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Not Quite A Love Song: These Days and The Royal Tenenbaums

Here, we see the use of Nico's version of the Jackson Browne song 'These Days' in Wes Anderson's The Royal Tenenbaums. What is interesting about this scene and what is makes it so moving is that it co=opts the regret that is the prevailing sentiment of the originial song and contrasts it against what we know about these two characters in the film to turn it into a nostalgic lament for a lost love. Much like we see in Guilhem's crusade lyrics, the ambivalece of the original lyrics is excised by placing the song in a new context. When combined with these gold-tinted images of return, it follows that the viewer of the film interprets Nico's lyrics as speaking to the desire to return to a blissful state of affairs, despite the fact that this interpretation does not appear in the original song. By transposing the lyrics over the looks of longing exchanged by the two characters, who have carried out a decades-long illicit affair, Anderson gives Nico's song a haunting beauty. Once again, we could analyse this through the troubadour lens by saying that, in a manner akin to the way that Guilhem's verses played on his 'penitent' persona in order to be used as religious lyrics,  Anderson is using Nico's persona rather than her lyrics. Nico, as a foreigner and one of Warhol's muses, was always associated with glamour and beauty, despite the melancholy nature of her music. Using her as the auditory stimulus to think about Margot and Richie's realtionship in this film make their affair one of romance, of two beautiful and ill-fated strangers. That is to say, this scene is scored with a love song that has nothing to do with love. 

Songs of Love and War: Gender, Crusade, Politics (Sp16-FEMGEN-205-01/FRENCH-205-01)
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