Museum of the Moving Image Launches SEE IT BIG! Musicals Series with ALL THAT JAZZ on 1/24
The Museum of the Moving Image's popular series See It Big! will turn its focus to the movie musical with a fourteen-film celebration of the genre, from January 24 through February 28, 2014. Musicals are, by their very nature, filled with spectacle. They are heightened forms of storytelling, in which the narrative is amplified by song and dance, where characters express their innermost feelings in the most extravagant ways imaginable. It is a genre that celebrates excess and stylization, and the best examples of the form can only be truly enjoyed... big!
Among the titles are two of the first films produced at the rejuvenated Astoria studio-across the street from the Museum-in the 1970s: Series opener All That Jazz (1979) is choreographer and director Bob Fosse's largely autobiographical tour de force featuring a lithe and passionate Roy Scheider as Fosse's alter ego (January 24); The Wiz (1978), directed by Sidney Lumet, reimagines The Wizard of Oz in a gritty urban fantasy land and stars Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, and Nipsey Russell (February 7). Production materials from The Wiz are currently on view at the Museum in Lights, Camera, Astoria!, an exhibition exploring the history of the Astoria studio (on view through February 9), and also in the core exhibition Behind the Screen.
Two other 1970s musicals also feature in the series. Cabaret (1972), another acclaimed Bob Fosse picture, starring Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey, won all three of them Academy Awards, and features John Kander and Fred Ebb's rousing show tunes for a tale set in Berlin on the eve of Hitler's rise to power (February 21). New York, New York (1977), also starring Liza Minnelli with Robert De Niro, is Martin Scorsese's dramatically powerful ode to classic MGM musicals and 1940s jazz; the title song, written for Minnelli by Kander and Ebb, was the film's grand finale and, became arguably the most beloved song about New York City (February 28).
All That Jazz
FRIDAY, JANUARY 24, 7:00 P.M.
Dir. Bob Fosse. 1979, 123 mins. New DCP restoration. With Roy Scheider, Ann Reinking, Ben
Vereen. Fosse's dazzling, partly autobiographical, partly fantastical musical, largely filmed at
the Astoria studio, is an interiorized epic, starring a never-better Scheider as Fosse's alter ego,
Joe Gideon, a boozy, pill-addled choreographer negotiating a love life and a career. The
footwork is as astonishing as the self-critique. It is an enveloping sensory experience, brilliantly
shot and edited.
The Sound of Music
SATURDAY, JANUARY 25, 2:00 P.M.
Dir. Robert Wise. 1965, 174 mins. DCP. With Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Eleanor
Parker. At the time of its release the most financially successful film ever made after Gone with
the Wind, Wise's spectacular adaptation of the Rodgers and Hammerstein Broadway show is
one of cinema's greatest musical extravaganzas. Julie Andrews gives an iconic performance as
a novice nun whose life changes when sent to care for the bratty children of a handsome
military captain (Plummer) on the heels of World War II. The Sound of Music bursts with
unforgettable songs and glorious CinemaScope images shot on location in Salzburg, Austria.
An American in Paris
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 4:00 P.M.Dir. Vincente Minnelli. 1951, 113 mins. 35mm. With Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, Oscar Levant. Minnelli'sbreathtaking Best Picture winner stars theever-captivating Kelly asa painterstrugglingto make ends meet in the city of light. With a thrillingall-Gershwin score and aspectacularly designed, climactic dream ballet sequence shot bythebrilliant cinematographerJohn Alton, An American in Parisis pure cinematic bliss and a musical movie landmark filledwith such Gershwin gems as "I Got Rhythm,""'S Wonderful," "Our Love Is Here to Stay" and "I'llBuild a Stairway toParadise."
The Pajama Game
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 7:00P.M.Dir. Stanley Donen, George Abbott. 1957, 101 mins. 16mm. With Doris Day, John Raitt, CarolHaney. Can management (John Raitt) and labor (Doris Day) co-existat the Sleep-Tite Pajama Factory in Cedar Rapids, Iowa? Perhapsthe most scintillatingentertainment about unionization ever made, this high-powered musicalfeatures typically energetic direction byStanley Donen, dazzling and instantly recognizable choreography by a young Bob Fosse, songs like"Hernando's Hideaway" and "Steam Heat," and Doris Day ather best.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 23,6:00P.M.Dir. James Whale. 1936, 113 mins. 35mm. With Irene Dunne, Paul Robeson, Allan Jones, HelenMorgan, Hattie McDaniel. A great American saga, Show Boatfollowsthe lives of the performersand workers on The Cotton Blossom, a Mississippi River showboat, over40 years. Expressivelyadaptedfor the screenby James Whale, thisJeromeKern-Oscar Hammerstein musical wasconsidered radicalat thetime for its serioustreatment of race. Paul Robeson's"Ol' Man River"is the most famous of itsmany great musical numbers.
NewYork, New York
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 7:00 P.M.Dir. Martin Scorsese. 1977, 164 mins. 35mm. With Robert De Niro, LizaMinnelli. Scorsese's odeto classic MGM musicals and 1940s jazz marked adeparture of sortsfor him, combininghisgritty hard-boiled realism (he had just madeTaxi Driver) with a celebration of the surrealartificiality of Hollywood.Minnelli belts out the now-classictitle song in a show-stoppingfinale.
Museum of the Moving Image (movingimage.us) advances theunderstanding, enjoyment, and appreciation of the art, history, technique, andtechnology offilm, television, anddigitalmedia. In itsexpanded and renovated facilities-acclaimed for both itsaccessibility and bold design-the Museum presents exhibitions; screenings of significant works; discussion programsfeaturing
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