Cinema & Soundtracks II to feature great American films with Jerry Goldsmith scores

“Cinema and Soundtracks,” a series of informal seminars on American film and film music, will feature seven films from the 1960’s through the 1990’s with scores by Jerry Goldsmith. The films are Lilies of the Field (1963), A Patch of Blue (1965), The Sand Pebbles (1966), Planet of the Apes (1968), Chinatown (1973), Hoosiers (1986) and LA Confidential (1997).

This the second year Cinema and Soundtracks is being offered. In 2013, Sun Lakes resident Wendy Plotkin (who previously taught at ASU) inaugurated it with a look at the films scored by Elmer Bernstein (best known for The Magnificent Seven and The Great Escape). A small group of Sun Lakes residents met weekly for eight weeks, listening to initial remarks about the film and its score and then viewing the entire film. Afterwards, the class members stayed to discuss their thoughts on the film – its actors, directors, set and score and the relation of the film to society and culture at the time it was released.

Like Elmer Bernstein, Jerry Goldsmith (1929-2004) was among America’s most renowned composers of film scores. His earliest scores were for 1950’s television shows such as Playhouse 90, The Twilight Zone, Thriller and Dr. Kildare. He moved to scoring films such as Lonely are the Brave and Lilies of the Field in the early 1960’s and soon was in great demand. His style evolved from delicate and lyrical themes for his earliest films to modern, avant-garde touches for Planet of the Apes and brassy, jazz-inflected themes for the film noir classics Chinatown and LA Confidential.

The class will meet weekly on Wednesdays from 1:30-4:00 p.m. (depending on film time) starting October 15 and ending December 10. The first week, instead of a film, Wendy will discuss the history of film music, with musical examples from some of the earliest scores (for the 1930’s King Kong and Gone with the Wind) and from the blockbuster films such as Dr. Zhivago, Lawrence of Arabia and Star Wars that made film music as popular as other genres. If there is enough interest from individuals who prefer weekends, an additional Friday or Saturday evening or Sunday session from 1:30-4:00 p.m. will be offered for the full eight weeks.

The fee for the class is $40 for eight weeks, or $5.50 per individual film. The fee for two people from the same household will be $60 or $8 per individual film.

The main purpose of Cinema and Soundtracks is to bring together individuals to watch great and enjoyable American films, with an added emphasis on how the score may contribute to this pleasure. All fans of American films are invited, regardless of previous education or background.

Please contact Wendy Plotkin at 480-883-2873 (after 8:00 a.m. and before 9:00 p.m.) or e-mail at [email protected] for additional information or to sign up for the class.