Beyond the Pines and other delightful tunes

I’ve been far too busy, and far too disinterested, to post anything in quite a while, but I must now share with you, dear readers, my latest discoveries. I’ll speak chiefly at this time of two films, married together (or more correctly distantly related) by a common theme of standing up to corrupt coworkers. The Place Beyond the Pines is of course one of the films I’ll be discussing. The other is On The Waterfront, a classic I’ve somehow managed to remain ignorant of until quite recently.

How it is I had never even heard of On The Waterfront, much less seen it, must remain a mystery but, God be praised, a descendent of longshoremen referred to me the film and now the acquaintance has been made.

“I coulda been a contender…”

From gorgeous black and white cinematography to Leonard Bernstein’s touching original music, this film must surely rank as one of the greatest American films of all time. Or maybe it’s just the connection I felt to the film, working in such a similar environment, at least mood wise, that created such feelings in my heart. I think the praise it’s received over the years (somehow unbeknownst to me) is fully justified.

Speaking of familiar environments, growing up in Albany (and with relatives and half an associates degree remaining in Schenectady), I couldn’t pass up the chance to see a film shot in, virtually starring, and even named after a city I’ve grown to love over the years. But Schenectady gracefully steps aside soon enough to let the real star of this film – the story – shine bright. And complimenting perfectly the emotional aspects of the story is a soundtrack generously graced by Arvo Pärt’s “Fratres”, amongst other delightful selections, which, incidentally, reinforces my belief, relayed in a previous post, in the importance of music in the success of a film. Actually both of these films demonstrate the power of an effective soundtrack.

Another classic film I’ve recently seen for the first time is Gone With The Wind. This too features a soundtrack which is a delight to listen to on it’s own, to say nothing of the power it imbues the film with.

So see them all if you haven’t already, and enjoy the concert! And don’t wait for the DVD with The Place Beyond The Pines – see it in the theater. It really is as good as they’re all saying.

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