Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Five Brilliant Film Scenes Made By the Use of Brilliant Music

I watch a lot of movies and listen to a lot of music so when the two come together, I truly get moved. Here are five scenes from five movies where the music and images work together perfectly to bring forth a brilliant moment in cinema. In no particular order.

1. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou - Sigur Ros "Staralfur"

This movie, although not one of most people's favorite Wes Anderson movies, has easily one of the most hauntingly beautiful scenes I have ever seen. At the climax, Zissou and crew finally get to see the elusive "Jaguar Shark" and in a moment in which you think Steve will get satisfaction and want revenge, his human side finally cuts through the masculinity and ego that he possesses throughout the film. And they say there isn't as much character arc in this movie. You are all fools for thinking otherwise. And although Mark Mothersbaugh does phenomenal soundtracking, it was a stroke of genius to use this piece of brilliant music.

2. Boogie Nights - "Sister Christian"/"Jesse's Girl"/"99 Luftballons"
This scene alone is amazing, but the deliscious 80's goodness of both songs amps it up and juxtaposes the tension of the scene brilliantly. PTA is another amazing director who knows how to use music so well to up the ante of an already awesome scene. Alfred Moline at his best? And any mention of mixtapes makes me happy.

3. Mulholland Drive - "Llorando" Rebekah del Rio

This scene is the answer to the movie's mystery. David Lynch is the master of deception and mystery and this scenes sheds massive life on a movie many can't grasp their head around. And the vocal performance is so hauntingly beautiful, I can't help but shake when she hits those high notes.

4. Reservoir Dogs - "Stuck in the Middle" Steelers Wheel

Like this wasn't going to be on here! I could have used many many other Tarantino scenes featuring amazing songs, but this one here is the creme de la creme. Brutal, yet comically dark. Madsen shows us who is boss in a twisted way. And I still stand by Reservoir Dogs being Tarantino's finest film to date.

5. Goodfellas - "Layla" Derek and the Dominoes

The list isn't complete without Marty. Usually, a great Scorsese scene involves The Stones, but the best is far and away this montage put to the outro of "Layla." It starts 2:40 into this video and ends before the video really ends, but it's the penultimate montage put to the penultimate outro of any song ever written (no offense, "Hey Jude".)


jmcleoson said...

Can't argue with you on any of these, especially the legendary Afred Molina scene, which may be the best random scene in cinematic history.... with the ear cutting in R Dogs also up there...

Some more to suggest:

Gary Jules' cover of Mad World during the montage-reveal of Donnie Darko;

We'll Meet Again giving the perfect ironic touch to Dr. Strangelove;

Is That All There Is? bringing the bizarre night to a close in After Hours;

the redic dream sequence in Lebowski featuring a psychedlic song by... Kenny Rogers!?!?

so many choices!

Paul Tsikitas said...

Yeah this isn't even a list of the Five best. Just five ones that I love a whole shit ton. I think the Llorando scene from Mullholland Drive may be the perfect useage of music and image. I start crying with those girls and then its like... wtf.

Anywho, I'd opt for the Head over Heels montage for Darko.

Ali D said...

Yeah, the scene in Life Aquatic usually has me blubbing, but then again most Sigur Ros songs have the same effect.

Face of Spades said...

Madsen = Awesome