Many of the greatest directors — and many more of the not-so-great — aspire to create the cinematic equivalent of a great piece of music. DJ Danger Mouse, the brilliant 28-year-old composer/producer who just scored a huge in the U.K. with his Gnarls Barkley collaboration with Cee-Lo (the U.S. numbers are, not surprisingly, more modest) has found inspiration in the opposite direction: he wants to be a auteur.
In yesterday’s excellent New York Times Magazine profile, Danger Mouse, AKA Brian Burton, says that his musical identity began to materialize once he discovered the work of Woody Allen. “When I got to college, I saw Manhattan and Deconstructing Harry,” he tells Chuck Klosterman. “I thought to myself: Why do I relate so much to this white 60-year-old Jewish guy? Why do I understand his neurosis? So I just started watching all of his movies. And what I realized is that they worked because Woody Allen was an auteur: he did his Thing, and that particular Thing was completely his own. That’s what I decided to do with music. I want to create a director’s role within music, which is what I tried to do on this album.”