It’s the old story: boy meets girl, girl and boy fall in love, boy and girl have a child. The boy, a cynical, self-loathing comedian, can’t handle the fact that the girl, an opera singer, is both beloved by her audience and more successful, so he… doesn’t exactly kill her, but, well. Their baby starts to sing in a haunting voice whenever she is exposed to starlight (real or fake), so her father turns her into an international sensation – and makes a nice buck in the process.
Oh, and the child is a wooden puppet. You know, that old story.
Sing, sing, sing: for our February episode, we celebrate the genre where people are constantly at risk of breaking into song and dance and where one-word titles just don’t feel right unless you add an exclamation at the end. Yes, your damn fine cultural baristas finally take a closer look at the musical! Do we love it or are we musical sceptics? What musical numbers do we sing under the shower? For this episode of the podcast, the films that bring a song to our hearts are the pre-code gem Gold Diggers of 1933 by Mervyn LeRoy and choreography by the iconic Busby Berkeley, Jacques Demy’s marvellous movie meringue Les Demoiselles de Rochefort (your best chance to hear Gene Kelly speak French!) and the Polish horror fairytale The Lure, a sexy, scary and surprisingly faithful adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid. (Take that, Disney!) So, warm up your vocal cords, don your dancing shoes and join us in a celebration of the movie musical!
Each Friday we travel back in time, one year at a time, for a look at some of the cultural goodies that may appear closer than they really are in The Rear-View Mirror. Join us on our weekly journey into the past!
I must have mentioned it before: I’m not a fan of film musicals. Which doesn’t mean that I don’t like the genre, but I don’t like something just because it’s a musical. At the same time, there are a lot of musicals that I do like a lot, and they generally find ways of elevating the material, of making it more effective, because the characters in them have this odd habit of breaking into song every now and then.