MONDAY @ THE MUSIC!

written by jordan dodd

NB: The rough idea for this was lifted (somewhat) from moviemanjackson’s music and film mini-series. However after chatting to him, this feels like it will be a very different take on the already brilliant concept. Rather than focusing on soundtracks (which the movieman does very well and effortlessly might I add) I want to talk about films that are about music, especially after 2014’s output of music-based films.

You know, I was gonna make a top whatever list of films for 2014. Hell I reviewed 50 odd titles in the half year I have been blogging. But that is the point; half a year. It seems kinda hard to justify writing an entire post dedicated to a top ten when the second half of the year is going to easily outweigh the first; I started this blog at the end of July 2014.

So, where does that leave me? In between a rock and a hard place as my father would say. However, inspired by the posts of MovieManJacko, I have realised that I could create a unique little ‘series’ of my own, on this here modest little site. You see, music is a bigger obsession for me than film is, which in itself says a lot. I am a drummer, and one day hope to become a musician too. Inspired my MMJ then, I looked back at the last 12 or so months of film and really took stock of, what is in my (slightly biased) opinion, the perfect balance and harmony being struck between film and music. Yes music has a long tradition in film, but I don’t particularly like musicals, and what I am talking about here is movies that revolve around music or a musician; or alternatively, a soundtrack that is simply too good to ignore.

2014 was a simply fantastic year for us cinephiles who also happen to be music enthusiasts and or musicians. The tail-end of ’13 gave us Inside Llewyn Davis, perhaps the finest combination of music as an integral part of a film, with Oscaar Isaac showing off his pipes and range, and next Monday I’ll take a closer look at the music of that wonderful film. 2014 has come and gone, and this tuneful trend seems to have continued as I was flooded with great movies about music for the entire year, including:

Deep breath…

Documentary:

Nas: Time is Illmatic

20,000 Days On Earth

Film:

Get On Up,

Frank,

We Are The Best (Sweden)

Jersey Boys.

Oh, and of course, Whiplash.

A solid, plentiful list for one year of film then. If I have missed any titles from last year, or if you have any suggestions for me at all, please let me know! These really are my sorta movies, all are revolving around music and they are all the better for it, especially given my love for all music in all its guises. None of the aforementioned films were flops in any way, shape or form. Many won awards, especially the electrifying Whiplash, perhaps the best film of last year.

Granted one of these films was a documentary, one a semi-doco, but I am infinitely excited by the amount of film that is revolving around my true obsession of music. I don’t remember another single year that paid so much respect to the musical world in such a variety of ways. Not to mention music and film are arguably the two most prevalent and popular forms of entertainment in modern society; the two fit together like a good bass guitarist and drummer. Some modern directors are taking cues from Kubrick’s collection of work, who truly was the master of using sound and music to enhance the atmosphere and action of a film. Other films are opting to use all original music, which is even more impressive as an element of a film. Regardless how it is handled, great sound-editing and soundtrack-work is what can often make a great movie, and my ears are always open.

So to round-up then, every Monday I am combining my two biggest passions and I hope any readers out there enjoy the analysis. A teaser for the Coens’ musical masterpiece, if you have not already heard it:

Keep in mind, this is performed by Isaac himself. Simply incredible, evoking feelings of classic folk music of the period