Another list? Darn tooting!
This time it’s about two great things that go great together: movies
and music. CNN’s Screening Room has named its Top Ten Songs in
soundtracks, not scores, but singles used during a particular scene.
As expected, the list is heavy on the male-dominated scenes and, somewhat
less expectedly, fairly violent.
Their Top 10:
Trainspotting, “Lust for Life” by Iggy Pop (opening scene)
Dr Strangelove, “We’ll Meet Again” by Vera Lynn (atomic
The Royal Tenenbaums, “Needle in the Hay” by Elliot Smith
(Richie’s suicide attempt)
Say Anything, “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel (Lloyd’s
boom box serenade)
Almost Famous, “Tiny Dancer” by Elton John (bus sing-along)
Muriel’s Wedding, “Waterloo” by ABBA (talent show triumph)
Apocalypse Now, “The End” by The Doors (awaiting orders in
Goodfellas, “Layla” by Eric Clapton (Jimmy’’s murder
Reservoir Dogs, “Stuck in the Middle With You” by Stealers
Wheel (ear slicing)
Easy Rider, “Born to Be Wild” by Steppenwolf (opening scene)
Now, I love Nos. 7–5. I had
a poster of Lloyd’s grand romantic gesture from Say Anything
on my dorm room wall. And I dare you not to feel unbridled joy
as Muriel and Rhonda come out in their white ABBA outfits in Muriel’s Wedding. This movie
made me forever love Toni Collette
and Rachel Griffiths. Heck, let’s watch it again, just because
As for the other selections
on CNN’s list, I would have picked a scene from Wes Anderson’s
film Rushmore instead of Tenenbaums. And I would have
gone for the “Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon” Uma scene from Quentin
Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction
instead of the unfortunate Van Goghing of a victim’s ear in Reservoir
Dogs. Also, no mention of The Graduate
anywhere on this list? Didn’t that film practically pioneer the use
of popular music in movies?
To balance out the bloody and
the manly, I thought I’d add some gay, girly and (whenever possible)
gay girly selections to the list. Since CNN’s list makers seemed impressed
by showy outer death and destruction, how about some quiet inner
devastation? In Love Actually, Emma Thompson
realizing her husband is being unfaithful — set to Joni Mitchell’s “Both
Sides Now” — will break your heart, guaranteed.
To unbreak your heart (without
the help of Toni Braxton), try the sheer joy of the moment in Harold
& Maude when Maude takes to the piano for Cat Stevens’
“If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out.” When she gets up from the piano
to dance and it keeps playing, my heart definitely sings out.
For more joy tinged with absurdity
(and again featuring the unstoppable Ms. Collette), how about Olive’s
dance in Little Miss Sunshine
to Rick James‘ “Superfreak.” Oh, heavens, the giggling.
And, since I promised you a
gay girly one, too, how about more quiet devastation? When Claude (Alison
Folland) puts on Patti Smith’s “Pissing in a River,” things
get intense. You also get to see cute pink-haired punk Leisha Hailey.
(Note: some NSFW language, so beware.)
Are there others? Certainly.
The love scene between Paulie and Tori in Lost and Delirious
to Meshell Ndegeocello’s “Beautiful” is, well, beautiful.
Bill Murray karaoke-ing to Roxy Music’s “More Than This” in
Lost in Translation was a sublime snapshot of connection set to
some really bad singing. And then there are my favorite ending credits
ever, the last scene in When Night Is Falling,
set to a jubilant choir singing Leonard Cohen’s
“Hallelujah.” I cannot tell you how happy I was to see that the
little dog lived.
So, what are your favorite
songs in movies? Do you agree with CNN? Do you disagree with me? Discuss
or, better yet, sing it.