Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Experiment: Swing Time

Swing Time (1936)
Director: George Stevens

"When you see anyone -- an athlete, a musician, a dancer, a craftsperson -- doing something difficult and making it look easy and a joy, you feel enhanced. It is a victory for the human side, over the enemies of clumsiness, timidity, and exhaustion." - Roger Ebert

My favorite critic, Roger Ebert, wrote this is his Great Movies essay on "Swing Time," and he is definitively correct in that statement. When you watch Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dance in this movie, it's like watching two titans go at it. Their faces are not full of intense focus and determination, but a sense of exhilaration, as if it just came to them in a moment of passion. That's the true reason to watch Astaire/Rogers films.

See for yourself:

P.S. The "Bojangles of Harlem" number with the dancing shadow reflections are worth the price of admission alone.

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