Movies Musicians Love.
From January 21, 2020 to May 12, 2020, Caramoor artists select musical films that inspired them for you to enjoy at the celebrated Jacob Burns Film Center.
“We tend to think that film is essentially visual, but often music is the beating heart, the invisible place where the emotional life of a film happens. And movies are now at the very center of the musical world, the place where the some of the most interesting and innovative music finds home. This made us wonder: What movies do musicians love because of their music, and why? And so we’re thrilled to partner with our fellow Westchester institution, Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts. They have asked some extraordinary performers to choose a favorite single film to showcase here, and we couldn’t be happier with their selections! We welcome members of the Caramoor community to join us for these screenings, which will take place once a month starting in September.”
— Brian Ackerman, programming director
$10 (JBFC Members), $15 (non-JBFC Members)
Pamela Frank selects
Tuesday, January 21, 2:00pm & 7:00pm
“From Mao to Mozart is a moving and important film, both historically and artistically. It documents Isaac Stern’s first visit to China, as it had just opened to the West at the end of the Cultural Revolution. Through his teaching, he not only exposed young Chinese musicians to the richness and beauty of Western music, he also introduced the idea that music can be a vehicle for personal expression and exploration of one’s individuality. It was an eye- and ear-opening film for me: I was deeply touched by how liberating an experience it was for the Chinese musicians to have this interaction. It is a reminder that music transcends cultural and political boundaries, and truly has the power to connect. Isaac Stern used his position to unite and make the world smaller through the universal language of music. It is an inspiring story of building bridges through art and is particularly uplifting and relevant today.” — violinist Pamela Frank
Pamela Frank has established an outstanding international reputation with an unusually varied range of performing activity. As a soloist, she has performed with leading orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, and the Berlin Philharmonic. She recorded the complete Mozart Violin Concertos with the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra and David Zinman and has also recorded a Schubert album and the Beethoven sonata cycle with her father, Claude Frank. She is the Director of Caramoor’s Evnin Rising Stars mentoring program.
About the Film
In 1979 violinist Isaac Stern made an unprecedented three-week visit to China, the first such tour by a Western musician in a country still reeling from the effects of the Cultural Revolution. He performs and mentors young Chinese musicians and visits Peking Opera rehearsals and other venues. This Oscar-winning documentary is a fascinating and inspiring view of the power of music and musicians to build bridges where politics are controversial.
84 m. Murray Lerner. First Run Features. US. English/Mandarin. Rated G.
Anthony Roth Costanzo selects
Tuesday, February 18, 2:00 & 7:30
“When I walked in the room to audition for director James Ivory, my life changed. We clicked immediately and he wound up changing the character I was auditioning for from an aspiring violinist to an aspiring opera singer. In the month I was in Paris working on this film, I learned what it was to be an artist, and engaged in some high-camp operatic shenanigans at the same time. Though I’m biased, this is one of my favorite Merchant Ivory films in that it tells an incredibly human story with verve, glamour, and an idiosyncratic wit.” — countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo
Anthony Roth Costanzo began performing professionally at the age of 11 and has since appeared in opera, concert, recital, film, and on Broadway. His debut album, ARC, was nominated for a 2019 Grammy Award, and he was Musical America’s 2019 vocalist of the year. He recently appeared in the title role in the Met’s Akhnaten. Costanzo has performed with many of the world’s leading opera companies, and at venues from Carnegie Hall, Versailles, and the Kennedy Center to the Park Avenue Armory and Madison Square Garden.
About the Film
This portrayal of the family life of author James Jones (played by Kris Kristofferson) is based on an autobiographical novel by his daughter. Also starring Barbara Hershey, Leelee Sobieski, and Anthony Roth Costanzo (who was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for his performance), this Merchant Ivory production is nuanced, detailed, and gorgeous.
127 m. James Ivory. No Distributor. US. English. Rated R.
