Mar 28, 2017
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Overlooked & Underrated Docs & Features (click on broll or dschwartz for all his posts)
Shining Night: A Portrait of Composer Morten Lauridsen
" is a multi-level treat. The first level is personal – I used to sing with first-time feature film director Michael Stillwater when he led a spiritual singing group in a yoga school, in Corte Madera, California, in the late 1970s. I had no idea that he'd become a filmmaker until I received an email from him a year ago or so. Having viewed "Shining Night" I am awestruck to see how much he has expanded and evolved as an artist.
The next level is the joy of Stillwater's introduction to Morten Lauridsen. I'd never heard or read his name, nor heard his music. I learned that Lauridsen is a well-lauded icon of choral music composition, and that he is a beautiful man who's made incalculable contributions to the countless lives of all who hear his music.
Continuing with our levels, Stillwater has made a visually ecstatic film. His camera captures the beauty of Lauridsen's physical environments – whether in a cathedral in Scotland, or on Waldron Island, off the coast of Washington state, where Lauridsen summers.
And then, of course, there's the music. Perfectly recorded and mixed, accompanying the film's words and images, the music reminds all who know Lauridsen of his power as an artist, and stuns all initiates such as yours truly.
I celebrate "Shining Night" and its filmmaker.
D. Schwartz May 12, 2012