Blockbuster movies Joker and Love Actually to be screened with soundtracks played live at Usher Hall

A chilling psychological thriller and a smash hit rom-com are to be screened at the Usher Hall later this year, both accompanied by live orchestras performing their soundtracks live.

Wednesday, 6th October 2021, 4:45 pm
Joaquin Phoenix in Joker

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The first of the movies, Joker In Concert, stars Joaquin Phoenix giving an Oscar-winning performance as Arthur Fleck, alias the Joker. It comes to the Lothian Road concert hall on Friday, October 15.

Directed, co-written and produced by Todd Phillips, Joker is the study of a man struggling to find his way in Gotham City’s fractured society. Longing for any light to shine on him, he tries his hand as a stand-up comic, but finds the joke always seems to be on him.

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Love Actually - Bill Nighy

Caught in a cyclical existence between apathy and cruelty and, ultimately, betrayal, Arthur makes one bad decision after another that brings about a chain reaction of escalating events.

The ground-breaking film will be screened with the accompaniment of a live orchestra playing Hildur Guðnadóttir’s Academy Award-winning and beautifully haunting score, which is central to the emotional journey of Phoenix’s character. The fusion of looming industrial soundscapes with raw, emotive string-led melodies - led by a lone cello - creates a melancholic shroud marked with moments of hope, which unfolds gradually to become a fever pitch of disquieting tension.

One of the most acclaimed young composers of her generation and the first-ever solo female winner of the BAFTA and Golden Globe awards for Best Original Score, Guðnadóttir says, "I'm thrilled to get to see and hear Joker in the cinema with a live orchestra. When we recorded the music, the orchestra brought such depth and detailed attention to the performances that we were all literally holding our breaths during most of the recording sessions. It was a beautiful trip. I’m so happy to get to go there again and for an audience to experience that too.”

While Phoenix stars in the titular role, his co-stars are Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, Glenn Fleshler, Bill Camp, Shea Whigham, Marc Maron, Douglas Hodge, Josh Pais and Leigh Gill.

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Come December, a seasonal rom-com that ​has become synonymous ​with the festive period returns. ​Having sold out in previous years, ​Love Actually In Concert ​finds a full orchestra performing Craig Armstrong’s evocative score a​s ​the film ​is​ projected onto a huge screen. Armstrong is one of the UK’s most recognised film composers, with his work being awarded a BAFTA for his Achievement in Film Music.

For many, the screening is sure to be the highlight of their holiday calendar​​.Directed by Richard Curtis and originally released in cinemas in 2003, Love Actually tells ten separate yet interweaving stories of love around Christmas time.The film features an all-star ensemble cast, including Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Laura Linney, Bill Nighy, Martine McCutcheon, Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, Keira Knightley​,​ Rowan Atkinson, Martin Freeman, and many more.Joker In Concert, Usher Hall, Lothian Road, Friday, October 15, 7.30pm, £35.75-£72.05, https://www.usherhall.co.uk/whats-on/joker-concert-film-live-orchestra

Love Actually In Concert, Usher Hall, Lothian Road, Monday, December 6, 7.30pm, £32.50-£71.50, https://www.usherhall.co.uk/whats-on/love-actually-concert-film-live-orchestra

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