In this scene, Sparkle Motion performs onstage while, miles away, Donnie Darko (Jake Gyllenhaal) burns down the house of creepy motivational speaker, Jim Cunningham (Patrick Swayze). Playing throughout this scene: Duran Duran’s “Notorious.”
With the passing of Chuck Berry, today’s musical sequence of the day is a bit of a no-brainer. This scene, from 1994’s Pulp Fiction, is already one of my favorite dance scenes and, today, it takes on a special poignance.
It’s funny. Whenever there’s a montage of classic dance scenes, we always get at least a few seconds of John Travolta and Uma Thurman dancing at Jack Rabbits Slim. In fact, I’ve seen this dance featured in so many montages that it’s easy to forget which song they were originally dancing to. I’ve seen this scene scored with everything from Sinatra to punk to Britney Spears to EDM. And, every time, it’s worked beautifully.
But really, “You Never Can Tell” is the perfect song for this scene. Pulp Fiction is so many thing that I think people sometimes forget that, at heart, it’s truly a celebration of Americana. Seeing John Travolta and Uma Thurman dancing to Chuck Berry serves to remind us of this fact.
(If you’re looking for the usual music video of the day, fear not! Val is currently having some internet issues but, as soon as their resolved, both she and the music videos should be back! Until then, I’m filling with some of my favorite cinematic musical sequences!)
For today’s musical sequence of the day, we have “Agony” from the 2014 film, Into The Woods.
Into the Woods got some notably mixed reviews when it was first released. At the time it was released, I wrote that, while I liked it “I never loved Into the Woods like I thought I would.” In retrospect, I think the film may have been the victim of a combination of my own high expectations and my tendency to be a snob when it comes to cinematic adaptations of Broadway musicals. I recently rewatched Into The Woods and it actually holds up remarkably well.
Definitely one of the highlights of the film was Chris Pine and Billy Magnussen’s duet on “Agony.” Both Pine and Magnussen were perfectly cast as fairy tale princes and “Agony” is a beautiful satire of melodramatic excess. When I first saw the film at the Alamo Drafthouse, “Agony” was the one number that inspired people in the audience to applaud.
This is a day that is very important to several of the writers here at the Shattered Lens. It’s a day in which we celebrate all things Irish and that means a lot more than just wearing green. (That said, I did buy green lingerie specifically for today because, seriously, when would I ever turn down a chance to buy lingerie?)
For today’s musical sequence of the day, I’m happy to present one of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite Irish films, 2006’s Once. Prepare to wipe away a tear as Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova perform “Falling Slowly.”
And what better way to start things off than with the Head Over Heels scene from 2001’s Donnie Darko. Directed by Richard Kelly, this scene not only makes brilliant use of the Tears For Fears song, Head Over Heels, but it also manages to introduce every character and set up almost every important relationship in the film.
It’s brilliant but I always find myself wondering what Drew Barrymore had against Sparkle Motion.
Down here in Dallas, we celebrate Texas Independence Day by going down to Dealy Plaza and laughing at all the northern tourists sweating and talking about how they’re about to faint because they can’t handle a 75 degreee day.
But, if that sounds a little bit too mean-spirited to you, you can celebrate by watching my favorite scene from Richard Linklater’s Bernie! I know that I’ve probably shared this before but what can I say? I really love this quick lesson about my home state:
By the way, that line about “Dallas snobs,” always got a big laugh from the audiences at the Dallas Angelika. It’s important to have a sense of humor.
Don’t worry, Vermont. You’ll learn how to laugh at yourself someday.