The 64th Annual Berlinale began today and though The Film Experience can't be there (we're still recovering from Sundance) we are watching from afar. The events began early today with jury introductions and the press conference for Opening Night Gala film Wes Anderson's Grand Budapest Hotel. The conference was fun if not exactly informative. Wes Anderson kept getting questions about the aspect ratio (it's apparently square like a 30s movie) and questions about his influences and where his ideas spring from that he didn't really answer but for generalities. He watched a lot of Ernst Lubitsch for this one and admitted that he loves Stanley Kubrick and his "systems", too, whatever that means. I wouldn't have ever grouped Lubitch and Kubrick, myself, but I'm pleased that someone out there can alchemize them.
Herewith the best moments featuring Tilda Swinton, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, and more...
Tilda was asked about wearing the makeup of a very old woman and how that process was. Her response.
Madame D. is what I look like when I don't put on all this makeup. I am very very very old.
(Like as old as your vampire in Only Lovers Left Alive, old?) Tilda later got more serious when talking about her love for Berlinale and plugged her other new film Snowpiercer which she says she thinks is a masterpiece. She also revealed that Berlinale was her very first film festival on her very first film, Derek Jarman's Caravaggio and it's always like a homecoming. She called the film festival experience her "cinematic battery charger"
Bill Murray got the most laughs which shouldn't surprise you. On how he'd describe his relationship with Wes Anderson, he deadpanned:
Well, the romance is gone."
And earlier. How does Wes Anderson get so many stars lining up for his movies.
We are promised very long hours and low wages."
When describing his choice to have Saoirse Ronan speak in her own Irish accented voice because he likes her real voice. He had all the actors speak with their natural accents, and ended with young Tony Revolori who shares most of his scenes with Fiennes and Saoirse:
Tony is from Anaheim. He speaks traditional Anaheim."
Saoirse Ronan initially thought she was being pranked when the script came her way.
I thought it was a joke - I thought it was a Wes Anderson impersonator."
Wait, do they have those? She explained that though the movie's characters don't interact much (they each have their own stories) the huge ensemble would get together every night for dinner since they were in such a tiny little town.
My favorite moment, though, was when Edward Norton was asked about his costumes in both The Grand Budapest Hotel and Moonrise Kingdom.
I think Wes just likes tight trousers and epaulets on a man and I'm happy to wear them for him."