The Red Shoes

After my class was over, I headed home to drop off my stuff and sit down to watch the Big Bang Theory episode with Wil Wheaton and the Enchanted Bunny game.  I then went to the record store to browse, and I bought used Blu-ray discs of “Torn Curtain” and “Boyhood,” and a $2 Woodentops album on vinyl.  I went to buy a burrito before I sat down to watch the Criterion Collection Blu-ray edition of “The Red Shoes,” another movie from my childhood.  The first time I saw it was many years ago on a PBS television station in the middle of the night.  I’ll always remember the waves off the stage and the Technicolor photography.  The movie felt magical the first time I saw it.  Is the star of the show always supposed to fall in love with the man writing the music?  That’s what I remember from the parody “Movie Movie” from Stanley Donen.  I could understand what Lermontov was thinking, as the romance seemed lame with the love gestures during a performance.  Moira Shearer later worked with Michael Powell in “The Tales of Hoffmann” and “Peeping Tom.”  She was 80 years old when she died in 2006.  I read an article about Martin Scorsese talking about Michael Powell and “The Red Shoes,” dated May 14, 2009.  Scorsese said that he first saw the movie when he was nine or ten years old, his father taking him to the theatre.  People have told Scorsese over the years that he is like the Lermontov character.  He also watched the movie every Christmas on television, though in black and white.  Scorsese eventually met Powell during a trip to London.  Powell was living in a trailer, and Scorsese spoke so quickly and excitedly that he didn’t remember what Powell said to him.  I laughed when I saw another interview in which Scorsese said that he was seven or eight years old when his father took him to see “The Red Shoes.”  Scorsese was behind the restoration of the film.  One of his comments about the film was that “It’s about the joy and exuberance of filmmaking itself.  It’s one of the true miracles of film history.”  Scorsese’s film editor married Powell in 1984.  I wouldn’t say that the movie has stayed in my mind over the years, as it has for Scorsese, but I admire its quality.  As I watched it again, I felt lucky that I was able to see its color and its inspiration.  The ending is what separates this movie from all the Hollywood pictures of 1948.  I wondered what happened to Anton Walbrook, and I read that he died of a heart attack in Germany in 1967, when he was 70 years old.  The cinematographer Jack Cardiff worked on “The African Queen,” “The Barefoot Contessa,” “War and Peace,” “Fanny,” and “Rambo: First Blood Part II.”  He died in 2009 at age 94.  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for May 5, “Union Pacific,” directed by Cecil B. DeMille and starring Barbara Stanwyck and Joel McCrea, was released in 1939.  Elvis Presley had his first Number One single in 1956, “Heartbreak Hotel.”  In 1973, Elvis Presley’s album “Aloha from Hawaii Via Satellite” was Number One on the charts.  In 1980, “French Kiss,” directed by Lawrence Kasdan and starring Meg Ryan and Kevin Kline, was released.  In 2000, Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton were married in Las Vegas.  In 2002, “Spider-Man 2” became the fastest movie to earn more than $100 million at the box office.

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