Friday, October 10, 2008

Friday is Theme Day!! Soundtracks Soundtracks Soundtracks!

Oh, how we love a good theme! Huzzah and Hoorah! And what better than to combine two of the things that most of us love in the whole big wide world: MUSIC and MOVIES. Thus, we will present Soundtrack Fridays for the next little bit.

Ah, the beauty of setting music to a story. It accomplishes so many things at once. Music can cue us in to what the director wants us to feel: Love, terror, tension, drama, sadness, boredum—a whole spectrum of emotion. Music helps the director to really create an atmosphere; afterall, what would Deliverance be without "Dueling Banjos"?

A fantastic soundtrack can take a decent movie and catapult it into greatness. A good song can stay with us as we leave the movie theater, can bring our thoughts back to a beautiful moment, and can add a fourth dimension to the artistry of the film. Show me a movie with a bad soundtrack, and I'll show you a bad movie. They ultimately go hand in hand.

For my Soundtrack Friday post, I'm going to present a musical buffet. It is so hard to pin down one good soundtrack—they really need to be divided into their proper genres. I'm gonna chose my own genres here, and hopefully my pics will make sense within each one.

Glorious Guilty Pleasure Soundtracks
Dirty Dancing
I'm getting this one out of the way first, because it is by far the guiltiest. The reason this particular soundtrack made the list is not for the furiously insulting "I've Had the Time of My Life," or even the mediocre at best "She's Like the Wind," but for the undercurrent of music that runs throughout the movie. Otis Reddings "Love Man," Mickey and Sylvia's "Love Is Strange" really save it for me, among other classics.

The Best Soundtrack Featuring One Artist or Group
Harold and Maude: Cat Stevens
This was a tough one, but ultimately I think the soundtrack affects the mood of this movie more than my other choice, so I'm going with it. It has some of the happiest music ("If You Wanna Sing Out, Sing Out") and some of the saddest music ("Trouble") to ever grace the silver screen. This song is actually my favorite under-1 min song ever. (I hate the Happy Birthday song. Hate.)

Tea for the Tillerman

The Best "Harken Back" Soundtrack
Almost Famous
The Who. Simon and Garfunkel. Yes. The Beach Boys. Lynyrd Skynard. Led Zepellin. Nancy Wilson. David Bowie. The Allman Brothers Band. Elton John. And the best sing-along scene ever.

Tiny Dancer

The Best Without Words (Mostly) Soundtrack
The Proposition: Nick Cave and Warren Ellis
Not only did he capture the mood the director was going for, Cave and Ellis created almost another entity within the movie with his haunting violins, didgeridoo, deep slow drum beats, and spares piano. It not only underscores the harshness of the Outback (the violins buzzing like flies and crisp humming like hot sun), it gives the characters and even more intense reality and emotion. Powerful.

The Best Covers on a Soundtrack
No, not "The Wedding Singer." Ha ha.
The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou
Seu Jorge, a Portugese guitarist, covering David Bowie! Ah, love.


Anonymous said...

Best soundtrack by 1 band.... Queen for Highlander
No question!

Boo said...

awesome suggestion. that would fall into the category of "the music is FAR better than the movie" soundtrack.

replica said...

I loved the Life Aquatic music! The whole thing was a mess, but the guitarist stayed with me for a long time. And it had Goldblum. Take that opinion for what it's worth.

rayray said...

The Proposition is my favorite movie. Everyone, absolutely everyone, does a fabulous job. Especially Nick Cave. That dude just sat down and wrote a screenplay, something he'd never done before.

Funny story. I was watching it one night with my brother and sister, because I wanted to share the joy, and my mom goes, "what is that weird voice??!! That sounds so strange!"

Apparently Nick Cave's soundtrack annoyed her. I, however, find it incredibly appropriate and fascinating. The scene where Guy Pearce and Danny Huston are sitting on the cliff, looking out at the sunset - it gives me chills.

Good choice on soundtracks.

Boo said...

I love that scene, rayray. I also love the music that comes in when Guy tells Danny (can't remember character names at the moment) that their little brother is going to be executed on Christmas, and they jump on the horses and start galloping.