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Big Little Lies

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Entries in Soundtrack (13)

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...

Click to read more ...

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...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Nov182016

La La Land's Soundtrack and "City of Stars"

Chris here. Rejoice musical lovers - we can finally hear a full number from La La Land! The complete soundtrack drops December 9 when the film opens in limited release, so those clammoring to hear the full version of Emma Stone's potential Oscar moment "Audition" will still have to wait. We've heard a glimpse of "City of Stars" in the film's first teaser many months ago, but here is Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in full glory:

This year's Best Song race is potentially one of the most heated in many years with La La Land's tunes likely going head-to-head against Lin-Manuel Miranda's chance at EGOTing for Moana. It could make for one of the starriest lineups in some time with pop stars like Sia, Alicia Keys, and Justin Timberlake as possible performers/nominees. Let's just hope the ceremony doesn't shove off their lesser known nominees again this year!

What original songs are you rooting for?

Thursday
Oct132016

Marie Antoinette Week: The Musical Stylings of Sofia Coppola's Biopic

Editor's Note: On this very week in 1793 the Queen Consort of France Marie Antoinette (born Maria Antonia Josepha Johanna von Habsburg-Lothringen -whew) stood "trial" and was guillotined during the French Revolution. She's haunted popular culture ever since. On this very week ten years ago in 2006, Sofia Coppola's undervalued and unconventional biopic Marie Antoinette began its trip to movie theaters. We're celebrating every day at 3 PM EST for a week. Party.

Lynn Lee looks back at Marie Antoinette's (2006) controversial use of music...

First come the fast, bracing guitar chords, followed by the almost-too-on-point Gang of Four lyrics - “The problem of leisure, what to do for pleasure?” - as the opening credits roll in bright hot pink against a black background.  We catch a quick shot of a reclining Marie Antoinette (Kirsten Dunst), tasting one of an array of sumptuous cakes as she tries on a shoe and gives a saucy sideways glance into the camera as if to say “Let me eat cake.”  It’s our first tip-off that this isn’t going to be your standard historical costume drama...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
May052015

The Soundtrack of My Life

David Dastmalchian concludes his guest blog takeover with this playlist (which we've helpfully collated on Spotify for you) - you should follow him on Twitter & Instagram ! - Editor

Photograph by Braden Moran

Soundtrack of My Life
-by David Dastmalchian

I read once that memory is like film editing.  We cut and paste the sequences together in a way that make our past fit into the context of our present.  I have this strange kind of daydream that feels like a movie trailer and I’ve been doing it since I was a kid.  I look at a time in my life – or my life as a whole – and imagine it with few words but with a great deal of music.  I change the songs often and the points of focus shift from day-to-day but I will share just a few of the predominant soundtrack jams from the life and mind of, well, you know – me. 

1.  Shine on You Crazy Diamond – Pink Floyd 
My parents used to shoot super 8 films of us as kids in Kansas and my dad had them all edited together onto a DVD a few years back.  There’s no audio so you’re just sitting there watching us all blowing out candles or learning how to swim in silence. Actually, I think there was some bad Vince Guaraldi rip-off jazz that the Costco or wherever people had dubbed in.   I just popped in my Wish You Were Here and listened and watched.  Perfect music to sum up so much.

 2.  The Rainbow Connection – Jim Henson
The Muppet Movie and its effect on my life are no small secret.  I first took to a stage when I was 6 years old in Kansas so that I could strum a ukulele in my overalls and sing this song which says EVERYTHING you need to say about love and imagination.  Beautiful, man.

3. Come Together and Let it Flow – Spiritualized
These anthems of my late teens and early twenties sum up the tracking shot of a dude with blasted pupils, sitting wayyyyy back on a couch in a poster-lined apartment in Chicago and watching the wax slowly melt off the candles.  I believe that I was really trying to find some way to link up with the people around me and only inadvertently succeeded in isolating myself from them all.

4.  Goodnight, Irene – Leadbelly
And old pal of mine used to do a bang-up version of this song when he would play around Chicago – but it really strikes up an image for me of driving across the long expanse of endless highway across my Kansas homeland.   Those early memories of sitting in the back of my parents station wagon and rolling through the wheat-lined roads of the Midwest are some of my most cinematic mental images.

5. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes – The Platters
My mother had a “Golden Collection” of the Platters (one of those record sets you’d order off TV that came with special liner notes and fancy packaging) and I loved it.  We would listen to the records on the old Motorola console in our living room and I would slow dance with an imaginary woman of my dreams – I think at that time it was probably Kristy McNichol or Justine Bateman.  Or Lita Ford. 

6.  Simple Twist of Fate – Bob Dylan AND Joan Baez have versions of this classic jam that sum up the quick cuts of my early 20’s when I was hitch-hiking and riding Greyhound busses from Seattle to Asheville and trying to find my way back to Alaska while riding out the decade-long trip of simpleadventure and recklessness that was starting to ramp up in speed and severity, which leads to…. 

