This page contains video essays that complement my Movie ebook, The Pop Song in Film. Rather than repeating its arguments and analysis, the videos chart their own path, exploring the films and/or issues discussed in the book through distinctly audiovisual means.
Glory Box in Film and TV
In Chapter One of The Pop Song in Film, I discuss the different uses of Portishead’s ‘Glory Box’ in two films: Stealing Beauty (d. Bernardo Bertolucci, 1996) and When the Cat’s Away (d. Cedric Kaplisch, 1996). This video features a montage of moments from all 20 fiction films and TV episodes (and one promo) that have featured the song to date, as listed on the Internet Movie Database. Several motifs and scenarios repeat themselves. A centring around female experience. Men looking on. Women in Distress. Sex. Fire…
Indy Vinyl For The Masses – Stayin’ Alive/Walking/Faceless
In Chapter Three of The Pop Song in Film, I discuss the use of the Bee Gees’ ‘Stayin’ Alive’ to soundtrack Tony Manero’s strut through Brooklyn at the beginning of Saturday Night Fever (d. John Badham, 1977). Whilst I start off this group-made video with a clip from this iconic scene, as well as with the Bee Gees’ song, I quickly pass the baton to my collaborators, who summon up a parade of different onscreen walkers, all the time keeping faces offscreen. This video derives from the collaborative video essay project, Indy Vinyl for the Masses, which you can discover more about here.
Baby It’s You (Lucy Dacus Edit)
Chapter Four of The Pop Song in Film features an extended analysis of the eclectic use of pop music in Baby It’s You (d. John Sayles, 1983). This video reenvisages the film, and its soundtrack, through a fanvid lens, using the musical filter of American singer-songwriter Lucy Dacus.
Sheik: A Fanvid
Baby It’s You (Lucy Dacus Edit) privileges attention to the film’s female protagonist, Jill (Rosanna Arquette). Sheik: A Fanvid provides a complementary focus on the male protagonist, Sheik (Vincent Spano). The 60s-set Baby It’s You features anachronistic Bruce Springsteen songs, most often associated with Sheik. Serendipitously, Lucy Dacus has covered Springsteen’s ‘Dancing in the Dark’, so what better song to choose to soundtrack this standalone character vid?