Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Pairing Bands and Movies a Tricky Task

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Pairing Bands and Movies a Tricky Task

Article excerpt


WHAT: "Music & Movies Under the Stars."

WHEN: 7 p.m. (screenings begin at 8:30 p.m.) Saturday, weekly through Sept. 7.

WHERE: Jack Alter Fort Lee Community Center, outdoor green (indoors on second floor if it rains). Seating limited; bring blanket or lawn chair. 201-693-2763 or

HOW MUCH: Free admission.

A sommelier is the guy in the restaurant who helps you determine what wine goes with what fish.

A filmmelier is what you might call Tom Meyers, who is doing something similar for the Fort Lee Film Commission's "Movies & Music Under the Stars" outdoor summer program, launching Saturday.

He's the guy who is pairing certain films with certain bands - based on his expert knowledge of what goes with what.

"Some are easier than others," says Meyers, executive director of the film commission. "We wanted music that somewhat plays off the film, or a film that plays off the music. We started out with a potential list of 50 to 100 films, and then we started looking at bands."

Some of the pairings are no-brainers. No question that the 1965 Annette Funicello musical "Beach Blanket Bingo" (July 13) pairs perfectly with the retro girl group The Party Dolls, harmonizing in their farewell performance. And what could be more appropriate to 2011's "The Artist" (Aug. 10), the Oscar-winning quasi-silent film about 1920s Hollywood, than 1920s jazz by the Red Hook Ramblers? Nor is it hard to connect the dots between 2012's "ParaNorman" (Aug. 24), the animated film about a psychic misfit, and The Nerds, the popular Jersey party band where all the players wear thick glasses. "ParaNorman is kind of nerdy," Meyers says.

The biggest coup of all, though, may be this Saturday's double bill. "West Side Story," the landmark 1961 "Romeo and Juliet" musical featuring battling American and Puerto Rican street gangs, is being paired with Latin soul musician Joe Bataan, who actually did front a Puerto Rican street gang - The Dragons - in the early 1960s, reinvented himself as a genre-bending musician who merged Latin and doo-wop ("Gypsy Woman"), helped coin the phrase "salsoul," and has more lately been active in hip-hop. …

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