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Showstoppers: Busby Berkeley and the Tradition of Spectacle
     

Showstoppers: Busby Berkeley and the Tradition of Spectacle

by Martin Rubin, John Belton (Editor)
 
The first major analyses of Busby Berkeley's career on stage and screen. Showstoppers emphasizes his relationship to a colorful, somewhat disreputable tradition of American popular entertainment: that of P.T Barnum, minstrel shows, vaudeville, Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show, burlesque, and the Ziegfeld Follies. Rubin shows how Berkeley absorbed the

Overview

The first major analyses of Busby Berkeley's career on stage and screen. Showstoppers emphasizes his relationship to a colorful, somewhat disreputable tradition of American popular entertainment: that of P.T Barnum, minstrel shows, vaudeville, Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show, burlesque, and the Ziegfeld Follies. Rubin shows how Berkeley absorbed the declining theatrical tradition during his years as a Broadway dance director and then transferred it to the new genre of the early movie musical. With lively prose and engaging photographs, Showstoppers explores new ways of looking at Busby Berkeley, at the musical genre, and at individual film.

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
A discerning look at Berkeley's art and craft, drawing on historical research as well as formal analysis to place his work in the context of musical theater and cinema. Illustrated with numerous b&w stills. Includes a filmography. The horizontal format (10.25x7.25") has visual appeal, but makes the book a little clumsy to handle. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231080545
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
08/19/1993
Series:
Film and Culture Series
Pages:
249
Product dimensions:
10.26(w) x 7.38(h) x 0.97(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are Saying About This

Andrew Sarris
Rubin has demonstrated the degree to which 'Busby Berkeley' has become a catchword for a great number of contributors to the look of musicals. An exhaustively researched work, it is nonetheless lively and readable and will delight both movie buffs and general readers.

Meet the Author

Martin Rubin was Film Program Director of New York Cultural Center and an Associate Director of the San Francisco Film Festival. He has taught at the State University of New York at Purchase, Wright State University, and the University of California at Santa Barbara. His articles on film have appeared in the Villiage Voice, Movie, Film Comment, Persistence of Vision, and Velvet Light Trap.

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