Sunday, November 14, 2010

An American in Paris (1951)

I like movies where the city is as much a character as any of the cast, and it seems this musical is going to fit the bill. The movie can be read as a corrective to certain Lost Generation representations of Paris as a place where dreams go to not so much die as slowly decay in a miasma of alcohol and cigarette smoke (looking at you, Hemingway). In Minelli's vision, Paris is a place of where human passions--joy, jealousy, love--merge with the gorgeous visuals and Gershwin songs in riotous color. It's Paris as a flute of fizzy champagne rather than a cynicism cocktail. Cheers!

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