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By Tim Smith

Where A r [ts] Thou?

Est: January 2006

“… and in all arts it is training that brings art to perfection.” {Mark Twain}

“Fly – don’t walk” to see Top Gun Maverick, starring Tom Cruise reprising his role from the original Top Gun film of 1986.

Entertaining on so many levels, one really must turn to the breathtaking aerial footage captured and then edited together by the film’s director, Joseph Kosinski, cinematographer, Claudio Miranda, film editor, Eddie Hamilton, just to name a “highflying” few.

Oh, and the actors are “not too shabby,” (my mom’s favorite term) either. Great ensemble work, on the ground as well.

This film has taken the operative term, collaboration, to new levels. It was fun to be along inside the cockpit- quite literally.

Try not to read too much or talk to too many of your friends before buying a ticket, just enjoy the ride once inside. Note: I have heard that the IMAX format is quite something, so you may want to check that out.

Speaking of tickets, and there have been plenty of those sold – and of late note: On Sunday, June the 26th, our son came forward and said that the film had already broken the “billion-dollar sales mark” at the box-office. He follows such things, a child of the times for sure.

Not sure where those numbers will be once this copy hits ‘the newsstand.”

Another must view: Go to You Tube and watch the “spot on” acceptance speech by Julie Andrews after receiving the American Film Institute’s (AFI) Lifetime Achievement Award. Prior to her comments, the five remaining actors who played the Von Trapp children in the 1965 film version of The Sound of Music, in which Ms. Andrews played Maria, led the ensembled guests in a sing-a-long to a song from the film. Seeing the “family Von Trapp” standing behind Ms. Andrews will bring a tear to your eye.

Elegant and graceful, like Ms. Andrews herself.

Now, let’s dance: While on this journey of celebrating the best in film, and after all, it is summertime, we re-watched The Greatest Showman, starring Hugh Jackman, currently riding high, (sorry, no pun intended), and Tony nominated, for wowing Broadway audiences, in The Music Man, and then, traveling back four decades, and that was hard to believe: we re-engaged with another Broadway (and the Tony winning musical, for 1977), the 1982 film version of Annie based on the comic strip character Little Orphan Annie and featuring a masterful comedic performance turned in by Carol Burnett, as the shady and unscrupulous Miss Hannigan.

An interesting story line, and one that you may want to learn more about, is that the film was directed by multiple Oscar winner John Huston. Celebrated as “cinemas Ernest Hemmingway,” (Wikipedia citation; author Ian Freer) his multi-faceted vitae contains little that would indicate his deft hand in directing children, (many, many children), brilliant comedic turns, and sensational dance sequences.

For us, the bottom line: We had ostensibly set aside two evenings as a celebration of music and dance. One is reminded, that the craft of shooting and editing choreographed sequences on film, returning us back to the days of the legendary MGM musicals, remain the cornerstone upon which teams like the aforementioned Top Gun Maverick artisans can lean on when required. It is just a part of their DNA.

Every film helps the next, and on it goes.

Let’s return to Ms. Andrews acceptance speech.

She had, as her guest, one of her oldest and dearest friends, Carol Burnett. As contemporaries, their early career television collaborations are worth calling up when you are in the You Tube sphere.

More from “332 Maple Road”: While on legacy, this was the fictitious address of Sheriff Andy Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show. Still in the formative stage, this column heading has contemporary opportunities. For example: We still have half-hour program time parameters, especially with “sit-coms,” where a fully developed story must be realized.

Like those high-flying photographers, today’s writers had to learn it somewhere. Stay tuned.

Connections made, locally inspired, through the arts, in our town.

For Otis: 1926- [1968]-1921: A Broadway Baby

Content – Create – Connect

tAs

Where Ar [ts] Thou? is published each Wednesday for the newsstand and weekends for the website of the Pauls Valley [OK] Democrat. Founded: 1904.



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