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Wes Anderson soundtrack box set

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  • noble creature...
on: May 31, 2005, 02:31:31 AM
Does this sound familiar to anyone? I believe I read about in Entertainment Weekly around the release of Life Aquatic. Any Info, you skunks?
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Reply #1 on: May 31, 2005, 06:06:56 AM
The Life Melodic by Nancy Miller, Entertainment Weekly (12/20/04)
If this were a scene in a Wes Anderson movie, the lanky 35-year-old director would not be striding into this interview to the grating tweedle of his ringing cell phone. No, he'd be walking in to the chugging guitar riffs of the Creation, like Jason Schwartzman does in Rushmore. Or to the creepy warblings of Nico, as does Gwyneth Paltrow in The Royal Tenenbaums. Or better yet, since we're meeting just a few days before the premiere of his latest movie, The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou, a David Bowie tune — performed in Portuguese — might just fit the bill. In Life Aquatic, the Jacques Cousteau-inspired spoof about a dysfunctional family of underwater explorers (starring Bill Murray and Anjelica Huston, among others), Anderson once again features an eclectic collection of achingly cool tunes.

Which is why he has earned a rep as cinema's hippest DJ. (Look for a four-CD anthology of his soundtracks when the Life Aquatic DVD is released.) ''Wes has this innate attraction to B sides, and he operates on the assumption that his audience does too,'' says Mark Mothersbaugh, the Devo frontman-turned-composer who has worked with Anderson on all his films. ''Finding that perfect track is crucial to him.''

So crucial, in fact, that Anderson probably couldn't make a movie without them. Unlike most directors, this one reverses the scoring process, often choosing music before he writes a word of dialogue. ''A lot of times, music helps inspire an idea,'' he says. ''I may not even have the script yet; I just know I want to use a song, and I'll write a scene around the song.'' So forget the filmography: Here comes Anderson with an aural history of his films.


THE PLOT: Owen Wilson and brother Luke play inept criminals on the lam.

THE SONGS: ''Half the audience — almost 100 people — walked out [of the first test screening],'' recalls Anderson. ''It was terrible.'' Executive producer James L. Brooks hired Mothersbaugh and music supervisor Randall Poster to give the picture some soundtrack CPR. (Poster, like Mothersbaugh, has stuck with Anderson, working on all of his subsequent films.) Anderson made a point of using the Rolling Stones' ''2000 Man'' and the Proclaimers' ''Over and Done With'' for two standout scenes. ''I had [those songs] in my mind for years, back when Owen and I were writing the script in college. Those scenes are written for those songs.'' Ultimately, the soundtrack didn't help — the movie still tanked — but it taught him a lesson: ''I saw how a story and characters can be supported through music. We always try to do that.''


THE PLOT: A Rushmore Academy misfit (Jason Schwartzman) and a middle-aged steel tycoon (Bill Murray) become best friends, then bitter rivals, as they compete for the affections of a first-grade teacher.

THE SONGS: ''At first I wanted it all to be Kinks songs, the whole movie,'' Anderson says. ''Then I broadened it out to a whole Brit Invasion soundtrack. It's funny that I only wound up using one Kinks song ['Nothing in This World Can Stop Me Worryin' 'Bout That Girl'].'' He also used the Who's ''A Quick One While He's Away'' to score a brilliant montage in which Murray and Schwartzman attempt to sabotage each other's lives. ''I was listening to that Who song in my car and kind of planned the scene out, editing it all in my head. I was like, 'Okay, you have twelve seconds to come down the steps, get your shoelaces, and walk through here.' It was all choreographed to the music. That one was hard.'' Anderson couldn't figure out how to end the film until he heard the right song: the Faces' ''Ooh La La.'' ''Randy Poster called me and played it. I thought, It's perfect! I hung up the phone and wrote the last scene with the song still playing in my head.'' Max and his unrequited love, Miss Cross, wind up dancing to the tune, giving the movie its classic, heart-wrenching ending.


THE PLOT: An eccentric family (Anjelica Huston, Ben Stiller, Gwyneth Paltrow, Luke Wilson) rally to care for their dying dad (Gene Hackman).

THE SONGS: For the opening sequence, Anderson wanted the Beatles' ''Hey Jude.'' ''The timing was bad,'' he says. ''George Harrison was dying and we just couldn't get the stuff cleared.'' He then tapped Elliott Smith to record a cover of ''Jude,'' but the troubled singer backed out. ''He was in a bad state and just wasn't able to,'' says Anderson. (Smith died, an apparent suicide, in 2003.) Ultimately, Anderson went with Mothersbaugh's tinkly instrumental version (credited to the Mutato Muzika Orchestra). Smith did end up on the soundtrack, though, with ''Needle in the Hay,'' an acoustic dirge underscoring Luke Wilson's wrist-slashing scene. But it was another tragic artist who provided the inspiration for Tenenbaums: Nico. '''These Days' was the first thing I had, before I had a sense what the movie was about,'' Anderson says. ''I just knew I was going to play that song and somebody was going to be walking. I didn't know who, but that song gave me an extraordinary visual.''


THE PLOT: A washed-up oceanographer (Murray) bonds with his possible illegitimate son (Owen Wilson) and a reporter (Cate Blanchett) while hunting a killer shark.

THE SONGS: Anderson is clearly a big Bowie fan — the Thin White Duke's music is all over Aquatic's soundtrack — but even he doesn't know how to say ''Your face is a mess'' in Portuguese. Which explains why the director shot half the movie before realizing that Brazilian actor Seu Jorge (City of God), who functions as the movie's onboard Greek-chorus-of-one and sings bossa nova reinterpretations of Bowie songs throughout the film, was ditching Bowie's lyrics in favor of his own off-the-cuff musings. ''I guess the idea wasn't effectively communicated to him that he was to sing translated lyrics of Bowie songs,'' laughs Anderson, who also tossed some Stooges, Devo, and Joan Baez into the soundtrack's mix. ''My original plan was to make it all electronic and like a Radiohead feeling. That would have been a lot more simple.'' He sighs. ''But this movie...it isn't simple.''


Wes Anderson chooses some of his favorite movie-music moments:

1. Mean Streets, Martin Scorsese (1973) ''There's this 'Jumpin' Jack Flash' scene [Robert De Niro struts into a bar] where you really see how music and film get locked together.''

2. Harold and Maude, Hal Ashby (1971) ''The beginning—[before] Harold hangs himself—could feel comic, but it doesn't. It feels deeper because of the music [Cat Stevens' 'Don't Be Shy'].'' Homage alert: Bud Cort (Harold), now 56, has a supporting role in Aquatic.

3. The Graduate, Mike Nichols (1967) ''I can't pick one scene, but the [Simon & Garfunkel] music is part of the reason it has a Catcher in the Rye effect, rather than it just being funny.''

4. Federico Fellini's Toby Dammit from Spirits of the Dead (1968) ''Listen to one 15-second cue [of Nino Rota's score] and you know it's from a Fellini film.''

5. Any Woody Allen movie ''His approach is, 'Okay, let me dig into my record collection and pull out some Gershwin.' It's always his favorite jazz. His music's always interested me.''
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol

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Reply #2 on: May 31, 2005, 08:11:10 AM
Yes, that's the one! Now are they gonna release it or are we gonna have to start a petition?
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Reply #3 on: November 27, 2005, 11:43:14 PM

this came out a week ago...

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Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.