"Donnie Darko" and "Zodiac" among the 50 best uses of songs in film

Jake Gyllenhaal as Robert Graysmith in "Zodiac" (2007) directed by David Fincher

22. “Hurdy Gurdy Man,” Donovan, Zodiac (2007)
This near-primal scene starts with two young adults flirting in a Corvair at a lovers’ lane, until the headlights of a mysterious car pull up behind them. Suddenly, the song on the radio can only signify evil. By the time David Fincher returns to Donovan’s sinuous groove in his closing credits, the tune has been transformed. (A clearer clip of the scene is here.)—JR

Jake Gyllenhaal as Donald Darko in "Donnie Darko" (2001) directed by Richard Kelly

36. “Head Over Heels,” Tears for Fears, Donnie Darko (2001)
In a terrific early scene from Richard Kelly’s cult debut, Jake Gyllenhaal’s depressive, time-traveling outcast takes a long walk down his high-school hallway. Assembled into a single, unbroken take, it’s as if we’re gliding through one morning in our own angst-ridden teen existence—but with a better soundtrack.—KU Source: newyork.timeout.com

Gene Kelly ("My Love For You") video

Gene Kelly ("My Love For You") video featuring pictures and stills of Gene Kelly and his female co-stars: Judy Garland in 'For me and my gal', 'The Pirate' and 'Summer Stock', Deanna Durbin in 'Christmas Holiday', Kathryn Grayson in 'Thousands Cheer' and 'Anchors Aweigh', Rita Hayworth and Jinx Falkenburg in 'Cover Girl', Vera-Ellen in 'On the Town', Teresa Celli in 'Black Hand', Leslie Caron in 'An American in Paris', Debbie Reynolds and Jean Hagen in 'Singing in the Rain', Cyd Charisse in 'Singing in the Rain', 'Brigadoon' and 'It's Always Fair Weather', Mitzi Gaynor, Kay Kendall and Taina Elg in 'Les Girls', Natalie Wood in 'Marjorie Morningstar', Shirley MacLaine in 'What a Way to Go', etc.

Soundtrack: The Glenn Miller Orchestra - 'My Love For You', 'My Ideal', 'People Will Say We're In Love', and Helen Forrest & Artie Shaw Orchestra - 'Love Is Here'

Gene Kelly and Vera-Ellen in the first dance noir

Deanna Durbin and Gene Kelly as Abigail Martin and Robert Manette in "Christmas Holiday" (1944) directed by Robert Siodmak. With script by Herman J. Mankiewicz ("Dinner at Eight", "The Pride of the Yankees", "Citizen Kane") based on W. Somerset Maugham's novel.

"Kelly’s grin here becomes the Devil’s, he comes home with blood-stained trousers and finally materializes to "straighten out the family"; Durbin first sees him at a recital of Liebestod and then performs "Always" to celebrate their union. "I guess maybe there’s another meaning to love than what I was taught," Harens says after hearing the tale. Melodic noir, and unsettling delirium -- the ripely masochistic former child-star and the stubbly, grounded dancer face each other in the shadows, and Siodmak wonders how America got to this point. (Hitchcock similarly reimagines Robert Walker in 'Strangers on a Train')." Source: www.cinepassion.org

"Starring in the role of the homme fatal and also playing against type is the master of acrobatic dance, Gene Kelly. That said, in an obvious tongue in cheek move there is a scene in which Kelly asks Durbin to dance. Precisely upon the point of arriving on the dance floor the band concludes the number and the dance never comes off". Source: www.noiroftheweek.com

Vera-Ellen and Gene Kelly in "Words and Music" (1948) directed by Norman Taurog

"Set in a sleazy New York neighborhood, Kelly's Dancer encounters the wonderful Vera-Ellen as The Blonde. The couple dance seductively, and their mutual interest seems to grow as the music changes to a breezy, cheerful melody. Together they enter a saloon that seems to be populated by the city's finest gangsters and prostitutes. The music grows jazzy...the couple is smitten with each other. Vera-Ellen is the epitome of sensuality with her short skirt and seductive manner. Gene is equally seductive in what could possibly be his sexiest outfit as he dances a very masculine "ballet" to win the girl over". Source: genescene.blogspot.com

Vera-Ellen and Gene Kelly performing in the tragic ballet "Slaughter On Tenth Avenue" composed by Richard Rodgers from the 1948 movie "Words and Music".

