DFI’s ‘Watching the Classics’ conference shines a light on ’42nd Street’

The Doha Film Institute (DFI) has announced that Professor Richard Pena’s second “Watching the Classics” lecture will take place on May 12.

“Our second ‘Watching the Classics’ lecture by Professor Pena delves into one of cinema’s most iconic works, Lloyd Bacon’s 42nd Street – a film that ushered in a new era for American musicals,” said tweeted DFI.
Those interested can register at https://dohafilminstitute.com/education/watching-the-classics/watching-the-classics-session-2
“Watching the Classics” is an online program where filmmakers and moviegoers can learn more about the history of cinema. Presented by renowned scholar and professor of film studies at Columbia University and director emeritus of the New York Film Festival, Pena, this lecture/discussion series focuses on an undisputed classic of world cinema.
During the monthly sessions, Pena will present a given film in its aesthetic, economic, technological and social/political context, detailing the formal techniques of each director while drawing out the implications of these artistic and technical decisions.
To get the most out of the program, participants are recommended to preview the films before each session, and all are readily available through various popular streaming services. After registration, participants in Qatar can request an appointment to view the film shown at DFI offices by sending an e-mail [email protected]

During the conference, selected images and clips will be included for discussion, and participants will be able to send Pena questions, which will be answered at the end of each session.
The next session will take place on May 12 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. (Doha time).
Shortly after the adoption of sound cinema, musicals dominated Hollywood production. In 1929, about 25% of all American movies could be called musicals. With the repetitiveness of films, and perhaps a change in attitude brought on by the Great Depression, audiences began to steer clear of the genre, and studios largely stopped producing them.
Suddenly there was “42nd Street,” based on a novel that claimed to tell the “real story” of Broadway theater. The film was practically shot in secret at Warner Brothers, hiding it from studio bosses. Yet when it was done, the Warners fully backed it, and a new era of American musical comedy had begun.
A “behind the scenes story” that shows the creation of a show as well as its performance, “42nd Street” also featured the extraordinary work of visionary choreographer Busby Berkeley, whose massive song and dance performances depicted a nation coming together in a most difficult era.
The “Watch the Classics” program is open to applicants over the age of 18. Sessions are best suited to those with some film knowledge who wish to deepen their understanding of film history.
To register and reserve a seat, you must purchase a ticket online for this event by clicking on https://my.dohafilminstitute.com/events/detail/?id=42416
Registration will be confirmed once payment has been processed. All the necessary links for the webinars will be sent by email reminder before the sessions.

Angela C. Hale