The Grand Budapest Hotel – Royal Symmetry

Absent for a while, I came back with the most interesting piece of art to critic and comment from my humble point of view.

Looks like a painting of Magritte. Beautiful composition from white, through black, to colors.

Looks like a painting of Magritte. Beautiful composition from white, through black, to colors.


Wes Anderson
‘s control of symmetry never stroke me more than on his last visual exploit that is extremely pleasant for the eye. The Grand Budapest Hotel shows an excruciating sensibility emerging from this ability to direct exact symmetry almost in a “royal” way, with exquisite choice of decor’s and costumes’ colors. It marked me to the extent that I am still writing with a sort of british aristocratic accent in my head.

Apart from the equivalent of caviar for the eye, the movie has a funny structure composed of five parts narrated by F. Murray Abraham playing old Zero Mustafa, the hero, and extras narrated by Tom Wilkinson and Jude Law playing respectively the same old and young writer. Like it suggests, it is divided like a book with different chapters, introductions and one conclusion.

Raid. Symetric Love.

The symmetry in embedded even in the actors running.

The symmetry is even embedded in the actor’s running.

The main action takes place in The Grand Budapest Hotel at different time periods; 1985, 1968, and 1932 in the (former) Republic of Zubrowka, during the interwar period, adding some fireworks to the main story, that is already quite original. Indeed, Mr. Gustave (Ralph Fiennes) the concierge of the hotel has this eccentric habit to be a little too friendly with the over 80 rich ladies coming to the hotel. Therefore, when one of them dies (Madame Céline Villeneuve Desgoffe ind Taxis played by the incredible Tilda Swinton), she left him her most beautiful painting. This creates quite a mess inside the family, headed by her son Dmitri (Adrien Brody), who started a very elegant but paradoxically grotesque blood bath, helped by his dexterous right hand, J.G. Jopling (Willem Dafoe).

The casting is quite impressive at first when looking at the cover of the movie, but each actor – except from Ralph Fiennes (Mr.Gustave) who has a whole chapter to himself, and even the whole “book” if I must say, and Tony Revolori, young Zero – has a little to say, or do. But everyone together brings up an exciting story in the very marginal and yet pedantic universe of Anderson.

Based on Stefan Sweig ‘s numerous novels, the style is recognizable as the basis, but then the director takes over and wraps the whole thing with an outstanding photography, offering a series of shot composed like paintings with a multitude of details for the eye to catch. Meticulous and serious composition, the director surprised me with his light but rich adventure, that I will strongly advise to go on.

To finish on a beautiful composition worthy of a painting.

To finish on a beautiful composition worthy of a painting.

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The Fly – A perfectly remastered end of the 50’s movie

In 1958, a weird movie, named The Fly, was introduced by Kurt Neumann about a crazy experience, which led to a mad physical transformation, involving fly characteristics. Twenty-eight years later, David Cronenberg, of whom I am a fervent fan, decided to remake the insectophilic film of the latest 50’s, and adapt it to trendy genre of the middle 80’s, where sic-fi rose.

What I really appreciate in most of Cronenberg’s work, is his obsession with science, surgery, wounds, physical transformations, etc. He has this incredible, ability, to fluently turn something repulsive, disturbing, or even grotesque, into a pure form of art. And in The Fly, he once again succeeded in doing that.
Jeff Goldblum is embodying a scientist, Seth Brundle, who, seduced by a young journalist, Veronica Quaife (an interesting Geena Davis), decided to share with her, regardless of her job, his last inventions. Innovatives, future-changing machines allowing teleportation. He called them Telepods, and you could teleport an object from one telepod to the other. However, he had to improve them, to be able to pass the next level, and teleport flesh.

Is this all about a science-fiction, fantastic, gore movie, caricaturing the first progressive work in that genre? No, it is astonishingly about love. Seth and Veronica, finally came into having a relationship, and he allowed her to follow him into his work, and taking notes of all the discoveries and improvements he made on the telepods. Until, that very day, when, drunk, he decided to teleport himself, neglecting a little tiny flying detail. See, the telepods, can only teleport one body, or one object, not two, because it would trigger a fusion and not a teleportation of the two. And unfortunately for Seth, a fly entered his telepod, thus they merged, and little by little, he began to develop creepy, outstanding skills and physical transformations. Indeed, he obtained flies characteristics, such as walking on the walls, or sugar addiction. And this transformation, began to affect his relationship with Veronica.

As he continued to be more and more excited about his invention, and really become obsessed about his work, believing it has made him a new man, more energetic, he became wanting to teleport other people, and among them, Veronica. This one started to worry, but, this is also where, a surprising human sprinkle was added to the frame. Indeed, even though she was getting more and more scarred about this men, turning into God knows what, she also had less and less strength to leave him to this terrible fate, and the love she was bearing, never diminished. Yes, she got confused, and was wrapped into a strong despair not knowing what to do, and assisting to the awful transformation her lover was going through, but she never stopped loving him. And he neither, even though his love has turned into the need to merge also with her, as she turned to be carrying his baby. He wanted to created this ultimate stage where a family becomes one entity.

And that was the problem; the insect was taking over the man. Therefore you understand that the story is about how strong a relationship can be, and to how far a couple can go. And the fantastic aspect of the movie, could have been, Seth falling into drugs, alcoholism, or madness. Its a large issue, but held in the movie using a specific, unique and fictional case. And the film made me cry.

288068-science-fiction-the-fly-screenshot

Cronenberg with his poignant and brilliant cast, gave birth to a masterly handled remake, captivating, and as disturbingly monstrous as human. Is science leading us to a dystopian transformation of our relationships and daily lives in general? Almost twenty-eight years later now, we could answer yes, but this could still be a relatively modern movie dealing with pretty much the same issues of robotization, including the rise of technology and research. And it is indisputable, that our relationships have changed because of technology, and we are all addicted to it, to our cellphones, computers, tablets, everything allowing us to connect ourselves to the internet, to merge with it, and parties can now be spent with everybody on their smartphones.

Truth.