I saw Wes Anderson‘s The Darjeeling Limited (Fox Searchlight, 9.29) the other night. I’m going to wait until it opens the N.Y. Film Festival before riffing on it, but I have to at least mention two stand-out music tracks — Peter Sarstedt‘s “Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)” and Joe Dassin‘s “Les Champs-Elysees.”
Both cuts are old and and kinda schmaltzy — the Sarstedt tune was first recorded in the mid ’60s, the Dassin is (I think) from the early ’70s — but they work perfectly within the context of the film, and I haven’t been able to get either one out of my head since. In a way the tunes are reborn — imbued with new life, meaning, resonance — by serving as Darjeeling mood enhancers.
Say what you will about the increasingly mannered, embryonically stylized tone of Anderson films starting with The Royal Tenenbaums, but Anderson’s taste in music is fairly sublime. I don’t remember a knockout track from The Life Aquatic, but you can almost always count on good music turning up in a Wes film. Perhaps my favorite thing about The Royal Tenenbaums is that Nico track,”These Days,” and I’ve never thought so much of the Rolling Stones’ “I Am Waiting” (a track off Aftermath) as I did when Anderson used it for a late second-act scene in Rushmore.