Since I can remember I have always been fascinated with the soundtracks of movies and TV shows. In my head when I watch movies I take in the song that was chosen for that scene and try and think of something else that could make that moment magical. Music in film isn’t there to just fill in background noise, it has a purpose, and that purpose is to get the audience more engaged with the story and also attach to the film, or scene, like it was their own.
In 2012 I went back to uni and I studied entertainment business management because I made music my life. I went into the coarse with an open mind to what part of the industry I wanted to work in. Within three month of being there it was clear to me that soundtracks were my everything. The way I analysed the film I watched through the music that was played for each scene made it obvious that is my dream. So, I set my eyes on focusing on music supervision, music licensing and even copyright law. It was perfect! Unfortunately I have not yet gotten myself into the industry due to the fact I found myself quite happy with the hospitality job I am currently in and decided to give myself a couple of years more of hospitality before I leave it behind and venture on. Before I decided that I did my research and contacted supervisors in America, one offered me an internship, that I had to turn down due to finances. I also interned at a record label for a few months learning about the licensing of music from the record label side, which I loved, and I also interned for a few months at a small music licensing company who collect for a catalogue of music to license out to advertising companies, films, TV and internet. I wish I was still able to intern there but unfortunately due to conflicting schedules, leaving me with no time ever, I had to leave. But those experiences and researching made me so excited to jump into that side of business. Until I find my way in the industry, I’m giving myself until the end of year for hospitality, I have my enjoyment (and analytical moments) of movies and soundtracks.
Here is a list of MY favourite movie moments the music was spot on. These are based on my emotions and connections to these scenes.
1. ALMOST FAMOUS – Tiny Dancer
As cliche as it is, the bus scene in Almost Famous is one of the best movie moments involving music. Not just because for my whole life i’ve wanted a moment like that where a mass sing-a-long plays out, but it shows that music brings people together. The whole band/crew were mad, hating on each other, pressured by their rise in fame but for that one moment they were united and realised that they are family, family fight but they make up.
2. IMMORTAL BELOVED – Moonlight Sonata
Not many people have heard of this movie, but it has become one of my favourites. The movie is based on Beethoven’s famous letter to his Immortal Beloved, who in the movie is revealed, but remains a mystery throughout time. It is a fantastic film and Gary Oldman’s portrayal of Beethoven is simply amazing. This scene here is one of my favourites ever and brings tears to my eyes every time because of how beautiful that piece of music is and also shows that music itself without words mean so much. Another favourite scene is towards the end of the film when Beethoven plays his last show with Ode To Joy as his whole life flashes before his eyes… AMAZING!
3. SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED – Big Machine
This movie is so underrated and this scene is just wow! A moment where the build up of Darius and Kenneth relationship finally bring them to kiss makes you believe in soul mates. Two people who have suffered loss and tragedy come together and help each other heal and this song, that is scripted in the movie as a song that Kenneth wrote for a girl he is going back in time to save, makes so much sense on an emotional level for this film.
4. JUNO – Sea of Love
This acoustic version of Sea of Love, covered by Cat Power, made perfect for the ending moments to the amazing journey of teen pregnancy/adoption. Juno and Bleaker were brought together, Juno also came to the end of her emotional roller coaster ride of selflessness and Vanessa got the one thing in this world she wanted more than anything, a baby. Cat Powers simple, yet powerful cover of Sea of Love made that connection from viewer to film so much emotional.
5. KILL BILL – Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)
This song means everything when it comes to fitting music in films, Tarantino perfects this and I think it is because of his way of writing films and most scenes are inspired by music he likes. He is a genius. Although this song hasn’t really got a scene to it, using it as an opening song to Kill Bill set the movie in a direction of no fault. It fit perfectly to the script of the film and the choice was dark and twangy and completely Tarantino, it’s like his signature.
6. BRIDGET JONES’ DIARY – All By Myself
Another film setting song and one that is so amusing, and one I have admitingly have played out in my living room at home once… or twice before, just call me Bridget Jones. But it is a song so appropriate for painting the picture of the character as a hopeless romantic/funny awkward girl loving for love. It doesn’t always have to be all romance and non-comical moments in this list.
7. SISTER ACT 2 – Oh Happy Days
Oh the chills I get when I watch this childhood favourite! I love this scene because it is a confidence builder, choice of song fits as it is gospel. Whenever I watched this movie I wanted to be sent to a school that had a gospel choir!
8. THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER – Heroes
“I feel infinite”
This scene means everything to this fantastic film. A moment where Charlie ‘s past is shadowed by his new friendships with Sam and Patrick. A moment where he feels as if he fits in and isn’t tainted by his past. A moment that shows how songs can make a moment so magical, like standing in the back of a pick up truck as it is driven through a tunnel. A whole new feeling.
What are your favourite movie moments where the song was spot on and made that connection so much more special?