Hotel (2001)

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German title hotel
Original title hotel
Country of production UK , Italy
original language English , Italian , French
Publishing year 2001
length 114 minutes
Director Mike Figgis
script Mike Figgis
Heathcote Williams
production Mike Figgis
Annie Stewart
for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
music Mike Figgis
Anthony Marinelli
camera Patrick Alexander Stewart

Hotel is an experimental British - Italian comedy film directed by Mike Figgis from 2001 starring Saffron Burrows , Salma Hayek , Lucy Liu , Burt Reynolds , Julian Sands and David Schwimmer, among others .


The action takes place in Venice at the time of the Carnival. A British film team staying in a shabby Art Deco hotel is set to film the play The Duchess of Malfi by John Webster , directed by Trent Stoken . The crew tries to follow the strict dome school of filmmaking: You shoot with a handheld camera , special lighting is considered unnecessary. Figgis wants to dramatize the play by the fact that director Stoken, who is having an affair with the actress who plays the Duchess of Malfi, is shot by an assassin. In doing so, Stoken falls into a coma in which he can hear and see everything that is going on around him without being able to make the slightest movement. Figgis says it's the ultimate nightmare for a director.

A turning point occurs when cannibals and vampires, all members of the hotel staff, start cheating on the film crew. Even bizarre sexual activities are not left out in the pictures. Omar Jonnson falls victim to the cannibals. Charlee Boux and Kawika, rival reporters, are embroiled in a gruesome cat fight. The shared images require a lot of attention because they are sensual and extremely complex. At one point the audience is confronted with three very different scenes: One is a night cruise on the Grand Canal in Venice, while another image shows the resuscitation of the coma director and in the third image the doppelganger , a character in the film, Songs by Schubert intoned. Figgis explains to the amazement of many that it all makes sense to him.

The unfortunate Burrows is shown attempting to mock the dogma movement by attempting to film costume scenes in St. Mark's Square , which is littered with tourists , denouncing the relentless competition for power, money and sex that is a consequence of the Clash of gigantic egos is. Director Trent Stoken, often insane, is ultimately murdered by his producer Jonathan Danderfine.

Charlee Boux, an exuberant but rather stupid entertainment reporter, is busy making a behind-the-scenes documentary about this filming to document the work of the film crew.


Production notes

It is a production by Moonstone Entertainment, Hotel Productions, Cattleya, Red Mullet Productions, and Channel 4 Television Corporation. The film was shot in Venice , where recordings were also made in the “Hungarian Palace” hotel. BBC News' Tom Brook wrote that Figgis has the uncanny ability to bring top Hollywood actors to his films for very little money with the promise of self-contribution. Salma Hayek, for example, was surprised at how great the creative freedom Figgis allowed her and that she often had to act out of the situation without preparation. Figgis uses unusual turning and editing techniques, with which he creates idiosyncratic works.

Some changes were made after the premiere of the film, but Hotel remains a film of limited commercial potential that has struggled with distribution, even if Figgis has many admirers for his experimental work and efforts to redefine cinema with modern technology.


The Dogme 95 style of filmmaking is mentioned several times in the film, which is how the film is described. David Schwimmer said he loved that Figgis used a variety of images at once. He thinks the director is experimenting with a new art form.

John Webster's tragedy The Duchess of Malfi premiered at the Globe Theater in London in 1613 or 1614 and was first published in 1623. The play is considered to be one of the masterpieces of English drama of Shakespeare's time.



Publication, success

The film had its world premiere

  • on September 12, 2001 at the Toronto International Film Festival in Canada, after which it was shown at numerous other film festivals, so
  • on November 19, 2001 at the London Film Festival in Great Britain,
  • on January 25, 2002 at the AFM International Independent Film Festival in Turkey,
  • on January 26, 2002 at the International Film Festival Rotterdam in the Netherlands,
  • on February 2, 2002 at the Belgrade Film Festival in Serbia,
  • on March 11, 2002 at the Mar del Plata Film Festival in Argentina,
  • on April 5, 2002 in the United Kingdom,
  • on April 30, 2002 at the Jeonju International Film Festival in South Korea,
  • on June 5, 2002 at the Atlanta Film Festival in the USA,
  • on June 26, 2002 at the Moscow Film Festival in Russia,
  • on July 7, 2002 at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in the Czech Republic,
  • on September 20, 2002 at the Helsinki International Film Festival in Finland,
  • on October 4th, 2002 at the Warsaw Film Festival in Poland,
  • on October 11, 2002 at the Titanic International Filmpresence Festival in Hungary,
  • on October 18, 2002 at the Bergen International Film Festival in Norway,
  • on March 30, 2003 at the NatFilm Festival in Denmark,
  • on July 25, 2003 in limited cinemas in the USA,
  • on August 30, 2003 in Tokyo, Japan,
  • on June 17, 2004 in Portugal,
  • on December 10, 2004 in Denmark

and in Bulgaria under the title Titelотел .

The film was shown in two cinemas in the USA, where it grossed just under 13,000 US dollars .


When Hotel was shown for the first time at the Toronto Film Festival last year, industry magazine The Hollywood Reporter wrote that the film was a painfully ostentatious piece of total nonsense.

