Busby Berkeley's immortal 1943 The Gang's All Here comes to New York's Film Forum in a really lovely new 35mm restoration starting April 20. You should totally go see it. It's an absolutely staggering piece of work, filled with amazing imagery (of which the above "ordinary" shot is but one example), and contains what's probably my favorite single shot in all of Hollywood cinema, the incredibly graceful crane shot starting with the view of a nude statue in the Greek style and ending with Benny Goodman finishing a verse of "Paducah." The restoration, I repeat, is a honey, and its existence suggests a future Blu-ray, a very devoutly-to-be-wished condition for a film that was once so difficult to see in ANY kind of format. But it's a fun picture to see with a crowd, in a real celluloid projection, so do catch it this way if you can.
I was thinking about writing at length about it, despite having done so a couple of years back for what was once The Auteur's Notebook. My good friend Keith Uhlich actually linked to that piece from his Twitter feed today, which compelled me to have a look at it, and I was happy to see that what I wanted to say this time, I had already said then, and not too badly at that, if I say so myself. So here is THAT piece. I'm glad that age has not withered nor custom staled my receptivity to Alice Faye's sometimes melancholy allure.