By: Katherine Naylor
Ever since I can remember, my home has been filled with music. Before I could crawl, I could rock back and forth to “Hello, Goodbye” by the Beatles. With this, my favorite film of all time, not due to the acting or directing but the soundtrack and dialogue, is Almost Famous directed by Cameron Crowe, and starring Billy Crudup, Kate Hudson and Patrick Fugit. While some film’s costume design and set design reflect the time period, Almost Famous’ score is what really brings viewers into the 1970s. (Image from source)
For those who do not know, the film follows the story of a fifteen year old boy who pretends to be older in order to write the cover story of Rolling Stone magazine. He gets to follow the band Stillwater on tour. The film tells the story of the Stillwater, their groupies and in the insanity of life on the road as a musician in the 1970s. The film shows the power of music: it subconsciously brings the audience into the lives of these people. While watching, you will feel your body suddenly relax as the band sings “Tiny Dancer” by Elliot John, reflecting the relaxing lifestyle of the band members. It brings you to the (probably drug infused) vibe of the band. Here is one music blog’s opinion on the top 10 rock and roll moments of the film.
Image from source
For me, the best scene in the film brings together an amazing life lesson from Penny, one of the groupies, while music is playing in the background (see below).
The music brings you into the car, encapsulating you, just like how William is completely encapsulated by Penny who herself, is encapsulated by the world she is living in, heard threw her dialogue. In other words, the viewer can feel how Penny feels due to the life lesson she tells William, while the music allows the audience to feel how William feels about Polly.
Next time you are watching a film ask: What is the score? Is it sad? Is it uplifting? Then ask: does the music make you feel the same things the characters are feeling?