Documents the true story of the final weeks of rehearsal for the Young at Heart Chorus in Northampton, MA, whose average age is 81, and many of whom must overcome health adversities to participate. Their music is unexpected, going against the stereotype of their age group, performing songs, for example, by James Brown, and Sonic Youth. Although they have toured Europe and sang for royalty, this account focuses on preparing new songs, not an easy endeavor, for a concert in their home town, which succeeds in spite of several real heart breaking events. Written by
The end of the credits in the original European version of the movie featured a brief clip of Eileen Hall chatting with the production crew: "I feel sorry for you two - you with that camera and you with that thing, always bobbing up and down. Don't you get tired? Yeah, I bet you do." That clip was cut from the U.S. release and re-appeared as bonus material on the U.S. DVD release. See more »
Greetings again from the darkness. This is about the most fun I have had at a movie in a long time. It is inspirational and heart-felt and emotional and enlightening. This group of elderly people are true entertainers and work hard at their craft.
The documentary approach by director Stpehen Walker at times is intrusive and abrupt, but the charm of the performers overcomes whatever clumsiness the film crew throws out. Choir director Bob Cilman is a pleasure to watch as he really drives the group to reach levels they otherwise wouldn't touch. Watching them try to capture a Sonic Youth song is at times painful, but in the end, redemptive. Even more painful is the "Yes I Can" sequence, but worst of all is watching one poor singer just unable to grasp his lines in the James Brown song "I Feel Good". Luckily, his onstage mishap has no bearing on the performance or his own enjoyment. What a triumphant moment.
The "stars" of the group are the ultra charismatic Eileen Hall. She is 92 years of dynamite! Opening the film belting out "Should I stay or should I go?" is even better when she describes it as a "Crash" song rather than "The Clash". Without a doubt the most touching performance in the film is from the amazing voice and persona of Fred Knittle as he sings Coldplay's "Fix You" in tribute to his recently deceased singing partner.
I dare anyone to keep a dry eye during Dylan's "Forever Young" or not bust out a smile during Bowie's "Golden Years". The video aspects do not take away from the film at all and "Staying Alive" will have you dancing in your seat! This is one of the special few for all ages. It is a must see and may require a little work or patience ... but it is absolutely worth the wait and the trip.
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