Why is Cats?
April 4, 2020 7:38 PM   Subscribe

Any viewer of Tom Hooper's Cats (2019) will find themselves asking one question constantly: why? Lindsay Ellis takes 57 minutes, with copious examples from the film and stage productions and analysis of the differences between the two mediums, to explain: Why is Cats?
posted by zachlipton (57 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
 
God bless you- but you're still a monster for putting this movie into my eyeballs.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 7:59 PM on April 4 [2 favorites]


Brilliant, although I don't t understand the hate for the film Les Miserables? Is the general misunderstanding the reason why the hate is there?
posted by eustatic at 8:04 PM on April 4


It's criminal that animated Cats was never made.
posted by captain afab at 8:15 PM on April 4 [6 favorites]


Brilliant, although I don't t understand the hate for the film Les Miserables? Is the general misunderstanding the reason why the hate is there?

I think the video explains why those who dislike Tom Hooper's Les Miserables feel the way they do.
posted by Merus at 8:17 PM on April 4 [13 favorites]


In fact, I'd say the general reason she dislikes Les Mis is probably like the thesis statement of the entire video.
posted by codacorolla at 8:20 PM on April 4 [3 favorites]


But yeah, pure nostalgia, cross-pollinated with cynical cash grab, all the way down? From New York in the 80's to modern Hollywood?
posted by eustatic at 8:26 PM on April 4


I guess I just wasn t ready for the depth of the hatred, since that s seems like a movie where Hooper s style worked?
posted by eustatic at 8:27 PM on April 4


That's not what's in the video at all. Ellis's thesis on the Les Mis adaptation's failure is that it tries to make a musical into a movie while understanding the structure of either- IE the Les Mis musical was quite good- and a straight up non-musical Les Mis movie (or one that was a musical while understanding how movies differ from musicals) would have been good- And that's the same problem with Cats the movie- Tom Hooper's ridiculous focus on realism for a genre that's... not realistic! Les Mis was a good movie- it won an oscar after all (though weather that's a good metric for a good movie... is another comment.) But arguably it was a bad musical.

Gonna be honest with you- not sure where you are getting hate and hatred from? Ellis doesn't roll like that and her critiques are quite logical, and well supported- can you show where the hate is?
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 8:30 PM on April 4 [21 favorites]


Or, it didn't work, and this is somehow the fault of Hugh Jackman's ability to save a film from a bad director, twice?
posted by eustatic at 8:34 PM on April 4


Ok- I'm not understanding your argument at all- I'm not sure Hugh Jackman is mentioned in the video once? Can you explain?
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 8:35 PM on April 4 [1 favorite]


My personal thesis on why the Les Mis movie failed is that it was a great production of Les Mis with totally baffling and terrible cinematography that actively hindered my ability to enjoy the very good performances, staging, and design. But that is probably not super relevant right now.
posted by nonasuch at 8:50 PM on April 4 [7 favorites]


(also Hugh Jackman has a great physicality for Valjean but not quite the right voice and Russell Crowe was... not a good choice for Javert but all the other casting was good-to-great and would have been very enjoyable to watch if the camera had backed the fuck off a little and let us take in the scene)
posted by nonasuch at 8:52 PM on April 4 [13 favorites]


What I'm curious about is two things: (1) the degree to which Cats influenced or affected the development of the burgeoning furry culture (did it start with Cats?)

And (2): What is the alternate history like, where TS Eliot wrote "Rossum's Book of Pollicle Dogs" instead? Would there have been a Dogs musical?
posted by LeRoienJaune at 8:53 PM on April 4 [7 favorites]


It seems like Hooper doesn't understand post-production and makes decisions that end placing a huge burden on his post-production teams. In Les Mis he wanted naturalistic performances so he didn't have the actors sing to a track or even a click tempo. Which would be cool except for the fact that editing can involve cutting together different parts of different takes to find the best performance. That's fine if it's dialogue, but what happens when you need to cut a song together and realize the director's favorite rendition of the second stanza isn't quite in the same tempo and key as the first? You'd think a director would think about something like than went directing a musical, but no.

For Cats, his big idea during filming was to not use tracking dots on the actors and instead just let them act and then have the FX team just figure it out later. Again, dropping a ton of extra work on the post-production. Cats also apparently really cut corners on their FX budget and lot of people working on were on their very first gig. Scorsese did the same thing for The Irishman, but he clearly worked with his FX team to ensure that it would work, and used a lot of interesting tech to get them the same data that tracking dots would convey.
posted by thecjm at 9:08 PM on April 4 [33 favorites]


LeRoienJaune, I think you’re going to find that Funny animals and Alternative Comix were probably far more influential than Weber was to the furry community, though obviously everyone has a different thing. From my own experience, getting into the community in the mid to late 90s, Cats never came up, but Omaha was revered.

