Five unexpected song and dance moments in film

Now the obvious answer to this is something like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off or Flashdance. But those are lazy choices. And those films were some time ago. So with that in mind, here are my more contemporary offerings.

‘Dancing in the dark’
The Place Beyond the Pines

Here, Ryan Gosling’s tattooed motorcyclist bank robber celebrates his first heist by dancing around in a shack with his mentor, played by the ever shabby Ben Mendelsohn. Memorably, Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Dancing in the dark’ plays as they both jig around with the dog. Weirdly, it’s impossibly cool.

‘Tear up the dance floor’
Ex Machina

Reclusive genius coder Nathan Bateman (Oscar Isaac) ups the weird factor in a scene loaded with creepy intensity. One where he launches into an unannounced dance routine with his assistant, unnerving the already suspicious Caleb (Dohmnall Gleeson).

‘What do tigers dream of?’
The Hangover

You’re hungover with a tiger in your bathroom. You’ve drugged the beast and now you’re killing time till it passes out. So what do you do? Sing a little song, of course. A tune made all the more inspired by the fact actor Ed Helm came up with it inbetween takes, and director Todd Philips liked it so much he stuck it in the movie.

Baby Driver 

Perhaps an easy one, as Edgar Wright’s – possibly best – film has music baked into its very fabric. From the opening scene to the closing credits, it’s such a well executed treat. As close to a musical as you’ll see in an action film. I couldn’t find the ‘tequila’ track from the film, so have put the trailer up. Just go see it, and you’ll see the scene I mean.

‘Just can’t get enough’
Son of Rambow

Set in the summer of the ’80s, this delightfully cute and quirky film was littered with wonderful moments. One was a little dance routine where the cool French exchange kid starts dancing to electro, and everyone copies him.

The dancer

Lost among stars in the rarified galaxy.
A dancer learns to dance and it’s such a sight to see.
A dolphin playing with waves he glides among asteroids.
Dicing with death, as when they collide en masse they get destroyed.
Facing the void he knows no fear.
Devoid of limitation facing foes without a care.
These stars are his to command and manipulate.
Forces demand their compliance, these planets had better capitulate.
Moving into orbit they align and gravitate.
The dancer moves with conviction, no need to hesitate.
He baits their trajectory, sealing their fate as moons scream.
Trailblazing, going interstellar, this is lunar lunacy.

Then he pauses.

Searching for electron degenerate matter.
A white dwarf, a dying star from an old chapter.
Yet the faster he dances space just gets blacker.
Solar flares pepper the planet’s surface like a cracked dagger.
The dancer then becomes sadder, he’s lost his swagger.
Ice covers him as he stops.
He breaks it and watches it shatter, floating away.
Roaming and constant probing won’t keep his demons at bay.
His sense of foreboding makes him feel like choking.
To dance among stars, is this the price you pay?

Then he spins and twirls, pushing towards an event horizon.
Solar spots blind him but he keeps locked eyes on.
He waxes and wanes emitting cosmic rays as he searches for zion.
He’s now Orion.
No longer a dancer but a bounty hunter.
Ripping up space till it’s torn asunder.
‘Was this the right path?’ he asks.
He can’t help but ponder and wonder.

Baby did a bad, bad thing

As we head into the, ahem, steamy British summer I found myself having mini flashbacks to sexy dance moments in film (just the way my mind works). Scenes that were charged to the nines and loaded with… possibility. Here are a few of my favourites.

Amber HeardThe Rum Diary
To be honest you could take any of her scenes from this film, however her dance in a blues bar was downright dangerous. A modern Hollywood siren, if ever there was one.

Nicole Kidman
Eyes Wide Shut
Right before Tom Cruise gets involved it’s just her swaying in front of a mirror, like a seductive serpent ready to strike. Perfectly scored to ‘Baby did a bad, bad thing’ by Chris Isaak.

Jamie Lee Curtis
True Lies
Demure housewife gets lured into a spy racket in one almighty mix up. Cue Arnie with a tape recorder duping Curtis into doing one of the sexiest on-screen dances on film in recent years.

Salma Hayek
Not long into her Hollywood career Hayek got a break on Rodriguez’s monster flick, as a vampire queen giving Tarantino one hell of a sexy snake dance before eating him alive.

Eva Green
The Dreamers
In her debut film appearance she gets lost in the moment in an unforgettable dance scene, one which leads to Michael Pitt’s character momentarily passing out.