As a child, growing up , one of my fondest memories is turning on PBS yes good ole PBS, on a Saturday Night , and watching those classic movies and musicals….such as Bandwagon, or An American in Paris, the Sound of Music, Gigi, Cabaret and the list goes on and on …
One of my favorite musicals, was Singing in the Rain , directed by the legendary Stanley Donen, starring and choreographed by the brilliant Gene Kelly, along with Debbie Reynolds, Donald O’Connor, Jean Hagen, even introducing, a then specialty dancer, Cyd Charisse…
I always admired the ingenuity of the concept and the numbers that helped propel this predictable love story between the conceited, superstar of the silent film ..Don Lockwood, and the , feisty, fresh faced talent, ingenue ,and seemingly unimpressed, Kathy Seldon, on the backdrop of a hilarious depiction of the transition in Old Hollywood, from the silent film era to talkies…..
Of course, aside from the Hollywood Melody ballet featuring the incredible Cyd Charisse, my favorite scene its signature piece , Singing in the Rain, when Don Lockwood, so blissfully in love , proclaims despite getting drenched in the pouring rain, his love for Kathy, and dances and sings in the rain, infectiously , without a care in the world…his joy is just contagious to the audience….
what is even more fascinating about this scene, is that as gleefully , giddy in love that Don Lockwood projects to the world, Gene Kelly himself on the day of the shoot, was stricken with a high fever and flu…..so bad , that the director insisted that he go home….but Gene, determined to finish the scene …followed through….sick as a dog, dancing in a concoction of water and milk ,and the result was sheer brilliance..
so where am i going with this
….well simply put, what may seem one way on the big screen to us as an audience, the calculated image that is projected to us , to convey the scene to move us, in actuality may have been motivated by an entirely different, maybe even opposite inner dialogue ……
The man dancing on the screen , so blissful in love, with no care in the world, was really having a miserable time..
funny enough while his on screen character, Don Lockwood falls , head over heels in love with O’ Connor’s , Kathy Seldon,Gene kelly was quoted in saying that he wasnt particularly very nice to Debbie…
What we see or what we perceive , does not always match what may be true, behind the scenes..
so how does this relate to punking+posing =whacking,
Gene Kelly, the flu and fever stricken person, who is really miserable, but is determined to make this scene work, because there is no time or money left to wait…and so he muscles all of his energy to create what we see at the end……that to me would be …..his behavior, his feeling from being “under the weather” , his personality, his work ethic, determination to transform into embodying the handsome, head over the heels in love , hollywood star, Don Lockwood …..that to me would be more , Punking ,and Posing ….
perhaps, the result of all that …..the movie’s signature piece, Singing in the Rain,
watching Don Lockwood, so gleefully in love, after staying up all night, and frolicking, and dancing in the rain, which was really milk and water, with a smile on his face, or “Whacking”
so what does this mean…..while we as an audience enjoy, and marvel in the end result ….. or the perception, its only one part of the story……it doesnt necessarily reveal the heart and soul of what made the result…unless you dig a little deeper behind the scenes, then the plot changes, and you begin to have a deeper understanding of what it must have took and the circumstances and inner motivation to make it into what we see and enjoy today…
from the outside in it may seem one way, but on the inside the revelation of the reality of the situation , the inner truth ….
all of which , makes me appreciate he result even more 🙂