However, I’ve seen some furry and furry adjacent artists now drawing Cats stuff, but that’s because it was THE topic of those who are Very Online for like two weeks.
posted by gc at 9:12 PM on April 4 [4 favorites]


Would there have been a Dogs musical?

Again I must remind you that
A Dog's a Dog - A CAT'S A CAT.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 9:15 PM on April 4 [7 favorites]


Cats did little to influence furry culture, as far as I understand it. It sprang out of a love of Warner Brothers golden age animation (and similar material) and also out of theme park costume actors who found it liberating to be anonymous inside a giant dog, or whatever. I can't speak with authority, but I have never heard of Cats being an early part of furry.

I have heard of cast members of touring Cats companies turning up at furry conventions in the town they are playing wearing costume, however. Or at least makeup/hair.
posted by hippybear at 9:16 PM on April 4 [5 favorites]


I do find it interesting that the video doesn't mention Dreamgirls at all, which won Hudson an Oscar. That movie is a great blend of the sort of dream-like narrative sweep that is needed in a musical film. It's realistic without being tied to realism.

There are plenty of other examples from recent times, too.

I quite liked the choices made in the Les Miz movie, but by the time I'd seen it I'd had it memorized for so many decades and had seen stage productions both in person and on television so much that just sitting with the songs being lived live on camera was perfect for me. I can see how it might have been different for people not so... steeped... in the show.

I haven't seen Cats. I did watch this video. It helped me to know that when it appears on some streaming service I pay for I want to see it. I'm glad I didn't pay to see it in a theater.

I've seen Cats live in person 3 times in two languages (English and German), all in the 80s. That was sort of peak-Cats time in general. I don't find it to be a great musical but I think it's one of the most thrilling dance recitals I will ever see.
posted by hippybear at 9:25 PM on April 4 [6 favorites]


I was texting with a friend last night. The conversation started with me demanding a good suggestion of what to stream-watch on the platforms available to me. We discovered that Cats is available on Amazon (...though it's pricey) and considered its merits.

Then I learned that he hadn't heard about the "Release the Butthole Cut" hijinks, and gleefully explained it to him.

This lead to both of us watching the Butthole Cut Trailer.

...which reminded me that Cats isn't just that batshit CGI movie that I've been meaning to watch when I'm on drucks, but is also that shitty musical with all those songs I hate.

I'll wait until it's cheaper and I have more drucks available...
posted by Anoplura at 9:25 PM on April 4 [6 favorites]


I don't know why I thought of this, or chose to share it, but I was just thinking about other (terrible) Andrew Lloyd Weber musicals that could be made into films and now I have a fully realized version of Starlight Express in my head.

It's totally in mid-Eighties Japanese Anime style - hand-shaded cell animation, unnecessarily faceted robot bodies, big eyes, bigger hair, etc. - and all of the dialog and songs are in Japanese.

You're welcome.
posted by Anoplura at 9:42 PM on April 4 [19 favorites]


What I'm curious about is two things: (1) the degree to which Cats influenced or affected the development of the burgeoning furry culture (did it start with Cats?)

Someone, somewhere, probably really liked Cats. In my experience people weren't doing a ton of Cats fanart from a furry bent in, like, the early-mid 90s?

It wasn't a monolith, though. People had tons of different influences/reference points. As far as things people were lifting from directly, Sonic the Hedgehog and The Lion King were really prevalent.
posted by StarkRoads at 9:43 PM on April 4


I watched this twice already yesterday.

I think the mention of the Les Mis movie wasn't necessarily that she hated it as such. It's more like this -

There are some fundamental ways in which movies are different from musicals (and movies are different from theater). There is a stylistic language we've come to expect from musicals, and another one we've come to expect from movies. This isn't necessarily good or bad, it just...is. Because of this, translating something from one format to the other can be really, really tricky to pull off well - if you're adapting a movie into a musical, the style needs to be a little broader, the emoting needs to get a bit bigger, in order for the "and now we just randomly burst into song" stuff to make sense. Going the other way, a movie of a musical is usually best when it goes kind of stylized and surreal and a little kooky; Moulin Rouge got away with it by being over-the-top camp, and Chicago got away with it by making all the music sequences sort of quasi-hallucinations/daydreams on the part of Renee Zellwiger's character.

