Watch Wes Anderson’s Animated Music Video for The French Dispatch, Featuring a Track by Jarvis Cocker

The French Dis­patch came out near­ly two weeks ago, after hav­ing been pushed back more than a year by COVID-19. But delay­ing the release of a Wes Ander­son movie sure­ly counts among the least regret­table harms of the pan­dem­ic, which has caused mil­lions of deaths world­wide. Among the lives lost was that of Daniel Bevilac­qua, known in France as the chan­son singer Christophe. Set in that coun­try — and more specif­i­cal­ly, the fic­tion­al city of Ennui-sur-Blasé — in the 1960s, The French Dis­patch fea­tures a rein­ter­pre­ta­tion of Christophe’s 1965 hit “Aline” that now plays as some­thing of a trib­ute to the late pop-cul­tur­al icon. Sung by Pulp front­man Jarvis Cock­er, it comes accom­pa­nied by the Ander­son-direct­ed ani­mat­ed music video above.

Cock­er has worked with Ander­son before. In the direc­tor’s 2009 stop-motion adap­ta­tion of Roald Dahl’s The Fan­tas­tic Mr. Fox he pro­vid­ed the voice of a singing farmer named Petey; in The French Dis­patch he does the same for a pop star called Tip-Top, and has even record­ed a full-length album in char­ac­ter.

Released on the very same day as The French Dis­patch, Chan­sons d’En­nui Tip-Top con­tains a dozen cov­ers of songs orig­i­nal­ly pop­u­lar­ized by the likes of Serge Gains­bourg, Brigitte Bar­dot, Jacques Dutronc, and Françoise Hardy. (Atten­tive cinephiles, the core audi­ence for all things Ander­son, will also note the pres­ence on the track list of Claude Channes’ “Mao Mao,” first heard in Jean-Luc Godard­’s La Chi­noise.)

Chan­sons d’En­nui Tip-Top exudes the retro-mind­ed Cock­er’s love of 1960s French pop music, just as The French Dis­patch exudes Ander­son­’s love of… well, every­thing Ander­son loves, much of which appears in the “Aline” music video. Its metic­u­lous­ly hand-drawn look comes from Javi Aznarez, who’d orig­i­nal­ly been hired to apply his art to the sets of the film itself. Fol­low­ing Tip-Top as he dances through an elab­o­rate two-dimen­sion­al ren­di­tion of Ennui-sur-Blasé, it intro­duces not only the set­ting (in a stark cut­away man­ner rem­i­nis­cent of The Life Aquat­ic) but all the major char­ac­ters and the actors who play them. Owen Wil­son, Anjel­i­ca Hus­ton, Edward Nor­ton, Bill Mur­ray: the gang, it seems, is all here — “here” being a cer­tain idea of post­war France best real­ized, per­haps, by imag­i­na­tions like Ander­son and Cock­er’s.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Wes Ander­son Releas­es the Offi­cial Trail­er for His New Film, The French Dis­patch: Watch It Online

Watch the New Trail­er for Wes Anderson’s Stop-Motion Film Isle of Dogs, Inspired by Aki­ra Kuro­sawa

Wes Anderson’s Ani­mat­ed Books

Wes Anderson’s Shorts Films & Com­mer­cials: A Playlist of 8 Short Ander­son­ian Works

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and cul­ture. His projects include the Sub­stack newslet­ter Books on Cities, the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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