And then there’s Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia. Von Trier is always going to be controversial filmmaker but no one has ever matched his brilliance when it came to capturing the end of existence. In Melancholia, a depressed woman (played in a revelatory performance by Kristen Dunst) finds unexpected strength in the end of the world. As can be seen in the scene below, it’s a beautifully sad film, one that ends on a note of triumphant apocalypse:
Now, I know that a lot of people will tell you that Friday the 13th is the most unlucky day of the year but actually, in Spain, it is well know that Tuesday the 13th is the day that you have to watch out for. My grandmother would literally not leave the house on Tuesday the 13th. Myself, I may leave the house today but I’ll drive very slowly and I’ll watch my step.
Now, personally, I think the best way to deal with an unlucky day is through dance! So, allow me to bless you with a dance scene that I love.
This is from David Lynch’s 2006 film, Inland Empire. Inland Empire, which clocks in at 3 hours, is perhaps Lynch’s most unsettling film. However, it does feature a little dancing, as seen below:
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.”