Sunday 1 April 2018

On Blu-ray - David Hare is warm towards KING OF JAZZ (John Murray Anderson, 1930)

Some screens from Criterion's new Blu-ray Disc of the insanely lavish Universal 4K restoration of the 1930 Two color Technicolor process Musical Revue, Paul Whiteman's King of Jazz
'...extremely comely John Boles', King of Jazz
As some readers will recall the movie was showcased at Bologna a couple of years ago, and several other later events to sometimes less than universal joy. Strange as it may be, coming from the heart of one so black in mood as I (at the moment) I have a lot more time for it than others, although having the freedom to hit the remote button on some stretches is a blessing for private viewing (not unlike certain other "personal" genres.)
Bing Crosby, King of Jazz
Screens here include Bing Crosby (right) in a first ever movie appearance, second screen an unnamed pianist also giving a movie first performance of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue (in this case rhapsody in red and green), a number with the extremely comely John Boles in leather chaps giving voice to song and heart fluttering and last screen - what better for two color process? - a bit of feminine leg art based around a highland fling.
'...rhapsody in red and green', King of Jazz
As "jazz" goes this is totally vanilla, but it was the biggest of the early talkie musical pioneers mostly coming out of Metro, and compared to the literally leaden weight of those clunkers this comparatively sparkles. Some of it - the comic and novelty act schtick as usual - makes the teeth grind but a number of the performers had legs, as they used to say. 

 And for anyone devoted to Technicolor itself in its numerous historical steps up to the demise of its matchless dye transfer printing facilities in the mid to late 70s, this is essential.
'...feminine leg art based around a highland fling', King of Jazz

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