Song Of The Week - Elton John (With Stillwater And Friends) - Tiny Dancer
A change of pace this week, as we focus not so much on a song with (tenuous) movie connections, but a song used within a movie to absolute perfection. Cameron Crowe's 2000 masterpiece Almost Famous is very probably the finest movie ever made about pop music. Not even so much about the music, but about what the music does to the listener, whoever they may be, how it grabs their soul, shapes their life and is never to be forgotten.
Patrick Fugit makes a superb job of playing Crowe-substitute as an underage fan out on the road for Rolling Stone magazine (as Crowe himself was), finding himself, discovering life and coming of age courtesy of the music he loves and the people he finds himself surrounded by.
By this pivotal moment in the film, the band he is assigned to cover, Stillwater, are rapidly becoming the classic definition of the almost-made-its, what-could've-beens. They are falling apart, divided by ego, relationships, money, you know, rock and roll. They're just about still there, together on their tour bus to the next destination, none of them through choice.
And then something magical happens. A song comes on the radio. The drummer starts to play along, someone starts to sing along, then, very quickly, they all join in...and for a brief moment they are reminded of why they're there in the first place. This music. Their love for it. Their need for it. And once again, they are whole.
It's Crowe showing us the pure power and wonder of what three minutes of pop music can achieve, what it stands for, what it means - and it's simply one of the most wondrous moments in all of cinema.
Look on this, and be renewed. "You are home."