Saturday, October 4, 2014
Special Cinema Spotlight: Documentary: Gene Kelly: Anatomy of a Dancer
I love what documentaries can offer. Good old fashioned information. Best still, interviews with folks we aren't with us any longer. Documentaries are like little treasures, gifts to those who want to remember things as they were or capture a moment in time that can be relived over and over.
I have always admired the talents of Gene Kelly. I once asked an actor that acted with him in the film Xanadu what Gene Kelly was really like. He said (as I thought he would) that he was the perfect gentlemen. Swoon. Gentlemen. How few we have around us these days but in those days they made them often and well.
Gene Kelly had an incredible skill when it came to dance and choreography. Adding to those skills was his incredible athleticism. He was strong and powerful in his movements and there has never been anyone quite like him since.
I learned that because of Gene Kelly and his collaborations with Stanley Donen, that he was able to create a format to musicals that forever changed how musicals were created and filmed. There is just so much I learned about him.
Last year I met his widow, Patrica Ward, and because of her presentation on the life and career of her late husband, I learned a great deal about him. But watching this documentary and listening to the interviews of those who knew him and worked with him was equally priceless.
This documentary was originally shown on PBS via American Masters in 2002. It is now available on Netfilx via dvd.
There is so much I admire about a person who can create beauty through the movements of their body. It's magical and almost spiritual in its act and presence. Gene Kelly is by far my favorite American male dancer. He is also the man who made some of the best musicals classic film has ever known.
Have you seen this documentary? Have you read any books on Gene Kelly? What is your favorite Gene Kelly film?