Everyone loves moments in movies set to the perfect accompanying tune and everyone has their favourite. When it’s done right it the song will forever simultaneously evoke memories of the film while listening to the piece. Here are the 5 best music moments in film.
‘Little Green Bag – George Baker Selection’
Reservoir Dogs (1991)
What better way to start this list than with the master of music moments, Quentin Tarantino. Every film of his has multiple classic music moments, from Urge Overkills ‘Girl You’ll Be A Woman Soon’ in Pulp Fiction, to ‘Across 110th Street’ from Jackie Brown. But it is the first scene from his first film that captures the number 5 spot. We see our anti-heroes on their way to their heist, in slow motion, as the bassy intro to George Baker’s ‘Little Green Bag’ kicks in. Sheer cool.
‘Zarathustra’- Richard Strauss
2001: A Space Odyssey (1969)
The almost 20 minute sequence in Stanley Kubrick’s sci-fi classic has been so oft imitated and parodied that it’s easy to forget how stunning and awe inspiring this scene still is. We see the evolution of man from primitive ape with a classic transition from bone to spaceship. The music is beyond iconic and goes hand in hand with the visuals, which still look gorgeous and authentic, 40 years on.
‘Falling Slowly’ – Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova
In my favourite Irish film ever (yep) and quickly becoming an all time favourite, Once is an absolute gem of a film. Starring Frames front man Glen Hansard and relative unknown Marketa Irglova, the film is filled with powerful songs dripping with sentiment.
The standout scene is one where our two leads play this song in a music store in Dublin. With long takes and close ups, we see our characters feelings towards each other change within this one beautiful piece of music. They realise the bond for music that they have, which stretches throughout the rest of the film.
Deservedly won the Best Song Oscar at the Oscars last year.
‘Needle in the Hay’ – Elliot Smith
The Royal Tenenbaums (2002)
Wes Anderson is another filmmaker which excels in picking the perfect source music for his fims. In the the darkest scene of The Royal Tenenbaums, Richie (Luke Wilson) attempts to kill himself as Elliot Smith’s haunting vocals play in the foreground – made all the more saddening knowing Elliot Smith has since died from suicide.
‘Wise Up’ – Aimee Mann
The best music moment in film is an epic melodramatic sing-along featuring Tom Cruise, Julianne Moore and Philip Seymour Hoffman. It truly has to be seen to be believed.
P.T Anderson commissioned U.S singer/songwriter Aimee Mann to write the entire soundtrack for his film and in this standout scene which borders on the surreal, the characters all sing to the beautiful piano melody.
“It’s not going to stop, ’til you Wise Up”