Wars and Windmills

30 March 2007

Musaq and Philm

My love of music is only rivaled by my love of fine film. But the thing is, they are not mutually exclusive...even at all...that's the thing. The connection is simple: that one scene, that one song, and then they unite, not unlike Voltron, and the movie and viewer are better for it.

It is obvious when a soundtrack has thought behind it, when someone cared to think about what kind of music represents the film; folks like Wes Anderson, Quentin Tarantino and Guy Ritchie.

Okay, this is nowhere near anything complete or absolute, but it’s a decent representation of some memorable scenes from films, some recent some classic, that had some impact to me. Some of these scenes have emotional connections for me, while some are simple the perfect meld of cinema and music.

The Film: The Graduate

The Song: The Sound of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel

The Scene: In a movie that is still hitting too close to home(the post-graduation confusion...not the love affair with an older lady...I swear) it was difficult to pinpoint one scene that was more amazing then the next, but when The Sound of Silence started at the very start of the film as Benjamin rides the moving walkway as others speedily walk by It beautifully set the tone for the entire film.

The Film: American Psycho

The Song: Hip To Be Square Huey Lewis and the News

The Scene: If any of you know Matt Z. then there is no need to read further because you already know why this scene strikes a special chord. Besides being ultimately disturbing, this scene is masterfully acted and punctuated perfectly by a song that you normally wouldn't think to hear as Jared Leto is about to get an ax in their face. The scene is deep fried and glorious, and now that Leto is in 30 Seconds to Mars, perhaps an ax to his face isn't such a terrible idea.

The Film: Touching the Void

The Song: Brown Girl in the Ring by Boney M

The Scene: In a movie where after I watched it I fell right asleep and not because of boredom, quite the opposite, I was so tensed the whole time I was exhausted. Well, it was almost like that. Nonetheless, this was a touching scene filled with total despair heightened by an unlikely sing, that both added to the despair and gave some needed reprieve. Joe had crawled and crawled and crawled and crawled and crawled and crawled and crawled and crawled until he thought he wasn't going to make it, but still he felt so close. This conflicting emotions finally won the battle and Joe started to loose it. Then then this song came into his head and he thought "Ch%$!. I am going to die with Boney M in my head"...you couldn't have written that.

The Film: The Big Lebowski

The Song: The Hotel California by Gypsy Kings

The Scene: Though I despise The Eagles (and their version of this song) and, and though Kenny Rogers singing Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In) over a bowling themed LSD trip is a singular triumph in cinema, it was the scene with the tongue, the strike, the dance, the wrist-supported heaven point, the "yea but he's a pervert" scene won my heart.

The Film: Donnie Darko

The Song: Notorious by Duran Duran

The Scene: There are soooooo many good music-in-movie moments in this film. Donnie waking up in the mountains and riding his bike home to Echo and the Bunnymen's The Killing Moon, the school montage over Head Over Heals by Tears for Fears, and Mad World by Gary Jules. I honestly had a difficult time choosing...but then I knew that one day I might be asked about my commitment to Sparkle Motion and I didn't want to fail. And, the thought of little girls dancing to this song as they were being coached my an uber-conservative, closed-minded Jim Cunningham-ite kills me.

The Film: Fight Club

The Song: Where Is My Mind by The Pixies

The Scene: After he shoots himself in the face, he grabs the girl and blissfully they enjoy the mayhem from afar...the song could NOT be more ideal for this situation. Well played sir...well played.

The Film: The Life Aquatic

The Song: Starlfur by Sigur Rós

The Scene: "I wonder if he remembers me"? The entire cast is crammed into the submarine, Zisso has a sort of narcissistic pondering while realizing he has finially found what he has been looking for, and then there is the claymation Jaguar Shark...it could have proved tough to have found the icing to top that cake-of-joy...but Wes Anderson is a genius..pure and simple. This was another movie that has many good moments and it was difficult to find just one. David Bowie sung acoustically in Portuguese...honestly nothing can really top that.

And while I am on a Wes Anderson kick:

The Film: Rushmore

The Song:These DaysA Quick One While He's Away by The Who (unfortunately I can't get this song to work...sorry but you can watch the clip HERE)

The Scene: This may be my favorite of all time...and certainly is in my top 5. The scene is priceless. A boy and an much older boy-man battle it out over a girl...but the look of joy and then hate on Herman Blume's face as he sees the bees, and then the slow-mo elevator doors opening up as Max grabs his box labeled "Bee Keepers" and sticks his gum to the wall...bad ass.

And another:

The Film: The Royal Tenenbaums

The Song:These Days by Niko

The Scene: As with Wes' other two films this was difficult...the Nick Drake scene was paragon, but this is one of those scenes that you watch and think: that was just perfect. No dialogue is needed, Margot slowly walks off the bus and there is a silent beat and then These Days starts to play. Wes Wes Wes, what can I say? Ooooo...another great scene with ideal music (uncanny is also a fitting adjective) is when Ritchie attempts to commit suicide and Needle in the Hay by Elliott Smith plays during it...damnation that is fine.

