The 50 Greatest Music Movie Moments: 14 - 11

14.) The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou - Staralfur
Performed by Sigur Rós

The scene: After the death of his apprentice, best friend and possible son, oceanographer Steve Zissou (Bill Murray) has to come to terms with his life. In doing so, he gathers his friends, colleagues, coworkers, lovers and rivals to accompany him in his personal submarine for his greatest achievement to date: the re-discovery of the near-mystical Jaguar Shark.

The song: Taking place after the climax, Steve Zissou is at an existential crossroads. He no longer wants to find the Jaguar Shark, he has to. This is the culmination of his life's work and adventures. This is his vindication and the culmination of everything. And in that one moment when he and everyone around him lock eyes with the mysterious behemoth of the deep blue sea, it all comes together. The lilting sounds of Sigur Ros' voice, piano and strings brings forth feelings of transcendence, away from the humdrum trappings of life, and towards peace and prescence among the entire universe.

13.) Napoleon Dynamite - Canned Heat
Performed by Jamiroquai

The scene: In the unfairly biased world of high school politics, the strange, young Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder) is the only force capable of getting his unpopular friend elected student body president. It's an uphill battle winning over the disapproving hearts of his peers, but Napoleon's been practicing his sweet dance moves for just such an occasion.

The song: There wasn't a high schooler alive in 2004 who didn't know about Napoleon Dynamite. Love him or hate him, he, his trademark diction and his sweet skills were memetics exemplified. And the piece de resistance was his epic dance, both simultaneous goofy and expertly choreographed. Taking something as niche as interpretive dance and bringing it to the masses is a feat in and of itself, but delivered by someone as lanky and awkward as Napoleon Dynamite is worthy of film history.

12.) 500 Days of Summer - You Make My Dreams Come True
Performed by Hall and Oates

The scene: Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon Levitt) is head over heels in love at first sight with the girl of his dreams (and several other cliches). Despite her reluctance towards a romantic relationship, Summer (Zooey Deschanel) eventually gives in to Tom's pursuits. The morning after, Tom sees the world in a strange, new, hyperbolic way.

The song: 500 Days of Summer (which I refuse to type with the stupid parentheses) is not a typical romantic comedy; we're told from the beginning the romance is a failure. While the entire film isn't a flat-out parody of the genre, this particular scene is. Using what is quite possibly the most overused song in film history, 500 Days of Summer knocks over the uptight genre conventions, while also creating an independently memorable movie moment.

11.) Fast Times at Ridgemont High - Moving in Stereo
Performed by The Cars

The scene: After another day in his own personal hell, Brad Hamilton (Judge Reinhold) takes a moment of self-indulgent pleasure, fantasizing about his sister's friend, Linda Barrett (Phoebe Cates). More than just a daydream, Brad has a musically charged experience potent enough to launch every adolescent boy in 1982 straight into puberty.

The song: Fast Times at Ridgemont High has such a precisely perfect soundtrack, there are nearly a dozen music movie scenes worthy of attention. But when they're pitted against each other, there's only one true contender. The pool scene is not only one of the most famous scenes in teen-movie history, but arguably the definitive example of gratuitous nudity in film. But not just any song deserves to accompany the sequence; "Moving in Stereo's" ethereal synthesizer and echo-y guitar amplify the dreamscape nature, adding to the feeling that this is all just a wonderful, wonderful dream.

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