The 50 Greatest Music Movie Moments: 46 - 42

46.) The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Heroes
Written and performed by David Bowie

The scene: On her way home from a party, high school senior Sam (Emma Watson) feels completely at peace. She feels nothing but boundless anticipation towards the future and the world around her. So much so, when David Bowie's Heroes comes on the radio, she feels "infinite." She climbs from the passenger seat to the bed of her pick-up truck, spreads her arms, and flies.

The song: Heroes is a sleeper hit, receiving little acclaim upon release, but now widely credited as one of David Bowie's best works. None of the characters can identify the piece or artist, referring to it simply as "The Tunnel Song". However, this work's to the song's advantage. The wall of sound effect creates a grand and majestic auditory effect that turns the music into a moment of transcendence. We've all had this experience. You hear a song once, you know nothing about it, and you never hear it again. It's just you and that music and that moment in time where you were both connected. It's nothing short of magic.

45.) Pulp Fiction - You Never Can Tell
Written and performed by Chuck Berry

The scene: Reluctantly dragged to a 50s-themed restaurant, Vincent Vega (John Travolta) is unwillingly enrolled in a dance contest by femme fatale Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman). The pair boogie, twist, watusi, and perform practically every other dance from the 1950s in a sequence that circles around awkward and lands flush in the realm of awesome.

The song: You Never Can Tell is one of rock and roll pioneer Chuck Berry's signature songs. According to director Quentin Tarantino, the sequence "gives a uniquely 50's French New Wave dance sequence feel" (watch Vivre Sa Vie and Band of Outsiders for examples). It works so well, you can forgive the fact You Never Can Tell wasn't released until 1964, rendering the song selection anachronistic.

44.) History of the World, Part 1 - The Spanish Inquisition
Written and performed by Mel Brooks

The scene: Chapter four in the anthology comedy History of the World, Part 1, is a documentation of The Spanish Inquisition. One of the most notorious and infamous acts of mass murder and religious oppression in human history. In ludicrous Mel Brooks fashion, it's reimagined as a Busby Berkeley song-and-dance number, complete with synchronized swimming nuns.

The song: The Spanish Inquisition is rife with old school vaudevillian comedy, wordplay, slapstick and audacious boundary-pushing moments. You never see any of it coming. After all, nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.

43.) 10 Things I Hate About You - Can't Take My Eyes Off You
Written by Frankie Valli
Performed by Heath Ledger

The scene: In the tumultuous early stages of a questionably motivated romance, marred by drunken foolishness and lust at a party, Patrick (Heath Ledger) declares his intentions and feelings for Kat (Julia Stiles) in a theatrical and detention-worthy manner.

The song: The powerful falsetto of Frankie Valli and trademark sound of the Four Seasons is such a trademark of popular music, it's easy to parody. But parody requires a gentle hand. Too little, it's not worth the effort; too much, you venture into morning DJ territory. With just the right amount of satire and genuineness (and a high school marching band), 10 Things I Hate About You gives you something easy to love.

42.) Reality Bites - My Sharona
Written and performed by The Knack

The scene: A quartet of Generation X-ers descend on a 24-hour convenience store to load up on various snack foods. The song in question comes on the radio, leading to an impromptu dance number. They never come out and say it, but we have a group of 20-something insomniacs, with the munchies, lowered inhibitions, all having public giggle fits. There are subtle implications, and then there's BIG THUNDERING implications.

The song: My Sharona is one of the landmark one-hit wonders. The Knack came out of nowhere, deposited their song on the landscape, and disappeared back into the ether. And like most one-hit wonders, we take their efforts and contributions slightly less serious than other legitimate artists. The frivolous, pot-induced, and extremely white dance moves reflect this feeling.

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