VINCENTE MINNELLI: TECHNICOLOR DREAMER Rating: NNNNN
Vincente Minnelli arrived in Hollywood from Broadway in the mid-1940s, just in time to become a key member of the Arthur Freed unit at MGM. He's best remembered as the creator of some of the most spectacular musicals of the post-war era: Meet Me In St. Louis, The Band Wagon, An American In Paris and The Pirate.
Cinematheque Ontario's retrospective includes those films but also gives us a chance to look at Minnelli's melodramas - dark-toned and often underrated films like The Bad And The Beautiful, Some Came Running (Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin give their best dramatic performances) and Home From The Hill.
If those golden-era classics aren't enough to tempt you, remember that when Martin Scorsese made his three-hour Personal Journey Through American Movies, the two directors he spent the most time on were John Cassavetes and Minnelli, a huge influence on his own work. If you doubt it, watch the way Minnelli moves the camera in Some Came Running or Meet Me In St. Louis, then go home and put on Taxi Driver. (Cinematheque Ontario, January 30-March 4)