Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra: Cinema’s Sonic Bad Omens
Last night I rewatched Morvern Callar, Lynne Ramsay’s 2002 film about a young woman (played by Samantha Morton) who, following the suicide of her boyfriend, goes on to use his money and his unpublished novel to make a better life for herself. It’s an astounding film, full of dark moments and moody songs and plenty of shots that would make for an excellent Criterion Collection cover, if the people in charge of the Criterion Collection line-up were into this sort of movie. (Wink wink, nudge nudge, etc.). But what struck me is that it included a creepy little song from Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra, which is a particular trend I love about recent cinema.
The above clip showing the protagonist heading into her dead-end job at a supermarket features Hazlewood and Sinatra’s "Some Velvet Morning," a particularly odd and moody song which you can hear in its entirety below.
Here is what I have convinced myself: hearing Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra in a movie is BAD NEWS, because something rough is about to happen. I won’t spoil Morvern Callar for you. But to put it in perspective: both last year’s Killer Joe and this year’s Stoker featured a Lee Hazlewood / Nancy Sinatra song on its soundtrack. Nothing worked well for the folks in those movies, to be honest.