Well, to quote Rob, it is Monday afternoon (I should have woken up earlier) but nevertheless, in celebration of the clown shoe convention that was last night's Golden Globes (Ricky Gervais, please, be mine) here are ten songs I believe have epic cinematic qualities. These picks all possess swelling crescendos, waves of complex melodic emotions, a lush sonic narrative and of course, would all work perfectly, or already have worked perfectly, as the soundtrack to characters realizing they are in love, staring out windows wistfully, having their hearts smashed, or having impeccably lit and expertly choreographed sex scenes.
Ay yi yi! That string intro is the audio equivalent of a film's protagonist thinking about a new crush and smiling. In fact, this whole song is just one gorgeous and silky tribute to new possibilities, feeling like you are 100 feet tall, and those electromagnetic vibrations that you emit when you meet someone that you just want to stare at, all day.
So, the Ray Charles duet version of this gem was totally used in a very young Lilo's remake of The Parent Trap (when the twins get separated and British Lohan has to go back to London with her mom (RIP Natasha Richardson), while Napa Valley Lohan has to be sad and ride horses with Dennis Quaid) but I really like Betty Carter doing this solo, because it takes melancholy to all sorts of new levels. Like, can't you just picture someone singing this in their apartment alone, wishing someone was there to finish the verse with them and tell them everything was going to be alright?
A pink and purple sunset. A rooftop in Brazil. A longing and wistful glance into an overpopulated, but oh so lonely and isolating city. A void in a heart that can be only filled with true love. Wait, no, I change my mind. Actually, this song is basically this Murakami story.
Speaking of Brother Ray: Correct me if I am wrong, but can't you just picture this song playing over a really bittersweet end of film montage of a doomed relationship? Meeting, falling in love, falling out of love, amazing highs, depressing and scary lows, fights, making up, a soul crushing break up. Like some Blue Valentine shit, but not to the music of Grizzly Bear.
The clip is in German, I think, but just jump to second :45 and you will know why this song can never again be used in another scene as effectively as it was used here. Look at Robert Forster's eyes. He pretty much sums up love at first sight during that first kitten soft guitar lick and drum roll. Then again, I think Pam Grier was created to strut out of a correctional facility to the sound of Bloodstone so, I mean, do with that what you will.
The title of this Let's Get It On session jam kind of says it all. I picture someone laughing and grinning to themselves while trying to grocery shop, remembering the night before. It's the complete emotional opposite of what using this other Let's Get It On masterpiece would be (it was used in a sad relationship fight/break up scene between Taraji P. Henson and Tyrese IN THE RAIN, in John Singleton's Baby Boy):
Here are two that have already been used, and exquisitely. In The Mood For Love is one big beautiful, bittersweet and staggeringly sad ode to forbidden love, all set to Spanish Nat "King" Cole.
Oh boy. Roy Hargrove and Shelby Johnson. This tune is kind of like having a whole pack of butterflies in your stomach while glowing and sauntering down the street, half tipsy, half dreaming. It would work perfectly in a film that will never be made.