The thing she's saying Tom Hooper did with Les Mis was that....he was disregarding that, and treating a musical the way that he'd have treated the script to something like, say, The Deerhunter. He was playing a heightened-reality script totally straight. And that didn't quite fit. But it was close enough for many, thanks to the really good script and the well-written source material (I'm thinking of Victor Hugo when I say that), and some really good performances from people who know how to sell a musical, and know how to do movies, and who somehow figured out a way to have a foot in both camps.

Ellis isn't necessarily saying that she hates the Les Mis movie; more like, she's saying that Hooper was treating a musical like a straight movie, and it didn't work as well as it could have if he'd realized it was something different. For many that was okay, but for her it kinda just didn't.* But other people liking it, and its success, lead studios to give Hooper Cats as his next project - and he tried that same "I'm going to ground it in reality" thing with it. And while you'll find a difference of opinion about whether "realism" works in Les Mis, I think most people can agree that trying to treat Cats with "realism" was pretty much a totally bonkers move.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:38 PM on April 4 [23 favorites]


Oh, forgot the footnote:

* sometimes even despite the skill of the director and the cast, there are audience members for whom the style just plain doesn't work. I know myself well enough to know I would never enjoy Moulin Rouge no matter how good everyone is, because I have a gut-level aversion to "contemporary songs set in a period piece" that just does not sit right with me. You may be seeing that from Ellis.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:41 PM on April 4 [5 favorites]


I think the realism in Hooper's Les Mis is at least arguably defensible in concept, even if there are problems with it in practice, because it's at least a story with an identifiable, realisticish setting. Cats is a dance recital with lyrics. It has no setting, nothing to be realistic about. It's not just even that hyper-realism makes the suspension of disbelief difficult to impossible; hyper-realism prompts an endless series of "why is any of this happening?" questions that are made all the worse by the fact that the movie adopts hyper-realism as it's style, yet the filmmakers seem to have had little interest in any of the practical or technical aspects required to achieve a basic sense of realism.

As a basic example, realism has a consistent scale. Cats does not. Sometimes cats are smaller than champagne bottles and sometimes they're the size of big metal trash cans. Once you realize this, you spend much of the movie pondering just how big they are and asking why the scale keeps changing, often from one shot to another within the same song. The filmmakers even admitted there's no consistent scale. The production designer in that interview talks about how they started by deciding a scale of 2.5X based on a cat-to-human size comparison, but then says they just started changing it object-by-object and character-by-character, which, well, it's not a scale anymore if you do that. And the result of that decision is that even a fairly unobservant viewer is watching a dance recital with a constantly running mental tape measure trying to make sense of this constantly-changing scale. You can't suspend disbelief when the world just fundamentally doesn't make physical sense.

Also, can I just appreciate that in like 30 seconds, Ellis manages to cite Hadestown, Holy Grail, and Rocko's Modern Life? It's like she's living in my head. I think about the line "How's it you all know the words? Did you rehearse? Yeah, every Thursday. Didn't you see the fliers?" from time to time; just the embodiment of hanging a lampshade on the entire genre.
posted by zachlipton at 11:05 PM on April 4 [19 favorites]


The book is better.
posted by Pouteria at 11:23 PM on April 4 [5 favorites]


I maintain that the reason CATS worked on stage is it's fun to watch fit people sing and dance in leotards. It's an impressive physical feat to perform the dances while singing. It could never work not on stage because the minute you cut the physical endurance is right out the window.
Besides that the production of movie was just horrible.
posted by Uncle at 11:26 PM on April 4 [12 favorites]


I love this, and am preparing to binge the rest of her videos; I've never run into her before and she's excellent. Am currently watching her disembowel GoT.

She's right about the theater/film distinctions, and the problems making movie musicals; and yes, Uncle, the reason CATS succeeded was the choreography and the dancers. It's lunatic and trippy and really really disconnected from reality, but it's basically rooted in the bodies of the performers.

