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The Music
Abe Sylvia: "Music is the unifying device that instantly connects an audience to a character. So maybe you don't know what it is like to be a mousey wife living in fear of an overbearing husband in 1980's Oklahoma, but every single one of us has been carried away by BowWowWow's I Want Candy. Perhaps you do not know the words to Teena Marie's Lovegirl, but we have all had impromptu sing-alongs with our best friend in the car (if you haven't, I am very sorry, as it is one of life's greatest pleasures).

Hopefully you will feel the surge that Joel the stripper feels when he hears the opening phrase of The Outfield's Your Love – a surge so powerful that it compels him to dance. I'm with Joel; you can't NOT dance when you hear "Josie's on a vacation far away…”

But the musical muse of DIRTY GIRL is Melissa Manchester. She is Clarke's guiding light, his rock. Melissa's music is what allows him to face each day anew with hope in his heart that maybe, as Joel says, "it ain't all shit.” The depth and breadth of her body of work has made it possible to score Clarke's biggest emotional moments in colorful, exciting, unexpected ways. Midnight Blue, a song for lovers, plays as Clarke has his first private moment alone doing homework with Danielle. He tries unsuccessfully to create a romantic mood with Through The Eyes of Love. And perhaps, most

And when Danielle is left all alone on her journey, Clarke sends Melissa Manchester to her with a new song, Rainbird (co-written with Mary Steenburgen especially for the film), to encourage her to follow her dream and to not give up her heart's greatest desire. Melissa's voice is what assures Danielle that love will indeed "come to you.”

We finish the film with three Melissa Manchester songs back to back. Her classic Don't Cry Out Loud performed by Clarke and Danielle (with Melissa at the piano if you look closely) followed by a cover of Whenever I Call You Friend (co-written by Melissa and Kenny Loggins) by the sensational Fyfe Dangerfield and Inara George. Then for our end crawl Melissa takes us home with Still Myself - a song from her most recent album. Melissa sent me this song while we were in the throes of editing – and as soon as I heard it I realized it so beautifully resonated with what each of the characters had come to understand about life. And how perfect is it that a film that celebrates what a vital musical artist she has been to us over the years, ends with a new song that shows what a vital musical force she continues to be.

From Only You to Delta Dawn to Elvira to The Life by Wendy and Lisa, I have endeavored to use songs that we have stored in our collective consciousness to draw you in, envelop you in nostalgia, and hopefully have you feel them in new and exciting ways. And if you are hearing these songs for the first time, I am happy to be the DJ bringing them to your attention, and am humbled that your association with them begins with DIRTY GIRL.”


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