Saturday, July 4, 2009

Swing Shift

Early Rogers & Astaire. Great dancing, typical story. Astaire does a blackface number as Bojangles, but it is tasteful and not stereotypical.

Already saw the King and I, which is next, so not likely to review it.

Gang's All Here

I had seen this before on TV, most likely as a Berkeley marathon. A decent story, Tommy Dorsey, and color choreography by Busby Berkeley with some cool special effects!

Next up: Swing Time

Saturday at the Bijou

Okay... "Meet Me In St. Louis"... one of those period piece movies, with a few songs added. Of course it's very well done, with athentic detail, and good luck with your allergies when Judy Garland starts singing "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas".

Lucille Ballen (sp?) had a prominent role in this movie as the eldest daughter, Rose. I noticed her in "Ziegfeld Follies" (two Lucilles, her and Ball), dancing two pantomimes with Fred Astaire. I'll Google her later, wonder how many other MGM contract players have faded away? Oh, and June Lockhart was in this as well... and the youngest daughter reminds me of somone...

Next up: The Gang's All Here. Busby Berkeley

More Movies

The second day begins...

Battery died yesterday, so let's mash them all together...

Ziegfield Follies... holy fucking shit this is a star-studded movie! You play Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon? this is one of those nexus movies that is used to link actors! First, we've got Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire dancing TOGETHER on screen. Then there's a nice musical number by Judy Garland, an aquatic ballet by Esther Williams (amazing breath control), William Powell as Flo himself, and a humourous skit by Keenan Wynn. What makes this such a great 6DoKB movie is that Lucille Ball appears as scenery in the opening number (as a lion tamer) and Red Skelton doing a great comedy bit about television!

After that, the vaudeville of America is replaced by the Cabaret of Weimar Berlin. Perhaps there have been too many holocaust movies since. Perhaps I was expecting more of Joel Grey (Oscar? Seriously? Hmm... Robin Williams as the MC? Joel Grey as the Joker?) It just didn't impress me. The lack of subtitles made things a bit confusing... when is German being spoken and when is English?

And then Midnight approached, and there was a small crowd for Purple Rain. I had not seen the film when it was released 25 *sigh* years ago. The music was great (half concert movie, half musical), Appolonia was HOT, but the story? Well, it's slightly autobiographical, so won't say anything at all.

Today, later

Friday, July 3, 2009

Viva Vavoom!

Viva Las Vegas

Lots of nice 60s footage of Las Vegas and the Strip, especially in the title credits!

Lots of good songs, although only the title track is memorable. Ann Margaret is delectable, and actally quite good as both a singer and a dancer. There's even some old school ensemble numbers with some rockin' swingin' music!

[Edit: Forgot... Ann Margaret's father is Uncle Charlie from My Three Sons. Took me about 15 minutes to figure it out]

Next up : Ziegfeld Follies (1946) directed by Vincente Minnelli, followed by his daughter in Cabaret. Ending with Purple Rain at Midnight.

Bijou Continues...

So... Top Hat just finished. Irving Berlin songs, mistaken identities, and Mr. Fractured Fairytales himself, Edward Everett Horton. The audio track wasn't very good... too low on the dialogue, too loud on the orchestration. The dancing was top notch, but "Daddy Longlegs" is still my favorite, followed by "Royal Wedding".

Next up... "Viva Las Vegas"

Friday at Lincoln Center

Movie Musical Marathon

First was "Singing In The Rain", a crowd pleaser (why does every Gene Kelly movie have a fantasy dance sequence?)

Then LC hosted the "Grease" sing along, but the crowd wasn't big enough to make it work. Still a good movie (with some comicbook cameos in the title sequence). If the theater had been full, I think people would have been less shy about singing.

Next is Top Hat, and the theater is about two-thirds full. Guess Astaire is more popular than Travolta.

More later...

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Pride Parade NYC 09

A few pics of the Pride Parade, near 14th and Fifth.

A Rose Is A Rose Is A Rose...

[Q| Red roses get all the media attention, the symbolism... I mean, when you picture a rose, it's red.

Yet, there are many other varieties of roses, with as many hues as a rainbow.. Each with their own symbolism and traits. Yet each is a rose.

My point of view? Nothing special. Just on my way to watch a peaceful parade on Fifth Avenue. A parade with a lot of rainbow flags, in a city so diverse the headquarters of the United Nations is here.

The sun is shining, people are happy. Life is good.