Track of the Week 12th March 2015

Each week I choose a song from a movie which may be popular or not. The only criteria is that its a great song and it fits the scene in the film perfectly. Let me know if you agree.

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This film is a masterpiece. Lester (Kevin Spacey) and Carolyn Burnham (Annette Bening) are on the outside, a perfect husband and wife, in a perfect house, in a perfect neighbourhood.

But inside, Lester is slipping into a hopeless depression. He finally snaps when he becomes infatuated with one of his daughter’s friends. Meanwhile, his daughter Jane is developing a happy friendship with a shy boy-next-door named Ricky, who lives with an abusive father.

The scene I have chosen is the opening sequence. The music by Thomas Newman coupled with Kevin Spacey’ s dialogue make the perfect partnership of someone who’s decent into depression is escalating right from the first frame and the track emphasises that something bad is eventually going to happen.

The film won Oscars for Best Picture, Best leading Actor, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Cinematography. It was also nominated for three others, Best Actress in a Leading Role, Best Film Editing and Best Music Original Score.

In total the film has won over 114 awards and according to IMDB.com is 61 in the top 250 films of all time.

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Track of the Week 5th March 2015 (Writing 101 Day 0ne)

Each week I choose a song from a movie which may be popular or not. The only criteria is that its a great song and it fits the scene in the film perfectly. Let me know if you agree.

Shooting the Breeze – Dustin Hoffman

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This track featured in the film Last Chance Harvey which was Directed by Hoffman. Not only did Hoffman Direct and star in the film he actually wrote this track a few years earlier. Somehow the track didn’t seem to work without the two actors in the scene. So this weeks Track of the week should really be titled Scene of the week.

The film follows the exploits of a workaholic musician Harvey Shine (Hoffman) who writes jingles for commercials. He is in London for the weekend for his daughter’s wedding. His work in New York preoccupies him and he knows his boss is pushing him aside for younger talent. He meets Kate Walker whilst having lunch at the airport which leads to a brilliant double act that breezes through the rest of the film.

Long divorced and his wife remarried, her new husband is closer to his daughter than he is. The scene were he hijacks the Father of the Bride speech is epic. I watched it through my fingers but it was extremely well done and a very convincing performance by the entire cast.

I did not expect this film to be anything special but the memorable performances from the main actors makes this film a gem.

Dustin Hoffman who plays understated roles to perfection, again finds a vehicle  to show his genius and wonderful acting talent.

Emma Thompson also can do no wrong. Every film she does she plays her character to fullest whether it be a house wife, nanny, or crazy teacher she can do it all. This role for her seemed like it was a fun one and her performance had a lot of heart.

So this is a first for Track of the week because both actors have featured here before in different performances.

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Track of the Week 29th March 2015

Each week I choose a song from a movie which may be popular or not. The only criteria is that its a great song and it fits the scene in the film perfectly. Let me know if you agree.

Midnight Cowboy – John Barry 

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John Barry supervised the music and composed the score for the film and won a Grammy for Best Instrumental Theme, although he, as well as a few other significant contributors did not receive an on-screen credit.

Fred Neil’s song “Everybody’s Talkin'” won a Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, for Harry Nilsson.

Schlesinger the director chose the song “Everybody’s Talkin'” as the films theme, and the song underscores the first act.

However the movie’s main theme, “Midnight Cowboy”, featured harmonica by Toots Thielemans, is the timeless track that is as haunting today as it was in 1969 even though it is said that Barry himself did not like it.

The film is a very bleak insight into the dark underbelly of New York in the seventies.

Naive Texan Joe Buck (Jon Voight) arrives in New York for the first time. Seeing himself as a real ‘hustler’, he finds that he is the one getting ‘hustled’ until he teams up with a down-and-out but resilient outcast named Ratso Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman).

In their efforts to try and survive in an hostile world rebuffing them at every turn, this unlikely pair progress from partners in shady business to comrades. Each seeming to find true friendship.

The final scene in this film is a on the bus to Miami and has breathtaking performances from both Hoffman and Voight with the music making it even more memorable.

