11 May 2013


Locus Focus: Take Ninety-Two!

For the third year in a row, May is our month for movie settings. This year, thanks to this month's greater theme May I Have Some Music?, the twist is they are also all musical.

Last weekend, I featured one of Hollywood's most artistic efforts. Today, I'm going with the sort of setting that makes people wonder why they come here.

UPDATE: I'm sorry that I forgot my usual Question of the Week! It's there now, if you'd like to answer it. =)

East High
High School Musical

"If you want to be cool/ Follow one simple rule/ Don't mess with the flow/ No, no/ Stick to the status quo . . ."

My high school admitted only girls and we all wore black-and-white uniforms. It didn't at all look like East High. I doubt that any real-life high school does, including the actual Salt Lake City school which let Disney film most of what would become the High School Musical trilogy there. But that didn't stop the first film from becoming a huge international hit. Back in 2006, if you were a teenager anywhere in the world with access to the Disney Channel, you could likely relate to the social, academic and existential perils of two very happily stereotyped students who realise they want more than what they're supposed to.

Now, I can relate to not wanting "to mess with the flow." Especially when it has a catchy rhythm and a really fun melody. Besides, it can be exhilarating to pull off a complex ensemble song-and-dance routine. Who wouldn't love to be an extra in East High's cafeteria during that number?

But probably not all the time. When even the best choreography starts to seem like lockstep conformity and any attempt to improvise something else is met with "Not another peep! Not another word! Not another sound!" in flawless three-part harmony, then there may be a problem.

What a great point, aye? Too bad that it can't transcend itself and we get this for a grand finale . . .

"We're all in this together/ And it shows when we stand/ Hand in hand/ Make our dreams come true . . ."

They're even more in lockstep than before! LOL! But why split hairs when they're all so happy? ;-)

I'm really anti-school these days, but I can throw East High (and Disney) a bone. What High School Musical gets right is the radical proposition that a school should be more than bricks, mortar and a curriculum. A school should have some spirit, too. And by "spirit," all I mean is that it shouldn't turn vibrant young people into zombies. East High's ideal is a student body that is awake, alert and alive. That doesn't seem too much to ask, aye?

Question of the Week: If your highschool had a soundtrack, what would be on it?

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