High Fidelity - Stephen Frears (2000)

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From the novel by Nick Hornby the film by Stephen Frears, starring John Cusack and Iben Hjejle (nothing so exotic, she's a Danish actress) plus Lisa Bonet , Catherine Zeta-Jones and Jack Black as other main characters (Marie, Charlie and Barry). The love for music is one of the main themes of this movie, accordingly with the novel. And the other main theme is the desire to remain "forever young". Not unusual themes, but the structure of the film (and of the novel) is original, all around the obsession to make a "best of ..." about everything.

High Fidelity (2000): Barry, Dick, Rob and Marie at the concert.Curiously, the original setting, London, while so fashionable in the late '90s films, has been changed and the action has been moved to the United States, in Chicago.

Probably the reason was that many other films were in that period set in London, in particular you think of Notting Hill (1999) with Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts, where there is a shop with limited success (in that case however, travel books, instead of rare records and vinyl), a 35-year-old protagonist a bit out of this world and other similarities with the subject, and also in Sliding Doors (1998), with Gwyneth Paltrow, her boyfriend was a 30-35 years do-nothing or so man, aspiring however to become a famous writer.

Anyway it's not so easy to perceive that the action is not in London but in Chicago, because the scenes are mainly in little streets that could be almost everywhere in USA or in Europe and the protagonists usually meet together in pubs or restaurants that could be also in London or elsewhere, in our globalized world.

In the film, as well as the setting, was also radically changed the soundtrack, bringing the 60s and 70s (with stakes in 50s) and the authors that emphasized the encyclopedic knowledge of the clerks of the Championship Vinyl record store of the original soundtrack of the novel, to more known authors of the 80s and beyond, with the exception of Let's Get It On by Marvin Gaye.

Let's Get it On is actually a sort of leitmotif and summarizes the story of the two main characters, Rob and Laura. Other musicians are cited, such as Aretha Franklin, Al Green and Bruce Springsteen, the songs that are used are nevertheless different.

A selection of images to remember the movie is also included in this page.

Of course it's also available a CD with a selection from the soundtrack of the film (15 tracks from the 61 used in the film).

Characters and Interpreters

 

Character

Actor/Actress

Notes

Rob Gordon

John Cusack

Him, the owner of Championship Vynile record store

Laura

Iben Hjejle

Her, the patient partner of him

Dick

Todd Luoiso

Clerk, the gentle one

Barry

Jack Black

Clerk, the aggressive one

Marie De Salle

Lisa Bonet

The charming singer, new love for Rob

Charlie Nicholson

Catherine Zeta-Jones

A tornado in Rob's life

Ian Ray Raymond

Tim Robbins

The new partner of Laura

Liz

Joan Cusack

A friend of Rob (and the daughter of Cusack in real life)

Bruce

Bruce Springsteen

The right person to ask some hint about the life, for Rob.

 

Film Soundtrack

 

The following table lists the songs used in the soundtrack of the film. In the last column they are marked those available on the above mentioned CD. Where the executor is not specified it's because the song is performed by one of the protagonists of the film.

 

#

Title

Author

Performer

CD

1

You're Gonna Miss Me

Roky Erickson

The Thirteenth Floor Elevators

X

2

I Want Candy

Gerald Goldstein, Robert Feldman, Richard Gottehrer and Bert Berns

Bow Wow Wow

 

3

Crocodile Rock

Elton John and Bernie Taupin

Elton John

 

4

Crimson and Clover

Thomas Jackson and Peter Lucia

Joan Jett & The Blackhearts

 

5

Seymour Stein

Belle & Sebastian

Belle & Sebastian

 

6

Jacob's Ladder

Neil Peart, Gary Weinrib and Alex Zivojinovich

   

7

Walking On Sunshine

Kimberley Rew

Katrina And The Waves

 

8

Baby Got Going

Liz Phair and Scott Litt

Liz Phair

 

9

Little Did I Know

John Ferlesky

Brother JT3

 

10

I'm Wrong About Everything

John Wesley Harding

John Wesley Harding

X

11

I Can't Stand The Rain

Ann Peebles, Donald Bryant, and Bernard Miller

Ann Peebles

 

12

The River

Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen

 

13

Baby, I Love Your Way

Peter Frampton

   

14

Jesus Doesn't Want Me For A Sunbeam

Eugene Kelly and Francis McKee

The Vaselines

 

