Friday, September 23, 2011
THE RED SHOES (1948, GREAT BRITAIN)
Since I viewed the classic Powell/Pressburger ballet film The Red Shoes with my niece Krista, who actually does ballet, I thought I would ask her to write the blog for this film. She refused.
I recount the conversation thusly.
Uncle Chris: Tell me again why don’t you want to write this blog for me? You do know more about ballet than I do.
Krista: (unenthusiasticly) I know. I did like the movie. But I’ll leave the blogging up to you.
Uncle Chris: You’ll have to do better than that. Let's see. Why don’t we play a little word association? What did you think of the dancing in the movie?
Krista: The dancing? The dancers were skilled. Everything was precise. Meticulous. Would that be the right word?
Uncle Chris: Yes, meticulous. What did you think of the color?
Krista: Vivid. Striking. Foreshadowing of doom. Part of the plotline in that the dance of the red shoes reflects the dancer’s own life.
Uncle Chris: Good. What did you think of the story?
Krista: Unique. Very sad. Ironic that all she ever wanted to do be this great dancer, but it ended up ruining her.
Uncle Chris: Do you think a dancer might enjoy this film more than a non-dancer?
Krista: Definitely. I’ve felt similar stress, though perhaps not to that degree. But dancing is invigorating. Dancing is rejuvenating. Dancing is life!
Uncle Chris: Excellent! Now, did you think the composer character in the film was right?
Krista: About what?
Uncle Chris: It’s the music that creates the scene. The dancer must keep up and follow the composer’s lead.
Krista: Are you trying to agitate me? It’s the dancing! It’s ballet! It’s about dancing!
Uncle Chris: There’s the passion I’m looking for! Let’s see you do a pirouette.
Krista: No. You do a pirouette!
Uncle Chris: I couldn't if I wanted to. How about you doing one of those breezy bowlees?
Krista: Do you mean brisè volè?
Uncle Chris: Right
Krista: The answer is still no. And for your information, I’m neither a little child or a performing monkey!
Uncle Chris: Fine. Back to the film. Anything else in The Red Shoes that made you mad?
Krista: Not really. Well, maybe the ballet company seemed a bit too happy. It’s really a lot more cutthroat than that.
Uncle Chris: Well, since we are on the subject of dancing, I think this would be a good time for you to state your complaint about the scene from the movie Far From Heaven that you didn’t like. I give you the floor.
Krista: Thank you. They’re trying to set this scene in Far From Heaven of a happy Christmas right? And the little girl, who is about eight, gets point shoes! She’s eight years old! That will mess up her feet at that age. And then she compounds the error by saying the other girls in the class already have them. Who is running this class? Cruella De Ville?
Uncle Chris: Thank you for showing us your intensity. That concludes…
Krista: (Now enthusiastic) Can I talk about Twilight now?
Uncle Chris: That’s really off topic. We were talking about movies with dance.
Krista: I need to vent about Twilight!
Uncle Chris: All right. What don’t you like about Twilight?
Krista: Everything! The actors can’t act. The makeup is terrible! The special effects are terrible! Spider-Monkey? What is a Spider-Monkey?
Uncle Chris: Thank you. That is the end of my-
Krista: I’m not done yet! The music in Twilight doesn’t even match up with the movie. It was just plain bad! They had to know how awful the first movie was, but unlike Eragon, they didn’t know when to stop making them! And the acting? Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart? Is that the best acting talent out there? Are you kidding me?
Uncle Chris: Are you done now?
Krista: (Wiping her brow) Uh, yeah I think I’m done…for the time being. I feel much better now.
Uncle Chris: Thank you. I knew you’d help me write my blog with a little prodding.
Krista: All right. Since you let me go on I’ll give you one dance move. How about a grande jetè?
Uncle Chris: My favorite. Knock yourself out.
(Krista postures for a moment before agilely leaping out of the room)