If you know me, you know I’m a Wes Anderson fanatic, and completely adore his films. During SXSW, I had the opportunity to sit down with Wes and a few other journalists to discuss his latest film THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL. A film that can be held neck and neck with one of Anderson’s best.
Ryan: In “The Darjeeling Limited”, you had a song that inspired you. Was there a song or a material thing that inspired GRAND BUDAPEST?
Wes: No there wasn’t, the other ones for sure in lots of big ways, this one for whatever reason Randall Poster and I researched some music in the early versions, but we weren’t using it. And this is the first movie I had that is almost entirely original score. There is not a song in the thing, there is a little bit of yodeling that you hear at the beginning and at the very end that I found early on that I set aside. We wrote the thing having listened to some Salamanca and some Cimbalom music and things like that. I sort of thought about THE THIRD MAN that Anton Karas thing, but we didn’t use that we were inspired by it a little.
Ryan: The Cartoon character in the credits where did that come from?
Wes: That’s a good question. There is no good answer to that, because why would you put that in there? I don’t know.
Ryan: Because it’s brilliant.
Wes: It’s the kind of thing where if you happen to think out that idea and say it there is a certain moment of people not being sure what you’re saying. What do you want to do? You want a dancing Russian in the corner of the frame for the last minute of the credits?
I mean, I added it in very late in the process. We’re trying to finish the credits then I say “Oh, maybe we need to start working on the dancing Russian.” That means first designing a character, then figuring out a dance, and sorting out the dance to the music. All of the moves of the dance if you watch the end, he does a lot of different dance moves. Each one of those requires, poses, figuring out the timing, and editing it. Then the animator needs to do the full animation of it. Which is a lot of little pictures. It’s complicated, and we certainly spent a month getting that thing done and that’s just one minute of the thing. It’s not really fair to spring that on people, at the last second, but it was fine.
The last couple movies I’ve done we finish the movie and by the time we had a plan for what the movie is going to show publicly we had a lot of time. We could do a lot of polishing, because we didn’t have to finish it by such and such a date. We’re enough under budget where we can still tinkering with things and we’ve got plenty of time. For me that’s a good system because we end up doing a bunch of things that we wouldn’t have got. I mean there would be no dancing Russian certainly.
Ryan: you have time to add the icing on it.
Wes: You can add lots of little bits of icing here and there.
Ryan: I got chills at the Q&A when you said that you had considered making a sequel to THE DARJEELING LIMITED. That’s my all-time favorite movie.
Wes: I don’t know if we would make a direct sequel to it. Jason’s character already has two stories really. He’s got the short and then the thing. Maybe it is sort of a sequel, at least continuing that character. It could be possible.
Ryan: So if you consider Hotel Chevalier that would be the third in the trilogy.
Wes: no, you’re right. You’re right! Because at the start of that it says Hotel Chevalier: part one of the Darjeeling Limited.
Ryan: You have to do it now.
Wes: You’re right! Could be and I’d love to work with Jason, from a writing stand point on something like this again.
Wes: Thank you Ryan.
By Ryan Davis