Song of the Day #4,826: ‘Alone Again Or’ – Love

In anticipation of Wes Anderson’s 10th film, The French Dispatch, due in theaters a month from now, I recently rewatched the writer-director’s entire filmography in chronological order. Over the next two weeks I’ll write a bit about each of those films and finish up with my ranked list.

Anderson’s debut, 1996’s Bottle Rocket, celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. This low-budget crime comedy boasts few of the trademarks commonly associated with his films (symmetry; dollhouse art direction; liberal use of tilts, pans, and zooms) while introducing others (close-up insert shots, 60s pop music, Owen Wilson).

The film stars and is co-written by Wilson, Anderson’s college friend, and feels like the most accomplished student film you’ve ever seen. It sets the tone — deadpan hilarious and sweetly sad — for everything to come.

Wilson is particularly effective here as the screw-up Dignan, who hopes to escape his sad existence through a life of crime. He enlists his friend Anthony (played by real-life brother Luke) and together they go on the lam after robbing a local bookstore.

Anthony falls in love with a motel maid, Dignan plans another heist with the help of small-time crime boss Mr. Henry (James Caan), and the film amiably culminates with a low-stakes action sequence that determines everyone’s fate.

Bottle Rocket is a funny and bittersweet introduction to a unique cinematic voice. It is filled with small treasures but barely hints at the bounty to come.

[Verse 1]
Yeah
Said it’s all right
I won’t forget
All the times I’ve waited patiently for you
And you’ll do just what you choose to do
And I will be alone again tonight my dear

[Verse 2]
Yeah
I heard a funny thing
Somebody said to me
“You know that I could be in love with almost everyone
I think that people are the greatest fun”
And I will be alone again tonight my dear

[Instrumental]

[Verse 3]
Yeah
I heard a funny thing
Somebody said to me
“You know that I could be in love with almost everyone
I think that people are the greatest fun”
And I will be alone again tonight my dear

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,826: ‘Alone Again Or’ – Love

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I won’t have much to contribute to this deep dive, certainly not much positive. I’m just not a fan.

  2. Peg says:

    I don’t know this film. I’m looking forward to this deep dive because I not familiar with all his work

  3. Amy says:

    Okay, I’m late, but I’m here!! I’m starting chronologically with your first blog post to honor your chronological deep dive. This film I saw after having seen a few other of Anderson’s films, but I remember next to nothing about it. Truth is that’s the fate most of Anderson’s films have with me. I have my suspicions regarding why that is, but I’m going to read your entries each day, watch the clips and see if I can more fully formulate my theory before divulging it. 🙂 Sorry to be late, but I’m here for the duration now!

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