Movies

Blue Jay MOTD

Blue Jay (2016)

Blue Jay was directed by Alex Lehmann in his fictional feature debut, from a screenplay by Mark Duplass. It stars Duplass and Sarah Paulson. The film had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 12, 2016.

The film was released on October 7, 2016, in a limited release prior to being released through video on demand on October 11, 2016. (from Wikipedia)

Blue Jay (2016)
Written by Mark Duplass
Directed by Alex Lehmann
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Meeting by chance when they return to their tiny California hometown, two former high-school sweethearts reflect on their shared past. The film marked the Duplass Brothers’ first film under their four-picture deal with Netflix. Netflix financed the film without seeing a script, but just reading a 10-page outline of the story. This allowed for a true independent film experience.

The film had no script. The actors were given a summary of the movie and their characters and the rest was improvisation.

Blue Jay was the first feature film for director Alex Lehmann. He also served as the director of photography and cinematographer of the film.

The film was shot over the course of seven days in and around Crestline, California. It was filmed on a canon camera without built-in recording or built-in power source.

The film’s score was composed by Julian Wass.

One of my best friends recommended Blue Jay to me. I’ve said this before, at lyriquediscorde, but any and every movie she has ever recommended to me has ended up on my list of all-time favorite movies (if you want some recommendations by her, too, you should follow her movie Instagram – breewatchesmovies.

Here are some of my thoughts on the movie, written originally after seeing it for the first time.

Blue Jay MOTD LD

Nostalgia has plot holes, but oh how I have such a soft spot for it. How many times have I thought about what it would be like to run into a past love, to have a day to spend together, to talk and re-connect, and share a moment again. Not just any past love, but one that mattered, one that had real significance. But, given that opportunity, is it not potentially loaded with emotional landmines that can, or most likely will, go off unexpectedly?

This movie hit very hard. I had a nostalgia reuniting situation a few years ago, and it was full of wonder and magic and passion – at first, but eventually all it had was a hell of a lot of landmines, and boy did they go off. Would I do it again? At one time I would have said yes, but now, where I am in my life, my answer is no. Would these two characters do it again? Yes, I think they would. I really do.

Blue Jay Movie MOTD

This film reminded me at times of the second installment in Richard Linklater/Ethan Hawke/Julie Delpy’s “Before” series, as well as Graham Greene’s book, “The End of the Affair”. The former because of the reconnecting of past lovers, and the day spent together, though to me “Blue Jay” had more hope and joy to it, even in the sad moments, than “Before Sunset” did. The latter (“The End of the Affair”) in the reveal that what you assume, and what you decide to say, is not always what you want, or mean. I do not want to spoil anything, but there is a moment where you see that things that happened, and things said, were not as true as they seemed at the time.

Sarah Paulson and Mark Duplass are two favorite actors of mine, and they were brilliant in this. They had chemistry and ease and emotional deft that brought these characters immediately to life for me, and also pulled my heart around for the entirety of their day/night together. I felt so much watching this film. I laughed, I cheered, I sang-a-long, I hurt, I cried — a lot, and I felt — a lot, too.

I think what hit me the most was how lost Amanda seemed to be, in her life, and in herself. Jim is lost, too, but he seemed more cognizant of it, more recently aware. But, I felt like it was all hitting Amanda. Maybe seeing Jim joggled some of that in her; the experience of hearing her voice on the tape, coming head-on with her younger self, as well as her first love. That resonated with me as I find myself wrestling with my own lost self, and traversing my way through it.

I loved the way these two connected to music in this, and how music played a part in their relationship, and their meeting up again moments. I love the black-and-white filming of it, the way it added to the starkness of winter in this small town, and the bleakness of being lost and being back home again. And, I loved both of these characters so much. When the movie ended I wanted so much more, but at the same time was good with where they left it.

The film plays out like a play. I’d actually love to see it performed on-stage, preferably with Mark and Sarah. I can’t imagine anyone else playing them.

The choice to have the movie shot in black-and-white was a brilliant one. I think it adds to the intimacy and almost too close look into these two people’s lives. It strips away the distraction of color and just focuses on these two characters – just as a play, in a small theater, with two actors on a stark and nearly empty stage would.

Mark Duplass Sarah Paulson Blue Jay MOTD

“No More I Love You’s” by Annie Lennox scene

Booksmart MOTD

Booksmart (2019)

Booksmart was directed by Olivia Wilde, from a screenplay written by Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins, Susanna Fogel, and Katie Silberman. The film stars Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein, who play best friends on the cusp of high school graduation, and changes that will separate them. They have spent their lives goal-oriented, focused, and driven, avoiding anything reckless or non-academic. They decide to break the rules on their graduation eve, and the film takes us along for the ride.

Booksmart Movie Poster MOTD

Booksmart (2019)
Written by Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins, Susanna Fogel, and Katie Silberman
Directed by Olivia Wilde
Movie of the Day

I was lucky to have seen a preview showing of Booksmart a few weeks ago. But, in order to both support women filmmakers and also share the movie with my daughters, we went to see it again today. What a perfect way to start June off – a Summertime feel of a movie starring awesomely talented women, written by awesomely talented women, and directed by an awesomely talented woman.

Booksmart is clever, funny, well-written, and original in its take on the teenage/coming of age/one night left/party genre. It defies expectations while still visiting those well-trodded teen tropes that we all know and love.

I love the young women in this film who are taking agency of their sexuality and sex, their life choices, and their futures. I applaud a real look at best friends-friendship, the good and the bad. I think it speaks a lot to relationships and intimacy, the give-and-take between people, and how it is to be a best friend/in a best friendship.

BS Movie of the Day

At times, it reminded me a lot of the best friend I grew up with. The intimacy we shared, and the struggles. It definitely made me miss her, too.

The leads in this are fantastic. I’ve been a fan of Kaitlyn Dever since the film Short Term 12, and have enjoyed her in other movies such as Laggies, and The Spectacular Now. And Beanie, she stole the movie Ladybird in so many ways, to me. I can’t wait to see what both actors do next.

Booksmart June 1 MOTD

I’d also be remiss to not mention the comedy brilliance, and overall glow, of Billie Lourd. I’ve had my eye on her since her stints on “American Horror Story” and “Scream”, and because of her family ties (Carrie Fisher – a forever favorite, and inspiration, of mine). Billie is outrageous in this film, in the best kind of way.

The love and laughter and awkward moments and heart in this film are what makes it so enjoyable, and what will stick with me for a long time to come. I love that there was no real difference in the characters experience with love and sex, regardless of their sexuality. It was great to see an awkward bathroom-at-a-party sex scene with two girls, sex that wasn’t “lesbian for the male gaze”, but sex that felt like real first-time clumsiness and nervousness. I like that the movie flips stereotypes on their heads, even if the film has received criticism for having everyone be “too nice” to each other (I really don’t see it that way).

All in all, this movie is great fun. A good time. Full of heart and laughter and bittersweet joy. I know I’m going to add this to my movie collection when I can and add it to my roster of movies that make me feel good.

