Cinema and Soundtracks III to feature To Kill A Mockingbird and The Great Escape

“Cinema and Soundtracks,” a series of informal seminars on American film and film music, will feature seven films from the 1950’s and 1960’s with scores by renowned film composer Elmer Bernstein. The films are The Man With the Golden Arm (1955), Fear Strikes Out (1957), The Magnificent Seven (1960), To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), The Great Escape (1963), Love with the Proper Stranger (1964) and The Birdman of Alcatraz (1967).

This will be the third 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. This fall she is completing a session of films scored by Jerry Goldsmith, including The Sand Pebbles and Chinatown.

Two eight-week sessions are being offered in the winter, starting the week of January 5. One session will be on Wednesdays (starting January 7) and the other on Fridays (starting January 9), both from 1:30-4:00 p.m. (depending on film time.) All classes are held in Wendy’s home in Cottonwood.

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.

The remaining weeks the class will listen to initial remarks about the film and its score and then view the entire film. A series of optional high quality, easy to read handouts will be distributed, focusing on the film’s source material (such as a novel) and on the actors, directors, score and critical reception, as well as the relation of the film to society and culture at the time it was released. Current class members have been extremely enthusiastic about this material and its ability to deepen the understanding and impact of the film.

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.

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.