Thursday, March 7, 2013

Favourite Movie Songs Redux: Original: Newer, Faster, Personal ... mixedupier

Seven more o' these. A mix of sourced and orignal, favouring original. More to follow, over....

Sky High: The Man from Hong Kong. I saw the film much later than I heard this song from the mid-70s. From it's beautiful floating verse you wouldn't expect the beat-em-up crime basher you get (featuring everyone's forgotten Bond, George Lazenby who, on the strength of this film did about a million commercials for .... sorry, can't remember). I still quite like the difference. Even the bouncy chorus ends on that soaring falsetto: "Ski Hiiiiiiiiiigh!" Dig it! (Oh, you can youtube the opening sequence of the film if you like - the floaty hang glider works well with the song - but this is the version with the great use of delay on the verse that got the radio play and I'd rather you listened to this one first.)

Up the Junction: Up the Junction. I saw the movie from halfway through in my first year in Brisbane. This song is folded through it like a layer of honey. Beautiful late 60s London pop. Almost just-post-Syd Floyd. Movie is good but is a dilution of Ken Loach's original tv play. Song's still great, though.

Ich Liebe Dich: Baxter. Imagine Lassie remade by Michael Hanneke. Baxter is a bull terrier who narrates through a voiceover that makes him sound like a bar-propping sailor in a Jacques Brel song. He goes through several owners and most of them come to a bad end. Then he meets the boy, a Hitler fan who sees his own one dog SS in Baxter. This song occurs at a point when you think the sweet and natural young girl in the clip below will provide a civilising influence. The tune and vocals themselves seem to be spun from sugar and spice and all things nice. Don't be taken in. This film is a deadly portrayal of dependence at any cost and no one is innocent. Make that Lassie directed by Michael Hanneke and written by Gunther Grass.

Call Me: American Gigolo. They didn't know it at the time but Blondie were about to nose dive into the post fame void. Before that happened they had the time and force for one last slice of greatness. Call Me is a concentration of their successful collision of power pop and Georgio Moroder electrodisco. This time they did it with Moroder himself and the result is a blast, a great charging warcry of demand over a tide of energy. Even before you saw Schrader's movie you felt like you knew what it was like to drive around it in a convertible. Chaaaaaaaarge ... it!

Marcy's Song: Martha Marcy May Marlene. Intensely creepy song from the extraordinary 2012 film sung by the cult leader to the protagonist whose journey into identity hyperspace is given a big push by this scene. Too hard to find a clip from the film but here's a studio version with a montage from the film.

Happiness: Happiness. This is one aspect of why this unsettling film is so effective. When the hopeless character Joy sings this at home as something she wrote herself it engendered howls of derision among its audience at the screening I attended. And then when it played again over the end credits but this time powered up by REM with Michael Stipe's stadium rock vocals roaring through it no one seemed to notice.

Georgy Girl: Georgie Girl. Great song from the 60s to a great Brit movie of the time. Whaddaya want?

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