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MILF:02 Spatializing the Marvelous: The Musicals of Busby Berkeley
Footlight Parade

The plots are inconsequential. The reason to see these movies are the spectacular musical numbers, Hollywood's secular reinterpretation of Michelangelo's Genesis and Last Judgement frescos in the Sistine Chapel, directed and choreographed by Busby Berkeley.

Surely no one would be able to resist watching dancing skyscrapers; gravity-defying pianos in architecture-less, scale-less spaces; eroticized bodies writhing in pastoral landscapes like Michelangelo's damned souls; Depression-era New York; a hotel filled with pre-Code connubial flesh; anti-Taylor spatial organization; and phantasmagorical stage settings that only Matthew Barney seems fit to appropriate.

The Kid from Spain (dir. Leo McCarey, 1932)
“But We Must Rise” and “Oh, What a Perfect Combination”

42nd Street (dir. Lloyd Bacon, 1933)
“Shuffle Off to Buffalo,” “Young and Healthy,” and “42nd Street”

Gold Diggers of 1933 (dir. Mervyn LeRoy, 1933)
“Pettin' in the Park,” “Shadow Waltz,” and “Remember My Forgotten Man”

Footlight Parade (dir. Lloyd Bacon, 1933)
“Honeymoon Hotel,” “By a Waterfall,” and “Shangi Lil”

Dames (dir. Ray Enright, 1934)
“I Only Have Eyes For You” and “Dames”

Gold Diggers of 1935 (dir. Busby Berkeley, 1935)
“The Words Are in My Heart” and “Lullaby of Broadway”

MILF:01 Figures in the Field

MILF:03 Nanoscapes
MILF:04 The World
MILF:05 “The Best Things In Life Are Free”: Selections of Feature Films from the Internet Archive
MILF:06 Thick City

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