Grief? Depression? Ambiguity in a Paris hotel room. Jack Whitman lies on a bed, ordering a grilled cheese sandwich from room service. His phone rings; it's a woman on her way to see him, a surprise. He readies the room, moving without affect, drawing a bath, changing his clothes. She arrives, as does the food, and the complications of their relationship emerge in bits and pieces. He invites her out on the balcony to see his view. Will they make love? Is the relationship over?Written by
Pavane pour une infante défunte - for Piano
Written by Maurice Ravel
Performed by Pascal Rogé
Courtesy of Decca Music Group Limited
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises See more »
Modern filmmakers seem to scorn the smaller canvas of the short film, which is a shame because beautiful things can be drawn in small, vivid detail. Some films simply don't warrant a feature, as The Darjeeling Limited exemplifies.
Hotel Chevalier is a prelude to that film, and it largely works because Anderson lays bare feelings that remain inscrutable, allows to blossom a sense of history and time past between the two lovers. In their small, intimate moments in a hotel room, I get the sense of a time that extends back and forward, that these people loved, were hurt or excited, elsewhere, in some other time, and this snapshot is all that remains.
This is memory, a sense of place and time. The flow of life suspended for a brief moment, where lives entire can fit.
Watching this also reminds me how much Anderson's original style, a subject of much celebration among his fans, is in fact Aki Kaurismaki.
5 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this