Owl Meat's (belated) Tipsy Tuesday: Music + movies = awesome
It might not be Tuesday anymore, but "Owl Meat's Tipsy Wednesdays" just doesn't have the same ring to it. Better late than never, right?
Here, Midnight Sun guest columnist Owl Meat Gravy takes us on a tour through some of the best music movies out there. Are you ready? I am. Let's go:
Movies about music: awesome.
Below is a baker's dozen of music movies that bubble up in my brain now and then. I'm not saying these are the best movies ever, just some that are stuck in my gray matter ...
"DiG!" (2004) – The Brian Jonestown Massacre and the Dandy Warhols implode and explode. Documentary of two promising bands, their friendship and rivalry, and their divergent paths.
"This Is Spinal Tap" (1984) – It goes to eleven.
"Once" (2006) – The story of two musicians who come together for a week in Dublin. It gracefully weaves their music into their story in a compelling, non-contrived manner. Very romantic.
"Metallica: Some Kind of Monster" (2004) – This follows Metallica from 2001 to 2003 as they spiral into an anti-rock and roll lifestyle. Their live-in therapist subjects them to a nine-to-five schedule and makes then talk about their feelings. The therapy sessions are priceless and include former member and Megadeth leader Dave Mustaine. Masters of puppets? More like masters of hugs.
"The Filth & The Fury" (2000) – The Sex Pistols' great live performances make them seem like wizards of raw power. Johnny Rotten seems possessed by some crazy, clever animal.
"Control" (2007) – Grim black-and-white, heart-breaking story of Joy Division. We see a beautiful depiction of bleakest Manchester in the '70s. Knowing that singer Ian Curtis would hang himself just as they broke in America makes the characters' optimism poignant.
"Superstar" (1987) – This 43-minute biography of Karen Carpenter by Todd Haynes is acted with Barbie dolls. What could have been silly and gimmicky ends up being a haunting portrait of an American tragedy. The film was pulled from release after Richard Carpenter sued Haynes for failure to get legal clearance for the Carpenters' songs.
"Viva Las Vegas" (1964) – Ludicrous Elvis movie. Ann-Margret dancing in black Capri pants and heels leaves an impression on a boy.
"Topsy-Turvy" (1999) – Director Mike Leigh makes a great film about a topic I dislike: Gilbert and Sullivan's comic operas. I came to mock, but I stayed to rock, well, be fancifully entertained.
"The Pawnbroker" (1964) – Quincy Jones' score is so powerful that it becomes almost a narrator in this bleak black-and-white drama.
"Fantasia" (1940) – This is so far ahead of its time, both in ambition and as a psychedelic precursor. I saw it at the Baltimore Imax theater. Ka-pow!
"West Side Story" (1971) – Finger snapping gang dance-fighting.
"CS Blues" (1972) – Robert Frank's documentary of the Rolling Stones follows them on their 1972 tour that supported "Exile on Main Street". The hedonism and drug use is so unflattering that the band prevented the film's release. The grainy black and white cinéma vérité is a revelation and the music is amazing.
Here is a list of 200 music movies to tickle your memory. I invite you to supply your own lists and throw tomatoes at mine.
(Photo by Getty Images)