This is much better than the first one. The clips are better -- every sequence is fun. And the present-day footage has a bizarrely creative mise-en-scene (directed -- no surprise -- by Gene Kelly himself). The present scenes have a great dancing chemistry between Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire as elderly men (only the second time, I believe, that they danced together on screen). Seeing all these MGM clips, though, really made me appreciate once again the Freed Unit and Vincente Minnelli. You can detect a Freed-Donen/Kelly image or a Freed-Minnelli image instantaneously. They are beautiful. Pure cinema. Everything else is utterly banal.
I had that all-too rare experience of appreciating a film I loved even more because of the experiencing of teaching it. The first time I saw the movie (at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens (then called the American Museum of the Moving Image) back in 95 or 96) was one of the very few moments I left a theater feeling as if my mind had split open (my first screenings of L'AVVENTURA and of Apichatpong come to…