Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Three for the Dance


Not so long ago, I attended a screening at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art of Powell and Pressburger's The Tales of Hoffman. Overall, the experience was a disappointment. I failed to note beforehand that they'd being showing the film on video. The picture and sound quality left much to be desired, but that couldn't detract from the work of Moira Shearer, screen goddess. The woman is impossible to look away from, the very definition of poise and grace. At the end of her "Doll's Song" performance, the audience burst into applause:


I suppose I love an underdog, so all due respect to the very worthy Fred and Ginger, but my heart belongs to Fred and Kay.

Fred Astaire was pushing 60 and Kay Thompson was just under 50 when they co-starred in Funny Face. It's not every movie musical romance that lets its superstar ingenue (Audrey Hepburn) disappear for a bit while the two middle-aged pros hoof it in a showstopper. The Gap recently revived interest in Hepburn's easily lovable beatnik bar dance number, but I go for the admittedly not-so-innovative-but-a-helluva-lotta fun "Clap Yo' Hands":

Pas de trois

Fuck Baby Mama! The real female buddy comedy to watch and learn from came out in 1997, and it's called Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion. The women here are just as foul-mouthed as any Judd Apatow slacker ("Why don't you go fuck a sheep, or your sister, or yourself?!"), their situation is true to life, and they get away with some blessedly weird moments. Observe the climactic three-way dance scene:

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