I'm not sure that much can really compare to Erik's inaugural choice (Footloose and "Let's Hear it for the Boy"), but the Tears for Fears montage near the beginning of Donnie Darko is, by far, my most favorite in years. I can't say why exactly, but the simple act of tipping the camera as the bus' back door opens -- with Donnie's feet hitting the ground in time with the music -- instantly charmed me, and my instantaneous love for the scene grew with each passing moment.
I was never a Tears for Fears fan, but my opinion started to change as "Head Over Heels" pulled us through the pre-bell morning. Usually there is a longer passage of time for montages, but this time around, things are just slightly sped so that we may spy on the power dynamics at Donnie's school -- the self-help obsessed teacher, the bullies, the loner, and Drew Barrymore's thinly veiled disgust of Sparkle Motion.
Of course, this scene is one of a few montages and music-led sequences in the film, and I'd be remiss not to mention the second-best, the other bookend to the film. Once again, it's led by Tears for Fears, but this time under a heart-wrenching delivery by Gary Jules. You can watch both after the jump.
All around me are familiar faces...