Saturday, January 20, 2007

Reflections On Wes Anderson, Mix Tape Shenanigans

I figure that the only thing this blog still needs is the propietor's opinion on movies. Alas, my taste in the aul cinematic arts is just abut as bad as my taste in music. But there is one flick in particular that needs mentionin, if I'm never to mention one again. That flick is The Royal Tenenbaums, and it's a work of absolute fuckin genius.
I'm a massive fan of all Wes Anderson's movies. Rushmore appealed to me at a time when I was a massively anti-social geek, though why I refer to that period of my life in the past tense is somethin of a mystery. It struck a nerve, as the critical folks say when they chance upon somethin so perfect, somethin so built-in to the dark alleyways o the consciousness that all a fella can do is say 'Yes! Fuckin...yes!' That's the experience I had wi Rushmore. And, perhaps unique amongst all your blatherin hero's favourite flicks, it doesn't star a girl the likesa which very heaven itself would be rather embarrassed to accomodate. 'Ms Tautou!' stutters Saint bloody Peter, 'Fuck.' No, it's just got that somethin that gets to a fella.

Then there's the newer one, The Life Aquatic, which got Bill Murray somewhat towards the end of his near-legendary long-haul Odyssey as the fella who dun't emote less he absolutely must get off wi Scarlett Johanssen. Between Lost in Translation, that most agreeable o date flicks, the dementedly frustratin Broken Flowers, and this here gem of an ensemble, your man has all his most melancholy guns blazin in an apocalyptically spectacular volley of nothin very much. Murray had the damn good fortune to work wi a buncha supremely talented bastards. The Life Aquatic is probly the best example o Anderson's work encapsulated: the unashamedly grand dreams o the story, the bastard's impeccable discovery o humour even in the most fuck-wrenchingly goddamned gash through your soul destroyin breakdown an weep moments in cinema history, also findin Owen Wilson is actually talented in some way.

The heart-stabbin moments are mostly found in Tenenbaums, truth be told. It's one o the few flicks that made me open the lacrymal ducts an blub for all the hell I'm worth. The man has not only an unrivalled mastery of gettin unfeelin autism-bastards like myself carin deeply bout essentially, basely, at the base a the skull-ly flawed folks, but then had the utter cheek, the sheer gall to take them away for ever in front my very eyes. It wasn't a fella in fiction, then, twas a part a me. The bastard got me to open up, led me the whole damn way through a story so chock fulla wonderful, tear-dragginly beautiful folks that it near drove me wild thinkn about lettin go, then made me. An no-one's been able to do it since. Tenenbaums stars the peerless Gene Hackman, an a supportin cast to remember. On paper, it doesn't inspire confidence, I'll grant you. But watch, I implore, see for yourself, innumerable actors in the best damn parts they'd ever play. Murray, Luke Wilson (best attempted suicide in cinema?), Gwenneth Paltrow (she's fuckin gorgeous, I challenge any livin man to a duel isn't captivated by that glacially detached artist-soul), Danny Glover (!), Ben Stiller, Anjelica Houston, Owen Wilson, hell it melts the heart to think how much cinema has to do to raise the bar to such phenomenal heights. Plus it has undoubtably the best voiceover-soundtrack-sheerfuckintragicohlordmyemotionalgutsarehanginoutmey'bastardAnderson combo ever dedicated to celluloid. I'm sure it sounds to the layman like fan-driven hyperbole, but trust me, if you never trust man again, trust me, that it is the closest a film has come to drivin a fella batshit than any before or since. Check out Nick Drake's 'Fly' off the soundtrack. Brings a fella to his bloodied, emotional knees every time.

