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About KoalaBalloon

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  1. What fascinates me about "The Great Ziegfeld" is that Ziegfeld doesn't survive the Depression. His death is made beautiful (as all Post-Code hero death should be), but he is broke and Billie is working again. The ending doesn't seem logically uplifting or provide escapism for an audience waiting in bread lines. However, the clip does illustrate a key theme in the movie: "With determination, cleverness and risk, a man can pull himself up from disaster to success." The orchids, the tip and the theater tickets require Ziegfeld to spend all he was loaned by Billings to go back to the United States. Ziegfeld instead wagers them on recruiting an act. This act makes the foundation of his first successful show. A second time Ziegfeld finds himself broke, he also builds himself back up. His beautiful death suggests Ziegfeld's final recovery will be his eternal reward for the joy he gave his audiences. Perhaps then the message of assurance for viewers is that even if this world doesn't ultimately provide worldly success, there will be something for the suffering in death. For the women in Ziegfeld's life, honest labor also produces the reward of marriage and stability. Neither needy Anna nor manipulative Audrey last as wards of Ziegfeld through marriage or patronage due to their own character flaws. Billie, however, who is loyal enough to take over being the breadwinner, has a longer marriage and a child with Ziegfeld. These are marks of success for a women of the time.
  2. I love how I can walk through time with movie musicals and read the values of the time through them. One of my favorite trends in the last two decades is the recording of live musical performances to be shown at movie theaters. I took my daughter to see Newsies last summer. She loved it. I've been able to study performances of Falsettos, Company, Sweeney Todd, and Intro the Woods. I'm excited to rewatch some musicals I haven't seen in years. I was watching Cabaret once a month during grad school, and now I haven't seen it in 20 years! Not really kid-appropriate. Musical kid-shows like Ready, Jet, Go! and Peg + Cat have been more our speed.
  3. Happiest Millionaire has been my favorite since childhood! I used "Fortuosity" as an audition song, and I still find myself breaking out into "Detroit"! So many great lines too. "Poison dart. I mean, apple tart."
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