Projections: Depression Era Musicals

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

We’ll look at how musicals of the 1930’s shaped and were influenced by the political and economic realities of the time. Leonard talks to Daniel Eagan, author of America’s Film Legacy, coming out from Continuum Books, and a film critic at Film Journal, and Jonathan Kahana, associate film professor at NYU.

We'll be screening Busby Berkeley's "Gold Diggers of 1933" tonight, April 14th at the Galapagos Art Space in DUMBO. It's free but RSVP at soon, space is limited! The four films we’ll be looking at are:

“Gold Diggers of 1933”

“42nd Street”

“Footlight Parade”

“Flying Down to Rio”


Daniel Eagan and Jonathan Kahana,

Comments [6]

axelrodh from NJ

I loved the discussion about the depression era musicals. I just wish that there was a bit more about "Flying Down to Rio". This musical was different not only in location and gimmicks, but had a very different message. The message was focused on individuals: how with pluck and talent you can succeed in overcoming obstacles and win in life. This message was refined and crystallized in the subsequent Astaire-Rogers movies. I wish that you had time to include that.

Apr. 14 2009 06:05 PM
v from NYC

...and comparing Wendy and Lucy to Sullivan's Travels?! Are you insane?

Apr. 14 2009 02:42 PM
v from NYC

Unbelievable! Fascist?! "you can only see it from the rafters." BB understood the film medium and appealed to people that could pay a dime for entertainment, not the snobs paying for a Broadway show. Yeah, from the rafters! Political? What does that mean?
Sexual yes, but creating political conspiracies out of a BB production is absurd.

Apr. 14 2009 02:39 PM

Will you be doing a similar retrospective on the early 80s recession? I nominate for 1980 CaddyShack. It displays the class divides at the time that we see today.

And, I would also look at the 1982 film Porky's. It was released during a rough recession and took place in 1954 when the USA was going through a recession.

Apr. 14 2009 01:37 PM
Francis Zuccarello from NYC

Please don't mention The Fascist Aesthetic.

Apr. 14 2009 01:13 PM

Are all the movies considered from 1933? If you get to 1935, will you consider the movie "Top Hat" with Fred Astair and Ginger Rogers (1935) considered?

Apr. 14 2009 12:07 PM

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