Also, yay women filmmakers and writers and actors – if you want to see more like this go out to the theaters and support movies like this – so we can get more, and more. 

Go see Booksmart right now in theaters – and take your best friends along with you!

 

Drinking Buddies MOTD

Drinking Buddies (2013)

Drinking Buddies was written and directed by Joe Swanberg, and was released in 2013. It stars Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick, and Ron Livingston, and centers around two co-workers at a craft brewery in Chicago. The movie delves into the complexities of love and friendship, and the complications that can arise in both.

The movie premiered at the 2013 South by Southwest Film Festival. It also screened at the Maryland Film Festival that same year. (from Wikipedia)

Drinking Buddies (2013)
Written and Directed by Joe Swanberg
Movie of the Day

“That’s the problem with heartbreak, to you it’s like an atomic bomb and to the world it’s just really cliche, because in the end we all have the same experience.” – Kate

Drinking Buddies Olivia Wilde

My best friend told me about this movie, recommending I see it, and she has never steered me toward a movie I didn’t end up loving. Drinking Buddies was no exception.

Seriously, if she tells you to watch a movie be prepared to add it to your “favorite movie” list immediately.

My first watch of this film hit me hard on so many levels, and in a very personal way. It is a very honest look at relationships and friendships, but also it is about finding yourself and knowing yourself, and understanding where you belong. Those are hard “knowings and understandings” to get to in life. Perhaps the hardest things we will ever do (if we choose to, at all).

Drinking Buddies LD

There are no easy answers in the film (or in life, really). There is no actual closure, or any “everything is tied up” at the end. To be honest, I am okay with that because that’s how life is, and it makes the film even more relatable and real.

Even if sometimes I’d like it to be easy, that I’d like closure everywhere it’s needed, and want everything tied up in a pretty bow at the end (and in the middle, too), I know that isn’t reality and its comforting to have that kind of discomfort in this film. It ultimately makes me feel less alone, I think.

Drinking Buddies

m rewatching the movie today and am curious how it will affect me this time around.

The cast in Drinking Buddies is incredible, and are some of my favorites – especially Olivia Wilde and Jack Johnson. I wish there were more films with both of them, especially more films of the real life/indie variety like Drinking Buddies.

Side noteDrinking Buddies is available to stream, and on DVD, through Netflix. It is also available to rent on Amazon and YouTube.

Kodachrome MOTD

Kodachrome (2017)

Kodachrome is a Netflix Original Movie which was released in 2017. The Film stars Ed Harris, Elizabeth Olsen, and Jason Sudeikis. The story is set during the final days of a well-renowned and admired photo development system known as “Kodachrome”. A father and son hit the road in order to reach the Kansas photo lab before it closes its doors for good in order to develop rolls of Kodachrome film that the father, Ben (Ed Harris) has in his possession.

The key here is that father and son are deeply estranged, and the father, a well-renowned and admired photographer, is dying of Cancer. Time is running out on all counts, for Kodachrome, for the father/photographer’s life, and for forgiveness.

Kodachrome (2017)
Written by Jonathan Tropper (Screenplay)
Based on an article by A.G. Sulzberger
Directed by Mark Raso
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No matter how good something looks, you can’t beat the real thing.” – Ben

Ben Kodachrome

I’ve been itching for a road trip something fierce lately, so revisiting a recent favorite road trip movie seems in order.

Kodachrome Movie of the Day

I love road trip movies. They are one of my favorite genres (or sub-genres) of film. I was discussing the appeal of road trip stories in movies and I came up with one of the main reasons I love them so. A typical movie is only an hour and a half to two hours in length, which is not a lot of time for real character development. But, put your characters in a car, somewhat isolated from anyone else sans a roadside gas station attendant, bartender, or waitress/waiter, and you are allowed some space and time to explore characters, personalities, nuances, and relationships. It also makes it all the more believable when bonding happens, or attraction, or even healing.

Kodachrome LD MOTD

Also, admittedly I love a good road trip movie because I love a good (or even mediocre) road trip. Since life and responsibilities limit the amount of time I can hit the road for anything other than the daily commute, road trip movies let my gypsy soul live vicariously.

Kodachrome is almost completely a road trip story, from start to finish, which is one of the reasons I love it so much.

It is also a movie about redemption and forgiveness, and the consequences of the “artist’s life”. Questions of family, of truth, of authenticity, of self, and of letting go of the past are all themes that weave throughout the story. And although the film centers on photography, music plays a significant role, as well.

KC MOTD

Matt Ryder (Jason Sudeikis) is a record exec on the almost-outs. His character, at the start, reminds me a bit of Dan (Mark Ruffalo) in another one of my favorite films, Begin Again. They are both about to lose their jobs, they both love music and have an ear for it, and they are both lost internally, and to some degree externally, due to break-ups, and a past that has a hard hold on them. Matt seems to even teeter on that drinking problem that Dan (Begin Again) personifies, it just never takes full center stage in Kodachrome.

The “music business” is not the only way that music plays a part in Kodachrome, though. Mark’s record collection in his aunt and uncle’s home (Mark’s home since his mother died when he was an adolescent) sparks both memories that Mark shared with his father, as well as sparks a conversation, and connection, between Mark, and his father’s nurse, Zooey (Elizabeth Olsen).

A connection that starts to grow as the movie, and the road, unfold.

Zooey Kodachrome

My one complaint lies with the character of Zooey. I wish they’d developed her as an individual more, instead of just affixing damage to her, and hinting at issues.

Too much of the time she felt like a plot device to both Matt, and his father, and it didn’t have to be that way. Elizabeth Olsen is a fantastic actor (one of my favorites), and quite capable of nuance and complexity of character. And, it was there. You could see it. I just wanted it unpacked more.

Zooey is important to everyone in this story. I wish they’d let her be important to herself in the film, as well.

Ben Kodachrome 2

Ben and Matt’s relationship is the real core of Kodachrome. There are moments when I hate Ben as much as Matt does for the obvious abandonment and neglect he gifted Matt as his father.

Other times, I feel for Ben deeply and want him to find redemption, and want Matt to forgive him. Ben and Matt’s story tugged on me because of my own abandonment issues with my absent father. I couldn’t help but root for them to heal before it was too late.

Overall, I really enjoyed Kodachrome. I loved the road trip setting, the subtext of art and the “artist’s life”, and the story of a child and estranged parent having a chance at a connection, and redemption. I loved the way Music was used and enjoyed the soundtrack, both Agatha Kaspar’s score and songs by Pearl Jam, Galaxie 500, The Indians, Graham Nash, and others.

Oh, and Live…

I even enjoyed the burgeoning, maybe love story that unfolds between Matt and Zooey, even if I wanted more of Zooey beyond her relationships with Ben and Matt. I was still rooting for them, as a “them”, somewhere down the “road”.

Zooey and Matt

Side note: Kodachrome is a Netflix Original, and available to stream, and on DVD, through Netflix.

Reality Bites Movie of the Day Lyriquediscorde

Reality Bites (1994)

One of my all-time favorite movies is Reality Bites, a movie written by Helen Childress and directed by Ben Stiller. The film was released in 1994, my 25th year.

