Author Topic: Sandy Faces the Music  (Read 23540 times)

sdedalus

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Re: Sandy Faces the Music
« Reply #60 on: February 09, 2012, 01:28:25 AM »
Brigadoon

As I watched the film in class, I mentally went over my top 100 list and wondered why Brigadoon isnít on it. There are no songs that I donít like. In fact, I really like every one of themóa lot. Iím a big fan of the three leads and they are well cast here. Is it the pastoral setting and the unfolding of a day that keeps it from standing out? Itís as if the mists had obscured my memory and when I rediscover how wonderful it is, the mists will roll in again after I leave. The movie is so low key and of another time, that the beginning narration sounds like a reading of an old book. The action happening onscreen might as well have happened long ago. Weíve been talking in class about how an audience walks away from reality to sit in a theatre and how a musical takes that a step further by having the characters walk away from their reality to a higher realm. It can happen through dream, memory or wish and is wrapped up in song. Brigadoon itself is that dream and does a fine job of taking the audience there. Itís time to reassess my list before the wonder of it all dissipates.

Yeah, that's a great one.  I love the 360 degree studio backdrop, the fact that the dreamworld Kelly escapes into (out of a modern world very similar to the disappointing 1950s of It's Always Fair Weather) is a purely cinematic one, which I think is a key trope in Minnelli's films.
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Sandy

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Re: Sandy Faces the Music
« Reply #61 on: February 09, 2012, 01:41:14 AM »
Yeah, that's a great one.  I love the 360 degree studio backdrop, the fact that the dreamworld Kelly escapes into (out of a modern world very similar to the disappointing 1950s of It's Always Fair Weather) is a purely cinematic one, which I think is a key trope in Minnelli's films.

360! I didn't realize. I like your take on the artistic reasons for it. I had wondered with the elaborateness of it all with the trees, bushes and hills if it would have saved some money to go on location. But I guess that's beside the point.
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sdedalus

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Re: Sandy Faces the Music
« Reply #62 on: February 09, 2012, 02:28:05 AM »
Hmm. . . I can't find confirmation that they went all the way around, but I'm sure i read that somewhere.  The imdb says the backdrops were 60 feet high and 600 feet long.
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sdedalus

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Re: Sandy Faces the Music
« Reply #63 on: February 09, 2012, 02:30:25 AM »
TCM to the rescue:

Quote
On the plus side, he had the services of his American in Paris creative team, including costume designer Irene Sharaff, and art director Preston Ames, along with veteran MGM cinematographer Joseph Ruttenberg. Together, they turned those minuses into pluses. If they had to build Brigadoon on soundstages, Ames devised a way to build the whole village, as well as the surrounding hillsides, on a single, huge stage, so that the camera could wander through it, and shoot a full 360 degrees. Using the muddy AnscoColor to advantage, Ruttenberg lit interiors so that they resembled Flemish paintings. The wide CinemaScope screen is not the best setting for dance, but the large ensemble numbers like "Go Home with Bonnie Jean," filled it well. CinemaScope - as well as Ames's set --were also used to advantage in the "Heather on the Hill" number, as Kelly and Cyd Charisse danced up and down the moors.

Ruttenberg and Minnelli came up with an ingenious solution for the first sight of Brigadoon, which was supposed to emerge from the mist. They shot the scene in reverse, beginning with the village clearly visible, then pumping in chemical fog. Then it was projected backwards, so that the fog clears, revealing the village.
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Sandy

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Re: Sandy Faces the Music
« Reply #64 on: February 09, 2012, 09:17:20 AM »
Thanks sdedalus. :) That stuff is as interesting as the movie itself.
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Corndog

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Re: Sandy Faces the Music
« Reply #65 on: February 13, 2012, 11:22:16 PM »
Brigadoon -

Although I have an endless love of both Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse, I have pretty much no experience with either of them. Of course my introduction to Charisse came just a film previous with Silk Stockings, but I was quite taken with her charisma and her skill on the dancefloor. The same can be said of Hollywood legend Gene Kelly, whose only outing to date I had seen was the iconic Singin' in the Rain, a film which happens to be my #2 of all time. When Sandy indicated it would be next in her marathon, I was excited despite having never heard of it, and I managed to not read the short plot description on the sleeve the film came in through Netflix, so when I sat down I didn't know what magical journey on which I might be taken.

