Monday, August 27, 2007
On the way to skydiving I like to play relaxing music. This weekend, I listened to old country songs until the station wouldn't come in anymore (including Kenny Rogers' - "And she belieeeeeves in me. I'll never know just what she seeeeeees in me. I told her someday, if she was my girl, I could change the world with my little song...")
Then I popped in the soundtrack to Songcatcher. I don't remember how I stumbled on this movie, but I watched it many years ago. If you like mountain music, you should see it - it's about a woman who goes into the mountains in the late 1800's/early 1900's to capture old songs and trace where they came from. I remember it being surprisingly good, since I hadn't really heard of the movie. But the soundtrack is great. Has people like Rosanne Cash, Emmy Rossum, Emmylou Harris, Hazel Dickens, Dolly Parton...
Here's the summary: (yeah, it's got a love story, but it's still good)
After being denied a promotion at the university where she teaches, Doctor Lily Penleric, a brilliant musicologist, impulsively visits her sister who runs a struggling rural school in Appalachia. There she stumbles upon the discovery of her life--a treasure trove of ancient Scots-Irish ballads, songs that have been handed down from generation to generation, preserved intact by the seclusion of the mountains. With the goal of securing her promotion, Lily ventures into the most isolated areas of the mountains to collect the songs and finds herself increasingly enchanted--not only by the rugged purity of the music, but also by the raw courage and endurance of the local people as they carve out meaningful lives against the harshest conditions. It is not, however, until she meets Tom--a handsome, hardened war veteran and talented musician--that she's forced to examine her motivations. Is the "Songcatcher," as Tom insists, no better than the men who exploit the people and extort their land?