the Grand Budapest. Back in 1968 the painting Zero and Gustave so hard fought for now sits on the wall behind the concierge counter. Before departing to his room, Mr. Moustafa gives the Author a key to the “M. Gustave Suite” and readjusts the crooked painting. The young Author later departs for South America and never returns to the hotel and we see him finishing his memoir at his desk in 1985. In the present, the girl finishes reading.

About The Author

Digital Artist & Photographer

Torsten is a freelance journalist who usually writes about all things related to photography and image editing. While his main output is magazine articles, he also does video tutorials and blog posts as well. He also is what one might call an enthusiast hobby shooter (photographically speaking).