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'Grand Budapest Hotel' book is a feast for Wes Anderson-loving eyes




Cover of Matt Zoller Seitz's book
Cover of Matt Zoller Seitz's book "The Wes Anderson Collection: The Grand Budapest Hotel."
Abrams Books
Cover of Matt Zoller Seitz's book
A digital matte painting and a miniature were composited to replicate the hotel's 1968 exterior, after the building had been allowed to decay.
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Cover of Matt Zoller Seitz's book
A Mendl’s delivery truck parked outside of the 1932 façade, after the ZigZag takeover.
Martin Scali
Cover of Matt Zoller Seitz's book
Wes Anderson going for a spin on Agatha’s pink bicycle, freighted down with Mendl’s boxes.
Martin Scali
Cover of Matt Zoller Seitz's book
Wes Anderson directs Ralph Fiennes looking through the window of a “train”, actually a window frame mounted on a plywood platform attached to a dolly on rails.
Martin Scali
Cover of Matt Zoller Seitz's book
Ralph Fiennes, Wes Anderson and Tony Revolori on location, shooting the scene from the 1932 sequence in which M. Gustave begins mentoring Zero Moustafa.
Martin Scali
Cover of Matt Zoller Seitz's book
Ralph Fiennes gets a touch-up at the hand of makeup artist Frances Hannon and a light-level reading from cinematographer Bob Yeoman.
Martin Scali
Cover of Matt Zoller Seitz's book
Production sketches by the film's costume department, a mix of illustration and Photoshop.
The Grand Budapest Hotel costume department
Cover of Matt Zoller Seitz's book
Production sketches by the film's costume department, a mix of illustration and Photoshop.
The Grand Budapest Hotel costume department
Cover of Matt Zoller Seitz's book
Production sketches by the film's costume department, a mix of illustration and Photoshop.
The Grand Budapest Hotel costume department
Cover of Matt Zoller Seitz's book
Production sketches by the film's costume department, a mix of illustration and Photoshop.


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"Birdman" may have swooped in on the big Academy Awards for best picture and best director this year, but it's Wes Anderson's "The Grand Budapest Hotel" that scored big in the technical categories. 

The film won four golden statuettes on Sunday for costume designer Milena Canonero, composer Alexandre Desplat, production designers Adam Stockhausen and Anna Pinnock, and make-up and hair designers Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier — all of whom praised the visionary director on stage. 

Though all of Anderson’s films have received accolades for their originality and attention to detail, film critic and author Matt Zoller Seitz says "Budapest" is something special. As a follow-up to his previous book, “The Wes Anderson Collection,” Seitz has put together a volume that digs deep into the creative process behind "The Grand Budapest Hotel."

"I think that 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' in many ways encapsulates every movie that [Anderson] has made up to this point," said Seitz in an interview with John Horn for The Frame. "Not just in the sense of capturing his technical evolution. This is like a multi-layered wedding cake...There's stories within stories within stories in this."

The book includes multiple long-form interviews with everyone from Wes himself and actor Ralph Fiennes to production designer Stockhausen and composer Desplat. In addition, there are production notes, behind-the-scenes photos, and whimsical illustrations by Max Dalton and design by Martin Venezky. 

Seitz hopes the book is seen as the portrait of a filmmaker's aesthetic, rather than a definitive or comprehensive encyclopedia of a filmmaker. 

"I liken it to painting a portrait of a person," Seitz said. "I'm the portrait artist and the subject is the films of Wes Anderson. There's an attempt to give you a sense of his aesthetic, not just in the text part of it, but also in the design."

Listen to the audio of this interview for more. You can get your hands on the book now via Amazon or in your local bookstores.

BONUS: Here's a fun video of clips featuring overhead shots in Anderson's films: 



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