Old Age and New England Countryside

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“Young@Heart” is a documentary that takes you to Northampton, MA, and presents a glimpse into the lives of the members of the Young at Heart Chorus. The setting is primarily in Northampton, MA, with several scenes of the beautiful New England countryside. The film, which was directed by Stephen Walker for the Fox Searchlight production company, opens with a scene from one of the group’s concert performances. The film’s opening images are of an old, gray-haired woman that is performing a rock song by the Clash, “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” It creates an impression of senior citizens that are behaving badly. But as the film continues on, it reveals more about some of the group’s individual members; their old, interesting journeys of how they became members of the chorus. The Young at Heart Chorus is made up of a group of retirees with an average age of eighty years. The group is led by their strict musical director, Bob Cilman, who prepares them for their next show entitled “Alive and Well.” He teaches the old-aged members to perform rock and pop songs such as “Road to Nowhere,” “I Wanna be Sedated,” and “Yes We Can Can.” Although most of the members admit to prefer classical music and opera, they seem to enjoy the more up-beat songs that were originally performed by artists such as The Rolling Stones, Coldplay, and the Talking Heads. “Young@Heart” is a heart-warming documentary about a senior-citizens choir that performs youthful music. Its cinematography and screenplay sets a relaxing and enjoyable ambiance, which consequently inspires people of all ages and from all walks of life. What makes the Young At Heart chorus unique is that it consists of twenty-four senior citizens whose ages range from early seventies to early nineties. The members all love to sing and are all passionate about what they do. Fred Knittle, an eighty-one-year-old who battles cancer, is one of the group’s most prominent members. He is a heavy-set man that...
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