Sunday, January 30, 2011

Music can bring you home

Way back in April of 2011, I was told about the need for extras for a film. The need: an audience of Grateful Dead fans for a 1980's concert scene. The movie: The Music Never Stopped, based on the real life story The Last Hippie, by Oliver Sacks. The story, just like Awakenings, was inspired by real life events written by Dr. Sacks. The story is about a father and son who are able to reconnect through music, after the son is diagnosed with a brain tumor.

Now, I gathered bits and pieces of the story as we waited for our moment on screen. Everyone was decked out in their finest Dead Head attire: tie dye, beads, head bands, you name it. We listened to two songs over and over and over and over and over - sometimes with us making noise - other times with us miming. Sometimes we had the actors reading their lines, others it was a free-for all jamming 1980's dead concert - complete with Jerry and the band. I cannot hear Truckin' ever again without thinking of that movie shoot.

The day finally came - a free screening prior to its release at Sundance (yes folks, Sundance). No previews, no dancing candy or soda commercials. The movie just started.

I have never seen a movie that captured the power of music more than this. And the beauty of it is - it's a true story! It's not made up - not science fiction. A father and son reconnected because of the power of music. It might not have the most exciting plot or fancy screenwriting, but it is powerful nonetheless, especially if you like love music. Not only do some of the songs catch you and make you go back to the moment when you first heard it, you begin to think back to moments of time with your parents, your teenage years and the music you blared around the house.

By the way - you cannot see me in the film because I am somewhere in the crowd). Seeing that moment you filmed, the twelve hours of stop and go for three minutes on screen is a reward and it makes you understand how much work goes into a film.

So, why go see this film? It's simple, hopeful, beautiful and inspiring. No violence, no special effects, just music and how it can heal. For those of you who have read this blog before, you know I subscribe to the notion of music as therapy. It can transport you to a memory, become a band-aid on a bad day or just a way to escape the now. To quote the tag line of the movie: No matter how lost you are, music can bring you Home.

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