Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Has your music ever been used in film/TV really, really well?


I know you're probably too busy being a genius to watch TV, but just FYI, there's a show on FX called The Americans that uses music SO WELL. Set during the Cold War, they use 80's pop music to convey a sense of cold, scary urgencyand, more importantly, to underscore and elevate the emotional intensity, and complexity, of the characters' experiences. In the series opener, it was "Tusk" by Fleetwood Mac, during an epic chase scene. Last week it was "Only You," by Yaz(oo).

Ideally you would stop right now, go watch that episode and the 2.5 seasons that preceded it, then come back and finish reading this post. But for efficiency's sake, I'll try to just summarize the scene during which "Only You" played (spoilers!!):

A KGB spy now living in the US and raising two American kids who don't know he's a spywho don't even know he and their mother are Russianhas recently discovered that the KGB plans to recruit his teenage daughter. Simultaneously, he's been assigned the task of seducing a different teenage girl, starry-eyed and full of daddy issues, for their cause. He hates it, but he does it, and he does it well: the starry-eyed girl falls for him. She plays him "Only You" as she snuggles up in the crook of his arm, glowing with the promise of romance and the hope that her life might finally feel as beautiful and important as this song. The spy keeps his arm around her because that's his job, but his face is set with misery and dread and a deep, rightous anger.

It killed me, Elvis.

I can't recall your songs ever being used so well to help tell another story. 200 Cigarettes was fun but silly; "She" in Notting Hill was gorgeous but saccharine. I know "Complicated Shadows" was in an episode of The Sopranos, but that seems kind of obvious. What am I missing? There's so much potential! Maybe The Americans has something big in store for "Peace in Our Time"...

No comments:

Post a Comment