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I think this idea of suppression through cultivating high culture and beauty with the subconscious (Freud) perilously close to the surface is a very interesting one too. Here are Anderson's thoughts on the matter:

"There's a word I use to describe it, which is "psychological". When I've  occasionally said that to describe Zweig I always want to say "Now what do you mean by that?" Because I don't really know what I mean by this... There's something unconscious that's always brewing, and the beahviour that people don't really want anyone to know about is kind of forcing it's way into view." - Wes Anderson, The Society of the Crossed Keys, p12

Here is a still from a scene in which M. Gustave and Zero the lobby boy are interrupted by rather scary and inconvenient soldiers on their way to pay their respects to Madame D. Suddenly M Gustave's decorum is ruffled. He later he tells Zero " You see there are still faint, glimmers of civilisation left in this barbaric slaughter house that was once known as humanity. At least that's what we provide in our own modest, humble, insignificant - oh fuck it!".


© Elizabeth Kendal, all rights reserved