Busby Berkeley still rules

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This is one of those days when we had a HUUUUGE Kibbles ‘n’ Bits post we’d been working on all weekend that just got eaten by the browser, so screw it. Moving on, since we’re on a musical comedy kick, we’ll reiterate our love for the films of Busby Berkeley — we had a long post about the surreal, disturbing madness of Berkeley’s choreography back on the Old Beat, but to summarize: If Berkeley were still around, he’d be David Lynch. (We also fretted that Berkeley was the kind of cult interest that the Internet wasn’t much bothered with, but thank God, YouTube has come along since then, to keep the spirit alive.)

Anyway we had the chance to share our Busby-holism this weekend at Lincoln Center when choreographer Kriota Willberg presented a program called “Under The Influence of Busby Berkeley,” which showed videos over the years that exemplified such traits as aerial patterns, multiple girls, and of course, focus on the female anatomy. Under Kriota’s lively. erudite guidance it was a too-brief spin through Bollywood, cartoons, The Big Lebowski, dancing cigarette ads, birth control, hip hop, and much more. Since Kriota is married to cartoonist R. Sikoryak, there were a few cartoon types in the audience, but we shan’t out them so we can keep it a secret club.

This presentation needs to be either taken on the road or put on the Internet or something. The show started with an analysis of Berkeley’s fetishization of Ruby Keeler’s floating face seen above in “I Only Have Eyes for You” from DAMES, and ended with Michel Gondry and the Chemical Brothers, below. Let’s get this Monday started right.

Comments

  1. Very cool!

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