Archive for June 24th, 2009

Easy come, easy go

And John Piper used to have such a good reputation too.

not any more.

too bad.

[register here.]

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The Chorus is a movie that has been making the rounds among some of our members but I just got to watch it a couple of nights ago — and I’m glad I did. It’s the story of a failed musician turned school teacher (Clement Mathieu) who takes the position of prefect at a French boarding school for orphans and troubled (and in trouble) young men. The name of the school is Fond de l’Etang (“the bottom of the pond” or “rock bottom”) and it lives up to its name (indeed, you expect to see “Abandon all hope, all ye who enter here” engraved above the main gate under the school’s name).

The school’s headmaster (Rachin) has succeeded in producing a depressing and soul-killing environment in the school by his indifference and cruelty. Prefect Mathieu is at first overwhelmed by the hardness and bleakness of the school and he quickly becomes the target of the students’ pranks and mocking. Things deteriorate until one night he hears the boys singing a song ridiculing him. It’s then, at his lowest point (“rock bottom”), that Mathieu gets the idea of starting a chorus and teaching the boys to sing (and, in the process, to love) music — which he hopes will open up new doors for the young men who have themselves reached “rock bottom” at Fond de l’Etang.

This movie is all the more surprising given the fact that director Christophe Barratier, made the movie with a budget under $6 million, only one camera, and a cast made up largely of amateur child actors.

The film (like others of this same type) shows the power of music to restore and transform (and if you’re thinking Mr. Holland’s Opus or Music of the Heart, you know the story). But this time the story is better told. It’s worth watching, even if, as one reviewer said, it’s a bit filled with le fromage (French cheese).

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