Friday, October 30, 2009

Wes Anderson Week: "The Darjeeling Limited'

For me, Wes Anderson Week ends with a whimper. 'The Darjeeling Limited' is the only Anderson film I don't like. Just prior to the film's release, Anderson released a free 13-minute short film to iTunes called 'Hotel Chevalier". It starred Jonathan Schwartzman and Nataile Portman and was meant as a prologue to 'The Darjeeling Limited'. I downloaded it immediately and was hooked. Perhaps a naked Portman helped, but the short did whet my appetite for the feature. It was nice to see Schwartzman back in an Anderson film, and he co-wrote it to boot. When I did some research on the film this week, I was surprised to find many critics that hated 'The Life Aquatic' actually liked this movie. I thought it was a bore. When it recently came to my premium movie channel, I decided to give 'The Darjeeling Limited' another try. I fell asleep.

My disappointment was reflected in the soundtrack as well. For the first time, Mark Mothersbaugh was nowhere to be found. Satyajit Ray did the film score, which was understandable since the film took place in India. Anderson favorites The Rolling Stones and The Kinks are here, but my two favorite songs were new ones for me. Take a listen to the 1969 tunes by Joe Dassin and Peter Sarstedt. The Sarstedt song made it to No. 1 in the UK back then, and it appears in the film several times, including in 'Hotel Chevalier'.

OK, so Anderson had one flop. He's still one of my favorite contemporary filmmakers, but I do need a fantastic 'Fantastic Mr. Fox' to renew my faith. Cut. That's a wrap on Wes Anderson Week.

The Kinks - This Time Tomorrow (mp3)
Joe Dassin - Les Champs-Elysees (mp3)
The Rolling Stones - Play With Fire (mp3)
Peter Sarstedt - Where Do You Go To (My Lovely) (mp3)

Click Here for 'Hotel Chevalier' Part 2

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