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Dangerous Rhythm: Why Movie Musicals Matter

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en Limba Engleză Hardback – 31 Jul 2014
Singin' in the Rain, The Sound of Music, Camelot--love them or love to hate them, movie musicals have been a major part of all our lives. They're so glitzy and catchy that it seems impossible that they could have ever gone any other way. But the ease in which they unfold on the screen is deceptive. Dorothy's dream of finding a land "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" was nearly cut, and even a film as great as The Band Wagon was, at the time, a major flop.

In Dangerous Rhythm: Why Movie Musicals Matter, award winning historian Richard Barrios explores movie musicals from those first hits, The Jazz Singer and Broadway Melody, to present-day Oscar winners Chicago and Les Mis rables. History, film analysis, and a touch of backstage gossip combine to make Dangerous Rhythm a compelling look at musicals and the powerful, complex bond they forge with their audiences. Going behind the scenes, Barrios uncovers the rocky relationship between Broadway and Hollywood, the unpublicized off-camera struggles of directors, stars, and producers, and all the various ways by which some films became our most indelible cultural touchstones -- and others ended up as train wrecks.

Not content to leave any format untouched, Barrios examines animated musicals and popular music with insight and enthusiasm. Cartoons have been intimately connected with musicals since Steamboat Willie. Disney's short Silly Symphonies grew into the instant classic Snow White, which paved the way for that modern masterpiece, South Park: Bigger, Longer, & Uncut. Without movie musicals, Barrios argues, MTV would have never existed. On the flip side, without MTV we might have been spared Evita.

Informed, energetic, and humorous, Dangerous Rhythm is both an impressive piece of scholarship and a joy to read.

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ISBN-13: 9780199973842
ISBN-10: 0199973849
Pagini: 288
Ilustrații: 20 halftones
Dimensiuni: 163 x 237 x 25 mm
Greutate: 0.54 kg
Editura: Oxford University Press
Colecția OUP USA
Locul publicării: New York, United States


This is a book by someone who is indeed captivated: a love letter for the best of musical cinema and a blown raspberry for the worst...
Richard Barrios's survey of the genre dives vividly into all its contradictions, its seemingly accidental triumphs, and its most effortful, well-meant failures. He knows the litany of films inside out, and there's not much that gets past him: the book is somewhere between a stern celebration and a wake...He has sharp words for every scar on his weathered, ageing, occasionally miraculous art form. And rightly so.
Barrios knows his stuff, and musical film aficionados are well advised to get a hold of Dangerous Rhythm. He combines vast knowledge of the subject with tangy writing, resulting in a hard-to-put-down read.
Few people can discuss early-talkie musicals and television's Glee with equal authority. Richard Barrios sees it all as part of a continuum, which is what makes his wide-ranging book so relevant. His sense of humor and lively prose style transform a scholarly treatise into a highly enjoyable reading experience.
Simultaneously a rigorous dissection of and a valentine to the movie musical.
[A] hugely readable, authoritative meditation on the Hollywood musical.
[Barrios] writes about his subject authoritatively...and always directly. He does so with an absence of heavy theorizing and an abundance of strong opinions. Part of what makes Dangerous Rhythm enjoyable to read is its idiomatic prose.
Barrios knows this material inside out, which allows him to step back to make often inspired observations.
Over the years, there have been many books written about the American film musical, ranging from the superficial to the academically analytical. Few have the sheer readability - and concentrated insight - of Dangerous Rhythm, an enjoyable (and highly informative) volume.

Notă biografică

Richard Barrios worked in the music and film industries before turning to film history with the award-winning A Song in the Dark and Screened Out. He lectures extensively and appears frequently on television and in film and DVD documentaries. Born in the swamps of south Louisiana and a longtime resident of New York City, he now lives in bucolic suburban Philadelphia.