newest entry 2001-12-20 9:53 a.m.

Saw The Royal Tenenbaums last night, and it is as good as you'd expect from Wes Anderson and the Wilson Brothers. It's a cozy, magical little film. I appreciate directors who create their own world within a film, and this was a world I felt happy to visit. It takes place in what feels like a parallel-universe Upper West Side, with rotary-dial phonebooths, the "375th Street Y" and gipsy cabs emblazoned "Gipsy Cab".

Like all of Wes's films the soundtrack works really well. He always picks songs that are emotionally appropriate if not entirely what you'd expect.

I was arguing with FilmThreat recently about soundtracks. He insists that the lyrics are crucial in film music--not that they need to comment literally on the action, but that viewers need them to be consistent with what's going on onscreen--and I say that you have a lot of wiggle room with the lyrics in movie songs. I gave some examples, but the example that I wish I'd used was Wes Anderson's soundtracks. I mean, "Oh Yoko" has absolutely nothing to do with the plot of Rushmore, not even thematically, but using that song just enhances the scene that it's in immeasurably. Similarly, in Tenenbaums there's a frantic montage underscored perfectly by "Me and Julio", a song which already has its own tightly-woven story line unrelated to the scene.

I never saw you look like this without a reason
Another promise fallen through, another season passes by you

I just found out about Stuart Adamson from Big Country. So sad. I can't imagine being so depressed or suicidal that being in Hawaii wouldn't recharge me for another few months at least. But you just never know what's going on inside someone's mind.

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