Hotel Chevalier, Prologue to Darjeeling Limited

I’m not tuned in to every detail of the Wes Anderson universe, but I loved being surprised by them.  I was surprised by how much I loved “Fantastic Mr. Fox” when I saw it, despite thinking for over a year it was probably some horrible 3D childrens movie, (its nothing of the sort, and you should see it if you haven’t.)  I was surprised by how much I loved “The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou,” a film which I assumed sucked because that’s what everyone was saying at the time of its release.  I waited over 3 years before seeing it, and I thought it was wonderful.  I was surprised at how much I loved “Darjeeling Limited,” a movie I reluctantly watched on my computer one summer day with no intention of sitting through the whole thing, but I did, and I watched it again, the next day.  I was never a Wes Anderson fan, but I guess I’ve been surprised to discover that I love practically everything he’s done; all said love coming with a great degree of anti-hipster reluctance I suppose.  This pattern has now lead me to “Hotel Chevalier,” a 13 minute short film Anderson made with Jason Schwartzman and Natalie Portman.  The film serves as “Darjeeling Limited’s” prologue, and is essential watching for fans of the latter mentioned full motion picture.  What makes it essential?  Well, nothing of any substance in terms of plot or characterization, but like any good comic book, its good to just continuously inhabit the world of a universe you really love.  “Hotel Chevalier” allows that privilege.  The funny thing about the “Darjeeling Limited” universe, and the one explored further in “Hotel Chevalier,” is that they exist in the grander Wes Anderson universe.  It’s an imaginary and dreamy sort of world, stuffed with the precious sort of nostalgia that is both impossible not to adore, and desire with great jealously.  For those wondering, the song that appears both in the short and in the full picture is “Where Do You Go To (My Lovely),” by Peter Sarstedt.  It’s easy to see why Anderson would be attracted to that song, as it makes reference to a beautiful girl’s Rolling Stones record collection.  Anyway, I was just as surprised that this short film existed, and having become tired of being surprised by Anderson’s genius, I watched it right away upon hearing about it.  You can too if you’ve never seen it, or rewatch it.  Either way, enjoy.

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No Responses to “Hotel Chevalier, Prologue to Darjeeling Limited”

  1. FrogMan says:

    Wes Anderson has an artistic style unlike anyone I have seen before. His films are amazing and his stories are better than anything else in this film world. I’m a Zissou member for life

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