Last night I wrapped up my first season as host of the Elmer Bernstein Memorial Film Series at the historic Granada Theatre in Santa Barbara, California. We screened The Age of Innocence, Martin Scorsese’s 1993 adaptation of the Edith Wharton novel that contains one of Bernstein’s richest and most memorable scores. The composer’s daughter, Emilie Bernstein, who orchestrated the music and was present at the recording sessions, joined me on stage for a lively Q&A on the scoring process. Granada management also announced next season’s lineup, eight more Bernstein classics including The Man With the Golden Arm, The Ten Commandments and National Lampoon’s Animal House. It’s a joy to introduce these great films from Bernstein’s 50-year career in the movies, and I hope those of you in the neighborhood will join us beginning in August (see dates on the poster).
With the support of Elmer Bernstein’s family, I have been asked to curate a five-film festival of classic movies scored by the great American composer. We launched the season Monday night at Santa Barbara’s beautiful Granada Theatre with a screening of Sweet Smell of Success (1957), among the most powerful of all of Bernstein’s jazz scores. The film, of course, overflows with brilliant dialogue (courtesy of Clifford Odets and Ernest Lehman), much of it spoken in tense, confrontational moments involving powerful newspaper columnist Burt Lancaster and desperate press agent Tony Curtis. Still to come in the series: True Grit (Nov. 16), Hawaii (Dec. 7), Airplane! (March 7) and The Age of Innocence (May 9). Join us!