February 19, 2011
Hello Janis, hello Dennis, Elvis, and all my brand new friends
"They were now keepers of the music-art-literature flame even as, in the culture at large, that flame seemed to grow dimmer with each passing year." -- David Browne, from Goodbye 20th Century: Sonic Youth and the Rise of the Alternative Nation (Piatkus/Da Capo, 2008).
Because I notice this kind of thing, a list of the movie titles that appear in David Browne's Sonic Youth book:
Adaptation (Spike Jonze, 2002), Annie Hall (Woody Allen, 1977), Backbeat (Iain Softley, 1994), Being John Malkovich (Spike Jonze, 1999), Boys Don’t Cry (Kimberly Peirce, 1999), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (George Roy Hill, 1969), The Chelsea Girls (Andy Warhol, 1966), A Clockwork Orange (Stanley Kubrick, 1971), Demonlover (Olivier Assayas, 2002), Desperate Teenage Lovedolls (David Markey, 1984), End of Days (Peter Hyams, 1999), EVOL (Tony Oursler, 1984), Far From Heaven (Todd Haynes, 2002), The Godfather Part III (Francis Ford Coppola, 1990), Gummo (Harmony Korine, 1997), A Hard Day’s Night (Richard Lester, 1964), I’m Not There (Todd Haynes, 2007), Judgment Night (Stephen Hopkins, 1993), Junebug (Phil Morrison, 2005), Juno (Jason Reitman, 2007), Kids (Larry Clark, 1995), Lick the Star (Sofia Coppola, 1998), Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola, 2003), Lou Believers (David Markey, 1989), Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (George Miller, 1985), Made in USA (Ken Friedman, 1987), Madonna: Truth or Dare (Alek Keshishian, 1991), Mala Noche (Gus Van Sant, 1986), Marie Antoinette (Sofia Coppola, 2006), Mary Poppins (Robert Stevenson, 1964), Mildred Pierce (Michael Curtiz, 1945), Mommie Dearest (Frank Perry, 1981), My Own Private Idaho (Gus Van Sant, 1991), 1991: The Year Punk Broke (David Markey, 1992), One Plus One (Jean-Luc Godard, 1968), The Parent Trap (David Swift, 1961), Rap Damage (David Markey, 1991), Reality Bites (Ben Stiller, 1994), The Right Side of My Brain (Richard Kern, 1985), Rock My Religion (Dan Graham, 1984), Rust Never Sleeps (Neil Young, 1979), Safe (Todd Haynes, 1995), Sir Drone (Raymond Pettibon, 1989), Some Like it Hot (Billy Wilder, 1959), The Song Remains the Same (Peter Clifton and Joe Massot, 1976), Strangers on a Train (Alfred Hitchcock, 1951), The Strawberry Statement (Stuart Hagmann, 1970), Submit to Me (Richard Kern, 1985), SubUrbia (Richard Linklater, 1996), Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story (Todd Haynes, 1988), Things Behind the Sun (Allison Anders, 2001), True Believer (Joseph Ruben, 1989), Video Days (Spike Jonze, 1991), The Virgin Suicides (Sofia Coppola, 1999).
And that would be by no means exhaustive: there were tons of soundtrack appearances in the 90s, everything from Pump Up the Volume to Gun Crazy to -- hard to believe -- The Frighteners. And then you get Kim Gordon in Gus Van Sant's Kurt Cobain daydream Last Days (pictured above), flashing back to ten years prior when Sonic Youth toured with Nirvana and, in Browne's words, "Gordon had become a maternal figure to indie rock boys, always interested in hearing what troubled them and listening as they opened up about their music and lives". But this out-of-nowhere appearance of "Kool Thing" in Hal Hartley's Simple Men is hard to beat: