CMCI Senior Lecturer (elect) Harvey G Cohen will appear at the BFI Southbank on Monday 21 July at 8:30PM performing an illustrated lecture based on one of the chapters from his forthcoming book “The Great Depression Musicals and Hollywood’s New Deal” (University of Chicago Press, late 2014 / early 2015).
This event is produced in conjunction with the BFI’s ongoing summer tribute to film musicals entitled “Gotta Sing! Gotta Dance!”.
In this illustrated talk, Harvey G Cohen will examine the curious combination of entertainment and politics embedded within Depression-era hit Footlight Parade. Whilst exploring the unique and moving fashion with which this song-and-dance spectacular reflected the grim realities of the Great Depression, Cohen also shows us the ways Hollywood moguls used cinema to support (or undermine) Roosevelt’s New Deal programs.
To enjoy the whole effect of the presentation, Cohen suggests catching a screening before his lecture of “Footlight Parade” (1933), the principal Warner Bros, musical featured in his new book and in his lecture. And even if you’re not a big history fan, seeing “Footlight Parade” is highly recommended for the stunning choreography devised by Busby Berkeley, the surprisingly salty and witty Pre-Code dialogue, and the musical debut of Warner Bros. star James Cagney, trading in his usual gangster image for some impressive hoofing and singing.
Hollywood’s New Deal in Song and Dance: Footlight Parade and the Great Depression
Monday 21 July 20:30 BFI Reuben Library, BFI Southbank.
Please note that this is a general admission event and seats are allocated on a first come first served basis.