A splash of pastoral colours, symmetrical buildings with the utmost satisfaction and quirky patterns transporting people into their own world is just a selection of aspects from Wes Anderson’s films that keep the fans yearning for his next work.
His now iconic visual style, matching of course snap-zooms and flat space camera moves, has captured the hearts and minds of millions. His pioneering style, which many critics continue to debate, is uncharacteristically difficult to pin down. According to Jesse Fox Mayshark, Anderson’s films have “a baroque pop bent that is not realist, surrealist or magic realist,” but rather might be described as “fabul[ist].”
His choice of inspired locations adds to that ‘fabulism’. Take, for example, 2014’s Golden Globe and Oscar-winning The Grand Budapest Hotel. Filmed for the most part on location in Germany, mainly in Görlitz and other parts of Saxony, Anderson secured the most unusual filming locations to create the mysticism 1960s, nearly deserted hotel, located in the Republic of Zubrowka. In reality, the far more generic spot of the Görlitz Department Store was one of the principal locations.
“Usually when I’m making a movie, what I have in mind first, for the visuals, is how we can stage the scenes to bring them more to life in the most interesting way, and then how we can make a world for the story that the audience hasn’t quite been in before,” Anderson once said of his filmmaking style. “I have a way of filming things and staging them and designing sets. There were times when I thought I should change my approach, but in fact, this is what I like to do. It’s sort of like my handwriting as a movie director. And somewhere along the way, I think I’ve made the decision: I’m going to write in my own handwriting.”
While Anderson has a skill for making everyday locations a surreal setting for his films, fans have started to point out real-life fixtures that seem destined for the director’s camera.
10 real-life Wes Anderson locations:
Furka Pass, an iconic mountain road that is one of the world’s most exhilarating, and thrilling drives through the Swiss Alps, is also home to a hotel that looks like it was dreamt up by Anderson himself.
At an altitude of almost 8,000 feet, the Hotel Belvédère sits proudly on the corner since 1882, the mountains as its backdrop. Once a favourite spot for actor Sean Connery after stumbling across the building during the filming of James Bond film Goldfinger, Hotel Belvédère is a perfect way to start this list.
Once dubbed the “world’s Most Beautiful Milk Shop,” this 19th-century shop in the small German town of Dresden has the acclaim of being included into the 1998 Guinness World Records.
A milk shop, opened in 1880 by Paul Gustav Leander Pfund, is decked out with the quite incredible interior of hand-painted Villeroy & Boch ceramic tiles throughout.
The Graduate Hotel
This hotel lobby in Mississippi certainly offers the ‘moments of surprise and discovery’ that the owners describe. The pink, the random furniture… all that we need now is Margot Tenenbaum walking through with a cigarette.
The Flam Railway, we’re told, is widely considered to be one of Norway’s most valuable and spectacular tourist attractions. In fact, in 2014 it was named the world’s most beautiful train journey so that should be enough, shouldn’t it?
Think Grand Budapest Hotel mixed with The Darjeeling Limited… only in Norway.
Little Chalet Motel
Moving on, we’re heading to Canada.
What do we have here? Yes, that is a mountainous area, yes that is the soft, soothing pastel colours we’re all searching for. We could all imagine a Mr Bill Murray sat outside this little hut, couldn’t we?
Húsavík, a town in the Norðurþing municipality on the north coast of Iceland on the shores of Skjálfandi bay, also happens to be the home of potentially the most Wes Anderson structure ever found in the real world.
The image, taken by Reddit user Milonade, has left many people believing he is, in fact, Anderson in hiding. It is a lighthouse, for those wondering:
Eastern Columbia House
Los Angeles, US
The Eastern Columbia Building, also known as the Eastern Columbia Lofts, is a thirteen-story Art Deco building designed by Claud Beelman.
Opened in 1930 after just nine months of construction, the building is widely considered the greatest surviving examples of Art Deco architecture in LA.
Admittedly, we couldn’t write a locations piece about Wes Anderson without one slightly unusual image from North Korea.
Such is life in the country, little is know about this conference room seemingly plucked out of Anderson’s imagination. Speculation has it that it’s taken from inside the Rungrado 1st of May Stadium back in 1989.
The Pink Room at Sketch in London displays the work of David Shrigley and, come to think of it, it wouldn’t be inconceivable to think of Anderson collaborating with the British visual artist.
The restaurant, which has become immensely popular in recent years, oozes Anderson in all his glory.
We had to get a cinema in here, it wouldn’t have felt right otherwise.
The picture house, where film great Federico Fellini first experienced cinema, has recently been restored to its former glory after a brief closure. Originally opened in 1914, the cinema features a main room designed by three times Oscar-winning designer Dante Ferretti.