Friday, December 21, 2007

"The demon barber of fleeT...streeT!"

A rare non-linguistics post: I'm quite a movie buff and predictably underwhelmed by the last decade of pedestrian films. If it weren't for Quentin Tarantino and Julie Taymore, this might have been the most banal ten years in movie history. But, to my great surprise, there are no less than five movies currently out that I'm excited to see, and three others that I wouldn't mind seeing. I'm not sure that has happened before. Ever!

By far, the movie I am most anxious to see is Sweeney Todd. I was heavily involved in theatre in high school (and college) and I have a strong memory of watching the great Broadway play starring Angela Lansbury and George Hearn in drama class. I have spent that last 20 years with the chorus sounding in my ear, "Sweenyyyyyy ... Sweeny Todd ... The demon barber of fleeT...streeT!" The brilliant over-articulation of the final voiceless stops still slices through me (see, I got a little linguistics in there).

(UPDATE: I found a great YouTube clip here of the opening song from the Broadway play video I mentioned above. And here is a sample of Depp talking about singing, then some of his vocals)

(UPDATE 2: My Sweeney Todd review is here)

I heard some snippets of Johnny Depp's vocals this morning on NPR. He's a competent singer and smart enough to stay within his range, but he really does not have the strong and confident voice of a Broadway star. Nonetheless, he's truly an actor's actor (hmm, an interesting construction, I may follow up on that one) so I'll be seeing the film within hours of this post.

The Five (in order of preference):

First: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Second: I'm Not There
Third: Across the Universe
Fourth: The Kite Runner
Fifth: Charlie Wilson's War

Three that I wouldn't mind seeing:

a) Juno
b) Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story
c) No Country for Old Men

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