Musical films at USC SineKultura this week!

The University of San Carlos  CAFA Theater will feature a series of musical films for screening and study this June 13, 15 and 17 as part of SineKultura, a venue for cinema appreciation and scholarship for Cebu’s cinephiles!

This is open to USC students and to the public!

A natural development of the stage musical for the movie screen, a musical film is a genre where songs are sung by characters which are interwoven in the film’s story. Songs and music are used to develop the characters or advance the plot.

A subgenre of the musical film is the musical comedy, which includes a strong element of humor as well as the usual music, dancing and storyline.

The 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s are considered to be the golden age of the musical film, when the genre’s popularity was at its highest in the Western world.

SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN, June 13, 530 PM

One of the most beloved of the MGM movies, this 1952 American comedy musical, “Singin’ in the Rain”(USA, Color, 103 minutes) stars Debbie Reynolds and Gene Kelly, who also is the co-director and choreographer of the film, which is a comic depiction of a Hollywoodfilm production company’s difficult, and often humorous transition from silent moviemaking to sound “talkies”. A movie about movies.

In the famous dance routine in which Gene Kelly sings the title song while twirling an umbrella, splashing through puddles and getting soaked to the skin, Kelly was sick with a 103-degree fever at the time. The rain consisted of a mixture of water and milk so it would show up better on film but it caused Gene Kelly’s wool suit to shrink.

The script was written after the songs, and so the writers had to generate a plot into which the songs would fit.

Although his performance in the song “Singin’ in the Rain” is now considered iconic, Kelly was not the first choice for the role—Howard Keel was originally cast. Keel was replaced by Kelly as the screenwriters rewrote the character from a “Western actor” to a “song-and-dance vaudeville” performer.



“An American in Paris”(USA, Color, 113 minutes) is a 1951 MGM musical film inspired by the 1928 orchestral composition by George Gershwin. The film is set in Paris, and was directed by Vincente Minnelli from a script by Alan Jay Lerner and stars Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron.

The story of the film is interspersed with show-stopping dance numbers choreographed by Gene Kelly and set to Gershwin tunes. The climax is “The American in Paris” ballet, a 16 minute dance featuring Kelly and Caron set to Gershwin’s An American in Paris. the ballet alone cost more than $500,000, a staggering sum at the time and took a month’s time to film. No words are spoken during the last 20 minutes and 25 seconds of the film.

Gene Kelly received an Academy Honorary Award that year for “his versatility as an actor, singer, director and dancer, and specifically for his brilliant achievements in the art of choreography on film.” It was his only Oscar.

The film was entered into the 1952 Cannes Film Festival.



Dancer in the Dark is a 2000 Danish musical drama film directed by Lars von Trier and starring Icelandic singer Björk, who also mainly wrote the soundtrack of the film, but a number of songs featured contributions from Mark Bell and the lyrics were by Lars Von Trier and Sjón.

Dancer in the Dark is the third film in Lars von Trier’s “Golden Heart Trilogy;” the previous two films were Breaking the Waves (1996) and The Idiots (1998).

Dancer in the Dark was shot with a handheld camera, and was somewhat inspired by a Dogme 95 look. It is filmed on low-end, hand-held digital cameras to create a documentary-style appearance. It is not a true Dogme 95 film, however, because the Dogme rules stipulate that violence, non-diegetic music, and period pieces are not permitted. Trier differentiates the musical sequences from the rest of the film by using static cameras and by brightening the colors.

Premiered at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival to standing ovations and controversy, Dancer in the Dark was awarded the Palme d’Or, along with the Best Actress award for Björk. The song “I’ve Seen It All,” with Thom Yorke, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song.

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SINEKULTURA is the educational film screening program of the University of San Carlos – College of Fine Arts and Architecture in Nasipit, Talamban, Cebu for its Bachelor of Fine Arts in Cinema students. With the cooperation of the Tioseco-Bohinc Film Archive, world-class films are made available for viewing for appreciation and study by film students and film/media professionals.

This is also to create an active world cinema culture and community here in Cebu, where movie lovers and cinephiles and scholars can be exposed and experience to different products of global cinema.

2 thoughts on “Musical films at USC SineKultura this week!”

  1. I hope USC will offer the Bachelor In Music course, since no schools in Cebu is offering that. I hope someone would support the musically gifted kids here in Cebu. so far only CAC is offering scholarships of kids who wants to pursue their courses in music. But the kids has to be brought outside Cebu, since we don’t have BM course here. What happened now is, those Cebuanos who were able to graduate in BM in Manila and here Cebu (CIC batch 1993) are working abroad now and some were simply having their own music schools here in Cebu and in Mindanao.

    There are so many musically gifted children here in Cebu, but due to poverty, they were not able to get formal training.
    I am now begging, to the government officials and schools to help the gifted children here in Cebu. The children are our future, so please support them.

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