Music is a wonderful thing. As is film. The two go hand-in-hand. Film provides the visuals, but often relies on the music – or lack thereof, which is usually a conscious choice on the part of the filmmaker – to help set the mood. The best film scores will seamlessly integrate the music into the narrative of the film (see especially: Ennio Morricone's scores for For a Few Dollars More and One Upon a Time in the West).
It is natural that we should also love films about music. My personal favorite music documentary is The Devil and Daniel Johnston. Johnston is an intensely interesting person, with terribly amateur yet weirdly moving music – and his personal story is like a surreal dream. Check it out.
Tonight (Friday): the Louisville Film Society presents two music documentaries at the Dreamland Film Center. The first is Music From the Big House, in which we take a trip with Rita Chiarelli, “the goddess of Canadian Blues,” to Angola Prison in Louisiana – once termed the bloodiest prison in America. Nowadays, there is a lot of amazing blues music being produced there by the inmates, and Chiarelli goes to meet some of these musicians and hear their incredible sounds. Music From the Big House screens at 7:00. Admission is $5.
Directly following is Into the Night: The Benny Mardones Story. You know the song – you can hear it here. Mardones hit it big in 1980 with “Into the Night,” but was doomed to be a one-hit wonder – and then his rock-and-roll lifestyle became too intense and he was blacklisted. After a period of depression during which he was close to suicide, he suddenly burst back into the music scene in a big way in Syracuse, New York. Into the Night is his story. It screens at 9:00 and admission is $5.
The Dreamland Film Center is located at 810 E. Market Street. Further information about all the shows there can be found at the Louisville Film Society website.
Image: Internet Movie Database