On Fridays, it is quite customary amongst normal people to go to the cinema. They meet up outside their local Curzon, purchase some munchies, and settle in for the night in their comfy plush seats. For our little bunch though, this did not appeal as eccentric enough. Where is our opportunity to glam up? To sip champagne? To take a few snaps? Said opportunity came in the form of Secret Cinema, inviting us for a preview screening of The Grand Budapest Hotel in a mysterious location somewhere in East London. We were to show up at 6 pm wearing our panache with pride.
We had to stumble through narrow, dark alleys and make a few curt exchanges with stern-looking gentlemen in big leather coats — all to have our mobile phones confiscated upon our arrival! Imagine the frenzy of separation anxiety this had thrown us in! Only then were we allowed to enter the red-carpeted, sparkly, glamourous hall, full of people dressed to the nines sipping champagne, conversing in exotic tongues, and eating chilli chocolates. To the sounds of rather fine music.
We made some fine friends.
Over a shot of Zubrowka.
We adopted a Norwegian who kindly gifted us with an Alpine-themed postcard.
Had a snoop around the building to admire the props.
Enjoyed a couple of bottles of champagne.
Recited Russian poetry from stage.
Signed up for a choir.
Posed with a dead bear.
And retired downstairs to the spa.
Waltzed around, posed for more pictures, and went upstairs to watch the exclusive preview of The Grand Budapest Hotel.
Wes Anderson’s film, starring Jude Law, Ralph Fiennes, Willem Dafoe, Johnny Depp, Bill Murray, and many others, was everything I expected: a candy-coloured storybook, full of giddiness, frills, dazzles, and delights.
Releasing in the UK on March 7th.