Incongruous Entertainment : Camp, Cultural Value, and the MGM Musical
Steven CohanISBN: 0822335956;
Book DescriptionWith their lavish costumes and sets, ebullient song and dance numbers, and iconic movie stars, the musicals that mgm produced in the 1940s seem today to epitomize camp. Yet they were originally made to appeal to broad, mainstream audiences. In this lively, nuanced, and provocative reassessment of the mgm musical, Steven Cohan argues that this seeming incongruity?between the camp value and popular appreciation of these musicals?is not as contradictory as it seems. He demonstratesthat the films’ extravagance and queerness were deliberate elements and keys to their popular success. In addition to examining the spectatorship of the mgm musical, Cohan investigates the genre’s production and marketing, paying particular attention to the studio’s employment of a largely gay workforce of artists and craftspeople. He reflects on the role of the female stars?including Judy Garland, Debbie Reynolds, Esther Williams, and Lena Horne?and...
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