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Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Hotel Chevalier - Wes Anderson (Darjeeling Limited)

Hotel Chevalier is Wes Anderson’s short film that serves as a prequel to his upcoming feature, The Darjeeling Limited. Jason Schwartzman stars in the same role he brings to life in Darjeeling; Natalie Portman playing his sultry, mysteriously bruised love interest. Chevalier is beautifully shot and, like all of Anderson’s work, lovingly made with exquisite attention to even the minutest of details. Portman is gorgeous, too, exhibiting an intense sexuality that’s rare in Anderson’s cinematic world. The film was originally set to run in theaters as an introduction to the feature, but Fox unfortunately cut it at the last minute. Instead you can download it free from iTunes; you will however need to sign up with the US store to access it. Hopefully it will show up on Youtube soon as well.

Chevalier is a wonderfully rich film, one its director intended to, “play out like a piece of short fiction while Darjeeling would unspool like a novel.” Like most Anderson works, it also features a memorable piece of music, Peter Sarstedt’s “Where Do You Go To My Lovely.” The memorable song leads off the Kinks-filled Darjeeling Limited soundtrack, which you should seek out at all costs. (You must remember how much you loved the Life Aquatic soundtrack.)

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