Wes Anderson Says 'Moonrise Kingdom' Has A "Big Musical Element" To It, But It Won't Rely On "Songs"

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by Oliver Lyttelton
November 14, 2011 3:21 PM
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Also Says That Blu-Ray Of 'The Royal Tenenbaums' Is On The Way

Can you believe it's been ten years since "The Royal Tenenbaums" made it into theaters? That's right, a decade since Wes Anderson proved that "Bottle Rocket" and "Rushmore" were no flashes in the pan, a decade since we were introduced to Royal, Etheline, Chas, Margot, Richie, Ari & Uzi, and a decade since Gene Hackman's last great performance (unless, of course, Alexander Payne can tempt him out of retirement for "Nebraska"). Not that Anderson's dwelling in the past; he's currently in the cutting room for "Moonrise Kingdom," his first live-action film in five years, which features Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton and Harvey Keitel, in addition to Anderson veterans Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzmann.

To mark the ten-year anniversary of the release of 'Tenenbaums,' a special screening was held at the New York Film Festival, which we reported on at the time, but shortly before that, the head honcho of The Playlist was honored to present an intimate Q&A with the helmer at the Upper West Side Apple Store, as part of their Meet The Filmmaker series, which has now found its way onto iTunes as a podcast (download it here!). And amongst all the info about 'Tenenbaums' were some hints about where the director might be going with the music for "Moonrise Kingdom."

Anderson told us that he frequently has tracks in mind from the writing stage. For example, on "The Royal Tenenbaums," he said there were a number of examples from the film's inception, often with tracks to the film's New York setting.  "[There was a track] based on Romanian composer George Iunescu," Anderson said, "but adapted by Mark Mothersbaugh into something more fitted to the movie. There was a Nico song, the first real scene I had in mind for the movie was set to that. And there's a Ramones one, and the Paul Simon, that was something that was planned in the script... I did have a thought that the music should be connected to New York as much as it could be. There was a John Lennon song there too, which I still feel is connected.  I think it was recorded at the Dakota or something, it was like a demo."

The director expanded, "sometimes it sparks something, or sometimes I have a scene in mind and the two things meet, and I start shaping it around that." He explains that on "Moonrise Kingdom," he's gone through a similar process, but don't expect the usual likes of the Kinks & the Rolling Stones to crop up. "I'm working on a film now that we just finished shooting," Anderson said, "and that has a big musical element, but there are not really songs in it. But the music was still a big part, always the music is a big thing."

Hmm, intriguing; "Moonrise Kingdom" is now wrapped, and will hit theaters some time in 2012, while Anderson hinted that a spanking new edition of 'Royal Tenenbaums' is on the way next year too, saying that "there's gonna be a Blu-Ray sometime pretty soon." A good year for Anderson fans, then. And head to iTunes for more from the filmmaker.

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1 Comment

  • jingmei | November 15, 2011 10:04 PMReply

    Really like this kinda weirdly, an interesting director.

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