I’m not exactly sure how, but I thought up the idea of this blogathon without thinking of the most list-centric movie, High Fidelity. Fortunately someone more thoughtful and eloquent than me, Toby from blahblahblahgay not only reminded me of the movie, but this great quote:
“To me, making a tape is like writing a letter – there’s a lot of erasing and rethinking and starting again. A good compilation tape, like breaking up, is hard to do. You’ve got to kick off with a corker, to hold the attention, and then you’ve got to up it a notch, or cool it a notch, and…oh, there are loads of rules.” – Rob Gordon (John Cusack) in High Fidelity.
High Fidelity (2000): Stephen Frears’ adapatation of Nick Hornby’s novel about a record shop owner and compulsive list maker going through a crisis and re-evaluating his life in the only way he understands, via lists and music, and lists about music.
Nick and Norah’s Infinite Play list (2008): By the time Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist made it to cinema’s in 2008 the world had moved past mixtapes onto play-lists but Nick (Michael Cera) is hanging on to the steppingstone of the mix CD. Michael Cera is, well Michael Cera as always and Kat Dennings is more adorable than ever, I’m a little too old to fall for the music but I love the movie.
Empire Records (1995): All things considered Empire Records isn’t anything more than a coming-of-age drama, but the backdrop of an independent music store under threat of being swallowed by a larger chain elevates the movie to something more special. It also has a great cast including Anthony LaPaglia, Robin Tunney, Rory Cochrane, Renée Zellweger, and Liv Tyler.
Almost Famous (2000): Cameron Crowe’s semi-autobiographical story of a high-school boy who goes on tour with a rock band to write a story for Rolling Stone Magazine has everything; a great story with a taught script, brilliantly drawn characters and perfect performances. It is filled with funny and memorable moments and great music.
The Commitments (1991): “Do you not get it, lads? The Irish are the blacks of Europe. And Dubliners are the blacks of Ireland. And the Northside Dubliners are the blacks of Dublin. So say it once, say it loud: I’m black and I’m proud” Alan Parker’s story of an Irish soul band just keeps getting better with age.
The Wildcard, A little older than the others on the list but just as relevant and as good: Pete Kelly’s blues (1955): Jack Webb’s Jazz Noir thriller boasts a great performance from Janet Leigh, an even better (and Oscar nominated) performance from Peggy Lee as an alcoholic jazz singer and a memorable cameo from Ella Fitzgerald.