15

Cold Blooded Old Times

Bill Callahan

Smog

X

16

On Hold

Edith Frost

Edith Frost

 

17

Hyena 1

Clifford Price and Mark Sayfritz

Goldie

 

18

I'm Gonna Love You Just A Little More, Babe

Barry White

Barry White

 

19

Always See Your Face

Arthur Lee

Love

X

20

Soaring and Boring

Liam Hayes

Plush

 

21

Leave Home

Thomas Rowlands, Edmund Simons, and Blake Baxter

The Chemical Brothers

 

22

Four to the Floor

John Etkin-Bell

John Etkin-Bell

 

23

Loopfest

Toby Bricneno and Jay Cryka

Toby Bricneno and Jay Cryka

 

24

Who Loves The Sun

Lou Reed

The Velvet Underground

X

25

Robbin's Nest

Illinois Jacquet and Sir Charles Thompson

Illinois Jacquet

 

26

Rock Steady

Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin

 

27

Suspect Device

Jake Burns and Gordon Ogilvie

Stiff Little Fingers

 

28

Dry The Rain

Stephen Mason, John Maclean and Robin Jones

The Beta Band

X

29

We Are The Champions

Freddie Mercury

Queen

 

30

I'm Glad You're Mine

Al Green

Al Green

 

31

Your Friend and Mine

Arthur Lee

Love

 

32

Shipbuilding

Elvis Costello and Clive Langer

Elvis Costello & The Attractions

X

33

Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan

 

34

Get It Together

Mark Farner

Grand Funk Railroad

 

35

Fallen For You

Sheila Nicholls

Sheila Nicholls

X

36

Soul Surfer

James Cooperthwaite and Oliver Vessey

James Cooperthwaite and Oliver Vessey

 

37

Oh! Sweet Nuthin'

Lou Reed

The Velvet Underground

X

38

This India

Harbhajhn Singh and Navinder Pal Singh

Harbhajhn Singh and Navinder Pal Singh

 

39

Tread Water

Paul Huston, David Jolicoeur,

Vincent Mason and Kelvin Mercer

 

40

The Moonbeam Song

Harry Nilsson

Harry Nilsson

 

41

Juice (Know the Ledge)

Eric Barrier and Griffin

Eric B. and Rakim

 

42

Doing It Anyway

Apartment 26

Apartment 26

 

43

What's On Your Mind

Eric Barrier and William Griffin

Eric B. and Rakim

 

44

Where Did You Get Those Pants

Norwood Fisher, Angelo Moore, Steve Lindsey and Allee Willis

Fishbone

 

45

Good and Strong

Sy Smith and Eddie Stokes

Sy Smith

 

46

Mendocino

Doug Sahm

Sir Douglas Quintet

 

47

The Inside Game

Neil Hagerty and Jennifer Herrema

Royal Trux

X

48

The Night Chicago Died

Mitch Murray and Peter Callander

   

49

Chapel of Rest

Dick Walter

Dick Walter

 

50

Most of the Time

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan

X

51

La Boob Oscillator

Tim Gane and Laetitia Sadier

Stereolab

 

52

The Anti-Circle

Tariq Trotter, Ahmir Thompson and Joshua Abrhams

The Roots

 

53

Everybody's Gonna Be Happy

Ray Davies

The Kinks

X

54

Homespin Rerun (Cornelius Remix)

Sean O'Hagan

High Llamas

 

55

Hit the Street

Rupert Gregson-Williams

Rupert Gregson-Williams

 

56

I Get The Sweetest Feeling

Carolyn Evelyn and Van McCoy

Jackie Wilson

 

57

Let's Get It On

Marvin Gaye and Ed Townsend

Jack Black

X

58

I Believe (When I Fall In Love It Will Be Forever)

Stevie Wonder and Yvonne Wright

Stevie Wonder

X

59

My Little Red Book

Burt Bacharach and Hal David (II)

Love

 

60

Shooting Star

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan

 

61

Lo Boob Oscillator

Tim Gane and Laetitia Sadier

Stereolab

X

 

Novel Soundtrack

 
In the following table are listed instead the songs mentioned in the novel, starting from the first page, and related to the characters that cites the song itself.

 

 #

Artist

Song

Char.

