||DANCING ABOUT ARCHITECTURE: Movies that rock
by Marc “Moose” Moder
This article shared 3935 times since Wed Nov 21, 2012
Between my three jobs I don't get out to the movies very much. However sometimes those rare spare nights pop up when I can break away to the cinema and that just-right film is on the marquee. This last time it was the joyous Pitch Perfect. A seeming Glee rip-off, it's much bawdier, thoughtful and far better written. And like Glee, its actors are about 10 years too old to play college kids. I digress. Pitch Perfect was just that and more. Really got my blood pumping to dig into my library for more movies that are fully driven by pop music. Not really musicals in the traditional sense, but ones where the soundtrack is the real star.
While my first big love was Grease with Olivia Newton John Travolta, 1982's Pink Floyd The Wall turned me from boy to man in two hours. The trippy rock-driven tale of mental illness and addiction is apparently a must for stoners, but I've seen it over 50 times with no much more than a glass of Pinot Noir. Director Alan Parker (Evita, Angel Heart) has a way with mood and music like no one else. Mind. Blown.
Need to sober up a bit? Grace Of My Heart, the Illeana Douglas/Matt Dillon vehicle from 1996 is a rock film even your mother will love. Uniquely telling about 15 different real rock stories by combining them into a small number of characters and combining details, "Grace" tells you the story of music from the dawn of rock to the mid '70s through the lives of "Denise Waverly" and her loves; at times the film dsiplays hints of Carole King, Brian Wilson, Phil Spector, Leslie Gore and Dusty Springfield all rolled into one seamless story of triumph.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, trashed by critics in 1997, is Spice World, the star-studded film depicting five days in the hectic, glamour-filled lives of the British pop quintet. Elton John, Bob Geldof and Elvis Costello all have cameo roles, with Meat Loaf as the Spice Girls' bus driver.
Finally, if I have to recommend one movie that rocks (outside of seeing Pitch Perfect) it would have to be the 1984 masterpiece, Purple Rain. Prince's semiautobiographical film debut perfectly blends an actually perfect score into a story of love, jealousy, ambition and family, creating a movie that truly rocks without being an actual musical. Before Purple Rain, most films either played music over the movie or had characters breakingsometimes oddlyinto song. Purple Rain was one of the first films to have music be part of the plot, performed live while also forwarding the storyline through the characters' developing songwriting, which reflected his ups and down in life. This contemporary approach to rock in the movies forever influenced how music was used in movies and forever raised the bar on movies that rock.
This article shared 3935 times since Wed Nov 21, 2012
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