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Cameron Crowe’s favorite musical moments in film history

Cameron Crowe’s favorite musical moments in film history (photo)

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As a former rock and roll writer for Rolling Stone and current director of music-centric movies like “Almost Famous” and “Singles,” Cameron Crowe is uniquely qualified to put together a list of the best uses in music in film history. When Empire asked him to do exactly that a few months ago, he didn’t disappoint. His picks, republished on the inaccurately titled official Crowe site The Uncool, are as superb as they are exhaustive: asked to pick ten best, Crowe dropped 36 favorites. I knew the Crowe character in “Almost Famous” was thorough, but c’mon: that’s just ridiculous.

His choices are a smart mix of widely acclaimed classics and clever obscurities. Harry Nilsson’s “Everybody’s Talking” from 1969’s “Midnight Cowboy”ranks at #7, as well it should, but it clocks in just ahead of a movie and a scene I’d never even heard of before today: Elvis Presley’s psychedlic musical number “Edge of Reality” from 1968’s “Live a Little, Love A Little.” Crowe says the sheer churn of three movies a year began to wear down Presley by the late ’60s, but that “Elvis’ weariness and unpreparedness sometimes created seismically funny and unintentionally profound sequences like this one. Turn it up and groove out to E’s only true foray into psychedelia.” Here’s the clip from YouTube, decide for yourself.

Wowsers. As for Crowe’s number one pick for best film music moment of all time, here it is (for the full list, be sure to hit up The Uncool):

1. “Don’t Be Shy” (Cat Stevens)

“Harold and Maude” (1971)

Is there a better movie opening? Ashby could fill all ten spots on this list, such is his skillful music lovers touch, but this is perhaps his best song usage ever. “Don’t Be Shy” kicks off “Harold and Maude” with spare perfection and an intoxicating invitation to the movie to come. We meet Harold and he’s about to hang himself. It’s a comedy like no other, and the combination of this song and that scene makes for a soul-scratching introduction. Soon we’re rooting for a love story between and 18 year old Harold and a 79 year-old Maude. And it all begins with “Don’t Be Shy.”

Did Crowe hit all my favorite movie music moments? Not even close; he’s missing “As Time Goes By,” from “Casablanca,” the opening credits to “Jackie Brown,” and the jubilant final concert in “The Blues Brothers.” But I like what Crowe had to say about making and interpreting top ten lists:

“The first thing to remember about any top ten list is that it is not to be trusted. A top ten list is almost invariably subject to the whims of the day. You could be feeling sentimental or melancholy, and suddenly your top ten is a weepy diary of your feelings on the unfortunate day you made the list. Or you could be feeling militant about some obscure band or movie, only to later see your proclamation in print, and wonder – how could I have called (insert mediocre artist) a great visionary?”

In other words, making a top ten is sort of like making a mix tape: a deeply personal and totally subjective act. In other other words, stop leaving me mean Internet comments.

What’s your favorite movie music moment of all time? Tell us (ever so nicely) in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.

[H/T Ray Pride at Movie City News]

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”


Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”


But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.

via GIPHY

It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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