Mike Mills' blog of
the film Beginners.

Mike's Intro



Hoagy Carmichael

I’m so happy that one of my favorite pieces of music made it into the film and trailer, “Stardust” written in 1927 by Hoagy Charmichael (lyrics written in 1929 by Mitchell Parish). Besides just being so beautiful, with a warmly melancholy feeling, it’s oddly connected to many things I love:

1. Thinking about memory: "Though I dream in vain/In my heart it will remain..."

2. My mom. Born in 1925, she had me late in her life, and “her” music was always exotically out of sync with my 70’s childhood world. I remember the soundtrack to The Sting playing all the time, hence there’s a lot early jazz-rag in the film - Jelly Roll Morton, Mamie Davis, Mr. Charmichael, Josephine Baker, and Gene Austin.

3. The song personally reminds me of “To Have and Have Not” (1944; Howard Hawks, starring Bogart and Bacall). While the song isn't in the film, Carmichael himself plays “Cricket” the piano player. Being a good Depression-era kid, my mom loved Bogie. And so in my family, if Carmichael was in the same room as Bogart, he must be great. It’s also the film where Bogart met Lauren Bacall for the first time, and to my romantic mind this is some of the cleverest flirting dialogue ever performed.

4. Woody Allen’s amazing “Stardust Memories” which features a Louis Armstrong version of the song, and of course the title. This is a gorgeous film, both so real and unreal, honestly sad and funny, funny, funny. Does anyone else act out the “I’m doing my face exercises, it’s important” scene with their loved one?