by Paullette Gaudet
Movie musicals have been around for quite a while: since 1930 if you count The Jazz Singer (an early talkie with some songs), or 1929 if you’re in The Broadway Melody camp (the first “genuine” musical, folding singing and dancing into the plot). Musicals peaked in popularity and extravagance during the 1930s, with the stylish innovation of directors Ernst Lubitsch—who shot films without sound (dubbing it in later) in order to free up his camera movements—and Rouben Mamoulian (an early adopter of slow motion and split screen), as well as the dazzling geometric choreography of Busby Berkeley.
Musicals took full advantage of film’s new sound technology, using song and dance to both enhance and advance a story; a degree of artifice is inherent in the genre, an aspect that either delights or upsets viewers. A ready (and appropriate) solution to this aesthetic divide? Wine! Berkeley’s musical numbers instantly bring to mind corks flying from bottles of champagne, but a less expected pairing for a classic, color-soaked movie musical would be an equally vibrant Tempranillo (like Pagos de Tahola Reserva 2008) or fizzy Pinot Grigio (such as The Essentials Pinot Grigio 2015). Take these flavorful wines out for a spin on the dance floor from the comfort of your own couch, and toast almost 90 years of movie musicals!