Musical's posts - English uPOST

Half a Story, but with Singing Half a Story, but with Singing

Let’s assume the argument about prostitution was settled hundreds of years ago, then let’s make a musical comedy with an extremely superficial version of the argument. I can imagine this was the pitch for 1982's The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, and possibly for the stage musical it’s based on, though apparently…

The Mask Behind the Mask The Mask Behind the Mask

Well, in case you hadn’t figured it out, yesterday’s post was also my midterm for my Milton class. I ran out of time to make a separate blog entry here and there were formatting problems on the school site where the assignment was supposed to be uploaded so I cross posted it here. I spent more time than I meant to on…

Why Do Complicated Things Happen to
Simple People? Why Do Complicated Things Happen to Simple People?

Why does fate unite a handsome, brilliant, selfless Doctor with a beautiful, self-sacrificing, gentle hearted nurse only to have her fall prey to the same congenital heart condition that brought them together when it killed her mother and have her get in a train wreck and appear to be dead long enough so that he…

The Creation has Legs The Creation has Legs

The greatness of some films seems like a matter of destiny, of some larger organic force unexplained by the sum of its parts. And I’m certainly not suggesting anything’s wrong with the parts of 1975’s The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Its parts are well formed, firm, tastefully lit, and sensitive. But nonetheless it…

The Occasionally Disobedient Marie The Occasionally Disobedient Marie

Everyone loves Marie, a.k.a. Marietta, in 1935’s Naughty Marietta. She’s gracious, beautiful, a princess, and has a lovely singing voice. It’s not because she wears gowns that tend not to adhere to her chest very well.

Some Things are Exciting to Lose Some Things are Exciting to Lose

Manipulative deception has rarely been so seductive or funny as it is in 1930's Monte Carlo. An early Ernst Lubitsch talkie and one of the first movie musicals, it's a good example of the unabashed sexual innuendo distinctive of Lubitsch and his comedy that in turns relies on people being a bit simple and a bit…

More Asses More Asses

"Follow your bliss" is a mantra that is unfortunately the best known thing about the late mythologist Joseph Campbell. He derived the expression from studying the Upanishads, ancient texts that were a major part of the formation of Hinduism, so perhaps it's natural that a Bollywood film, 2009's 3 Idiots, would…

Ill Fitting Humanity Ill Fitting Humanity

One perennial problem with a society that strictly prescribes degrees of sexual freedom among its strata is that inconvenient babies tend to result. There are a lot of stories around this topic, 1972's Pakeezah (Pure) is a beautiful one with lovely cinematography and set design and great musical numbers.

Wine Against Life, Money Against Beauty Wine Against Life, Money Against Beauty

There's an aesthetic to feudalism, to king and serf social contracts, that's seductive like religion. Not just from a compulsion to ascribe order to the universe, but simply in the idea of some people living in beauty and luxury, being closer to divinity than the common people. 1962's Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (…

Hail, Mahakala--Especially In the Form of a Bombshell Witch Hail, Mahakala--Especially In the Form of a Bombshell Witch

Before discussing 1988's Veerana, my final horror film of Halloween, I want to take a cue from the opening title cards and caution everyone reading that I will be discussing a work of fiction. The film deals with "evil powers, spirits, and witches . . . none of which have any place in our modern world." We are advised…

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