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Matthew Kennedy to Visit the SSO April 18-21

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moira finnie
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Matthew Kennedy to Visit the SSO April 18-21

Postby moira finnie » April 16th, 2014, 12:20 pm

Roadshow! The Fall of Film Musicals in the 1960s (Oxford University Press) by Matthew Kennedy, the account of what happened to the big musicals made by Hollywood movie studios in that singular decade, is a story that is by turns epic, funny, puzzling, gossipy, and historically fascinating as it traces a cultural shift away from the musical at the center of American entertainment.

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Please click on the above image to see more about Matthew Kennedy & his books

Our next guest author, Matthew Kennedy, will visit from Friday, April 18th-Monday, April 21st to discuss how high-priced, reserved-seat, two-show-a-day runs of big budget epic movies became wildly popular among studios after the success of Mary Poppins (1964), followed by My Fair Lady (1964) and the remarkable, record-breaking success of The Sound of Music (1965).

Suddenly, producers at MGM, Warner Brothers and Twentieth Century Fox threw money at a series of musical films that followed a certain formula for movie box office success:
Lavish productions of non-controversial, family friendly topics + Julie Andrews + or, in a pinch, Rex Harrison + the notion that everyone can "sing" in the style of Harrison. On top of this, the directors who could guide such lumbering projects to success were few and far between (Vincente Minnelli's name came up...a lot).

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Unfortunately, the results were often critically and financially disappointing. A phenomenal conglomeration of talents behind the camera and in front of the lens could not stem the tsunami of change that was washing over the world of entertainment, especially when the films' stories were overshadowed by the salaries of those involved. Lavishly made movies such as Doctor Dolittle (1967), Camelot (1967), Star! (1968), Paint Your Wagon (1969), and Man of La Mancha (1972) ultimately led to the demise of the roadshow, with their huge publicity campaigns, reserved seating, costumed ushers, souvenir programs and the idea of going to the movies as a special occasion becoming but a memory.

In his highly entertaining and well researched book, Matthew Kennedy brings the creative and corporate dramas surrounding this aspect of film history alive with great detail, telling anecdotes and portraits of the often all-too-human figures involved, just as he did previously when he was our guest author, discussing the impact of such diverse figures as comedic actress Marie Dressler [Marie Dressler : A Biography], director Edmund Goulding [Edmund Goulding's Dark Victory: Hollywood's Genius Bad Boy] and actress Joan Blondell [Joan Blondell: A Life between Takes]. Please join us this weekend to learn more about Roadshow! The Fall of Film Musicals in the 1960s, which has been described as "a brilliant, gripping history of film musicals and their changing place in our culture."

Below are links to Matthew Kennedy online, news about the excellent critical reception to Roadshow! The Fall of Film Musicals in the 1960s, and a link to his previous Q & A when he was our guest in 2008:

Matthew Kennedy Books

Matthew Kennedy on Facebook

Roadshow! The Fall of Film Musicals in the 1960s Critical Reception Online

Matthew Kennedy Q & A on the SSO in 2008
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moira finnie
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Re: Matthew Kennedy to Visit the SSO April 18-21

Postby moira finnie » April 16th, 2014, 2:37 pm

A two part conversation with Matthew Kennedy at The Commentary Track online is available to hear at a podcast with the author conversing with Frank Thompson:

Matthew Kennedy Part One

Matthew Kennedy Part Two
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