The Band Wagon (1953)

An ode to show business about a washed-up movie actor and dancer (played by Fred Astaire) who is seeking a comeback in a new show about Faust. The kind of show is against his instincts, but he is persuaded to star in. However, it is a musical which doesn’t have much popular appeal, so the producers decide to make the show more appealing with several upbeat routines. The Band Wagon is not so much a strong narrative as showmanship. It fails to impress when it relegates Faust—portrayed in this as a story about temptation and damnation—to the too hard basket, instead favouring the comforts found in escapism. Although this is about the merits of entertainment, it is not so much of an exciting musical, but about a minute of “Girl Hunt”—by far the best segment—stands out.

2 stars out of 5 stars

Breakfast in America (1979)

Supertramp’s album Breakfast in America (1979) seemed to be about the need to feed the spiritual appetite when there is a decline of spiritual values. Perhaps the album hit a nerve during a darker period of cinema; Breakfast in America was the progressive rock/pop band’s most popular album (selling 20 million copies). It is the one album that stands out for me in the band’s repertoire.

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Music of the language

If one can stumble on writing with the music of language as one’s friend, one has an ally in writing. For the music of language plays like a piece of music in a piece of writing. How one gets to play music through writing may be a mystery. For some it comes natural. If one can play music when one writes, one has a wonderful thing. When one knows one writes with the music of language, one can hone and work on it to one’s satisfaction, and play beautiful music when one writes.