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The Wednesday Evening Film Series in #SalemOR: “An American in Paris” with Gene Kelly

The Historic Elsinore Theatre and Chemeketa Community College

The Wednesday Evening Film Series – Fall 2014

The Historic Elsinore Theatre, in partnership with the Chemeketa Community College Humanities Department & Film Studies Program, presents a program of classic movies.

7:00 pm
An American in Paris
  (Vincente Minnelli, USA, 1951)

In one of the great American musicals from MGM, Gene Kelly plays ex-GI Jerry Mulligan, an artist struggling to survive on his paintings in post-War Paris, along with a fellow American and aspiring composer (Oscar Levant).  While courted by a wealthy patron with romantic inclinations (Nina Foch), Jerry’s wandering eye spots a lovely young Parisiene (Leslie Caron).  Director Vincente Minnelli (Meet Me in St. Louis) was a master of cinema space, and Gene Kelly (Singing in the Rain) a master of physical space.  When Kelly moves effortlessly through an impossibly tight Montmarte apartment in his very first scene, we recognize the genius of a great dancer.  The film’s charming sets are initially faithful to Paris’s little cafes and constrained spaces, but the venues and the dances grow gradually more grand until extravagant numbers are staged at a wild Art Students’ League costume ball and finally in the infinite dimensions of Jerry’s artistic imagination.  The famous 18-minute dance finale –– set to George Gershwin’s 1928 symphony –– is such an inventive and hallucinatory explosion of color, music, design, and movement that you may leave the theater feeling you should be drug-tested.  Nominated for nine Academy Awards, it won seven.  Gorgeous, restored Technicolor.  115 minutes.

“Joyous, original musical built around Gershwin score; dazzling in color. …The songs, dances, and production are superb.  Oscars include Best Picture, Story and Screenplay, Cinematography, Scoring, Art Direction, Costume Design, and a special citation to Kelly.”  ––Leonard Maltin



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