I’m combining some of my favorite things: movie, music, lists, and downloads. I’ve been rewatching some of my old dvds before I sold them on ebay and realizing some filmmakers truly know how to incorporate a song. I recently did the overall soundtrack list, but I’m going to explore the best use of a song in a movie. Not just because the song is good, because it really makes the scene. Some are contrived, I know. There is also a ban on any Cameron Crowe movie or Zach Braff movie. Because they are idiots and try to hard to untilize a soundtrack. Although the “Tiny Dancer” scene in Almost Famous was good the first time I saw it, but is now obnoxious. I digress. If I own the song, I’ve included it.
Edith Pilaf, “Je ne regrette rien” from The Dreamers
Ok, so you’ve just had a threesome with your boyf and your twin brother, then try to commit suicide because your parents found out, but are interrupted by a revolution brewing outside. Random political ending to a movie that is 99% about sex, incest, and daddy issues. Roughly translated means “I’m not sorry for anything”.
Coyote Shivers, “Sugar High” from Empire Records
To save the independent record store, the crazy crew of employees stage an impromptu concert on the roof to raise money. Rene Zellweger fullfills her dream of singing in a band and she’s horrible. She also dances around and chops her hands through the air. It’s bad. But her miniskirt, cardigan, and scrunchie SCREAM mid-90s and I love it. [video]
Tears for Fears, “Head Over Heals” from Donnie Darko
Ok, this is like a film school student saying their favorite movie is Casablanca. This is kind of an obvious one. It’s the single-shot montage of Donnie’s private school where we see his lust for that Jena Malone monstrosity, conflict with the school bully, intro of Patrick Swayze, and a Sparkle Motion rehearsal. And setting the 1980s tone. [video]
Amber, “This Is Your Night” from A Night At the Roxbury
The whole soundtrack is dance music, but this one has a choreographed dance. I love spontaneous choreography in movies (see Superstar). Also, it’s fucking hilarious.
Paul Westerburg, “Waiting for Somebody” from Singles
Maybe it is cheating to use opening credits, because it is easy to incorporate music into it. But the song and the random shots of Seattle in the early 90s completely set the scene and made my 14-year old self want to throw on some thermal pants, cuttoff shorts, and flannel shirt and move into the apartment next to Campbell Scott.