Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Monday, February 10, 2014

I'll take Sinister Sweet Love Songs for 800,Alex!

I get musical crushes from time to time,you know how that is when you can't resist playing one certain song over and over again. My latest lyrical love affair is with Lana Del Ray's cover version of "Once Upon a Dream" from the animated Disney classic Sleeping Beauty.

Lana's rendition is meant for the upcoming live action remake of that movie entitled Maleficent starring Angelina Jolie as the iconic Bad Fairy. To be honest, I'm not much of a Sleeping Beauty fan and while I do appreciate the elegantly evil look of that story's villainess, my wicked heart belongs to the Evil Queen who tried to take out her Snow White competition armed with a Magic Mirror and a poisoned apple.

However,the gorgeously gloomy tones that Lana gives to this song(which is really intended as the original title princess' lovelorn lullaby) turns this sweet little number into a haunting anthem for the femme fatale fairy taking over this new version of the story. Certainly makes me more interested in seeing the film this summer,that's for sure:

So,along with the fact that Valentine's Day is less than a few days away, I thought that this new take on Sleeping Beauty's signature song was the perfect excuse to share some of my other eerily romantic favorite tunes from fantasy themed films. Quite a mouthful there,I know!

First up is Siouxsie and the Banshees with their contribution to the Batman Returns soundtrack,"Face to Face",a song that plays in the background of a pivotal scene as Batman and Catwoman recognize each other outside of their costumes in public.

The song is incredibly lush with it's fluid rhythms and angst ridden lyrics that purr-fectly reflect the tormented romance between the two so alike it's scary leads:

Next on my list is one of David Bowie's alluring Goblin King songs from Labyrinth and while "As the World Falls Down" is more out and out romantic, the dark undercurrents of "Within You" always get me going.

Granted,the attraction between the almost teenage Sarah and the Goblin King is more of a metaphor for early notions of romance for young women, you do get the sense that Jareth relishes the attention from her and in many ways,needs it desperately.

After all, magic requires belief and by luring her into a reality created and fueled by her escapist desires,Jareth remains in power. His hold on her is fragile at best and this menacing plea displays that push-pull nicely:

Last but far from least is "Old Souls" from Phantom of the Paradise. There are a good number of love songs in this film but this one in particular has a bittersweet irony to it.

For one thing,it's the song that Phoenix,the leading lady of the title character's affections,gets her chance to perform after the gruesome demise of the star attraction to make her famous. He gets no thanks from her,alas and if anything,she is determined to embrace all that this unexpected taste of fame can offer.

 That leap into the spotlight,however,spells her doom as the evil music mogul Swann fulfills her desire for fame and prepares to destroy her for the sake of sales. The Faustian themes of the plot are very well expressed in this haunting tune as well and yes,Jessica Harper does her own singing here:

It'll be some time before we find out if Maleficent is a good retake on the Sleeping Beauty story or not but at least we have a great new twist on a familiar fairy tale tune from it. The Snow White remake film frenzy is over and done with for now but who knows, the Evil Queen may rise again to strut her stuff in song someday:

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