Friday, May 3, 2013

Bugsy Malone

Urban streets, gunshots, dark alleyways, extravagant clubs, sharp suits: the conventions of the gangster genre are easy to spot in the 1976 film Bugsy Malone, including even specific references to other gangster films. But what about the themes of the classical depression-era gangster films? Can you see any influence of the allegorical "allure and potentially catastrophic consequences of untrammelled individualism" or issues of ethnic or class struggles? Or does the film alter this look on The American Dream by creating a world filled entirely with children and ending the gruesome final showdown with a showstopper? After all, the final words we are left with are:

"You give a little love and it all comes back to you, you know you're gonna be remembered for the things you say and do."

How do the aspects of the integrated music in the film change or add to the thematics of this gangster film? This film is an interesting mix of integrated and "backstage" musical numbers, with the added component of the voices being dubbed over by adults. What effect did all this have on the film as a whole, and can you relate that to the themes you feel it was exploring?

I know that's a lot - I'd like you to really think about this film and how the elements are working, not just post up an opinion piece about how you felt about it. As usual 400 words are the minimum. Due by Monday, May 13th and comments on two others due by Wed, May 15th (this is a bit of an extension than what was on your original assignment sheet).

Check out a piece of this documentary - "Bugsy Malone: After They Were Famous" 
Alan Parker talks about how his son was the one who had the idea to make a movie that was only kids. I believe you can find this whole documentary on youtube (as well as the whole film if you want to re-watch anything).