"Remake" by Connie Willis

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Bart L. McJunkin

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Dec 28, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/28/95
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This note is cross-posted to rec.arts.dance and
rec.arts.sf.written.

For all you dance aficionados who also like seeing dance in
the movies and/or science fiction. I've just picked up
Connie Willis's newest science fiction book "Remake." It
centers around dancing in the movies.

I haven't finished the book so I don't have any spoilers. I
can say that all of her books and short stories are well-
written.

The book is very favorable about Fred Astaire but pans Gene
Kelly. Fred made dancing look smooth and spontaneous. Gene
always looks like he's working too hard. One surprising thing
I learned is that Fred insisted that his dance numbers all be
filmed in one take.

There is so much about the dance movies in this book that
I'm sure 90% of it went over my head. The question is, does
Connie Willis lurk on both of these threads?

Bart.
####################################################
mcju...@spk.hp.com
Tel: 509-921-3449
Mail: Hewlett-Packard Company
Bart Mcjunkin, 3WU
24001 E Mission Ave
SPOKANE, WA 99019-9599

Mark Bernstein

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Dec 28, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/28/95
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Bart L. McJunkin (mcju...@spk.hp.com) wrote:

: The book is very favorable about Fred Astaire but pans Gene


: Kelly. Fred made dancing look smooth and spontaneous. Gene
: always looks like he's working too hard.

Well, humph! I usually enjoy Willis' work, but I happen to be
one of those who *prefer* Kelly's athleticism, and that would
just *ruin* the book for me.

( :-), but I really do prefer Kelly)
--
Mark Bernstein
ma...@erim.org

Kevin B. O'Brien

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Dec 29, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/29/95
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Our correspondent in Tierra del Fuego reports that
ma...@sipl4330a.erim.org (Mark Bernstein), wrote:

Them's fightin' words. Choose your weapons!


Kevin B. O'Brien
ko...@ix.netcom.com
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Always do right. This will gratify some people, and astonish the rest." Mark Twain

Icono Clast

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Dec 29, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/29/95
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BLM}One surprising thing I learned is that Fred insisted that his

}dance numbers all be filmed in one take.

Not only did Astaire insist that there be no cuts in the dance
numbers but he also demanded that they always be full-body shots.
That's as it ought always to be. Dancing, as we all know, is a full-
body thing and focusing of hands or feet or something other than the
full body is to not see the dancing in dance (the dance in dancing?).

Gene Kelly is extremely important to dance on film for opening it up.
Prior to Kelly's influence upon the industry, dance numbers were
confined to limited spaces. The images I have in mind are the famous
clips of Bill Robinson on stairs with Shirley Temple, the Nicholas
Brothers at the Cotton Club (I think), any of Astaire's, and then, by
comparison, Kelly's great work in, as examples, "Singing in the
Rain", "An American In Paris", and "On The Town".
The way the film version of "West Side Story" was shot evolved
from Kelly's influence.

***

I had planned to see Michael Jackson in the "Dangerous" tour because
I've never seen him dance. What we see on television is always so
full of cuts it's impossible to know whether the end of a spin, for
example, was shot at the same time as the beginning of that spin
'cause there was a cut in it. I want to see him do his thing without
any cuts and, it seems, the only way to do that is to catch him on a
stage. He has enough control over his work to do as Fred did. Since
he hasn't done so, I have to wonder: Why?
---
* SLMR 2.1a #346 * Gotta dance -- Fred Astaire; Gene Kelly; Icono Clast

Mark Bernstein

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Dec 29, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/29/95
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Kevin B. O'Brien (ko...@ix.netcom.com) wrote:
: Our correspondent in Tierra del Fuego reports that
: ma...@sipl4330a.erim.org (Mark Bernstein), wrote:

: >Bart L. McJunkin (mcju...@spk.hp.com) wrote:
: >
: >: The book is very favorable about Fred Astaire but pans Gene
: >: Kelly. Fred made dancing look smooth and spontaneous. Gene
: >: always looks like he's working too hard.
: >
: >Well, humph! I usually enjoy Willis' work, but I happen to be
: >one of those who *prefer* Kelly's athleticism, and that would
: >just *ruin* the book for me.
: >
: >( :-), but I really do prefer Kelly)

: Them's fightin' words. Choose your weapons!

Double features at noon. I'll take "Singin' in the Rain" and
"An American in Paris".
--
Mark Bernstein
ma...@erim.org

Bill Tocci

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Dec 29, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/29/95
to Mark Bernstein, wto...@worldbank.org
> ma...@erim.orgGive me Astaire & Rogers anytime. The epitimy of grace & style..with an
ability to make you laugh, cry or melt a woman with a look..

Bill Tocci, A.K.A. Danceman, "The guy in the Black Fedora"
wto...@worldbank.org

Bart L. McJunkin

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Dec 29, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/29/95
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Icono Clast (icono...@lcabin.com) wrote:

: I had planned to see Michael Jackson in the "Dangerous" tour because


: I've never seen him dance. What we see on television is always so
: full of cuts it's impossible to know whether the end of a spin, for
: example, was shot at the same time as the beginning of that spin
: 'cause there was a cut in it. I want to see him do his thing without
: any cuts and, it seems, the only way to do that is to catch him on a
: stage. He has enough control over his work to do as Fred did. Since
: he hasn't done so, I have to wonder: Why?

I taped an entire afternoon of his videos for my daughter.
I wish I'd kept a copy, there's a lot of syncopations to
steal in that tape.

My jazz teacher caught me practicing the moonwalk after
class one evening, "Oh Bart, that is sooo eighties!"

Icono Clast

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Dec 30, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/30/95
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BLM}My jazz teacher caught me practicing the moonwalk after

}class one evening, "Oh Bart, that is sooo eighties!"

