December Film Series

The Power of Music

Our film series this month features movies that celebrate music's power and beauty. All screenings will take place on Tuesdays at 6 p.m. in the large lower level meeting room. The films are free and open to the public.

Poster of "The Soloist"Dec. 4 -- The Soloist (2009)
PG-13, 109 minutes
The only thing that hurt Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez more than a bicycle accident and the resulting banged-up face was his pressing need for story ideas. Soon after the accident, he discovers Nathaniel Ayers, a schizophrenic street musician who possesses extraordinary talent and a half-broken instrument. Inspired by Nathaniel's story, Lopez writes an acclaimed series of articles and attempts to help him and the rest of L.A.'s homeless population. Lopez's good intentions run headlong into Nathaniel's demons and the larger issues of social injustice facing the homeless. Regardless, Lopez and Nathaniel find a way to conquer their deepest anxieties and frustrations. The movie is based on the biography The Soloist: A Lost Dream, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music by Steve Lopez.

Poster of "The Pianist"Dec. 11 --The Pianist (2002)
R, 150 minutes
Based on the memoirs of the brilliant pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman, a Jewish man from Poland. He was separated from his family as they were shipped off to Nazi labor camps. Hiding from the Nazis, he managed to escape and lived for years in the ruins of Warsaw. The Academy and BAFTA award-winning film stars Adrien Brody. The movie was inspired by the book The Pianist: The Extraordinary Story of One Man's Survival in Warsaw, 1939-1945 by Wladyslaw Szpilman and Wilm Hosenfeld.

Poster of "The Red Violin"Dec. 18 -- The Red Violin (1999)
R, 131 minutes
The Red Violin traces the history of a legendary instrument across five countries and 300 years. From the workshop in Italy where the violin maker loses his wife during childbirth, the violin next turns up in the hands of a child prodigy 100 years later in Vienna. From there it passes to gypsies, and then, another century later, to master violinist Frederick Pope in England, thereby inspiring his lover's jealousy. We next see the violin in Shanghai during the Cultural Revolution in 1968. Finally, the violin arrives at an auction house in Montreal, where an American violin expert races against time to discover the true nature of the seemingly haunted instrument. The movie stars Samuel L. Jackson and Greta Scacchi. Violin virtuoso Joshua Bells adds a memorable soundtrack.