The music film not only arouses the artistic love, uses music to tell stories, but also brings so many unforgettable performances. In this article, All Know-How suggests some movies about the music themes, or the music appearance as an important element to connect characters, express the director’s message.
The Pianist (2002)
It is a film directed by Roman Polanski and Adrien Brody is the main character. Based on the memoir of the same name by the Jewish author – Polish, musician Wladyslaw Szpilman. In addition, to win 3 Oscars and be nominated in 6 categories, the film also won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Cannes film festival, BAFTA for best film, the best director in 2003 and 7 César awards of France.
The story revolves in Wladyslaw Szpilman – a Jewish musician living in Poland during the second world war. From the peak of fame, Szpilman suddenly lost everything. He and his family had to live in Nazi concentration camps with a miserable hustle and hard labor. German soldiers could arbitrarily beat, insult and shoot anyone. After several escapes and Polish guerrillas helped, he moved to a shelter with an old piano but was forced to remain silent. Szpilman played music in his imagination day by day. Then one day, a Nazi Germany officer discovered Szpilman and his music saved …
Szpilman is not a typical hero, on the contrary, he is too “artist”, too weak. The only powerful thing existing is love – love for the music, love for the life, love for people. Music is the language of Szpilman, which evoked the German officer’s feelings about the family, beauty, goodness. And humanity is hidden between the war cruelty.
The Chorus (2004)
Pierre Morhange, a famous conductor in the United States, returned to France after his mother had died just before a performance. Pépinot, Morhange’s longtime friend, looked for him along with an old article about Clément Mathieu – their former supervisor.
In January 1949, Clément Mathieu, an unemployed music teacher, became a superintendent in the male boarding school called “Fond de L’étang”. Here, Rachin’s education methods make it difficult to stabilize the students. Thanks to the singing practice for students, Clément changed the atmosphere here. He paid special attention to Morhange because he had a great voice and advised his mother to let him enter the Conservatory. After that, he fell in love with her.
One day, when the principal was absent, Clément led the children to the forest for camping. While they were playing, Pascal Mondain, an old student, set fire to the school to take revenge. Knowing that Rachel immediately returned to school and poured the responsibility on the head of Clément. After that, he was dismissed, but when he left the school, all the students dropped a lot of paper planes containing their thanks to the yard. As soon as he got into the car, Pépinot came running and asked to follow him. After Pépinot went with Clément, Morhange also moved to Lyon with his mother to study at the Music Academy. And then the principal was fired because of the poor education methods.
Besides the teacher and student story, and educational methods, this is also a very interesting film about music. Especially, the French songs were expressed by the pitched voices of the students. Clément had assembled many kinds of them into a choir, finding the right place for each one’s voice, patiently directed guide. Therefore, the music could heal the hole and bring you a new, more beautiful and pure world. This is one of the best music films you must watch once in a lifetime.
Music and Lyric
A good song going with beautiful lyrics, and beautiful lyrics must be tied to the gentle melodies. The film which was such a piece of music brought viewers back to the 80s with gentle, deep but not funky songs.
Alex Fletcher is a famous singer of the Pop band in the 1980s. Being forgotten and unable to keep up with young singers, Alex needs to find his old glory, create the emotional depth and enjoy a true art through lyrics. But writing lyrics is Alex’s shortcomings. Then Sophie appeared as an angel and brought Alex the sweetest lyrics.
Music & Lyrics takes the viewers into a shimmering world of composers, of the finest sources of emotion and as part of the artistic creation essence. Moreover, it is so perfect for a subtle soft film. It combines the storytelling, the love story, and so much concern about the future and the fate. The film also reappeared in the 80s and 90s; when boyband and girl-band were so popular, the music was rich in poetry.
The secret is the first romantic film of Chau Kiet Luan – a Taiwanese musician, singer, and music producer. He plays as the main actor and the co-author of the script, the director, and also composes the whole original soundtrack. The film received 6 nominations at the 44th Golden Horse Awards and won the best Taiwanese film categories of the year, Best Soundtrack with the Unspeakable Secret and Visual Effects. Best of the year, and also nominated for Best Asian Film category at the 27th Hong Kong Film Awards 2008.
Diep Tuong Luan (Chau Kiet Luan) is a piano student transferred to Dam Giang High School – a famous school for students with musical talents, especially piano. On the first day of school, he happened to hear a mysterious melody in the old piano room. Here, he meets Lo Tieu Vu (Que Luan My), a piano talent. Like the music she just played, Tieu Vu is mysterious and unlike other school students.
The music and the piano gradually made the two people closer. However, because of misunderstanding Tuong Luan, Xiao Yu suddenly disappeared and only appeared once in his graduation day. Tuong Luan tried all the way to meet Tieu Vu and discovered that she was a student of the school 20 years ago. Thanks to playing the Secret song, Tieu Vu could meet Tuong Luan in 20 years later. However, every time she comes to the future, only the first person she saw was able to see her. That’s why Tieu Vu always closed his eyes to step 108 from the piano room to Tuong Luan’s class to see him first, but sometimes they missed each other.
Upon seeing the truth, even in the night the old piano room, Tuong Luan played the Secret song to return to the past to meet Xiao Yu and stay with her forever. Although it talks about a passionate love story – fiction, the Secret is considered as one of Taiwan’s best music films.
