Thursday, April 30, 2009

i'm in the mood, the rhythm is right

Music and movies are two very separate and wonderful things, and as is often the case when two wonderful things collide, adding the right music to the right moment in the right movie can be explosively great. Disney is a master of this, but I've covered that. Here are a few of my favourite examples (of the non-animated kind):

A Clockwork Orange and Beethoven's 9th Symphony
This is really the perfect example of what I'm talking about. Beethoven's music deeply permeates this film, which I just adore. Beethoven is one of the only classical composers I listen to and it's because his work is so deliciously dramatic. Alex really says it best (in my favourite quote from a book ever): "Oh, bliss, bliss and heaven - oh, it was gorgeousness and gorgeousity made flesh. It was like a bird of rarest-spun heaven metal or like silvery wine flowing in a spaceship, gravity all nonsense now."
It's easy to associate the piece with A Clockwork Orange, but the movie doesn't own it. The song is so rich and complex that it cannot be "stolen" that easily.


Harold and Maude and Cat Steven's "If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out"
A gorgeously simplistic song that sums up the theme of the film, and gives it an inspiring finish.


Dazed and Confused and any rock song from the 70's with "ride" in the title
Once you've seen the movie, have you ever heard "Slow Ride", "Lowrider" or "Free Ride" without instantly flashing back to the oh-so-joyous memories of watching Dazed and Confused? Yes? Then you just haven't seen it enough times.
It also has the distinguishing feature of making KISS almost enjoyable.


The Big Lebowski and First Edition's "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)"
First of all, it's weird that Kenny Rogers was in a pseudo-psychedelic band to begin with. But this song is awesome and conveys such vivid images of the Dude's badass dance skills that it's almost impossible to listen to without enjoying.


Almost Famous and Elton John's "Tiny Dancer"
There is no song that's transformed by a movie quite like "Tiny Dancer". I'll admit that I'm not a huge Elton John fan, but after watching the absolutely fantastic tourbus sing-along, it sends chills down my spine.
As well, Led Zeppelin's "Misty Mountain Hop" gives immediate images of plane-boarding and rock-star life.
Like Dazed and Confused, every song on the soundtrack becomes amazing because it reminds you of what a great movie you saw it with.

18 comments:

Mouthwash said...

I must admit I feel a bit silly. I haven't seen any of these movies! I am (huge) fan of Led Zeppelin, and I have read A Clockwork Orange... (but I am afraid of violence, so hence my not seeing it). But... Why haven't I seen Almost Famous? No excuse there.

I think that this is an ingenious post! Thank you so much for the artistic insight!

Amber

Sister Libby said...

Yeeeeahh...Wonderful idea. It is so true that an okay song can be made classic by a good movie scene. I just did a "things i like" powerpoint at school, and Dazed and Confused was slide number two...also, I think Perez is ridiculous, so I read Dlisted...haha. Not much better, probably.

Lo said...

these are some of my favorite too! Almoust Famous, especially.

copperoranges said...

tiny dancer!!! that scene is so wonderful.

and i LOVE cat stevens.

this wheel's on fire said...

eeeekk amazing post!
that's one of my favorite quotes from a clockwork orange too....it's just too good! beethoven will always be the master.
harold and maude is so good too & cat stevens is the man. well he was the man while he still called himself cat stevens.
d&c is so unbearably perfect. i am so annoying with the quotes i use from that movie.
"vivid images of the dude's badass dance skills"--so good!
almost famous....do i even have to say how much i adore this movie? it'll always be a favorite of mine. elton isn't normally someone i listen too either, but this song and this scene is so perfect. also "mona lisas and mad-hatters" from the scene when he's looking for penny in the streets of nyc. so good, so sad.
p.s. i'm so happy that you loved the anita picture as much as i did! she's too fabulous! i was thinking of tagging you, but i know you are very particular with your tags. if you feel like it, i would love to see xoxo

Keith said...

Hey Molly. Great post. Film and music go so well together. Songs can really make a movie. They make a cinematic moment even better than it would have been otherwise. Plus many times a movie can make you enjoy a so-so song even more.

Twobreadsplease said...

Clockwork Orange is like one of my favourite films EVER. The book is also quite supreme. x

Aretha said...

I love this post. It's exactly what I want when I'm reading other blogs

The Clothes Horse said...

Almost Famous has so many great song and visual combinations.

Austere said...

This is a really good topic, I've never given it much thought but you've made a good point! I agree that Disney is a master of this technique.

Daughters of Dawn said...

Fabulous post!! I love how everyone of those songs will forever be linked to those films in my mind. Great tunes and great films!!!

Sister Libby said...

Just watched the Almost Famous clip. It cheered me up.

jayne said...

one of the best movie moments ever has to be tiny dancer in almost famous, love love love it!

sophia said...

harold and maude :) very very good movie
I've wanted to see A Clockwork Orange but I'm too much of a wimp...
New entry to the list: Duckie dancing to Try A Little Tenderness in Pretty In Pink...epic to the max
hope you're having a fantastic spring!

Eddie said...

A Clockwork Orange and Beethoven. What a wonderful scene that was...

Molly my darling... how do you come up with your tantalizing and orgasm-inducing content?

Besitos para siempre...

Flavia M. from FRINGE INDIE MAGAZINE said...

I love the music in A Clockwise Orange, best soundtrack

WAT said...

Beethoven! I just posted something on him too! LOVE HIM! YES!

Elton John is a genius! I have adored his music for quite some time and am so glad that scene in ALMOST FAMOUS made people realize what great stuff he gave us in the 70s!

Julia said...

Must say that I had the same experience with Tiny Dancer by Elton John when I saw Almost Famous. Absolutely love the song and movie!