*Trigger warning: This movie is about a real-life suicide, please do not read if you are sensitive to this topic. Also, this essay has spoilers, if you did not see the movie, and want to experience it without spoilers, please go watch it before reading.

The movie 14 Hours is considered a “noir” film, it was released in 1951, directed by Henry Hathaway with a screenplay by John Paxton, based on an article by Joel Sayre in The New Yorker describing the 1938 suicide of John William Warde. This movie was based on a true story, John William Warde was…

May 17, 2021 — Song #137

For 1987, I picked the song “Hourglass” by Squeeze. I like Squeeze a lot, “Black Coffee in Bed” for instance is a great song. This song, “Hourglass” has a great video inspired by Salvador Dali. It’s a cool video. The song seems to be about hurrying about too much and never having enough time to do anything. The chorus is cool, they rush through the words and represent that by let’s say “germanizing” the words: “Takeittothebridge throwitoverboard / Seeifitcanswim backuptotheshore.” That’s the hook. The song was written by the band guitarists, Chris Difford and…

May 16, 2021 — Song #136

For 1986, I will pick the song “Walk Like an Egyptian” by The Bangles. This song was written by Liam Sternberg, the story goes that he came up with the idea while riding a ferry, watching people losing their balance, he thought they looked like Egyptians. The song was offered to Toni Basil, who I just wrote about regarding the song “Mickey,” but she refused it. The song was a huge hit, a number #1, but it set The Bangles down the road to breaking up. They were a cool girl band, who wrote…

May 15, 2021 — Song #135

For 1985, I picked another Talking Heads song, “Road to Nowhere.” Byrne wanted to write a song about a doomed planet, he said: “I wanted to write a song that presented a resigned, even joyful look at doom.” The idea for the song started with the chorus: “We’re on a road to nowhere/Come on inside
Takin’ that ride to nowhere/We’ll take that ride.” The rest of the song grew around this idea. This seems to be a very common way for songwriters to write, start with the hook, and then work from there. The song…

May 14, 2021 — Song #134

For 1984, I chose the song “One Night in Bangkok.” It’s a song about chess. Yes. And 80s hit song about Chess. Why? Because it was actually part of a British musical named Chess that depicted a rivalry between the US and the USSR during a tournament that takes place in Bangkok. The music was written by two ABBA members, Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, and the lyrics were written by Tim Rice. Rice collaborated with Andrew Lloyd Webber and wrote lyrics for Jesus Christ Superstar, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Evita

May 13, 2021 — Song #133

For the year 1983, I picked the song “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” by Cyndi Lauper. This song is fantastic, very liberating, with positive energy, enough with the traditional gender roles, girls just want to be free and enjoy life. I love this song. As often when I set out to write these pieces, the research takes me down a rabbit hole of curiosities. This rabbit whole was, just like the song promises, definitely fun! So thanks Cyndi, for making my day so enjoyable while exploring this song. …

May 12, 2021 — Song #132

For 1983, I picked “Karma Chameleon” by Culture Club. The song was mostly written by Boy George. In an interview from The Billboard Book #1 Hits, Boy George said: “The song is about the terrible fear of alienation that people have, the fear of standing up for one thing. It’s about trying to suck up to everybody. Basically, if you aren’t true, if you don’t act like you feel, then you get Karma-justice, that’s nature’s way of paying you back.” It seems like at the time Boy George had a relationship with the group’s…

May 11, 2021 — Song #131

For the year 1982, I picked the song “Kids in America.” This song was performed by Kim Wilde, and was written by her brother Ricky and her father Marty. They are from England so this is a view of what the “kids in america” are like from a British perspective, dirty old window, car rushing by, Friday night parties, kids are dancing, in the city, suburbia is sprawling everywhere and the kids want nothing to do with that, they want to dance and enjoy the music.

Kim Wilde’s father, Marty Wilde, who wrote the…

May 10, 2021 — Song #130

For the year 1981, I picked Toni Basil’s song “Mickey” (also known as “Hey, Mickey). Yesterday I wrote about “Once in a Lifetime” by The Talking Heads, and the video for that song had been done by choreographer, actress, and singer extraordinaire, Toni Basil. That song was released in 1980, so here we are, in 1981, with the song Mickey, whose video is also choreographed by Toni Basil, I mean the two videos for this song were both choreographed by her. …

May 9, 2021 — Song #129

For the year 1980, I picked Talking Heads’ “Once in a Lifetime.” The song is interesting, it’s about living without being aware of what one is doing, just going through the motions, waking up one day, and saying: “How did I get here?” It seems pretty straightforward and I think it simply is about life not lived. There are other aspects to the making of this song that are interesting though. The first being that Byrne was inspired by evangelists on TV, he said: “Most of the words in ‘Once in a Lifetime’ come…

Sara Bizarro

PhD in Philosophy, Professor, Artist, Movie Buff.

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