Tom Waits - Jockey Full of Bourbon (from Down by Law, 1986, dir. Jim Jarmusch)
Down By Law was born out of Jarmusch’s obsession with New Orleans’ musical culture, the city in which the movie was filmed and set. By this he didn’t mean jazz so much as the city’s 1950s and ’60s rhythm-and-blues and early funk, figures like Professor Longhair, The Meters, Irma Thomas, Dr John, Allen Toussaint, Ernie K. Doe, and Irma Thomas (whose “It’s Raining” appears as a jukebox tune at one point). This music, along with the Louisiana port city’s historical associations with voodoo and pirates, and its unique architecture and food, gave New Orleans a pungent mystique for Jarmusch. —Simon Reynolds
'It was the middle of summer and broiling-hot — stifling. The location was a good 40 minutes from the Red Lion Inn, where people were staying. Bob came over after dinner, and turned to me: “We have an early start. Walk me back to my room.” We began walking down what felt like a mile of maroon hotel corridors. We talked in shorthand: he was tired, but he wanted the news. Then his voice changed, without skipping a beat. “I have no idea what I'm going to shoot tomorrow,” he announced. We were at his room. He opened the door and began undressing. “I don't know if I can pull this off; I'm exhausted.” He climbed into bed in his undershorts. I was worried; I had never heard this tone before. He pulled up the covers, then closed his eyes. “Turn off the lights as you leave.”'
“A film is - or should be - more like music than like fiction. It should be a progression of moods and feelings. The theme, what’s behind the emotion, the meaning, all that comes later.”—
I this is an interesting quote by Kubrick and representative of how his films irrevocably changed the relationship between film and music. The medium of his message was usually music. His final film Eyes Wide Shut, featured a solitary piano note pounded into submission until the end of the movie. It was a bold sonic metaphor for the film’s bizarre exploration of sex and conspiracy, and it felt like a rail spike to the brain.
But Kubrick was a perfectionist to the core, so it’s hard to imagine he didn’t plan for it to grate on your nerves. His other movies — A Clockwork Orange, 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Killing, The Shining, Paths of Glory, etc. — utilized music in meaningful ways. He brutalized Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange, mainlining Beethoven and ultraviolence into one hell of a hurrah. He swiped “Singin’ in the Rain” from an iconic musical of the same name, and repurposed it so shockingly to a rape scene that the copy nearly overwrote the original. The list goes on.