The movie completely misunderstood this.
posted by jrochest at 2:59 AM on April 5 [5 favorites]


Jrochest, the Transformers series she did is great!
posted by idb at 5:04 AM on April 5 [6 favorites]


I liked this a lot, which surprised me a lot, because a) I usually don't like the long-form pop culture critiques on YouTube very much at all--when the criticism approaches the length of what it's critiquing, it's usually a sign that the critic is full of themselves--and also I'd unfollowed Ellis on Twitter a while back (probably around the time of the GoT finale) because she rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe she's not just someone who can make the long form critique video work, but works best at length. Anyway, she also didn't personally appear on screen at all during this, is that new for her?
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:42 AM on April 5 [2 favorites]


Ellis also referenced Hooper’s Les Mis in her essay on Joel Schomacher’s Phantom of the Opera.
The post-9/11, hyper-realistic style applied to movie musicals was taken to extreme extreme by Tom Hooper in Le Mis to not-so-awesome effect. There's a real cognitive dissonance when aesthetically, your movie echoes this [clip from a Holocaust movie], but, you know, this is what is happening [clip of a big musical number from the Broadway show]. That works a lot better on stage than on your gritty realistic screen.
posted by mbrubeck at 8:50 AM on April 5


About half way through and so far it's an excellent analysis of not just Cats but the movie musical itself and begins with a lot of detail about the original musical. I'm one that has amazing memories of the show at the Winter Garden theater, an amazing immersive experience with the dancers literally flying above. Skip over the fist 2 minutes that seems like the most annoying ad for a burger joint ever.

First meta question, how are these folks producing essentially a long form documentary, do they need to get clearances for all the clips and is this a money maker some how?

From comments above I want to see a live action production by a combination of japanese anime/manga artists without any cgi all makeup and visual production details kept practical (keeping to scale), with the best dancers and not comedians or country western stars.

Second sort of meta question, why did Weber and Rice break up?

Bummed out I was lazy and did not get to a midnight screening before the virus shut us all down. Not sure when I'll see it as I want it on some kind of large screen, but I have patience of a old scraggly sleepy cat. Meow.
posted by sammyo at 9:04 AM on April 5


I feel like Cirque du Soleil owes a huge, huge amount to Cats. Their shows nominally have a story, but it's not really all that important, and you are mostly there to enjoy the spectacle and watch people not fall off stuff (unless they intended to). Cirque shows have a lot of the same visual over-the-topness and interaction with the audience and surreality. And also much like Cats, they don't translate to the screen in an interesting or watchable way.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:29 AM on April 5 [7 favorites]


I know myself well enough to know I would never enjoy Moulin Rouge no matter how good everyone is, because

this was me ... until I saw it. I was stuck in a small town. There was nothing else to do. I found I really liked it. In fact, I absolutely LOVED the first twenty minutes or so -- so much gorgeous, euphoric overload.

because I have a gut-level aversion to "contemporary songs set in a period piece" that just does not sit right with me.

the narrative of the movie does speak to this. I saw it a long time ago but I'm pretty sure it's working the angle that much of the great pop music of the 20th Century came from a depressed writer in Paris circa 1900 ... and his weird neighbors. Which is kind of cool as an analogue for how culture itself evolved through the increasingly mediated 20th Century.
posted by philip-random at 9:38 AM on April 5 [3 favorites]


I hadn't made the CdS connection before, but I think you're exactly correct about that. It's about watching human bodies doing things in space right before your eyes, live. That's what makes them a spectacle.

I sat 4th row for a touring CdS show (Delirium) and watching the base person during human stacking exercises doing careful breathing with sweat pouring off of them under the strain was something you don't really get further back in the audience. The whole thing was amazing.
posted by hippybear at 9:40 AM on April 5


I know myself well enough to know I would never enjoy Moulin Rouge no matter how good everyone is, because

this was me ... until I saw it. I was stuck in a small town. There was nothing else to do. I found I really liked it. In fact, I absolutely LOVED the first twenty minutes or so -- so much gorgeous, euphoric overload.

because I have a gut-level aversion to "contemporary songs set in a period piece" that just does not sit right with me.

the narrative of the movie does speak to this. I saw it a long time ago but I'm pretty sure it's working the angle that much of the great pop music of the 20th Century came from a depressed writer in Paris circa 1900 ... and his weird neighbors. Which is kind of cool as an analogue for how culture itself evolved through the increasingly mediated 20th Century.


My understanding of Moulin Rouge is that it is a very Eurocentric version of a Bollywood musical. I have heard (with no direct experience) that Bollywood is very happy to repurpose popular songs for their movies. I thought MR was absolutely brilliant from end to end, a fever dream of a musical. It's very different from, say, La La Land, which is much less about the fever dream possibilities of people singing and dancing.
posted by hippybear at 9:42 AM on April 5 [3 favorites]


also I'd unfollowed Ellis on Twitter a while back (probably around the time of the GoT finale) because she rubbed me the wrong way

A couple of times since I've been following Ellis on Twitter, she's gotten obsessed with some massive misfire in pop culture, and it has consumed her Twitter feed to an obnoxious degree. The GoT finale was one of those. Cats was the other.

