Exploring Soundtracks: Moonrise Kingdom

0

Today, we’ll be continuing our exploration of Wes Anderson’s filmography. Last time, we reviewed “Fantastic Mr. Fox” in all its childlike, whimsical glory. But Anderson’s next film, “Moonrise Kingdom” signaled a return to live-action.

Although Anderson moved away from stop-motion animation with “Moonrise Kingdom”, he brought along some of the magic behind “Fantastic Mr. Fox”. The soundtrack to “Moonrise Kingdom” features a new sweet by Alexandre Desplat, who worked on the soundtrack for “Fantastic Mr. Fox” as well.

Synopsis

“Moonrise Kingdom” is set in a small island off the coast of New England in 1965, which seems untouched by the rest of the world. There, twelve-year-olds Sam (Jared Gilman) and Suzy (Kara Hayward) fall in love and decide to run away. But when a violent storm approaches the island, a group of quirky adults (Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray) forms a search party to find the youths before disaster strikes.

Moonrise Kingdom

The film opens with “The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, Op. 34: Themes A-F”. During this scene, a minor selection of the cast is introduced while this classical piece plays. Like most of Anderson’s films, it’s a strange and simultaneously pleasant opening.

The presence of classical music is heard throughout the entirety of “Moonrise Kingdom”. And, unlike most of Anderson’s films, there is no presence of 1960’s classic rock. No songs by The Kinks. And no Rolling Stones, either.

One of the more prominent composers in “Moonrise Kingdom” is Benjamin Britten, whose work is used in that opening scene. His pieces were meant for children, but they are by no mean’s ‘children’s music’ in the same way. They’re pieces that are made for children to listen to, that will teach them about classical music. They’re not written down to them.

Final Thoughts

The use of classical music in “Moonrise Kingdom” is closely connected to the two young protagonists. They meet during a church production of Britten’s “Noye’s Fludde”. Apparently, Anderson himself performed in a production of it when he was young. While it seems like a strange choice for a film. And you won’t see many other soundtracks like this one. But the presence of classical music in particular brings a sense of romantic adventure to the film.

There’s also another Britten opera that shares some key similarities with “Moonrise Kingdom”. It’s called “Peter Grimes”, and also takes place in an insulated seaside village. Their plots both share a terrible storm. And also the struggle of the individual against the masses.

Over all, I think this is another soundtrack that works better when heard with the film. Although, it would make for good studying music.

That about covers our discussion of Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom”. Next time, we’ll take a look at Anderson’s next film, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”.

Tracklist

1. Leonard Bernstein & New York Philharmonic – “The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, Op. 34: Themes A-F”
2. Peter Jarvis and His Drum Corps – “Camp Ivanhoe Cadence Medley”
3. English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten – ”’Playful Pizzicato’ from Simple Symphony, Op. 4”
4. Hank Williams – “Kaw-Liga”
5. Trevor Anthony, Owen Brannigan, Chorus of Animals, English Opera Group Orchestra – “Noye’s Fludde, Op. 59: ‘Noye, Noye, Take Thou Thy Company’”
6. Alexandre Desplat – “The Heroic Weather-Conditions of the Universe, Part 1: A Veiled Mist”
7. Alexandre Desplat – “The Heroic Weather-Conditions of the Universe, Part 2: Smoke/Fire”
8. Alexandre Desplat – “The Heroic Weather-Conditions of the Universe, Part 3: The Salt Air”
9. Choir of Downside School, Purley, Emanuel School Wandsworth, Boys’ Choir, London Symphony Orchestra, Benjamin Britten – “A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act 2: ‘On the Ground, Sleep Sound’”

10. Hank Williams – “Long Gone Lonesome Blues”
11. Leonard Bernstein & New York Philharmonic – “Le Carnaval des Animaux: ‘Volière’”
12. Françoise Hardy – “Le Temps de l’Amour”
13. Alexandra Rubner, Christopher Manien – “An die Musik”
14. Hank Williams – “Ramblin’ Man”
15. Choir of Downside School, Purley, Viola Tunnard, Benjamin Britten – “Songs From Friday Afternoons, Op. 7: ‘Old Abram Brown’”
16. Alexandre Desplat – “The Heroic Weather-Conditions of the Universe Parts 4-6: Thunder, Lightning, and Rain”                                                                            17. David Pinto, Darian Angadi, Chorus of Animals, English Opera Group Orchestra, – “Noye’s Fludde, Op. 59: ‘The Spacious Firmament on High’”
18. Trevor Anthony, Chorus of Animals, English Opera Group Orchestra, Merlin Channon, Norman Del Mar – “Noye’s Fludde, Op. 59: ‘Noye, Take Thy Wife Anone’”

19. Leonard Bernstein & New York Philharmonic – “The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, Op. 34 Fugue: Allegro Motto”
20. Choir of Downside School, Purley, Viola Tunnard, Benjamin Britten – “Songs From Friday Afternoons, Op. 7: ‘Cuckoo!’”
21. Alexandre Desplat – “The Heroic Weather-Conditions of the Universe, Part 7: After The Storm”

 

Napcloud

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *