March 15, 2005

March to the Music

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This month, all the movies being shown at Cornell Cinema are either about music or have great soundtracks. Inspired by the iPod revolution (the ability to listen to any song from an entire music collection on one’s iPod), the films this month range in subject from opera to punk rock, and in style from documentary to Hollywood mainstream hit.

Kicking off March Music Madness is Closer, an Academy Award nominated film that features a fantastic soundtrack, with artists ranging from Mozart to the more contemporary Damien Rice.

A different set of contemporaries, The Ramones, appear on the big screen inThe Ramones: The End of the Century: The Story of the Ramones. The director of this film lifts the veil to reveal the conflict and struggle the band encountered as one of the most influential punk rock groups of all time.

The series continues its foray into rock music with Festival Express, featuring live performances by Janice Joplin, The Grateful Dead and The Band, to name a few. In the same vein, our next vision is of indie rocker Anton Newcombe in the film DIG! The film includes his music and a special treat of actual concert footage. Tom Dowd and the Language of Music is a film of a similar subject matter. It is about Tom Dowd, a producer and recording engineer from the sixties and seventies.

Of course, none of this music would have beenpossible without the right equipment. The film Moog is about the invention of the Moog Synthesizer, which was invented right here in our own back yard. Trevor Pinch, professor and department chair of science and technology studies, will be introducing the film.

Cornell graduate Robert Moog PhD. ’65 invented the synthesizer in Trumansburg, very close to Cornell. “Trumansburg was the cutting edge of cool for a while,” Pinch said. Speaking about the documentary, Prof. Pinch noted the “personal approach that director Hans Fjellestad took to Bob Moog and the electronic circuitry. His homespun personality really comes through. Bob is a very very nice dude.”

The film is set in the sixties and includes black and white footage of Moog concerts. Moog will only have one showing before Spring Break, on March 17th, and the rest of the showings will be over the vacation.

But rock isn’t the only thing the series has to offer. The film Callas Forever chronicles opera legend Maria Callas. Madame Briquette is a Senegalese saga of passion, betrayal and chauvinism with a soundtrack of great African music.

The last two films, Radical Harmonies and A Letter to Mother cover two more aspects of music. A Letter to Mother is about the struggle of European Jews in 1939. The film follows a mother trying to support her family, and features Yiddish folk music.

Radical Harmonies follows the careers of women in music. The documentary has a fantastic soundtrack and includes contemporary women musicians like Ani Difranco and the Indigo Girls.

The line-up this month is bound to be an enjoyable one, and covers all areas of music. There is something for everyone here.

For more information on films, dates and show times, check out the Cornell Cinema website at

Archived article by Rebecca Wolozin
Sun Staff Writer