Saturday, October 13, 2012

First Cuts & Different Drums

The Stone Poneys
I saw Martin McDonagh's new film Seven Psychopaths over the weekend. It's a fun film not in the least because it gives two great actors, Sam Rockwell and Chris Walken, a hell of a lot of room to do their thing, so much so that in their scenes together they completely eclipse Colin Farrell, his ever looming eyebrows and hair notwithstanding. I'm not a fan of Woody Harrelson, something about the guy bugs me, but he's passable here as well- yet it's easy to see how Micky Rourke, who was the director's first choice for Harrelson's character, could have brought more presence and authentic nuttiness to the portrayal of dog loving Charlie. Oh well. It's also a treat to see Tom Waits, Harry Dean Stanton and the under used Kevin Corrigan make appearances in smaller roles in the film. And Linda Bright Clay, a striking older actress with whom I was not familiar, is very impressive in her performance as the wife of Walken's character, more than holding her own with the other more well known actors with whom she's paired.  

So it's a funny and fun film, go see it!  The cherry on top, and the reason for this post ("I'm trying to come to the point, I won't give up my obsessions" A.G.) was the prominent use in the film of two of my favorite songs in their very best versions- P.P. Arnold's rendition of Cat Steven's "The First Cut Is The Deepest" and the Stone Poneys' version of Michael Nesmith's "Different Drum". I can't figure how or really if the songs actually tie in to anything that happens in the movie, but it was still a thrill to hear them featured so prominently in a new film. Makes you feel that there are others out there who share your obsessions and taste.

The Great P.P. Arnold
So here's each of the aforementioned songs followed by the composer's version.  Even Cat Stevens greatly preferred P.P.'s version of "First Cut Is The Deepest".  But Nesmith's version of "Different Drum" is mighty fine and depending on the day and how I feel rival's The Stone Poneys.

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