Gene Kelly stated to several writers that he considered Vera-Ellen among the very best dancers in film. Vera-Ellen learned from Gene Kelly how to dance with deep-felt emotion. She portrays a saucy Bowery girl with a wild blonde wig, a too-tigh yellow top and a bright orange skirt slit almost too far up the side, all cinched with a thick black belt with overlange ring buckle.

As she struts in under the Tenth Avenue she attracts the attention of a local thug (played by choreographer/dancer Jack Baker) who makes a crude pass at her. Quickly we learn her interest in focused on Gene Kelly's tenement flat. Kelly, at his most muscular and athletic, rises from bed and climbs down to the street where Vera is strutting, preening and slithering around him, even rubbing herself up against a phallic pole. It is a mating call and Kelly takes the bait. Once again she moves away from him, but they finally end their teasing courtship and come together in a sensuous dance as he dips and drags her body along the street.

Vera-Ellen: This dance not only changed my career, it changed me. From Gene Kelly I learned the modern knee drops, slides, and the earthy, almost brutal, approach to rhythm. Gene and me worked ten weeks on the number and when I was through with it I was also a different person; my walk changed and I even switched from a flower-scented perfume to something called 'Shameless'. Gene really influenced my life. For my money, he's just about the greatest in the business.

Staged by Gene Kelly, the "Slaughter On Tenth Avenue" number was serious, different from Ray Bolger's slaphappy dance routine. It has been termed the first "dance noir", echoing the popular film noir genre of the '40s.

Vera Ellen went on to work with Gene Kelly again in the classic 'On the Town' (1949) directed by Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly.

Gabey (Gene Kelly) and Ivy (Vera-Ellen) discuss where they should meet in the film "On the Town":

Gabey: Top of the Empire State Building.
Ivy Smith: But it's so high up!
Gabey: Oh it won't seem high to me. I'm in the clouds right now.

At the University of Arizona, once a year, there is a Vera-Ellen day in the "Art History of the Cinema" class, right there next to Alfred Hitchcock, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers and Gene Kelly. TCM, American Movie Classics and the American One network with their periodic revivals of classics such as 'Words and Music', 'Three Little Words', 'White Christmas', 'Happy Go Lovely', 'The Belle of New York' and 'On the Town' have made a whole new generation ask: "Who was that amazingly talented Vera-Ellen and what happened to her? -"Vera-Ellen: The Magic and the Mystery" by David Soren (2008)

Jake Gyllenhaal eats lunch at Angelini Osteria

Jake Gyllenhaal joined a friend for lunch at LA's Angelini Osteria restaurant on 19th January 2012.

Jake Gyllenhaal out for sushi with Adam Levine & friends in LA, on 18th January 2012

Jake's been spotted all over Hollywood in recent days following his appearance at Sunday's Golden Globes ceremony.

Gene Kelly: "Ode to Joy" & "Cosmic Dancer"

Gene Kelly (Ode to Joy) video featuring pictures and stills of Gene Kelly and his female co-stars: Judy Garland in 'For me and my gal', 'The Pirate' and 'Summer Stock', Deanna Durbin in 'Christmas Holiday', Kathryn Grayson in 'Thousands Cheer' and 'Anchors Aweigh', Rita Hayworth in 'Cover Girl', Vera Ellen in 'On the Town', Teresa Celli in 'Black Hand', Leslie Caron in 'An American in Paris', Debbie Reynolds and Jean Hagen in 'Singing in the Rain', Cyd Charisse in 'Singing in the Rain', 'Brigadoon' and 'It's Always Fair Weather', Mitzi Gaynor, Kay Kendall and Taina Elg in 'Les Girls', Natalie Wood in 'Marjorie Morningstar', Shirley MacLaine in 'What a Way to Go', etc.

Soundtrack: 'Ode to Joy' Symphony # 9 by Ludwig van Beethoven

Soundtrack: Song "Cosmic Dancer" by Marc Bolan and The Glenn Miller Orchestra: 'I Love You', 'In the Mood'

Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse in a promotional still of "Brigadoon" (1954) directed by Vincente Minnelli

Lobby card featuring Ernie Kovacs and Cyd Charisse in "Five Golden Hours", 1961

Short noir film directed by Ernie Kovacs

“Anna [Karina] is an actress and who arrives in New York. She goes to see Gene Kelly and she says to him, “I am a French actress, I admire you, can’t you find me some work?”Finally it’s the discovery of America by this girl from within seven or eight great genres of the American cinema. Then Gene Kelly says, “But no, my little girl, the musical comedy is finished, the great stage at MGM no longer exists.” Then they go into the street and it becomes a little bit musical.

