October’s mix has arrived. It is actually September’s mix, but because of TIFF and summer business it ended up delayed. That said, it’s inspired by TIFF, in that it is soundtrack themed. Growing up, I discovered a lot of music through the use of specific songs in movies. These are some of my absolute favorite music moments in film. There’s nothing I love better than a well placed song in a great movie – the combination of my two favorite things.
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Elton John – Tiny Dancer (Almost Famous) Cameron Crowe is one of my biggest inspirations. This movie is directly responsible for the direction my life has taken. “You are home.”
Stealer’s Wheel – Stuck In the Middle With You (Reservoir Dogs) Because Quentin Tarantino is one of the most reliable directors when it comes to using pop music effectively in film.
Iggy Pop – Lust For Life (Trainspotting) The entire soundtrack is incredible.
Moldy Peaches – Anyone Else But You (Juno) I know a lot of people ended up hating this movie, but according to my family, I was Juno in high school (minus the pregnancy) so of course I loved it. This song is the perfect depiction of being young and in love.
The Beta Band – Dry the Rain (High Fidelity) And this movie was directly responsible for my obsession with vinyl. (I saw the movie before I ever read the book, of course). “That is perverse, don’t tell anybody you don’t own Blonde on Blonde, it’s gonna be okay.” <3
Simon & Garfunkel – Mrs. Robinson (The Graduate) Really can’t do this mix without it.
Cat Stevens – The Wind (Rushmore) Wes Anderson is my musical soulmate, by all accounts. It was incredibly hard to limit myself to one song from one movie of his, but I knew I had to go with something from Rushmore as it is still his best/my favorite, and the use of this song finally got me to pick up my dad’s Cat Stevens records.
Elliott Smith – Miss Misery (Good Will Hunting) Speaking of hard, I almost put the scene with “Needle In The Hay” from The Royal Tenenbaums as my Elliott/Wes choice, and debated his gorgeous cover of The Beatles “Because” from American Beauty for a while as well, but Good Will Hunting was where I first discovered Elliott’s music as a very sad pre-teen, so it won out. It was the first time in my young life I remember staying for the whole credits just so I could see what the song playing was. “Tell him I had to go see about a girl” remains one of my favorite lines in any movie.
Gary Jules – Mad World (Donnie Darko) Was everyone else as obsessed with this movie as much as my friends and I were in high school? We were weird, though.
The Pixies – Where is My Mind (Fight Club) This has to be the most overused song in soundtrack history, but Fight Club wins for using it in the most epic and memorable way. “Trust me, everything’s gonna be fine.”
Shelley Duvall – He Needs Me (Punch Drunk Love) Taking a song from a goofy movie like Popeye, and using it in such a perfect, psychotic way (in a better movie) is part of the reason why Paul Thomas Anderson is the best at what he does.
Marvin Gaye – I Heard It Through the Grapevine (The Big Chill) This might be my favorite film from the 80s, and the entire soundtrack is gold, but the kitchen dancing scene to Marvin is the most memorable.
Derek and the Dominos – Layla (Goodfellas) Scorsese is the master of using epic songs in epic ways (all the other directors here learned from him), and this horrific murder montage is a part of the reason I think Goodfellas is the best mob film of all time – The Godfather doesn’t even come close.
Public Enemy – Fight the Power (Do the Right Thing) Obviously. In truth, Spike’s use of “Baba O’Riley” in Son of Sam is my favorite music scene of his (I love a good montage more than anything) but if there’s one song that defines an entire film, it’s this one.