If there were an Endowed Chair in Wes Anderson studies, Matt Zoller Seitz would probably occupy it. The man has immersed himself as thoroughly as one might conceivably immerse one’s self in the director’s work for untold years, and two great books have come out of it: The Wes Anderson Collection, a remarkable survey of Anderson’s work, and now a supplementary volume devoted solely to The Grand Budapest Hotel. This video essay for RogerEbert.com, which is based on the new book, is in and of itself a master class, of sorts, thanks to the collaboration of Seitz and expert video editor Steven Santos. If you ever wanted to know how to time a voice track over film clips in a video essay, watch this piece. If you ever wanted to know how to avoid saying too much in a video essay, watch this piece; Seitz says quite a bit with a remarkably economical script. And, if you ever wanted to know how to teach others how to appreciate a director’s work, watch this piece: Seitz’s enthusiasm for Anderson’s films, particularly this one, fed by admirable scholarship, is infectious.
WATCH: A Video Essay Based on a New Book about Wes Anderson’s ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’