Love and Music in Singin’ in the Rain — 1 Comment

  1. I agree with all this but think the film is one of the genre about ‘showbiz’ generally (and film specifically) like “The Bandwagon”. Though “Singin’ in the Rain” is more ‘integrated’ than “Bandwagon” and other films about the theatre (’42nd Street’, ‘Easter Parade’ etc.) there’s a conceptual level at which the whole musical is totally unreal – people just don’t break into song at the drop of a hat – but also one which is ‘real’ in the sense that we witness the ‘birth’ of sound film by examining its process and problems. But we are not drawn into that unreal world (as we are in, say, “A Star is Born” – ‘I Was Born in a Trunk’)and the scene where Lamonte is being recorded (“the microphone is there.. IN THE BUSH!”) and the Producer trips over the chord leading to the microphone. We are suddenly shown the artifice. I think this is the case with the title production number – and the crane shot which gives a quick close-up of Kelly’s face is a reminder of the artifice and the fact that the photography has been as “choreographed” for the film as the dancing (and, of course, Directed by dancers).

    Your thesis about diegetic and non-diegetic is an interesting one and it’s significant that an orchestrator like Conrad Salinger was asked to supply that kind of ‘incidental/background’ music for some of the musicals.

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