“Superstition”, Stevie Wonder

 

And next in our series of “Songs to do horrible things to in films”: 

 

 

The opening riff is already enough. It starts with a beat and a bounce which in an instant gives the character a step, a rhythm of movement.

Moving towards the first victim. Grooving towards the second.

I imagine a preposterously well-tailored individual, sashaying in time to the music – or just off-beat, perhaps, uncle-dancing with self-indulgence – flick-knife in hand. while he allows horrendous things to happen to those around him in a crowded bar.

Or: on the rooftop, early evening, flame-coloured sunset. Our anti-heroine takes a deep breath of air. Cut to the office workers in the floor below, toiling away, gossiping about her by the photocopier. Cut back to the rooftop. She examines the barrel of fluid, which has been punctured and haemorrhages petroleum down, down the drainpipes, down the stairwell, gushing down to the floors below.

She lights a cigarette. She nods to herself to the rhythm, self-aware, smiling at her personal joke. She inhales, holds that intake of smoke, and flicks the butt to the open barrel as the chorus concludes.

There are also lots of things one could do to riff on the theme of superstition: voodoo, pins and dolls; someone eases an ornate mirror from the top of an apartment, teetering above their victim. Bad luck.

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