Friday, September 28, 2012

Worth Mentioning - Naive Melody

We watch several movies a week. Every Friday, we'll talk a little about some of the movies we watched that we felt were Worth Mentioning.

A twenty-five year old film is Cody's movie of the summer.


I am not knowledgeable enough to properly write about the intricacies of this movie. I know nothing about the world of the main characters. When they discuss the details of their business of stock dealing, buying and trading, they might as well be speaking a language from a different planet. But I do know that this movie is a great drama.

At its core, it's director Oliver Stone's re-telling of the Faust legend. A man sells his soul to the devil in exchange for knowledge and worldy pleasures. The man is corrupted as he takes advantage of the rewards of the deal, but things eventually fall apart, and the end result is eternal damnation. In this case, the man selling his soul is struggling young stock broker Bud Fox, and the devil is corporate raider Gordon Gekko. Once Fox gives Gekko some good information on stocks, Gekko wants more and more, and he's not concerned whether or not the tactics Fox uses to get the information are legal. As long as the good tips keep on coming, Gekko will provide Fox with perks, "lots and lots of perks". That includes money, enough for Fox to change his life and move up in the world, and even the attention of Gekko's former mistress. Fox sets his morals aside while working for Gekko and everything goes great for a while, but when the raider's ruthless company and life destroying deals threaten the well-being of his loved ones, Fox has to turn things around and try to redeem himself.

Michael Douglas won a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for his performance as Gordon Gekko, a role that he reprised in a 2010 sequel that I have not yet watched. Charlie Sheen does fine work as Bud Fox, and his father Martin Sheen gives a terrific performance as Fox's working class father Carl, who is as clueless as to what his son's job entails as I am, but knows enough to warn his son that he's heading down the wrong path.

Since fall has officially begun, I felt that this was a fitting time to mention the movie that had the biggest impact on my summer. It wasn't the story of Wall Street that affected me when I watched it back on the evening of July 29th so much as it was a soundtrack choice. Just over an hour into the film, a montage showing Bud Fox's life on the rise is accompanied by the Talking Heads song "This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)". The song plays again over the end credits. Since hearing that song in this movie, it has remained stuck in my head for two months. It's a catchy tune with great lyrics, and the line "Home is where I want to be, but I guess I'm already there" had a very personal meaning for me this summer.

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