No Stunts Playlist 4
There are many movies that are classified as LGBTQAI+, but any movie, no matter how good the plot or acting, would be nothing without a top-notch soundtrack. Has your favourite movie made it onto the list? If you haven’t seen these movies, I can recommend you get started on them A.S.A.P.
Warning – there are spoilers ahead for each of the movies mentioned.
- I’m Going Home by Tim Curry from Rocky Horror Picture Show.
This song was always going to win the number one spot on this list. From the haunting vocals of Tim Curry to the poignant lyrics, this song reflects the importance of home.
Frankenfurter doesn’t give his home much importance until the end of the movie when all his madness and frivolities have been stripped away, and suddenly he can think of nothing better than going back home to where he belongs and is accepted.
- Visions Of Gideon by Sufjan Stevens from Call Me By Your Name.
This song made the list for two reasons. Firstly, the film is about both self-discovery and bowing to societal pressures. Elio and Oliver become involved when Oliver is hired to work with Elio’s father and, after a brief but emotional summer fling, Oliver leaves and returns home. They are both expected to move on from the relationship and Oliver enters into a straight relationship at the end of the movie, leaving Elio heartbroken. This struggle between being true to yourself and presenting the correct image to a judgemental world is one which can be seen when looking at how Harry and Louis navigate their private and public lives. Secondly, the song is about looking back on a breakup as though through distance. The experience has left its mark on both of the young men, but in the end, Elio is left wondering if it was even real after all. One must wonder if Harry and Louis feel a similar disconnect at times when thinking of how separate their personal and public lives are.
- Tear Me Down by Stephen Trask from Hedwig And The Angry Itch.
This song is about standing firm through adversity. No matter what you do or who you are, there will always be those who want to tear you down from your success. This is especially true of Harry, who is constantly being accused of queer baiting and womanising. Every time Harry raises a pride flag above his head during a show it’s like he’s staring down his adversaries, standing strong.
- Philadelphia by Neil Young from Philadelphia.
Philadelphia is a heartbreaking movie about a man being diagnosed with AIDS in the 90s. AIDS was very much a feared thing and many people had dangerous and ignorant misconceptions about the virus and those infected. This song was written by Neil Young especially for the movie, as the director wanted heterosexual mainstream artists to be involved in the project, thus helping bring AIDS into the spotlight. This song was chosen because, not only is it utterly heartbreaking, but both Harry and Louis make a point of helping people, being kind, and righting wrongs where they can. This is exactly what this movie is about.
- Keeping A Secret by Bleachers from Love, Simon.
This song, and indeed this movie, was always going to make the list. The idea that coming to terms with your sexuality in your own time is explored in both the song and the movie. Simon is being threatened and is eventually outed by Martin, which unleashes a whole set of consequences and anguish for Simon. Coming out is such a huge event and it’s one of the few things you have control over in these circumstances. Simon didn’t choose to be gay, which has added a whole pile of complications on top of the typical teenage issues everyone deals with. He can’t control it. What he can control is who he tells, how he tells them, and when he tells them. When this last moment of control is taken from him, Simon is heartbroken. This is definitely something Harry and Louis can relate to. How they come out should be their choice, if they decide to do it at all. It shouldn’t be at the discretion of a label and management team.
- Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me by Taron Egerton and Celinde Schoenmaker from Rocket Man.
Elton John is a gay icon and of course, he was going to be on this list somewhere! The meaning behind his song is so strong and raw, especially when it’s seen in the movie of Elton’s life, Rocket Man. The song is about when he was feeling suicidal and asking his lover to not leave him out of anger. When you’re faced with a hash public image and expected to act a specific way, it can influence your behaviour in private and cause you to hurt those you love. I’m sure this is something both Louis and Harry can relate to on some level.
- I Don’t Want To Say Goodbye by Teddy Thompson from Brokeback Mountain.
For those who haven’t seen Brokeback Mountain, it’s about two very heteronormative macho men working together in harsh conditions on a mountain rearing cattle. During their time together, even though both are in relationships with women they love, they fall for each other and start a secret relationship. It’s set during the 1960s in Wyoming, where being gay was met with anger and violence. In order to protect themselves and each other, they keep their relationship a secret for years, only meeting up now and then while their families think they’re on a fishing trip. This song was chosen as they just want more time together, but know they can’t due to the public attitude towards gay men.
- A Lullaby by Dear Nora from But I’m A Cheerleader.
