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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2020

entry arrow10:00 AM | The Film Meme No. 59

[59th of 100]. When I think of the magic of Technicolor, the first thing I think about is this 1944 paean by Vincente Minnelli to the seasons of an American family's life, which brings out with unshy lushness the brightness of summer, the charms of autumn, the depths of winter, and the gaiety of spring as they happen to the Smiths of St. Louis, Missouri, all in the months prior to the opening of the famed World's Fair in 1904. The colours simply pop in this film, fantastical to the core, but the result is uncanny because it underscores both the fairy tale quality of the story and the groundedness with which we relate to it. It is both artifice and realness in equal measure, which is an impossible tightrope to navigate indeed. Perhaps the realness comes from the seeming relatability of this family -- Mr. and Mrs. Smith and their four daughters and one son -- that comes despite their obvious privileges. I think it's the performances. Judy Garland, for example, brings a singular charm to her role as Esther, the spirited second daughter in love with the boy next door, which is removed from the neurosis she'd display come later roles. When she sings "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" in the winter section of this movie musical, for example, she gives it the right dose of pathos, which would make the song an iconic holiday tune. [It is my favorite Christmas song bar none.] We feel the movie right in our guts, and this is the very quality I have come to find real, and warm. Every December, I do a marathon of Christmas movies, which has become my ritual, and it includes personal holiday favorites such as A Christmas Story, Home Alone, The Nightmare Before Christmas, It's a Wonderful Life, When Harry Met Sally..., Mixed Nuts, Miracle on 34th Street, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and Mon Oncle Antoine. This film, however, is always the last that I screen, ending with the best to get me into the right mood of the often difficult season. It never ceases to not work. What's the film?

For the introduction to this meme, read here.

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