August Rush (2008)
August Rush is a film about music revolving in Evan – a genius boy. He always listened to the sounds of the world with a strong belief that he could listen to his parents’ calls in an orphanage in New York. The child has a natural ear that is sensitive to sound, can stand for hours listening to the sounds around him. He not only listened to the records but also listened to the leaves in the wind, the sound of the bag lying on the sidewalk.
A good social worker named Richard Jeffries (Terrence Howard) thinks it’s time for an 11-year-old boy to be raised by a decent family. But Evan decided to leave to continue finding his parents. Weaving in the middle of the street, Evan immersed in a multitude of the music: from the shops, the traffic intersections to the street performers. Thanks to Evan, people craved to listen to the sounds around them, which makes us unknowing.
In New York, Evan met the Wizard, who taught homeless children about music, turning them into the street artists to make money for him. Of course, the Wizard would turn Evan into an “August Rush” and made use of him. Evan runs away to a monastery. Again, his musical talent was explored. The boy attended the symphony at a big concert. Meanwhile, Evan’s parents including the cellists Lyla and the rocker Louis are on their way to New York. How did they find each other when Louis didn’t know Evan existed, and Lyla had never seen his face?
A Wonderful Moment (2013)
Yoo Il-Han (Kim Rae Won) – Music director is an arrogant person. He was a promising music director, but after his failure, he was currently directing children’s musicals. However, he always dreamed of coming to Broadway in New York City on one day.
The opportunity opened to him when having a selection contest. The winners would join the director who trained him on Broadway. Yoo Il-Han then chose a child named Young-Kwan (Ji Dae Han), who loved singing and always wanted to find his Korean father. Il Han initially did not put much hope on Young Kwan, because he did not know how to dance, he only trained the boy reluctantly. But then, he started to discover the special abilities of Young Kwan.
Whiplash is a film about music around Andrew – a freshman at Shaffer Conservatory, which specializes in training New York City’s leading musicians. Pursuing to play drums in the jazz genre, Andrew dreamed of becoming a legend on one day, like Buddy Rich. The chance meeting with teacher Terrence Fletcher helped him come to the most prestigious band in the school. However, it was also the beginning of a series of nightmares for Andrew when Mr. Terrence always required his students to the maximum perfection.
The jazz is the mainstream but Whiplash is the story of Andrew and Terrence’s relationship, thereby asking the question of the perfection price, as well as the human limitation to achieve the grandeur in the art.
Your Lie In April (April 2016)
Although not as famous as the anime version, the film that is carefully invested in both the soundtrack and the images portrayed the creative world of young people and love in the early morning.
Piano prodigy Kosei Arima dominated the tournaments and became famous in the music world. However, after the death of his mother – and also his piano teacher – Kosei suffered a nervous breakdown in a contest when he was only 11 years old. From that, he could not hear the sound of his own guitar even though he had no other hearing problems. Over two years, Kosei never touched the guitar and looked at the world through a monochromatic look. He retired and went on with good friends, Tsubaki and Watari. Until one day, Kaori Miyazono – a Tsubaki’s classmate and a violinist with a free-play tendency – helped Kosei return to the music world and showed him that music can bring emotions without needing bundle as he used to play.
Our Shining Days (2017)
Our Shining Days as a music film about revolving in Tran Kinh, a smart, mischievous girl who dares to love, dares to hate. As a talent in the Chinese piano department of the Folk Music Department, Tran Kinh had only a dear friend. Ironically, Tran Kinh fell in love with the most handsome boy of Western Music Department. Unfortunately, Tran Kinh was refused and raised the conflict between the two largest departments in the school.
Chinese people appreciated the national pride and always respected the folklore. To detail in this, let’s try to see Our Shining Days to know more about the spirit. In spite of a familiar motif, an easy-to-guess plot, the film excelled in its mission of praising Chinese national music and bringing the mainland’s traditional instruments to a large audience.
The contradiction is difficult to deal with the music competition and the Department of Folk Music is the winner. Ultimately, two departments co-operated together to bring folk music to more people. This has clarified the message: “The music has no boundaries. If you want to go into the world, you must understand the national essence. If you want to approach the future, you must respect the past”. In addition, to highlight the national tradition state lost, the viewers would be drawn attention by the top musical performances.
A Star Is Born (2018)
A Star Is Born is a US drama – romance -music film. Bradley Cooper is the director and the main character along with Lady Gaga, Andrew Dice Clay, Dave Chappelle, and Sam Elliott. This is the third original film in 1937 re-made in the United States, following two works in 1954 and 1976.
Meeting Ally Campana at a strange bar, Jackson Maine was immediately conquered by her charismatic voice. During the evening together, he also discovered that she was capable of composing music. And then, Jack brought Ally to his show and encouraged the girl to show the song composed by herself. From here, both gradually find the sublimation in the music and the soul. Unfortunately, when Ally became more and more prominent, Jackson became more and drunker in alcohol.
Not only did it successfully remake the role as a “shoe-maker” for Lady Gaga, but the soundtrack album also sold 231,000 copies after a week of a debut and ranked No. 1 on the Billboard 200. That’s enough to understand How carefully the film music is invested.