Movies Musicians Love.
From September 10, 2019 to December 3, 2019, 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)
Miró Quartet selects
Tuesday, September 10, 2:00pm & 7:00pm
“There is no story more rooted in the power of music than that of Orpheus and his lost love, Eurydice; for it is the power of Orpheus’ lyre, not his heroism, that brings Eurydice back from the dead. Music’s power to go beyond death is only highlighted the more by his human weakness, which in a fateful forbidden glance loses her tragically the second time. With its enduring theme of art transcending our frail humanity, it makes sense that for almost 2500 years this lovers’ tragedy has been woven into poetry, plays, opera, and film. With its themes of passion, magic, and mystery all played out in a multiracial tropical setting, Black Orpheus is a piece of cinema art that is as gorgeous and energetic as it is electrifying and visceral. I first saw this film as a teenaged music student in the 1980s and its impact has never left me.” — John Largess, violist of the Miró Quartet
The Miró Quartet, which The New Yorker has called “furiously committed,” was one of the first ensembles to participate in Caramoor’s quartet-in-residence mentoring program (in 2000-01). When not performing with the Miró, violist John Largess can be found participating in archaeological digs, cooking, and teaching yoga.
About the Film
With its samba-heavy score by Luis Bonfá and Antônio Carlos Jobim, this tragic romance transposes the Greek myth to the modern context of a favela in Rio de Janeiro during Carnaval. It won the Palme d’Or at Cannes and the Academy Award, the Golden Globe, and the BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
Marcel Camus. 1959. 100 m. PG. Brazil/France/Italy. Portuguese with subtitles. Janus Films.
Sarah Jarosz selects
Tuesday, October 1, 2:00 & 7:00
“O Brother, Where Art Thou? was a pivotal movie for so many in the folk/bluegrass music world. It was a resurgence of sorts for that type of acoustic music to come into the focus of the public eye again. For me, personally, it happened to be released almost a few days shy of when I received my first mandolin for Christmas. As a little nine-year old, the combination of my newfound obsession with bluegrass and folk music combined with its sudden resonance within popular culture made it seem even cooler to be getting into that music. I remember learning “Keep on the Sunny Side” (which The Whites sing in the film) with my mom and singing it in the Friday night bluegrass jam we attended every week. The soundtrack combined with the musical performances scattered throughout the film are from some of the best in the business — Gillian Welch, Alison Krauss, John Hartford, just to name a few. It’s a true joy to behold.” — Sarah Jarosz
Singer/songwriter/instrumentalist Sarah Jarosz won two Grammy Awards in 2017: Best Folk Album and Best American Roots Performance. She tours extensively with her band, I’m With Her (with Sara Watkins and Aoife O’Donovan).
About the Film
As a bumbling trio of Depression-era con men (George Clooney, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson) who escape from a Mississippi chain gang search for a mysterious treasure, they meet up with a host of musical characters in a weird and warm story that blends The Odyssey with the American South.
Joel and Ethan Coen. 2000. 107 m. PG-13. UK/France/US. English. Buena Vista Pictures.
Daniil Trifonov selects
Tuesday, November 5, 2:00 & 7:00
“Alexander Nevsky is one of the staples in early film ventures that placed video and music synchronization at its core. And not just any music, but a score by Sergei Prokofiev, which later he would publish as an independent cantata of the same name. While it is extremely rare for a film’s music to find a place in standard repertoire, this is such a case and one can instantly hear the vivid and picture-painting nature of the music originating at its roots with the film. Prokofiev closely curated the production of the film, which tells a story based on the 1242 Battle on the Ice, when Russia, ruled by its key medieval figure, Alexander Nevsky, was invaded by Teutonic forces. The film is also an interesting bilingual experiment, as the invaders’ lines are sung in Latin and reminiscent of Gregorian chants, while the Russian forces are sung in Russian and using Slavic motifs, which helps augment the descriptive nature of the music.” — Daniil Trifonov
Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov “has everything and more…tenderness and also the demonic element. I never heard anything like that,” marveled pianist Martha Argerich. In 2018 he added a Grammy Award (Best Instrumental Solo Album) to his already considerable string of honors.
About the Film
On the eve of World War II, the great Russian director Sergei Eisenstein (Battleship Potemkin) and Sergei Prokofiev were whisked into service as Russia readied itself for battle—and so the epic Alexander Nevsky, the stirring tale of a ragtag Russian army battling a powerful invader, came to be.
Sergei M. Eisenstein/Dmitri Vasilyev. 1938. 112 m. NR. Soviet Union. Russian with subtitles. Janus Films.
We are excited to have been given permission to play a short 10-minute film featuring Daniil Trifonov playing the first movement of Rachmaninov’s Fourth Concerto, which will precede the showing of Alexander Nevsky.
Ted Sperling selects
Tuesday, December 3, 2:00 & 7:00
“I remember vividly seeing The Triplets of Belleville in the movie theater, soon after it was released in the US. I was struck with how little dialogue there was, and how much of the story was told through music, and what fun music it is! The title characters were performers in French vaudeville, so there’s a jazzy, Gallic tinge to all the music which I find irresistible. I also appreciated seeing a film set in a different kind of France than the one we are used to. Belleville is on the outskirts of Paris, and the plot takes us all over the countryside, so we get to see the workingman’s view of the country. It’s a film to revisit, especially on the big screen!” — Ted Sperling
Ted Sperling has been active in the theater and concert worlds for 35 years as director, music director, conductor, orchestrator, and performer. He is the artistic director of MasterVoices and the music director of the recent Broadway production of My Fair Lady.
About the Film
The wildly creative animated story of a boy, his grandmother, his dog, his dream of winning the Tour de France, and the eccentric music-hall stars from the ’30s who save the day won many awards for its score and was nominated for the Best Foreign Film Oscar.
Sylvain Chomet. 2008. 78 m. PG-13. Various countries. French with subtitles. Sony Pictures Classics.
Check burnsfilmcenter.org to purchase tickets! Keep an eye out for the upcoming winter/spring season including films selected by Cecile McLorin Salvant, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Pamela Frank, Aaron Diehl, and Caroline Shaw.