Sunday, 25 June 2017

Films That Made Me: #2 - Musicals

Hello to you lovely readers, I trust you have had a good week!
Continuing on my recent instalment of films that made me, today I'm talking about musicals. I'm not sure if I've mentioned before but musical theatre / film has been a big part of my life for a long time. My mum has always been a fan of them and introduced me to them from a young age and I fell head over heels in love with them! There is no question, that all of the following films have had a profound effect on me, influencing decisions I have made and my general behaviour throughout my life, so today I thought I'd share them with you.

1 | OLIVER! (1986)
'Oliver!' is such a classic musical film. With the talents of Ron Moody, Oliver Reed and Jack Wild, this was one of my favourite films growing up. It's also pretty safe to say that the character Nancy is one of my idols; she's so vibrant, strong, fun and lovely, despite her situation. The film is based on the novel 'Oliver Twist' by Charles Dickens, and tells the story of an orphan boy who escapes a life in the workhouse and child labour to the bright and bold streets of London, meeting some colourful characters along the way. The brilliant selection of songs by Lionel Bart are enough to give anyone a lift, but all sung in the cockney accent, in the dark and dank streets of London, make it all the more charming. Full of dark twists and turns, and a villain who'll bring chills down your spine, 'Oliver!' is a great balance between fun musical songs and dark storytelling. If you haven't seen this, you are seriously missing out.

Okay, this may only just pass for a musical, as it is more of a dance show, but it would be wrong of me not to bring this into the mix, since it was so prominent throughout my life. Michael Flatley is another idol of mine; his talent, skill and stage presence is unparalleled to this day. He made Irish dancing fun, flamboyant and exciting. As an expanded version of the original 'Lord of the Dance', Flatley directed and starred in his own version, telling a simple tale of good versus evil, through fast paced, high energy and technically perfect tap dancing. My heart still races and my feet won't stop tapping every time I watch it, it's a real feast for the eyes, with Michael at the top of his game.

3 | GREASE (1978)
As the very first musical I ever watched (that wasn't Disney) Grease has got to be on the list, it was also the first fully fledged popular musical I ever performed in; yep I'd gone full circle. Let's be real, you've probably seen this, and may even have been involved in some Grease medley's during parties or weddings - my secondary school prom is a prime example. It's a tale of cool kids in high school cliques, their trials and tribulations of relationships, friendships and the last year of high school. Definitely a fun, feel good musical, all which you probably already knew...

4 | SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (1952)
A late discovery for me but I fell head over heels for the golden years of MGM after studying them for my Film Studies A Level. Gene Kelly is an incredible inspiration to me, he's talented and worked so hard on his craft, it truly shows in his performances. The film tells the story of a silent movie star, Don Lockwood, his annoying and less than talented co-star Lina Lamont and their transition into making talkies. It's smart, fun and an incredible watch, and while the dance numbers maybe a bit cheesy and over the top to some, I think they are genius; bright, bold and colourful with undeniable talent from all the cast. Even you can't deny how catchy the title song is!

5 | CALAMITY JANE (1953)
Ah, Calamity Jane, you are an interesting one. I'm not sure what it is about the western accents but they make me laugh so much, it makes the film even more fun to watch. Played by Doris Day, Calamity Jane is the wildest, manliest and toughest lady in town, but when 'a real woman', actress 'Adelaid Adams' arrives in Deadwood, Calamity begins to question herself, and whether she should act more like a 'lady', in order to get herself her man. I love this film, as even though it was made in the 50's, it encourages you to be who you are and be loved for who you are - whether you like dancing around wearing nothing but frilly underwear or running around in trousers and chasing Indians. Calamity Jane is funny, spunky, has some great tunes and a brilliant moral to the story, it's one I will continue to love for a long time.

If you haven't read it already, you can also check out my favourite kid classic films here!

What films made you who you are?

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