Archive for September 19th, 2011

text by Arlene Croce – images from “Night and Day” in The Gay Divorcee (1934) – edited by Joel Bocko

If writing about movies is like dancing about architecture, then writing about musicals is like trying to draw a blueprint for a tap dance. Here I try to make both ends meet.

The words below the fold are from Arlene Croce’s seminal “Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers Book.”

The images (some fragments, some fully framed) are from a single number, “Night and Day,” the only sequence in the film where Fred & Ginger dance by themselves, three minutes out of nearly two hours but the very essence of the picture and their partnership.

Make sure to check out a full clip of the dance on You Tube. Music and lyrics by Cole Porter, choreography by Fred Astaire, dancing by you-know-who.

Ideally, senses sharpened by the indirect evocations of Croce’s prose and the lingering snapshots of motion, you will view the dance with renewed appreciation. Much as one might press one’s nose up against a pointillist painting, viewing all those little dots as isolated phenomena before stepping back to take in the big picture, all without losing sight of the magical details which give it its essence.

As Arlene Croce says, opening her study of the sequence, “This incomparable dance of seduction is a movie in itself.” Enjoy.


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Brilliant poetic and existential "Drive" with Ryan Gosling is one of the best films of the year


by Sam Juliano

Fall weather is upon us in the Northeast, and we can only be grateful and invigorated by such a glorious development.  Temperatures actually dropped into the 40’s a few nights ago, and people are scurrying to clothers stores for jackets, sweaters and light coats.  Some stores are even sporting Halloween decorations six weeks in advance of the day, and the start of the New York Film Festival and the Metropolitan Opera schedule is just weeks away.  Even back-to-school night is set for this coming week in many communities, including my own.

Here at Wonders in the Dark the musical countdown is moving ahead impressively, as the comments and site traffic have been through the roof.  Several writers have really made their mark, and we can only be thrilled at what will surely be a fabulous second half.  As always, Jamie Uhler, Jim Clark, Allan Fish and Bob Clark continue their great series work, while Joel Bocko and Maurizio Roca are all over the site contributing in any and every way possible with exceeding scholarship.  And then there’s Dee Dee with her incomparable sidebar work and great additions and comments.  It’s been quite a ride.  Talk is beginning to surface about an all-time ‘Greatest Comedies’ countdown for late Spring, but much satill has to be decided and confirmed.

After movie going had slowed to a trickle the week before, Lucille and I (and some of the kids) have come back with a vengeance this past week with an unusually prolific assault on multiplex screens.  Heck, after the non-EZ pass toll from New Jersey to Manhattan jumped from $8.00 to $11.50 yesterday, I can only wonder how I’ll have to motify the number of my Manhattan appearances!  Ha!  Anyway, we sat seven (7) films in theatres, with one of those a 3D return of the animated masterpiece The Lion King.  Saturday was the biggest day with three films seen: (more…)

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