Sunday, April 8, 2012

Siouxsie

So, Lady Bethezda suggested that we all post something about Siouxsie and her influence on us all.  I will admit, I was late to the Goth Party, and was unaware of her for a very long time.  I would listen if she was on the radio, and of course appreciated her style if I saw her picture somewhere, but I didn't really put two and two together until relatively recently in my life.

HOWEVER.

Siouxsie was involved in one of my favorite life moments, and I didn't realize it until much later.

That life moment is the ballroom scene in "Batman Returns."  I recall exactly the moment that I saw it in the theaters.  IT CHANGED MY BRAIN.  I can't even explain it.

Embedding is turned off. You know you want to watch this scene.

Can we even list the number of ways this was the best big-screen Batman flick?  It's almost overly awesome.

It was a Tim Burton film before Tim Burton films started looking like caricatures of Tim Burton films.  You can't argue with the bleak, melancholy beauty of his version of Gotham.  The soft greys, the snow... yes.  The visual beauty of Batman Returns only serves to highlight how awful the Joel Schumacher versions were.  Horrible.  HORRIBLE.

It was a Danny Elfman soundtrack.  You know you love you some Danny Elfman.  Don't even lie.

Michael Keaton is my favorite Batman.  He's can deliver the comic-booky cheese line without it sounding ridiculous.  Every other Batman has been too over-the-top.  I can't get over Christian Bale's growly foolishness.  It makes me laugh every time.  Val Kilmer (as much as I adore him) probably wasn't acting.  Let's not talk about George Clooney.  We're all still embarrassed for you, George.  Gah, I miss seeing Michael Keaton on screen.  Where did you go, Michael?

Stan Winston's Penguin makeup was to die for.  It was cartoony and believable and Danny DeVito sold it utterly and it's Stan Winston shaddup already!

Michelle Pfeiffer's Catwoman is the ONLY big-screen Catwoman, as far as I'm concerned.  I'm already disappointed in Anne Hathaway, and I haven't even seen her yet.  Sit down, Anne.  Halle Berry?  You too.    THE VINYL SUIT.  Holy crap.  You know I'm right.  Do you remember how insanely hot Michelle Pfeiffer was in that movie?  Go watch that clip again.  I'll wait.  In my head, it will always be Eartha Kitt or Michelle Pfeiffer.

Christopher Walken.  Do we have to discuss this?  God, he's good at being creepy.

Paul Reubens and Diane Salinger as the Cobblepots?  The casting for this entire movie was just too fantastic.

The ballroom scene is, in my opinion, the sexiest scene in the movie.  There's some hot smokin vibes coming off both of them when she comes down the stairs.  The noselicking scene is too right-on-the-surface.  The stair scene is so much more undercurrenty.

And nestled in the center of this Nest of Amazing is Siouxsie, purring her way through the tie-in song "Face to Face."

Everyone's turned off embedding! Click for a Siouxsie video

I get a little chill when the strings come in at 0.11.  The video is like a time capsule of 1992, isn't it?  So weird.  I appreciate that it feels like Batman Returns, without any overt clips from the movie (there are in a different version of this video, and it feels like being bludgeoned with marketing).  It's Batman-flavored, instead of being GO SEE BATMAN.

Danny Elfman composed the song (you knew that), so it fits seamlessly into the score.  But it still sounds like a Siouxsie and the Banshees song.  I can't imagine anyone else performing it.  Seriously.  Try to sing that as an Oingo Boingo tune in your head.  It just sounds wrong.  I think that if I heard the song covered, it would make my head hurt.

It's arguably the best "soundtrack song" off of any of the first four Batman soundtracks.  The first film feautred Prince's "Partyman," which was nice (I love Prince), but just felt out of place.  Come on, Jack Nicholson doesn't dance to Prince.  "Batman Forever" featured Seal's "Kiss From A Rose" which is a perfectly lovely song that was so overplayed that it's now a punchline.  And Smashing Pumpkins "The End is the Beginning is the End" was a great song, but it was the only thing even mildly palatable about the entire shitshow that was "Batman and Robin."  Well, that, and Alfred.  Alfred is always great.  You can listen to "Face to Face" and not immediately feel like you're listening to a soundtrack.  It stands up on it's own.  Of course, the fact that it brings to mind my favorite part of one of my favorite movies?  BONUS.

It's 1:30 in the morning, and I have to stop thinking about Batman Returns and Siouxsie.  I need to sleep, not watch endless clips while making happy noises.

A final thought...

Anyone else think it's strange that Siouxsie has looked 18 for the last 30 years?  How are you doing that, Siouxsie?  I didn't look 18 when I WAS 18.





4 comments:

  1. I love this song and 'Batman Returns'! I missed this great post or I wouldn't have linked to the song on the LIB page. When I think about Siouxie Sioux, it's the first thing that comes to my mind. :)

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    1. As if excessive linking-to-that-video could EVER exist! Great minds, yes.

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  2. This is such a great post. As for why Siouxsie Sioux still looks so good. I dunno. But I hope that is has to do with her having such a a command over an extreme style. I really hope I'm riding that same train.

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    1. I'm sure a large part of the equation is "stay out of the sun." >sigh< Alas, that's the source of my paycheck...

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