The 10 best songs from the Wes Anderson movies

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Wes Anderson’s unique cinematic aesthetic has been talking about him for many years now. After making a name for himself as a supplier of all the bizarre, the coming of the 2010s saw the director reach more audiences than ever before with his 2014 film. The Grand Hotel Budapest making him a mainstay of indie.

Its success is not surprising. There are few directors with Anderson’s ability to create films this vivid and tactile. Indeed, it’s not uncommon to watch an Anderson movie and feel the temptation to reach out and take a bite of the cinematic feast unfolding in front of you. And when the spotlight ends up stammering in empty frames, it’s easy to imagine the characters in The Darjeeling Limited, Kingdom of moonrise, Where Rushmore continue to live.

I don’t have the time or the space to explain in detail why the Anderson films seem so alive, but music is certainly a vital ingredient. Like Quentin Tarantino, Anderson has something of the cashier, and his soundtracks often contain records that could easily have been taken from his own personal collection. Because he clearly has a personal connection to each of the songs he uses, the overall soundtrack is imbued with a sense of his personality.

Now, without further ado, let’s review ten of the best tracks used in the films of Wes Anderson, from Rocket in bottle at The French Dispatch. Whether it’s French songs from the 1960s or covers of classic glam-rock hits, there isn’t much more colorful than this selection of audio gems.

The 10 best songs from Wes Anderson movies:

10. “These days” by Nico – The Royal Tenenbaums

The fact that Nico’s voice can go out of tune at any time gives this track – originally written by Jackson Brown – an overwhelming fragility.

One of the most significant pieces of The Royal Tenenbaums, Anderson used this 1968 blanket in the marvelous scene in which Margot Helen Tenenbaum is greeted by Richie. Coupled with Anderson’s nifty dolly zoom, this particular musical cue helps us identify any conflicting emotions sliding over the faces of the two characters as they walk towards each other, in what is a cinematically flawless scene. .

9. ‘Rue Saint-Vincent’ by Yves Montand – Rushmore

This Rushmore track is perhaps one of the greatest French songs in Anderson’s filmography – and that’s saying a lot. If we trust his musical choices, the director is surely a bit Francophile, having used the music of Joe Dassin, Françoise Hardy and Erik Satie in the past.

“Rue St. Vincent”, with its singing melodies and pearly piano waves, is perhaps the most haunting of all the French songs that Anderson has used throughout his career; suddenly conjuring up images of sunny summers in the south and snowy winters in the north.

8. “Aline” by Jarvis Cocker – The French dispatch

Former Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker recently volunteered for Wes Anderson’s 2021 film The French Dispatch, delivering a variety of covers of classic French songs, including ‘Aline’ by Christophe.

In Cocker’s hands, however, the 1965 hit becomes a haunting pastiche of French glamor and romance – evoking a sentiment that sits somewhere between childhood nostalgia and carnal sensuality.

7. “Over And Done With” by The Proclaimers – Rocket in bottle

Wes Anderson’s movie Rocket in bottle was one of the director’s earliest professional film endeavors, and while it may not contain many of the aesthetic characteristics that we consider to define Anderson’s style, the director’s taste for the use of music foreigner is as present as it is today.

This track from The Proclaimers is one of the most brilliant self-deprecating and oddly poignant tracks of all time; combining images of the speaker losing his virginity, with the sight of an unnamed man dying to create a concise portrayal of life’s bewildering complexity.

6. “Oh Yoko” by John Lennon – Rushmore

While that of John Lennon To imagine The album is best known for its syrupy title track, for me its biggest offering is ‘Oh Yoko’, an uplifting message of love and affection with the power to turn even the hardest of hearts into sweet fudge.

The rhythm and vibrant energy of this 1971 track made it the perfect musical accompaniment to one of Anderson’s best editing sequences, in which Mark Fischer and Herman Blume begin their bizarre friendship.

5. “Rebel Rebel” by Seu Jorge – Aquatic life with Steve Zissou

Aquatic life Just wouldn’t be the same without Seu Jorge’s various bossa nova covers of classic David Bowie songs, which sees the Brazilian singer face off against titles like “5 Years”, “Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide” and “Life. On Mars “in his native Portuguese.

Bowie himself became a Seu Jorge fan after hearing the soundtrack, and went on to reveal that if Jorge hadn’t recorded his songs in Portuguese, he “would never have heard this new level of beauty that he would have. a impregnated ”.

4 ‘The Time of Love’ by Françoise Hardy – Moonrise Kingdom

Françoise Hardy’s adolescent charm made her one of the most popular French singers of the 60s. It is also what made her song “Le Temps de L’amour” the perfect choice for a stage. deliciously awkward in Kingdom of moonrise, in which Sam and Suzy try on adulthood for size; dancing on the beach with pseudo-sexual flair.

With its surf-inspired electric guitar line and Latin jazz inflections, ‘Le Temps de L’amour’ perfectly captures the glamor and maturity so sought after by Sam and Suzy, but which is still a bit beyond their reach.

3. “Wigwam” by Bob Dylan – The Royal Tenenbaums

“Wigmam” is a remarkable song for the important reason that it is one of the only Bob Dylan songs without words, which is quite surprising given that he has spent so long establishing himself as the Poet Laureate of the 1960s.

Nonetheless, the sun-drenched mariachi melodies of “Wigwam” are more than enough to keep us going, ushering us into the fold with a warm smile. It’s that same warmth that probably persuaded Anderson to use the track in the tender scene where Etheline and Henry get engaged.

2. “Oh La La” by The Faces – Rushmore

“I wish I knew what I know now / when I was younger” – there are few songs with the conciseness and universality of this iconic track from The Faces. Anderson expertly uses it in the heartwarming ending of his 1998 film, Rushmore, to evoke a sense of completion and transition in the life of its central character, Max Fischer.

It is often assumed that Rod Stewart sang this particular track, but it is actually Ronnie Wood whose remarkable vocal range gives “Oh La La” its youthful chime.

1. “This Time Tomorrow” by The Kinks – Limited Darjeeling

I’m gonna take a risk here and say 2007 Darjeeling Limited is one of Wes’s best movies. For me, its supremacy is largely due to its sparse and inventive use of music. Much of the soundtrack to Wes Anderson’s tribute to India is provided by the music of Satyajit Ray’s classic films, with “Charu’s Theme” providing a particularly glorious musical moment.

It is the minimal use of Western artists that makes tracks like The Kinks ‘This Time Tomorrow’ so memorable, helping to forge an unconscious connection between the music, the character and the place in the viewer’s mind. Anderson also uses the Kinks’ “Strangers” in the Darjeeling Limited, but I think the intense optimism of ‘This Time Tomorrow’ gives it an edge.


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