Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Busby Berkeley Choreographs "Dames" (1934)

Smiling Dick Powell sings the praises of Dames. Busby Berkeley began his career as a military drill lieutenant where he learned how to make patterns with large obedient crowds. His dance experience came on the job, first for Broadway musicals, then Hollywood, where he found the ideal medium for his singular genius. By moving the camera up, down and all around (extremely rare in the 30s), he created chorus-girl mandalas that still amaze and make me slightly queasy at times. One thing's for sure--the guy liked the dames.

Note the heavy Buz influence in the Coen brothers' cult classic The Big Lebowski. Jeff Bridges = National Treasure.

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