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Lecture 3: The Hollywood Musical
42nd Street by Lloyd Bacon 1933 ● Populist Agrarian genres were 1 of three that rose during the great depression (the hardships). There were other genres such the Hollywood Musicals, and Gangster films which focused more on the urban sector which also rose during the great depression. ● Silence cinema was highly sophisticated, fully developed narratives and sensibility. Film premieres were lavish affairs. ● “Singing in the Rain” clip – when sound was just being introduced into films. The impacts that sound have had on film production. ● When sound came everything changed. ● Verisimilitude:the appearance of realism ● Interrupts the low of the story, song and dance numbers counter out any pretence of reality. ● All about broadway,but focusing on Julian Marsh who is attempting to mount a lavish musical production at the
height of the great depression (this is to be his last big show) as he has discovered that he has a heart condition
and needs enough money to retire ● Broadway director Julian Marsh to want to create a large big show during the Depression, as his last show as he is
dying. ● Classical phase Peggy (main character) embodiment of rags to riches story. Shows American democracy and
capitalism and anyone can make it to the top. ● Peggy headlines the show, and makes her big break while struggling along the way. – Big reward is “on top of the
world” with her co-star at the end of the show on top of the skyscrapers reaching up to the heavens. ● Peggy story is part myth and part cliché. The Hollywood musical works as a Bildungsroman: coming-of-age story
in which the protagonist experiences transformative life events, including a number of obstacles or challenges, and attains maturity or wisdom as a result. ● We see this with Peggy, working with people who are far more experienced and maintains her virtue. Through the betrayals and hardships but coming back as a star. ● Opportunist Dorothy is the star in the musical originally, and ● she was replaced with Peggy, she acts like a Diva ● Dance moves flow and all are synced, everyone jumps and leaps at the same time
Cabaret by Bob Fosse 1972 ● Setting – Berlin 1931 ● Original title: “Goodbye to Berlin” ● Liza Minnelli (Actress) – Cabaret made her a star. Also starred in the musical Dirty Dancing ● Character: Young British Girl – Sally Bowles in this film, American – Brian Roberts (The actor, actress are opposite in real life) ● Musical within a musical meaning music is played in a musical scene in this case – The Kit Kat Klub which is not the only context. Song – “Maybe This Time” comes just in the moment before they realize that they are more than just friends and begin a romance. ● “Two Ladies” – 3 way relationship, Brian, Sally, The Millionaire ● Sinister and twisted version that is banded together showing the full intent of the Nazis, totally different from 42nd Street ● The Emcee is an interesting and creepy character who participates in all numbers of performances at the club and also offers additional commentary through his maniacal and occasionally ironic facial expressions. He also plays