Warm Up Those Pipes, Suga

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


I have this affinity for the elderly. It's really quite funny how I seem to gravitate towards them (or vice versa) almost every single day. There could be a three dozen people waiting on a hot subway platform or sitting on a crowded subway cart and I'll strike up a conversation with the only elderly person around. It never fails. While in the city I stay with my aunt and uncle (in the mid-70s), and we attend their church with the average member being 72. Conversations with the elderly are engaging (most of the time) and can be quite stimulating. For someone who hopes to age gracefully into her middle and old age someday, I can appreciate the little home remedies they try to pass down, or how they are such stickler's for maintaining a daily regime of prayer, tea at breakfast and after dinner, followed by a healthy serving of oranges, apples, and a handful of pitted prunes, and exercise (or as my uncle likes to call it--Sudoku:) I wish I could pin point exactly what it is that fascinates me about them, but it may be that a part of my personality relates to them. For years I've been called an "old woman" lol. My friend used to call me an old man for having so much change in my wallet (I have to confess, the amount is ridiculous). I'll randomly say things that sound like something you'd hear your grandma say while she's kicked back in a rocking chair on the porch during a family reunion. It's wonderful, though, how much this affinity has manifest and become a photo essay I've been working on the past year. With much effort I hope to turn it into a book someday ;)

But I'm digressing from the point of this post. I want to talk about the "young" men and women featured in this stellar documentary that I recently saw while waiting on the tarmac of Delta airlines a few days ago. I've wanted to see this documentary for a few months, so even with Delta charging $6 per film and $2 per HBO Original Series, I was excited to see it was an option for viewing. The film is called Young@Heart and it's such an inspiring and uplifting film that puts the lens to a group of senior citizens continuing to live vicariously through song. They've been traveling around the world for a few years singing covers to familiar rock songs, and receiving much praise from audiences along the way. I was sitting in the middle seat of the plane with tears in my eyes during the scene where they were rehearsing Coldplay's "Fix You." That song, which I haven't heard in a few years, is one of my favorite Coldplay tracks and always seems to find me when I need it most. Hearing it stretch through wavering voices that are supported by oxygen tanks was a little emotional, if you can imagine, but nonetheless beautiful. In another scene the choir sang for a group of prisoners, and received a standing ovation. (pictured here)

Young@Heart offers more than cute, grandma and grandpa-like individuals. (And they are sooo cute!) It's really a film that celebrates undying passion and joy. Each of the choir members suffers from some ailment, and a few even pass away, but they live to perform with this choir; it's become their outlet, their extended family, their world. Put together in a rehearsal room, they are the characters you would find in any group: bubbly personalities mixed with flirts, comedians, sweethearts, introverts, and endearing best friends. What I loved was that inspite of their age they challenged themselves. They didn't see their age or ailments as limitations, and they laugh through everything, even death. Most, if not all, are not natural-born singers, but a way was made for them to touch lives while fulfilling their own. So maybe now I do have a better understand of why I'm so drawn to the elderly...

Enjoy the trailer and get thee to a video store pronto!!...Or hit up InDemand, if you have it :)

Fix You - Coldplay

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