Definitive Use Reversal: Great Songs in Terrible Sequences in Terrible Films


Woods has shown us how a song being used so perfectly in a film that nobody can ever touch it again constitutes Definitive Use. Vide “Hurdy Gurdy Man” in Zodiac: from the moment of its usage, it is as synonymous with the Zodiac killer as John Williams’ Jaws theme is with the shark itself. Why? Because a) Zodiac is a brilliant film and a work of total genius and b) as a corollary to this, the song is perfectly employed in brilliant sequences, and can therefore never be used again.

HOWEVER: When a great song is used in a terrible movie, the process is the same (albeit in reverse): The greatness of the song renders the scene in which it was used profoundly terrible; subsequently, the song is ruined for future film-makers and – in many cases – for musical performers and listeners, thus also constituting Definitive Use (noted meme). Allow me to explain, you yabbo...

LEONARD COHEN’s HALLELUJAH in WATCHMEN:
The Paradigmatic Reversal of Definitive Use


Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah has always been a tragically misunderstood song: Whereas it is actually - to quote my friend Lindsey - a "scathingly ironic" song, filled with hatred, bile, and bitterness – it is generally perceived by the dunder-headed as being a song of beauty, grace, and redemption.

It was ruined the first time by Jeff Buckley, noted handsome guy (and second only to Radiohead as the go-to “favorite musical artist” of people who live in Connecticut and have never heard music).


Mr. Buckley sang the song as if it was written by Thomm Yorkie, or somebody else with no sense of dramatic irony. It was then sung/loved/utterly misunderstood by countless dumb-dumbs and used in countless dumb-dumb movies and network television shows, including the O.C. – as placed by Alexandra Patsavas.

This whole goddamned farce finally comes full circle with the terrible terrible film Watchmen, in which the WORST SEX SCENE EVER is set to the original Leonard Cohen recording.

And thus and so, Zack Snyder ("visionary"/"cretinous" director of 300) drives the final nail into the coffin: Not only can Hallelujah no longer be used in movies, it can't even be sung or listened to.


Indeed, as Cohen himself said after moviegoers and critics gasped at its tasteless use in Watchmen: "I think it's a good song, but too many people sing it."

Thus, Hallelujah in Watchmen constitutes Definitive Use.

“But wait,” you might say. “Watchmen (noted terrible film) employs countless other huge songs, like Times They Are a Changing and All Along the Watchtower! Does this not also count as Definitive Use?”

“No, you idiot,” I might reply. “Christ, I don’t even know where to begin. First off: Nobody should be using those songs in the first place. They are way so huge, so laden with cultural/epochal zeitgeist baggage that they are ALWAYS bigger than the movie that they are in, and can never be co-opted.”

“Second of all,” I might hypothetically go on to say, “the scenes in which they appear, although terrible, do not even BEGIN to compare in offensiveness to the ludicrous monstrosity that is the sex scene in WATCHMEN. Have you seen it? It is excruciating. In fact it can only be compared in ridiculousness to the sensual clay-rubbing, sex scene between Patrick Swayze and Shia Laboof in GHOST. Which, come to think of it, was set to the song Unchained Melody, yet another wonderful song which was Definitively Used (i.e. ruined for film-makers and listeners) by a hideous film in a nauseatingly repulsive sequence.”

(editor's note: get caught up on the Hindu/Jew flame war here)

I might then send an instant message to HIDEOUSHINDU77 that would read as such:

 
 
 
 

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