' ' Cinema Romantico: Imagining More Film Director/Pop Star Friendships

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Imagining More Film Director/Pop Star Friendships

This past weekend my friend Jaime directed me to the Alex Pappademas (friend of the blog who doesn’t know he’s a friend of the blog) piece in The New York Times on former Journey frontman Steve Perry winding his way back to the spotlight. The piece was excellent, but the most righteous takeaway, as Jaime noted, was the revelation that Perry was good pals with Patty Jenkins, director of “Wonder Woman.” “He’d become acquainted with Patty Jenkins,” Pappademas wrote, “who’d befriended Mr. Perry after contacting him for permission to use ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ in her 2003 film ‘Monster.’ (When he literally showed up on the mixing stage the next day and pulled up a chair next to me, saying, ‘Hey I really love your movie. How can I help you?’ it was the beginning of one of the greatest friendships of my life, Ms. Jenkins wrote in an email.)” Immediately Jaime, along with My Beautiful, Perspicacious Wife, begin lobbying for the sort of blogging hypothetical in which Cinema Romantico specializes, speculating about what other film directors and pop stars might have become fast friends.

When I read the article, it was the revelation that Jenkins and Perry became friends after she asked him for permission to use “Don’t Stop Believin’” that led my mind to the only place it could possibly go – that is, what other directors might have contacted pop stars about using their songs leading to eternal friendships. A few ideas:

Kathryn Bigelow + Tracii Guns. L.A. Guns is not the band even the most generous critic would credit for anything approaching introspection, but I imagine Kathryn Bigelow telephoning Tracii Guns sometime in 1991 anyway and explaining that his band’s “Over the Edge” was the only song that would do in metaphorically connecting her “Point Break” protagonist’s transition from agnostic detective to spiritual surfer. And perhaps, impressed, Guns might have struck up a friendship with Bigelow, one that blossomed in all manner of underground L.A. rock clubs, all of which went unseen in those halcyon pre-social media days. So unseen, in fact, that years later, during a Q&A, jaws drop when Bigelow cites “Hollywood Vampires” as her prime inspiration for “Strange Days.”

Nancy Meyers + Brandon Flowers. Flowers doesn’t strike me as the sort of chap who would give a director a hard time for wanting to use a piece of his music, and so I imagine that if Meyers had contacted him to use “Mr. Brightside” for “The Holiday” that he not only agreed but that he asked Meyers if they could become pen pals. And that awhile after becoming pen pals, Flowers invited Meyers to a Killers show at Madison Square Garden, and that at some point in the night Flowers pulled Meyers onstage to help sing a duet of “Mr. Brightside.” And that through their penning of letters Meyers was inspired to write a movie called “The Intern” which did not star Anne Hathaway as an E-commerce CEO and Robert DeNiro as her retired intern but Flowers as a successful pop star and Roland Gift (whom Meyers befriended upon calling to ask if she could use Fine Young Cannibals’ “Good Thing” for “It’s Complicated”) as his out of the limelight intern.

Amy Heckerling + Thom Yorke. One day a grainy smartphone photo begins making rounds that seems to show Heckerling and Yorke having coffee. Eventually, through their reps, Heckerling and Yorke issue separate statments confirming that, yes, they are friends, and that they have been friends for 23 years since Heckerling checked in with Yorke about using Radiohead’s “Fake Plastic Trees” for “Clueless.” “You know that story about me randomly putting lyrics together on ‘Kid A?’” Yorke rhetorically asks in his statement. “Amy actually wrote those lyrics.”

Rebecca Miller + Bruce Springsteen. I like to think that the current version of The Boss, the version of The Boss getting acquainted with philosophy, would not just reply “Yeah, sure” if Rebecca Miller dialed him up for permission to use “Dancing in the Dark” for “Maggie’s Plan.” No, I like to think The Boss would be interested in picking the brain of such a celebrated writer. And since Kathleen Hanna was actually employed to the sing a cover of Bruce’s song for “Maggie’s Plan” then perhaps Miller, Hanna, and Bruce formed a version of the Algonquin Round Table. Can there be any doubt of that being the brightest timeline?

Barbra Streisand + Richard Marx. THEY’RE ALREADY FRIENDS!!!!!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

this is everything I could have wished for and more (namely: a Roland Gift reference!)