Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 365: Sun Dec 30

The Wizard of Oz (Fleming, 1939) & Meet Me in St Louis (Minnelli, 1944)
Phoenix Cinema, 12.30pm
A superb Judy Garland double-bill of Christmas favourites.

Chicago Reader reviews by Dave Kehr:

The Wizard of Oz 'Thanks to innumerable childhood viewings, this 1939 film is too firmly planted in my (pre)consciousness for me to find the proper critical distance. In many ways, it's stiff, ersatz, and anonymous in the usual MGM house style of the 30s (though King Vidor, one of several directors who worked on the project, does manage some graceful camera movement in the Munchkin scenes), but frankly I don't care. Those talking trees were a staple of my nightmares for years, and Margaret Hamilton is still my prime mental image of absolute evil. I don't find the film light or joyful in the least—an air of primal menace hangs about it, which may be why I love it.'
Here's a great extract

Meet Me in St Louis 'Vincente Minnelli created one of his masterpieces with this loosely plotted but tightly structured 1944 story of a middle-class family waiting through spring, summer, and fall for the opening of the Saint Louis World's Fair of 1904. One of the first films to integrate musical numbers into the plot, it explores, without condescension or simplemindedness, the feelings that drive the family members apart and then bring them back together again. And there's the sublime Minnellian spectacle of Judy Garland singing "The Trolley Song," "The Boy Next Door," and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." A great film.'
And here's another brilliant scene.

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