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Entries in Soundtrack (17)

Wednesday
Jun212017

Soundtracking: "Big Little Lies"

It's Chris Feil's weekly series on music in the movies, this time on one of this year's television favorites...

Did you know that Emmy added a music supervision category this year? While this may seem a bit nebulous (Emmy sure does have a heck of a lot of categories!), at least we might get some great soundtracks and song choices recognized. Consider my soundtrack column this week an FYC (among others we've written) for what must be the inaugural front-runner Big Little Lies. Emmy: did you ever want it? Did you want it bad?

The musical landscape of Monterey is packed with soul tunes both new and old, weighted with a kind of timeless, cross-generational longing that ties together the various women of its ensemble. They way these songs ache deepen our understanding of each woman’s unique pain: the angry defiance of Jane running to “Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole”, Madeline’s romantic respite in “River”, and a lyrically literal reflection of Celeste’s sexual confusion with “Victim of Love”. For the audience, music helps us draw the connections between their shared pain, what ultimately unites them all. Big Little Lies’s musical identity is as distinct as the series itself.

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Wednesday
Jun142017

Soundtracking: "The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert"

It's Pride month, so this week's installment of Chris Feil's column on music in the movies celebrates a gay classic...

I’m guessing that there’s a good amount of crossover between your Pride playlist and the soundtrack for The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. If not, get out. The song choices are veritable staples of the gay experience, a disco-inflected factory of delight.

Priscilla is one of the quintessential disco soundtracks. While younger generations may draw from more recent pop icons, disco has been an expression of queer pleasure that has lingered for decades as an integral part of gay pop culture...

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Wednesday
May312017

Soundtracking: "Sister Act"

It's the 25th anniversary of Sister Act! Here's Chris Feil with the second installment of Soundtracking, our newest series at The Film Experience, focusing on music in the movies...

Nuns having fun while singing runs! Alma, check your battery, because it’s time to take it to church!

Sister Act is about as much of an easy comfort as 90s movies get, from Whoopi Goldberg’s peak comic powers to that vibrant choral soundtrack. The film is kind of a prototype jukebox musical, recontextualizing 60s girl group soul to a vaguely christian context. “Guy” becomes “God”, traditional hymns transition into contemporary gospel, music and lyrics twisted twenty years before Pitch Perfect and Glee popularized the mash-up.

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Wednesday
May242017

Soundtracking: "American Honey"

NEW SERIES ALERT: Chris Feil will be talking soundtracks and music in movies every Wednesday! The first installment is on last year's Cannes winner American Honey:

Last year at Cannes, Andrea Arnold won her third Jury Prize for American Honey. The film follows Star (breakthrough star Sasha Lane), an Oklahoma teenager who leaves her rural life to sell magazines with a van full of forgotten youths. It’s a compassionate and condemning road movie, Arnold using music to provide a distorted reflection of the limits of the American Dream. You wouldn’t immediately think of Honey as defined by its soundtrack, but it is in so many rich ways.

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Wednesday
Mar152017

Big Little Lies MVPs: Episode 4 "Push Comes to Shove"

Editor's Note: We're passing the baton around for Big Little Lies so that we keep up. Nathaniel took episode 1 and 2, Spencer looked at episode 3. Lynn Lee takes the baton for episode 4....

Coming off the high of Episode 3, Episode 4 couldn’t help but feel like a bit of a comedown, even as it ratcheted up the multiple tensions just a wee bit more.  Feels like something’s gotta give soon, doesn’t it?  We are, after all, at series midpoint and we still don’t know who the murder victim is.  It doesn’t bother me, though, as long as we’ve got such juicy character dynamics and relationships, not to mention such fantastic actressing, to distract us...

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Monday
Mar132017

Revisiting Beauty and the Beast (1991) - Rank the songs!

By Lynn Lee

With the live-action remake of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast just around the corner, what better time to revisit the original animated masterpiece and its endlessly hummable songs?  If you saw the movie when it came out in 1991 and happened to be a bookish, musical theater-loving little girl (or boy) at the time, odds are you got the soundtrack and learned it by heart.  (I plead guilty on all counts.) 

While I have no idea what happened to my copy, every beat and lyric – by Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman, respectively – are still firmly etched into my memory.  I never saw the Broadway musical, which restored a song that had been scrapped from the movie (“Human Again”) and added several new songs by Menken and lyricist Tim Rice, but reportedly the new movie isn’t including any of the latter.  Instead it’s adding four newly new songs by Mencken and Rice.  However, fear not, fellow original Disney B&B enthusiasts: it appears that all of the Mencken-Ashman songs from the 1991 movie will be in the mix.  As Cogsworth would say, “If it’s not ba-roque, why fix it?” 

We’ll have to wait to debate the merits of the new songs but we can discuss how the original ones stack up against each other.  With the caveat that this feels a bit like picking one’s favorite kid, here’s my ranking from lowest to highest...

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