Tag Archives: Musical

The Band Wagon (1953)

The Band Wagon is a musical about putting on a musical. And of all the films I’ve seen about making a musical, this one feels like it’s the least about putting on a musical. It’s in there, but it more like window dressing than anything else. Cropping up and getting dropped as the film deems fit. Half of the film comes across as a relational drama that could fit into just about any comedy genre backdrop. Continue reading The Band Wagon (1953)

An American in Paris (1951)

Dancing and singing are delightful in An American in Paris. When the notes start and Gene Kelly’s feet begin to move, the film is transcendent. But once the notes taper off, the film’s story is overwrought with trite romanticism and bad characterizations. Yes, it seems in bad taste to accuse a musical for being too romantic but it absolutely cripples An American in Paris. Continue reading An American in Paris (1951)

Les Misérables (2012)

This film makes me want to cry in more ways than one. The core story based on Victor Hugo’s novel is a touching story of disgrace, grace and redemption. Even in its crude rendering, I find the story touching. But the consistently poor direction by Tom Hooper and a cast that fails to do justice to Claude-Michel Schönberg’s music result in an adaptation that is a grotesque mockery of the musical’s greatness. Continue reading Les Misérables (2012)

Phantom of the Paradise (1974)

At his finest, writer/director Brian De Palma mixes pulp and mass entertainment, using artistic techniques and human stories to bridge the divide between “high” and “low” art. One could debate whether or not these divides exist, and if they do, whether the distinction is meaningful, but De Palma has succeeded at exalting arts generally considered bellow or beneath the elite, infusing it with art film sensibilities. Continue reading Phantom of the Paradise (1974)