Painting With Light is the name of cinematographer John Alton's revered book on the art of lighting a scene, and his careful attention to his craft is nowhere more in evidence than during the eighteen-minute impressionist ballet he lensed for MGM's 1951 musical An American in Paris. Winner of six Academy Awards and loaded with Gershwin standards, the film builds to a seemingly tragic climax as Leslie Caron (in her screen debut) confesses her love to Gene Kelly — and with the words "Don't let me leave you this way" the film eschews dialogue altogether for a dazzling technicolor dance through the works of painters Manet, Renoir, Utrillo, Van Gogh, Rousseau, Dufy and Toulouse-Lautrec. Frontyard Features screens An American in Paris at 9 p.m. tonight on Art Hill in Forest Park (314-721-0072 or www.slam.org). Admission is free.
Fri., July 9, 2010