Today is my 50th year, and my love for this movie is still going strong.

Reality Bites (1994)
Written by Helen Childress
Directed by Ben Stiller
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I loved Reality Bites from the first time I saw it in the theater (opening weekend). I have lost track of how many times I’ve seen Reality Bites. It is one of those movies that I often re-watch when I need to cheer up (i.e. “comfort food” movies), when I spend time with friends who love it like I do, or when I just have a Laney, Vickie, Sammy, and Troy Dyer craving.

Reality Bites Lyriquediscorde MOTD

1994. 25. My life had some look-a-like similarities to the characters in Reality Bites that year. I was renting a small apartment, smoking too much, drinking coffee way, way too late most nights, and rocking Laney’s (Winona Ryder) ’90s hair.

I was in flux at the time, halfway out of a relationship and halfway in one, in that on the cusp of getting back together “place” that I would find myself in, over and over again, during my twenties. I had a two-year-old daughter, and most days I had no idea what I was doing with my life.

Reality Bites Laney and Troy

I wrote a lot in journals, I worked at a record store, I faltered in relationships, and I had some amazing friends.

The halfway out of a relationship boy said I reminded him of Lelaina, especially in the scene in the gas station mini-mart, when Laney and her friends dance to “My Sharona”.

He told me he always felt held back, and that I was overwhelming to him. I had too much energy and enthusiasm, to an embarrassing degree. He’d go on to say I loved too big, too. That I did everything too big. I suppose I should have listened, that I should have realized that this was part of what I ended up despising, how cold and collected he seemed, how much of his emotions seemed in constant lockdown, and how much he despised any and all of my emotions.

Laney and Troy Lyriquediscorde MOTD

I’ve definitely had my share of guys like Troy (Ethan Hawke). In the years that would follow Reality Bites, I would find myself falling for the intellectual slacker, the unmotivated musician, the underemployed (or unemployed), the boys who were irresponsible, often addicted, and hopelessly attractive to me. They were full of passion, good in bed, and were the kind of boys that you could have all-night conversations with, night after night after night.

TD RB LD

There’s no point to any of this. It’s all just a… a random lottery of meaningless tragedy and a series of near escapes. So I take pleasure in the details. You know… a Quarter-Pounder with cheese, those are good, the sky about ten minutes before it starts to rain, the moment where your laughter become a cackle… and I, I sit back and I smoke my Camel Straights and I ride my own melt.” – Troy Dyer

They weren’t good at the real life shit though. They never had money for dinner, or for rent. They were afraid of commitment, or so into “us” so fast that they became unhealthily obsessed and jealous. Most of them were weak, not physically so, but emotionally, not one to stand by my side when things got rough or needed to be faced. They needed me to fix them, to be strong for them, and to take over all the things in life they didn’t want to do.

Vickie and Laney Reality Bites

Most of them turned out to be nothing but nightmares and heartache.

And yet, even knowing that now, knowing what most Troy’s are like from first hand, and heart, and experience, I still sit here watching, at 50 now, knowing that if I was Laney I would fall for Troy, that I would choose Troy. Every single time.

Wouldn’t you?

I think about Lelaina now, today, on my birthday Saturday afternoon, and I still relate so much. Under skin that has lines now, and hair that grays quickly, I don’t feel all that grown-up, no, so much of me still feels like that 25-year-old who was confused all the time, who didn’t know what she wanted to be, or where. I look in the mirror half expecting to see a younger me, the me that still sneaks into so much of my thinking, feeling, and writing, but instead, I see this older woman who resembles my Mother, and my Grandmother.

Laney MOTD RB LD

“I was really going to be somebody by the time I was 23.” – Laney

I’m not afraid of aging, I’m not afraid of age, but I don’t feel much like this reflection that seems to be me. I think I thought I’d really be somebody by the age of 50, and 40, and 35, and 25, and maybe even 23.

Do we ever arrive at that “somebody” we think we’ll be?

Lelaina and Troy’s relationship stayed with me, and always will, as a defining kind of way to live and love. It became a flawed ideal of what I wanted out of love, and in some ways, I have found it at times, maybe not with all the elements of it, of their fictional love story, but definitely the sensibility of it. When I sit back and look at it, really take it in, I know I still want a “you and me and five bucks” kind of love. I don’t know how to not want it, no matter how naive it is, or doomed.

Maybe it’s part of why I like to say Troy Dyer ruined my heart.

Movie of the Day Reality Bites LD

Vickie (Janeane Garofalo) is more than just the stereotypical best friend character that we see all too often on film, especially in the romantic comedies and “coming-of-age” drama/dramedies. No, Vickie is more than that, she is complex, she has her own goals, her own struggles, her own insecurities, and is far more important to the story than just as a plot device to move Lelania’s story along.

Vickie Reality Bites MOTD

I love her friendship with Lelania, and the moments we get to see this, like in the car, singing together, and at the diner, talking about life and death, and everything in-between. Their love and friendship are believable and beautiful, and at times reminds me very much of my closest friends and our friendships.

Watching it now it makes me miss having a best girlfriend close by, the kind you spend so much time with, live with, or might as well live with. I miss having that kind of confidante, someone to drive around with playing music loudly and singing-a-long to. A best friend to share my secrets with, go on adventures with, stay up late drinking coffee and making each other laugh.

Sometimes the worst part about growing up is growing apart from your friends, or being long distances away from them.

Vickie and Laney Reality Bites

25 years is a long time, and not so long, as well. I still feel like Lelaina, but I also feel like I’m Laney with some years behind her. I’m still a mess, but I know myself more. I still have vulnerability and tenacity, I still want to create something and be something more than my “job”, and I still am full of flaws, but maybe those flaws are part of what makes me creative and make me, well…me.

And sometimes I just really want to dance around to My Sharona.

“My Sharona” by The Knack

Side note: Reality Bites is available to watch on Netflix (DVD only, US), Starz (cable and streaming), and to rent on Amazon and YouTube (US).

Some Kind of Wonderful Soundtrack Saturdays

Some Kind of Wonderful Soundtrack

Some movie soundtracks transcend the film they are part of. Though Some Kind of Wonderful is one of my favorite John Hughes’ movies, it’s not among the universally agreed upon “best John Hughes”, not like The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, 16 Candles, and even Pretty In Pink are. For some reason, Some Kind of Wonderful gets forgotten. Maybe its because it came later, or it could be its lack of Molly Ringwald or any of the so-called Brat Pack. Whatever the reason, it tends to get overlooked.

Some Kind of Wonderful Soundtrack Album

Some Kind of Wonderful – Music From the Motion Picture Soundtrack (1987)
Soundtrack Saturdays

The soundtrack might be overlooked, too. It’s hard for me to say, as it’s always been one of my favorite movie soundtracks. It would even be on my list of quintessential albums. The soundtrack to Some Kind of Wonderful is utterly unforgettable, to me. Tied closely with Pretty In Pink, as the best Hughes’ movie soundtracks of all-time.

