Characters from the film swirl around, acting out scenes from the film, often ending up in a whirl of purple bellboy uniforms, sparkling evening gowns and top hats. The belle époque is frozen in time here, but a menacing Nazi-type, who wanders around among the guests, is a hint that not all is well in this fantastically exuberant set-up.
The wonder of Secret Cinema is that there is always an element of surprise – you never quite know what is just around the corner. Wandering around this slightly loopy yet glamorous world, poking our heads into different rooms of the ‘hotel’, we deposit our flowers (a prerequisite) at someone’s coffin. All is revealed when we are invited to take our seats for the actual film.
The Grand Budapest Hotel is Anderson’s return to form (his films were starting to feel too alike to me), in which Ralph Fiennes shines as Gustave H, the campest concierge in history, whose sidekick, bellboy Zero Moustafa (Tony Revolori) proves an entertaining narrator. What follows is a tale of octogenarian lovers, prison breakouts and romance.
The mandatory dress code is black-tie, so here, finally, is your chance to wear that ravishing vintage gown or bow tie. And if you are on the lookout for a truly original evening out, I thoroughly recommend losing yourself in and becoming part of Secret Cinema’s charmingly eccentric world.
Secret Cinema presents The Grand Budapest Hotel runs until 30 March: www.secretcinema.org/grandbudapesthotel.html