Song of the Day #31: ‘Come Here’ – Kath Bloom

Today begins another theme week. The next seven songs, starting today and ending this Saturday, will come from scenes in movies.

I’ve given myself two rules: 1) the songs must be performed by characters within the scene, not played on the soundtrack; and 2) the songs must begin and end during the scene.

That said, I’ve broken both of those rules with this first selection. The song is not performed by the characters, but played on a turntable while they listen, and the song fades out at the mid point. But I don’t care, because this is one of my favorite scenes in any movie, ever, and I’ll be damned if I’m not going to include it.

The film is Before Sunrise, Richard Linklater’s Gen-X romance starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy as a pair of twentysomethings who meet on a train and decide to spend a night together walking through Vienna. That’s it. There is no plot, per se, just a lot of great acting and dialogue and the experience of watching two people fall in love.

This scene comes early in the film, when Jesse and Celine are still a little shocked by their situation. They happen upon an old-school listening booth in a record shop and listen to a cut from an album Celine says she’s heard is good. Their faces say it all.

I have a theory that truly great films (and songs, for that matter) have a moment when they become truly great. It’s not that they aren’t great before that moment… it’s just that they pick the right moment to kick things into high gear and enter the stratosphere, the way a jockey and racehorse turn it on in the final stretch.

For me, this is the moment Before Sunrise becomes a truly great film.

6 thoughts on “Song of the Day #31: ‘Come Here’ – Kath Bloom

  1. Amy says:

    I used to love Ethan Hawke so much. What has he done since dumping Uma Thurman?! There are few actors who could pull that scene off so effectively. Julie Delpy is also wonderful, but my guess is that it’s more difficult for a male actor to “play” vulnerable and uncertain in that way.

    Meanwhile, I love your jockey theory, and you know I’ll be spending the next several days thinking of what moment each of my favorite films becomes great. I can see why you pick this moment from this film (though I do find it ironic that you chose to make rules for your own blog entry that would have to be broken by your very first pick 🙂 You could have chosen the last scene from Before Sunset, which wouldn’t have violated your rule)

    What I find most interesting is how little opinion I have of the song that’s being played. Since this is your “song of the day” blog, I wonder if one of the rules should be the song itself is memorable or moving in some way. But it’s your game, and I certainly am glad to have a chance to see that lovely scene again.

  2. Clay says:

    He was great in Training Day… otherwise he’s been pretty much off the radar.

    I’ll have to spend another blog entry on my jockey theory sometime. I have two or three examples in mind (the genesis of my theory) but I’ve never sat down and tried to pinpoint the moments in other works.

    In choosing a ‘Song of the Day,’ my goal won’t always be to present a song that is the bee’s knees. As with some of the selections so far, it might be more about the memory it conjures or a larger point it helps me explore. In the case of this week’s songs, it’s all about how well the songs work within each movie.

    Of the next seven songs, I like some more than others but I love how all of them are used in the films. Interestingly, this is the song I like least but the film I like most of all seven.

  3. Kerrie says:

    Somehow I always feel like slapping Ethan Hawke. He’s just a little too impressed with himself most of the time…. And since dumping Uma Thurman, the only thing I’m aware that he has done is get his girlfried (the one he cheated with) knocked up and then marry her…

    All that aside, what I love about this scene is the very natural chemistry between them in that booth. You can totally feel that nervous energy of people who know they’re really attracted to each other and aren’t sure what’s going to happen next. For that, I thank you for making this selection. 🙂

  4. Craig says:

    This is beautiful. It reminds me of the times in my youth when felt incredibly attracted to a woman but didn’t know what to say or how to express my feelings. I guess it might have helped though if the occasionally the lady had given me some vague notion that she was attracted to me too! Chemistry is a wonderful thing, but when you are left trying to add your potassium to a lovely female’s Bromine and they turn away in search of ‘aluminium man’ then life can get very lonely indeed.

  5. Dana says:

    I can’t really comment on the scene or the song because, just as I did while watching the movie, I started dozing off around the 45 second mark. SO I guess I slept through the part where this song/scene kicked things into high gear and entered the stratosphere. I know I am in the minority and probably some movie neandrathal, but I just didn’t get into this movie at all, and I find the song rather dull (much like the movie). Sorry.

  6. Clay says:

    Neanderthal is right!

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