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The New York Times: Urbanite. The Best of New York Today

November 09
Film/Classical Music
Heavenly Sounds

When it was first performed, Olivier Messiaen's 1932 organ composition "Apparition de l'Église Éternelle" reportedly drove audiences to hysterics. Seventy-five years later it's still powerful, as the filmmaker Paul Festa found in his new documentary about it. He asked everyone from the Scissor Sisters to Lemony Snicket, John Cameron Mitchell to Harold Bloom, to describe their reactions, which include discussions of death, horror films and covert sex in sacred spaces. Tonight's premiere, courtesy of Rooftop Films, is in St. Bartholomew's Church, home to one of the country's grandest church organs. After the screening, it will be put to good use as William Trafka performs the piece in its entirety.

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