L’Air de Panache


One Story/Four Icons-Tell the story of a movie using only four minimalist icons.

The Story Behind the Story-

The Air of Panache, the air of confidence and flamboyance. This is the essence of my favorite film of all time, as well as the overused perfume of the concierge of The Grand Budapest Hotel. Like most of Wes Anderson’s work, it is an R-rated picture book come to life. With all the wondrous imagination of a slightly mischievous child and the comedic caliber of a well-seasoned cynic, this film is a masterpiece. Even without commentary or plot this film would be like watching a beautiful painting come to life, the colors are brilliant, inundating every corner of the screen. The music is original, big band soundtrack is the perfect complement to the beautiful imagery. To attempt to give a minimalist summary of a Wes Anderson film is foolish. He has created entire films that are far more dependent on their color schemes and small visual details than they are on their plots.

The icons I chose are still quite detailed for minimalist designs, all of these images came from The Noun Project. The first icon is a lobby boy, created by Vladmir Belochkin. It represents the beginning of the film when the main character Zero becomes and fulfills his role as the Lobby Boy. The lovable character of great integrity and romanticism is usually found in his archetypal bright purple uniform decorated with small, bright gold buttons and a structured round cap with “Lobby Boy” stamped glaringly across the front.

The second icon is a bottle of poison representing the murder of Madame D. which M. Gustave is then accused of. I chose the most detailed and vintage bottle of poison,  created by Chris Homan, that could be found on The Noun Project. With this murder, the arrest of M. Gustave initiates the great adventure of the film. The next two icons are both creations of Lea Lafleur.   The first is representative of the small cake from Mendl’s; in which a small tool was embedded to aid M. Gustave and his band of thugs escape from prison to begin his quest for vindication. The next icon is the Grand Budapest Hotel itself, showing the return to the Hotel where Zero and M. Gustave find the evidence they need to clear their names and which also eventually results in Zero becoming the proprietor of the wonderful hotel.
I was compelled to choose this project mostly because I love film and minimalism, and I knew that attempting to describe a Wes Anderson film through minimalist design would be quite a challenge. Ultimately I think the design is successful, it remained simple without losing the intricacy that is so typical of Anderson. I might even keep this design for myself.

The Tutorial-

This was a very simple project to create, although it was quite challenging to decide upon the four icons that I would use to describe the entirety of the film. I used The Noun Project, downloaded my selected images and then pasted them into a PowerPoint, arranging them in sequence on a light blue background. When I had the icons arranged the way I liked, I simply took a screenshot of the image and cropped it to get my final product.

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