Saturday, November 21, 2009

Saturday Music for Musical Daydreams

Very often we wish to escape the humdrum, the sadness and the pain of life. WE wish we could float away on a light billowy cloud of optimistic gleeful fantasy. In 1981, director Herbert Ross turned the British television dramatic mini-series PENNIES FROM HEAVEN, by Dennis Potter, into a Hollywood motion picture. This story involved simple plodding Depression era people, a music sheet salesman and a plain school teacher, who escape from their banal boring and financially poor existences into the fantasy of song and dance. Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters play the main characters whose lives become more fantasy driven as they descend into terribly dire circumstances. The movie is quite sad and not very optimistic (the television show was even more depressing). It shows a time when Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers films packed people into movie houses to flee from a bleak reality for a couple of hours. THE FUTURIST! loves the musical fantasy sequences from this film. There are many such fantasy scenes and one even involves a tap dancing Christopher Walken as a villainous pimp. The sequence below is a favorite. The school teacher imagines that her class joins her in a Hollywood extravaganza of white tails, white pianos and blinding white hope that love can cure all.

Listen and watch:

(from the film PENNIES FROM HEAVEN - 1981)
composed and written by Cliff Friend and Matty Malneck


Dara said...

I still haven't seen this. I must make a point of checking it out.


It's pretty dismal ... story-wise. Very very sad, Dara. But,that's he point of the film.