Going to the movies tonight?
I'm not sure what's going on in Louisville this week because, well, I'm playing a gig in The Bahamas (poor me, right?). But I do know that a cute documentary is playing at Village 8. It's called They Came to Play, and it came recommended by a film producer friend in New York, who sent me a screener copy to preview.
In my pre-musician days, I was a documentary producer for CBS and The History Channel, so I've got a softspot for non-fiction films. But admittedly, lots of docs are long, dreary, and uninteresting. They Came to Play, however, reminds me of fun documentaries like Wordplay and Spellbound, and it made me laugh out loud multiple times.
Based around the International Piano Competition sponsored by the Van Cliburn Foundation, They Came to Play tells the story of several different competitors from all over the world. The amateur pianists may be amateur performers, but they are hardly amateur players. Some are dorky doctors, some are creepy old ladies, some are charming pilots, some are adorable Germans, and they've all got fascinating stories. Laden with some of my favorite music -- from Bach to Gershwin -- the filmmakers were able to interweave gorgeous music with characters galore.
My screener copy crapped out just before I found out who won the competition, so I don't know how it ends. And I almost with I wasn't in the Bahamas -- almost, I said -- just so I could find out who won.
Anyway, it's playing tonight at Village 8, and it's entertaining and fun, especially if you've ever had to take piano lessons. It made me want to go practice, partly because I've played half the songs in the documentary, and partly because it's really inspiring.