by Hilary Hulsey
Acknowledging history and its mistakes is important, but reaching beyond the stereotypes of racism, sexism, and religion can easily be achieved when good outweighs evil in the majestic onscreen musical of the Broadway hit, Cabin in the Sky (1943).
In late 1940, Russian-American composer, Vernon Duke, introduced his greatest Broadway achievement to date at the Martin Beck theatre. Cabin in the Sky featured an all-black cast (including Ethel Waters and Rex Ingram, who would later appear in the onscreen version) and the production ran 156 shows, ending in early 1941. Duke supplied new standards to the songbook and its success onstage made the production a prime choice for screen adaptation.
Who better to direct a broadway show than someone who pulls from background and experience? Vincente Minnelli’s directing debut embodies his ability to use the camera as a tool to create a masterpiece rather than a device to record a specific instance to appropriate a paycheck. Most films in Minnelli’s career requiring transition and adaption sustain the original production and add Hollywood flare without disappointing. (more…)
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Posted in Uncategorized on September 26, 2011 |
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Cap from stunning "The Mill and the Cross" which probes art masterpiece
by Sam Juliano
It’s official. The fall season is now upon us, Halloween decorations are displaying, and the baseball playoffs are looming. It’s a time for football fans to fully immerse themselves, and for the Big Apple’s film buffs to avail themselves of one of the most celebrated of all annual film festivals. For opera and classical music fans it’s a time to again be ravishing by some of the world’s most distinguished orchestras and ensembles. And for movie fans across the globe it’s prestige time, when the year’s potential treasures are trotted put for award consideration. In short it’s the time of the year that we all live for.
That extraordinary, incomparable blogger from the midwest continues to weave her magic here on the site’s sideboards. “Dee Dee” as she is affectionately known in these parts has fueled the everyday musical countdown posts with spectacular embellishment, displaying foreign posters, delightful background information, and indellible film clips each and every night as the this remarkable venture incles nearer to the half way point. Sure, she’s a vital part of Wonders in the Dark’s fraternity for pratically the full three-year run of the site’s existence, but her singular contributions continue to raise the bar, and move anyone with a sense of appreciation and dedication. The comment and page view totals for the countdown have not only exceeded expectations, but have broken site records. Just this past week, John Greco’s sensational review of A Hard Day’s Night has attracted about 140 comments as of this writing, and several others have brought in amazing totals. Many thanks to all the readers who have checked out the quality postings, and to those who have taken the time to enter comments. A special thank you to the Three Amigos, Judy Geater, Pat Perry and Jonathan Warner, who have been there each and every day with their special blend of knowledge, excitement and passion. For Judy and Pat, it’s an extension of their ballot involvement and own post writings, not to mention some loving anecdotes from this past experiences in the form from both a vocational and cultural perspective. For Jon, it’s a labor of love, and futher expression of his peerless insights and effervescent personality. A comment from any and all of these three for any writer is really an incomparable treat. (more…)
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Posted in The Fish Obscuro on September 23, 2011 |
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by Allan Fish
(USA 1941 92m) DVD1/2
A lamp chop in an ashtray
p Joe Pasternak d Henry Koster w Norman Krasna, Leo Townsend ph Rudolph Maté ed Bernard W.Burton md Charles Previn, Hans Salter art Jack Otterson
Deanna Durbin (Anne Terry), Robert Cummings (Johnny Reynolds), Charles Laughton (Jonathan Reynolds), Margaret Tallichet (Gloria Pennington), Guy Kibbee (Bishop Maxwell), Walter Catlett (Dr Harvey), Catherine Doucet (Mrs Pennington), Irving Bacon (Raven), Gus Schilling (Raven), Charles Coleman (Roberts), Clara Blandick (nurse), Sig Arno (waiter), Alexander Granach (Popalard)
There’s a scene in Frank Darabont’s The Shawshank Redemption when Tim Robbins’ Andy Dufresne locks himself in the warden’s office and plays the Mozart ‘Sull Aria’ over the loudspeaker system. Morgan Freeman’s Red talks of how its beautiful sounds were as if “a bird beautiful bird had flapped into our drab little cage and made those walls dissolve away.” It was one of the most sublime moments in an otherwise rather schematic piece, but it only goes to illustrate that one man’s manipulation is another’s heaven.
Take Deanna Durbin for example. She and her best director Henry Koster are already represented here with One Hundred Men and a Girl and there would seem to be no need to include another one of her films. It Started With Eve is not a musical, rather a romantic comedy with musical interludes, but these are musical interludes that enter the bloodstream of the film itself. (more…)
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