A little blob in Saturday’s LA Times announces the launch of "Silence! The Musical," a, yes, musical based on, yes, "Silence of the Lambs," which, as anyone who’s watched this music video and come away singing "It puts the lotion on its skin / Or else it get the hose again" knows, is ripe for songage, maybe even songage and danceage. "Silence! The Musical" premiered Friday as part of the New York International Fringe Festival, and is apparently sold-out, which saddens up. But apparently musicals are popping up all over the place these days. Also in the LA Times, John Clark reports on John Turturro‘s "Romance & Cigarettes," which premieres next month at Toronto and is a kind of post-modern musical in the vein of "Pennies From Heaven," in which the characters express their emotions through pop songs and over-the-top fantasy sequences.
"It’s sort of Charles Bukowski meets ‘The Honeymooners,’ " says the film’s writer-director, John Turturro.
Sounds interesting, at the very least.
Meanwhile, Patricia Ward Biederman takes a look at the next project from Brian Flemming, a filmmaker and playwright who wrote the infamous "Bat Boy: The Musical" (and who’s also a blogger). That play, which was based on a Weekly World News story, is apparently on its way to becoming a John Landis movie, but Flemming’s latest, a documentary, is less lighthearted: it argues that the biblical Jesus is a mythological figure like Paul Bunyan. Flemming is apparently a former born-again Christian, who’s now got some anger towards religion, but he’s also got his marketing niche clearly lined up. From the official website of "The God Who Wasn’t There":
Bowling for Columbine did it to the gun culture.
Super Size Me did it to fast food.
Now The God Who Wasn’t There does it to religion.
But enough about that. We were discussing the glorious musical, we were not? John Patterson at the Guardian‘s with us, with an article that sings the praises of, and highlights the weird subtext and subject matter of, the great musicals (this without even approaching "Gigi" â€” hah!). He, like ourselves, has trouble figuring out the future form of the genre, which sort-of lives on in Baz Luhrmann‘s work as well as, Patterson suggests, Terence Davies’. Then there’s "Chicago," which Patterson doesn’t mention, but which, to us, was almost a good film. There was something about the contrast between the seediness of its reality and the shimmering hallucinations that were its dance numbers that almost lent some poignancy â€” the songs were tawdry dreams of glamour that just weren’t matching up with the life the characters were actually leading. Too bad those lines weren’t so clearly drawn…the "real" scenes became too cartoonish about halfway through to mean much. We’re looking forward to the Turturro film, which is owned by Sony, and, perhaps due to its weirdness, has no release date attached yet.