Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Oscar, Oscar, OSCAR!

It's hard to find a gif with Oscar Levant in it, and when I do it's always an oddball one. Here he seems to be the epicentre of the room, yet Gene Kelly keeps on hitting him in the face (why?) while he maintains that deadpan, Buster Keatonesque non-expression.
This one has That French Guy in it, the one I hate, who is the main reason I don't watch An American in Paris when it comes on, approximately weekly, on Turner Classics. I don't like that Stairway to Paradise or whatever it is because That French Guy is just a swish and not good for Gene Kelly, not a wholesome influence.  He's better off with his grouchy, slouchy roommate, who can play the piano like nobody's business.
(I also don't like that stupid "I got" thing with the street kids, though it's sexy when Gene Kelly runs his hand up Leslie Caron's thigh when they're dancing at the end. Can't find a gif of that.)

This is a more typical, Rodin-esque Oscar pose, as he thinks to himself, what a couple of stupid jerks, the French guy is probably a poof the way he keeps making eyes at Gene. Everyone else is moving in this, but Oscar is the still point, the eye of the hurricane.


This is what I mean about the poof-iosity, the poof-i-tudinousness of An American in Paris. Gene Kelly puts a tablecloth on his head and pretends to be a girl in a kick line. It's positively perverse. Meantime Oscar, who is adorable and sexy at the piano, shedding some of that saturnine quasi-Bogart-esque grimness, is his usual head-nodding piano-playing self. Just a Gershwin-playing fool.

"Everyone in Hollywood is gay, except Gabby Hayes — and that's because he is a transvestite."