The films of Busby Berkley have no modern incarnations or progeny, which is strange. Berkley made musicals in the 1930s along with a host of other directors, but the Berkley trademark of bird's-eye shots of massed dancing girls rotating to Depression-era jazz was unique and pioneering, if now a little quaint to modern sensibilities. But the staff at Frederick's Music Lounge used to throw in a Berkley film and shut off the volume while the bands played, and in that mysterious synchronicity that only a drunken mathematician could explain, the honky-tonk heartbreak of Rex Hobart and the Misery Boys provided a beautiful soundtrack for the pinwheels of chorus girls and Dapper Dans who spun across the screen like trippy monochromatic kaleidoscopes. Sometimes the universe is ineffably and strangely beautiful like that, even after 70 years. Gold Diggers of 1935, a Berkley classic, screens at 7 p.m. this evening as the closer in the Webster Film Series' "The Twirling World of Busby Berkley" at Webster University's Moore Auditorium (470 East Lockwood Avenue; $5 to $6). Call 314-968-7487 for more information on the series.
Sun., April 16

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