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21 Oct 2010
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DescriptionReviewsContentsAuthors

Despite having had its obituary written many times, the movie musical remains a flourishing twenty-first century form, and as this volume demonstrates, one that exists far beyond the confines of Broadway and Hollywood. The Sound of Musicals examines the films, stars, issues and traditions of the genre from the 1930s to the present day. Featuring sixteen original essays by leading international scholars, this illuminating collection addresses the complex history and global variety of the movie musical, and considers the delight and passionate engagement that musicals continue to inspire in audiences around the world.


The contributors address key issues for understanding the movie musical: questions of genre and generic traditions; questions of history, bringing fresh perspectives to a consideration of Classical Hollywood musicals; and the musical beyond Hollywood, looking at alternatives to the Hollywood model from the 'New Hollywood' and American independent cinema to Bollywood and other national musical traditions. Individual chapters consider key musical stars such as Frank Sinatra, Julie Andrews and Barbra Streisand; film-makers including Robert Altman and Christophe Honoré, and classic musicals such as South Pacific (1958) and Hairspray (1988). In his introduction to the volume, Steven Cohan addresses the significance and enduring appeal of this multi-faceted genre, and considers its recent renaissance with movies such as the High School Musical franchise, and the success of the television series Glee.


Description

Despite having had its obituary written many times, the movie musical remains a flourishing twenty-first century form, and as this volume demonstrates, one that exists far beyond the confines of Broadway and Hollywood. The Sound of Musicals examines the films, stars, issues and traditions of the genre from the 1930s to the present day. Featuring sixteen original essays by leading international scholars, this illuminating collection addresses the complex history and global variety of the movie musical, and considers the delight and passionate engagement that musicals continue to inspire in audiences around the world.


The contributors address key issues for understanding the movie musical: questions of genre and generic traditions; questions of history, bringing fresh perspectives to a consideration of Classical Hollywood musicals; and the musical beyond Hollywood, looking at alternatives to the Hollywood model from the 'New Hollywood' and American independent cinema to Bollywood and other national musical traditions. Individual chapters consider key musical stars such as Frank Sinatra, Julie Andrews and Barbra Streisand; film-makers including Robert Altman and Christophe Honoré, and classic musicals such as South Pacific (1958) and Hairspray (1988). In his introduction to the volume, Steven Cohan addresses the significance and enduring appeal of this multi-faceted genre, and considers its recent renaissance with movies such as the High School Musical franchise, and the success of the television series Glee.


Reviews

'...a rewarding volume of recent papers...' - Illuminations


Contents


Acknowledgments
Notes on Contributors
Introduction: How Do You Solve a Problem like the Film Musical?
PART ONE: GENRE MATTERS
From Homosocial to Heterosexual: The Musical's Two Projects; R.Altman
British Gaiety: Musical Cinema and the Theatrical Tradition in British Film; L.Napper
The Mellifluous Illogics of the 'Bollywood Musical'; B.Sarkar
The International Art Musical: Defining and Periodizing the Post-1980s Musical; J.Feuer
PART TWO: HISTORIES OF THE HOLLYWOOD MUSICAL
Flirting with Terpischore: Dance, Class, and Entertainment in 1930s Musicals; A.L.McLean
Star Spangled Shows: History and Utopia in Wartime Canteen Musicals; S.Cohan
Sailors and Kissing Bandits: The Challenging Spectacle of Frank Sinatra at MGM; K.McNally
Bloody Mary is the Girl I Love: U.S. White Liberalism vs. Pacific Islander Subjectivity in South Pacific; S.Griffin
The Singing Sixties: Rethinking the Julie Andrews Roadshow Musical; B.Farmer
The Streisand Musical; P.Robertson Wojcik
PART THREE: BEYOND CLASSIC HOLLYWOOD
The Music and Musicality of Bollywood; A.Morcom
Robert Altman and the New Hollywood Musical; G.Sherwood Magee
The Musical as Mode: Community Formation and Alternative Rock in Empire Records; K.J.Bozelka
A Musical Dressed Up in a Different Way: Urban Ireland and the Possible Spaces of John Carney's Once; M.J.Fee
Touch from a Distance: Christopher Honoré s Les Chansons d'Amour David; A.Gerstner
Dozing off During History: Hairspray's Iterations and the Gift of Black Music; M.Tinkcom





Authors

STEVEN COHAN is Professor of English at Syracuse University, USA. His books include Telling Stories: A Theoretical Analysis of Narrative (1988, co-authored with Linda M. Shires), Masked Men: Masculinity and the Movies in the Fifties (1997), Incongruous Entertainment: Camp, Cultural Value, and the MGM Musical (2005) and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2008).