My Cinema

24 December 2012

Flight of Fancy

By // Cinema

FlightActorOscarI am literally dumbfounded that the new Denzel Washington film is guilty of the following atrocities (all the while garnering rave reviews in the press):

– Un-ironically using the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ ‘Under the Bridge’ to score a heroin montage

– Un-ironically using the Rolling Stones’ ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ not once, but TWICE, to score the on-screen arrival of a drug-dealing character

– Un-ironically using Marvin Gaye’s ‘Sexual Healing’ (or ‘Let’s Get it On’, I actually can’t remember) to score the shacking-up of two main characters

– Un-ironically using the Rolling Stones’ ‘Gimme Shelter’, period. We are WAY too many Scorsese films down the line for this to fly (haha, get it?)

– Un-ironically using the Cowboy Junkies’ cover of the Velvet Underground’s ‘Sweet Jane’ during yet another heroin montage

– Un-ironically using the Barenaked Ladies’ ‘Alcohol’ as the first track in a film about an alcoholic

– Un-ironically using Bill Withers’ ‘Aint no Sunshine’ as Denzel’s character mournfully pours a household’s worth of liquor down the sink

This type of soundtracking always gets under my skin; it gives the audience no credit of any kind and forces cumbersome sentiment down our throats in a way that suggests we wouldn’t have otherwise arrived at such paradigmatic revelations as “heroin is bad” or “this cocaine dealer is not a nice person”.  In doing so, the producers have marred an otherwise excellent film by jarringly drawing attention to its inherent artifice at every turn.  Subtle like a freight train, this one; I would not have been surprised to hear ‘Fly Me to the Moon’ or ‘I Believe I Can Fly’ over the end credits.  Yeesh.

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