Bit a music comin up: A mixtape bonanza! A chance for anyone hardy enough to pay attention to this nonsense to buck up their ideas bout the art a music an start listenin t'what I tell you.
1. The Young Crazed Peeling - The Distillers
'Are you ready to be liberated?' brawls the lovely Brody Dalle in the first fuckin line, did y'ever. Too fuckin right I am, Brody, you who were foretold by the prophet: 'an there shall be a hot as fuck girl in a punk band, an lo! her voice shall be unto a fuckin car wreck, but wi more soul than any livin man could possibly handle in person. Thusly, buy her second album 'Sing Sing Death House', for truly, to abide her furious wailin wi'out the intermediary o digital recordin technology, is surely to die.' So, aye, beltin track.
2. Yea Yeah - Matt and Kim
I've covered this before, way back in post #2. It still makes me pine for to be 17 again, at which tender age twas perfectly acceptable to go see a punk band an 'dance' (for to call a fella's spasmodia 'dance' is t'stretch the term fairly fuckin thin) to a wee heart's glorious delight. Forget talent, forget style, forget everything. Put this track on full volume an freak the fuck out.
3. In Other Words - Ben Kweller
I'll tell it straight. I bought Kweller's On My Way, a recent album, a while back, whilst on a trip to the states, an didn't care for it. I found it hollow in places, an lackin somethin I couldn't nail down. His first record, upon which this track features so perfectly, is a worka glorious genius. Wi lyrics like 'butterflies are passive-agressive/and put their problems one the shelf/but they're beautiful,' it's more than a wee bit indulgent, but dear god does that suit a fella down to the ground. Kweller nails the head for so many wee would-be artists it's not even fair. Check out the instrumental rock-out two-thirds through. If that dun't get you dancin, I don't wanna hear it. It's got banjos, for fuck's sakes.
4. Casmir Pulaski Day - Sufjan Stevens
If y'haven't hearda this chap, it's about time y'did. He's for the most part another indie kid wi pretensions an the like, but dear sweet golly, he puts tragedy in a key so everyday that it makes ya wonder how he gets up in the mornin. How anyone has the nerve to fit a tender, gentle song bout love an shame an grief o death in the same six minutes is an affront to anyone ever tried to write lyrics for guitar an bass.
5 The Funeral - Band of Horses
Lyrically simple, I can't think of another track better wraps up a feelin o loss and pure cryin ragin railin frustration at the cruel fragility o life an everythin that fades.
6. Bukowski - Modest Mouse
Of particular interest t'anyone's actually read the worka Charles himself, but still a crackin tribute to one o literature's most miserable bastards performed by one whose own wallowin skills are unmatched in popular music. In an interestin aside, I once used my at best peripheral knowledge of Modest Mouse to impress a young American girl I once went a-courtin. It worked, as it happens, and with her I enjoyed the best night of my life, includin the ones that actually ended in physical contact wi a member a the opposite sex. Raeanne, if you're readin, you're still an indescribable joy. Bukowski is for those in a bad mood. Ventin vicariously is th'only way to go.

7 I Will Follow You Into The Dark - Death Cab For Cutie
'If heaven and hell decide / that they both are satisfied; / illuminate the 'no's in their 'vacancy' signs / if there's no-one beside you / when your soul embarks / then I'll follow you into the dark.' Christ.
8 Swing Life Away - Rise Against
The punks take a break from Risin Against all sortsa political/social scullduggery for to give us this wonderful tribute to youth an friends lost. Though it sounds a lot like when a punk band goes overboard wi the emotional balladry, it retains a sincerity that's just touchin, makes y'wanna spout shit like sic transit gloria an find someone knows how t'play Time of Your Life on acoustic guitar. It unfairly picks on my weakness for 3/4 time.
9 Formed A Band - Art Brut
Just a relaxin screamer bout formin a band, an all the grandiose dreams what come with it.
10 No Children - The Mountain Goats
An in contrast, this is an unbelievable song to hate bound by fear a loneliness, told wi brutal truth.
11 Everybody Wants A Little Something - Duke Special
Just to end at a happier pitch, as I've come to realise how much I get hooked on the melancholy an cruelty o life an fiction, this is a beltin wee track from a fellow countryman, off his crackin album Songs from the Deep Forest. Just bounces along, carefree an sweet as fuck.
12 The First Day of My Life - Bright Eyes
Mr Conor Oberst hangs up his morose bastard boots forever, an embarks on a round-the-globe odyssey wi his sweetheart, fillin the hearts o those he meets wi unbridled joy at the sheer sound o his joyous warblins. Or possibly he just felt good the day he wrote it. Either way, there's no tune to send you on your way quite like it. Except perhaps 'Send Me on my Way' by Rusted Root, or possibly 'The Power of Love' by Huey Lewis and the News. Take your pick, I guess.

SO! That was right an blowhardy. If y'got to here wi'out scrollin down first, fair play, you're a better man than I. Unless y'happen to actually be the aforementioned Raeanne, in which case, give us a e-letter or two, would you ever.

Thanks for readin,

1 comment:

Isabel said...

I love Wes Anderson. The Life Aquatic was my first date film with my ex, that's the one thing I can thank him for. He does amazing things with soundtracks as well...your life is not complete until you've heard David Bowie sung in portugese...