Oh, that Song…I Loved It In Goodfellas

Today, the staff of The Millions posted a piece on art that they discovered through other art, and while, much like Edan Lepucki, I can’t say that literature has often led me to movies, music, or painting, I can say that movies have led me to literature, music, and painting.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan: I saw this when it came out (I was ten years old), and it made me immediately curious about Moby DickParadise Lost, and A Tale of Two Cities which I then picked up and tried to read before I was really ready for them. I persevered, and in due time, I was able to absorb them, but only because Nicholas Meyer’s film told me it was worth trying.

Pump Up the Volume: Probably the least seen of the three movies Christian Slater is known for–True Romance and Heathers are the other two–this movie introduced me to Leonard Cohen, The Descendants, Bad Brains (with Henry Rollins), and Concrete Blonde. I was never much of a radio listener; the movies are my radio.

Star Trek (Original Series): I realize that sf fans like to pick on Star Trek–or, at least, they did when I was a teenager–but it’s unlikely I ever would have read Harlan Ellison, Theodore Sturgeon, or Robert Bloch without it.

Harlan Ellison’s Introductions: Speak of the devil, H.E.’s introductions to his books got me excited about Doris Lessing, Vladamir Nabokov (his intro to Approaching Oblivion was I think the first encounter I had with the name “Nabokov”), and Jorge Luis Borges.

Goodfellas: The main reason I’m familiar at all with The Crystals, Eric Clapton (other than his session work with other artists), and the Sex Pistols’ version of “My Way”, among other things.

Those are some of mine. What are some of yours?

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