My Favorite Musicals

Saturday, May 22, 2010 8:18 PM By Simon

Over at Encore's World of Film & TV, the eponymous Encore asks us, people with blogs and unwarranted pretension, to boast the praises of our very favorite musicals. I, being a rebel, yo, have decided to do more than one, because there are so many I hold dear to my heart.

Don't know what I'm gonna do next.

And, so, anyways, my loves, I shall begin.

Pierrot le fou. A recent viewing, a kind gift/loan/whatever from CinemaScream, this I count as a musical for its two instances of random song, accompanied by spontaneous choreography and light piano. The saga of a bored married man, Ferdinand turned fugitive with a former flame, who decides to call him Pierrot, much to his chagrin. Always something of a farcical road movie, ending in a bit of tragedy, but still rather slapstick. Fantastic, mesmerizing (despite, as I assume ya'll know, shitty subtitles), surreal, colorful in that way only Godard in a good mood and the sixties can produce. Aided by the fanciful performance of Anna Karina and the half-lovestruck, half-bemused Jean-Paul Belmondo, an unexpectedly catchy song is performed by the two, that might've been an in-character way to pass celluloid had not been for the burst of music the background.

The other, a bouncy serenade from Karina to Belmondo in the beginning, is not as memorable, after you've gotten past the whole movie in between it and 'Ma ligne de chance', but while it lasts, it's pretty awesome.

And then, of course, there was:

I expressed all my feelings for this beautiful film here, but if ye need more, do take a look at 'Rozanne':


Oh, I know. I could've picked Sweeney Todd, Rent, Chicago, the delightful Reefer Madness, even Hedwig and the Angry Inch, my love. But none of those have Marion Cotillard out-acting every other chump in the room, my favorite being this painfully vulnerablen number:

And, at last,

The epitome of heartbreaking, friends. It's a shame Lars von Trier terrorized Bjork into acting retirement, because she could've been great, okay? Here, she plays Selma, a single mother going blind and trying to make enough money to protect her son from the same fate. And she's amazing. She, her character, remains chipper past all her hardships (and, oh shit, are there many), an undeniably innocent character swallowed up by the vicious caricature of the American system von Trier paints, a victim of cirmumstance who is too nice for her own good. Her brutal fate is sealed by her unwavering optimism, it may seem, as evidenced in 'I've Seen It All', where her neighbor, vaguely-love interest asks her regrets:

And that is all, folks. Peace out.


Frank said...

You are my new favorite person. I absolutley loved "Nine" and thought it got a really unfair deal. I felt it captured 8 1/2 and I just loved the look and feel of the film. Excellent post, yo

May 22, 2010 at 9:37 PM
D Swizzle said...

Hey, Frank, you back off. I claim favorite person by genetic default.

May 22, 2010 at 10:12 PM
Frank said...

Oh my goodness a sibling...?

May 23, 2010 at 8:23 AM
Robert said...

Great, great post. Marion kills in Nine and Bjork is just mindblowing in Dancer...I really wish she would act again, or at least write a few more movie scores!!!

May 23, 2010 at 7:25 PM
Patricia ~ The Naked Writer said...

I have been trying to download dancer in the dark forever now but my connection is uber badly want to see that one and now more than ever with that review...thanks for the awesome post! i am a movie whore! ummm well not like that...i just am addicted to watching movies is all, but for free, so my previous statement about being a movie whore makes no sense at all...the end

May 23, 2010 at 10:33 PM
Anonymous said...

I don't think a movie surprised me more than Moulin Rouge! did. I went in expecting something terrible, but it melted even my cold hard heart.

May 24, 2010 at 4:14 PM
D Swizzle said...

Dancer in the Dark as a whole I thought was pretty mediocre, one of those kind that just relish in bad things happening to good people. But Bijork's preformance saved that fucker.

Nine belonged to Marion Cotillard. I don't even know why Penelope Cruz was nominated for ONCE AGAIN playing the spicy seductress. I mean, really.

May 24, 2010 at 5:42 PM
Andrew K. said...

I guess you really can't make up your mind... I guess I should see Pierret Le Fou...I do love all things Le Francais.

May 27, 2010 at 6:06 PM
Ruben Romero said...

I could slop BBQ sauce all over Anna Karina and eat her with a side of cole slaw. She is soooo gorgeous in that wabi sabi kinda way. How about the dance number from Band of Outsiders. Grrrrruff!

June 1, 2010 at 2:34 PM
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