The film won Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Both Hoffman and Voight were nominated for Best Actor awards and Sylvia Miles was nominated for Best Supporting Actress, in what is one of the shortest performances nominated (clocking at about five minutes of screen time). In addition, the film won six BAFTA Awards.

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Track of the Week 15th March 2015


Each week I choose a song from a movie which may be popular or not. The only criteria is that its a great song and it fits the scene in the film perfectly. Let me know if you agree.

“Windmills of your Mind” – Sting

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Windmill of your Mind was written by Alan Bergman & Marilyn Bergman (lyrics) and the music by Michel Legrand and was originally used in the 1968 version of The Thomas Crown Affair which starred Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway.

The song in the origional film was sung by Noel Harrison and was used in a scene were McQueen was piloting a Glider whilst being watched on the ground by Faye Dunaway. The song beautifully matched the action and made me want to try my hand at gliding.

This version of the Windmills of your mind by Sting was used in the 1999 remake Starring Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo however the song was used in the title sequence rather than the glider scene. But its such a great track I chose the sting version..

The story is that of a self-made billionaire Thomas Crown who is bored of being able to buy everything he desires. But there are a few things even he can’t get, therefore Thomas Crown has a secret hobby: He steals priceless masterpieces of Art.

After the theft of a famous painting from Claude Monet, the only person suspecting Thomas Crown is Catherine Banning. Her job is to get the picture back, no matter how she accomplishes her mission.

Unfortunately, Catherine gets involved too deeply with Thomas to keep a professional distance to the case. Fortunately, Thomas seems to fall for her, too. The heist in the film is confusing to say the least but is brilliantly executed

Although the film received mixed reviews its worth watching just for the glider ariel shots alone. The soundtrack is brilliant and this track just pipped Nina Simone’s Sinnerman which was used for the Heist scene.

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Track of the Week 8th Feb 2015

Each week I choose a song from a movie which may be popular or not. The only criteria is that its a great  song and it fits the scene in the film perfectly. Let me know if you agree.

Both Sides Now – Joni Mitchell

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Both sides now“, was a song written by Joni Mitchell and featured on her 1969 second Album ‘Clouds’. Although the Album was well received she never released the track in her own right. It was Judy Collins who released the song and made it a huge hit.

The version of the track which resonated with me the most is the version off the 2000 Album ‘Both Sides Now’. Its a version that somehow with the passing of time has aged beautifully. Mitchells voice once crystal clear now sounding like a ageing jazz singer makes the song even more poignant.

It is said that this was a song that Joni grew into, improving on her original and with the help of a huge orchestra and beautiful swirling string arrangements, this is definitely a track to listen too in the wee small hours when all is quiet.

It was Richard Curtis who re-introduced the track to a new audience in his 2003 film Love Actually. The scene involves Emma Thompson who has just discovered on Christmas Eve that her husband has been having an affair with his secretary. The scene is a masterclass in heartbreak without words and you can feel every emotion as she pulls herself together before they take the kids to the School Christmas concert.

Fantastic song, epic acting.

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Track of the Week 1st Feb 2015

Each week I choose a song from a movie which may be popular or not. The only criteria is that its a great  song and it fits the scene in the film perfectly. Let me know if you agree.

You Never Can Tell – Chuck Berry

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You Never Can Tell“, also known as “C’est La Vie“, is a rockabilly song written by Chuck Berry. It was composed in the early 1960s while Berry was in prison. Released in 1964 on the album St. Louis to Liverpool and was  the followup single to Berry’s final Top Ten hit of the 1960s: “No Particular Place to Go”,

The song briefly became popular again after the 1994 release of the film Pulp Fiction, directed and co-written by Quentin Tarantino. The music was played for a “Twist contest” in which Vincent Vega (John Travolta) and Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman ) competed and won (and were the only contestants shown in the film). The music added an evocative element of sound to the narrative and Tarantino said that the song’s lyrics of “Pierre” and “Mademoiselle” gave the scene a “uniquely 50’s French New Wave dance sequence feel”. Travolta is quoted as saying that the film resurrected his career which had been in decline up to that point.

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