Cinema Roundup: 27th June

sitrGet your umbrellas and dancing shoes out; the 1952 classic Singin’ in the Rain is returning to the big screen this Sunday as part of the Lighthouse cinema’s summer long musical season. While I don’t agree with the American Film Institute’s ranking of the film as the greatest musical of all time (I personally bestow that title on The Band Wagon) it’s certainly one of the best, and the title number is arguably the most iconic scene in the entire musical genre.

Gene Kelly returns to the Lighthouse on Wednesday in another classic Hollywood musical, 1951’s An American in Paris. Stunningly directed by Vincente Minnelli and choreographed by Kelly himself, the film has a sad, melancholic undertow, unusual in the happy go lucky world of the 1950s musical. The climactic 16 minute dance sequence really is something special.

An altogether different musical is 1980’s The Blues Brothers, which plays at the Lighthouse on Saturday. Based on John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd’s Saturday Night Live personas, it’s an anarchic riot of a movie, with over the top car chases and a host of toe tapping musical appearances from a who’s who of blues and soul legends.

The best of this week’s new releases is The Golden Dream, which follows a group of Guatemalan teenagers as they attempt to negotiate the dangers of lawless Mexico while attempting to illegally enter the United States. The journey is seen through the naive eyes of its characters, who seem unaware of just how much danger they’re putting themselves in, and the effect is akin to watching your child walk through traffic; it’s a harrowing, but also uplifting journey.

Cold in July is a meticulously crafted exercise in style over substance that sees a mild-mannered family man’s life turned upside down after shooting dead an intruder. Set in 1989, the film gets the aesthetic of its era down pat, making it a delight for retroists, but ultimately there are too many plotholes to overlook.

By Eric Hillis

Image: Movie of the week, Singin’ in the Rain