The modern auteur that is Wes Anderson is known for his distinctive style, fonts and cinematography. What he is also immensely proud of is the music that accompanies his many eagerly devoured films.
After starting out life in the film industry with his Owen Wilson-collaborated short film developed Bottle Rocket, Anderson would continue to keep his friends and colleagues close in the years that followed, building a unique style aesthetic in the process.
Projects such as Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou quickly followed and so did the critical and commercial success. Soon enough, the director had carved out his own perfectly curated niche. Strong relationships with the likes of Owen Wilson, Bill Murray, Luke Wilson and more had been established and the big-name accolades began to roll in. His command of such talent spoke even more highly than his vision.
“I have a way of filming things and staging them and designing sets,” Anderson once said of his style. “There were times when I thought I should change my approach, but in fact, this is what I like to do. It’s sort of like my handwriting as a movie director. And somewhere along the way, I think I’ve made the decision: I’m going to write in my own handwriting.”
He added: “Usually when I’m making a movie, what I have in mind first, for the visuals, is how we can stage the scenes to bring them more to life in the most interesting way, and then how we can make a world for the story that the audience hasn’t quite been in before.”
While Anderson has feverishly worked away on his unique aesthetic, he has also paid relentless attention to the importance of audio when completing his pictures: “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,” he once commented. “That’s always essential to me.”
Adding: “You don’t do background music the way a lot of more conventional films do. The music is often kind of a character in your films to the extent that sometimes you stop and watch someone perform a song.”
Given some importance of music to the overall atmosphere to Anderson’s work, we’re exploring a brilliant playlist which collects almost all of the songs the director has used across the nine feature films he has directed.
From stalwarts such as Chet Baker in the black-and-white Bottle Rocket to The Beach Boys in Fantastic Mr. Fox to the incredible Alexandre Desplat in Grand Budapest Hotel, there is literally something for everyone.
As with every artist with such an expanse of work most people will choose favourites. We, however, suggest you go the whole hog and soundtrack your gentle spring morning and afternoon to the score of Wes Anderson’s artistic life—so far.