"Books, records, films--these things matter! Call me shallow, it's the fucking truth."
Why, you may ask, am I quoting Rob from High Fidelity here? Well, because it's the fucking truth. And they matter, ultimately, ...well, for countless reasons... but perhaps primarily because of how they make you feel. And my favorite songs really make me feel something. Something deeper.
Vanilla Sky is one of my top five all-time favorite movies. A lot of people don't like this film, and frankly I can see why (but I won't go into that). But I love it, because it does what a movie should ideally do: it takes me away from reality, and does a pretty good job of forcing me to examine mine when it's over. But more than that, I feel something when I watch it: a set of thoughts and emotions that seem to arise as such only when I watch this particular film (a consistency that is pretty cool to have). I could try to reduce what goes into making me feel those things (the characters and their ties to people in my life, the images and the memories/fantasies they provoke, and the intuitively-placed music...), but that's not what I'm on here for.
One of my dream jobs (another connection to High Fidelity...) is to be the guy who picks out music for movies. Well, I have to say that the placement of this song on Vanilla Sky is absolutely perfect. At one of the most moving (and enlightening) scenes, this song builds until it perfectly coincides--both lyrically and musically--with the movie (seeing Sophia at David's memorial...).
"All I want in life's a little bit of love to take the pain away
Getting strong today, a giant step each day.
I will love you till I die
And I will love you all the time.
So please put your sweet hand in mine
And float in space and drift in time."
After a quiet voice declares "Ladies and gentlemen we are floating in space," these lyrics slowly repeat, and gradually build on one another, layered among guitars, vocals, and a faint 'beep' which suggests that we are, in fact, floating in space.
I would love this song for the lyrics alone, but the way this song flows really does make you feel like you're floating. It's no wonder they marketed their album of the same title as a drug. The title from this song is allegedly derived from the book Sophie's World, and the music might sound a little familiar if you've ever heard Pachelbel's Canon in D. Philosophy, astronomy and classical music as inspiration = more evidence that the music that makes us feel something really is that important.