Here’s another 3 songs that Hollywood would do well to adapt into movies, while chucking a dump-truck full of cashmoney at me for being such a gosh-damned creative goldmine.
And if you complain once more
You’ll meet an army of me
I don’t normally suggest casting the original singer, but Army of Me would star the actual Björk, as a downtrodden, socially conscious programmer in a high-tech bio-science lab. Her co-workers are obnoxious, and her boss is boorish, with archaic and questionable ethics on how to use their technology. Luckily, he’s about to retire, and Björk is confident she’s got the qualifications to be hired as his successor and take the company in the right direction. That night, as always, she fills the silence of her home by watching the news, horrified at all the injustice — the underclasses; those without a voice; used and abused by the people in power — and wishing there were some way she could help.
She’s passed over for promotion by a braying bell with a bad resume, but a strong line in leering patter, and left to watch as business-bros in lab-coats slap each other’s backs. They don’t even leave her a slice of celebratory cake. With that, Björk snaps, and marches down into the cloning lab, where she creates a dozen instant-growth copies of herself, which go rampaging through the building, exacting revenge by trashing the place and throwing people out of windows.
You’ve got to manage
I won’t sympathize
Björk uses these clones to help her build even more clones; hundreds of Björks, rolling off the production line like classic American cars. As one, they storm out of the lab into the city, where the Björk Army, led by their original, turn their attention on the system; the fat cats, politicians, and corrupt, racist police; where they’ll burn this motherfucker to the ground. Army of Me ends on 10,000 Björks marching to the White House (or Downing Street), armed with sticks, rocks, and Molotov cocktails.
You’ll meet an army of me
Björk — Björk
Lori Meyers used to live upstairs
Our parents had been friends for years
As in the song, from 1994’s Punk in Drublic, the first our protagonist sees of Lori Meyers, since they were childhood friends many years ago, is a familiar birthmark, which he spots while hunched over the glare of a monitor, with his trousers round his ankles. As he rushes out of the front door to his filthy apartment, to save his old friend from the horrible pornstar life she’s gotten dragged into, our hero leans across the hat rack and grabs his trusty fedora. Yes, resplendent in leather trenchcoat, and neck shrouded in patchy stubble, the Mountain-Dew-chugging, hand-kissing Nice Guy sets on a quest to rescue m’lady, and, he hopes, win her heart in the process, having carried a torch all these years.
Lori Meyers would be a modern, feminist take on Paul Schrader’s Hardcore; where an appalled George C. Scott toured the sleazy underworld of back-room pornography to track down his missing daughter; except with a hoverhand hero who gets nervous when talking to girls, has an anime schoolgirl as his Twitter icon, and accidentally fills his pants with jizz when meeting a hot cosplayer. Finally, after bribing a camgirl with bitcoins for information, he tracks Lori down.
Who the hell are you to tell me how to live my life?
You think I sell my body; I merely sell my time
Living in a nice house and studying for a degree, she doesn’t see him as the brave white knight coming to unrope her from the train tracks with the replica samurai sword that hangs above his computer desk.
I know what degradation feels like,
I felt it on the floor of the factory
where I worked long before
In a film that’s worth making just to anger the Meninists that got Mad over Max, Lori rebuffs her wannabe saviour, and we end on him sat in the gutter outside her house, and with a sigh, exclaiming “I guess I just got friend-zoned again.”
Nice Guy — John Bradley (aka Samwell from Game of Thrones)
Lori Meyers — Mila Kunis
Old man look at my life,
I’m a lot like you were
Old Man is a simple, stagey two-hander, with a pair of characters having a discussion over a single night. It’s also a time travel movie. Using the method employed by Boyhood, a break in filming of some two-and-a-half decades would feature an older actor playing against a greenscreened, 25-years-younger version of himself. No terrible prosthetics or uncanny valley CG; just young meets old for real.
There’s nothing about using the time machine to go back and kill Kevin Smith in the womb, or to win the lottery and live like a rapper; it’s purely a meditation on the one thing none of us can avoid (unless we die young); growing old. Facing that here is unavoidable, as the younger man literally looks who he’s going to become right in the weathered face.
I’ve been first and last
Look at how the time goes past.
But I’m all alone at last.
Rolling home to you
The pair talk long into the night, with the older looking back on the mistakes he’s made — and seems fated to make again and again — but settled in who he is, while his flightier, arrogant, younger self believes nothing is set in stone, and besides, the older him has horrible taste in music, so what does he know?
Old man look at my life,
and there’s so much more
Eventually, as the sun starts to rise, calling an end to their meeting, talk comes down to a person’s life’s experiences, good or bad, shaping who they are. If we could avoid or undo the negative moments, if we could sidestep all the heartbreaks, regrets, and mistakes, who would we be?
Love lost, such a cost
If this went into production today, I’d be in my sixties by the time it came out, and doubtless filled with so much suffocating regret of my own that it would be too painful to watch anyway, so I’d go and see the Twilight remake instead.
Old/Young Man — Much as I despise his try-hard antics, I think it’d be interesting and meta to see Shia LaBeouf face down his younger self in 25 years. It’d likely be the ultimate in “boy, I was a prick when I was a kid. I thought I knew it all…” and most probably a return to the screen after many, many years in the wilderness.
As always, your suggestions please in the comments, on any more songs that would make for awesome movies. And if you dig my pop culture stuff, you’ll probably like these books I wrote.