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Entries in musicals (499)

Wednesday
Mar132019

Soundtracking: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

by Chris Feil

If you want to look to reinforcement of traditional gender roles in the movies, sadly you can look to the history of movie musicals for consistent examples. It’s a genre that consistently returns to tropes and archetypes for its structure, but that just makes it all the more rewarding when there are examples to the contrary. Take Gentlemen Prefer Blondes for example - no seriously, take it and watch it on a loop because it is perfect cinema.

The film gives us two unique musical heroines in Jane Russell’s Dorothy Shaw and Marilyn Monroe’s Lorelei Lee, a team on the stage and in dealing with men. They are two ingenues that subvert genre tropes and traditional images of women looking for love on screen, and you can see how they do so in their solo songs...

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Monday
Mar042019

Sunset Boulevard. Should we worry or rejoice?

by Nathaniel R

As you have no doubt heard, the 1993 stage musical Sunset Blvd., Andrew Lloyd Webber's adaptation of the film noir classic Sunset Boulevard (1950) now has a green light for the movies. The stage musical premiered in London in '93 with Patti LuPone in the lead role before a legally-fraught switcheroo to Glenn Close for its Broadway debut in '94. The musical would go on to win 7 Tonys (including Best Musical and Best Actress) and roughly ever since then (we're talking 25 years now!) there's been talking of adapting it back to the screen, its original home and subject matter. This wouldn't be the first time that's happened of course. The most recent example is Hairspray which proved a hit in all three incarnations: 1988 / 2002 / 2007.

This project has been talked about for years and now a sudden green light with shooting scheduled for October. Was it Glenn Close's year long comeback of sorts as she undoubtedly came close to winning that elusive Oscar that finally did it...

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Thursday
Feb282019

Nathaniel's "Extra" Prizes: Musical Moments, Action Sequences, and Best Endings

As the Oscar aftermath is just about over, we return you to the in-progress Film Bitch Awards. We hate to not be done with these before the Oscars - argh - but these things happen. We'll finish up soon as there's now just 5 (gulp) categories left. 

Scene Awards
Musical moments, thrilling action sequences, opening scenes and great endings, and the like. There's lots to reminisce about but obviously there are spoilers for some 2018 scenes, particularly given the "endings" category. Films honored include but are not limited to: Ant-Man and the Wasp, The Children Act, Cold War, Eighth Grade, Isle of Dogs, Old Man and the Gun, Paddington 2, Vice, and You Were Never Really Here. Check it out.

Sunday
Feb242019

Great Acceptance Speeches: Stanley Donen, Honorary

A big thank you to Dancin Dan, Chris Feil, Eurocheese, and Ben Miller who shared favourite acceptance speeches with us as we got hyped up for Oscar. There are so many more speeches we could have highlighted if we have more time or a bigger team, but well wrap up th speech appreciation with something that seems totally appropriate for a number of reasons: Stanley Donen's Honorary Oscar acceptance speech for, and we'll quote the Oscars here:

in appreciation of a body of work marked by grace, elegance, wit and visual innovation.

The speech is a thing of complete and utter beauty and wit and gratitude and every time we see it we're reminded of how much Oscar night lost when it opted to no longer included the Honoraries on the broadcast. (Honestly we wouldn't mind half as much if they also televised those on a different night, but alas, they don't.)

As you may have heard cinema lost Donen this week at age 94. He was one of Hollywood's purest pleasure-makers, directing or co-directing musical classics like Singin' in the Rain, On the Town, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and Funny Face. But that's not all! He also made beloved non-musicals with Audrey Hepburn like Charade and Two for the Road among other films. Donen is survived by his also brilliant partner of the past 20 years, the actress/director Elaine May (who just completed a much-raved Broadway run in the play Waverly Gallery so you might see her at the Tonys this year) so our condolecences go out to her this week. 

Monday
Feb042019

DGA: The Spikes (Jonze & Lee), Bradley Cooper's Loss, and the Gowns (yes, the gowns)

by Nathaniel R

The big news coming out of the weekend's DGA ceremony was not Alfonso Cuarón's second win from the Director's Guild (he previously took the DGA for Gravity and had won nearly every award of note for Roma, making a repeat a foregone deal). Instead it was Bradley Cooper's surprise loss for First Time Feature A Star is Born and Spike Lee's speeches, which inevitably have a way of shaking up a room because Spike Lee always says what he has to say, unapologetically. The best element of the non-televised DGA ceremony is that they make a big deal of the nominees and not just the winner, giving all 5 top nominees a moment at the mic and a presentation of their nomination in medal form...

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Thursday
Jan312019

Can we give Patrick Wilson the Oscar for *his* Freddie Mercury instead?

We love this man.

And this queen doesn't need to lipsynch. Where is his movie musical star vehicle? The film version of Phantom of the Opera was 14 years ago and he was much less famous then. We've seen him in both of his Tony-nominated roles (The Full Monty and Oklahoma!) and he was marvelous both times and that voice is just pure melodic pleasure, transporting really. Perfect for a big sweeping romantic musical. He hasn't been on Broadway in 10 years but he's co-starred in several box office hits in that time so why aren't movie musical producers snatching him up?

WHAT IS WRONG WITH HOLLYWOOD? (A perennial question when it comes to the movie musical genre). If you were somehow unaware of his musical gifts, there are more videos after the jump because we're in a... mood.

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Monday
Jan282019

Michel Legrand (1932-2019)

by Eric Blume

Michel Legrand in 1981French film composer Michel Legrand passed away this past weekend after six decades of work in the industry. He was truly one of the greats. Chief among his accomplishments was the sung-through score for the masterpiece The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964), delivering music that soared and perfectly caught the melancholy tone of director Jacques Demy’s pastel/sad view of the world.  The Legrand-Demy collaboration was deliriously French and remains a pristine achievement over a half century later...

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