Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Favourite Movie Songs: Sourced

This one is much harder than I thought. I had supposed that since the outsourcing of pop songs had only been in practice since the 60s and then only mandatory since the 80s (eg The Big Chill) the narrowed field would make it easy. You won't find Tarrantino selections here as, while he does use sourced music well I have too much trouble connecting with the films (and my loathing of Wes Anderson is a curious element actually discernable in my DNA). My ground rules were that the moment must particularly delight or surprise rather than just be apt (like the almost decorative use of all the music in The Big Chill). I suspect there will be more of these 'uns.

THE END: Apocalypse Now. The first time I heard this song was in the opening sequence of the movie. Second viewing was at a drive-in in Townsville when it rained lightly all through the movie and felt like the heat visible on screen. There were military helicopters going overhead frequently.  It was so sensuously powerful otherworldly that I bought every Doors album throughout the following months. Still a fan. (PS- The End was also used earlier to good effect in Scorsese's Who's That Knocking at My Door .... but I didn't know that then ;)

BANANA SPLITS: Kickass. Always thought this great version would play well under comic book style action. It does.

IN DREAMS: Blue Velvet. a toss-up between this and the title track. I went with this because it comes out of nowhere and takes over the scene it's in, forming Frank's only equal.

MY WAY: Goodfellas. Runs over the freezframe and end credits but Sid's version with its goopy intro and panzer division arrangement and pisstake lyric form an even closer bond than the more celebrated use of the Stones in the paranoia sequence.

LITTLE DRUMMER BOY: Class. 80s teen movie where schoolboy assignations up with best friend's mother (Jacquiline Bissett). This played as the friends set out to the family mansion for Christmas and was meant to be all sassy and contemporary. It kind of was but this tune survives anything thrown at it. I don't know why this works but it does. Best bit in a resolutely ok film.

DREAMS: Sound of My Voice. No clip but that doesn't surprise me as the song is not used the way these others are. It is sung by a character and an extraordinary claim made for it. During the performance you want to shout your recognition of it because you don't think the other characters will. But they do. What follows forms part of a highly accomplished cinematic delayed sleight of hand. Uncomfortable, expertly uncomfortable.

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