Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sometimes the Music Makes the Movie: Latest Music to Read By*

[By request from my fan(s) in Europe (because I am the David Hasselhoff of blogger virtuosos) who said they (she) can't see my Music To Read By soundtrack, I've posted the songs titles and their composers in the comments section.]

10 new songs in my The Soundtrack is Optional playlist [see left side of screen, if not in Europe], actually songs and scores, all from movies.


In some cases, like Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots are Made For Walking," (#2) the song is excellent, how it was used in Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket was even better - it opens the second half of the movie, the part in Vietnam; we see a prostitute from behind, hip swaying as she walks down a Saigon street in broad daylight. (This song choice had to have influenced Tarantino, who opened Kill Bill: Vol.1 with "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)," another N. Sinatra classic).

In others, like Regina Spektor's "Us," (#4) the song is great, the movie, 500 Days of Summer, not as much. (I'll take abuse for this so then, while I'm being contrarian, let me add that I fucking hated Garden State.)

Then you get John Williams. And when you get John Williams ... well, nuff said. And no, it's not Darth Vader's Theme. (My most sarcastic apologies.) It's the theme from Catch Me if You Can (#5) , to my mind one of Spielberg's most brilliant movies. I'm not even kidding.

Finally, Gustavo Santaolalla. Say his surname aloud with me: Santaolalla. The name alone, it's like a Christmas celebration where the food is spicy and even the Jews are invited to join in the celebrations. But the composer, he's no joke, and his music, it's actually rather melancholy. I've got him down twice, 2 different film scores. The one, The Motorcycle Diaries,** (#3) is one of my favourite movies in years, and the aching guitar based score is an essential ingredient in its myth-making magic. The other piece, #1 on the list, is called "The Wings." I wish Brokeback Mountain, the movie it was used in, could have lived up to its music (and landscape) (and potential). But what music!

The Rest of the List:
6. The Rolling Stones' "I Am Waiting" is from Rushmore.
7. Air's "Alone in Kyoto" is from Lost in Translation.
8. Connie Francis' "Siboney" is from 2046.
I'd not heard these 3 songs before seeing these movies. I own all of these movies. I recommend all these movies. I keep wanting to write 'these movies.' I will stop that now.

9. Badly Drawn Boy's "I Love N.Y.E." is from About a Boy.
10. Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova's "Falling Slowly" is from Once.
These songs were written for their respective movies. I own About a Boy but not Once, though I liked Once a lot. It's Irish. I recommend it.  I recommend all five of these movies wholeheartedly, passion-determinately.

*Please note that this Music that is meant To be Read By, could as easily be enjoyed as Music to Play Solitaire By, or Music to Eat Chocolate Digestives and Sip Tea By. The options are, in fact, endless.... 

**If I owned a movie theatre I'd have invited you all to come and we'd have watched The Motorcycle Diaries on my big screen for my 34th later this month. But I own no such theatre and couldn't convince the rep theatres in Toronto (the Bloor in particular) to play the great flick... True (if sad) story.

1 comment:

  1. 1. "The Wings" Gustavo Santaolalla
    2. "These Boots Are Made For Walking" Nancy Sinatra
    3. "Motorcycle Diaries [Soundtrack]" Gustavo Santaolalla
    4. "Us" Regina Spektor
    5. "Catch Me If You Can [theme]" John Williams
    6. "I Am Waiting" Rolling Stones
    7. "Alone in Kyoto" Air
    8. "Siboney" Connie Francis
    9. "I Love N.Y.E." Badly Drawn Boy
    10. "Falling Slowly" Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova

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