Saturday, January 17, 2009

Leonard Cohen's songs in McCabe and Mrs Miller...

...literally define the modern soundtrack of movies. We cannot imagine this incredible film without these songs.

Iconoclastic director Robert Altman decided to use actual songs in the fabulous McCabe and Mrs Miller (1971), which was pretty rare at the time. Lush, orchestrated soundtracks were the unwritten rule of movie-music at that time. As always, he broke with the trend.

These songs are heart-breakingly lovely, as the movie is also. I have seen it upwards of 20-30 times. I cry every time.

Note in this first clip, the stunningly beautiful Shelley Duvall, big favorite here at Dead Air!

Altman consistently shoots both Duvall and Julie Christie (Mrs Miller) as if they are angels, when in fact, they are working in Mrs Miller's some shots their ringlets appear to be halos.


Leonard Cohen - Sisters of Mercy

This movie was progressive in that it was McCabe--the guy(!)--who wants love from Mrs Miller, and is upset she always expects money. She is fond of him, but her first love is opium.

Cohen's songs reflect this sadness, so perfectly:

I'm just a station on your way
I know I'm not your lover

McCabe and Mrs Miller - trailer


jotte said...

Nice inlägg.

Doc Anchovy said...

It's a great movie! The sound track is also a favorite. I've seen it a whole bunch of times too. It's kind of painful for me to watch but worth the discomfort. A bit too close to personal parallels. Great post.

Marion said...

I think I grew up after watching McCabe and Mrs Miller.It was such a great movie! I don't really know how many times I've watched it...and listened to Leonard Cohen, but since it turns out that Graham doesn't remember it, guess what we're watching tonight? lol

Thanks for the reminder!

mikeb302000 said...

Daisy, That's such a famous movie, but like many others I missed it completely. With such a high recommendation from you, it's going on the top of my list.


mrsmadrigal said...

Leonard Cohen is coming to Australia and I'm going to see him on Feb 1. Can't wait.

Anonymous said...

beautiful songs.

Barnabas Collins said...

daisy thx 4 "sisters of mercy" could b lovleyist song i ever heard. on yr blog all night listening over + over.