Photo via Akademie Zubrowka
Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel takes place against the backdrop of the fictional country Zubrowka, and like all Anderson’s realities, it’s of another era, eccentric and richly imagined. Design group Watson/DG have teamed up with Anderson to create Akademie Zubrowka, a website that offers a made-up college course on the made-up country, called “The Republic of Zubrowka Before the War: a Central European Case Study of Social, Political and Cultural Upheaval.” Using the collegiate motif, Akademie Zubrowka guides viewers through lessons about the industry, art and politics of Zubrowka, offering visual artifacts from The Grand Budapest Hotel, as well as additional backstory on characters and the mysterious Renaissance painting at the center of the film.
Since the film is not yet in wide release, students of the Akademie Zubrowka can get their fix early. Visitors to the site are encouraged to pore over the minutiae of the film, using a vintage microfiche to zoom in on various props, from letters signed and smooched by Madame D to blue tasseled room keys. Enroll in a Zumbrowka crash course here.