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7 Perfectly-Scored Wes Anderson Scenes

From Bowie to Bobby Fuller, music supervisor Randall Poster shares his favorite pairings

Randall Poster

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According to the Guild of Music Supervisors, the job traditionally includes "locating, securing and overseeing music-related talent. . . to meet the needs of a project's director." But an insider's account of the profession reveals a much sexier and ambitious role, one that has sent Grammy-winner Randall Poster‚ Wes Anderson's right-hand man since 1992‚ as far afield as the Asian subcontinent. Take, for example, his first-hand account of compiling The Darjeeling Limited's score in the mid-00's: "Wes knew that he wanted to use music from the films of [Indian filmmaker] Satyajit Ray. And that forced me to travel to Calcutta to try and find these recordings, because it wasn't like you could go to Tower Records — there still was a Tower Records at that point — and buy all the great Indian film scores."

Stream Wes Anderson's 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' Soundtrack

Later this year, to celebrate their 22-year partnership, ABKCO Records will release a box set of the duo's 10 soundtracks, including Seu Jorge's underground favorite The Life Aquatic Studio Sessions. (The company also just released the soundtrack to Anderson's eighth film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, on March 3rd.) "It's really been quite an adventure," says Poster of his work alongside Anderson. "Both of us really relish that." Now, with Anderson's latest feature opening on March 7th, Poster shares his seven favorite pairings from his friend's filmography. By Blaine McEvoy

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Love’s “Alone Again Or” From ‘Bottle Rocket’

"Around the time that Wes was finishing the Bottle Rocket short in 1992, we shared a mutual friend who thought we would get along. Soon after we met, Wes asked me if I would help him make the Bottle Rocket soundtrack. And we've been working together ever since. 'Alone Again Or' represents the first track where Wes and I had a meeting of the minds."

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The Faces’ “Ooh La La” From ‘Rushmore’

"I've been very lucky in that I have ongoing relationships with a number of directors," says Poster, whose frequent collaborators also include Sam Mendes (Revolutionary Road, Skyfall) and Martin Scorsese (The Aviator, The Wolf of Wall Street). "But what's unique about my relationship with Wes is that we get a lot done between the movies. I'm one of his first audiences in terms of the scripts. On Rushmore for instance, we started out with this notion that all the British invasion bands‚ those rebel rock and rollers that wore suits and ties‚ we made a connection between those artists and Max Fisher. And the Faces' 'Ooh La La' still gives me the chills. It still surprises me, how much joy I get out of hearing Ronnie Lane singing at the end of this movie."

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The Clash’s “Police and Thieves” From ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’

"Sometimes we start working on the music before there is even a script. When Wes first started talking to me about The Royal Tenenbaums, it was just this four-sentence notion about Richie Tennenbaum‚ that was the seed of the story. And we started talking about the music right from there. I would meet him at the end of every week and read the pages as he was finishing them. And 'Police and Thieves' represents the first time we that we brought in the edgy spirit of punk rock into the movies."

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Seu Jorge’s “Queen Bitch” From ‘The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou’

"On Sundays, Wes and I would meet so I could read the new script pages. And one day there was a line that read, 'Pelé comes on deck and sings a David Bowie song in Portuguese.' That was it. So we called [Brazilian musician] Seu Jorge. We knew that he could play from his audition, but we had no sense of the full extent of his genius. Remember‚ aside from the people who saw City of God, this was much of the world's first exposure to him. Later, he and I went to Rome and recorded 13 David Bowie songs in Portuguese, and Wes was intent on using all of them. But I just love the way 'Queen Bitch' worked out‚ it's actually how we end the film."

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Satyajit Ray’s “Charu’s Theme” From ‘The Darjeeling Limited’

"I can't stress enough that these songs really didn't exist on CD. So I had to personally introduce myself to the Satyajit Ray Family and Foundation and convince them that it was worthwhile to digitize all of his master tapes. It was a bit of a process: I went on the first day and they said, 'Well, maybe you should come back tomorrow and we should talk a little bit more about this.' And I was supposed to be on-location across India the next day! I wound up sitting in Calcutta for five days waiting for them to hand them over. But that was one of the great experiences of my life. And it's some of the most unique music that we've ever used."

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The Bobby Fuller Four’s “Let Her Dance” From ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’

"I first played this song for Wes 10 years ago. But at the time we both said, 'Well, let's put this one away and save it.' I actually wiped it from of my iTunes libraries because I never wanted anyone else to hear it or even know about it. Years later, when we were making Fantastic Mr. Fox, I said to Wes, 'Let's pull Bobby Fuller out of the safe.' And there it was. That's still one of my favorite moments — and one of my favorite songs too."

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Françoise Hardy’s “Le Temps de l’Amour” From ‘Moonrise Kingdom’

"Wes and I were working on a Japanese cell phone commercial that called for various French pieces. That's when we came upon Françoise Hardy. And just like 'Let Her Dance' earlier, that was another time when Wes said, 'Whoa. Let's put this one away.' So we did. Actually, we still have a number of songs in our safe that we're saving for just the right moment."

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