Sunday, 4 March 2012

The Other 50 Best Uses of Songs In Movies (Part 2 of 5)

I posted Part One of the Other 50 Best Uses of Songs In Movies the other day, and now it's time for Part Two. Because it was meant to be up quite a bit earlier, I have packed this one with some of the very best in movie music. Work has kept me tied up, but lets hope I can get Part Three out soon. Oh, and do watch Part One before hitting the jump...

1. Princess (2006, Anders Morgenthaler)
No Regrets by Edith Piaf

This scene was so good, it elevated an otherwise average movie to something quite brilliant. To be fully appreciated however, it should really be seen in the context of the film as a whole. It also brings forth one the more interesting bits of random trivia. Listen carefully to the music. Remind you of anything? It's the song by Edith Piaf used by the crew in Inception to signal a "kick" to the next dream level. Not only that, but the song forms the basis of the entire Hans Zimmer composed soundtrack. Genius I say.
2. Machete (2010, Robert Rodriguez)

Ave Maria by Chingon

Oh my, when it comes to inappropriate use of religious music few can come close to Robert Rodriguez in Machete. And it works so bloody well. Easily the best scene of the movie.

3. World's Greatest Dad (2009, Bobcat Goldthwaite)
Under Pressure by Queen

The most perfect final scene in a brilliant and criminally under seen comedy. Queen's Under Pressure is just the most suitable accompaniment to which Robin Williams finally unleashes his frustrations. What's more, this song comes completely out of the blue. I did not expect such a big name number to appear in a small movie like this, but the choice couldn't be better. I should also add that the film contains a number of other superb soundtrack moments, but this one takes the cake.

4. Antichrist (2009, Lars Von Trier)
Lascia ch'io Piangia composed by George Frideric Handel

Oi, I have not embedded this one because IT IS NOT SAFE FOR WORK. It is perhaps the most unsafe for work clip you will ever see on this blog. However, it is also one of the most beautiful and affecting opening scenes ever (but for the short bit bordering on hard core porn). Click on this link to see it, and DON'T SAY I NEVER WARNED YOU! It does need to be seen though.

5. Zombieland (2009, Ruben Fleischer)

For Whom The Bell Tolls by Metallica

This could just be the movie with the best opening credits ever (even though David Fincher's The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo gives it a run for its money). It's in beautiful slow motion, set to one of the best songs ever, and it reveals such vivid truths. I mean, look at the guy running from the stripper zombie: he still has his drink in his hand!

6. The Big Lebowski (1998, Coen Brothers)
Hotel California by The Gypsy Kings

Another scene in this film made the original Time Out list on which this series of posts is based, but after watching this classic again the other night, I need to give credit to the one below. The song is terrific (it's been on my iPod for years). So terrific in fact, that I think Steve Hofmeyr should do an Afrikaans cover version as well. But the way the Coen Brothers have incorporated it is too awesome for words. Click here because I cannot embed it.

7. Drive (2011, Nicolas Winding Refn)
Oh My Love by Riz Ortolani and Katina Ranieri

A very recent addition, few would argue that this was not one of last year's greatest sequences. Watch it and remember. More interesting trivia? The song is composed by Riz Ortolani, who also composed the music in Cannibal Holocaust, one of the most reviled and widely banned films of all time. He is one of the original "juxtapositioners" of horrors on screen with beauty on the ears.

8. 127 Hours (2010, Danny Boyle)
Lovely Day by Bill Withers

Danny Boyle is a legend when it comes to use of music in his films, and I promise that this will not be the last time you see him on this list. 127 Hours is no exception, and my favourite song of all is this one. So horrible and ironic. Now, every time I get thirsty my ears are flooded with the music of Bill Withers. Oh, and because he is so brilliant, click here to see another scene from the film as an honourable mention.

9. True Romance (1993, Tony Scott)
Outshined by Soundgarden

Brad Pitt proves himself to be one of the greatest movie stoners of all time. It really is between him and The Dude. This is also one of my favourite songs, and a near perfect scene. Interesting trivia number 3. According to IMDB: as a temporary music track, Film Editor Tony Ciccone put "Outshined" by Soundgarden in the scene where stoner Brad Pitt gives directions to the henchman. The result was such a hit at test screenings that a good portion of the music budget went for obtaining rights to use the hit song in the final film.

10. The King's Speech (2010, Tom Hooper) and Irreversible (2002, Gaspar Noe)
7th Symphony, 2nd Movement by Ludwig Van Beethoven

Ah, good old "Ludwig Van". Here is the perfect example of just how versatile his music can be. See his 7th Symphony being put to spectacular use in the final scenes of perhaps two of the most diametrically opposed films ever: Tom Hooper's Oscar-winning pudding The King's Speech and Gaspar Noe's infamous and horrifying cult classic Irreversible. I cannot embed the latter, so be sure to click here to experience it.

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