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WINNER: 2008 Atlanta Film Festival: Audience Award
The Rolling Stones, as it turns out, are not the only senior citizens singing rock 'n' roll. Another, rather unexpected group is singing lyrics that are more cutting edge and performing on-screen antics that are considerably more amusing. You won't believe the world of YOUNG@HEART but you'll have a hard time resisting it.
The Young@Heart Chorus is a 24-member singing group from Northampton, Mass., average age 80, who spend a chunk of their golden years touring the world and singing covers of songs from groups like the Talking Heads, the Clash and Coldplay. It's safe to say that the Ramones' "I Wanna Be Sedated" has never had a more heartfelt rendition.
Of course, when you're of a certain age, learning rock lyrics is not always easy, and we look on as the group members scrutinize words with huge magnifying glasses and hold their ears as they listen to the loud originals.... But when the chorus starts to sing, when, for instance, animated 92-year-old former war bride Eileen Hall rips into the Clash's "Should I Stay or Should I Go," none of that matters. Just as eye-popping are the videos for songs like David Bowie's "Golden Years" and the Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive" that veteran independent cinematographer Eddie Marritz shoots with a gleeful energy.
What we learn is that the age of these singers is not some glib contrivance but the heart of the matter. In a culture that venerates youth and considers aging the worst of all fates, to see these men and women having the time of their lives near the end of their lives couldn't be more refreshing. We want these wonderfully alive people to go on singing forever, most of all, perhaps, because we know there's no way they can. calendarlive.com