I DIG TECHNICOLOR (pt. 3)

Behold a four minute clip of the restored Technicolor ‘Rhapsody In Blue’ sequence from 1930s ‘King Of Jazz’, a gigantic musical revue (they were all the rage in Hollywood at the time) featuring Paul Whiteman and his orchestra. This immaculate restoration shows us for the first time what audiences saw in theaters some ninety-plus years ago, instead of the blotchy third-generation prints replete with scratches, jumps and lousy soundtrack hisses and pops that most of us who know this film have gotten used to. The mint green piano (which looks like a really delicious piece of high-end chocolate) was supposed to have been more blue–apparently the Technicolor of that time couldn’t accurately reproduce blue but its possible it looked a little more blue than this if printed on nitrate stock (which is too flammable to be used anymore). The scale of the piano is awesome as a practical set and the long lap dissolve with the ever shrinking piano that fits under the huge candy one is a feat of the printing technology of that era. The pianist looks like George Gershwin but is in fact a man named Roy Bargy. Didn’t know that, did you? Well now do you. And what the hell of it?

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