Summer’s winding down—can you believe it? I’m going to cling to every last bit of warmth the sun sends our way, because I hate hate hate the winter. In order to not fall into a depressed funk just thinking about the cold and snow and blizzards that lurk ahead, I’m going to share with you one of the cooler movie-related things I did this summer season: watching (and hearing, obviously) the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and several live choirs accompany a screening of The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring at the Ravinia Festival.
You might have one of these outdoor music arenas near where you live—usually they host concerts or comedians, but every once in a while they’ll do something a bit out of the ordinary like LOTR night.
Here’s what it looked like from the covered pavilion:
And here was the view from the massive lawn (taken with my cell phone camera, apologies for the grainy-ness. But hopefully you can tell that’s Gandalf up on the screen):
I cannot even begin to describe how much nerdalicious fun I had at this event. It was better than Video Games Live (I’m not that much of a gamer, though, to be fair) and probably equaled or came close to rivaling the awesomeness of Star Wars: In Concert.
Howard Shore’s Academy Award-winning score has always moved me to tears during several different points in the film, and even though I’ve literally lost track of how many times I’ve seen Fellowship (my favorite of the trilogy), I cried yet again that night. They purposefully let the orchestra and choir overpower the on-screen dialogue during critical scenes, but nothing was loud enough to drown out the crowd’s geeky exclamations of “You… shall not… pass!” and other such classic lines.
Ravinia ran a caption contest leading up to the show, and this was the Photoshopped still they used.
You can read what the winner came up with here.
So have any of you been to an event like this? I’m curious as to what other films have been found worthy of “live orchestra” treatment. Maybe The Wizard of Oz? One or more of the animated Disney films?
Let me know what’s out there!
Movies with award-nominated (or winning) songs and scores at redbox: