the iTunes playlist: Wes Anderson
It is verifiably true that white people love Wes Anderson movies, they also love Wes Anderson. This midgety little auteur has come a long way since his magnificent debut feature, Bottle Rocket. Here is a brief guide to the cinema of Wes Anderson before we hand it over to him to discuss his musical taste.
Bottle Rocket, 1996: genius-level debut, cinematography and plot aren't all there, Luke Wilson's Orientalism plot a little racist, but Owen makes himself a supastar and that's all you can really ask for, B+
Rushmore, 1999: critics initially balked at its overlong third act, no movie has ever been more in love with itself, Schwartzman deserved best actor, like most Anderson movies it grows on you like a fungus, there will never be another, A+
The Royal Tenenbaums, 2001: so bizarre and sprawling it's hard to digest, has the spirit of six different movies, another botched third act, and yet there's so much to love, from buckley to danny glover's performance, to owen wilson's arc, to luke wilson's suicide attempt, a classic, A
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, 2004: love letter to Jacques Cousteau, Murray is again terrific, long-lost son plot is a half-baked, pregnant Cate turns us on, total male perspective a la Darjeeling, best plot consistency, best set design, there's too much to savor here, watch it again and see what I mean, A-
The Darjeeling Limited, 2007: Smaller canvas, Adrien Brody is terrible, Schwartzman adds nothing, you can't even watch Owen, setting and Orientalism are off-putting, great Angelica performance in cameo, meandering at times, worst script so far, an entertaining enough misstep, don't watch Hotel Chevalier if you value your life, C+
O: Do you ever hear a song and think, “I have to have that in a movie?”
WA: Yeah, I do all the time.
O: What’s an example of that, a case where a song actually made it in?
WA: Every single song that’s in Rushmore.
"The Longest Time" - Billy Joel (mp3)
My brothers and I would perform this song in the family living room to great effect. Thankfully, there were no cameras running.
"When I Live My Dream" - David Bowie (mp3)
In its original version.
life aquatic script
What finally sparked the making of this movie after 14 years of it staying in your head?
I wrote a little short story when I was in college. It wasn't even a short story, it was like one paragraph that was just a description of this one character and Anjelica's character and the ship, The Belafonte, and just the setting. So, I had that but I didn't mean for it to be a movie. I was just trying to write a story and it never really got any further. It was actually Owen Wilson who kept bringing it up from time-to-time over the years and kept reminding me about it and got me into thinking about it some more. I remember one day on The Royal Tenenbaums seeing Anjelica and Bill Murray on the set together. All they had together was about 30 seconds but I felt there was a great rapport between the two of them that would be worth exploring.
"Summer Day" - Coconut Records ft. Zooey Deschanel (mp3)
Classic Coconut Records. A beautiful duet.
We were very lucky to be able to use two great Cat Stevens songs in Rushmore. Here is a particular favorite of Randy Poster's (music supervisor on The Darjeeling Limited) from early in Stevens' career.
"Dishes" - Pulp (mp3)
Jarvis Cocker is in my mind one of the most original voices and creative thinkers in these parts. He is not Jesus, but he has the same initials.
"Tive Razao" - Seu Jorge
Until Seu Jorge releases his next record, we have to be happy with what we can find on iTunes. This is one of his best.
"Gates of Steel (live Devo cover)" - Yo La Tengo (mp3)
Mark Mothersbaugh has created all the original music for my movies. This is one of my favorite Devo songs.
I believe this song is about an architect.
"The Well and the Lighthouse" - Arcade Fire (mp3)
I have jumped on the bandwagon.
"Rally" - Phoenix
While I have a known affinity for the music of the British Invasion, Phoenix makes a very strong argument for the oncoming French one.
"Yeah!" - Horace Silver
There is a cue in Bottle Rocket that Mark Mothersbaugh wrote called 'No Jazz' (this was an edict from the studio). Horace Silver argues for the other side.
"Sweet Thing" - Van Morrison
From one of the most enduring albums of recorded music, this song always overwhelms me. How many times I played it when I should have been doing my homework...
"Ceremony" - New Order (mp3)
We almost used this in The Life Aquatic, and sometimes when the wind is full I wish we did.
Anderson's next film is The Fantastic Mr. Fox.
You can find Ellen Page's iTunes playlist here.