The Sound Of Cinema (Part I): Beyond the Bard

I was recently introduced to an epic film that not only rose to #2 on my list of movies most admired, but gave rise to an idea for a series of posts that will be collectively called "The Sound of Cinema". Music and movies have a grand history together so, because of the scope of the subject each post will have a set of parameters to which it must adhere. Realizing that several artists/films may have overlap in each category, I will try not to make mention of them in more that one post. Nor will I attempt to delve into all of the examples that may fit into the space of the designated parameters, but instead provide a sampling of inspired insight and musical memories from my some of my favorite flicks.

The film that triggered my ambitious musings about music and movies was Andrew Dominik's The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. The film is a gorgeous portrayal of the last few months of the life of Jesse James (played by Brit Pitt in one if the most sublime roles of his career) before he is shot and killed by Robert Ford whose fanatical, yet curiously narcissistic demeanor is defined in an extraordinary performance by Casey Affleck. The beauty of the dialog and character portrayal is rivaled only by the stunning cinematography juxtaposed by a haunting soundtrack complements of Nick Cave and Warren Ellis.

It was however Nick Cave's bit role of saloon singer mocking the follies of Robert Ford,

that gave me the idea to note some of the great cinematic performances
given to us by musicians. A few that come to mind immediately include: Tom Waits in The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, Norah Jones in My Blueberry Nights, David Bowie in The Prestige and The Labyrinth, and of course Cher in Mermaids, Moonstruck, The Witches of Eastwick and Mask, just to name a few. In the next post of this series I will lay out the parameters and delve into the details of the where some of our most beloved crooners and sirens make a scene on the silver screen, with more than just a cameo.

-Emma Jeanmarie


Drewbacca said...

My favorite (and best) movie of 2007! This is a great idea for a web series and I look forward to more. Nice video of that train robbery... gorgeous!

Tim said...

Don't forget Vanilla Ice in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Secret of the Ooze

Anonymous said...

Yeah, definitely a cool idea for a series. Did anyone ever see True Stories w/ David Byrne (Talking Heads)? He's directed, acted and performed in the flick.

Brent said...

Yeah "True Stories" was cool. I'm never surprised at what Byrne does, he's unpredictable.

Loved the Nick Cave performance. Cave and Ellis are doing some terrific film music lately with this one and "the Proposition". "Jesse James" was a great film too!