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Must a "Musical" be fantasy based?

 
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The Ringbearer
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Joined: 23 Mar 2004
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PostPosted: 03.25.2004 1:02 am    Post subject: Must a "Musical" be fantasy based? Reply with quote

I was watching School of Rock this afternoon and I realized how it seemed to be a musical just as much (if not more) as a comedy. That led me to thinking. . . must a film, in order to be labeled a musical, be fantasy based? In School of Rock, all the music is reality-based (meaning it was conscious of itself) whereas a film like The Sound of Music is rooted in fantasy (everyone seems to know the words to every song and it is used to further the plot the same way dialogue is). Could School of Rock still be considered a musical even though it does not have those fantastical elements involved? Understand, I don't mean School of Rock is a realistic movie, I just mean the characters are conscious of the music AS MUSIC and not a means of communication or plot device.
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Last edited by The Ringbearer on 03.25.2004 8:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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matt header
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PostPosted: 03.25.2004 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's possible to have a realistic musical - that is, one where the music arrives at moments where they could conceivably exist in real life. I think rock documentaries and concert films qualify as musicals, like Stop Making Sense and Gimme Shelter. I take it as a pretty general meaning: any film that concerns within its main plot or utilizes as a narrative device a musical form.
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 03.25.2004 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sure. Movies like This is Spinal Tap and Purple Rain are often labeled as "slash-musicals" -- comedy/musical, drama/musical.
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The Ringbearer
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PostPosted: 03.25.2004 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for your responses. I think I agree with both of you, I just wanted some extra views on the subject. Very Happy
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Fred C. Dobbs
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PostPosted: 03.25.2004 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yankee Doodle Dandy is a musical, and it's based on FACT!



Although you really must live in some fantasy world to just break out into song at the most random and inopertune times. Laughing Laughing
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Tooky Cat
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PostPosted: 03.26.2004 2:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've seen several musicals that can't necessarily be classified as "fantasy". The broadway hit Mamma Mia, for example, is about two people who are about to get married and the ensusing drama/hilarity. Nothing fantastic about that.



The only odd element all musicals have are the obvious manner in which all characters suddenly burst into song and do the same dance and what not. Sometimes I wish people would do that. I'd like to see the entire high school cafeteria simultaneously get up and do the robot like in Superstar.
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The Ringbearer
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PostPosted: 03.26.2004 3:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's what I meant: not fantasy the way we usually think about it, but fantasy in the terms of breaking out into song and all the characters seeming to know the words even know it hasn't been rehearsed at all. I mean, that's fantastical, right?
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Tooky Cat
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PostPosted: 03.26.2004 4:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, yes I suppose it is. So you're question is can a musical be "realistic"? I'm inclined to think the answer is "no", at least I can't think of any musical that actually makes 100% sense. But I've never seen School of Rock so I dunno...
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The Ringbearer
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PostPosted: 03.26.2004 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hahaha, no I think you still have me wrong. School of Rock is not realistic at all - not in the least bit, but when they sing and play music they are doing it TO PLAY MUSIC AND SING, whereas in Chicago singing is used to move the plot and that would not happen in real life. Do you. . . see?. . . Razz
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matt header
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PostPosted: 03.26.2004 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I certainly think musicals can be realistic, and they don't necessarily have to have the fantastical element of lots of unrelated characters breaking into a simultaneous song and dance. The musical can cover lots of different ground: This is Spinal Tap is a good example of a "realistic" musical, in that it portrays musical moments that could very easily happen in real life. Musical documentaries, like Scratch and Buena Vista Social Club, are musicals that are entirely about how a certain sort of music relates to reality; concert films like Stop Making Sense are reality, the reality of attending a music concert. I can think of only a few fiction musicals that have a very realistic edge to them, but in Black Orpheus (admittedly an extremely fantastic and baroque tragedy) the sequences in which bossa nova music is played are realistic to the setting and the characters - these people really would play music just like this, just at this moment, just in this context. School of Rock is a good example as well.
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