Archive for the ‘Music and Film’ Category

Wes Anderson flexes musical muscle in The Royal Tenenbaums

Wes Anderson, film director known best for emergent classics like The Royal Tenenbaums and Rushmore clearly knows what he’s doing with film — but can we say the same about the use of music in his films?

The Royal Tenenbaums proved definitive in capturing the feel of music in a Wes Anderson film; by now, it has become a trait of his cinematic auteur theory. The overarching style — especially as it’s exercised in the film — is most crisply defined by the Mutato Muzika Orchestra’s rendition of the Paul McCartney-penned classic, “Hey Jude.” Replete with harpsichord, the track defines the mood and feel of the film as a whole.

While we may be able to attribute much of the musical consistency across Anderson films to the use of the Mutato Muzika Orchestra — the Mark Mothersbaugh-helmed production company has also made at least some appearance on Anderson’s Bottle RocketRushmore, and The Life Aquatic — we can pinpoint some other important attributes of Anderson films that extend beyond Mutato Muzika.


Music Geek: Woody Allen’s Manhattan and Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” combine for engaging musical perspective

That famed, prolific director Woody Allen — the auteur behind greats like Annie HallInteriors, and, of course, the subject at hand, 1979’s Manhattan, the three of which were released over a three-year period from 1977 to 1979 — has always displayed a penchant for musical ingenuity.

So when the black-and-white, self-affirming Manhattan opens with George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” a musical masterpiece said by some to be a portrait or tribute to New York City, we aren’t really surprised. When Allen, with his wry wit and self-deprecating demeanor, juxtapositions his opening narration, a stop-start, neurotic monologue serving as the opening to the equally neurotic Isaac Davis, even obliquely mentioning Gershwin, we’re given a distinct image of the film to come.