As the film started and we were swept across the Scottish hills I began to think of my heritage, having a very small portion of Scot in my own blood, but I too grew tired of the direction of Vincente Minnelli quite quickly. Not really familiar with him either, other than the disappointingly forgetful Gigi. True the set design was remarkable and the cinematography gorgeous, but I also couldn't help but feel the color in the film was poorly used and to the point that I felt it ugly and unbecoming of the film. But more than anything else from Minnelli, the direction just felt flat and uninspired. The film was underplayed a bit, which can be fine, but it was done so to the point that it did lose me a bit. It was quickly 40 minutes in and I felt nothing much had happened. In a way it was a success because that time seemed to fly by, but also a failure for taking that 40 minutes and not infusing it with very much which is memorable.

Charisse and Kelly are still magic, though less so than the previous films I had enjoyed them in, and overall the film is a fun little ride with a bit of magic and a lot of heart behind it. But I definitely do not hold the film in the same Top 100 contention regard as Sandy, as much as I am magnetically attracted to musicals. I just feel like it has been so much better, and in the case of the film, could have been done so much better. It was disappointing in its mediocrity, but also marginally successful in its charm and entertainment, albeit fleeting.

**1/2
« Last Edit: February 13, 2012, 11:24:13 PM by Corndog »
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Sandy

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Re: Sandy Faces the Music
« Reply #66 on: February 14, 2012, 11:28:58 AM »
It was quickly 40 minutes in and I felt nothing much had happened. In a way it was a success because that time seemed to fly by, but also a failure for taking that 40 minutes and not infusing it with very much which is memorable.
This is so true--going nowhere fast. Also, "albeit fleeting" is my experience as well. When I was younger, the movie frustrated me with its calmness and lack of momentum. This time around it was reposeful like a warm blanket (like your Grandma's :) ). Sometimes that's enough and welcomed--I think my age is showing.
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Sandy

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Re: Sandy Faces the Music
« Reply #67 on: February 16, 2012, 03:01:36 PM »
Across the Universe



I'm starting with fliegeresque faces and will continue letting pictures speak, since I'm a little comma phobic today.  ;)

Best Use of Choreography


This whole sequence is beyond creative.


Two frenetic dancers. I'd throw my back out trying this kind of stuff.

Best Use of Lyrics


And when the broken hearted people
Living in the world agree
There will be an answer, let it be.


I WANT YOU


She's so heavy


Open up your eyes


Look around round round


Because the wind is high it blows my mind


Always, no sometimes, think it's me


But if you go carrying pictures of chairman Mao
You ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow


Jai Guru Deva, om


Mother Superior jumped the gun


(no lyrics, just crescendo)


Juday, Juday, Juday, Juday!

Best Scene Transitions


Hands and metal


Plastic wrap

Addendum


Now that's a kiss.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2018, 01:30:38 PM by Sandy »
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smirnoff

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Re: Sandy Faces the Music
« Reply #68 on: February 16, 2012, 03:59:37 PM »
That looks mad!

side note: an old girlfriend sat me down to watch Brigadoon once. It was a long time favourite of hers and the first time for me. I nodded off, but to the film's credit she didn't even notice. Even after all those viewings it still kept her full attention. :)

Corndog

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Re: Sandy Faces the Music
« Reply #69 on: February 16, 2012, 04:23:12 PM »
I won't be doing a review proper for Across the Universe because I have already seen that one a few years back. One of my good friends in college was a huge Beatles fan, as I am too, so she had me watch it with her. I was sort of middling on my response to the film.

The things I liked: The actors, whom I thought did a good job with their characters
The music, obvi, they used it pretty well with the story
The cinematography, which I thought was beautiful

The things I didn't really like: The narrative felt too haphazard to cater to getting as many Beatle classics in as possible
And in relation to that thought, it was a little too weird for my liking

I liked it at the end of the day, and probably because I am such a huge Beatles fan. Did you notice how Prudence comes in through the bathroom window? I thought it was a nice touch. Little things like that.

Plus it has ! which features Jude reading a newspaper just before the "I read the news today" part.

I'd probably go with ***
"Time is the speed at which the past decays."