“To me, making a tape is like writing a letter – there’s a lot of erasing and rethinking and starting again. A good compilation tape, like breaking up, is hard to do. You’ve got to kick off with a corker, to hold the attention, and then you’ve got to up it a notch, or cool it a notch, and…oh, there are loads of rules.” - John Cusack in High Fidelity.
Andy Hart AKA Fandango Groover has done it again, created another great Lamb Blogathon. This time he challenges us to bring back the mixtape: compile a collection of six movies that fit together, they are not expected to be definitive personal lists, they are just small expressions of creativity in linking the movies. Pick five movies within a chosen theme that compliment each other and one wild card that stands out as different but still maintains the theme.
To me the two most prominent icons in pop culture regarding mixtapes are High Fidelity in which John Cusack discusses the reasons and method for making a mixtape and Love is a Mixtape by Rob Sheffield, the true story of a relationship told through mixtapes and it is the title of Rob Sheffield's book that inspired my movie mixtape.
In general isn't that why we all make or most likely made mixtapes? We all want to be loved. Whether we want to tell the object of our affection how we feel through a handful of well chosen songs or impress them with just how intelligent and thoughtful we are or even just show off how obscure your tastes are, making the perfect mixtape can get you laid, can make you friends, can even be a cathartic experience. It's that attempt to find the perfect match between pretentious and pop, the attention to detail in your artwork, thinking up a really clever title and waiting anxiously for the response from the recipient, that's where the real pleasure in making the mixtape comes from. And that is the joy experienced once more in this digital world as I made this mixtape of movies.
As I said, making a mixtape is all about love and I've taken that idea literally with this one. Love is what these films have in common, films about that moment, however fleeting, when one soul connects with another and all the joy and pain, laughter and tears that it can bring.
So I give you the blahblahblahgay entry to the Fandango Groovers Mixtape Movies Blogathon:
Lost in Translation (2003) Dir. Sofia Coppola
Bill Murray forms an unlikely bond with Scarlett Johansson whilst they are both in Tokyo. A wonderful way to start the mixtape, it's a cornerstone of modern American cinema that most girls I'd give this to would have at least heard of if not seen already. The mesmerising nature of the cinematography and direction perfectly compliment the melancholy nature of the love story and the punch to the gut as the film closes sums up the entire nature of the mixtape.
Weekend (2011) Dir. Andrew Haigh
The second track is as important as the first, you've hooked them with that opener and now they want to see more but it's important not to peak too soon, so you change it up a little. This is the one I put the most thought in to selecting. Initially I considered the wonderful poetry of Kim Ki-Duk's love story Bin Jip but dismissed it as too difficult for a novice, the second option was Zach Clark's mumblecore romance Quiet City. What hipster wouldn't want to share how awesomely hip they are with a piece of mumblecore? But Weekend is the perfect mix of pretension and pop, it also says the compiler is open to people who choose lifestyles different to their own, see how considerate of others I am? Don't you want to come over whilst my mum is out of town? It's also one of the greatest movies about love ever made.
In The Mood For Love (2000) Dir. Wong Kar-Wai
I'm making this for a female right? This one is a beautiful devastating picture that oozes style and I haven't met a woman yet who hasn't found Maggie Cheung and her costumes to be jaw droppingly beautiful. The third track is the point where you really need to make a statement with this kind of mixtape, and with In The Mood For Love I am saying, hey doesn't loneliness suck, I am guy with heart, I could be good for you, putting the possibility of a relationship out there for consideration as a counterpoint to that loneliness.
Harold and Maude (1971) Dir. Hal Ashby
It's time for the wild card, Hal Ashby's beautiful love story of a really old lady with a lust for life and the teenage boy who has a fascination with death. It shouldn't work but it does and whilst it might creep someone out it also demonstrates the power of love and how little differences between two people can be overcome. See, she might have doubts about our compatibility but if Harold can love Maude surely she can love this hipster even if he doesn't wear skin tight cords or enjoy the music of Morrissey.
Last Life in the Universe (2003) Dir. Pen-Ek Ratanaruang
Two lost and lonely souls are brought together by tragedy in Bangkok. Neither of them speak the same language but their relationship helps them to find meaning in their lives. It's also another weapon in overcoming obstacles, it tells the viewer that love could be fleeting, that life is fleeting and you shouldn't hesitate to make the most of the time you have with this person you are connected with. After Harold & Maude and Last Life if they aren't sending you suggestive snapchat images then you're pretty much out of luck. Either that or you picked a cold, heartless woman who could never love you.
Brief Encounter (1946) Dir. David Lean
Heart wrenching performances from the two leads in this perfect example of how repressing your passions can cause great pain. This is the piece de resistance but also the deal breaker, if she doesn't love this film then I don't want to know her.
What do you think? Would you be putty in my hands after this manipulative mixtape? Leave some comments here or on twitter @bbbgtoby with #moviemixtape. Did you make a mixtape I haven't seen yet? Leave a link. If you want to join in head over to Fandango Groovers for the full instructions and for more movie mixtapes check out the complete database here (after 22nd June.)