Unlike anything else, music can transport us into our past. One song, listened to at a particular time, can become a lifelong reference point for the person or place we were during that period. Case in point: 1] Elton Johns Bennie and the Jets drifted out of our familys transistor radio one blistering hot afternoon in the summer of 1973. I remember eating Italian ice and staring into the field behind my house as the music played. I was taken in by the live sound of the track, picturing a man playing his piano in front of thousands of people. When I hear this song today, my body immediately warms as the heat from that summer afternoon envelopes me. 2] My grandmothers antique player piano sat silent most of the time, but on occasion she would throw in a musical roll and sing. Somewhere My Love from the film Doctor Zhivago is the one selection burned into my memory. Today when I hear the beautiful melody of this piece, I am instantly whisked into the parlor of her home and reminded of the youthful exuberance I experienced there. 3] Glenn Campbells Southern Nights will always remind me of my living room circa 1977. My mother purchased the single and played it on our dated record player (about the size of a small refrigerator) almost every day for a month. When I hear this track, I immediately picture the two of us singing into make-believe microphones while surrounded by the furniture of that room. 4] I was filled with angst and disillusioned with the world in 1980 and therefore played Pink Floyds Another Brick in the Wall as much as possible. I remember sitting on my bed listening to the song one evening when my father walked in, stood silent for a moment, and then questioned my sanity. When I hear this classic track today, I can almost feel the turmoil of youth welling up inside of me. 5] We were warming up before a JV basketball game when the opposing teams PA system started blaring Duran Durans Hungry Like the Wolf. The excitement of the ensuing game, coupled with the unmistakable guitar riff that carries the song, is forever etched in my mind. When I hear this song today, my body immediately peps up, giving me a burst of energy that makes me want to run. 6] I had run off to California to find myself and wound up spending the summer attending every music festival within driving distance. The largest (over 100,000 people) featured the Grateful Dead. When Throwing Stones was unleashed on the massive crowd, I was high atop the back hillside of the gathering examining the scene in wonderment. When this song pops up today, I am instantly transported back to that hillside and the memory of how thousands of people could move as one. I hold these songs and the power they have over me very dear. When I hear them by chance, I smile as the memories unearth themselves once again. Of course, I am not the only one who experiences the power of music. In fact, some people hear music so deeply that it consumes their life. In this weeks feature, August Rush, we meet a young boy whose heart is so profoundly effected by music that he will stop at nothing to discover the source. While I am keen to any film that features a musical backdrop, I was somewhat taken aback by the delivery method of August Rush. The story is touching (even deeply moving at the conclusion), however, the road getting there is very much a fairytale ride. Personally, I enjoy more realistic emotional journeys stories that I can see happening in the world we live in. To me, August Rush provided an intriguing search for meaning but took such a massive leap of faith with my belief system that I found myself lost in the unlikelihood of the events. Check this one out if you enjoy emotional stories of love and loss but dont mind your common sense being tampered with. While August Rush does succeed in pulling at your heartstrings, its overuse of clich_nd predictability made it difficult to totally connect with. A Cinderella-esque C+ for August Rush. Cant decide what to watch?
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There are some films that simply must be watched at specific times of the year and Love Actually is one of them. Set in the weeks leading up to Christmas, Love Actually follows the storylines of several relationships as they battle the pitfalls of life against the inspiration of the season. Written and directed by Richard Curtis (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Bridget Joness Diary), Love Actually is far from a sentimental holiday romp, but rather a biting commentary peppered with great comedic moments. It also contains a diverse troupe of actors, all of whom offer wonderful portrayals. Far from a pure holiday picture, Love Actually is the perfect film to start off your seasonal run toward Christmas. Check this one out if youre in the mood for some genuine holiday fun.