Soundtrack Saturdays

Released on MCA Records in 1985, the Some Kind of Wonderful soundtrack features songs by Pete Shelley, Flesh For Lulu, Stephen Duffy, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and The March Violets, among others. The soundtrack is full of lesser-known, “alternative” (before the term became a “genre”) bands and artists that have this unmistakable cool-factor. This helped keep the compilation fresh sounding (still is) and not crammed full of stereotypical ’80’s hits that many of us have had our ears over-filled with.

Every song on the soundtrack fit perfectly into the moments and scenes they accompanied in the movie, from the attention-grabbing opening track to the nightclub scene, the kissing lesson/first kiss scene, the climactic party, and finally, the unusual and beautiful cover of the Elvis classic, “I Can’t Help Falling In Love” which starts up at the ending of the final scene, and then plays in full over the closing credits. Every song appears to have been chosen with meticulous precision, acting as part of the scene itself, if not as a supporting character.

The end – Some Kind of Wonderful

The songs on this soundtrack remind me of the “Imports” section in my favorite record stores during my teen and twenty-something years. The bins where I discovered bands and artists that weren’t getting airplay on even the edgiest radio stations of the time. I loved mining for these albums, uncovering new favorites that I would devour, and share with other music obsessive friends of mine. This soundtrack is full of just those kinds of bands and artists.

Furniture’s melancholic “Brilliant Mind” and Flesh For Lulu’s pop-culture laden “I Go Crazy” were my first-listen favorites, when I first bought the album. These were tracks I immediately started including on mixtapes made for myself and others.

I remember thinking it was refreshing to hear a Stephen Duffy song other than “Kiss Me”, and to have other people start finding out who Pete Shelley was. Oh, and The March Violets’ version of The Rolling Stones’ “Miss Amanda Jones” and Lick The Tins rendition of Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling In Love” quickly became part of my endless collection of best-loved cover songs.

Do you have any favorites from the soundtrack?

Top 5 Some Kind Of Wonderful Songs

1.”Brilliant Mind” by Furniture, featuring David Jacob

2. “Do Anything” by Pete Shelley

3. “I Go Crazy” by Flesh For Lulu

4. “She Loves Me” by Stephen Duffy

5. “Can’t Help Falling In Love” by Lick The Tins

Top 51 Favorite Movies – 1-11 – Film Listography

Film Listography Lyriquediscorde

My Top 51 Movies of All Time
Movies 1-11

Inspired by List your Favorite Films of All-Time
Film Listography : Your Life In (Play)Lists

Listen to my Favorite Movies in Music here on Spotify and YouTube

Revisiting my Film Listography Book to start a new Daily Movies feature. The first list is “Favorite Films of All-Time”, a hard category to narrow down. I feel like this list is always growing as I see new movies, and more often than not, revisit or discover older movies. I know this list will evolve and change over time, but some of the top favorites I know will always be there, especially the Top 5.

I will be breaking up the list into ten movies at a time, starting today with the first ten movies, and ending Friday with the last ten – fifty movies all together.

1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Written by Charlie Kaufman, Pierre Bismuth & Michel Gondry
Directed by Michel Gondry

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Favorite Movies Movie 1

“I can’t see anything that I don’t like about you.” – Joel

“But you will! But you will. You know, you will think of things. And I’ll get bored with you and feel trapped because that’s what happens with me.” – Clementine

“Okay.” – Joel

[pauses] “Okay.” – Clementine.”

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is my Favorite Film. It touches on something in me that is almost impossible to articulate. Its impact often feels beyond words. Since the first time I saw it, I’ve felt a deep connection/kinship with the character of Clementine (Kate Winslet). The way I relate is both in good ways and bad. Sometimes there is so much raw truth reflected at me it hurts to watch. But, I keep watching because I’ve never found a Film yet that hits me the way this one does.

Most of the time Clementine and Joel (Jim Carrey) gift a strange comfort to me. A comfort that makes me feel less alone in my own flavor of fucked up girl-ness. I get Clementine. I get Joel. I get what they have, what they lose, and what they fight so damn hard to hold on to in the end.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a love story to me. The most real kind of love story. So perfect in all its glaring, messy imperfectness.

Flawed characters. Love that knows no limits. Love that persists despite seemingly impossible challenges, like erased memories. A story filled with alternate and intersecting realities. Impulsiveness, passion, confliction, loss, restlessness, joy, bliss, forgiveness, and love. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind speaks to my persistent nature, my hopelessly romantic side, and the ways I’ve been broken, and pieced back together by love, life, and self-reliance.

Movie 1

The Film touches on loneliness, too. Loneliness pervades every character, and at times directs their decisions.

We are shown Joel’s loneliness from the start, his grief, and his somber solitude. When he says “Why do I fall in love with every woman I see who shows me the least bit of attention?” illustrates his loneliness and self-doubt. I think in many ways Joel feels invisible, and desperately wants to be seen.

Clementine runs from loneliness, trying to keep just enough steps ahead that it doesn’t touch her (even though it is what fuels her running). She changes her image, she erases Joel from her memory, she exhibits many markers of borderline personality disorder, especially in her need for attention and love, even though she shoves it away at times. Loneliness is weaved into all of Clementine.

Another thing to contemplate about Clementine. I’ve seen references to Clementine as being a “Manic Pixie Dream Girl”,  a descriptive that has some personal pain to it for me. I know in my life I’ve tried to be that. Maybe not exactly Manic or Pixie, or a Dream Girl, but I’ve tried to be the “Cool Girl”, the kind referenced in the book “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn. Thing is, that kind of fake self cannot be sustained, and I think eventually the “Girl” in that facade fights it, resents it, and runs from it. I think if anything Clementine is seen as an “MPDG” by Joel, at first, and maybe for a while, but that shatters and she pushes back at it and eventually runs. I think at the end, when they are face to face in the hallway, after hearing on the tapes what became of them once, it is impossible for her to ever be anything but Clementine. I think if anything this film takes that notion of an “MPDG” and lets us see it fall apart.

What happens after the credits roll? Do Clementine and Joel survive? Do they live to repeat the same mistakes that had them trying to erase each other from their memories? What happens to Mary? Does she leave town, change her name, try to forget and move on? What about Patrick and Stan? Is Patrick running a Pyramid scheme business? Is Stan working in a Psychologists office, or in some other cutting edge, scientific field? Did Dr. Mierzwiak retire?

We can answer these questions in our imaginations? If you are like me, I root for Clementine and Joel to make it. And maybe you hope Mary finds something she doesn’t need to forget about later. I know I do.

What I know for certain is that Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind will always be my Favorite Movie and that each time I watch it I see and feel another something, and I start thinking again about layers of the story, and how it relates to me, to life, and to love.

ESOTSM Movie 1

2. Lost in Translation (2003)
Written & Directed by Sofia Coppola

Lost In Translation All-Time Favorite Movies Movie 2

I just don’t know what I’m supposed to be.” – Charlotte

You’ll figure that out. The more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you.” – Bob

Does age really change how you see the world, and yourself in it? Does it get easier, as Bob suggests to Charlotte? Do we believe him, or is he trying to convince himself that life has gotten easier?