(You can tell how badly Game of Thrones misfired by how now that everyone's forced to stay home, you don't hear anyone talking about rewatching Game of Thrones. The spell was broken, and all the bitter book readers won.)
posted by Merus at 10:07 AM on April 5 [10 favorites]


I feel like Cirque du Soleil owes a huge, huge amount to Cats.

I had the same realization while watching this video.
posted by Foosnark at 10:31 AM on April 5 [1 favorite]


also I'd unfollowed Ellis on Twitter a while back (probably around the time of the GoT finale) because she rubbed me the wrong way

A couple of times since I've been following Ellis on Twitter, she's gotten obsessed with some massive misfire in pop culture, and it has consumed her Twitter feed to an obnoxious degree. The GoT finale was one of those. Cats was the other.


Previous Lindsay Ellis on MeFi: The Agony and Ecstasy of Being Hated on The Internet. From XOXO Festival, not one of her video posts. A pretty powerful glimpse into what she deals with.
posted by hopeless romantique at 10:54 AM on April 5 [5 favorites]


Too bad we can't see the long-awaited directorial partnership of Tom Hooper and Tobe Hooper :(
posted by Saxon Kane at 11:02 AM on April 5 [3 favorites]


We've been carefully doling out our watching of Ellis videos*, since my partner convinced me to watch the film criticism via Transformers series. They are excellent, I can readily grasp what she's explaining and apply it to my own film watching. A bit like looking through the McMansion Hell 101 design elements pieces, you just can't unsee the unbalanced dormers anymore. She exposes all the terrible elements of movies that make me mutter, "Ehhh......it was....ehhh...." but now I know why. I appreciate how many people it takes to make a decent film, let alone a great one.

* so as not to burn through them all as is my wont, I need content now y'all.
posted by winesong at 11:48 AM on April 5 [1 favorite]


Lindsay - "Adaptations of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musicals have historically not yielded very good results." (shows reactions from Jesus Christ Superstar)

Me - "Pistols at dawn!"
posted by RobotHero at 11:52 AM on April 5 [2 favorites]


Texas Chainsaw Musical ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stF2ddDSM4k
posted by philip-random at 11:56 AM on April 5


We had an idea with a friend that it'd be absolutely essential to write a piece on Hooper's Cats and Deleuze. Sadly I haven't had the time. Nor the desire to rewatch Cats. Title suggestions welcome though.
posted by sapagan at 12:14 PM on April 5 [1 favorite]


My understanding of Moulin Rouge is that it is a very Eurocentric version of a Bollywood musical. I have heard (with no direct experience) that Bollywood is very happy to repurpose popular songs for their movies. I thought MR was absolutely brilliant from end to end, a fever dream of a musical.

See, intellectually I know that you are absolutely right about Moulin Rouge. Nevertheless - I've seen a few clips, and when I saw the clip of Ewan MacGregor singing "Your Song" to Nicole Kidman while both were dressed as 19-Century Parisian Demi-Monde boho artists, my knee-jerk, gut-level reaction was a combination of "oh ew" and a sort of proxy embarrassment on MacGregor's behalf. But that wasn't anything to do with how MacGregor was doing, and was 100% a quirk of mine.

I can roll with other bonkers stuff, but that kind of "oh ew" reaction would be periodically bringing me back to Earth with a great big thud.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:47 PM on April 5 [2 favorites]


Bollywood is very happy to repurpose popular songs for their movies

In my understanding, having grown up watching badly copied tapes of my parents' fave Bollywood movies from the 60s and 70s, it's the other way 'round. Bollywood songs are written for the movies, but the composers and playback singers are often better known than the actors themselves. So the songs' popularity outlives the movies. At least in the Indian diaspora, the songs are way better known because it's easier to transport LPs and cassette tapes than deal with the VHS/PAL or region-specific DVD issue (or now, streaming restrictions.) It's utterly different from the Hollywood movie musical, which tried to hide people like Marni Nixon for years.

I mean, Moulin Rouge was great and all, but it doesn't come close to Padosan -- link goes to Mere Samne Wali Khidki Mein, a wink-and-nod to the playback industry, where Sunil Dutt lip-syncs to Kishore Kumar (played by himself) to impress his lady love from a 6ft+ distance. Something for everyone, a comedy tonight!
posted by basalganglia at 1:04 PM on April 5 [6 favorites]


Cats is funny stuff. It's not objectively good, but I've got a hunch that it'll survive into the distant future of human culture long after much better works have been forgotten.

