Australia is Baz Luhrmann’s Gone With the Wind

Strictly speaking, Baz Luhrmann has made only one musical, the guilty pleasure Moulin Rouge (2001). But, last seen directing Puccini’s opera La Bohème on Broadway, he can’t seem to resist the genre. Strictly Ballroom (1992), Romeo + Juliet (1996), and now Australia all incorporate key elements of the musical: exaggerated emoting, spectacle, and especially, songs. […]

Todd Haynes deconstructs Bob Dylan in I’m Not There

I always find it interesting to ponder my preconceived notions of a movie after I’ve actually seen it. The marketing and buzz on I’m Not There mostly centered on two talking points: the quirky device of multiple actors all playing incarnations of Bob Dylan, and Cate Blanchett being just plain amazing as usual (what else […]

Oi t’ink Tim Burton’s up to summat in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Anyone who’s ever had the misfortune of a conversation about movies with this blogger is no doubt aware that I like musicals about as much as I like biopics. That is to say, not very much. I do, however, love Tim Burton, and count Ed Wood among my personal favorite films. So if he could […]

The World’s Hardest Working Band, The Commitments

The Commitments remains a favorite, even some 17 years after first seeing it in the theater. I’ve owned the soundtrack since then, but for whatever reason, had not revisited one of my favorite films. But having recently seen and loved Once, costarring Commitments alum Glen Hansard, I was inspired to check it out one more […]

Blue Man Group: The Complex Rock Tour Live

This blogger may have to burn his Rock Snob card, for I just watched and enjoyed the Blue Man Group concert film The Complex Rock Tour Live. I’d long assumed that the Blue Man Group’s seemingly permanent residency on Lafayette Street in downtown Manhattan was some kind of tourist trap like Mars 2112 or Jekyll […]

Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová falling slowly in Once

Now this is a musical (of sorts) I can get behind. The unnamed “Guy” (Glen Hansard, already a rock star in The Frames and a movie star from The Commitments) is a street busker, playing popular songs for pennies during the day, and saving his own passionate compositions for the empty streets at night. “Girl” […]

Julie Taymor does The Beatles songbook in Across the Universe

I believe I’m in the minority opinion here, but I really liked Across the Universe. Already loving the songs of the Beatles and the films of Julie Taymor, perhaps I’m predisposed. Taymor rounds up all the usual suspects from the Lennon & McCartney oeuvre: Lucy, Jude, Maxwell (as in “Silver Hammer”), Jo Jo (from “Get […]

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