My Favourite Film of 1952.

Film My favourite film of 1952 is Singin' in the Rain which I didn't see until late in 2000 when my old friend Louise met me from work and we travelled to Manchester to see a touring print at the Cornerhouse and I'll direct you to the 2004 entry of this series for the obituary of that great venue. Louise obviously noticed I enjoyed the film enough to buy me the BFI Classics essay for Christmas.

Which isn't to say I didn't have an awareness of the musical and don't really know why I hadn't gotten around to seeing it before then other than access and spending more time watching television programmes than films in general which seems odd now that the situation has almost totally reversed.

My first experience of the central dance sequence wasn't from seeing Gene Kelly singing and dancing in the rain. It was Paddington Bear.

In mid-March 1983, a special episode of the BBC adaptation of the character, Paddington Goes To The Movies, saw the Bear visit the cinema for the first time and on the way home recreate the dance number:

My memory was of seeing at it Christmas which would have been its second broadcast on 27th December.

Apart from the attention to detail in recreating some of Kelly's moves, what I love most about this is the fact of its existence. Even at this stage, Singin' in the Rain was a thirty year old film and was shown on television pretty often, its pre-Paddington special broadcast was in 1978.

This was not a work which was in any way part of the zeitgeist, this wasn't a desperate attempt to jump on some new pop culture phenomena. Instead the animators, as fans of the original film decided to create a homage and introduce children like me, through translation and adaptation to a piece of art which had wowed them when they were young.

Notice how it utilises the original audio whilst still retaining the style and design of the animation of the television programme, integrating the two and creating just the same magical feeling at the film itself when that moment occurs.

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