On this week’s Index Staff Playlist, the Index staff share their favorite songs or soundtracks from film history.
“Footloose” by Kenny Loggins
In the 1984 film Footloose, songwriter Kenny Loggins delivers a masterpiece of a song that is still played today, also titled “Footloose.” The film became the hit of the summer of 1984 and the opening scene used Loggins’ song over the dancing feet intro of the movie. “Footloose” has a guitar solo, vocals, incredible synthesizers, and catchy lyrics. The music has a summertime feeling that makes you want to go out and dance with friends. Thanks to Loggins’ song, Footloose became the hit of the summer of 1984. In 2018, the film was selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry due to its historical significance. — Rush Williams
“Rebel Rebel” by Seu Jorge on the soundtrack of The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
The Life Aquatic was not my favorite Wes Anderson film by any means, but to me, the soundtrack rivals any other Anderson film, including The Royal Tenenbaums, which is a bold statement. The soundtrack consists of well-blended throwback rock songs from the classic psych-rock of the Zombies to the new-wave pop-rock of DEVO, all following a theme reminiscent of David Bowie’s musical style. The most standout part of the soundtrack has to be Seu Jorge, a Brazilian artist who performed acoustic covers of some of Bowie’s most iconic works like “Life on Mars?” and “Starman,” all completely in Portuguese and played in traditional Brazilian Bossa Nova style. The concept is unique, to say the least, but the soothing acoustic strumming coupled with smooth, almost sleepy Portuguese lyrics makes for an excellent playlist to relax or study to. My favorite track is Jorge’s cover of “Rebel Rebel” which, contrary to the original, rousing version of the tune, is enough to lull one to sleep. — Isabelle Williams
“La Jeune Fille en Feu” by Para One from Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Portrait of a Lady on Fire uses music sparingly throughout the film, which makes each piece significant and important to the story. “La Jeune Fille en Feu” by Para One was specifically conducted for the film and starts with an eerie tone that builds into a resounding chorus. Eventually, the song falls silent only to come back with gospel-like vocals that highlight the moment where Héloïse’s dress catches on fire. It’s a powerful moment in the film where I found myself wanting to close my eyes and soak in the gorgeous, Latin vocals. “Le Jeune Fille en Feu” shows that music can be incredibly powerful when paired with imagery, even if the audience doesn’t understand what’s being said. Director Céline Sciamma perfects the use of not only music but also silence in Portrait of a Lady on Fire, especially through “La Jeune Fille en Feu” and the final piece of the film. — Grace Alexandria