Audiophiles will Embrace The Music Never Stopped
For those of you that love good films, a beautiful new movie is out based on the essay “The Last Hippie” by Dr. Oliver Sacks, M.D. whom you may recognize from his many best-selling books of case histories including a film called Awakenings. For those of you that lived (and I mean lived) during Woodstock or embrace the music and message from that generation, then you must see this movie.
The Music Never Stopped, chronicles the journey of Henry Sawyer played by J.K. Simmons and his estranged son Gabriel played by Lou Taylor Pucci who left home in 1967 prior to his high school graduation. The younger Sawyer has reappeared nineteen years later in a hospital with a brain tumor damaging the part of his brain that facilitates the creation of new memories. Determined not to let their son slip away from them again, Henry and his wife Helen played by Cara Seymour try vainly to bring their son, who is barely able to communicate effectively, back to reality. Unhappy with a lack of progress, Henry’s research leads him to Dr. Dianne Daly played by Julia Ormond, a music therapist who has made significant progress with victims of brain tumors.
As Dr. Daly works with Gabriel, she realizes that he is most responsive to the music from the summer of love era which included The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Buffalo Springfield, The Rolling Stones, and particularly The Grateful Dead. The music triggers long term memories as Gabriel begins to have conversations about the songs he loved and flashbacks to past events. Henry, a straight-laced engineer and lover of big band music, succumbs to learn the songs that animate his son’s soul. He finally realizes that the music which he thought initially pushed his son away now creates an emotionally vibrant bond with the child he thought he had lost forever.
An Official Selection of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival directed by Jim Kohlberg, The Music Never Stopped storyline and actors will make you laugh, cry, and reminisce, but the soundtrack is the thread that holds it all together.