Caramoor at the Burns: The Movies Musicians Love

Films like Marcel Camus’ "Black Orpheus," starring Breno Mello and Marpessa Dawn headline the new series.

Experience film in a new way during this unique event aimed at helping audiences appreciate the sounds of the movies they love. Pleasantville’s Jacob Burns Film Center (JBFC) is partnering with the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts in Katonah to present a powerful film series featuring selections made by Caramoor’s top musicians. From September through December, the JBFC will show four movies chosen by Caramoor instrumentalists to highlight the musical mastery behind film.

According to Brian Ackerman, programming director at the JBFC, some of the world’s most captivating music has its home in cinema. “We tend to think that film is essentially visual, but often music is the beating heart, the invisible place where the emotional life of a film happens,” explains Ackerman. “This made us wonder, what movies do musicians love because of their music and why?”

This curiosity led the JBFC to seek assistance from fellow Westchester cultural institution Caramoor, which then asked some of its most talented and acclaimed performers to choose movies where they believe the orchestration carries the film.

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The eager musicians selected several film favorites with scores that impacted them, explains Kathy Schuman, executive producer and vice president of artistic programming at Caramoor. “Some of them are serious film geeks! It’s turned out to be a wonderfully eclectic selection, and I’m looking forward to the collaboration.”

The four musicians who chose films include Grammy Award-winning artists Sarah Jarosz and Daniil Trifonov, along with Tony Award winner Ted Sperling, and professional violist John Largess. The films to be showcased include Black Orpheus; O Brother, Where Art Thou?; Alexander Nevsky; and The Triplets of Belleville. Following these films, all scheduled for the fall, the series will continue into the winter and spring with films still yet to be announced.

Films will be shown at the JBFC in Pleasantville, with tickets costing $10 for members and $15 for nonmembers. Details about the film’s times, dates, descriptions, and notes from the musicians about why they chose these movies can be found at

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