One of the things I love the most about the relationship between Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) and Bob (Bill Murray) is the way it illustrates that at any age we are all confused and still searching for ourselves, and for connections with others. That never gets easier, in my opinion, but the possibility of connecting never goes away either. The latter, it makes it all worth it, for those moments shared with another, sometimes unexpectedly.

LIT Movie 2

Trying to articulate the reasons and whys of my love for this movie always trips me up and has me uncharacteristically without words. It is a feeling, the way I find myself “lost” in the movie every single time I watch, and how completely emotionally moved I feel for Charlotte and Bob. Every time I watch I feel more.

At the end of the movie, Charlotte and Bob embrace, and Bob whispers something inaudible to the “audience” to Charlotte. I’ve always wondered what was said, and through the years, and re-watches, I’ve decided on various things that he was saying. The one I tend to come back to most often is “I love you,” in some way, or another, whether it is followed by “but I can’t”, or “maybe someday”, or “let’s find each other again”, it does almost always include “I love you”.

3. Almost Famous (2000)
Written & Directed by Cameron Crowe

Almost Famous All-Time Favorite Movies Movie 3

I always tell the girls, never take it seriously, if ya never take it seriously, ya never get hurt, ya never get hurt, ya always have fun, and if you ever get lonely, just go to the record store and visit your friends.” – Penny Lane

I was on a late night flight from Miami when I first saw Almost Famous. It was one of those flights that are undersold, so I had three seats to myself. I lay down with half-working headphones watching the film thinking that I would drift off to sleep. The movie captured me though, and I lay there wide-eyed watching, falling hard and fast for Penny Lane (Kate Hudson) and William Miller (Patrick Fugit) and Russell Hammond (Billy Crudup). Music has always led my heart and narrated my life, so music stories are a love of mine, and without a doubt or a moment’s hesitation, this one is my favorite.

AF Movie 3

Over the years, and over many re-watches of both the released version, and the director’s cut (the latter my preference), I have found myself toggling between who I relate to more, Penny or William, and whose stories speak to me the most. William is a music lover, a writer, a weirdo and an outcast in his life. He seems so often torn between what he wants to do and what he thinks he is supposed to do, and he loves in that open heart so easily broken kind of way. He never seems to belong anywhere completely, though he has moments when where he feels like “home“, most often when he’s on the road with the band and Penny. I have felt, and still do feel, so much of those sentiments and conflicting feelings about where I belong, if I belong, and which path to travel.

Almost Famous Movie 3

Penny though, well she has that bottomless heart, that nearly unbreakable sense of hope, that love of music and the makers of music that I can’t help to relate to. There’s the pain, too. The heartbreak of trying to “project” someone else’s dreams, the ache of being someone’s temporary choice, and the pain that comes with loving an artist.

She believes in the music with all of her being, believes in the fantasy it promises, the life it seems to offer, the love, but she seems to not see the magic within herself. I want Penny to write a novel, or put a band together, take her own show on the road, and not just be someone’s band-aid to fix or facilitate them with. I know it has taken years and years for me to learn to be my own project, and even still I fall for the music and the music makers.

Almost Famous All Time Favorite

Though I vacillate between my big love for both William and Penny, and how they both relate to who I am, most days I’d rather not be either. But I would like to ride Doris (the tour bus) along with them both, and with Stillwater, and the other band-aid’s. I’d like to spend a month or so on the road with them, write on the bus, write stories and maybe some songs. I’d like to sing a song with Jeff (Jason Lee), and take photos with Penny, try on clothes with Saphire (Fairuza Balk) and Polexia (Anna Paquin), get ice with Russell, dance on the empty stage post-shows and just take off on a gypsy-soul musical sabbatical from my life for a little while.

When I feel this way, when I long for just that, I return to some of the songs from the soundtrack and pop in my “bootleg cut” director’s cut version of Almost Famous, and make it my escape for a few hours.

4. Reality Bites (1994)
Written by Helen Childress
Directed by Ben Stiller

Reality Bites All-Time Favorite Movies Movie 4

“You see, Lainie, this is all we need. . .couple of smokes, a cup of coffee. . .and a little bit of conversation. You and me and five bucks.” – Troy

Reality Bites was released about twenty-four years ago. When it came out I was just twenty-five. I was in flux at the time, halfway out of a relationship and halfway in one, in that on the cusp of getting back together place that I would find myself in, over and over again, during my twenties. At twenty-five, I had a two-year-old daughter, and I had no idea what I was doing with my life. I wrote a lot in journals, I worked at a record store, I faltered in relationships, and I had some amazing friends.

Laney Reality Bites Movie 4

The halfway out of a relationship boy said I reminded him of Lelaina, especially in the scene in the gas station mini-mart, when Laney and her friends dance to “My Sharona”. He told me he always felt held back and that me and my friends were so overwhelming in energy and enthusiasm, to an embarrassing degree. I suppose I should have listened, that I should have realized that this was part of what I ended up despising, how cold and collected he seemed, how much of his emotions seemed in constant lockdown. How he shared himself with other women (and men), but never me.

Reality Bites Troy and Laney Movie 4

I fell for boys like Troy in the years that followed. In the twenty-four years since Reality Bites, I would find myself falling for the intellectual slacker, the unmotivated musician, the boys who were irresponsible, often addicted, usually jobless, and hopelessly attractive to me. They were full of passion, great in bed, and were the kind of boys that you could have all-night conversations with, night after night after night. They were not good at the real life shit though. They never had money for dinner, or for rent. They were afraid of commitment, or so into me and us so fast that they became unhealthily obsessed and jealous. Most of them were weak, not physically so, but emotionally, not one to stand by my side when things got rough or needed to be faced. Most of them turned out to be nothing but nightmares and heartache.

Reality Bites All Time Favorite

And yet, even knowing that now, knowing what most Troy’s are like from first hand, and heart, experience, I still watch and know I would still fall for Troy, that I would still choose Troy, that he is still my god-damn ideal.

When I watch Lelaina now,  I still relate so much. Under skin that has lines now, and hair that greys quickly, I don’t feel all that grown-up, no, so much of me still feels like that 25-year-old who was confused all the time, who didn’t know what she wanted to be, or who she wanted to be with (though I’m lucky to finally know who I want to be with, and finally be really in love). I look in the mirror half expecting to see a younger me, the me that still sneaks into so much of my writing, but instead I see this older woman who resembles her Mother, and her Grandmother.

RB Movie 4

I’m not afraid of ageing, I’m not afraid of age, but I don’t feel much like this reflection that seems to be me. I think I thought I’d really be somebody by the age of 48, and 36, and 25, and maybe even 23. Do we ever arrive at that “somebody” we think we’ll be?

I was really going to be somebody by the time I was 23.” – Lelania

Twenty-four years is a long time, and not so long, as well. I still feel like Lelaina, but I also feel like I’m Laney with some years behind her. I’m still a mess, but I know myself more. I still have vulnerability and tenacity, I still want to create something and be something more than my “job”, and I still am full of flaws, but maybe those flaws are part of what makes me creative and make me me.

