PENNIES FROM HEAVEN
1981, Warner Bros., 108 min, USA, Dir: Herbert Ross

Dennis Potter's beautifully melancholic musical pairs unhappily married Depression-era Arthur (Steve Martin) and sweet, footloose Eileen (Bernadette Peters), setting the stage for bittersweet romance punctuated with astounding Busby Berkeley-style dance numbers. The last-ever MGM musical features eye-popping production design inspired by painter Edward Hopper, superb camerawork (Gordon Willis earned a National Society of Film Critics award for Best Cinematography) and Christopher Walken’s wonderful dance number, “Let's Misbehave.”


THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG
LES PARAPLUIES DE CHERBOURG
1964, Janus Films, 91 min, France, Dir: Jacques Demy

Auto mechanic Guy (Nino Castelnuovo) gets girlfriend Genevieve (Catherine Deneuve) pregnant just before he leaves to fight in the Algerian war; they swear eternal allegiance to one another, but circumstances force Genevieve to marry another man and move to Paris. Jacques Demy tells this story entirely through music and lyrics, yet his musical is no fantasy - as critic Jonathan Rosenbaum has pointed out, it's an accurate portrayal of Paris that uses style to "exalt the ordinary." It's a one-of-a-kind film opera: a movie that is entirely artificial and stylized yet tough, complex and unsentimental - and more deeply moving than a dozen more conventional melodramas. In French with English subtitles.


VOGUES OF 1938
1937, Westchester Films Inc., 109 min, USA, Dir: Irving Cummings

Gorgeously filmed and costumed, with first-rate performances and a sparkling script this romantic comedy --set in 1937's New York City-- has it all: high fashion, a winsome runaway bride, The Cotton Club's singers and dancers, snobs of all stripes laid low, hazardous rollerskating tricks, and Max Factor's makeup magic ... all in glowing color. Don't miss the chance to see this nearly forgotten film on the big screen!

Truly a feast for the eyes, this musical (an Oscar nominee for Best Art Direction) makes stunning use of Technicolor to show off some of the most beautiful costumes of the 1930s. Runaway bride Joan Bennett leaves wealthy Alan Mowbray at the altar to become a model, eventually falling for fashion designer Warner Baxter. As a rival designer, Mischa Auer is an absolute delight.


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