The New York Times’s Elvis Mitchell noted that director Mike Figgis’s latest sectarian improvisational work stand and fall with its cast’s talent, with Rhys Ifans winning by a mile. The multi-layered film is a mixture of plot, filmmaking and effects. Although Hotel is finally overwhelmed by an arranged tiredness, the film is no less fascinating and breaks into multiscreen scenes like Mr. Figgi's 2000 experiment Timecode . […] Luchino Visconti seems to be just as much a touchstone for Mr Figgis as Jean-Luc Godard , said Mitchell. Fascinating and maybe even crazy, the hotel always seems to be in a state of flux, which in itself is an achievement. Mitchell compared the film to wine in a bottle that you watch, although the film also has its subtle taste that changes from minute to minute. In a summer when you can almost hear the sigh of boredom behind the scenes, that's a worthwhile occupation.

Manohla Dargis wrote in the Los Angeles Times on July 25, 2003 that the narrative side of the film was nothing new or interesting. The film was compared to the Figgis film Timecode ; he is a " bland attempt at the experimental narrative type ".

Roger Ebert wrote in the Chicago Sun-Times that Figgis was a courageous experimenter whose films often deviated from conventional avenues to achieve their effect. The film will not satisfy most viewers. The question is what the film is not successful in. The film reminds him of a jazz improvisation in which the musicians mix different styles in a song, which can be quite a pleasure, as it keeps the song alive. The film has to be pointless to make any sense.

Valery Kichin from the Russian side film-ru wrote that this was the most unusual film from the film industry in recent years. It was like a comedy, but also difficult, it was somehow erotic, but gloomy, it was like a costume drama, but shameless, it was like a 'film about the cinema', but with a mockery of this 'avant-garde', to which it was formally belong. The film gives the impression of a richly decorated emptiness that mixes aesthetic impressions with pure exercises that are not clouded by other tasks.

BBC News' Tom Brook pointed out that director Mike Figgis seeks to push the boundaries of cinematic storytelling through the use of digital video, night vision lenses and split screens. He is supported in his work by an all-star cast that includes Salma Hayek, Burt Reynolds and David Schwimmer. The story he tells is anything but mainstream [...] and not for everyone.

Scott Weinberg from DVD talk didn't like the film and stated: Mike Figgis' fictional, boring and ostentatious hotel is a crystal clear example of what happens when actors and filmmakers gather together with too much time. Anyone who's ever seen a Mike Figgis film will probably know what to expect: improvisation, poor lighting and sound, navel gazing divergences, and a bunch of actors who, if done right, look damn stupid.

Joe Bowman from Fin de cinéma saw it completely differently and said that the hotel was like going on vacation, but a special one in a beautiful European place whose language you don't speak and where you don't really have to worry about anything. Figgis film returns to the digital experiments of time code . The magic of Hotel , a heavily convoluted film, lies in its initial blindness to its strange and disturbing provocations. A film that challenges the senses, even if the end result is chaotic. Trying to find meaning in the film is probably pointless, but it is worth trying not to be satisfied with that.

The Flick Notes page says you look at the DVD cover and think wow, strong cast, must be pretty good. But don't be the film, not even close. It is difficult to even talk about this film because it has no plot, no real story and, as we now know, no script either. The film fails miserably.

In BBC Home, it was felt, Figgis had created the most original and striking piece of cinema this year. He experimented with the infinite possibilities of digital video and used similar techniques as he showed them in Timecode , but also many other new tricks, such as night vision lenses, Scope, Slowmo and superimposed images. The effect is terrifying. Hotel pulls the conventions of conventional filmmaking right before our eyes and provides an insight into the future of narrative cinema. In conclusion, it was said that even if the speed and bizarre nature of the procedure could be confusing, they were embarking on a journey that they would not soon forget.


  • Salma Hayek was nominated for the MTV Movie Award in 2002.
  • Mike Figgis was nominated for the Daring Digital Award in the "Digital Spectrum" category at the 2002 Jeonju Film Festival.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Filming locations for Hotel in the IMDb, accessed on July 9, 2007.
  2. a b c d e Tom Brook: Figgis unlocks Hotel's secrets sS, April 6, 2002 (English). Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  3. ^ Opening dates for Hotel in the IMDb, accessed on July 9, 2007.
  4. Box office / business for hotel in the IMDb, accessed on July 9, 2007.
  5. ^ Elvis Mitchell : Movie Review "Hotel" In: The New York Times , July 25, 2003 (English). Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  6. Hotel sS, July 25, 2003 (English). Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  7. ^ Roger Ebert : Hotel sS, September 26, 2003 (English). Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  8. Valery Kichin: “Отель” Великобритания-Италия, 2001 see, October 20, 2003 (Russian). Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  9. Scott Weinberg: Hotel sS, July 26, 2005 (English). Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  10. ^ Joe Bowman: Digital Pretentions - Hotel - Mike Figgis
    see p., July 25, 2006 (English). Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  11. ^ Hotel (2001) see, October 17, 2009 (English). Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  12. Hotel sS, October 28, 2014 (English). Retrieved March 16, 2018.