Then, I don’t know what, she needs money, she steals money, she meets people and it becomes a criminal episode. I would have wanted, for example, for her to get hired as a maid, or a gardener, or whatever, by Faulkner.” —Jean-Luc Godard on an unrealized project that was to star Anna Karina, Gene Kelly, and William Faulkner. The project was abandoned after Faulkner’s death on July, 6 1962.

Jake Gyllenhaal - Breakfast at Square One with Busy Phillips in Los Angeles

Busy Philipps and her husband Marc Silverstein took their 3-year-old daughter Birdie out to breakfast on Saturday (January 14). Their good friend Jake Gyllenhaal also came along to eat at Los Angeles restaurant Square One. The two actors greeted each other with a hug, with Jake also stroking Birdie's hair. Source: celebritybabyscoop.com

Jake Gyllenhaal and Busy Phillips having breakfast at Square One in Los Angeles, on 14th January 2012

Jake at Golden Globes, Michelle Williams: Winner for "My Week with Marilyn"

Jake Gyllenhaal at the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards (Ceremony Rehearsals)

Jake Gyllenhaal presented the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards, on 15th January 2012

Michelle Williams poses as Marilyn Monroe in Vogue Germany magazine (February 2012), photoshoot by Brigitte Lacombe

Michelle Williams won a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance in "Ly Week with Marilyn" (2011)

Gene Kelly: Anatomy of a Dancer

Some clips from "Gene Kelly: Anatomy of a Dancer" (2002) directed by Robert Trachtenberg

It became obvious after awhile that Gene Kelly, the natural athlete, (particularly adept at hockey and baseball) had been kissed by the goddess of dance, Terpsichore. His mother Harriet took over a failed dancing studio and her middle son quickly established himself as a natural teacher and choreographer, with a winning way with young people. Graduating at 16 while holding down several jobs, Kelly looked to university (Penn State) as his next challenge. He switched his major from journalism to economics and soon realized while helping the family weather the Depression, there might be a future for him in entertainment.

June Havoc playing Gladys and Gene Kelly playing Joey Evans in "Pal Joey" on Broadway

Kelly's big break came on Christmas night 1940 with his breakthrough role of Joey Evans, a second-rate nightclub entertainer in 1930s Chicago, in which he meets and falls in love with Linda.

Timeless, effortless, elegant and indelible as the 50th anniversary of Singin' in the Rain approaches (the film was first released on 27th March 1952 in New York City), Gene Kelly's body of work still thrives and still thrills. With films that also include 'An American in Paris', 'Summer Stock', 'On the Town' and 'Brigadoon', Kelly revived the movie musical and redefined dance on screen, bringing with him an inspired sensibility and an original vitality. He endeared himself to audiences and had a profound, eternal impact on the craft. A lasting influence in the worlds of film and dance, his first major film success came at the age of thirty and a short ten years later, he had made his final hit film.

Ironically, Kelly was put under contract at Selznick International by Mayers son-in-law David O. Selznick, who had no interest in producing musicals and thought Kelly could exist purely as a dramatic actor. With no roles forthcoming, Kelly was loaned out to MGM to co-star with Judy Garland in 'For Me and My Gal'. The film was a hit and Selznick subsequently sold the actor and his contract to MGM.

A series of mediocre roles followed and it was not until Kelly was loaned out to Columbia for 1944s 'Cover Girl', with Rita Hayworth, that he became firmly established as a star. His landmark alter ego sequence, in which he partnered with himself, brought film dance to a new level of special effects. With Stanley Donen as his assistant, Kelly created a sense of the psychological and integrated story telling never before seen in a Hollywood musical.

Gene Kelly and Kathryn Grayson in "Thousands Cheer" (1943) directed by George Sidney

Realizing what they had, MGM refused to ever loan him out again, ruining Kellys opportunity to star in the film versions of 'Guys and Dolls', 'Pal Joey' and even 'Sunset Boulevard'. Back with producer Arthur Freed at MGM, Kelly continued his innovative approach to material by placing himself in a cartoon environment to dance with Jerry the Mouse in 'Anchors Aweigh' (1945).

