Other works - movies, books, art - from the kind of world shown in "The Grand Budapest Hotel"

I saw The Grand Budapest Hotelthis weekend. If you haven’t seen it, it’s set in a fictional central European country sometime in the early 20th century right on the brink of a great war. Though it’s all fictionalized (the war is not even clearly identified as WWII; there are no Nazis or communists to be seen) it’s clearly modeled on an early 20th century vision of old Austro-Hungarian Empire cities like Vienna, Budapest, and Prague.

I had some problems with the film itself, but I loved the world it described, down to and including the grim, totalitarian post-war decades.

What other things capture that same kind of world? Novels, memoirs, histories, films, paintings - any of the above might apply. The movie itself cites Stefan Zweig’s writings as a source; Ernst Lubitsch films and Otto Dix’s paintings also seem to me to fit. What else would you recommend?

First thing that springs to mind is Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie’s pornographic graphic novel, Lost Girls, set in a continental hotel just before WWI.

The civil service of the Austro-Hungarian Empire pretty much set the archetype for pig-headed stupidity and pointless bureaucratic procedure. It was where Kafka work in its industrial insurance section, and drew much of his inspiration there. Hitler’s dad worked in it’s customs department: who knows what influence that had?

One movie that disappointed on the topic was Colonel Redl. It was written by John Osborne, who had such a giant ax to grind with the English class system that this side trip into Mitteleuropa missed its mark.

How about the original Grand Hotel?

Thanks for the suggestions so far! Any more?

Good movie, and yes, it does fit with this kind of world.