1

Neil Young

Only Love Can Break Your Heart

Rob

2

The Smiths

Last Night I Dreamed That Somebody Loved Me

Rob

3

Aretha Franklin

Call Me

Rob

4

Rod Stewart

I Donít Want To Talk About You

Rob

5

Everly Brothers (1)

Love Hurts

Rob

6

Prefab Sprout

When Love Breaks Down

Rob

7

Al Green

How Can You Mend A Broken Heart

Rob

8

Nanci Griffith & John Prine

The Speed Of The Sound Of The Loneliness

Rob

9

Hall & Oates

She's Gone

Rob

10

Al Green

Aint No Shunsine When Sheís Gone

Rob

11

Dusty Springfield

I Just Donít Know What To Do With Myself

Rob

12

Peter Frampton

Baby, I Love Your Way

Marie

13

Smokey Robinson & The Miracles

It's A Good Feeling

Rob

14

Bobby "Blue" Bland

No Blow, No Show

Rob

15

Jean Knight

Mr. Big Stuff

Rob

16

Jackson Five

The Love You Save

Rob

17

Donny Hathaway

The Ghetto

Rob

18

Solomon Burke

Got To Get You Off My Mind

Laura

19

Paragons

Happy Go Lucky Girl

Client

20

Charlie Rich

Behind Closed Doors

Rob

21

Clash

Janie Jones

Rob

22

Bruce Springsteen

Thunder Road

Rob

23

Nirvana

Smells Like Teen Spirit

Rob

24

Marvin Gaye

Letís Get It On

Rob

25

Gram Parsons

Return Of The Grievous Angel

Rob

26

Bruce Springsteen

Bobby Jean

Rob

27

Richard Thompson

I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight

Dick

28

Al Green

Sha La La (Make Me Happy)

Rob

29

Elton John

Song For Guy

Rob

30

Shangri Laís

Leader Of The Pack

Barry

31

Jan & Dean

Dead Manís Curve

Barry

32

Bobby Goldsboro

Honey, I Miss You

Barry

33

Twinkle

Terry

Barry

34

Dion & The Belmonts

Abraham, Martin and John

Dick

35

Ray Peterson

Tell Laura I Love Her

Barry

36

Madness

One Stop Beyond

Barry

37

Rolling Stones

You Canít Always Get What You Want

Barry

38

Bob Marley

One Love

Rob

39

Jimmy Cliff

Many Rivers To Cross

Rob

40

Aretha Franklin

Angel

Rob

41

Gladis Knight

Youíre The Best Thing You Ever Happened To Me

Rob

42

Art Garfunkel

Bright Eyes

Laura

43

Elvis Costello

Get Happy!

Laura

44

Dusty Springfield

The Look Of Love

Rob

45

Emmylou Harris

Boulder To Birmingham

Marie

46

Flying Burrito Brothers

Sin City

Rob

47

Elvis Presley

Baby Letís Play House

Rob

48

Kingsmen

Louie, Louie

Rob

49

Prince

Little Red Corvette

Rob

50

Bob Marley

Stir It Up

Rob

51

Aretha Franklin

Think

Rob

52

Aretha Franklin

The House That Jack Built

Rob

53

Chuck Berry

Back In The USA

Rob

54

Clash

White Man in The Hammersmith Palais

Rob

55

Al Green

So Tired To Be Alone

Rob

56

Chuck Berry

Route 66

Barry

57

Little Richard

Long Tall Sally

Barry

58

Beatles

Money (That's What I Want)

Barry

59

Patti Austin

Do You Love Me?

Barry

60

Wilson Pickett

In The Midnight Hour

Barry

61

Ritchie Valens

La Bamba

Barry

 

A Selection of images

   

Championship Vinyl: the shop is the protagonist

Rob, Dick e Barry and a client

The selling method of Barry

"You can't own Blonde On Blonde!"

Rob...

and Laura

A complicate situation

... in the present time

and beautiful moments

in the past

Marie de Salle is coming

... and she conquers everybody

At Marie's show (hypnotized)

 

She is singing ...

... for them (or maybe for him)

At Charlie's home

...she's beautiful, but too much complicated

It's hard to understand each other

 

Bruce's hints ...

... are not enough

But Barry one night ...

Let's get it on ....

I can't believe ...

Yes...

Let's get it on?

Yes, let's get it on

Let's get it on!

Finally, is it all right?

 © Alberto Truffi 2001-2011 - Music-Graffiti

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