7 June 2006
I seem to have misplaced my Dentyne
Lileks is talking Busby Berkeley this morning, and in the midst of a discussion of Footlight Parade, he tosses up a larger version of this particular picture, along with the following exposition:
The second number, "By a Waterfall," concerns a young woman who meets her boyfriend by the aforementioned water feature. He falls asleep, and she enters a fantasy world wherein she takes all her clothes off and joins several dozen equally unclad women in a waterfall of their own. Well of Loneliness, indeed: it's standing room only. When you see it now, you have to peel back 70 years to grasp the power of this particular image. That's the lass en route to the waterfall. The upper-floor nudity is implied, of course. But the impact in part comes from the scale. These legs projected on a big screen were probably enough to make half the people in the audience swallow their gum.
Not that I'd like to see a return to the old Production Code, necessarily, but today, with unclad bodies on the big screen nearly as common as strategically-placed Pepsi-Cola cans, and having just about as much impact, we've pretty much killed this kind of scene, and we didn't even get paid for the hit. (And yes, this may seem odd coming from a person with a tendency to spurn clothing, but then I'm not in the habit, as it were, of putting myself on display, except in the form of text.)Posted at 11:32 AM to Almost Yogurt