#12 – “Singin’ in the Rain”

I’m not exactly sure what to say about this reading because it’s a pretty straightforward dissection of the film (not much you couldn’t discern on your own) but goddamn is that film great.  I haven’t seen it for quite some time and maybe it’s just because I’ve been watching two classes worth of classical Hollywood films and I’m just mentally embedded in that style right now, but I thoroughly loved watching Singin’ in the Rain just now.  It’s just so packed with clever little conceits for the scenes, and each number just packs in more and more spectacle when you think it can’t get any more extravagant than it already has.  And that “imagined” scene (within the “Broadway Rhythm” medley) with the expansive set and the super-long sash is insanely beautiful.

It’s really interesting to see that Hollywood could rather cleverly and insightfully comment on itself while still presenting that perfectly packaged, seamless, assembly-line entertainment that the classical era is known for.  And narrative here often halts for spectacle (they LOVE tap dancing), but it never feels jarring as in 42nd Street.  Now I loved that film as well, but it does something much more abstract and surreal (these aren’t the right words…I almost want to say subversive…at least against the norm), and Singin’ in the Rain presents copious amounts of dazzling spectacle without straying from it’s incredibly sense of craft and charm.  I realize this isn’t really a response to the reading, but mostly the reading is just an analysis of how the movie comments on history…so I think I addressed this.  Anyway, looking forward to writing a screening response on this one.