Well this is what it comes down to. It’s unlikely that you agree with all my choices and there are plenty I’m sure I haven’t included (I have yet to see Wayne’s World)but these are my 5 all time favourite musical film moments. The ones that have the power to change your mood in a split second, evoke childhood memories or simply remind you that with great music and great film the world is a far more richer, expressive and enjoyable experience.
5. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Stepmom – Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
The version with Diana Ross is just awful, whereas this one has got all the soul and sassiness to make me get up dance every time and often this is just at home. If I were to do karaoke it would have to be this song for its sheer ‘got-to-belt-it-out’ quality. These scenes (it features in two) also remind you of the power of music to connect people. They’re all about letting go, living life to the full while you have the chance and most of all having fun and in light of some upsetting news that my family received today this sentiment is all the more significant. I am totally gonna’ sing in the mirror with my hairbrush and dressed in PJ’s tonight whilst I have the chance.
4. Tiny Dancer – Almost Famous – Elton John
This is the sort of film that stirs up the sentimentalist in me. An era when music meant something and being young and hip and free was all that mattered. Such a bittersweet and nostalgic scene, perfectly encapsulated by one Elton’s best songs and another scene which reiterates the notion that great music can bring people together. Plus I love it in the movies when characters sing along too.
3. Don’t Dream Its Over – Adventureland – Crowded House
One of my all time favourite songs; it reminds me of summer and just kicking back and relaxing. I had the pleasure of seeing Crowded House live at IOW festival 2010 and the atmosphere when this song was playing was every bit as good as I had imagined. The film Adventureland and this scene, especially with the fireworks captures the song’s sense of youth, hope and freedom. Just listening to this song; the opening bass of the guitar, the ‘Hey Now…Hey Now’ reassures me and Adventureland, with its whimisical style and heartening yet somewhat poignant ambience suits it perfectly.
2. Twist and Shout – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – The Beatles
One of those 80’s American teen coming-of-age movies that Easy A’ echoes, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is perhaps best remembered for this scene. And rightly so. It is the epitome of cool. I absolutely love it when the people appear at the top of steps, practically gliding and then of course there’s Matthew Broderick with his first-rate twisting action. If only streets of people spontaneously danced to songs nowadays, the world would be a much happier place. “Well shake it up baby now…”
AND NOW FOR NUMBER ONE…DRUM ROLL PLEASE…
1. Streets of Philadelphia – Philadelphia – Bruce Springsteen
Not the original scene from the film, but a montage of clips accompanied by the song. I remember it in the film being played when Tom Hanks as Andrew Beckett is surrounded by people and just looks achingly lost and alientaed. It’s hard to put into words what this song means to me; it has no significant association with a particular person or event but it just has a resonance, the genius of Bruce Springsteen perhaps. The film is very sentimental, but its also important in the topic it explores and how it aims to dispel the injustice and stigma attached to those with AIDS and the poignancy of this song just reinforces that message. To me, it’s a song with incredible depth about the human condition and every time it blows me away with how full of beauty and sadness it is. That’s why it’s my number one. Now excuse me whilst I have a listen to ‘Knock On Wood’ and dry my eyes…
Thank you for reading!