Modern Movie Musicals
by Alex Garcia Topete
If William Shakespeare was right, and “all the world’s a stage”, then there are several films in DIFF 2016 that will make you want to turn your life into your own musical. No, not the quality music documentaries of Deep Ellum Sounds or the few others scattered through the other documentaries—we’re talking about musicals in which songs advance the plot and people automagically know the choreographies that make us believe in movie magic.
Take for instance SING STREET, the third installment of John Carney’s music-centered features. It doesn’t matter that it’s set in 1980’s Dublin, the music and vibrant, rebellious spirit of the story will convince everyone that music does make life a little better.
On the other side of the musical (pun intended) spectrum, Johnnie To’s OFFICE, a super ambitious mash-up of musical-exposé-satire-romcom-legal thriller -action film, delivers a shot of exuberance and thrills like only Hong Kong cinema could deliver. Its subject of corporate greed and the recent global financial crisis may be shared with THE BIG SHORT, but OFFICE may have carved a genre of its own with its unique style.
And of course, when it comes to movie musicals, there are always the classics everyone loves. LABYRINTH takes that spot for this year’s festival, bringing back to the big screen the genius of David Bowie’s Goblin King and the magic of puppetmaster Jim Henson.
At the end of the day, the movie musicals of the film festivals will make you love living in the world a little bit more.
DALLAS STAR AWARDOscar-nominated cinematographer Ed Lachman’s selected credits as a cinematographer include the Emmy nominated HBO mini-series Mildred Pierce and films including DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN, THE VIRGIN SUICIDES, and the Academy Award nominated film, CAROL.
DALLAS MAVERICK AWARDOur inaugural honoree, director, editor and producer Monte Hellman, has a career that spans six decades. He has exemplified cutting-edge filmmaking across multiple genres, working with budgets, from high-to-low, and with casts featuring stars to complete unknowns.