Reality Bites My Sharona Favorite Movies

And sometimes I just really want to dance around to My Sharona.

5. A Place In the Sun (1951)
Story by Theodore Dreiser and Patrick Kearney
Screenplay by Michael Wilson and Harry Brown
Directed by George Stevens

A Place In the Sun All-Time Favorite Movies Movie 5

Every time you leave me for a minute,
it’s like goodbye.
I like to believe it means you can’t live without me.” – Angela

Growing up, I inherited a love of film and music, and nearly unshakable insomnia, from my Mother. I would find myself tossing and turning throughout the night, and I would lean my head towards the door, straining to hear whatever film my Mother was watching in the wee hours between late at night and early morning, out in our living room. Quite often it was a classic film, black and white flicker on a screen with some of the classic Hollywood actors keeping her company in her own sleepless hours. Sometimes I would creep out into the hallways, each step I’d take care as our hardwood floors were prone to creak, and I would try to remain unnoticed, craning my neck just so, in order to catch glimpses of whatever film was playing.

Often she pretended to not notice me there, though I know now she was never fooled. And, after a while, she would shake her had at me and say, “just come in and join me.”

A Place In the Sun Movie 5

Elizabeth Taylor was one of my early favorites. Her stunning looks and demeanor took my breath away. All dark hair and pale skin, and sparkling eyes that I would later learn were an unusual shade of violet. She had this air of melancholy about her, and a strange mixture of innocence and worldliness that seemed to emanate from every pore. I was fascinated by the roles she played, and by the way she carried herself in all of the varying characters, I found myself devouring in those long, still hours of no longer night and not yet morning.

A Place In the Sun All Time Favorite Movies

During my adolescence, when a theatre teacher told me that I reminded her of a young Elizabeth Taylor, I was dumbfounded, and nearly burst into tears right there in front of her. I never saw myself as anything like her, nor would I again, but for that split-second, I felt as if her mystique has slipped momentarily underneath my skin, and shone out of me, as those old films had glowed out of our rabbit-eared second-hand television.

A Place in the Sun is about impossible love, bad timing, deception and loss. It is based on the novel, An American Tragedy, so I suppose there is no mistaken this for a Hollywood ending “they lived happily ever after” kind of number. This film definitely doesn’t end happily, though I suppose there are moments “in the sun“, and those stolen confessions in the moonlight when two people end up in each other’s arms, whether it should have ever happened, or come to be, at all.

A Place In the Sun Favorite Movies

Love ending at the electric chair, well, I suppose that it does deserve the title of tragedy, doesn’t it?

6. Chasing Amy (1997)
Written & Directed by Kevin Smith

Chasing Amy All-Time Favorite Movies Movie 5

“Even if we never talk again after tonight, please know that I am forever changed because of who you are, and what you’ve meant to me. Which, while I do appreciate it, i’d never need a picture of birds bought at a diner to remind me of.” – Holden

I’ve always loved Alyssa (the film’s “Amy”), her spirit, her fluidity, her sense of self, her persona, her humor, and her heart. When I saw Chasing Amy in the 90’s I remember wishing I could be like her, seeing her as brave and bold in ways, and about things, that I was shy and insecure about. I feel closer to her now, and was once in a relationship much like the one she is in with Holden, and have had to defend my past before, too – I think she’s such an important female character (is she the first bisexual female film character?) – cheers to Kevin Smith for writing her, and for Joey Lauren Adams portrayal of her.

Alyssa Chasing Amy All-Time Favorite Movies

Alyssa is on my list of fictional characters I relate to the most. Not that I share all her experiences (some, but not all), but her way of living and loving, her take on things, and her reactions, I feel completely. This is, and always will be, my favorite Kevin Smith film, one that makes me laugh, cry and feel (a lot).

There is something about this scene, the vulnerability in it, and that moment where you know that what is being opened up will change everything. It could have been terribly cheesy, but it is not, not even at all. To me it is believable, relatable, and painful in that way that when I first saw it I watched it through my fingers, with my hands covering my eyes, dreading what the outcome would be.

I think there is this universal feeling to it. That feeling of falling into an impossible situation, and having it burn you so deeply that you feel there is no way you can keep your feelings inside any longer, and that risk, that utter and complete risk, of telling someone you are in love with them in the face of rejection.

Beyond this scene, there are so many other things I love about Chasing Amy. Alyssa is one of those characters that I relate to on an under the skin level, one of a few that I feel in a visceral way. I love how complex they wrote her friendship with Holden, and her own self-actualized journey, and reality. I love the friendship between Holden and Banky, as well, and the wit and pop culture peppered into a very real love story.

Chasing Amy Movie 5

7. Before Sunrise (1995)
Written by Richard Linklater & Kim Krizan
Directed by Richard Linklater

Before Sunrise All-Time Favorite Movies Movie 7

I believe if there’s any kind of God it wouldn’t be in any of us, not you or me but just this little space in between. If there’s any kind of magic in this world it must be in the attempt of understanding someone sharing something. I know, it’s almost impossible to succeed but who cares really? The answer must be in the attempt.” – Celine

My most memorable of memories, the kind that sticks deep inside like soul-taffy, are of moments of connection with people that include music, passion and conversation. I am a word addict, just as I am a music junkie, and a damn hopeless romantic, so the three blended up, shaken and stirred up together is just sheer bliss to me. I have had those moments with people, wrapped up in talks that last for hours and hours, carrying one day into the next, the kind that has you never wanting to stop, never wanting to hang up the phone, or say “we better call it a night.” Time means nothing, anything past the two connecting mean nothing and all there is to matter is the space between the words, the pauses to breathe, the burning glances and the exchanged thoughts.

Before Sunrise Movie 6

Celine and Jesse, in Before Sunrise, have that, and then some. They have a stolen night that turns into a beyond words memory filled with words and passion, music and poetry, sex and love and the stuff of what one hopes can last forever. I have had a few of these moments, a few memories like this, and even the ones that never did last, well, I would not trade them for anything. Celine and Jesse were a promise to me, a hope of sorts, and a cinematic portrayal of a love I have always wanted, though perhaps never quite found, or held on to, until NOW.

Before Sunrise Favorite Movies 6

8. Garden State (2004)
Written & Directed by Zach Braff

Garden State All-Time Favorite Movies Movie 7

Fuck, this hurts so much.” – Andrew

“I know it hurts. That’s life. If nothing else, It’s life. It’s real, and sometimes it fuckin’ hurts, but it’s sort of all we have.” – Sam

The very first time I watched Garden State my overwhelming thought was “where has this movie been all my life?”. Everything about it, the pain of living, the feelings that go on when you are grieving and starting over and waking up, the relationship between Andrew and Sam, the connecting force of music, the neverending search for meaning, the complicated dynamics of family and home, mental and emotional issues, and love. This is an amazing movie, layered with so much of everything, with some brilliant performances.

