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Thread: Music-themed Films

  1. #1

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    Music-themed Films

    Just watched this movie, "The Thing called Love" (DVD borrowed from the library). Not a new film (1993), but worth your time to check it out. It was not a commercial success, but is a cult classic (according to the director Peter Bogdanovich who incidentally made the film "St Jack" which was banned until recently for many years in Singapore).

    About a girl from New York who goes to Nashville in her quest to be a singer. Meets a kookie girlfriend and two boys who share the same dream of success in country music.

    What's Noteworthy
    Aside from intense acting from the late River Phoenix (much missed), it is very strong on the art of songwriting. Don't misunderstand; it doesn't tell you or show you how songs are written, but the effort of finding (and spouting) good lines are worked seamlessly into the script. In fact a running gag is the use of lines from actual songs on the marquee of a hotel featured in the film that adds to the mood. I've not been to Nashville, but you come away with the impression that this here is one town dripping with music like honey on a stack of pancakes (haha, my attempt at homely Southern metaphor).

    Gear Spotted
    Girl lead uses a Kramer Ferrington acoustic guitar, and Dermot Mulroney uses a beat-up Gibson acoustic (tobacco burst I would say).

    Similar Films
    Almost Famous (2000) - boy reporter tags along with a rock band and its groupies in 1973. Based on the real life experiences of the director/writer Cameron Crowe
    The Thing You Do (1996) - the trials of a band trying to break into the limelight in 1964
    Spinal Tap (1984) - haven't seen this, but a mockumentary of a heavy metal band apparently groundbreaking to some degree

    Can you share any other films of a similar vein i.e. films that tell a (fictional) story of bands and singers (specifically NOT biopics - based on actual bands/singers like The Doors, Johnny Cash, Diana Ross, etc., and NOT musicals e.g. Chicago, Moulin Rouge, etc.)?
    Last edited by betsybug; 14-07-08 at 02:53 PM.

  2. #2

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    Sorry ah but I'm not so cultured with films - been to the cinema like 4 times in the last 20 years - and I slept through parts of all four movies!

    But for movies with strong musical overtones, I RIKES -
    Phantom of the Paradise (a satire on pop music)
    Purple Rain (a snapshot into Prince's life?)
    Grease (how to comb your hair)

  3. #3

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    there's the 2007 movie called Control. base on the biography on the late Ian Curtis from the band Joy Division. reviews gave it 4 out of 5 stars. you guys should check it out cause i did and i like it.
    "Anyone who thinks they're sexy needs their head checked."
    - Jarvis Cocker

  4. #4

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    Still Crazy is quite funny - like a less irreverent Spinal Tap.

    I haven't seen 2gether but i heard it's a good laugh about a boyband.

    Boytown is another boyband themed Aussie comedy.

    The Blues Brothers is a classic John Belushi movie.

    Singles is a classic set in the grunge era - featuring cameos by Pearl Jam and Chris Cornell

    Dreamgirls - ok, it's about an R&B type band, but it's actually pretty decent.

    I know you said you didn't want movies based on actual musicians / documentaries, but these movies aren't really documentaries and in any case are must-sees:

    1991: The Year Punk Broke

    The Last Waltz (about Robbie Robertson's The Band)

    Have fun watching.

  5. #5

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    Is the Last Waltz considered a movie? I thought its just a farewell concert video.

  6. #6
    does Pink Floyd's The Wall count?
    I am a one-man funeral doom artiste, J. Check me out @ SoundCloud, J on Myspace as well as Facebook. Also an editor over at Heavy Metal Tribune, Singapore's own heavy metal webzine.

  7. #7

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    Wayne's World.

    /pwns thread/

  8. #8

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    You guys hah....ok, we'll group the films like so then:

    August Rush (2007) - Want To Find: birth parents of one musical prodigy
    Dream Girls (2006) - why do I keep thinking this is a biopic based on The Three Degrees?
    Boytown (2006)
    School of Rock (2003) - Jack Black does rock, but not Tenacious D style
    Almost Famous (2000) - great 70s feel
    2gether (2000) - made for TV movie (hmmm...)
    Still Crazy (1998 ) - looks promising, thanks Dan!
    That Thing You Do (1996)
    Brassed Off (1995) - A coal mining village brass band plays on....
    The Thing Called Love (1993) - How to succeed in Nashville when you are young and hungry
    Wayne's World 2 (1993)
    The Mambo Kings (1992) - Latin music in 1950s America
    Wayne's World (1992) - we are not worthy!
    Singles (1992) - another from Cameron Crowe. Ought to be view-worthy
    Spinal Tap (1984) - metal band mockumentary
    Purple Rain (1984)
    Streets of Fire (1984) - not a film about music per se, but the music is so integral that it would become a very much diminished thing without it.
    Blues Brothers (1980) - how could I have forgotten this *slaps forehead*

    La Vie En Rose / La Mome (2007) - Edith Piaf
    I'm Not There (2007) - Bob Dylan. Watch Cate Blanchett play one of the Dylans.
    Control (2007) - this is on my list to watch. Joy Division!
    Walk the Line (2005) - Johnny Cash, the original man in black
    24 Hour Party People (2002) - a biopic (kinda) which is also a comedy!
    The Doors (1991) - Val Kilmer is uncanny as Morrison, IMO
    Amadeus (1984) - Mozart the wunderkind

    Les Chansons D'amour (2007) - living and loving in Paris, and singing about it, obviously
    Once (2006) - Oscar for the song, "Falling Slowly"
    Dancer in the Dark (2000) - features Bjork, the strange one
    Spice World (1997) - Spice Girls
    St Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978 ) - featuring Beatles's music
    Grease (1978 )
    Phantom of the Paradise (1974) - RoRK, this is being remade. ETA - 2010
    Yellow Submarine (1968 ) - Beatles, animation
    A Magical Mystery Tour (1967) - Beatles
    Help! (1965) - Beatles
    A Hard Day's Night (1964) - Beatles

    Shine a Light (2008 ) - Rolling Stones
    Joe Strummer: The Future is Written (2007) - the late frontman of the Clash
    Before the Music Dies (2006) - looks critically at the "homogenization of music" (!)
    Screaming Masterpiece (2005) - Icelanders make music
    Block Party (2005) - David Chapelle, who's not a musician but this docu features music acts
    Man in the Sand (1999) - Woody Guthrie
    Hype! (1996) - Seattle grunge
    1991: The Year Punk Broke (1992) - Sonic Youth and Nirvana, mainly
    The Last Waltz (1978 ) - The Band
    Let It Be (1970) - Beatles

    Pink Floyd: The Wall (1982) - is it a musical, is it anime, is it art, is it biography, is it fiction? It is all good. The line, "we don't need no education" keeps running thru my mind
    Last edited by betsybug; 12-08-08 at 02:55 PM. Reason: all those unintended smilies in the dates

  9. #9

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    Shine a light.

  10. #10

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    Looks like I'd better re-categorise. Updating the earlier post...

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