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Friday, May 28, 2010

Freddy's Friday Night Dance Party!: Feel My Nervous Touch Edition!

boogienights

It's was very difficult not going with an ode to The Touch or Feel My Heat when deciding to let Dirk’s Diggler invade Freddy’s Friday Night Dance Party, but what it comes down to is not missing the chance to show some love for a classic cinematic moment. Paul Thomas Anderson's 1997 masterpiece, Boogie Nights - a film about a boy, his dream, the big dong that made that dream cum true and his eventual downfall – is a favorite of mine, and while there are many wonderful musically driven scenes in the movie, the one that stands out most is the drug deal gone wrong.

Keeping in line with the times, Jessie's Girl - written and performed by Rick Springfield - was a perfect song to use for this scene. It was a major hit when it was released and most anyone would recognize it almost immediately for the 80's memories it induces. Jessie's Girl is a song that I would equate to incredibly corny but slightly infections pop cheese, but as popular as it was in its heyday, this scene from Boogie Nights is so iconic that it almost takes the song and makes it its own. If you are a film fan, you will forever associate Jessie's Girl with Boogie Nights, and that is due to this being such a perfectly executed and memorable scene.

In a way, the song is intrusive to the viewer as well as the characters, as this is a moment that unfolds in such a tense way, that the music is only serving to add a few beats to ones heart rate. There is so much going on for the characters sitting on that couch, so much going through their heads, and the cranked up tape cassette and half naked Alfred Molina dancing around just adds to their level of drugged up stress, which conveys amazingly to the viewer. My favorite moment is the shot that just lingers on Eddie Adams' face - you can see in his eyes that his brain is working overtime - as he is assaulted by the loud music, the disruptive snaps of firecrackers, Rahad dancing around the apartment, the nervous thoughts about ripping off this dangerous dude and being completely coked up to top it all off. Truly brilliant and it all comes together to make one of cinemas most intense scenes as well as one of my personal favorites.     

5 comments:

  1. Jane's freakout on Molina about the safe under his bed has always made me laugh. Don't know why (not supposed to be hilarious). My wife and friends love when I re-enact that dialogue and do a dead-on impression of Jane...of course after some beer.

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  2. That scene is pretty funny, just because of the way he says his lines. The song that always comes to mind when I think of this scene is actually "Sister Christian" by Night Ranger.

    Anyway Matt, I gotta run. I'm not feelin' this dance party. Alfred Molina is freaking out again and I'm starting to get a little nervous. Why do you always gotta invite that asshole?

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  3. It was Molina's mock dancing for me that had me in stitches. They could've put almost any big song from the 80's to that scene and it would've become iconic. But thank God for Rick Springfield!!!

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  4. I agree with Aaron about Sister Christian.

    This Friday Night dance party may be my favorite so far! You paint such a vivid picture of that scene. And you're right, it's SO GOOD! Fuck yeah, Alfred Molina!

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  5. Geof: Ha, imagine how good it would be if you did the imitation on speed?! Not that I am suggesting that or anything...just saying!

    Aaron: He has drugs and money...duh. Oh, and he has fireworks too. Sister Christian is a much better song than Jessie's Girl, but it just goes to show you how well PTA uses music in his movies.

    Ashlee: Very true...as long as it was a well known and slightly corny song, it would work. Actually, the cheesier the better maybe! Molina is so greasy and creepy, and the bathrobe doesn't help his creep factor any!

    Christine: That's what's up! Ugh, that scene is so good, and Wahlberg is so good in that moment too. And how awesome is Molina? He's this guy, Doc Ock and "Throw me the idol, I throw you the whip" dude from Raiders of the Lost Ark! Love 'em!

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