Archive for March 17, 2015

Pachydermatology

Posted in FILM, MUSIC with tags , , on March 17, 2015 by dcairns

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We mostly fast-forwarded through my public-domain DVD of TILL THE CLOUDS ROLL BY, having deduced that its slender, fraudulent plot (Jerome Kern biopic my eye) was an excuse to string musical numbers together. We’d slow down for anything that looked interesting and make jokes about Kern, who’s played by Robert STRANGERS ON A TRAIN Walker, leaving a trail of strangled women behind him as he soars to Broadway success.

One bit we slowed down for was the gold-painted circus elephants. We had to. You don’t see that every day.

Greasy in their gilt body paint, the great beasts fumble and slide over one another like Greco-Roman wrestlers in a grotesque parody of the physical act of love. That’s entertanment!

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In a sense, one can sympathise with the filmmakers: ordinary grey elephants are so drab. The John Majors of the veldt. But gilding a pachyderm is fraught with risks. What about skin suffocation? Did Shirley Eaton die in vain? However, I’m told that if you leave a small patch of skin uncovered at the base of the… the trunk, all will be well.

The other best bit is the finale, a medley of Kern sung on a giant cake in heaven. I guess that qualifies as a happy ending.