You might recall my post from the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival about "At the Deathhouse Door," the wonderful documentary about Carroll Pickett, the former chaplain at the Huntsville prison. (See April 4 post below.) The NPR program Fresh Air featured an excellent interview with Pickett this week (here's the link to listen online: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=90526632 ). The documentary is airing on the Independent Film Channel beginning on May 29, for you lucky cable viewers. That hopefully means a DVD release soon as well.
In the meantime, the summer movies are starting to roll out, and so far I'm not finding much to be excited about, with two exceptions. The first is "Iron Man," which is an energetic and clever entry into the comic-book film genre. It helps that it stars two of my favorite actors, Jeff Bridges taking a rare villainous turn and Robert Downey, Jr., who I've been swooning over for years. This charming rogue role really suits Downey and the film is a lot of fun. I also highly recommend "Young @ Heart," a documentary about a choir of elderly folks (most are in their 80s) who move audiences all over the world with their renditions of current music that the members themselves often hate. Apparently, when they started out twenty years ago, their leader (now age 53) had them singing showtunes, which were more to their liking--but over time he saw the genius of having them perform current music. It's much more challenging and the stretch of it seems to be literally life-giving to these folks. I was moved far more beyond what I was expecting; there is real power in seeing older people embracing life and change and challenge with such heart, and their renditions make you hear such songs as James Brown's "I Feel Good" and the Talking Heads' "We're on the Road to Nowhere" in an entirely new way. Their performance of Coldplay's "Fix You" broke me down entirely. Something miraculous happens when these folks get together, healing them and their audiences. Don't miss it!