I came to the news of Mickey Rooney's passing late due to my offline vacation but it wouldn't be right to not mention it here at the musicals-loving The Film Experience. My first exposure to Mickey Rooney, as far as I remember, was Babes in Arms (1939) for which he was Oscar nominated at 19. I think my parents took us to see it at an awesome revival house in Detroit. Tweens and teenagers, who always fear being uncool, aren't supposed to love old black and white movies made many decades before they were born but cinephiles and/or musical-fanatics are a different breed and I had no shame whatsoever about seeking them out. [More...]
Entries in musicals (192)
True story. In the late 1990s after graduating college, before New York City and The Film Experience years, I was working as an artist at a company that specialized in parties and events. Every day in a big warehouse I was a hot mess of glue guns, paint rollers, foam shavings, and glitter. Glitter above all else. Three years later in New York City I was still finding glitter in the weirdest of places; that shit lasts forever.
I thought about this as soon as the opening credits of Allan Carr and Nancy Walker's Village People origin comedy, Can't Stop the Music (1980), our "HMWYBS" April Fools Selection. It was like the movie was blowing its glitter load in the first frame. Turns out there was no refractory period. The glitter just keeps on coming and not just over animated fonts. Dancers actually FLING physical glitter at each other and in the final scene it RAINS glitter. David Hodo (the construction worker) falls victim to the glitter the earliest in his introductory song, the ghastly "I Love You To Death" (pictured left). Hodo is now 66 years old and only stopped performing with the group last year. I bet you anything that he still finds glitter in the retirement home.
Surprisingly my choice for Best Shot is glitter free. But it's still really gay, don't worry. But no it's not this one...
April Fools! I needed an infamous 'bad movie we love' for today's edition of Hit Me With Your Best Shot a crowd source visual party, where anyone with a love for movies can watch the pre-assigned film and chime in on the one moment that makes it or defines it or reflects it. In other words, whatever "best" means to you.
The Village People musical Can't Stop the Music (1980) starring Valerie Perrine (of Lenny & Superman fame), Olympian Bruce Jenner (long before the Kardashian days) and Steve Guttenberg early on in his career, came through. And how. You can barely believe this movie while you're watching it but you can't exactly look away either. (Credit where it's due, the lightbulb for this week's selection came to mia via an e-mail from Awards Watch, about their new series pairing Razzie winners with Oscar winners.)
This musical, the very first Razzie Worst Picture winner is awful, sure, but it's also adorable in its own glittery misguided 'let's put on a show' kind of way. The Razzies, which are also crowd sourced, have a long history of homophobia (they're no fans of camp or gay icons of any kind) so it's no surprise that it all started here with this super gay film that's weirdly caught between "Liberation" and the closet and the cusp of the decades it straddling. But more on that in these fine fun articles.
Can't Stop the Music's Best Shots
click on the photos for the corresponding article
Its massively ineffective attempt to split the difference between the look and mood of the 1970s versus the 1980s...
-Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy
The movie it might have been in another time. NOT THAT IT WOULD HAVE EXISTED IN ANOTHER TIME....
-Nathaniel R, The Film Experience
The kind of joyous, “ZOMG out of ★★★★” masterpiece that I would place in the same company as Battlefield Earth and Showgirls...
-Robert Hamer, Awards Circuit
Presented as a dream sequence with lyrics that veer quite close to an imagined rape sequence...
a wacko comedic origin story with occasional music-video interludes...
- Jake D, Minnesota Gneiss
Half trying to phone it in, half trying to get out...
-Lam Chop Chop
This is the '80s, darling. You're going to see a lot of things you've never seen before...
- (Home) Film Schooled
The Rosetta Stone to understanding the pleasures of Can't Stop the Music...
-Coco Hits NY
It’s such a ludicrously mounted production that it thrills me to no end that it was a hit in Australia and nowhere else...
I adore this shot for SO many reasons... let me list them for you"
-Nathaniel R, The Film Experience
Following the film's gonzo logic, this sequence does nothing to advance the plot...
- Jason Henson, The Entertainment Junkie
Guys! Wait! This can’t be The Gayest because LOOK AT THIS PRETTY STRAIGHT LADY!
- Anne Marie & Margaret, We Recycle Movies
You can hang out with all the boys...
-Shane Slater, Film Actually
a product of its time...
-abstew - The Film's The Thing
literally shooting out rainbows...
-Sorta That Guy
These 15 articles are so fun, people. Please do enjoy them in all their jaw-dropped glory.
Next time on "Hit Me": Bette Davis in the Best Picture noir nominee THE LETTER (1940). Choose and post your 'Best Shot' by 9 PM Tuesday April 15th to be included in the visual roundup.
Can a Song Save Your Life? The Weinstein Company doesn't think so, since they've changed the title of that music industry Mark Ruffalo/Keira Knightley film. It would like to be known as Begin Again before it actually faces the fickle public. Presumably due to the widespread industry belief (it's not just TWC) that the more generic the title, the more likely it is to appeal to multiple quadrants. Why anyone interested in a dramedy about the music industry would object to the earlier title who can say without degrees in P&A?
Yes No Maybe So breakdown after the jump
In so many ways I wish Hugh Jackman could move on from Wolverine, the role that brought him enormous fame but which he has been performing for 14 of his 15 years in motion pictures. That's longer than virtually any TV star performs their signature role. And there are more years to come with at least one more solo film booked after X-Men Days of Future Past. Think of the movie musicals and wide variety of dramas or comedies he could have done in that time!
But, that said, Hugh Jackman always finds ways to become even more loveable (a tall feat given how adorable he started out) just when you're like 'enough, already!'.
Here he is one the BBC Radio 1's ‘The Matt Edmonson Show,’ performing "Wolverine: The Musical" by mixing his two signature roles (Logan & Jean Valjean) with his best role: himself.