Crozzled state of mind.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Super Swing Time

I saw Swing Time on the big screen yesterday, and it was beyond amazing. I've never felt such a huge lump of excitement in my stomach before in my life. Playing the movie on the big screen illuminated the details that are lost in a smaller print. The bigger the better in this case! Fred Astaire's tapping in Bojangles seemed much more thrilling. The kiss scene was fantastic! Everyone was laughing the moment Ginger Rogers looked as if she'd seen a ghost in preparation to kiss Fred.
Another advantage of the big screen was being able to get a better look at the clothing. the texture of the garments was more prominent as well as the details in Ginger's dresses, like the shape of the sleeves and design in the back of the Pick Yourself Up dress. Seeing the silkiness of the Never Gonna Dance dress reaffirmed my desire to have that dress! I could more clearly see the way it was sewn together. So gorgeous! Talk about 'sheer heaven'! I could also study Ginger's often intricate hairstyles. And we mustn't forget her legs, either, which looked great on the big screen. I am very jealous.
It was so wonderful to sit with an audience that clapped and laughed... and had discussions about Ginger Rogers afterward! When Fred prepared for his Bojangles number, I heard a few murmurs, probably in response to the black face. In my opinion, I don't find it terribly offensive since I believe Fred was honouring Bill Robinson, not mocking him.
Never Gonna Dance... I was leaning forward in my seat for the duration of that number. When the two ascended the stairs and the camera panned to the side and zoomed in, I thought I would explode from amazement and jubilance. That dance is so mesmerizing on that huge screen! Not that it isn't anyway, but I felt enveloped by the dance. When Ginger began her 'super spins' (as I like to call them) near the end of the dance, and audience member exclaimed, "Oh my! Holy Jesus!" That was pretty funny and made me smile.
I also saw Bachelor Mother, which was unbelievably thrilling because I could experience Ginger's priceless facial expressions very up close. I could tell other audience members were appreciating her genius as well. David Niven's impression of Ginger dancing squeezed a ton of laughs out of the audience. The New Year's Eve dinner scene was fairly successful as well.

Overall, I think it was worth my time and money to travel and see this. I loved it. I loved the whole experience. I loved the organ player who emerged from below the stage in between acts. I wonder what he did in the meantime to occupy himself while the picture was running? Anyhow, here are some videos:
*For some reason one of the videos refused to upload, which is why "Organist 3" is missing. But I will get that one up somehow, as it is a snippet of 'The Way You Look Tonight' and I'm not giving up on that without a fight.

My camera ran out of memory space at this point :(

Okay hope this works! Organist 3!

*** ***

My picture taking was limited to outside, but here are a few photos:


PS I also overheard some people debating when Ginger was at her skinniest. I think she was pretty thin in Swing Time, but there are some 50s movies where she looks quite slim! What do you think?


jwalker said...

Wow... I am in awe... what a KILLER experience that must have been! ANY movie looks better on the BIG silver screen, in a 'classical' theater!
So, how intense was watching TWO of the best Ginger pix of all time? That is just perfect!!! And to be there with so many 'Gingerologists'
Glad you had such a great experience!

I really need to send a 'request' in or whatever to our local 'classical' theatre to show ANYTHING Ginger and/or Ginger/Fred... they show a lot of great 'classic' (or 'classical', according to my little girl) movies, but...

Alicia said...

I'm glad you had a good time visiting our humble little theater. lol ;)

I understand exactly what you mean about audience reactions and how it makes the films so much more enjoyable. Just being in a room with a bunch of classic film fans is always a great experience. I just love overhearing other people's comments.

Did you ever make it into the poster room the have there? They have all 10 Fred and Ginger posters, and one of them even has Fred's autograph on it!! :D They also have annotated scripts and lobby cards and stuff. And I always love the organ player, too. I always try to go to the Fred and Ginger movies because he plays music from their films during intermission. And its great to watch silent films there because they have the organ accompaniment.

Jennifer said...

Hey Lauren! It's catchypiccolino from YT here. :) I finally decided to start a blog!

What an absolutely AMAZING experience that must have been! You're so lucky! I must say I'm a bit jealous, especially after reading your description of Never Gonna Dance on the big screen. ;)
It's so great watching a classic movie surrounded by other classic film fans in the theatre. That just makes it that much more fun and enjoyable.
Glad to hear you had such a great time! :)


sneakysnoo11 said...

wow.... it sounds AMAZING... I'm sick with jealousy! WHere is this theater, as should I ever make it to the USA, I'll make sure I get in there!

There really is very little like it in the UK... I live in hope that some day someone will open a classic movie dedicated cinema somewhere near me, or at least in London :(

I'm glad you had a goood time :D
Beth xx

Lauren said...

@ jwalker: It was really awesome!!! I hope one day the theatre will do a Ginger marathon! I know they show The Major and The Minor there, and they show a double feature with Chicago (1927) and Roxie Hart. I want to catch both of those.

@ Alicia: It was so good! I'm so jealous you can go every weekend! Yeah I saw the poster room (and decided I want one for my dorm) but I didn't see Fred's signature! Which one is it on?

@ Jennifer: Thanks! And I will check out your blog now.

@ sneakysnoo11: It's called the Stanford Theatre in Northern California. The theatre itself is gorgeous.


Alicia said...

I believe the autograph was on Shall We Dance. It was kind of small and it took me a while to notice it...

In the past they have had two Fred and Ginger marathons. One was a few summers ago where $20 gets you a pass to see all ten films. And the first one way back in 1987 actually was such a big hit that it prompted the restoration of the theater! :D
You're right about the fact that they show The Major and the Minor and Roxie Hart, but I have also seen Monkey Business there too. And lets not forget Gold Diggers and 42nd Street, but its been a while since they played those.

Amanda Cooper said...

Oh, I'm so envious... but glad you were there to enjoy it for all the Ginger fans who couldn't be.

As for Ginger at her skinniest, I haven't really thought about it before, but I would think that she was tiniest in Shall We Dance. In some of those scenes she looks almost straight - from a side view. It may have just been the way that Irene dressed her, but she's really small!

Tap2323 said...

Hey Lauren..Its Tap2323 from YT. I am uber jealous that you were able to see "SwingTime" on the big screen. AH!..watching those dance numbers larger than life would probably have made my heart stop.

I would have to put my two cents down for Ginger being her skinniest in Stage Door (1937).
I watched a documentary that said that the director La Cava improvised scenes and made the script up as they went along...I'd have been my skinniest too!