Berlinale: Programme


Film file

Homage

The Fabulous Baker Boys

Die fabelhaften Baker Boys

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It’s been a while since life was “fabulous” for Jack and Frank Baker. The once successful piano duo has long since been reduced to playing small time gigs in Seattle’s second and third rate bars. But when the two brothers hire former call girl Susie Diamond as a singer, business begins to pick up, and not just because of her mellow voice. But when Jack and the attractive blond front woman start an affair, it leads to powerful discord among all three … For Steve Kloves’ directorial debut, Michael Ballhaus was responsible not only for the camera and lights, but also helped determine the actors’ blocking. One magical sequence has gone down in film history, when Michelle Pfeiffer sings “Makin’ Whoopee” while lounging atop Jack’s piano in a red dress. As scruffy and cheap as Susie might have looked previously, she emerges that much more glamorous under the camera’s sensitive eye here in the centre of Ballhaus’ “circular” shot. This and other sophisticated cinematographic choreography, such as an overhead shot of a dance floor, brought Ballhaus his second Oscar nomination (following one for Broadcast News by James L. Brooks in 1987).

USA 1989, 114 min

by

Steve Kloves

with

Jeff Bridges
Michelle Pfeiffer
Beau Bridges
Ellie Raab