film meme » three genres [2/3]: musicals
Musicals / Dance Films are cinematic forms that emphasize and showcase full-scale song and dance routines in a significant way (usually with a musical or dance performance as part of the film narrative, or as an unrealistic “eruption” within the film). Or they are films that are centered on combinations of music, dance, song or choreography. In traditional musicals, cast members are ones who sing. Musicals highlight various musical artists or dancing stars, with lyrics that support the story line, often with an alternative, escapist vision of reality - a search for love, success, wealth, and popularity. This genre has been considered the most escapist of all major film genres. Tremendous film choreography and orchestration often enhances musical numbers.
Important to note:
The Jazz Singer (1927): a landmark film, was the first full-length, revolutionary ‘talkie’ (with speech and song). It was a “musical” of sorts. Contrary to popular belief, it was not the first sound feature film, since it was mostly silent, and it was not the first Hollywood musical (The Broadway Melody (1929) holds that honor). It was also not the first instance of sound-on-film.
The 1930s were considered the beginning of the “Golden Age of the Musical” with a greater variety of musical vehicles and stars. Musical arrangers, song-writers, conductors, and dance instructors hurried to the West Coast to be part of the onslaught of ‘talking’ musicals. Some of the leading songwriters and lyricists, such as Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, and George Gershwin, began to write original screen musicals or provide words and music. The studio associated with all-star extravaganzas and revue-type productions was MGM.
Some of the most important musicals:
Singin’ in the Rain, West Side Story, The Wizard of Oz, The Sound of Music, Cabaret, Mary Poppins, A Star is Born, My Fair Lady, An American in Paris, Meet me in St. Louis, The King and I, Top Hat, Swing Time, 42nd Street, Funny Girl, Guys and Dolls, Show Boat, Cover Girl, Easter Parade, Gold Diggers of 1933, Gypsy, White Christmas, Maytime, Shall We Dance [x]