Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Singin' in the Rain

1952, US, directed by Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly

Or, the continued effort to introduce my nearly-three-year-old son to the classics. This went down a treat: I doubt he understood much about the silent-to-sound storyline but there are so few breaks in the song and dance action that he rarely had time to think about the plot (and he loved every single second that Donald O'Connor was onscreen). The longest number did try his patience somewhat: it's more abstract and considerably less amusing than the vaudeville-esque earlier pieces, and while stunningly beautiful I can see how it might lose a small child. As with most films we show him, we broke this up into chunks. We lost track of the overall running time which meant that we inadvertently ended with a twelve- or fifteen-minute section. I'd never noticed before how the film concludes on one of its quietest notes: there's a huge amount of energy in the first hour, followed by the artistic climax before it sort of peters out, an effect that's far more pronounced when you're not recovering from the wonders that come immediately before. Of course, it deserves to be watched in a single setting, and we'll get there...

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Boston, Massachusetts, United States