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Official Direct Thread: The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
Consider this your official thread for Wes Anderson's The Life Aquatic. What are your favorite moments, themes, and compositions? How do you think this film relates to the rest of Anderson's filmography? Discuss!
I love how Steve Zissou casually smokes pot throughout the whole movie. Never counted how many times, but it's quite a few. Up there with The Dude in terms of casual drug use being an aspect of the character, but not important to the plot.
The soundtrack. Seu Jorge's Bowie covers are so heartfelt: the translation of the lyrics into Portuguese makes the songs new and interesting, but the melodies keep them familiar and relatable. Mark Mothersbaugh's Casio-synth instrumentals are weird, intense, and hilarious.
But the crown jewel is "Staralfur" by Sigur Roś. The whole deep dive sequence, with it's intentionally-bizarre visuals, haunting music, and charmingly naive optimism make it a standout in a movie that is already -- itself -- unparalleled.
My favorite Anderson film (followed by Darjeeling Limited)
The gunfight with the pirates actually improved my entire life... I couldn't believe this was happening! I have yet to see many of the later films in Andersons' filmography, but I can't imagine any combo of actor/director working more seamlessly than Murray and Anderson.
There's a lot that I love about this film. The Belafonte ship set. The soundtrack. The actors. Most of the performances (I wasn't too keen on Owen Wilson's accent the first couple of times I saw it back in the day, but I've come around on it a bit since.) The dead-pan comedy. I absolutely love the bond company stooge and he has one of my favorite lines ("We uh fucking stole it man".)
I also love the set piece where they are storming Ping Island. That is just great and the music really adds to it all the way through.
Yet, for whatever reason, despite all the stuff I love, the climax doesn't really get to me the way I think Wes Anderson wants it too. I thought it would this time around as the story itself is one that I normally would respond to, and last week's film did get emotional for me by the end, but for whatever reason I just didn't feel it with this one. Maybe it's because he pushes the moment too hard here or maybe he keeps you at a distance with these characters for much of the movie before trying to pull you in. I'm not sure. I'm probably in the minority here.
Lastly, fairly obvious observation, but it's interesting how nearly film so far has kind of pointed to future films. This one kind of points to Fantastic Mr. Fox as they dabble in stop-motion here and that film is full on stop-motion.
Hey folks, we have a little bit of a snafu on our end, so the 'cast will be delayed. We should have it up Thursday morning!
beat me to it, but this movie definitely wins the all time "Best Use of David Bowie Songs Sung in Portuguese" award.
This week has been complicated. We're going to make this our intermission and release Zissou on Sunday. Thanks for understanding.
edited December 2016
I'll just leave this here: