Okay, so I bought the New Moon soundtrack, ’cause hey! Death Cab, Muse, Thom Yorke, The Killers, OK Go? That overpowered even my intense hatred of the books and overwhelming boredom with 98% of each movie. But now this is getting ridiculous. Here’s most of the band list for Twilight: Eclipse‘s soundtrack:
It’s time to bark it’s time to fuck it’s time to
We’ve got the time we’ve got the gas now let’s go
have a weekend
Remember when you took my virginity where’d you put it I’ve got a
formal to go to
Air beds squeak and bounce and toss you off, not much fun unless there’s a
friend to hold onto
Chinatown’s no fun without you
All those family portions with
Nothing but strangers to pass them to
It’s time to sulk it’s time to brood it’s time to
I’ve got no time I’ve got no car so guess
I’m staying in
I hold the hand of mannequins now I get odd looks
at the mall
Cuz you’re not there where I wish you where
I wish you to be
This is how I forget you
Or at least how I planned to
But a dream of you still sits
typing on the laptop I wish I was in my brain
This is how I’ll forget you
Make a painting of a fake you
Build a dream of you to hold
that’s nicer, neater, sweeter and altogether more sane
Vieux Carre‘s no fun without you
All that sarcasm and
Nothing but strangers to give it to
It’s time to pack it’s time to move it’s time to
I booked a flight, made reservations
to stay in your head
And when I get there, I won’t ever, ever leave
I’ll paint a portrait of the real you
Use shades to cover up my orange naive
Use every color in the book but that rhapsody hue
Remember when I broke my pride where’re the pieces you’ve got some
love to glue it to
Air beds squeak and bounce and toss you off, not much fun unless there’s a
friend to hold onto
There are some bands or artists of which I will just never understand the appeal, or rather, the intense appeal or hold they seem to have over large groups of people.
I get the Beatles, to a point. Not as much as most Caucasians with parents over 45, mind you. I get the quantity of good songs, the high quality of each effort, and the variance in and blending of what had come before. That’s why I like the White Stripes. But, much like the White Stripes, I can take them or leave them. I just don’t feel passionately about any of the Beatles’ songs except “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and “A Day in the Life”. The rest are so generic and childish (Paul’s) or incomprehensible art for art’s sake (John). While that does not preclude them from being capital ‘G’ Great, how can I call a band the Greatest Band to Ever Live if I would give up their entire catalogue, forever, if it meant I got to hear “Sympathy for the Devil” or “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” one more time? I’m not even a Stones fan.
I’ve tried, continuously, to listen to and understand what was so good about Velvet Underground now for years. It just sounds like really high people lazily singing about the drugs they just got, and I’m sorry, not well. Plus, the production is shitty. Generally, the way white music drolled out and just laid there in the early ’60s depresses me. Give me Motown any day. Ironically, I love Lou Reed’s album Transformer. But that did come out in the ’70s.
Joy Division. WTF? The music sounds like it could sound amazing. The vocals sound like they could be distinctive and cool. So why did they go into a sewer tunnel and lay down in piss, then hook up tin cans and string to record? Was that what “Goth” was? I don’t fucking get it.
Maybe it’s because of an association with racism and/or conservatism, but most country music and Southern rock just sound like Klan rallies to me. I like “Free Bird” and “Simple Man”, but you can keep the rest of Skynyrd’s catalogue.
Lady Gaga is like Christina Aguilera, only less edgy while pretending to be more edgy. The thing is, Gaga isn’t doing anything we haven’t seen before. It’s like she read Shock Music for Dummies and cooked up some music video ideas, but the music is innocuous repetitive dance music with less to say than even her partner in crime, Beyonce. Christina did an album that took ’40s style USO music and made it talk about guys with big dicks. She just released a video that looks like a mash-up of every Madonna video ever made, but where the video looks derivative, the song is surprising for a pop star: “Cause I’m doing things that I normally won’t do / The old me’s gone; I feel brand new / And if you don’t like it, fuck you,” all while she implies she’s going to be willingly gang-banged. That is real shock. That’s feminine sexuality actually, finally, completely, unrelentingly unrepressed instead of suckling at the 30 year-old teat of androgyny. You may not like Aguilera, but she’s proud of liking to fuck. Gaga is just another repressed little girl who wants to surround herself with gay men because she’s terrified of her own vagina.
Over the course of my life, there have been movies and songs that seemed to be made just for my generation, or just for people in similar situations as me — Fight Club was perfect for a 19 year-old male with mother issues, Rushmore seemed made for boys who spent their adolescence in a restrictive all-male high school who prized creativity over grades. The band Tool spoke to all my interests in science fiction, philosophy, the occult. You know, deep shit.
But there are some things that transcend mere love as it is defined for music or film or a book or play. Sometimes it’s not about liking the thing, or knowing what it is talking about. Sometimes something just speaks directly to you, and you get the distinct impression that very few of the people around you are going through the same experience. Though they are laughing at the right places and tearing up at the right places, they are still sitting in a theater or listening to the radio. You are in the movie, you are in the song. It’s like you and a friend both met a very attractive girl at the same time; both of you were turned on, but one of you is a different person for having met her.
All of this is to say, I’m the type of person who has tasted the love of a good book (Stranger in a Strange Land), I have heard songs from 20 years prior that let me know that I was not alone in being alone (How Soon Is Now?), and I have been forever altered by connections made with television characters (My So-called Life).
Three movies have taken me inside them and sweat a level of cold comfort from my body, leaving me altered but thankful for it. The first was The Breakfast Club. I’d seen parts of it a thousand times, but the first time I watched that movie from beginning to end, I was just the right age to do so, and in just enough of a teenage depression to be severely helped by it.
The second was American Beauty. I remember every last bit of that experience. I remember that when I saw it, it was more about the two teenagers than it has been since. I was in my first relationship, and I was a bit of a morbid lunatic — but I was more confident than I’ve ever been since. Irina did that to me, still does. Her belief in me is so pure it can bolster me from shut-in to prophet, and I’m glad for the occasional fix of it. The plastic bag sequence and the ending narration reacquainted me with a deep-seeded joy of life of which I never fully let go.
The third is (500) Days of Summer. Most people who either saw it with me or have heard me talk about it since think I’m being a tad bit melodramatic about it, or maybe that I just need to shut the fuck up. I’m sure they’re right. I walked out comparing it to Requiem for a Dream, in that I had been traumatized. This was a joke, but not entirely hyperbolic. I didn’t know if I’d ever want to watch it again. As the days go by and my appetite to see the film again increases, I’ve realized I was wrong. I will be watching this film quite a lot.
The film basically condenses the past 4 or so post-Katrina years of my life, and the pseudo relationship of which I’ve been a part, into a 2 hour indie tour de force. Sure, it took out the distance, obviously doesn’t mention a preceding hurricane, and the relationship doesn’t advance in a series of installments when the two main characters happen to be in the same city, but like I said. Condensed. Tack onto that my man crush on Joseph Gordon-Levitt that started with Brick and was solidified by a squee when he was in two seconds of a shot in Brothers Bloom, and the fact that I think I fall in love with Zooey Deschanel differently for every part I’ve experienced her play, from Elf to Trillian to Weeds to Tin Man.
The movie continually tells you what the movie is, yet it still punches you in the gut when it is what you’ve been told it is. Much like Tom, we are holding out the hope that we are being lied to, and are crushed by the truth. For me, it was a strange, unwelcome but needed wake-up call.
I am also thankful for finally having my type portrayed on screen at all. Not all men are sex-crazed commitment-phobes, and not all women are needy, insecure relationship-aholics. In my experience, nothing but the exact inverse of that has been true, and it was nice to finally have that portrayed in a film. Certainly, Say Anything had it’s Cusack, but Ione Skye was anything but a fun-loving gentleman’s woman like Summer. This version is intensely more accurate. There’s always someone who’s more into it than the other. True love, perhaps, is when everything’s even.
Marc Webb, formerly a music video director, does a phenomenal job here. His background shows in spades, from the remarkable soundtrack (which kills me all over again because of how linked the music is to specific emotions in the film), to a musical set piece that is the highlight of the movie. He also uses color, or specifically avoids color, to force us into Tom’s position a bit — the palette for the entire movie is neutral, except when Summer is present, and the amazing blue of Zooey Deschanel’s eyes subtly surround us.
If you have the time or inclination, I highly recommend the film, and if you love the film, I highly recommend visiting the website, where if you look you can find a Marc Webb-directed video for Zooey’s band, She & Him, featuring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and a recasting of a scene from Sid & Nancy featuring Zooey as Sid and Joseph as Nancy (a reference to a line in 500 Days).
My favorite female/predominantly female-composed albums of all time:
“I wanna scream, ‘I love you’ from the top of my lungs,
But I’m afraid that someone else will hear me.”
–Fall Out Boy
“Who gives a fuck about an Oxford comma?
I’ve seen those English dramas, too
They’re cruel. So if there’s any other way to spell the word,
That’s fine with me.”
“And in the daylight, we can hitchhike to Maine
I hope that someday, I’ll see without these frames
And in the daylight, I don’t pick up my phone
Cause in the daylight, anywhere feels like home.”
–Matt & Kim
“Winners never quit, but winters never rest.”
–She & Him
“Let’s dance to Joy Division,
And celebrate the irony,
Everything is going wrong,
But we’re so happy.”
You’re my protection.
But how do I feel this good sober?”
“Should they kill me, your love will fill me as warm as the bullets, yeah.
I’ll know my purpose: this war was worth this. I won’t let you down…”