On this day in 1965, the film The Sound of Music held its official premiere at the Rivoli Theater in New York City. It was based on a 1959 musical of the same name composed by Rodgers and Hammerstein. The musical is based on the real story of the von Trapp family. In 1926, a young Austrian nun named Maria Kutschera was asked to become the governess of the seven children of widowed naval officer Georg von Trapp. Impressed with her work with the children, Georg proposed to Maria, who reluctantly accepted at the urging of her Mother Abbess. However, Maria came to love her husband, and they went on to have three children together. The family came to prominence for their musical talents, and performed at concerts throughout Austria even after it was annexed by Nazi Germany in 1938. However they did not remain long in Nazi territory, and fled to Italy and later the United States. The von Trapps continued their music career upon their move to the United States, and in 1949 Maria published her memoir which became the basis for the musical. The 1965 film starred Julie Andrews as Maria and Christopher Plummer as Georg. It opened to initially negative reviews, being blasted as overly sentimental. However opinion changed rapidly, and The Sound of Music won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Songs featured in the musical have gone on to become musical theatre staples, including the titular ‘The Sound of Music’, 'My Favourite Things’, 'Climb Ev'ry Mountain, and 'Do-Re-Mi’.
When I started with Hoop Dreams, if you didn’t have money, you had to find someone who had a great camera and hopefully was good with it to commit to your project without compensation, or much compensation, and you had to find a place like Kartemquin that would allow you to come in and edit and take you under their wing. You had to find ways to get around not having money to make your film, and that’s changed. You can have a pretty inexpensive camera that shoots pretty great images now, and you can edit on your laptop—so there’s a lot of young filmmakers who are craving a filmmaking community, because they may be out there just doing it kind of on their own. And I think one of the great things that Kartemquin has to offer to filmmakers these days, which won’t go away because of technological changes, is that sense of a community of filmmakers who will both help you make your film but also can look at what you’re doing and give you honest and constructive feedback and help you become a better filmmaker.