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Don, in his immaculate 'Gatsby' whites has just learnt that Kathy is indeed a fan of his films, as well as a fan of what we today would describe as Hollywood popular cinema. While the white costuming is indicative of his good and possibly even heroic status within the narrative, its self consciousness is manifest. This self consciousness, while apparently part of the films self reflexive playfulness, is also a part of the drama of the dance, as it establishes one of the thematic fields that the sequence requires to describe Don's simultaneous allure and danger.
Kathy, on the other hand, is still wearing her costume from the set of the "Beautiful Girls" number, and this suggests that her role here remains 'film extra' (about to be transformed into film star) and actress. (The film has performed one of its many sleight of hands so that what was previously literally her costume now becomes diegetically normalised, providing a realist justification for Kathy's finery in the song and dance that is about to happen.)
However, there is also an effort to signal Kathy, through this costume, as the center of the sequence, and while this allows her, a least in a limited sense, to be the object of the gaze it also suggests her role as the visible object of transformation in the sequence.
The couple begin outside the soundstage and, as Don confesses, he can't say what he wants to say without "the proper setting". In a film as self reflexive, and confident, as Singin' in the Rain it ought to be no surprise that the appropriate setting for his declaration of love is a soundstage, nor that it will be in song and dance, but it is the move across the threshold that the stage door represents that reiterates the general themes of the sequence and the film. For it is Don who opens the door (indeed even is aware of its presence and what lies beyond), to introduce Kathy to this world, and as they enter the shot scale changes radically from the two shot of the exterior to the immense wide shot from within - from a vision where the human provides or defines shot scale to one where the yet to be known dominates the tiny human frame.
ere the interior of the building is yet to be known, it is shrouded in darkness, for this building, the futures it represents, is Don and Kathy's future and the future of cinema. In both cases this future is unclear, it awaits a true declaration (and illumination) and it does, potentially, dwarf its participants. The film poster on the wall behind the couple, appearing as the door opens, advertises "The Chant of the Jungle", further suggesting the exotic and the unknown.
Created in 1998 by Adrian Miles, details, republished 2006.