As any karaoke audience can tell you, context is everything. But when directors Sally George and Stephen Walker made the 2007 documentary Young@Heart, they proved that context, as well as musical beauty, is in the eye and ear of the beholder. The film follows the Young@Heart Chorus, a group of Massachusetts retirees many of whom are well into their eighties who learn and perform a repertoire of cover songs. George and Walker capture the chorus members as they rip into punk anthems like the Clash's "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" and the Ramones' "I Wanna Be Sedated," as well as funk tracks like James Brown's "I Got You (I Feel Good)" and the Pointer Sisters' "Yes We Can Can," rehearsing for a concert with an actual captive audience: penitentiary inmates. It's funny stuff, but the comedy is quickly overpowered by the poignancy of men and women, nearing the end of their lives, who still tackle the music of youth with more heart and soul than any drunken bar-goer belting out Journey tunes could ever imagine.
Young@Heart screens tonight at 7 p.m. at Starz FilmCenter, in the Tivoli building on the Auraria campus. Admission is free, courtesy of Rocky Mountain PBS, sponsor of Denver Film Society's monthly Community Cinema screening. To RSVP and to get more info, call 303-620-5735 or visit www.rmpbs.org/events.
Tue., Dec. 29, 7 p.m., 2009