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5 items from 2011

MGM musicals: All singing, all dancing

10 November 2011 4:06 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

MGM meant musicals for more than a decade after the second world war. David Thomson looks at a time when a little cheer at the movies was appreciated – and wonders if the same couldn't be said now

There had been musicals before. In the 1930s, as soon as sound permitted, Warner Brothers developed what we call the Busby Berkeley pictures: they were black and white, and often aware of the harsh Depression times, but a choreographic lather of girls and fluid, orgasmic forms where the camera was itching to plunge into the centre of the "big O" – think of Footlight Parade, Gold Diggers of 1933 or 42nd Street. They had aerial shots of waves and whirlpools of chorus girls, opening and closing their legs in time with our desire. A few years later, at Rko Pictures, the Astaire-Rogers films came into being – where the gravity, beauty, and exhilaration of the »

- David Thomson

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Judy Fest: "The Harvey Girls"

8 August 2011 4:15 PM, PDT | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

Silly me. I had the greatest time at the Judy Garland festival at Lincoln Center this week and the movie I didn't write about Presenting Lily Mars was probably my favorite viewing experience. Rent it! Judy was just so funny in it, it was really charming and I liked her chemistry with Van Heflin (I confess I had to look him up since Shane had slipped my mind and I'd never seen his Best Supporting Actor Oscar performance for Johnny Eager (1941). Have any of you seen that one? Is it worth checking out?

But enough about Lily Mars... on to Judy in another incarnation. The Lincoln Center portion of the festival ends tomorrow though the celebration continues at the Paley Center for Television (since Judy did a lot of variety work on TV in the 50s). The last two films I caught were period musicals and here's the first of them. »


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Hallelujah! A Judy Garland Retrospective

31 July 2011 9:50 AM, PDT | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

The Lincoln Center and the Paley Center here in NYC have joined forces to celebrate the all-singing all-dancing legend that is Judy Garland

Shout 'Hallelujah', c'mon get happy!"

Once upon a time she was dubbed "The World's Greatest Entertainer." Few celebrities have ever earned their PR self-mythologizing titles the way Judy G did. There's just no beating her for musical pleasure and cathartic heartbreak. And as if her sensational singing and dancing weren't enough, she was a fine actress, too!

I missed the first week of the celebration being in Michigan but I'll see what I can catch for the remainder of the summer program which ends August 9th. If you're not in New York City, you can always follow along at home as best you can with an impromptu DVD festival.


Still to come in the festival are...

Young Judy:

Everybody Sing (1938), For Me and My Gal (1942), Presenting Lily Mars »


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All Singin., All Dancin., All Judy! July 26 – August 9

10 June 2011 3:16 PM, PDT | | See recent news »

Impressive retrospective of Judy Garland.s films will feature 31 titles including a presentation of seldom seen short films and rarities as well as a special .sing-along. screening of The Wizard Of Oz.

On the occasion of what would have been Judy Garland.s 89th birthday, the Film Society of Lincoln Center and The Paley Center have announced the details today for Fslc.s comprehensive retrospective of the peerless film icon.s work, All Singin., All Dancin., All Judy! which will screen at the Walter Reade Theater July 26 . August 9 and The Paley Center.s comprehensive retrospective of Garland.s television work,Judy Garland: The Television Years which will be presented July 20 . August 18.

With autumn marking the 75th anniversary of Judy Garland’s feature film debut (Pigskin Parade, 1936), the Film Society of Lincoln Center will screen 31 titles from July 26 . August 9, including each of her big-screen acting performances, to pay tribute to »

- Melissa Howland

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Angela Lansbury's dream of a return to her mother's West End roots

30 April 2011 4:04 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Visiting the UK in tribute to her Labour leader grandfather, the Murder, She Wrote star reveals hope of capping her Hollywood career by appearing on the West End stage her mother once performed on

One of Britain's brightest and most durable stars of stage and screen, Angela Lansbury, is hoping to round off her Hollywood and Broadway career with a theatrical run on the West End stage where her mother performed.

"I really would love to play the Theatre Royal Haymarket, because that is where my mother played," she said. "It nearly happened last year, and if that venue could be guaranteed I would come. I only want someone to make the offer."

Lansbury, 85, is due to return to her native Britain next week to celebrate the life of her grandfather, George Lansbury, a founder of the Labour party. On the eve of her visit, she talked to the Observer about her English heritage, »

- Vanessa Thorpe

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