LIT 146 American University Week 10 The Grand Budapest Hotel Discussion

Question Description

I’m working on a film exercise and need a sample draft to help me learn.

Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel tells a story about a ski chalet in the fictional Republic of Zubrowka–but the film features a story within a story, which raises broader questions about both the necessity of narratives and their shortcomings in the construction of national identity. Anderson’s characters both rely on and challenge the ways identity is constructed through narrative. Using all three of your readings, craft an essay of at least 3 substantive paragraphs that makes a case as to if we should consider The Grand Budapest Hotel a postmodern form of national cinema. How does Anderson’s distinctive style craft the world of the film? What forms of national pride or history are deployed by the film’s narrative frame? Would we consider this film postmodern? Why/Why not? 

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so often. The only possible exception to this rule I can think o f is Abel Gan�e, whose
greatness is largely a function of his aspiration. Even with Gance, � Roue 1s as close
to being a great film as any single work of Flaherty. s; �ot that s1�g�e works matter
that much.As Renoir has observed, a director spends his life on vanations of the same
. .
‘Ivo recent films-Boccaccio ’70 and The Seven Capital Sins-unw1ttmgly rem�
forced the auteur theory by confinning the relative standing of the many directo�s
involved. Ifl had not seen either film, I would have anticipated that the order of ment
in Boccaccio ’70 would be Visconti, Fellini, and De Sica, and in The Seven Capital
Sins Godard, Chabrol, Demy, Vadim, De Broca, Molinaro. (Dhomme, Ionesco’s
stage director and an unknown quantity in advance, turned out to be the worst of �e
lot.) There might be some argument about the relative badness ofDe �ro�a and_M�li­
naro, but, otherwise, the directors ran true to form by almost any obJecuve cnten?n
of value. Ho wever, the main po int here is that even in these frothy, ultracommerc1al
servings of entertainment, the contribution of each director had _less !n common _sty­
listically with the work of other directors on the project than with his own previous
wo rk.
Sometimes, a great deal of com must be husked to yield a few keme!s of mte1:1a1
meaning. I recently saw Every Night at Eight, one of �e many maddenmgly rouune
films Raoul Walsh has directed in his long career. This 1935 effort feature_d George
Raft, Alice Faye, Frances Langford, and Patsy Kel!Y in one of those fanuhar plots
about radio shows of the period. The film keeps movmg along m the pleasantly unpre­
tentious manner one would expect of Walsh until one incongruously intense sc7 ne
with George Raft thrashing about in his sleep, revealing his inner fears in mumbling
dream-talk. The girl he loves comes into the room in the midst of his unconscio�s
avowals of feeling and listens sympathetically. This unusual scene was later ampli­
fied in High Sierra with Humphrey Bogart and Ida Lupino. T� e point is 1?at one of
the screen’s most virile directors employed an essentially femmme narratlve device
to dramatize the emotional vulnerability of his heroes. If I had not been aware of
Walsh in Every Night at Eight, the crucial link to High Sierra would have passed
unnoticed. Such are the j oys of the auteur the o ry.

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wes anderson

Grand Budapest

country of Zubrowska

film and narration

postmodernism structure

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