May it be a pop song, a classical tune or a film score, the appropriate use of music in a movie can elevate an ordinary scene into something memorable and a good scene into a great one. When it happens, it’s as if the scene and the song were meant to be brought together. The question of the week is: What are your favorite use of music in movies? I realize it’s tough to choose from the hundreds of scenes and montage you like so keep them coming!
For me, the most powerful combination of music and imagery I have had the chance to see on screen is the “Promentory” sequence at the end of The Last of the Mohicans. Watching Alice look back at Magua and then jump to her death is absolutely gut-wrenching. I don’t think anything has ever come close in terms of emotional climax, choreography, music and visuals. And the tune itself is simply a classic, addictive and magnificent.
More recently, I was also blown away by Terrence Malick’s use of music in The Tree of Life. If you have seen the film, you know that the first half hour is quite unconventional so I wasn’t quite sure what I was watching until Jack was born and there was a montage to the tune of Smetana Die Moldau (video on the right) with him joyfully running around his parents in the yard.
Mentions must also be made of Zbigniew Preisner’s Lacrimosa used in the birth of the universe sequence and Couperin’s Les Barricades Mysterieuses in a wonderful scene as father and son play the song together. The Tree of Life is really a case where the combination of Malick’s dreamy visuals and the music sold the film to me.
Others recent ones I would mention off the top of my head: In Blue Valentine, Ryan Gosling tells Michelle Williams about how he wants a song just for them, something that no one else has. Penny & The Quarters’ “You & Me” was a brilliantly heartbreaking choice. I also thought Nick Cave’s “O Children” in Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 1 was a beautifully unexpected use of a pop song and although the scene isn’t in the book, it managed to convey boatloads about this wonderful friendship between Harry and Hermione.
There you have it, it’s your turn! As a reminder, this isn’t about soundtracks but particular songs and scenes. What are your favorite use of music in movies? Let it be known in the comments!
The question of the week is an opportunity for you to open up and reveal more about yourself and your movie taste. Have a question you would like us and the readers to answer? Don’t hesitate to Email Me