By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News
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“The Sound of Music” and “Grease” have such versions, she knew; people all over the country have flocked to theaters to sing with Julie Andrews or John Travolta.
But those have been done here. Force was ready for something juicier.
She chose “Across the Universe,” the 2007 musical tale of Jude, a Liverpool dockworker who goes to America to learn about life and love.
His odyssey's soundtrack: some 50 Beatles songs, from “I've Just Seen a Face” and “Come Together” to “Oh, Darling” and “Revolution.”
This is the movie, Force decided, for the first Port Townsend Film Festival fundraiser of 2014.
The executive director of the Port Townsend Film Institute, Force seeks to show people great cinema — on the big screen — that they might otherwise miss.
But alas, there's no “Across the Universe” with on-screen lyrics.
“We'll be digging deep in our reptilian brains to remember the words,” Force quipped.
Screenings on Saturday
Two “Across the Universe” sing-along screenings are slated Saturday: one at noon for all ages and another at 10 p.m. for the 21-and-older crowd, since cocktails will flow.
Both will be at the Rose Theatre, 235 Taylor St., with tickets at $15. They're available at the Rose box office, at www.rosetheatre.com and at 360-385-1089.
Festivities will include a 1960s-vintage costume contest, and those who enter will have a chance to win a weekend pass, worth $185, to the Port Townsend Film Festival, slated for Sept. 19-21.
The outfits in “Across the Universe,” set during the pivotal period between 1965 and 1970, are a key element of its swirling visual-musical journey.
That, Force said, is thanks largely to its director: Julie Taymor, whose other projects include the movie “Frida” and the Broadway production of “The Lion King.”
“Her sense of spectacle and the human body as art,” said Force, “is so stunning.”
Vietnam War era
“Across the Universe” captures the era of the Vietnam War, the draft, the rising tensions between generations — and, of course, there's a torrid love story going on, too.
Evan Rachel Wood and Jim Sturgess co-star. Bono and Joe Cocker make cameo appearances.
And the Beatles songs keep on coming: “If I Fell,” “It Won't Be Long,” “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds,” “I Am the Walrus,” “Let It Be,” on and on.
And just as it throbs with sound, the movie is saturated with color — what we need in January, Force added.
“To see it on the big screen,” she said, “and to have the opportunity to sing together — oh, my gosh.”
For more about Saturday's “Across the Universe” showings and other Port Townsend Film Institute events, visit www.PTFilmFest.com or phone the institute office at 360-379-1333.
Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5062, or at email@example.com.