March 26, 2014

Podcast Episode 10: I'll Be Staying Indefinitely At THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

"There are still faint glimmers of civilization left in this barbaric slaughterhouse that was once known as humanity."
With his latest film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, writer/director Wes Anderson has retreated almost entirely up his own asshole.  But it's a perfectly symmetrical asshole that's been hand painted the most delicate shade of pink, complete with embossed signs of intricate caligraphy leading you to a ludicrously charming realm of paper-puppetry and miniature delights.

So I guess that's cool.

I honestly can't blame you if you've written Anderson off entirely at this point.  He's a man whose films have become entirely consumed by his unique cinematic style and if that particular style no longer appeals to you (or, if you're a philistine, it never appealed to you) then that presents a pretty significant hurdle when trying to engage with Anderson's work.  It just so happens that I still adore the auteur's singular vision, so a new Wes Anderson movie is pretty much Christmas morning for me.  I'd certainly agree that his earlier films like Rushmore and Royal Tenenbaums have a bit more in the way of substance, but Grand Budapest has so many incredible moving pieces churning and swirling around each other at any given moment that it's hard not to at least be entertained.  Still, Anderson's movies have always had a strong emotional core that fuels all the precocious absurdity floating upon the surface and that core feels notably absent here.  Anderson hasn't quite broached the barrier of "all sizzle, no steak," but with The Grand Budapest he gets dangerously close.

Episode 10 of the podcast features our first attempt at including a remote guest in the form of my good friend and Anderson superfan Jared Watterworth.  I'm still tweaking the technical methodology here, but I think Jared sounds remarkably good considering we captured his audio by Skyping him on my iPad and propping it up next to the microphone.  We chat about The Grand Budapest and its place within Anderson's full body of work before delving into the death of James Rebhorn, a possible X-Men/Fantastic Four crossover film, and whether or not Ghostbusters 3 is anything but a bad idea.  In the process we accidentally invent a couple of imaginary yet awesome sounding films.  My favorite is Conan The Barbarian directed by Milos Forman.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or on Soundcloud, depending upon your preferred method of podcast delivery.  I'm going out of town this weekend to see Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan on Broadway, so there may or may not be a podcast next week.  But we'll DEFINITELY be back to talk about Captain America: The Winter Soldier, so get excited about that.  I certainly am.