For me the key image of the film is the one above, the banana funnel, because this is how I imagined the whole film – an upside down image of the psyche as commonly portrayed: a timid icicle of waking consciousness above an ocean of repression, from where the roars of ancient uncivil dinosaurs rise up to haunt our dreams and imprint our automatic gestures. The Gang’s All Here is an iceberg mockingly standing on its
The heyday of Berkeley's cinema, the filmmaker that with the sequence-shot created an unmatched architecture of "trompe l'oeil", through cinema's own expressivity: by his camera-eye, the space is the consequence of a rigorous, dizzying and whirlwind choreography, in progressive spiral. Berkely was the creator of the image-dance while the spectator-eye dance with it, dancing within.
American kitsch at its ripest - and creepiest. Perhaps had I dropped acid prior to viewing it the film's grotesque abstract musical sequences would have kicked me over the moon, but, as I was unfortunate enough to see this in a state of total sobriety, they only greatly added to the discomfort I felt at the sight of the bananas atop Carmen Miranda's head, the lunatic gleam in her eyes.
Does Debord's critique of spectacle as appearance fetishism need to be modified when the (very commercial, trascendentally kitsch) appearance is so formally delirious as to shade off into abstract avant-garde? What can the profit-motive appropriate but self-parody?
Busby Berkeley doesn't care about plot! He wants dance numbers and colorful sets. The plot is merely a device to transition from one number to the next. Alice Faye was the only real thing in the movie and what a lovely voice she has.
(3.5 stars) Oh, that flashy Busby Berkeley! Music, Dance and oh, those theatrical sets! Grandiose choreography with wonderful costumes and popping colors. As with most of these type of films, the story takes a backseat to the glamour and sparkle of it all. It's light and fun with that wonderful design element throughout the movie. Worth the watch just for the magnetic and delightful Carmen Miranda. She's wonderful.