In Salzburg, Austria, in the late 1930s, Maria has applied to become a nun. But Maria is a passionate and uncontrollable young woman full of vitality and a wild and free inner richness. Her mountain escapades stir her so much that she cannot help bursting into song, which often causes her to arrive late for prayers at the convent. Mother Superior and the sisters have no idea how to resolve the puzzle that is Maria. They decide to send her off to be a governess for the seven children of Captain George Von Trapp, an officer in the imperial navy. The Captain, whose heart has been in hibernation since he became a widow, raises his seven children with military discipline. Maria manages to gain their trust and becomes their confidante and accomplice, introducing them to singing and giving them back some of their childhood. The Captain is charmed by Maria's joie de vivre. Maria has at last found her vocation. But in the spring of 1938, Hitler invades Austria and completes the Anschluss. The Von Trapp family refuse to have anything to do with the Nazis and are compelled to flee the country they love.Read more Show less
The Sound of Music is a truly exceptional musical comedy! Firstly, Maria… "A flibbertijibbet! A will-o'-the wisp! A clown!", Maria the free. "How do you keep a wave upon the sand? How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand? ", Maria is too passionate to live peacefully in a convent! Maria, half-woman, half-goddess; Maria, a child of good and of the mountains. Maria is a pantheist who cannot be satisfied with just one god! Consider the opening scene in The Sound of Music: a sprawling landscape of high mountains unfurls before our eyes, a bird's eye panoramic view that makes us feel as if we are hovering above the peaks of the Alps! Then Maria appears. At first she is just a dot amid nature; but she is buoyant. The majestic Alps are more than a set: they seem to offer themselves up as the source of life. Maria is born amid the immensity of this timeless kingdom. Her character and her understanding of life are forged in the heart of this environment. That is where she grew up, in mountains she "knows by heart". Since Maria's only family are the sisters in the convent, she refers to the Mother Superior, but the mountains are also her Mother Superior. Then there are the children,… Dance routines are normally perfectly executed in musical comedies, with every movement in synch down to the slightest detail. But here people learn to dance the same way the learn to sing, so the routines develop in front us. The children progress and we watch how they learn. Maria teaches them range and movement. She waters them with her life force and the children blossom under her nurturing. She throws off the cloak of darkness in which their father had shrouded them and gives them back the thrill of being alive. And the Captain recognises that Maria has managed to bring joy back into the home. " And then, the story... Very few musical comedies have such strong contrasts. The colours of happiness and of the outfits that Maria makes for the children; the flamboyant colours of nature, the mountains, the lake, the sky and the town of Salzburg; everything is brilliantly bright! This light is as vivid as the dark threat of Nazism, which seeps into the story and underpins it, causing a heavy but barely perceptible shadow to loom ominously over proceedings. The Von Trapp family risk their lives to choose light and goodness. Nothing could seem more natural. The Sound of Music is, above all, a film that makes us happy. The title is an invitation to wonder: what is music if not a pleasant sound? What music does happiness make, and vice-versa? The answers should guide us.Read more Show less
Ideal for the whole family, age 8 upwards. Watch in the original version, with subtitles if necessary.
When talking movies arrived, film also embraced music, singing and dancing. That gave rise to a new genre that reached its peak in the 1950s in the United States. Since then, musical films have carried on enchanting young and old viewers alike. As they cross genres and years, they lose none of their celebratory quality. Through the seven films chosen for this course, Benshi invites you on to the dance floor to discover musical films in all their diversity. This en-chanting course is for young cinema- and music-lovers aged 6 and over.
What better medium to address history and freedom than the cinema? The seven very different films in this course tell stories that take us into the heart of history and recount the painful episodes that scarred the 20th century. They invite us, often very poetically and sometimes with humour or even music, to go back in time and share the adventures of these "small but great heroes". These seven films illuminate the past and help us to gain a better understanding of the world in which we live. They gently address events that have marked contemporary history and serve to stimulate great discussions with your children.