FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #7: 42nd Street [1933]

“Jones and Barry are doing a show” For being the American Film Institute’s 13th best musical on its 2006 list, 42nd Street is surprisingly devoid of song. Depicting the behind the scenes comings and goings of a big scale production, the fact its subject is a musical seems more relevant than it being one itself. […]

FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #6: Hairspray [2007]

“Good Morning Baltimore” Boy does the trailer for Hairspray really forget mentioning exactly what it’s about. Going through its beats, the advertisement talks about its young star Nikki Blonsky and her character Tracy Turnblad’s dreams of overcoming her weight and society’s bigotry to seize her dreams, dance on TV, and get her man. The jokes, […]

REVIEW: The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert [1994]

“Bernice has left her cake out in the rain” Based The road trip comedy is a staple in the cinematic world and I’m sure some would be quick to state how, “if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all”. However, I’d be surprised if those same people have ever seen anything as uniquely eccentric as […]

BNFF11 REVIEW: The Beast Pageant [2010]

“Sometimes you gotta feed the serpent its own damn tail” The love child of David Lynch and Michel Gondry has been born in Rochester, NY and its name is The Beast Pageant. Screening at the Buffalo Niagara Film Festival, Albert Birney and Jon Moses’s film is obtuse, inventive, funny, and more than it appears on […]

REVIEW: Heavy Metal Parking Lot [1986]

“Yeah, I’m on acid man, that’s where I am …” You hear the praise about John Heyn and Jeff Krulik’s Heavy Metal Parking Lot and think it can’t be true. A 16-minute videotaped documentary about the Metalheads waiting for a Judas Priest/Dokken concert at the Capital Centre in Landover, Maryland can’t be this religious experience […]

FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #5: Oliver! [1968]

“Who will buy my sweet red roses?” While I’m reasonably sure I have never seen Carol Reed’s Oscar winning Oliver!, I do recall attending a live performance of it during elementary school. If you asked me two and a half hours ago to give a summation or describe my favorite moments, I would have returned […]

FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #4: The Music Man [1962]

“You have trouble folks, right here in River City” Could Harold Hill be the best con man in cinema history? A man never for a loss of words, Robert Preston’s rendition of The Music Man puts forth a gentleman of great art, tastes, and disarming charm who is both loathsome and irresistible once you find […]

FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #3: Kiss Me Kate [1953]

“You louse!” I’m a sucker for multi-layered films depicting simultaneous stories at once, juxtaposing onstage performances with the backstage antics of the actors involved. Kiss Me Kate, screenplay by Dorothy Kingsley and music by Cole Porter, shows the theatrical opening inter-workings of a stage musical, by the same name, styled on William Shakespeare’s The Taming […]

FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #2: Show Boat [1936]

“Just one big happy family” Based on Edna Ferber’s novel, the James Whale directed and Oscar Hammerstein II scripted Show Boat concerns the show-biz family of Magnolia Hawks and how her life is forever changed once a sheltered childhood makes way for international success. Ushered in by a nicely animated credit sequence of cardboard dancers […]

FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #1: The Jazz Singer [1927]

“A jazz singer—singing to his God” Mirroring the actual life of star Al Jolson, playwright Samson Raphaelson wrote The Jazz Singer about a young Jewish performer who was cast out of his own home for choosing jazz over the traditional synagogue hymns taught to him by his Cantor father. Gone for years to try his […]

REVIEW: Shall We Dance [1937]

“The first time I’m in love, I’m in love with you” They just don’t make movies like this anymore and there definitely isn’t a comparable screen duo working today. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers collaborated on an astounding ten films together; most described jokingly by my friends as having the same plot and being mere […]