Playlist: Movie-Music Synchronicity

by Maddie Farr ’18 and Meg Sklut ’18

This is playlist for your eyes and ears. (Or, scenes from film in which the music played perfectly matches the visuals/themes.) The following songs were featured on Shut Up & Listen w/ Meg & Maddie on Feb. 1.

Maddie’s Picks:

“Happy” – Mazzy Star (from Down in the Valley)

Anything by Mazzy Star is always fuzzy-romantic-lovely poetry, and thus their song “Happy” functions perfectly in this fuzzy-romantic-lovely scene in Down in the Valley. I especially love this song-scene combination because it highlights the quiet beauty of the moment, which — as the film progresses — quickly fades. This scene, which deals with the relationship between a 17-year-old (Evan Rachel Wood) and a man twice her age (Edward Norton) is the last moment in the film in which reality is suspended and romance feels natural. Without it, their relationship would make no sense.

“Modern Love” – David Bowie (from Frances Ha)

Frances Ha is one of my favorite movies, and this scene is so important to its plot/character development, but it is also just as beautiful out of context. Frances’s (Greta Gerwig) joy is palpable as she dances through the city streets, which are usually bleak but suddenly appear full of life. David Bowie plays like he’s in her head, and like he’s the next song that came on her iPod and she can’t help but dance along.

“Then He Kissed Me” – The Crystals (from Adventures in Babysitting)

Few scenes in film have so accurately portrayed my life/emotions as the opening scene of Adventures in Babysitting (1987). While getting dressed for an anniversary date with her boyfriend, Chris Parker (Elizabeth Shue) dances around her room to this dreamy classic, singing into her hairbrush and kissing his picture. Her joy — while temporary (not a spoiler) — is overwhelmingly relatable and contagious.

Meg’s Picks: 

“Haunted When The Minutes Drag” – Love and Rockets (from The Guest)

Did you know I’m obsessed with The Guest?? The answer is YES because I cannot stop talking about it. One of my favorite scenes in the movie is when Anna (Maika Monroe) listens to a CD that she has made for David (Dan Stevens, swoon). First of all, CDs are now semi-retro which is a little depressing but I liked that Anna wasn’t playing the music with her iPod or iPhone. The scene shows Anna lying in bed, fantasizing about David, but then the camera pans to David starring hauntingly out the window. “Haunted When The Minutes Drag” perfectly mirrors the combination of lust and straight-up creepiness.

“Misirlou” – Dick Dale (from Pulp Fiction)

No, this is not “Pump It” by The Black Eyed Peas. I remember first watching this scene and my jaw just dropped. It is such a perfect opener to this film and the absurdity that entails.

“The End” – The Doors (from Apocalypse Now)

I think this is the best opening scene of a film I have ever seen, and I have seen many films. “The End” is pretty mellow in comparison to the insane explosions going on in this scene, and both the music and the visuals complement each other perfectly. Apocalypse Now is so revolutionary as a film and the soundtrack fits the film’s insanity.

Honorable Mentions: “America” – Simon & Garfunkel (Almost Famous), “Kissing You” – Des’ree (Romeo + Juliet), “Where is my Mind?” – Pixies (Fight Club), “Both Sides Now” – Joni Mitchell (Love Actually), “In Your Eyes” – Peter Gabriel (Say Anything), “Cuckoo!” – London Children’s Choir (Moonrise Kingdom), “The Obvious Child” – Paul Simon (Obvious Child), “Tell Me” – The Rolling Stones (Mean Streets), “Singing in the Rain” – Gene Kelly (A Clockwork Orange), “Girl You’ll Be a Woman Soon” – Urge Overkill (Pulp Fiction), “Hip To Be Square” – Huey Lewis & The News (American Psycho).

Listen to Shut Up & Listen w/ Meg and Maddie on Sundays from 4 to 5 p.m.