Les Mis is also something. Personally, I don't really like Schonberg's music, to me it tends to sound over-cooked & soggy (like some later Llyod-Webber stuff), but enough people disagree with me to make it a classic. It does have an interesting plot.
posted by ovvl at 1:18 PM on April 5


I generally love Ellis' stuff but I'm just not watching an almost hour long critique of Cats.
posted by octothorpe at 4:14 PM on April 5 [4 favorites]


At least 20 minutes of it is actually critiquing Les Mis, if that helps.
posted by jacquilynne at 4:42 PM on April 5 [2 favorites]


Not really.
posted by octothorpe at 4:51 PM on April 5


I thought it was a worthwhile watch. It maybe could have been contained in 35-40 minutes, but it didn't feel overly long. It takes a lot into account about why movies do or don't work, and she has Opinions about this, and she expresses them. It was less work than one of the old Red Letter Media reviews, anyway.
posted by hippybear at 4:56 PM on April 5 [1 favorite]


Maggie Mae Fish released her 1-hour critique of Cats the day before Lindsay Ellis. It's very good. There is almost no overlap in the topic areas (apart from being about Cats). Most of Fish's critique is centred on the terrible politics of T.S. Eliot and how they are re-capitulated in the book, musical, and film.

Could be good to watch if you like Ellis' stuff and you had some time at home for some reason idk
posted by um at 5:15 PM on April 5 [10 favorites]


I kind of love “Cats”. There’s something about it that’s like cinematic freefall. There’s no fixed point of reference. It’s just a sequence of things happening. I kept expecting it to resolve into some kind of a real arc or picture, and it just doesn’t. The movie starts with these four pieces introducing different cats, and I thought “Ok this is going to be a movie with these surreal disconnected musical numbers” and then it *isn’t*. It becomes a film about the Jellicle Choice. Ellis is perceptive to observe that the climax is premature and then the epilogue just kind of continues. In one of the screenings I went to, the audience became audibly restless in the last third of the film. A rowdy teen yelled “there’s still an hour left” and everyone laughed. Then it has all these weird false endings in the Judi Dench speech, where at any time the curtain could drop, but it just doesn’t. I *adore* the moment at the end where Old Deut. tells Victoria that she truly is a jellicle cat, as if that’s what the story is about and the audience couldn’t go home until that question was answered. It’s the punchline in a two hour long shaggy dog story.
posted by chrchr at 5:57 PM on April 5 [6 favorites]


Can we canonize her as “National Treasure Lindsay Ellis” now?
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 7:24 PM on April 5 [6 favorites]


Patrick Willems also goes on about Tom Hooper's choices being at odds with the material in the video he put out after the trailer was released.

I do feel like the Skimbleshanks number is where the movie most closely resembles what a Cats movie by someone who understands movie musicals would look like, and from what I've seen that's one of the parts people seemed to legitimately enjoy the most.
posted by ckape at 8:25 PM on April 5 [1 favorite]


She just posted an 18 minute video essay about Hooper's Les Mis on Nebula, the (pay for; it's $3 a month) streaming service she and a bunch of other youtubers started a while back. It's possible it'll show up on youtube a bit later but not sure.

It's a good companion piece to the Cats video, though perhaps a bit too harsh/poorly motivated critisism at times (for being a Lindsay Ellis video, that is). Still really good as always though!
posted by Dee Grim at 2:39 AM on April 6 [1 favorite]


I don't know why I thought of this, or chose to share it, but I was just thinking about other (terrible) Andrew Lloyd Weber musicals that could be made into films and now I have a fully realized version of Starlight Express in my head.

It's totally in mid-Eighties Japanese Anime style - hand-shaded cell animation, unnecessarily faceted robot bodies, big eyes, bigger hair, etc. - and all of the dialog and songs are in Japanese.

You're welcome.


How about some Hikaru Genji?
posted by LostInUbe at 5:50 AM on April 6


glad she touched on the movie adaption of The Producers musical, a tone-deaf production so amazingly tin-eared I use it to explain how stage production and film productions are completely separate languages

like at the very least you have to take out the pause for audience laughter bits and it doesn't do that and it';s so awkward and bad with what is basically a classic Looney-Tunes manic farce.
posted by The Whelk at 1:25 AM on April 8 [2 favorites]


« Older What Armenians should know about life in America   |   The tumultuous journey of the SS Central America... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments