FILM 1: Young @ Heart, dir. Stephen Walker (UK, 2007). This documentary features a Northampton, MA, choir (founded in 1982) that is rehearsing a new show, based on contemporary rock music (songs by Coldplay, Sonic Youth, et al). Several choir members are featured, director Bob Cilman takes them through rehearsals, and the choir experiences losses of two members during this period. The climax of the film is their Northampton concert.
FILM 2: Ladies in Lavender, dir. Charles Dance (UK, 2004). Elderly sisters living on the coast of Cornwall before WWII have an adventure when they rescue a young Polish émigré swept up after a storm. The adventure for the younger sister (Judi Dench) is more complicated because she falls in love with the young man at first sight. Her older sister (Maggie Smith) eventually understands her sister’s dilemma and is compassionate and understanding.
- Film Summary
- Discussion Questions
- Maggie Smith and Judi Dench Filmography
FILM 3: Man on the Train, dir. Patrice Leconte (France, 2002). Two unlikely acquaintances meet and establish a remarkable friendship: one an old man who has lived alone in his parent’s house in a small French city for 15 years, and the other a handsome middle-aged man in town to meet his accomplices in advance of a planned bank robbery.
FILM 4: Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles, dir. Zhang Yimou (China, 2005). An old man, estranged from his son, makes a long journey into rural China to complete a task his son had always wanted to acomplish: to film a performance of a folk opera led by a famous singer. Along the way the old man has numerous adventures, and although he achieves his goals, he learns that the goals have changed as secrets are revealed.
Film resource written by Robert Yahnke
Copyright, Robert E. Yahnke, © 2009
Professor, Univ. of Minnesota
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