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.