The romance between music and movies has been a well-documented public affair. Whether it’s a movie with original score, a carefully curated soundtrack or a biopic that takes us back in time, music and movies drive culture. Music, however, is what provides the backbone to memories as we know them.
Music is critical to movie watching because aside from sight, there are no other human senses through which we can experience a film. We can’t taste it, or smell it, or touch it. But we can lose ourselves in the sound. Music gives us perception and has the ability to define a moment in ways no other form of art can.
Movies about music take cultural connection to an entirely different level. In a time when entertainment provides an oft-needed escape from reality, music, now more than ever, is top of mind for consumers.
In the past few years, we’ve seen the number of stories born in music take an increasingly large share of the spotlight, and 2018 was no exception. It seems consumers have a voracious appetite to see ‘how it all began’ for our favorite musicians, whether biographical or make believe – and let’s be honest, these life stories are always worth watching.
Take Bohemian Rhapsody for example – for which BYGMusic executed a cross-genre Queen cover campaign with emerging artists –
with a whopping $890 million box office thumper. As The Hollywood Reporter put it, “The Queen biopic is the rare drama that is doing the kind of business usually reserved for Hollywood tentpoles, animated fare and James Bond.”
A Star is Born, another darling of last year’s awards race, has pulled in another $253 million with a special limited run back in theaters which debuted an entirely new song not seen in the original theatrical release. The film broke records with the most consecutive weeks atop the charts for a soundtrack, making an appearance again at No. 1 the week following the Oscars, where Lady Gaga accepted the award for Best Original Song.
Best Picture winner The Green Book, though last of the three in terms of Box Office numbers, won over the hearts of The Academy, critics and fans alike in a tale about a renowned African-American classical concert pianist, played by Mahershala Ali, who takes the long road to friendship with his driver and bodyguard, a shifty bouncer from the Bronx played by Viggo Mortensen. This, a period story about race, stoked a fire culturally in more ways than one.
Whether they are meaningful based on past personal connections to the music, to the love stories or triumphs in friendship against all odds, these movies – and the music – continue to move us.
They are proof that every great story starts somewhere.
The coming year will have its own drumbeat, with the hotly anticipated Rocketman, based on the life of Elton John; Teen Spirit, following a teen’s (Elle Fanning) dream to make it big and all that entails; Yesterday, Danny Boyles’ charming Beatles-inspired film where an aspiring songwriter introduces the world to The Beatles, which have somehow been erased from history; and, we imagine, much more.
One thing is for sure…we can already smell the popcorn.