7.   Stuck on You (Failure)
One of those songs that plays perfectly in the long, spiraling overhead crane shot as it comes down to face a guy who thought he knew what he was getting into and didn’t realize until it was too late that he was in way, way, way too deep over his head.

8.  Some transition jams -  Drowning in the Sea of Love (Joe Simon),  Twin Cinema (New Pornographers), Wraith Pinned to the Mist (Of Montreal), Wave of Mutilation (Pixies) and the rising climax leads us to the beautiful moment of finding true love and a family and dancing in the grass to In the Aeroplane Over the Sea (Neutral Milk Hotel).

9.  Which leads to that final deathbed moment.  It’s a beautiful song but sad – but shouldn’t it be sad?  It’s okay for deathbeds to be somber.  I don’t want a marching band playing “Oh When the Saints” – I want all my loved ones crying and lamenting that we won’t be having any more adventures… for a while at least.   Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd) Yes, that IS two Pink Floyd songs on my trailer track list – so sue me.  It’s my guest blog and I can do what I want. 

And now I leave you with this – the trailer for our upcoming release, ANIMALS, which will be in theaters and on VOD on 5.15.15.  For details on where you can see the film, please visit www.animalsthefilm.com   And if you love the song as much as we do, it’s from a band called “Lavendar Diamond”.  Go find and buy all of their beautiful music here:  www.lavenderdiamond.net 

Thanks for reading and THANKS to Nathaniel for letting me sit in the driver’s seat for a day.  It was a lot of fun and I hope you didn’t get too many unsubscribes during my brief tenure.  Now… back to your regularly scheduled programming!

Previously
David What?, What I Learned From Paul Rudd, Films I Love, and Inefficient Filmmakers Guide 

Sunday
Apr262015

Happy Birthday, Giorgio Moroder

Tim here. Today's the 75th birthday of Giorgio Moroder, pioneering electronic-dance-pop mastermind, and winner of four Grammys. But this being a film site, what we're interested in is his work in movie scoring, for which he won three Oscars. And what stellar work it is!

Moroder's soundtracks - and even more than that, his songs - are absolutely definitive. Any child of the '70s or '80s can't help but associate Moroder's compositions with a certain kind of glossy, high-concept spectacle. Moroder's sleek, borderline-campy music brought pop-art grandeur to everything from the political drama Midnight Express (his Best Score Oscar) to the smutty musical Flashdance and from the kitschy Superman III to the sparkling black fantasy The NeverEnding Story. His compositions for these films are the opposite of timeless; they are emphatically and proudly mired in a specific period of pop culture history.

But for the same reason, his scores and songs are the best imaginable fit for the giddy, playfully shallow cinema of that decade, bringing the energy and dazzle of the first years of the Blockbuster Era to life with style and flair whose period-specific artificiality is their greatest strength, not any kind of weakness. But let's allow the man's music to speak for itself. Here are my three personal favorite from his 80s soundscapes.

From Cat People (1982): "Cat People (Putting Out Fire)", later used to magnificent effect in Inglourious Basterds

From Flashdance (1983): "Flashdance... What a Feeling" (his second Oscar, the first for Best Song)

From Top Gun (1986): "Danger Zone" (he won his third Oscar for "Take My Breath Away" from the same movie)

What are your favorite Moroder film scores and songs?

Saturday
Oct182014

Links: Monty, Misty, Michael, More...

Gurus of Gold The new charts. Yes, I need to update the Oscar charts. I'll get started tomorrow!
The Black Maria for his 94th birthday - "Montgomery Clift: The Lost Poet of Omaha"
Serpentine Magazine Pretty Boys & Pathos: The Men of Classic Hollywood
To Be Continued Keith Uhlich on the single takes in American Horror Story, Birdman and Gone Girl
Guardian Scarlett Johansson to star in a live action remake of animated classic Ghost in the Shell 
In Contention let's give Michael Keaton the Oscar

LAFCA will honor Gena Rowlands with their career achievement award this January
CHUD has very mixed feelings on The Book of Life but h-a-t-e-s the soundtrack
The Wrap Actress Misty Upham (Frozen River, August: Osage County) found dead. Initial reports suggest suicide but...
Juliette Lewis (and others who knew her) don't fully believe it and are demanding an investigation
Words & Film thinks St. Vincent is being misrepresented with that dismissive "weepie" brush. But what's wrong with a weepie? 
Deadline Black and White with Kevin Costner & Octavia Spencer to get an Oscar qualifying run
Zap 2 It has a cool feature on three of the freak in American Horror Story: Freakshow 
NPR on Dear White People 

Just 4 Fun
Pointer Pointer another perfect internet time waster
Vulture Anne Rice, Amazon Reviewer