Sunday, April 09, 2006

"I'm gonna fight you, Steve"

This week's listening theme was the soundtrack to the movie "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou." If you haven't seen this movie than my title has no meaning to you, but the movie is absolutely hilarious so you should probably go watch it. I really enjoy this soundtrack because the CD pretty much contains songs by David Bowie, covers of Bowie songs rewritten into Brazilian Portuguese by one of the actors in the movie (Seu Jorge), and J.S. Bach. The other artists on the CD are wild card tracks containing a little bit of everything from Iggy Pop to Sigur Ros to Mark Mothersbaugh.

Wes Anderson, who directed "The Life Aquatic" I well know for the detail he puts into scoring his movies. When asked about music in an interview with The Onion, Anderson stated "That’s just always key stuff for me. Some of the ideas are kind of inspired by the songs, and I always want to use music to tell the story and give the movie a certain kind of mood. That’s always essential to me. "

Probably the greatest accomplishment of this soundtrack is that the mix of music really captures the fine line this movie walks between a "mockumentary" and a flat out cartoon. All of the aquatic life in the film is not only animated, but also completely made up in general with species like the "Hermes Eel" named so because it's animation was based off an Hermes scarf pattern. The mix of classic rock music, music altered to catch the Jacques Cousteau feel of the movie (the movie parodies Cousteau's documentaries), and music specifically composed for the movie gives a perfect balance of mood between comical, what the audience expects, and completely off the wall...just like the movie.

Overall, I find this soundtrack to be completely enjoyable both when it is in the movie and when it stands alone.

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