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THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL: a caper in constant motion, kinetic and comic; a timeless tale of friendship, honor, and promises fulfilled. Director Wes Anderson says his eighth feature film comes from a mix of inspirations including the pre-code comedies of the 1930's and the stories and memoirs of Viennese writer Stefan Zweig.

"I had an idea with my friend Hugo," recalls Anderson of the script's beginnings. "He and I had talked for some years about a character inspired by a friend of ours, an exceptionally, supremely charming person with a unique and wonderful way with words and a very special view of life. Someone unlike anyone else we know in the world. Then, separately, I had this thought to make a kind of a European movie - inspired especially by Stefan Zweig, a writer who I've come to really love in the last several years. There were some other things that I was reading that might not seem connected to this movie, like Hannah Arendt's 'Eichmann in Jerusalem,' which had very little directly to do with this, but it contains a fascinating analysis of how each country in Europe responded to the Nazis, and how the whole place came unglued; as well as 'Suite Française' by Irène Némirovsky. Those were some of the things I started with, and I mixed them with the idea that Hugo and I had about this friend of ours. And that's what this movie is, sort of, in a way."

Anderson set his tale in a fictional spa town in the imaginary country of alpine Zubrowka, for which he created not only a complete visual aesthetic but also a cohesive 20th Century history mirroring Eastern Europe, with a fascist takeover in the thirties and a Communist period after that - but also a more distant past in the vein of the belle epoque.

"Every time Wes makes a film, it's a whole world, and there's a whole universe to be created along with it," says producer Jeremy Dawson, who has worked with Anderson on MOONRISE KINGDOM, FANTASTIC MR. FOX and THE DARJEELING LIMITED. "Here, he has created an entirely fictional part of Eastern Europe known as The Republic of Zubrowka, and in Zubrowka we find one of those great spa towns that cropped up all over before the turn of the century. The story really came from his interest in that time period, that history, that world; and also a certain type of character who is our Monsieur Gustave, the concierge at this grand hotel. So his idea of both the character and this entire world merged together, and Wes turned out this great script. Then the script, the acting and direction all combined to become something different even than it was on the page."

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