In Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s 1948 Technicolor masterpiece The Red Shoes, Moira Shearer plays talented ballet protégé Victoria Page, a woman torn between the composer she loves (Marius Craster) and the (possibly gay–it’s a diva worship thing) impressario who has shone a light on her talent and brought it to fruition and fame (Anton Walbrook). *SPOILER ALERT*: Things do not end well, as they are so wont to do in melodramas.
The above image comes from the film’s central set piece, a cinematic ballet production of Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Red Shoes” stunningly realized by Powell & Pressburger and sumptuously photographed by Jack Cardiff; it encapsulates Victoria’s psychological tension mid-performance, a struggle between the love she desires and the fulfillment she’s compelled to fulfill. It is uncertainty, anxiety, fear. It’s also totally your FACE, doubtlessly played out time and time again this past long weekend as I took a brief respite from maintaining this little corner of the interwebs and took a holiday without so much as a notice. Oops. But fear not, dear readers! Even though Victoria Page will not dance the dance of the “Red Shoes” tonight or any other night, I’m still be here doing my curious little song and dance (though with better I’m-goin’-onna-holiday warning in the future, pinky promise!), and that’s gotta count for something, right? RIGHT.
Oh, and as usual, don’t hesitate to click to enlarge and appreciate the fabulousness of it all.