Friday, March 28, 2008

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Young at Heart

Tonight I saw the documentary Young at Heart, directed by Stephen Walker.

What a refreshing change from the slew of war films permeating the industry!

In Northampton, Mass., there lives a spirited chorus called Young at Heart. This chorus is made up of 'mature' singers (average age: 80) who come together to practice, perform and tour throughout the year. And quite frankly, they rock.


They're not singing Gershwin classics or busting out ancient showtunes, they're singing Sprinsgteen and Sonic Youth—and they're pulling it off.

The story follows the group from the point that they begin learning their new lineup of songs to their first performance of the set. Like any group, they have a nervous leader who pushes them and loses his patience with their pace from time to time, but they seem to enjoy it all nonetheless.

As the filmmaker follows various singers home, we get a glimpse of what these individuals were probably like in their prime: spunky, daring, full of life. Kind of like now.

Watching them enjoy the process and the friends they make along the way is truly a pleasure and hearing them interpret modern music for the first time is somewhat hilarious.

Of course, since they're old, there are members of the chorus with health problems. The only hard part of watching the film is seeing those few struggle with their ailments. But overall, what could be terribly depressing is just a minor pause along the way of this fun, inspiring film.

Although the Sinéad and Coldplay sections made me sob, the rest of the movie had me smiling throughout. And as someone who felt her life sort of ended when she turned 30, I do feel slightly ashamed.

If these folks can get out of bed and to choir practice 3 days a week, then take their show on the road, what the hell do I have to complain about?

Only that there aren't more films like this one.

Note: to purchase Young at Heart merchandise, visit the chorus's official Web site at

Saturday, March 01, 2008

The Other Boleyn Girl

This morning I saw The Other Boleyn Girl, starring Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johanssen.

It was the topic of Cinebanter #47, so click here to download the episode.