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Was Busby Berkeley from Mars? Home Video think so. They praise the legendary choreographer and director's kaleidoscopic musical sequences, marveling at how the guy was able to do such visionary work without any formal dance training.
This post is a belated! Check this post for links to all the punctual entries. Berkeley had a prolific career as a film choreographer and director both before and after the Code, though his style went through significant shifts throughout the years. He gained immense popularity among the post-Depression audiences through a string of hits that included 42nd Street and Gold Diggers ofand lots and lots of legs.
The alliterative, musical name Busby Berkeley — is now so synonymous with a particular method of staging and filming elaborate dance numbers that—like his people-as-patterns routines—the man and his work have collapsed into a single gestalt. The Berkeley effect extended well beyond the musical and impacted all of cinema. After attending a military academy, he proceeded to move up and up in the shoe business in Athol, Massachusetts.
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A must. Considering the way things are around the world as I write this post, those old Berkeley flicks may once again serve as a welcome respite from reality. Parking is available in the lot under the theater.
King Kong — One of the first films to utilize sound effects to create a fantasy world, as well as the movie soundtrack as we know it today. Have you ever seen that movie where the musical score seems to be carrying the entire emotional burden of the film? That scene where a character is starring off into the distance while the music does the actual emoting?
A new West End production of 42nd Street opens this month and its mix of high glamour and romantic nostalgia may prove a fitting escapist fantasy for our uncertain times. Inthe original movie was designed to beguile and distract a suffering US. Warner Brothers were taking something of a punt on Berkeley, who had no formal dance training and whose first experience of choreography had been organising marching drills during the first world war.