The Film: Snatch

The Song: *&$#ing in the Bushes by Oasis

The Scene: Bare-knuckle street fight with Brad Pitt in his best and most incoherent role to date. Mikey's got to go down in the fourth...the scene is beautifully filmed with the super fast speed and the slow motion and the falling into water. It is either the Oasis song at the beginning of the scene or the Massive Attach song when he knocks the guy out after his swim that make this scene great...either way 'tis gold.

The Film: Say Anything

The Song: In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel

The Scene: Cameron Crowe's first film...the man wrote for Rolling Stone so this guilty pleasure has some street cred...the scene is straight from the drama of Shakespeare but add teenage angst and stir it in a vat of premarital sex and kick boxing...and you get: "....to know Lloyd Dobler is to love him..."

The Film: Kill Bill Vol. 1

The Song: Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) by Nancy Sinatra

The Scene: Preceded by a not so nice bullet to the head, and even though it is the song for nothing the opening credits...it is a perfect follow up to the starting scene.

The Film: Lost in Translation

The Song: Just Like Honey by Jesus and Mary Chain

The Scene: It is just flawless...we don't hear what Bob says, we only see Charlotte's face as she reacts to it and then as they walk away this song starts to play. Sophia came out swinging for her first film. The soundtrack in this film is absolutely stellar.

There could be soooo many more: Iggy Pop's Lust For Life streaming along in Trainspotting...anything from Layer Cake...honestly this list could keep going...but it is long enough.


  1. How now! Megapost! HTML Wizardry!

    Great post, nice visuals, fine fine work. I agree with all of your choices.

    Like you said: so many more possibilities. Some that pop into mind, Joe Cocker's "Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" in Layer Cake (and lets not forget the Cult in Layer Cake) and the Amy Mann's "Wise Up" in Magnolia (some found it cheesey, i liked it).

    swell post, golly.

  2. geee thanks

    ah yes Layer Cake was on my list...but i lost steam. Good call on the Magnolia scene though, I had forgotten about that, and it is damn fine.

  3. Bravo, Darren! My posts are much poop compared to this masterpiece!

    These are definitely some of my favorite moments from the silver screen.

    Oh, the AIR mass suicide song in Virgin Suicides.

  4. I think I meant to write I really enjoy that song utilized in that way but my brain skipped and I just wrote the equivalent of:

    "A squirrel on waterskis!"

  5. Somehow i feel robbed that I have only seen 2 of these films.

  6. Robbed like I will be from heaven for watching sooo many R rated movies?

  7. Haha, you can't be robbed from heaven for movies that send you into further enlightenment. I must say, Darren, I kept thinking up songs I could add to your list and the further down I went and went they all got covered. And I admit I laughed out loud that Say Anything made the list, cheers to that.

    I would say Cat Stevens profoundly struck some chords with me for Harold & Maude and I remember The Big Chill made me fall in love with Rolling Stones "Can't Always Get What You Want" and The Band's "The Weight." Also, talking to you reminds me that it was Stephen King's The Stand that introduced me to Blue Oyster Cult. Haha or Lost Boys with The Doors "People are Strange" okay I'm going to cheapen your list if I keep going.

  8. oooo Gillill, those are some great ones...especially "People are Strange" in Lost Boys. Good call.

    "The Stand"...haha! I don't remember the Blue Oyster Cult in that film...but that was a good time for sure.

  9. Anonymous10:23 PM

    Bravo, Dagus1976!

  10. perhaps not robbed thusly.

    however i loved the music played as the hollowed out island crumbled whilst the younglings of astoria made a narrow escape through sloth's legs at the end of goonies. twas it "ode to one eyed willy" ? aye. yes it were.

    truthfully though "don't you forget about me...." at the end of breakfast club was the sizzling cheddar on a bacon burger.

  11. Wow, you guys talk like grown ups.

  12. ...*cough*...........*crickets*

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  14. There are some fantastic and absurd music moments in Apocalypse Now. Keep up the fine work comrade.

  15. It is safe to say that a finer film based on Conrad's Heart of Darkness has never been made.

    Good call G-man, there are indeed some very musically exquisite scenes in that film. Thanks for stopping in.

  16. So, excuse the freakiness, but uh, I just had to let you know that I've snooped around here from time to time and I also had to let you know that your taste in women (aka. the lovely Lindsey) is only rivaled by your taste in film and song. Starlfur?!?! Yes sir indeedy (please disregard the hapless albeit unknown spelling of afore-written word)!

  17. Mighty nice of you to stop by and say hi (and other niceties), welcome.

  18. I failed to mention the musical genius found in Pee Wee's Big Adventure. Twisted circus music at its very best.

    Remember as Pee Wee was knocking on Francis' door, the music played along with his knocks. Hilarious.


  19. G-Man:

    Good call. God Bless Danny Elfman!

  20. So I lack the emotive, but you nailed it, chicken skin salt stains and all.

    The Jaguar Shark. I can't keep my tears from falling then, talk about auds and vis hand in hand. That song embodies what I believe to be the truest form of accomplishment.

    Good on ya.