The Rebirth of the Modern Film Musical from Evita to De-Lovely and Beyond
Critics the world over have often loudly lamented that the movie musical is a dead art form. However, while it is true that the musical no longer occupies thecherished place of prominence in American cinema that it once did, the old razzle-dazzle has had a comeback. Author and film expert John Kenneth Muir facesthe music in Singing a New Tune, a rollicking study that traces the rebirth of the film musical from the dark days of the early 1990s when all the musical numbers were cut from the film I'll Do Anything due to preview audience hostility to the current heyday of Moulin Rouge, Chicago (Academy Award winnerfor Best Picture 2002), and Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera. Examining over a dozen musical films from the last decade, Muir explains how first-class artists have marshaled everything from spectacle (Evita) to humor (South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut); tragedy (Dancer in the Dark) to Shakespeare (Love's Labour's Lost); and even psychology and sexuality.