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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Song Choices...Some Thoughts

And now, some random favorite song choices from Celluloitering:

Best use of a one hit wonder: The clear choice is “Stuck in the Middle with You,” by Stealers Wheel, as used in “Reservoir Dogs.” Obvious, I know, but after watching Tarantino’s mutilation sequence, will we ever think of anything else in association with the song? A runner up would have to be “I Will Survive” as used in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. How often do you get to see Aborigines covering Gloria Gaynor on dijeridoos?

Best use of a Beck Song: “Black Tambourine” in David Lynch’s Inland Empire. A soiled, desperate Laura Dern stumbles through a nightmarish Hollywood while Beck rocks out in the background. I may have zoned out halfway through the three hour film, but this sequence has stuck with me over time and burned itself into my consciousness. Runner up is "Deadweight" as used in A Life Less Ordinary. I thought the song and video were better than the film.

Best montage song: Undoubtedly the training montage from the original Rocky, using the song “Gonna Fly Now” by Bill Conti. I chose this because, let’s face it, it is the godmother of all training montages, ironic and unironic alike.

Best use of diagetic music in film, musicals excluded: “diagetic” refers to music that comes from the action of the film itself (for example, the use of “Bohemian Rhapsody” in Wayne’s World). My best picks for this category: Antonioni’s Blowup--which uses all live music and radio broadcasts without any external score whatsoever—and Casablanca, which features a score that is mostly played by Sam.

Best use of a Lynyrd Skynyrd song: prior to 2005, I would have said “Sweet Home Alabama” as used in Con Air. However, the spot was ousted by Rob Zombie’s ingenious use of “Free Bird” in the climax of The Devil’s Rejects. Runner up: Andre Braugher in Duets, a ridiculous film that features a karaoke cover of "Free Bird" that never fails to get me (I know, it's stupid, but just watch it, you'll see).

Greatest movie song with no lyrics: The "Colonel Bogey March" from the 1957 film The Bridge on The River Kwai.

Most unexpected use of Hip Hop: William Shatner’s Shakespeare Rap in Free Enterprise, and the song “No Budget” from Jon Water’s Cecil B. Demented.

Best “Best Song” winner from the Academy Awards: Okay, this is just plain self indulgent, as it is just my own preference, but I think the title has to go to Issac Hayes’ “Shaft.” Runners up for me are “Soon or Later” from Dick Tracy and “Falling Slowly” from Once.