Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Crowespective: The sour and the sweet

Play it: Rssmbld Sndtrck - Vanilla Sky
Just remember, the sweet is never as sweet without the sour, and I know the sour.
- David Aames (Tom Cruise) in Cameron Crowe's Vanilla Sky
Vanilla Sky was Cameron Crowe's remake of Alejandro Amenábar’s 1997 Spanish thriller, Abre Los Ojos, and has been his most ambitious film and soundtrack to date. It's the story of a well-off playboy who gets into an accident and gets lost in the place between dreams and reality. Here we have a film that asks a lot of questions of the audience and leaves many interpretations open-ended.

Much of the writing of the script (and preproduction) was done while listening to the Icelandic band Sigur Ros, whom Crowe had recently seen in concert opening up for Radiohead (who also found themselves being inspired by Sigur Ros for their album Kid A, which has a track "Everything in it's Right Place" opening the film.) Throughout the film, the use of music is brilliant and lyrically syncs up with what's going on in the film, often eerily so, with the theme of dreaming being most prevalent. The soundtrack is, in my opinion, the greatest to any of his movies, and rivaled only Wes Anderson's The Royal Tenenbaums that year.

While this film was so much different then anything he'd done before, there were some things similar, as Crowe likes to reuse pieces from previous movies. Tom Cruise (Jerry Maguire) and Jason Lee (Almost Famous) were the obvious pieces, but also Mark Kozelek (Red House Painters) who played in the band Stillwater in Almost Famous appears, telling David (Tom Cruise) "Dude, fix your face."

Also, during the 'life passing before his eyes' scene at the end of the movie, there were plenty of Crowe's past to see. Of the many, there was: A picture of Crowe age 4 (or so;) a pic of wife Nancy Wilson (circa the 80's;) a pic of Crowe's sister leaving home (in curlers;) Billy Crudup (as Russell from Almost Famous;) Blind Faith, Frank Sinatra and Beth Orton album covers... and more.

But the strangest subliminal flash occurs at the 03:50 minute mark (during the Times Square Sequence), where there appears an image of Katie Holmes on a rubber tire. The same picture was used on the cover of Rolling Stone September 17th, 1998. Odd coincidence, no?

If you get a chance you should rent or buy (or checkout from your library) the DVD and rewatch (or watch, if - god forbid - you haven't seen it prior.) There's a lot to unlock and repeat viewings reveal a lot. Abra sus Ojos, the Spanish original, is also a must-see.

Eric Stolz watch: While it's listed in his credits on at least one site, I can't find anything thing about his part, no doubt a cameo... if indeed he made an appearance at all.) Since the streak was broken w/ Almost Famous, the attempt to get him in any form was probably less pressing.

Detailed soundtrack listing for Vanilla Sky from The Uncool.

Crowespective: I am a golden god (Almost Famous)
Crowespective: Show me the money (Jerry Maguire)
Crowespective: Love Seattle style (Say Anything, Singles)
Crowespective: Big splash, then big bomb (Fast Times..., The Wild Life)
Crowe, Elizabethtown & MMJ

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1 comment:

drake leLane said...

Rssmbld Sndtrck: Vanilla Sky

* "Everything In Its Right Place" - Radiohead
* "Have You Forgotten" - Red House Painters
* "All The Right Friends" - R.E.M.
* "My Robot" - Looper
* "My Favorite Things" - John Coltrane
* "Keep On Pushing" - The Impressions
* "Mondo '77" - Looper
* "Directions" - Josh Rouse
* "Wrecking Ball" - Creeper Lagoon
* "Solsbury Hill" - Peter Gabriel
* "Last Goodbye" - Jeff Buckley
* "Big Time Sensuality" - Bjork
* "Indra" - Thievery Corporation
* "Loops Of Fury" - The Chemical Brothers
* "Afrika Shox - (Featuring Afrika Bambaataa)" - Leftfield
* "Rez " - Underworld
* "Sweetness Follows" - R.E.M.
* "Fourth Time Around" - Bob Dylan
* "Wild Honey" - U2
* "I Might Be Wrong" - Radiohead
* "Porpoise Song (Theme From Head)" - The Monkees
* "Jingle Bell Rock" - Bobby Helms
* "Can We Still Be Friends" - Todd Rundgren
* "Heaven" - The Rolling Stones
* "The Healing Room" - Sinead O'Connor
* "Good Vibrations" - The Beach Boys
* "Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space" - Spiritualized
* "(njósnavélin)" - Sigur Ros
* "Won't Get Fooled Again" - The Who
* "Where Do I Begin?" - The Chemical Brothers