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visual analysis

What the Burlesque Movie Poster Borrowed From Other Movie Posters

The poster for Burlesque is here, and between the gold, the sequins, and the one-word names (to topline with Cher, Christina Aguilera has been forced to drop the Aguilera), it continues to look like a movie that knows what camp is! Also, it looks like a movie that knows what other movie posters look like, as many previously seen visual elements — mostly on those of musicals — are on display here. After the jump, a dissection of what Burlesque has taken from everything from Bob Fosse to Stomp the Yard.

Compare the Burlesque poster to the ones below, and note the following:

Title in Lights
This is an old Broadway trope, used in everything from A Chorus Line to Gypsy to the current Memphis. It was also memorably, and regularly, used by Bob Fosse in the posters for All That Jazz and Cabaret — the last of which Burlesque could do worse than try to remind people of. (Hence, also, Aguilera's flapper gear. Sadly, though, no bowler hat.)

all_that_jazz.jpg
cabaret.jpeg

Bold Open-Legged Stance.
Though the Chicago image uses neon lights, as opposed to flashbulbs, both it and the Burlesque poster feature actors in the spread-leg stance: one that communicates power and a readiness to dance.

chicago500.jpg

Caught Mid-Sing
Aguilera, just like Bette Midler in The Rose, needs to sing so urgently she will even do it on a movie poster.

The Rosejpg.jpg

Vagina As Source of Light
The Real L World led the way with this one, which intimates one's lady parts are the source of power, revelation.

RealLWord.jpg

Silhouetted Break-dancers
Lest all of the above homages make you think Burlesque is just some glittery musical, there are some "edgy" break-dancers cavorting in the background, reminiscent of Stomp the Yard.

stomp the yard500.jpg

We also spot a hint of Princess Leia in the gold-clad dancers at Aguilera's feet. What else?

Update: Our commenters point out that this is actually a (very good looking) fan made poster. To which we say, hooray!, at least someone is looking forward to this movie more than us. Hopefully the real poster-- which will allegedly feature Cher-- will be nearly as campy, and include as much gold.