Monday, January 21, 2008


There's lots of music oriented movies that I haven't seen yet, but I was glad that I caught Juno over the weekend. Lots of people are comparing it to Garden State, and the parallels are easy to see. Small, suburban story to an indie-rock soundtrack.

Weirdly, I'm more of a fan of indie flicks than of indie rock. There's just too many people involved in the creation of a film for it to be too slacker-ish. For me, indie movies are based on a story, and not about stars and celebrities (at least they should be). Juno featured a few "stars" (Jennifer Garner from Alias and Rainn Wilson from The Office), but it was really about the great young actress Ellen Page.

Ellen Page had the title role, a high school student who was a huge music fan. There was a great scene where this older guy was trying to turn her on to the music of his generation (late '80s and early '90s) and she calls him to give her assessment of the music he recommended. She called it "cute," much to his dismay. She pointed out that, after listening to The Stooges, almost everything seems quaint. I thought that was pretty funny (even though I probably liked a lot of the music he was recommending). Later on, in a more tense moment, she says, "Sonic Youth SUCKS! They're just noise!" Kind of a shocking moment, as they are sort of above criticism to many. I'm a fan as well - Washing Machine is actually my favorite but of course I love Daydream Nation and some of thier other albums - but it is true that lots of people feel that way about thier music.

The films music was done by Kimya Dawson, from a now-defunct indie rock band called Moldy Peaches. I don't think any song in the film was quite as important as, say, The Shins' "New Slang" was to Garden State. Maybe the song "Anyone Else But You," performed by Ellen Page and her co-star was as important, actually. My favorite songs in the movie were "Anyone Else But You," The Kinks' "A Well Respected Man," (and I'm all for anything that turns on younger people to The Kinks) and Buddy Holly's "Dearest" (which I wasn't really familiar with). I was suprised that of all the Mott The Hoople songs to use, they went with their one overplayed hit, "All The Young Dudes" (and does David Bowie really need the royalties? It would have been cooler to go with something written by Ian Hunter). Anyway, great example of a great combination of film and music.

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