Hank Williams has a part in one of the big blockbuster summer movies of 2012.
Six Hank Williams songs are used in the soundtrack of ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ a Wes Anderson film opening across North America in the next 2 weeks. The film had the prestigious honor of being the opening film of the Cannes film festival.
Early reports indicate the film is setting box office records in its limited release so far. (May 30, 2012)
The soundtrack album features 3 Hank Williams songs:
Long Gone Lonesome Blues
But there are also 3 songs which aren’t on the soundtrack album but ARE in the movie:
Take These Chains from My Heart
Cold Cold Heart.
From my reading about the film I should say that these songs are not played in their entirety at full volume as the movie is shown as is often the case on soundtracks. This Hank Williams film appearance may be handled as it was on of that great American film ‘The Last Picture Show’. As all Hank fans will recall, his dramatic appearances in that film came as a part of the film’s memorable realism. The voice of Hank Williams and other great 1950’s stars flow naturally from car radios, kitchen radios, radio consoles, television sets and bar room jukeboxes as the movie’s dramatic scenes unfold.
Hank’s contribution to ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ could be similar. I invite anyone who has been an early bird viewer to let us know in the comments below just how the Hank music is handled in this film.
Who will join Hank Williams on this movie appearance? Well there’s Francoise Hardy a mid 1960’s French pop singer, Benjamin Britten, Mozart, Alexandre Desplat, and Leonard Bernstein.
Millions of people will see this major summer movie release, millions have seen it already. And as those captive audiences are sitting absorbed in their theater seats, suddenly the haunting, piercing yet intimate, harsh but yet rich and profound voice of Hank Williams will reach out with all of its artistic power and capture a new generation.
As we all know, Hank Williams lived only 29 years and died January 1,1953. Here we are nearly 60 years later. Who can forget the haunting performance of ‘Alone and Forsaken’ by Neil Young on the Haiti Benefit a few years ago. There are line ups of contemporary singers coming forward to sing on the ‘Lost Notebooks’ album. The release of the stunning ‘Mother’s Best Recordings’ made entertainment news in media around the world.. The posthumous Pulitzer Prize, now a Wes Anderson film.
There were many big country stars, pop stars, movie stars even TV stars who made their mark along with Hank Williams in the last few years of he 1940’s. Few are ever seen as active members of the arts or entertainment worlds here in the second decade of the next century. Hanks stands above them all as he will in centuries to come.
The trailer does not include the Hank segments.
I hope someone who has seen the movie will write a comment below on how Hank is used in the movie and whether it has been a real boost to his reputation. Is it handled well and does he make an impact?