Needle drop is when a filmmaker picks an already existing song and uses it to explain the theme of the film or to give a whole new charisma to the scene. Using a pre-existing song into film gives a feeling of nostalgia to the audience. There are times when filmmakers literally forewent the cinematic clichés of following their predecessor’s way of using needle drops and did something totally out of box. Every great director or screenwriter has their own style of picking songs and dropping them in a dramatic fashion. There are directors like Quentin Tarantino, Richard Linklater and Paul Thomas Anderson (his earlier films) etc. who’ve used so many different needle drops and got amazing results out of it. This list takes a look at great needle drops in movies, all directed by different filmmakers.
10. Fish Tank (2009) – “Life’s a Bitch” by Nas
Life’s a bitch by Nas is One of the best song from one of the greatest hip hop album of all time. Film director Andrea Arnold sure knows how to use pop songs in her films. The soundtrack of American Honey was also moody but great. This song is played in the closing scene when Mia is leaving her house & is saying last goodbye to her mother who’s high and she tells Mia to f**k off. Then they bid farewell by dancing like blacks (as Fassbender says in the film) on the beats of this track.
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9. Chungking Express (1994) – “California Dreaming” by The Mamas and the Papas
California dreaming’ is/ played in Chunking express’s second act for numerous times. The song is female protagonist Faye’s (played by Chinese diva Faye Wong) favorite song as per film’s narrative. Wong Kar-wai uses the song to express Faye’s feelings& dreams to be anywhere in the world (especially California) and it works gorgeously. This film & the song are addictive ,it proves why Wong Kar-wai is a visual as well as a musical beast.