I beg forgiveness in advance if I appear a little distracted during our first movie of the year. Since our planning began, and we put the schedule together, a combination of celestial alignments, extremely dogged and often sublime football skills, a concept called VAR, and perhaps the karmic recompense of persistent near-misses has landed my english soccer team, Tottenham Hotspur in the final of the UEFA Champions League. This is, literally, the biggest, most important 90 minutes of football in the history of the club I have followed for over 50 years, and takes place at 3pm ET on Saturday 1st June.
I have every intention of following through with the launch of our excellent 2019 summer season, but I have no idea what frame of my mind I will be in - probably at one extreme or the other from broken-hearted dejection to a manic euphoria in which very little I say will make sense ("What's new ?" I hear Linda yelling...). Be prepared.
But enough of distractions…
A Star Is Born has a long history. It has been made 4 times, and the screenplay for the first 1937 version was co-written by Dorothy Parker. Originally, the characters were both actors, in 1954 Esther Blodgett (this time played famously by Judy Garland) becomes a singer in movie musicals, but in the two most recent versions, both star-crossed lovers are musicians.
If your love story depends on the tensions between an established but fading music superstar, and a genuinely talented unknown and her meteoric rise to fame, then you better have some good tunes in your pocket. In 1954, most of the songs were old standards, but Garland did make The Man That Got Away famous. In 1974, the soundtrack album was hugely successful. It was the Billboard Number 1 for 6 weeks, received 4 Platinum disks AND contained the Oscar-winning song, Evergreen. From my birthday viewing, I can vouch for the music, and we all know Gaga took the statuette home this year for the excellent Shallow.
As for the acting, I remember being pleasantly surprised how well Gaga did in her first movie role (she previously did well on TV in American Horror Story) but disappointed how Bradley Cooper missed out on the kudos he should have received for a bravura performance - acting, directing and indeed singing and performing the music.
The 1974 movie is still on my list of favourites, and has a big emotional hit for me. This one also packs a heavy punch, so make sure you bring tissues !
Join us on Sat 1st June for the opening night of Folly Avenue Film Club 2019 - A Little Night Music !!
…oh, and COME ON, YOU SPURS !