But I’m A Cheerleader is a movie that, although marketed as a rom-com, actually has horrific undertones throughout. Megan has been living her life rather happily so far – she has a footballer boyfriend and is on the cheerleading squad. However, she realises she’s gay when her friends and family stage an intervention for her and send her off to a conversion therapy camp. The movie has a lot of jokes and makes humorous fun of the situation, with Megan ultimately falling in love with Graham, a fellow young woman at the camp, and they leave the camp and chose to be open about their sexuality and live together. It’s funny and feels good and who doesn’t love a happy ending? Except if you look past the humour and romance, it’s pretty terrifying that this girl came home from school only to be confronted with her sexuality – sexuality she hadn’t even begun to realise and accept herself yet – and shipped off to have the gay leached out of her. This actually happens in real life. In many countries across the world, people are sent to have their gayness cured, often using brutal torture techniques to force the victims to confess and conform.
This song is simple and short, much like a lullaby for a child. The message it leaves the listener with is clear, the singer just wants to be close to the one they love and to be with them as much as possible. The love bleeds through the simple melody and words, not needing fancy trimmings to make it poignant at all. However, it’s the contrast between the childlike tone of the song with the underlying idea of people undergoing conversion therapy that makes this song worthy of being on this list. Love is love, and it’s a shame many people don’t understand that.
- Boys Don’t Cry by The Cure from Boys Don’t Cry.
Firstly, this movie has a trigger warning. There are scenes of sexual violence which I mention in this paragraph. This is probably the most heartbreaking movie on the list. Brendon is a trans man who goes through a lot during the course of the movie. Having discovered his true identity Brendon leaves his home and moves to Nebraska, where he moves in with two ex-cons John and Tom and their two friends Candace and Lana. Brendon begins a relationship with Lana, at first concealing his trans identity from her. When Brendon is arrested and placed in the female part of the prison, Lana assures him that she loves him, not his gender, and bails him out. Once other people begin to find out that Brendan is trans, they become violent. Tom and John sexually assault Brendan and ultimately end up killing him at the end of the movie. This story isn’t for the faint-hearted. It’s brutal and raw and doesn’t hide the issues of what’s happening within the plot. The song was chosen as it’s the title song for the movie, but also because it’s about toxic masculinity. It’s the idea of what makes a man a man that fuels the hate and fear for Brandon being trans, which is (in a simplified way) what the song is about. It tells of a man who has been broken up with and is telling himself that boys don’t cry, that they aren’t allowed to show their emotions unless it’s to do with anger and aggression.
- She Might Be Waking Up by Shudder To Think from High Art.
This movie is about a young intern at a magazine called Syd who falls in love with Lucy, a photographer who is addicted to heroin. Syd and her boyfriend James live in the apartment below Lucy, who lives with several other addicts. When Syd finds out Lucy is a photographer, she pitches the photos to her boss and Lucy gets the job, with Syd as her editor. They begin a lesbian relationship while both using each other to further their own prospects and career. In the end, the situation comes down to whether Lucy will choose drugs or love. The song, She Might Be Waking Up, was selected because it shows just how fleeting true romantic moments are between these two characters. Often, they are both busy trying to use each other, but when they’re asleep they are vulnerable and wrapped around each other. The song tells of how when the light comes she will wake up and leave, and this idea of having to play a game regardless of your true feelings echoes what Harry and Louis have to go through with their stunting. Although Harry and Louis don’t want to use anyone to get ahead, they are not allowed to be themselves and just be happy.
- Somewhere Over The Rainbow by Judy Garland from The Wizard Of Oz.
This song is pretty self-explanatory. Not only did Harry dress up as Dorothy for Harryween, and not only is this movie have a huge gay following, the idea of wanting to be somewhere else where you can just be yourself and the world makes sense is one which we can all relate to in some way.
- I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You) by Aretha Franklin from Bound.
Bound is a mafia movie with a lesbian twist. Corky is an ex-con who gets a job painting and decorating for the mafia. While working, she meets Violet, who is the girlfriend of Ceaser, the mafia’s money launderer. They begin a relationship and plan to scam money from Violet’s boyfriend in order to run and start a new life elsewhere away from the mafia. The song is beautiful and haunting. Aretha Franklin’s voice is just stunning, flowing effortlessly through each note and bringing the lyrics home. The idea is that although Violet has a comfortable life with Ceaser where she’s protected and provided for, it’s not what she wants. She’s tired of pretending to be straight and happy and wants a life with Corky where she’s free. This song reflects that perfectly.
The No Stunts playlist can be found at this link on Spotify https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4CDIM4lWbtOaSKgfM6kz8S?si=52cd3653304c4972