Guest Blogger Jason Reitman Talks Early Soundtrack Influences

Editor's note: West Coast Sound is thrilled to introduce to our blogging world the director Jason Reitman, whose new film, Up in the Air, has just opened in Los Angeles and New York, and opens across the country on December 25. The movie stars George Clooney and Vera Farmiga, it's true, but like his previous two features, Thank You for Smoking and Juno, Reitman also places a huge emphasis on music. Beginning with a transcendent cover of Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land" by Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, the Up in the Air soundtrack also features great selections by the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach, Elliott Smith, Graham Nash and Charles Atlas, as well as an original score by Rolfe Kent. Jason will be with us all week offering insight on music -- he's also a DJ -- film, and the collision of the two. We'll shut up now and turn it over to Mr. Reitman.

The first soundtrack I ever obsessed over was of the late Robert Altman's film Popeye, starring Robin Williams and Shelly Duvall. I had a vinyl copy and would listen to it incessantly on a tan plastic Fisher Price record player, until the day I accidentally mishandled it and shattered the disc. One of the tracks, "He's Large", went on to become a fixture of Paul Thomas Anderson's Punch Drunk Love, making me wonder whether at some point in Los Angeles in the early 80's could you have found both Paul and I in separate homes simultaneously rocking out to the chortling of Olive Oyl.

I have always had an obsession with movie music whether it be score or source. I can time my early love of hip-hop with the release of such monumental soundtracks as New Jack City, Juice, and Judgment Night. When I got my first car, the first CD I ever played was Dazed and Confused.

Perhaps sadder, I can remember running out to grab the Dream A Little Dream soundtrack just so I could hear Michael Damian's cover of "Rock On".

-- Jason Reitman


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