Film Fridays is a project initiated by Darren from over at The Arty Plantsman and me.
After doing a daily music challenge for a month last year we talked about doing something similar for movies.
And the current global lockdowns give us the perfect excuse to start!
Many of us are confined to home with only the TV for company so we thought we would start ‘Film Fridays’ so that we can talk about our favourite movies and hopefully give our readers some ideas for things to watch.
We would be delighted if you would join us!
Just tag your post with #FilmFriday and do a pingback to either Darren’s or my posts so that we can can have a look at yours! You can also copy the “Film Friday” poster I came up with.
We don’t necessarily want to talk about the nerdy technical details but more about why these films speak to us as individuals, why they have a place in our hearts, and any personal memories they evoke.
So please join us each friday when we will each be talking about a different movie from our list of favourites!
Update: Darren and I have decided that we will do the ‘Film Friday’ alternate weeks now that we are both busy again.
On her last Film Friday post my dear friend Su talked about one of my favourite films by one of my favourite directors – “Moonrise Kingdom” by Wes Anderson – and thus inspired me to write a post about one of his other fabulous films that I absolutely adore:
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
The Grand Budapest Hotel is a 2014 comedy-drama film written and directed by Wes Anderson, which explores tragedy, war, fascism, nostalgia, friendship, and loyalty.
Ralph Fiennes leads a seventeen-actor ensemble cast as Monsieur Gustave H., famed concierge of a mountainside resort in the Republic of Zubrowka. When Gustave is framed for the murder of a wealthy dowager (Tilda Swinton), he and his recently befriended protégé Zero (Tony Revolori) embark on a quest for fortune and a priceless Renaissance painting against the backdrop of encroaching pandemonium.
The BBC chose The Grand Budapest Hotel as one of the greatest films of the twenty-first century.
Here’s the trailer (which only gives a tiny hint of the overall brilliancy of this film):
And here are some of my favourite quotes by Monsieur Gustave H. (played by a brilliant Ralph Fiennes – but then, when is he ever not brilliant?!):
“You see, there are still faint glimmers of civilization left in this barbaric slaughterhouse that was once known as humanity. Indeed that’s what we provide in our own modest, humble, insignificant… oh, fuck it.”
[to Mme. Celine’s corpse] “You’re looking so well, darling, you really are… they’ve done a marvelous job. I don’t know what sort of cream they’ve put on you down at the morgue, but… I want some.”
- Zero: What happened?
- M. Gustave: What happened, my dear Zero, is I beat the living shit out of a sniveling little runt called Pinky Bandinski, who had the gall to question my virility. Because, if there’s one thing we’ve learned from penny dreadfuls, it’s that when you find yourself in a place like this, you must never be a candy ass; you’ve got to prove yourself from day one. You’ve got to win their respect. You should take a long look at HIS ugly mug this morning. [Takes a sip of water and laughs] He’s actually become a dear friend. You’ll meet him, I hope.
Last but not least a quote about one of the characters – Agatha – whom I took the liberty to make a drawing of:
“I must say, I find that girl utterly delightful. Flat as a board, enormous birthmark the shape of Mexico over half her face, sweating for hours on end in that sweltering kitchen, while Mendl, genius though he is, looms over her like a hulking gorilla. Yet without question, without fail, always and invariably, she’s exceedingly lovely.”
As in many, if not in all of Wes Anderson’s films, there are the principle topics of nostalgia, friendship and loyalty to be observed in Grand Budapest Hotel, and I have to confess that these appeal too me a lot.
As does the overall visuality, the use of colours mainly, in this case the film eschews Anderson’s trademark pale yellow for a sharp palette of vibrant reds, pinks and purples in prewar Grand Budapest scenes. The composition fades as the timeline forebodes impending war, sometimes in complete black-and-white in scenes exploring Zero’s memory of wartime, underscoring the gradual tonal shift. Subdued beiges, orange, and pale blue characterize the visual palette of postwar Grand Budapest scenes, manifesting the hotel’s diminished prestige.
This among many other things, makes this film a work of art more than anything else. Yes, it’s entertaining, thought-provoking and brilliantly funny, but it’s a beautiful masterpiece as well.
If you haven’t watched it yet, I hope that this post makes you want to, and if you have already watched it, I’d love to talk favourite scenes and characters with you!