Yet another article on Flavorwire has thrown me into a never-ending internet wormhole of procrastination. Jason Bailey - himself inspired by Martin Scorsese's latest documentary on George Harrison - recently posted this amazing essay about Scorsese's perfect use of music in his films and how, for some of us, those songs will forever be tied to those particular scenes. I'm always a sucker for a good montage, slo-mo, or beautifully scored piece of film so all these carefully curated clips were like nerd candy. I literally got out my chips and hummus and Chick-O-Sticks, pulled a chair up to my laptop, and watched every part of every clip. SO GOOD. (Although, just to push my glasses up my nose about it, I also would have included the "Atlantis"/Billy Batts scene as particularly... touching. HA.)
It got me thinking about a bunch of non-Scorsese movies that have similarly well-placed music. There are so many songs that have been changed for me just by seeing them linked to a great moment of film. And because I want to nerd this out to its full potential, I need to share my feelings with the internet. Ranking things
in order of importance stresses me out so I'm just going to share this
list in no particular order. Get ready for... THE FIVE BEST-SCORED
MOMENTS IN FILM (for now):
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou - "Life On Mars?"
It's so hard to put just one Wes Anderson moment on this list but
I'm trying to be concise. This is the movie that made me fall in love
with David Bowie. I mean, yes, DUH, I liked David Bowie before this,
but the winter of 2004 was the moment I LOVED David Bowie. And the
moment that made me forever want to smoke a joint in slo-mo when I
hear this song. (OK, and because I can't hold it in: other close Wes
Anderson contenders are "These Days" in The Royal Tenenbaums and "A Quick One While He's Away" in Rushmore.)
Summer of Sam - "Baba O'Riley"
One of my film professors in college showed us this sequence as an example of montage - pretty extreme choice, if you ask me. I guess it's a solid representation, since it heightens the action of the movie, but DAMN is everything fucked up. Try watching Adrien Brody in this movie and then watching The Pianist. Your brain will hurt.
Donnie Darko - "Head Over Heels"
This entire movie is full of great, dark, late-80s ballads and slo-mos but this Tears for Fears scene tops them all. Something about Roland Orzabal's mournful voice makes it so perfect for a dizzy tracking shot full of angsty teachers and kids. Also: I still really want to be in Sparkle Motion.
Boogie Nights - "Jesse's Girl"
I love it when a film takes a catchy pop song and makes it terrifying (prime example: Quentin Tarantino forever ruining "Stuck in the Middle With You"). Coked-up dudes with guns PLUS this weird kid throwing firecrackers PLUS the crescendo-ing Rick Springfield beats all make me want to clutch a stress ball throughout this whole scene.
Almost Famous - "My Cherie Amour"
Of course the "Tiny Dancer" scene would be the obvious choice here (and is
still a great moment), but this overdose-as-love-scene breaks my heart a
little more. William's just oozing love for Penny while she's getting
her stomach pumped! And Penny's wearing an amazing dress! (Also: total nerd moment, but see where they're walking by that pond at the end? I eat lunch there all the time. No big deal.)
Give me some more ideas so I can go on another YouTube tangent! (And so I can know that people actually still read this!) Now if you excuse me, I'm going to go watch every Scorsese movie ever made. OK BYE!
(PS: special thanks to Dave for letting me know that I've been spelling "Scorsese" incorrectly... for my entire life. The shame!!)