Jackson stole the move from a film made in the '20s or '30s. The
dancer was Black. I don't remember who was he.
---
* SLMR 2.1a #346 * Swing is a state of mind -- Victor Eijkhout

Psychohist

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Dec 30, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/30/95
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Mark Bernstein, obvious minion of darkness, prefers Kelly to Astaire,
unlike Connie Willis' protagonist and all us other right thinking people.

(I hate using smileys, so I have to use hyperbole instead.)

Mark picks "Singin' in the Rain" and "An American in Paris" to
demonstrate.

I'll take "Silk Stockings" against "An American in Paris" - Fred's dancing
is better than Gene's, and Cyd Charisse is *way* better than Leslie Caron.
Heck, I even prefer Oscar Levant's bit dances (they might be in a
different movie than "An American in Paris") to Gene Kelly.

Cyd Charisse, of course, is way better than any of these other people - as
a dancer. Her weak point is her acting. Much of the attraction of Fred
Astaire, and also Kelly, is the good acting.

I haven't seen "Singin' in the Rain", but let's put it up against the best
dance movie of all time - "Top Hat".

And since I'm too lazy to figure out how to remove the cross post to
rec.arts.sf.written (arts.sf? shouldn't it be under literature?), I'll
note that Connie Willis' choice again reflects her good taste and strong
research into her subject matter, as with all her solo works. Too bad she
can't impose these practices on her coauthors when she collaborates.


Warren J. Dew
Profession: Psychohistorian
Avocation: Ballroom Dance

Ed Jay

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Dec 30, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/30/95
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icono...@lcabin.com (Icono Clast) wrote:

>BLM}My jazz teacher caught me practicing the moonwalk after
> }class one evening, "Oh Bart, that is sooo eighties!"
>
>Jackson stole the move from a film made in the '20s or '30s. The
>dancer was Black. I don't remember who was he.
>---

I saw Bojangles do it in a movie.

K C Moore

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Dec 31, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/31/95
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In article <4c3k8n$t...@newsbf02.news.aol.com>
psych...@aol.com "Psychohist" writes:

> I haven't seen "Singin' in the Rain", but let's put it up against the best
> dance movie of all time - "Top Hat".

But "Singin' in the Rain" is more than a dance movie. It wears well as
a comedy; it has excellent supporting actors (most particularly the
late Jean Hagen as the displaced silent star Lina Lamont); it has
Donald O.Connor, Debbie Reynolds, Cyd Charisse and Rita Moreno in it;
and it has a more believable and funnier plot than most musicals. The
songs by Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown don't quite match Irving
Berlin's, but they are well presented. Halliwell gives both it and
"Top Hat" his top rating.

--
Ken Moore
k...@hpsl.demon.co.uk

A. Raymond

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Jan 1, 1996, 3:00:00 AM1/1/96
to
In article <95122903...@lcabin.com>, icono...@lcabin.com (Icono
Clast) wrote:


>
>I had planned to see Michael Jackson in the "Dangerous" tour because
>I've never seen him dance. What we see on television is always so
>full of cuts it's impossible to know whether the end of a spin, for
>example, was shot at the same time as the beginning of that spin
>'cause there was a cut in it. I want to see him do his thing without
>any cuts and, it seems, the only way to do that is to catch him on a
>stage. He has enough control over his work to do as Fred did. Since
>he hasn't done so, I have to wonder: Why?

>---


Ummm.....maybe his dancing is just like his face....surgically altered!!!!!!


Amanda

David Drysdale

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Jan 2, 1996, 3:00:00 AM1/2/96
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Ed Jay (Ed...@ix.netcom.com) wrote:
: icono...@lcabin.com (Icono Clast) wrote:

And I'm fairly sure that the movie was "Stormy Weather". Quite a
remarkable movie, in fact--all sorts of stars appearing in it, from
Bojangles to Fats Waller to Cab Calloway to the Nicolas brothers.

In fact, the Nicolas brothers routine at the end of the film is
one of the most remarkable pieces of dancing that I have ever seen.
Those two have got completely rubber legs.

David Drysdale


ReneeGK

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Jan 3, 1996, 3:00:00 AM1/3/96
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<<: >---
: I saw Bojangles do it in a movie.

And I'm fairly sure that the movie was "Stormy Weather". Quite a
remarkable movie, in fact--all sorts of stars appearing in it, from
Bojangles to Fats Waller to Cab Calloway to the Nicolas brothers.

In fact, the Nicolas brothers routine at the end of the film is
one of the most remarkable pieces of dancing that I have ever seen.
Those two have got completely rubber legs.

David Drysdale>>

And David, were great dancers... which is why I don't understand why
Savion Glover & Geo. Wolfe totally trashed these dancers' reputations and
talents in the new tap/rap production "Bring in Da Noise, Bring in Da
Funk." I feel quite strongly about this ungenerous approach in one who
(huge talent that he may be) owes so much to the great dancers who have
shared with him.

Anyone feeling similarly? Renee

Ed Jay

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Jan 4, 1996, 3:00:00 AM1/4/96
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ren...@aol.com (ReneeGK) wrote:

><<: >---
>: I saw Bojangles do it in a movie.

(Moonwalk)


>
>And I'm fairly sure that the movie was "Stormy Weather". Quite a
>remarkable movie, in fact--all sorts of stars appearing in it, from
>Bojangles to Fats Waller to Cab Calloway to the Nicolas brothers.

Great stars, although dominated by Lena Horne. Watched it tonight.
Anyways, Bojangles didn't do the moonwalk in Stormy Weather.


>
>In fact, the Nicolas brothers routine at the end of the film is
>one of the most remarkable pieces of dancing that I have ever seen.
>Those two have got completely rubber legs.

They were fantastic.
>

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