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Documents the true story of the final weeks of rehearsal for the Young at Heart Chorus in Northampton, MA, whose average age is 81, and many of whom must overcome health adversities to participate. Their music is unexpected, going against the stereotype of their age group, performing songs, for example, by James Brown, and Sonic Youth. Although they have toured Europe and sang for royalty, this account focuses on preparing new songs, not an easy endeavor, for a concert in their home town, which succeeds in spite of several real heart breaking events. Written by
The end of the credits in the original European version of the movie featured a brief clip of Eileen Hall chatting with the production crew: "I feel sorry for you two - you with that camera and you with that thing, always bobbing up and down. Don't you get tired? Yeah, I bet you do." That clip was cut from the U.S. release and re-appeared as bonus material on the U.S. DVD release. See more »
Fairy tales can come true if you're young at heart!
Stephen Walker magnificent documentary "Young at Heart" is a tribute to life. We are taken to meet a group of senior citizens in Massachusetts that defied staying home and became involved in doing something maybe most of them never thought capable of doing: singing. The chorus, led by Bob Cilman, proves there should not be a limit in whatever a person decides to do with his life, even if it comes this late.
The most interesting thing about this group is the selection of songs included in their repertoire. There is no such thing as interpreting the standard melodies one would associate to them, based on their ages. They tackle contemporary music with a gusto and sophistication that turn their interpretation into a different tune altogether.
The film starts with Eileen Hall, a lady using her cane as support, in a rendition of "Should I Stay, or Should I Go?" giving it a different meaning to what one remembers it to sound when it first was popular. There are also songs such as "I Wanna Be Sedated", a Ramones hit, heard in a new approach. The Pointer Sisters' "Yes, we can can" presents a problem for the many times the word 'can' is repeated during rehearsal. In their performance in front of an audience, the song flows effortlessly. James Brown's "I Feel Good" becomes a disarming duet that has the audience begging for more.
The Young@Heart group deserves all the praise it can get. After all, these are people in their so-called "Golden Years" that have decided to put all their efforts into what they enjoy doing. Stephen Walker has captured the essence of the group, under the intelligent direction of Bob Cilman.
A film highly recommended for everyone because of the positive message it gets across.
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