Tuesday, July 04, 2006

"Now she's queer for Uncle Sam"

Music Video Week

OK, so technically the following is not a music video but what are musical videos other than the evolution of the movie musical? One could argue that musicals never died in popularity but instead they just lost their longform narrative purpose. Anyway -- semantics. People singing! People dancing! Choreography!

"America" is today's video selection. I thought it appropriate given the holiday. This is only one of the greatest musical numbers ever from the greatest musical ever. On every level this piece is a true marvel. It works as old fashioned spectacle, as narrative advancement, as comic relief, and as sociopolitical commentary, too. When it's over I always feel so exhausted with joy that I'm surprised that Rita Moreno and her friends actually laugh rather than collapse on that famous rooftop.

West Side Story links:
Stinky Lulu's ode to Rita Moreno's history making Oscar win.
YouTube -a video from mcas1dans1 that shows how modern the choreography of WSS really is by juxtaposing it with modern dance music. Cool.
The Greatest Films - a synopsis and discussion.


Dr. S said...

Oh, Nathaniel, thanks for posting this clip. I love that dance sequence more than almost any other, anywhere. I wanted to grow up to be Rita Moreno.

Glenn Dunks said...

oh YES! Definitely. This was my #2 in my favourite musical sequences list (El Tango de Roxanne was #1). And the film is a knock-out too.

Rita is just fan-freakin'-tastic

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that clip. I'd forgotten what fabulous choregraphy there was in WSS.

Notas Sobre Creación Cultural e Imaginarios Sociales said...

I did the thing they do on youtube for a school project as well.
Only I used Kylie's "Love at First Sight" you have no idea how awesome they worked together!

Anonymous said...

What a great clip. I wasn't the same after I watched that film my freshman year in high school. Unfortunately, I measured every musical I saw afterwards to this great film.