Buzz: The Life and Art of Busby Berkeley [Paperback]

Jeffrey Spivak (Author)

ISBN: 9780813154084 | Published by: University Press of Kentucky | Series: Screen Classics | Year of Publication: 2021 | Language: English 410p, H235 x W156 (mm) 62 b&w photos



Characterised by grandiose song-and-dance numbers featuring ornate geometric patterns and mimicked in many modern films, Busby Berkeley's unique artistry is as recognizable and striking as ever. From his years on Broadway to the director's chair, Berkeley is notorious for his inventiveness and signature style. Through sensational films like 42nd Street (1933), Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933), Footlight Parade (1933), and Dames (1934), Berkeley sought to distract audiences from the troubles of the Great Depression. Although his bold technique is familiar to millions of moviegoers, Berkeley's life remains a mystery.

Buzz: The Life and Art of Busby Berkeley is a telling portrait of the filmmaker who revolutionized the musical and changed the world of choreography. Berkeley pioneered many conventions still in use today, including the famous "parade of faces" technique, which lends an identity to each anonymous performer in a close-up. Carefully arranging dancers in complex and beautiful formations, Berkeley captured perspectives never seen before.

Jeffrey Spivak's meticulous research magnifies the career and personal life of this beloved filmmaker. Employing personal letters, interviews, studio memoranda, and Berkeley's private memoirs, Spivak unveils the colorful life of one of cinema's greatest artists.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements Prologue Actress and Son In Formation The Show Fixer A Cyclopean Vision The Cinematerpsichorean The Cancerous Tire Post-Traumatic Inspiration Buzz's Babes Art and Audacity The Stage Debacle Inconsolable One Last at Bat Jumping, Tapping, Diving Out of Sight The Ringmaster Remember My Forgotten Director The Figurehead The Palmy Days Epilogue On Busby Berkeley's Memoirs Appendix Notes Index

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