...busting up my brains for the words

Thursday, March 03, 2005

The life aquatic with steve zissou

Note; I should explain that I actually saw this movie and began this post about two weeks ago. It was in my Drafts folder and I am publishing it now. Also I have to take issue with Moon of Moonage Webdream. Seu Jorge is not cajun. He is Portuguese. But thank you for your review of this movie. You convinced me that I had to see it. And I'm glad I did.
Also, be sure to visit the official website of the movie. Moon has it linked in his post.

I've only been nudged repeatedly toward this movie for the past month or two. Finally, I commit to go see it at the Crown Cinema BlockE after my workout. Bob Davis just this morning was gleaming about the beauty of his city lifestyle. All this bounty in the city. That's, hopefully, why us urban dwellers enjoy living here. A lot of distractions and a lot of opportunities and a lot of people.
And I do it without a car. Bus downtown to work. Walk to the gym after punching out on the clock. Squeeze in a 90 minute cardio-pulmonary. And then take the skyway to the cinema. BowieNet, my internet community, has been flashing News about this movie and its terrific soundtrack. Moon over at Moonage Webdream posted about it as well.
I didn't know that this was a Wes Anderson movie. There are two brave new filmmakers in independent American film. Wes Anderson and Paul Thomas Anderson. I love Wes' stuff while Paul's movies are tedious to me. I'm afraid, just a little, that reviewing this movie might spoil the, no I'm not the least bit afraid. In fact, I'm certain that this film can weather any discussion of spoiler. It's just fantastic. In a way, it reminds me of The Magic Flute by Ingmar Bergman. It's a world that exists in defiance of our own reality.

My job is to discuss the David Bowie tangent of The Life Aquatic. And what a tangent it is! For no apparent reason, one of the crew members, who happens to be Portuguese, is a huge fan of Bowie's backlog and performs many of his songs, including, Rebel, Rebel, Ziggy Stardust, Changes, Life On Mars? and he sings them in his tongue, strumming the chords faithfully. A few other moments in the movie have dubs of Bowie's records.
But the most hilarious scene had to be when Murray's character, Zissou, fights back with a vengeance and Iggy Pop's Search and Destroy is cued. That made me see this movie in a whole different perspective. Also, the casting is very hip. Esteban, the old man is played by Seymore Cassel who acted in many John Cassevettes films. Willem DaFoe is an inspired casting decision. Besides the aforementioned Bowie and Iggy, the soundtrack is wonderful. This movie plays like a music video in some ways.

If anyone has to ask why David Bowie fits in with a movie about sailors, then he doesn't know a lot about Bowie. He fancies himself to be a sailor, himself. It's even his username in his website. A careful listening of his lyrics will reveal not infrequent references to sailors. Like Life On Mars? Wes Anderson, gabba gabba, we accept you, we accept you, one of us.


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