America's French Revolution V: An American in Paris
By Michael Moriarty
Gigi first comes to mind, the incomparable Leslie Caron and her eternally childlike face but then the crusty and avuncular Oscar Levant as well playing Peck's bad boy throughout the increasingly explosive visuals, the choreography and blissfully lush and distinctively blue harmonies of George Gershwin and all of this combined by Gene Kelly's indisputable genius in, of course, the one-of-a-kind movie musical, An American In Paris.
Just prior to the grand finale, Gene Kelly's masterpiece, the American In Paris Ballet, the camera moves in on Kelly's face as his imagination - his soul, if you don't mind my romanticizing my reveries about this most romantic of all movie musicals - as the artist envisions Paris, the city itself, as not only he would draw and paint it but as it might embody the essence of a Paradise within his imagination, his own Paris, the center of which soon becomes a twin soul embodied in one, divinely innocent young girl, Leslie Caron.
The film is, at times, painfully romantic … over-the-top romanticism … which you either surrender to … or reject entirely.
The older I get, the more I wallow in it!
The threatening part of this rhapsodic ecstasy is in the exquisitely vulnerable face of Leslie Caron. A quintessentially French soul that ultimately carries us into our own, yes, childlike reveries … those which never leave us … the bedtime prayers for a True Love.
However, without the acerbic wit and buffoonery of Oscar Levant, even when he's tossing off a brilliant performance of Gershwin's Piano Concerto, An American In Paris could very well have lifted off the MGM sound studios … into the air … and never come down.
But … "Thank heavens" … as Maurice Chevalier intoned in yet another film tribute to Leslie Caron, Gigi …Gene Kelly's instincts, his Dionysian abundance of ideas, particularly in the final ballet built the finest cornucopia of … yes, nothing but art! Visual arts, musical arts, choreographic arts, cinematic arts … all stretched to their Hollywood limits to serve an artistic vision which will, perhaps, heal the grand divide between post-modern French culture and America's phenomenal and … uh … shocking, artistic and economic success!
Yes, that horridly philistine and greedily capitalistic soul that is America! That which is also the key to America's "cultural imperialism".
Gene Kelly's character in his own film is, without a doubt, the legendary Ugly American: rude, pushy, narcissistic … only graceful in his athleticism … but, well, profoundly gauche.
His passionate love of Paris, though, not the film character's but Gene Kelly's love of Paris, his love of Gershwin, of painting … of dance … of Leslie Caron and her blinding sensitivity … well, it's a liberation of sorts … not unlike that of Paris itself when the American troops began their push from the beaches of Normandy.
The French didn't mind that ugly, gauche American then!
Now that a Macdonald's diner may open up … in of all places … the Louvre??!!
What can one say … but sigh in resignation, "Ca alors!"
I met Gene Kelly … once … in the Rose Room of the White House. I was so discombobulated, as they say, I dropped my wine on the carpet. The red of my wine blended right into the carpet. Mr. Kelly took the whole thing in stride with his breathtaking ease and tossed us one of his boyish smiles … and … well … I'd met one of my heroes!
My hero-worship has only increased with the years … and I doubt there'll be any latecomer's exposé about the man.
An American In Paris and John Huston's Moulin Rouge are my rose-colored visions of Paris as the absolutely singular capital of art … all arts!
Well, "Art" - with a capital A - and "Artistes" have had quite a come-down in recent weeks. Between Roman Polanski's art of film and David Letterman's art of comedy, the bitter aftertaste from their broken moral sense and abuse of power lingers on. With Polanski's increasingly Parisian profile as a full French citizen, handling most European interviews in French, as if he were the new Chopin, while Letterman's brash and cynical wit now has another cutting edge to it and from which Letterman himself might not escape intact, the American and/or Americanized lovers of Paris eventually run into a problem. Polanski and Letterman are the Depraved European and the Ugly American combined! Yet a mutual distrust by both for each other, a contempt erupting from both the pot and the kettle.
The French Revolution has been and will be in eternal combat with the American Revolution. That is why this virtual French Revolution among the American elitists and powerbrokers - literally exploding under the baton of Maestro Obama - the, yes, Marxism mixed with George Soros' Socialist/Capitalism is nothing less than the American Progressive's dreams of a New World Order Empire.
There are no, ultimately beneficial monuments to be found in the American Progressive Movement. It is an "enlightened despotism" which has aged like sour wine in the vats of American privilege and "Radical Chic", more than ready to deposit their own land into the very, very French rivers of European disdain and a very, very fashionably Marxist New World Order.
The dollar looks doomed. The domestic United States is still in free-fall, and America's efforts abroad, from trying to win-over neo-Soviet Russia with draconian concessions to charming the Olympic Committee with the President's priceless presence in Copenhagen, plus the bizarre and inexplicable gift of a Nobel Peace Prize from Norway and our "Dear One's" refusal to meet with the Dalai Lama as another concession to Communism … chaos, increasing chaos with a smile!
Why the smile?
One theory, apropos of the French Revolution, is that the growing collapse of the Old Regime of America is exactly what the Progressive leadership wants. This actual humiliation of American pride is what our … uh … Yankee Danton … or Robespierre not only wants but has designed to happen!
"Out with the Old" before "In with the New!"
With Saul Alinsky's formulas as his guidebook, this very French Revolutionary President is, indeed, going to "reconstruct" the United States into the very conciliatory image of the President himself.
Given his, by now, legendary narcissism, the President will, in four years, put America on its knees to the outside, Marxist world.
Perhaps that is his only claim to humility, his obeisance before the worshippers of Karl Marx.
If he thinks Communists are even capable of understanding true friendship … he's as naïve as Stalin was when, after executing the crème de la crème of his "friends" in the military, the Soviet dictator was actually shocked to hear that his "new friend" and "non-aggression" partner, Adolf Hitler, was invading Russia.
We have never doubted Stalin's cunning … but we often forget his stunning naivete when it came to men like Hitler and, lest we forget, Hitler's very close Islamic sycophants (see Icon of Evil by Dalin and Rothman).
There will be many other theories about President Obama and his policies … but for now the lessons of the Progressively Preferred Revolution, that of the French and not of the Americans, and the subsequent repercussions of such "enlightened despotism", seem the most consistently prophetic warnings about where President Barack Obama is deliberately, premeditatedly and unrelentingly leading the United States of America … and therefore the entire world.
Will the bourgeoisie of America, versus those of Revolutionary France and the targets of the Soviet Revolution in Russia, be caught off guard?
I doubt it.
That, however, doesn't mean the American Progressive Movement won't try. They must try. After one hundred years of preparation, do they have any other choice?
Michael Moriarty is a Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actor who starred in the landmark television series Law and Order from 1990 to 1994. His recent film and TV credits include The Yellow Wallpaper, 12 Hours to Live, Santa Baby and Deadly Skies. Contact Michael at email@example.com.
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