Thursday, May 8, 2008


“Oh yes we can, I know we can can, yes we can can, why can’t we? If we wanna, yes we can can.”

The documentary by Stephen Walker follows the the Young@Heart Chorus as they learn new songs and prepare for their next live performance. This, however, isn’t your average chorus.

The Young@Heart Chorus is made up of senior citizens, all over the age of 70, from the New England area. Led by director Bob Climan, the group has been performing since 1982, although not the type of music you might expect from a senior citizen group. No, the Young@Heart sing contemporary and classic rock and pop songs such as “I Wanna Be Sedated” by the Ramones and “Should I Stay or Should I Go” by the Clash.

For their upcoming concert the group is practicing hits ranging from “Yes We Can Can” by the Pointer Sisters to “Schizophrenia” by Sonic Youth. We get to meet each some of the members of the chorus, including two former members who have returned after serious medical conditions to perform one last time with their friends.

Chocked full of memorable and touching moments and mighty good musical performances (not to mention some terrific music videos), this film is simply a joy to watch. There’s a little bit of everything here from the rehearsals, to traveling with members of the group, to a performance at a local prison, to dealing with the health problems and loss of members of the team, to the triumph of performing their latest concert.

2008 so far has been sizing up to be a bit of a letdown after last year, but now the first great film of 2008 has arrived. The film is getting a slow roll-out, so unless you are in a major market you might have to wait a few weeks before it makes it to your town (most likely in the local art house). I can not recommend this film highly enough, and I think, if enough people can see it, early word of mouth could keep this little gem alive through most of the summer. I think it can, I think it can can!

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