Saturday, May 7, 2011

(f)red alert!

    Dear Harriet Walter,

    I've had a disgustingly busy and tiring week, but now I'm shivering at home with a cold coming on so I am going to tell you all about the three new-to-me Fred Astaire movies I've seen recently.

    (Today is also the one-year-anniversary of my having seen my very first Fred (and Ginger) movie. Huzzah.)

    Two-sentence-reviews each, I think. I'm not going to give plot synopses because they bore me.

    Royal Wedding (1951, directed by Stanley Donen)

    Charming, funny and comfortably forgettable.

    Also, Fred Astaire dancing on the walls and ceiling because he's in love.

    Silk Stockings (1957, directed by Rouben Mamoulian and also starring Cyd Charisse)

    Sometimes very funny, sometimes rather corny, I liked this movie a lot but it bothered me a bit because it has serious problems with its attitudes towards women, to say nothing of the disrespect for public utilities. The Cole Porter score is generally amazing except for the staggeringly sexist "Without Love", the lyrics of which make it hard to believe this film only came out about half a century ago.

taken from the awesome tumblr astairewashere.

    Finian's Rainbow (1968, directed by Francis Ford Coppola of all people)

    Notwithstanding the occasional presence of a charming-if-aged faux-Irish Fred Astaire, this movie is so unspeakably bad that during the two and a half hours my mother and I watched it, my eyeballs gradually withered and began to crawl back into my skull, until they realized that even the darkest darkness inside my body could never enable them to un-see what they were seeing; at that point, they attempted suicide by launching themselves through any passage they could find until they got to my throat, where they burst into flames and dived down to my stomach, hoping for sweet acidic death, but the gory flaming eyeballs proved too much for my already highly nauseated stomach and I ended up violently vomiting out my own charred, bloody eyes along with chunks of my stomach lining all over my own lap, before collapsing in a fitful heap of weeping and gnashing of teeth whilst black blood seeped out of my ears and slowly trickled down to join the oozing mess of escapist body parts already soaking my formerly nice gray skirt. Would not recommend this film.

My face during the whole thing.

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