Garden State Movie 8

I love the relationship between Sam and Andrew, how much they grow and change, teach each other, and heal each other, in such a short span of time. I love how real their love feels, flawed and raw and wonderful. This movie gives me hope and that kind of comfort that none of us is alone in this world.

There are moments within the movie that bring me to a mess of ugly tears, the kind that is hard to breathe through, and leave me sobbing. There are also moments that make me laugh loudly and fill me with joy. These are two flawed people who have been struggling with different emotional and mental issues that have kept them from certain things in life, love being one of them. Watching these two people find each other, open each other up, and fall in love is so meaningful to me.

Garden State Movie 8 All-Time Favorite Movies

What makes us different, our unique moments (like Sam’s above) are what help us get through the hardest days in life. The scene above always reminds me to be fiercely myself and to find things to laugh about every day.

The ending kills me. It rips me apart and leaves me in a state of messy tears like I mentioned before. It hits on airport goodbyes I’ve dealt with in my life, and times spent wishing someone would come to stop me at the airport, tell me they love me, that they want to try to make it all work. The scene also makes my heart soar and makes me believe in love like that – like Sam and Andrew’s, and like the love I have in my life right now.

9. The Big Lebowski (1998)
Written and Directed by Ethan and Joel Coen

The Big Lebowski Movie 9

“That rug really tied the room together.”  – The Dude

Stories in Los Angeles, unexpected character connections, and the wit and dark comedy of the Coen Brothers are some of the elements of this film that I love. There is something more, too – maybe it is the actors (so many in this that I love), the music connections (see if you can spot Aimee Mann and Flea), the friendships, or maybe it is the “follow your bliss” simplicity of “The Dude” himself. At first blush, his slacker nature seems rooted in laziness, but I think under the surface there is more to it – a simplicity that he fights for, and is often unable to sustain, that draws me in.

The Big Lebowski Movie 8

The music in the film is brilliant, and the visuals – especially in the dream sequences – are breathtaking. Though it is The Dude (Jeff Bridges), Donnie (Steve Buscemi) and Walter (John Goodman) who are the stars of the film (deservedly so), some of the supporting cast are just fantastic – especially Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Julianne Moore.

This is a movie that never fails to make me laugh. My favorite, funniest moments? There’s two that stick out most – the whole “tied the room together” (re the rug) or the Dude’s distaste of The Eagles.

10. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
Written by Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson
Directed by Wes Anderson

The Royal Tenenbaums All-Time Favorite Movies Movie 9

“I think we’re just gonna to have to be secretly in love with each other and leave it at that, Richie.” – Margot

A family full of misfits, outcasts, and broken souls. Wes Anderson has a style that is immediately recognizable, and a knack for creating characters that are not just unique and unusual, but completely unforgettable. There is something iconic in the characters and the story in this film, something that transcends the movie itself, imprinting differently than cinema usually does, connecting almost the way that music does.

I love the juxtaposition of mood and feeling, to color hues and music and visuals. At times everything is falling apart while the music and colors may suggest otherwise, yet together it all works to deliver both hope and hopelessness, love and loss, heartbreak and happiness. The Royal Tenenbaum’s is my choice for best Wes Anderson, though I love all of his films – this one though, I think it will always be my number one.

The music is magic. But, then again, that can be said about all Wes Anderson movies. I’ve heard that he picks the music first, and then builds the scenes around them. I love thinking about that process – I hope it’s true.

Margot (Gwyneth Paltrow), Etheline (Anjelica Huston) and Royal (Gene Hackman) are my favorite characters, though all of them have their moments. At the end of the film, I always find myself wanting more of the family’s story. To see what happens to them next.

The Royal Tenenbaums Movie 9

11. Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
Story by Truman Capote
Screenplay by George Axelrod
Directed by Blake Edwards

Breakfast at Tiffany's All-Time Favorite Movies Movie 10

“I’m like cat here, a no-name slob. We belong to nobody, and nobody belongs to us. We don’t even belong to each other.” – Holly Golightly

My feelings have changed, or perhaps more my perspective, about Holly and the entire story of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, since I first saw it as a preteen girl. Back then I saw Holly as a hero, someone to idolize and to hope I could grow up and be just like when I embarked on adulthood and living on my own. Although I do wish I’d struck out more independently when I originally left home (don’t move out with a boyfriend/girlfriend first thing, boys and girls. No, really), I see a lot more clearly the sadness in Holly, the loneliness, and more than that, the self-destructive behaviors. It’s clearer to see as an adult, especially as an adult who has been sad, lonely and who has indulged in self-destructive behaviors. off-and-on, in her life.

All that said, I still love Holly, and the movie (albeit, I could do without the miscast of Mickey Rooney as her Asian neighbor – that just makes me shudder.) I do wonder how the movie would play out if it had been made now. Would Paul have been gay, as he is in the novella? Would they have gone off together as friends? Would it be the same without that iconic kiss in the rain?

I can’t imagine a different version. I cannot imagine Holly not being played by Audrey Hepburn either, or Paul being anyone but George Peppard. So, for me, it will always be this version that I love.

Breakfast At Tiffany's Movie 10

Songs from My Top 50 Favorite Movies – Film Listography

M. Ward Song of the Day Lyriquediscorde

“War and Peace” by M. Ward

Three days away from “song of the days”, and other lyriquediscorde postings, due to a three-day, bank holiday weekend. Sometimes disconnecting and taking a break to be engaged with one’s in-person life is necessary. I usually do this on weekends anyway, so this was a weekend plus one away. For the most part, the three days were wonderful, with a one-day exception that worked itself out before the day was through. Its tough sometimes for me to deal with the rough days. It’s hard not to think they are indicative of what we have. But, I try to remind myself that we are still new and that often my perspectives and expectations are built on how I react and see things in this world, not how the other person does. This can be a trap, of sorts. A recipe for disappointment, and hurt feelings, and yes, rough days. I’m trying to sort through that all and catch myself when I’m locked into my perspectives and expectations. I’m trying to learn to stop it before it causes issues, step back, and see things from both sides.

Song of the Day Lyriquediscorde Header

Relationships are work. Hard work sometimes. Little to no work at other times. We are all so different, have had different upbringings and past relationships, and have different ways of loving, expressing ourselves, and feeling. It’s worth the work though, even on the rough days. Maybe especially on those rough days.

“War and Peace” by M. Ward
from the album, What a Wonderful Industry (2018)
also from the original motion picture soundtrack – Juliet, Naked (2018)
Song of the Day

Over the weekend Chris and I saw the film Juliet, Naked, the cinematic version of the Nick Hornby book of the same name. I loved the movie in so many ways, and for so many reasons. One of those reasons was the music in the film. The soundtrack is filled with favorites of mine, including today’s Song of the Day, M. Ward with a song that is off of his 2018 album, What a Wonderful Industry.

Check-out the movie, and its soundtrack, if you get the chance. I highly recommend both.

