Sunday, October 02, 2005


Songs to Film?

Since the beginning of cinema. filmmakers have looked to other media as source material for films. Initially, books (specifically the classics) served this purpose. Soon, plays and musicals joined the fold. Eventually, TV shows, video games and even amusement park attractions were all used as fodder for films. Interestingly, scattered throughout, have been a handful of films that have used songs as their influence. A few spring to mind.
White Christmas: This film was a remake of Holiday Inn (which originally introduced the Oscar-winning Irving Berlin song). With so much brand equity built around the popularity of the song so quickly, the remake was named for it, even though the song isn't used in the movie until the very end!
Pink Floyd's The Wall: When the announcement was made that director Alan Parker was going to adapt this masterful album into a film based on a screenplay by Pink Floyd lead singer Roger Waters, I was expecting the best film ever made, since, at the time I believed (and still believe) that The Wall to be the greatest rock album ever recorded. Sadly, the film did not meet that expectation.
Tommy: The Who's rock opera in the hands of eccentric director Ken Russell is what it is. Very much of its time. Still, it gave us Elton John as The Pinball Wizard and Eric Clapton as The Preacher. And, did you know, John Lennon has a cameo in the film as well?
Love Potion # 9: This Jerry Leiber/Mike Stoller song hit the charts in 1964, but it wasn't until 1992 that it became a film, faithful to the fun lyrics and melody, and served as an early vehicle for Sandra Bullock.
Can't By Me Love: This Beatles song-inspired comedy was directed by Steve Rash (who also directed The Buddy Holly Story).
Final Note: While David Lynch's Blue Velvet and Harold Becker's Sea of Love are not exactly inspired by the songs of the same name, can anyone who's seen these films think of those songs in the same way again? I can't.

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