Lets face it, the split-second scenes that make you jump out of your seat won't make you jump near as far if there is no musical buildup. I think of the movie Jaws for example. You would never know when that shark attack was coming and without hearing "duh-du, duh-du, DUH-DU, DUH-DU" you might just miss the whole thing! And how touching are those tears without an orchestra sweeping you down into the depths of sorrow after losing a loved one. It's these moments that make music so important to a movies story. And at this point, if you are still wanting to disagree with me, think about what silent movies were like. ALL YOU HAD WAS THE MUSIC!
So in this post, I want to share with you some great songs that played a major role in some of the movies I've seen recently. Not only that, all of the songs I am going to share are songs from artists that I had never heard of before watching the movie! That's another great thing about movies, you get introduced to some great music artists! Take a gander at my song list below from some good movies from the past few years. These songs provided a huge contribution to the movies storyline.
Elizabethtown - 48min
Elizabethtown starring Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst starts off as a very slow and depressing movie. The first half hour centers around both failure and death, which is not a very good combination. Once you are half way through the first hour you find yourself thinking why is this movie so confusingly awkward and sad and what's the purpose and direction for the main character? But then, a budding relationship starts progressing after an uncomfortable encounter with a flight attendant and your attention starts to awaken. The main character calls the flight attendant desperately looking for someone to talk to that is not connected to his uncontrollably depressing life. And then, the phone call ignites into an engaging "emotion-altering" conversation that creates a complete shift in the movie. Hope and happiness is restored as the two characters talk for hours into the night and proceed until daylight while talking about life and its many experiences and observations. Half-way through this scene as you begin to notice that a definite connection is made, the song "Come Pick Me Up" by Ryan Adams fades in. As the song hits the chorus, the dialogue from the movie is muted and you are just listening to the song as they continue their conversation while observing the positive body language. The song restores a positive hope for the audience as the scene plays out.
Charlie St. Cloud - 54 min
Say all you want about child star Zac Efron, but I think he has undoubtedly turned into a really good actor. One of his recent starring roles comes from the lesser known movie "Charlie St. Cloud". This movie follows a familiar plot of a guy that seemingly has it all, but one tragic incident later keeps him from pursuing his dreams and ultimately giving up one of his life's passions. After this incident, the audience is left wondering when this passion will be renewed and what will eventually be the spark it? If you guessed "A Female Love Interest", then you are absolutely right. Charlie St. Cloud meets a girl that reinvigorates his passion for life and restores his self-confidence and self-worth. The relationship takes a full turn after their first date is cut short and Charlie ends up running after her. The next scene shows the two engaging in a round of hide-n-seek in a cemetery as the characters let go of their inhibitions and worries and the Pink Mountaintops play in the background. It may sound odd reading on paper, but trust me it fits.
500 Days of Summer - 1hr 29min
And (Part 1) of my movie list comes to a close with Mumm-Ra's "She's Got You High". Why you ask? Because this song plays as the credits begin to roll at the end of the movie "500 Days of Summer". And your next question may be, how could a song that rolls during the credits help to provide any emotion or feeling to the movie itself? And I would say "Because!" this is one of those movies that ends in such an unexpected fashion that it just leaves you in stunned silence as the credits begin, but in a good way. The movie builds you up for a natural happy ending that never happens. But during the last 10 seconds, something happens that changes your outlook of the entire movie and leaves you happy and smiling. And then "Viola!", Mumm-Ra plays and it just leaves you feeling good. So much so, you actually want to sit there and watch the credits as you listen to the song and deconstruct the entire movie over again in your head.
Check out these three songs by listening to the song widgets above.
Also, read part two of "Music Makes the Movie" by clicking the following link:
Music Makes the Movie - Discover a New Sound (Part 2)