During his marriage to the actress Betsy Blair, Kelly was radicalized and the couple became well known for their liberal politics. In 1947, when the Carpenters Union went on strike and the Hollywood studios were looking for an intermediary to intervene on their behalf, Kelly was chosen much to everyone's surprise. He traveled back and forth from Culver City to union headquarters in Chicago for two months, mediating a strike that was costing the studios dearly. When a settlement was finally reached, Kelly was shocked to learn that the studios felt it was unfair and that they had been cheated by his siding with the strikers. Naively and genuinely trying to help and unaware of unstated expectations, underhanded tactics, and slush funds Kelly's efforts only resulted in further exacerbating his relationship with Louis B. Mayer.

He was, however, able to continue refining and showcasing his unique appeal with standout numbers in 'The Pirate' and 'Words and Music', among other films. Determined from the start to differentiate himself from Fred Astaire, Kelly concerned himself with incorporating less ballroom dancing and more distinctly American athleticism into his choreography.

Finally, Kelly and Stanley Donen were assigned their own film to co-direct 1949s 'On the Town'. In just five days of shooting selected sequences, they opened up the genre as no one had ever done before, creating another first a musical film shot on location. Followed by his two masterworks, 'An American in Paris', with its 17-minute ballet sequence, and 'Singin in the Rain', Kelly achieved icon status at the age of forty. In 1951, he was awarded a special Oscar for 'An American in Paris' for his “extreme versatility as an actor, singer, director and dancer, but specifically for his brilliant achievement in the art of choreography.”

Tony Martin visits his wife Cyd Charisse and Gene Kelly on the set of "Brigadoon" (1954) directed by Vincente Minnelli

The musical era, as well as the Freed unit at MGM, wind to a close and Kelly's last productions, including 'Brigadoon' and the ambitious 'It's Always Fair Weather', failed to appeal to either critics or the public. The latter film also brought a bitter end to his partnership with Stanley Donen. The two had made history together in their three previous films the only successful directorial collaboration in Hollywood, before or since.

But professional and personal conflict lead to the breakup, including the fact that Donen's wife, Jeanne Coyne, had fallen in love with Kelly. With Kelly's own marriage to Betsy Blair in dissolution, both couples divorced and Kelly eventually married Coyne in 1960.

In the late 1950s, the television show OMNIBUS invited Kelly to create a documentary about the relationship between dance and athletics 'Dancing: A Mans Game' is considered one of the classic treasures from televisions golden age. However, the hit Kelly so badly craved and needed as director of the film 'Hello Dolly', eluded him, unable to compete in a market that now included such movies as 'Midnight Cowboy' and 'Easy Rider'.

Jeanne Coyne died of leukemia in 1973, leaving Kelly to raise their two young children alone. In his determination to be a better father than he had been to his first daughter, Kelly refused all work that would take him away from Los Angeles, including the offer to direct the film 'Cabaret' in Munich. He tried series television, guest appearances, childrens records and became a frequent advisor to younger filmmakers who were hoping to resurrect the movie musical. At his death in 1996, it was said of Kelly, he went downhill so fast you hardly saw him go.

Yet, the potency of Kellys gifts, his remarkable achievements in dance and choreography and the creativity and charisma with which he exploded in a handful of films continues to endure and to inform. Gene Kellys final filmed words are from 1994s Thats Entertainment III quoting Irving Berlin, he remarked: “The song has ended, but the melody lingers on.” And, so too has Kelly himself. He was number 15 on AFIs millennium list of most popular actors and 'Singin in the Rain' has been voted the singular most popular movie musical of all time". Source: www.pbs.org

Q: So what do you think Kelly’s appeal was?

A: You know right before I started the film, this very young woman was in my office repairing my computer and my assistant turned to her and said, “What happens when I say Gene Kelly to you?” and she instantly said, “I smile.” The guy was a movie star in the classic sense of the word — he had that X quality that you cannot define. But he actually had the talent to back up the sheer charisma. He was very frank in some of his archival interviews, his appeal really transcends and even filters down to the movie audience of today. When I was around him, he was still getting fan mail from thirteen-year old girls! Source: www.pbs.org

"I didnt want to move or act like a rich man. I wanted to dance in a pair of jeans. I wanted to dance like the man in the streets". –Gene Kelly