Juliet Naked Song of the Day

Juliet, Naked (2018)
Rose Byrne and Ethan Hawke

 

Pete Yorn 10 Questions Project LD

10 Questions with Pete Yorn

10 Questions Project Header

The first post that ever appeared on Lyriquediscorde was a Song of the Day featuring Pete Yorn (“Strange Condition”, on February 1, 2011). Since that day, the launch of Lyriquediscorde, Pete Yorn’s Music has been a favorite. Lyriquediscorde’s featured many a Song of the Day, features and reviews on Pete’s albums, live music reviews, and his Songs have made their way into Playlists and Top 5 Music Obsessions. Let’s just say we are big Pete Yorn fans around here.

When I first heard that there was a new project with Pete and Scarlett Johansson I was thrilled. The Break Up album was a phenomenal collaborative creation reminiscent of Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot, or the combo of Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood. Then “Bad Dreams” was released, the first track from the upcoming Scarlett and Pete EP Apart which releases on June 1.

Pete Yorn Scarlett Johansson Apart EP

You can pre-order the album (on vinyl, CD, and digital) of Apart, and a cool tee shirt inspired by Apart here.

Lyriquediscorde had the opportunity to catch-up with Pete and he shared with us his answers to the Keep Art Alive 10 Questions project. But, before we start, let’s have a listen to “Bad Dreams”, an excellent cover of “Worried” by Echo Friendly.

“Bad Dreams” by Pete Yorn and Scarlett Johansson
from the upcoming EP, Apart

Pete Yorn 10 Questions Project LD

photo by Sophie Muller

Pete Yorn – 10 Questions Project
Keep Art Alive

  1. What music, or other art forms, inspire you when you create your art?

    Movies tend to inspire…characters in film or books that unexpectedly resonate with me. The art of navigating relationships with people you love seems to inspire me…or at least come out in my lyrics. Of course, music I love will seep in there. 

  2.  Long distance road trip: what 3 people do you invite along? Fictional or non-fictional, dead or alive all count.

    Of course Beth and Ellie Bee. But In some weird universe Alfred Hitchcock, Billy Wilder and, Marilyn Monroe. 

  3. What is your favorite breakfast cereal?

    Honey Nut Cheerios.

    Honey Nut Cheerios Pete Yorn 10 Questions LD

  4. What is one thing that is hanging on your bedroom wall?

    A photo of birds that my wife took.

  5. What smell/scent evoke strong memories for you?

    Scent memory is so intense sometimes and can really hit me hard. There’s a smell of cut grass and dirt that always reminds me of the little league baseball fields where I grew up in New Jersey (Municipal Field). Also, certain perfume…especially this scent my friend’s mom always wore when we were little…if I smell it today it immediately takes me back to my childhood in a great way. 

  6. Coffee or tea?

    Mostly coffee, but I love tea.

  7. What is the most impactful compliment, or criticism, you have ever received?

    I can’t think of any right now.

  8. What are 3 words that describe you?

    Loyal. Human. Dad.

  9. What is, or was your cartoon crush?

    That girl in Heavy Metal who hooks up with the cab driver. 

    Heavy Metal - Cab Pete Yorn 10 Questions LD

  10. The world is ending in 10 minutes and you get to listen to only one song – which song do you pick?

    ”Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love”: Van Halen

“Ain’t Talkin”Bout Love” by Van Halen

I feel like this is such an intense “last song”, like something you’d see/hear in an apocalyptic movie climax. The world is ending, our hero may still prevail, this song starts up…yeah, I so can see/hear it.

Pete Yorn 10 Questions Project LD

Want to learn more about Pete Yorn? Want to make sure you don’t miss a thing about Pete and Scarlett’s upcoming EP Apart, or any upcoming Pete Yorn tour dates, or other announcements?

Then go now go and Follow and Friend here:

Website
Order Apart
Tour Dates
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Spotify
YouTube

As always, if you like what you hear in this feature go out and SUPPORT THE MUSIC. Buy some Music. Go to a Live Show. Spread the Art…the Music…the Love…and help Keep Art Alive. Go now go and enjoy some Pete Yorn.

And while we all wait for the EP Apart to release, go and check out past Pete Yorn features and indulge in some of his fantastic music and albums.

I want to thank Pete Yorn for participating in the Keep Art Alive: 10 Questions Project.

Please remember to support the art and artists you enjoy and discover – be a part of what KEEPS ART ALIVE by going to shows, buying what you can, and supporting and promoting what you love. ALWAYS.

Style Council Ever Had It Blue Weller Wednesday

“Have You Ever Had It Blue?” (live at Sydney Opera House) by Paul Weller

Weller Wednesday Header

“Have You Ever Had It Blue?” (live at Sydney Opera House) by Paul Weller

Happy Weller Wednesday, that special day of the week where we celebrate, listen to and learn about All Things Paul Weller. This week we turn our eyes and ears to a Live Performance from the Sydney Opera House. Paul Weller performing a Song originally by The Style Council, and featured in the Film Absolute Beginners – “Have You Ever Had It Blue?”

Style Council Ever Had It Blue Weller Wednesday

“Have You Ever Had It Blue?” was The Style Council’s contribution to Julien Temple’s 1986 musical version of Colin MacInnes’ novel Absolute Beginners (earlier the inspiration for a classic Jam single) was their last truly interesting single, and even it has undeniable echoes of a few songs from the previous year’s Internationalists, particularly “With Everything To Lose” and “All Gone Away.” A horn arrangement by Gil Evans opens the song with an authentically cool jazz nod to the novel’s time period, but the song itself has more of a bossa nova feel, with its subtle Latin percussion and Dee C. Lee’s Astrud Gilberto-like wordless backing vocals. Still, it’s a richly melodic tune and the end of Paul Weller’s continental jazz-pop persona. From here it was the miserable genre-exploitation of the last few Style Council records and a diminishing-returns solo career. (from Stewart Mason at All Music)

“Have You Ever Had It Blue?” by The Style Council

Though Weller tends to disregard Absolute Beginners as a Film, often saying disparaging things about it before performing “Have You Ever Had It Blue?”, its Soundtrack is stellar. The Style Council shares Musical space with David Bowie, Ray Davies, Sade, among others.

Absolute Beginners Movie

Absolute Beginners was released in 1986 and was adapted from Colin MacInnes’ book of the same name. It is about life in late 1950’s London and was directed by Julien Temple. It stars Patsy Kensit, David Bowie, and Sade.

Although the Movie received heavy Media coverage and promotion, it was essentially a box office flop. So, I guess Weller has a point when he talks it down. The Music was what made the Film memorable, especially Bowie’s “Absolute Beginners” Single, and “Have You Ever Had It Blue?” by The Style Council.

Absolute Beginners (1986)
End of Video features “Have You Ever Had It Blue?”

The Song lives on well past the unfortunately low-rated Film. It also seems to have lived past The Style Council itself. Weller still plays it often during Solo shows, breathing new life, and an Acoustic update to the Song, keeping it relevant and quite lovely to hear.

“Have You Ever Had It Blue?” (live, KEXP Radio) by Paul Weller

What do you think of the Song? Do you prefer the Absolute Beginners/Style Council Version or Weller’s Live Acoustic stylings?

 

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