J. D. Salinger & Wes Anderson Where do you go to my lovely?

24 Oct

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In Wes Anderson’s short film Hotel Chevalier (2007), a companion piece to The Darjeeling Limited (2007),  Jason Schwartzman plays this Peter Sarstedt song over & over in his hotel room when Natalie Portman visits:

Where do you go to my lovely?

You talk like Marlene Dietrich
And you dance like Zizi Jeanmaire
Your clothes are all made by Balmain
And there’s diamonds and pearls in your hair, yes there are.

You live in a fancy apartment
Off the Boulevard of St. Michel
Where you keep your Rolling Stones records
And a friend of Sacha Distel, yes you do.

You go to the embassy parties
Where you talk in Russian and Greek
And the young men who move in your circles
They hang on every word you speak, yes they do.

But where do you go to my lovely
When you’re alone in your bed
Tell me the thoughts that surround you
I want to look inside your head, yes i do.

I’ve seen all your qualifications
You got from the Sorbonne
And the painting you stole from Picasso
Your loveliness goes on and on, yes it does.

When you go on your summer vacation
You go to Juan-les-Pines
With your carefully designed topless swimsuit
You get an even suntan, on your back and on your legs.

And when the snow falls you’re found in St. Moritz
With the others of the jet-set
And you sip your Napoleon Brandy
But you never get your lips wet, no you don’t.

But where do you go to my lovely
When you’re alone in your bed
would you Tell me the thoughts that surround you
I want to look inside your head, yes I do.

You’re in between 20 and 30
A very desirable age
Your body is firm and inviting
But you live on a glittering stage, yes you do, yes you do.

Your name is heard in high places
You know the Aga Khan
He sent you a racehorse for Christmas
And you keep it just for fun, for a laugh ha-ha-ha

They say that when you get married
It’ll be to a millionaire
But they don’t realize where you came from
And I wonder if they really care, or give a damn

But where do you go to my lovely
When you’re alone in your bed
Tell me the thoughts that surround you
I want to look inside your head, yes i do.

I remember the back streets of Naples
Two children begging in rags
Both touched with a burning ambition
To shake off their lowly brown tags, they try

So look into my face Marie-Claire
And remember just who you are
Then go and forget me forever
But I know you still bear
the scar, deep inside, yes you do

I know where you go to my lovely
When you’re alone in your bed
I know the thoughts that surround you
`Cause I can look inside your head.

The reason I am thinking of Wes Anderson this week is because the new Salinger documentary is on Netflix – not the greatest documentary as far as documentary filmmaking goes but the subject matter is endlessly fascinating.   3 things stuck out to me:  1)  I didn’t realize Salinger carried around early chapters from The Catcher in the Rye with him when he was in World War II  – that he had them on his person from from D-day to V-Day — As if the pages seemed to have their own will to survive and Salinger was simply the messenger (then similarly how the words traveled into minds of violent lunatics, inspiring assassination and murder).   2)  I did not know he married a Nazi with whom he had a telepathic relationship – and then wrote a novel about it years later when he was hunkered down in Cornish. (to be released sometime in 2015-2020) and 3) After a bad hollywood experience, Salinger shut down any attempt for all the great directors of his time to make movies based on his work.  and Wes Anderson went ahead and did it anyway with Rushmore (1998) and The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) & as a fan of both Salinger and Anderson — I’m pretty glad Salinger boxed out the studios from making his work & I’m equally glad Wes went ahead and did it anyway, the way he did. — (meet the Glass (Tenenbaum) family).   There was no mention of Wes in the doc, by the way.

Meanwhile, young Salinger was a total Humphrey Bogart on the outside:

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