28 February 2010

Bex Prefers Old Movies

Given the choice of films offered by the collected cinemas of London today, I didn't think I would make it to the cinema. Let's see... Micmacs: I've seen the trailer ten times and it annoyed me so much I never want to see the film (as a French film, there is no dialogue in the trailer, just a gravelly American voice-over and an overdose of freakiness and quirkiness; no, I'm not a fan of Jeunet, especially not in Amélie). Capitalism: A Love Story: already seen and already been irritated by Michael Moore's latest polemic (and not just because I was hoping for something better from the LoFiFest surprise film). The Crazies: in another frame of mind, I might have been tempted, but I wasn't in the mood for horror. The Lovely Bones: still putting the inevitable disappointment of this one off. Leap Year, Valentine's Day and all other shite, date-related date movies: no further comment necessary.

Luckily, I can always rely on the BFI to provide a more pleasing cinematic experience and at the moment, they are showing Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. A number of years ago, I would never have believed I would see and enjoy this film. Until a few years ago, I disliked films made before 1990 and especially musicals (or even those with more than one musical number). Since my film epiphany in 2005, however, I have deleted most of my existing movie rules (others included no Kubrick, no black and white, and no silent films) and to my surprise, most of the films I have seen that would previously have excluded have been enjoyable.

I liked GPB although not as much as the rest of the audience (average age 55 and about two thirds male), many of whom spent much of the film laughing loudly and hysterically, slapping their thighs and trying not to induce myocardial infarction with aforementioned hysterical laughter. I didn't quite go that far but I did laugh quite a few times and responded to some of the witty dialogue with an appreciative smile on even more occasions. I didn't even mind that there were five whole songs because, let's face it, GPB wouldn't be the same without them. The person writing the BFI programme notes seems to have been a little confused, however, as the actress playing Dorothy Shaw was named sometimes as Jane Russell and sometimes as Rosalind Russell. Rosalind Russell looked great in 1953, aged 46; however, she did not look like Jane Russell did in 1953!

Pedantry aside, it was good to see something a bit silly and funny for a change, as well as being able to admire Jane, Marilyn and their stunning costumes!

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