The Hollywood self-reflexive backstage musical's evolving appeal over specific decades

Charters, Amy (2007) The Hollywood self-reflexive backstage musical's evolving appeal over specific decades. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    I have had a strong interest in the musical genre and its capability to mix escapism with realism in particular within the backstage musical. My interest in this field encouraged me to examine a variety of musical films that adopted the theory of self-reflexivity. I examine the appeal of the musical by looking at three specific decades drawing three case studies on popular backstage musical films within them. I observe how the musical genre has increasingly changed to attract audiences from different generations. Through analysing these films particular areas are covered, including the impact of stars on the audience and the development of technology and audience awareness. It is evident through my findings that the backstage musical reinvents itself over time in order to obtain a large spectrum of viewers. The self-reflexivity produced enables the viewer to interact with the socio-political context of class, gender and love. The Hollywood star economics and escapist aesthetics also contribute to how the film appeals to the viewer. Through investigating the musicals, Gold Diggers of 1933 (LeRoy, 1933), Singin' in the Rain (Kelly & Donen, 1952) and Moulin Rouge! (Luhrmann, 2001), I am able to get an overview of how the self-reflexive musical can change. However as I have chosen three popular self-reflexive musicals it is impossible to see whether all self-reflexive musicals are appealing. My findings make it possible to argue that the self-reflexive musical is increasingly self-reflexive through the combination of western social ideology, nostalgia, intertextuality and postmodernism; thus identifying a strong indication that the Hollywood musical viewer is entertained and maintains interest in the evolving genre.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries > School of Media and Performing Arts
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:47
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:13

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