35mm print courtesy of Universal Pictures Repertory
Aaron Diehl selects
Tuesday, March 17, 1:00 & 7:30
“The score is Philip Glass’ tour de force, and as I dig deeper into his massive catalogue, I always come back to this film. The music sets the tone for themes that are probably more resonant now than at any other point in history.” — pianist/composer Aaron Diehl
A classically trained pianist and composer, Aaron Diehl has made an indelible mark on the jazz world over the last 15 years. Showing an affinity for early jazz and mid-20th century “third-stream” music, he also tackles modern classical pieces, performing works by George Gershwin with the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, and LA Philharmonic. The New York Times critics have extolled Diehl’s “melodic precision, harmonic erudition, and elegant restraint,” while noting that he “play[s] magnificently.”
About the Film
Godfrey Reggio’s unconventional Koyaanisqatsi was a sensation when it was released in 1983. Without words but powered by Philip Glass’ famous minimalist score, it presents jaw-dropping slow-motion and time-lapse visions of untouched nature along with depictions of human beings’ increasing dependence on technology. It’s an astonishing visual collage designed to show “life out of balance” that makes us look at our world from a fresh angle, and it’s only gained in power over the years.
86 m. Godfrey Reggio. Park Circus. US. Hopi/English with subtitles. Rated NR.
Caroline Shaw selects
Tuesday, April 21, 1:00 & 7:15
“It’s possible that I became a musician because of one famous scene in Amadeus. The near-forgotten composer Salieri describes his first experience with a moment in Mozart’s Serenade for Winds (K.361), particularly how a melody in the oboe shifts into the clarinet. It’s strangely spiritual, and sad, and joyful, and erotic, and funny, all at the same time. This is a cult film that’s been referenced in Seinfeld and still makes me cry.” — vocalist/violinist/composer Caroline Shaw
Caroline Shaw is the youngest recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Music (for Partita for 8 Voices, written for the Grammy-winning Roomful of Teeth, of which she is a member). Based in New York, she performs in solo and collaborative projects. Recent commissions include new works for Renée Fleming, Dawn Upshaw, and Orchestra of St. Luke’s. She has produced for Kanye West (The Life of Pablo; Ye) and Nas (NASIR), and has contributed to records by The National, and by Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Parry. She says she once she got to sing in three-part harmony with Sara Bareilles and Ben Folds at the Kennedy Center, which was “pretty much the bees’ knees and elbows.”
About the Film
Milos Forman’s passionate, lyrical account of the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Tom Hulce), as told by Antonio Salieri (F. Murray Abraham) — the jealous composer obsessed with Mozart’s talent — won Best Picture in 1984.
160 m. Milos Forman. Saul Zaentz Company. Various Countries. English. Rated R.
Nico Muhly selects
Tuesday, May 12, 2:00 & 7:15
“West Side Story is one of the most extraordinary pieces of cinema I can imagine. Everything about it is outrageous, beautiful, strange, poignant, hilarious; the orchestration is entirely too delicious and huge and so much of it is baked into operas and musical theatre which follow it.” — composer Nico Muhly
Nico Muhly is an American composer and sought-after collaborator whose influences range from American minimalism to the Anglican choral tradition. The recipient of commissions from the Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Tallis Scholars, among others, he has written more than 100 works for the concert stage. His work for stage and screen includes music for the Broadway revival of The Glass Menagerie and scores for films including The Reader. Muhly studied composition at Juilliard before working as an editor and conductor for Philip Glass. He is part of the artist-run record label Bedroom Community, which released his first two albums, Speaks Volumes (2006) and Mothertongue (2008). He lives in New York City.
About the Film
With music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and choreography by Jerome Robbins — not to mention inspiration from William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet —this groundbreaking musical remains as thrilling today as it was when it was released in 1961. It earned 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Music.
1961. 153 m. Jerome Robbins/Robert Wise. Park Circus. US. English. Rated NR.