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28 Sep

HotelchevalierWes Anderson‘s The Darjeeling Limited premieres at the New York Film Festival tonight and will be in two NYC theaters tomorrow. Having not really liked The Royal Tenenbaums and full-on disliking The Life Aquatic, I am wary… but hopeful this will be back on track. Reviews are decidedly mixed. That AmEx commercial was amazing, right?

For those who don’t live in Manhattan and have to wait to find out, you can get a taste via Hotel Chevalier, Anderson’s short film "prologue" to The Darjeeling Limited. They aren’t going to show it with the film for some reason, though it’ll be on the DVD. You can download it for free from iTunes, however, and I really encourage you to do so. At 12 minutes, it’s funny, sad, charming and just about perfect, with more genuine emotion than anything in Aquatic.

It also features "Where Do You Go to My Lovely," Peter Sarstedt‘s lovely, Francophilic single from 1969 that spent six weeks at #1 on the UK pop charts. I’d never heard the original before watching Hotel Chevalier, but I knew the song via a cover version done for a 1992 compilation called Ruby Trax that celebrated NME’s 40th anniversary. Performed by Welfare Heroine (a one-off group made up of NME staffers at the time, I think… anyone) the cover takes a Saint Etienne meets The Wolfgang Press approach to the song, making it danceable but maintaining the original’s classy, Frenchy vibe.

MP3: Welfare Heroine – Where Do You Go to My Lovely?

Product Shop NYC has an MP3 of the original tune. And David Amsden’s feature on Anderson in this week’s New York is well worth reading (Guess what? He’s just like his movies!).

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