Join us for a celebration of movies with interesting or significant music. Movies range from dramas, musicals, comedies, and more! Hosted by music enthusiast, Annis Scott.
2020 Schedule of Movies
January – A Late Quartet
For 25 years, the Fugue, a string quartet, has wowed music-lovers with its performances. However, as the musicians prepare to celebrate a milestone season together, cellist Peter (Christopher Walken) informs his comrades: he has Parkinson’s disease and must soon retire. In the fallout from the shocking announcement, competing egos clash, long-simmering resentments bubble to the surface, and marital infidelity rears its ugly head. Also stars Philip Seymour Hoffman.
February – Yes Giorgio
Italian opera star Giorgio Fini (Luciano Pavarotti) is on tour in the U.S. when he discovers that he has lost his voice. Seeking the help of a throat doctor, Giorgio is surprised that his physician, Pamela Taylor (Kathryn Harrold), happens to be a gorgeous woman. The unlikely couple begin a relationship, much to the chagrin of Giorgio’s protective manager, Henry Pollack (Eddie Albert). As Giorgio and Pamela embark on a romance, can they bridge the cultural gap between them?
March – Bagdad Café
German tourist, Jasmin, argues with her husband after car trouble strands them along a dusty highway in the American Southwest. Fuming, she storms off and travels by foot to the nearest outpost of civilization — the Bagdad Café. Upon arriving, she butts heads with the owner but they soon forge an unlikely friendship. What begins as a few days’ respite becomes a prolonged stay as Jasmine finds her niche within this eccentric truck-stop community.
April – Rocketman
Young Reginald Dwight changes his name to Elton John and collaborates with singer-songwriter Bernie Taupin to become one of the most iconic figures in pop history. Set to his most beloved songs, it’s the epic musical story of Elton John, his breakthrough years in the 1970s and his fantastical transformation from shy piano prodigy to international superstar.
May – The Mission
Jesuit priest Father Gabriel (Jeremy Irons) enters the Guarani lands in South America with the purpose of converting the natives to Christianity. He soon builds a mission, where he is joined by Rodrigo Mendoza (Robert De Niro), a reformed slave trader seeking redemption. When a treaty transfers the land from Spain to Portugal, the Portuguese government wants to capture the natives for slave labor. Mendoza and Gabriel resolve to defend the mission, but disagree on how to accomplish the task. Music by Ennio Morricone, featuring the piece, Gabriel’s Oboe.
June – Finian’s Rainbow
Feisty Irishman Finian McLonergan (Fred Astaire) and his faithful daughter, Sharon (Petula Clark), bearing a pot of gold stolen from the leprechaun Og (Tommy Steele), settle in the village of Rainbow Valley. Siding with local sharecroppers like Woody Mahoney (Don Francks) against a blustering, bigoted local politician (Keenan Wynn), the McLonergans get into a number of fanciful scrapes while being pursued by the magical Og, who will become mortal if he doesn’t recover his gold.
July – West Side Story
A musical in which a modern-day Romeo and Juliet are involved in New York street gangs. On the harsh streets of the upper west side, two gangs battle for control of the turf. The situation becomes complicated when a gang member falls in love with a rival’s sister. Starring Rita Moreno, Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, George Chakiris, Russ Tamblyn. Music by Leonard Bernstein and Irwin Kostal.
August – The Pink Panther
In this first film of the beloved comic series, dashing European thief Sir Charles Lytton (David Niven) plans to steal a diamond, but he’s not the only one with his eyes on the famous jewel known as the “Pink Panther.” His nephew George (Robert Wagner) also aims to make off with the gem, and to frame Charles for the crime. Blundering French police inspector Jacques Clouseau (Peter Sellers) intercedes, but finds his career — and his freedom — jeopardized. Music by Henry Mancini
September – Schindler’s List
Businessman Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) arrives in Krakow in 1939, ready to make his fortune from World War II, which has just started. After joining the Nazi party primarily for political expediency, he staffs his factory with Jewish workers for similarly pragmatic reasons. When the SS begins exterminating Jews in the Krakow ghetto, Schindler arranges to have his workers protected to keep his factory in operation, but soon realizes that in so doing, he is also saving innocent lives. It was nominated for twelve Academy Awards, including Best Original Score composed by John Williams and featuring violinist – Itzhak Perlman
October – Bel Canto
Roxane Coss (Julianna Moore), a famous American soprano (Renee Fleming as her singing “voice”) travels to South America to give a private concert at the birthday party of a rich Japanese industrialist. Just as a gathering of local dignitaries convenes at Vice-President Ruben Ochoa’s mansion, including French Ambassador Thibault and his wife, Hosokawa’s faithful translator Gen and Russian trade delegate Fyorodov, the house is taken over by guerrillas led by Comandante Benjamin, demanding the release of their imprisoned comrades. Their only contact with the outside world is through Red Cross negotiator Messner. A month-long standoff ensues in which hostages and captors must overcome their differences and find their shared humanity and hope in the face of impending disaster.
November – Pavarotti
Featuring never-before-seen footage, concert performances and intimate interviews, filmmaker Ron Howard examines the life and career of famed opera tenor Luciano Pavarotti from his childhood to his last years.
December – Joyeux Noel
The 1914 WW1 Christmas Eve truce actually happened, although not on quite the scale suggested in this film, which was nominated for the foreign film Oscar. Officers and troops were punished for fraternizing with the enemy in wartime. On Christmas Eve, the Danish singer Anna Sorensen (Diane Kruger) is brought to a support this war area to sing for German officers and the Crown Prince, but insists on being taken to the front lines as her real hope is to see Sprink, her lover. Reaching the lines, she is surprised to find that thousands of little Christmas trees have been supplied by Berlin and form a decoration on top of the German trenches.
The Scots and the French are equally surprised by the trees, and by the sound of singing as Sprink and Sorenson sing “Silent Night” and “Adeste Fidelis.” Slowly, tentatively, soldiers begin to poke their heads up over the ramparts, and eventually they lay down their arms as they listen to the bagpipes of the Scots, and join in the singing. The next morning, Christmas Day, there is even a soccer game. Precious bits of chocolate are shared and they bury their dead, whose bodies have been rotting between the lines.