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That selection of music makes the film

Melodic Mentorship: Wenders’ Influence on the Music of “PERFECT DAYS”

2023.12.21

#MOVIE

Protagonist’s Cassette Tapes Echoing with 1960s-1970s Classics

As indicated earlier, the use of music is also very effective and pleasing. Wenders, who is meticulous in his music selection each time he makes a film, carefully selected the best songs of the past this time as well, incorporating the opinions of Takuma Takasaki, who co-wrote the screenplay.

The songs used in the film are as follows

The Animals “House of the Rising Sun”, The Velvet Underground “Pale Blue Eyes”, Otis Redding “(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay”, Patti Smith “Redondo Beach”, Lou Reed “Perfect Day “, The Rolling Stones “(Walkin’ Thru The) Sleepy City”, Sachiko Kanenobu “Blue Fish”, The Kinks “Sunny Afternoon”, Van Morrison “Brown Eyed Girl”, Nina Simone “Feeling Good “.

Longtime Wenders fans will be thrilled with this list. Lou Reed (and The Velvet Underground) is a special one that he has long admired, and even had Lou Reed himself play himself in “Palermo Shooting” (in 2008). Van Morrison is no different, and has been a deep admirer since the beginning of his career. The Kinks are also one of the director’s favorite rock bands, and he has dedicated an entire film to them in the past (1971’s “Summer in the City”), not to mention using them in the film.

Another pleasant surprise for Japanese audiences is the use of music by Kinko Kananobu. When we had a chance to interview Kinnen herself, we asked her how she came to use the song, and she told us that Wenders and Takasaki had long been fans of “Blue Fish” and the album “Misora,” which contains the song, and that is why they decided to use the song.

It is also important to note that these songs are not used as accompaniment to the film, but rather as “in” sounds, that is, they are actually played in the film. They are all on cassette tapes in Hirayama’s collection, and are played from his car stereo as he passes along a set route on his way to work. In other words, the music is played in connection with the personal experiences of the characters. This method of using music to evoke an intimacy that directly touches the private space of the characters has become commonplace today, but it is a method that Wenders himself practiced and refined in his early films in the 1970s. The overlap of the intimate sphere projected on the screen and the images/memories associated with these songs held by the individual viewers doubly encourages the narrative of the film as a result. The film’s “return to its roots” can be seen in the fact that the filmmakers themselves have reached a level of maturity in this technique, which from today’s perspective can even be considered “model” in a sense.

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