A sinister hotel in Venice forms the backdrop for director Mike Figgis's experimental, stylistically surreal HOTEL.
The story centers on director Trent Stoken (Rhys Ifans), who is attempting to film John Webster's play "The Duchess of Malfi" in the style of a Dogme film. He is constantly at loggerheads with his producer, Jonathan Danderfine (David Schwimmer), who eventually takes control of filming when Stoken is shot and falls into a coma. A documentary film crew lead by Charlee Boux (Salma Hayek) simultaneously captures the traumatic events, doting on the personal misfortunes of the cast and crew.
As the movie progresses, the sinister, omnipresent hotel staff descend into cannibalism, cooking their guests, and further threatening the production of the film.
HOTEL has many intertwining subplots which Figgis ties together neatly with the "The Duchess of Malfi" theme. He also draws on stylistic effects similar to those used in his previous film, TIMECODE, such as multiscreen techniques and free-form story structures.
Drawing on a variety of sources for inspiration, such as the famous darkly comic cannibalism movie DELICATESSEN, and the films of Jean Luc Goddard; Figgis delivers a compelling film, proving he is a director willing to take risks to deliver his true vision.