In That Next Life
Someday, I am sure, I will be able to watch The Life Aquatic and find that it is absolutely brilliant. Had it not been preceded by The Royal Tenebaums, a near perfect film that took me into a flawed but ever so familiar and comforting world, I might have been less disappointed. That's not to say there weren't some fascinating details, but to borrow from one of my favorite lyrics from Funny Girl "...very nice deportments, but when they see that assortment! From the gallery they'll be throwing fruit."
However, within the mess that was The Life Aquatic, there was floating above it with a Zen-like detachment was Seu Jorge singing David Bowie tunes...in Portuguese! (Oh, and there was also Scott Walker singing "30 Century Man".)
Much as I have enmeshed myself in Brazilian pop over the 35 years, it was this film that introduced me to Jorge, and I've been hooked ever since. I've been listening a lot to his "Carolina" which has been on KCRW and other places in heavy rotation lately. And as with so much Brazilian pop, it gives me that weird mix of absolute calm and a desire to shake every bone and muscle in my body with a comforting sense that everything is going to be okay.
In another life -- and I seriously believe I've already had some already rich ones and have even better ones ahead -- I think I will be a Brazilian pop star. I, however, will cover Lou Reed. Just imagine "Perfect Day" and "Take a Walk on the Wild Side" in Portuguese with a samba beat.