Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Thursday Thirteen #160


 As we wait to see which song will be honored as Best Song of 2011, here are 13 songs that have not only won the Oscar but have stood the test of time. I guarantee that at least one of these will work it's way into your brain ...

1) Just the Way You Look Tonight. "Lovely, never ever change. Keep that breathless charm. Won't you please arrange it because I love you ... just the way you look tonight." Swing Time. 1936.

2) Over the Rainbow. "If happy little bluebirds fly beyond the rainbow, why, oh why can't I?" The Wizard of Oz. 1939

3) When You Wish Upon a Star. "When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are. Anything your heart desires will come to you." Pinocchio. 1940

4) White Christmas. "May your days be happy and bright, and may all your Christmases be bright." Holiday Inn. 1942.

5) All the Way. "When somebody loves you it's no good unless she loves you all the way ..." Joker's Wild. 1957.

6) Moon River. "Moon River, wider than a mile, I'll be crossing you in style someday." Breakfast at Tiffany's. 1961.

7) Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head. "So I just did me some talking to the sun and I said I didn't like the way he got things done. Sleepin' on the job ..." Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. 1969.

8) The Theme from Shaft. "Who's the black private dick that's a sex machine with all the chicks?" Shaft. 1971.

9) The Way We Were. "So it's the laughter we will remember, whenever we remember the way we were." The Way We Were. 1973.

10) Evergeen. "You and I will make each night a first, every day a beginning ..." A Star Is Born. 1976

11) I Just Called to Say I Love You. "I just called to say how much I care. I just called to say I love you, and I mean it from the bottom of my heart." The Woman in Red. 1984.

12) Can You Feel the Love Tonight? "It's enough to make kings and vagabonds believe the very best." The Lion King. 1994.

13) Lose Yourself. "You better lose yourself in the music, the moment, you own it, you better never let it go." 8 Mile. 2002.

For more information about the Thursday Thirteen,
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WWW Wednesday

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

1) What are you currently reading?
2) What did you recently finish reading?
3) What do you think you’ll read next?

1)  Star, by Peter Biskind. It's a fascinating, compulsively readable biography of Warren Beatty. There's a lot about moviemaking, even more about women. As I wind toward the end, I wonder if his career really deserves such an exhaustive study.  He's only made 22 movies (compared to about 40 for his contemporary and chief competitor, Robert Redford), and really only about 6 were important. Though granted, Bonnie and Clyde is one of the great, influential American films. Instead I think Biskind named the book Star for a reason, for it's about how Beatty leveraged power and persona that played a bigger part in his career than his actual work.

2) MWF Seeking Same by Rachel Bertsche. I didn't finish this book, but alas, I am done with it. This began as a magazine article and, in my humble opinion, that's how it should have stayed. The premise is charming. A newly wed moves to Chicago and wants to find a new BFF. The author claims this is hard to do once you're out of the dorm. But expanding the story to book length doesn't enhance it. There's a sameness to her "friend dates." Plus, as the book wore on, I realized I didn't really like Rachel that much. So I ditched it and moved on.

3) LA Mental by Neil McMahon. A psychological thriller set in Los Angeles. According to the foreword, James Patterson loved it, so I know what to expect -- a literary candy bar that's plenty of fun while it lasts. All the studio politics, the on-set clashes and the sexual sturm und drang of Beatty makes me long for some mindless literary empty calories.

I Want Wednesday

I want to go back. Like a lot of people, I have been listening to Whitney Houston again for the first time in years. Literally. I bought and enjoyed her last CD, but it's not like she's forever in my headphones, the way her sister divas Barbra Streisand and Diana Ross are.

As I listen to "Didn't We Almost Have It All?" and "Saving All My Love for You," I am touched not so much by how fabulous Whitney's voice was (though it was), but how energetic and hopeful I was when these songs were popular. I don't so much long for Whitney -- after all, these songs are forever -- as I do my youth, which, alas, is gone forever.