#7: Chicago (2002)
'He had it coming, he had it coming, he only had himself to blame!' This refrain and the above shot are from the "Cell Block Tango", the most memorable song-and-dance number in Bob Fosse's pulpy musical Chicago. In Rob Marshall's 2001 film adaptation we have about thirty women snarling and stomping, shouting that remorseless chorus. When the 'good woman' is one who makes every effort to put men at ease, the refusal to apologise is feminist praxis. Beyonce knows this when she sings 'I ain't sorry, I ain't sorry', until the murmur becomes a shout. Five women tell the story of murdering their husband. The crimes of the partners are varied: emotional abuse, infidelity, chewing gum too loud. Whatever it was, they deserved what they got. Prisons often constitute crowds – in the yard, cafeteria, or during drills – but most of the time this potential crowd is split through cells. Part of the power of the "Cell Block Tango" is the transition in imagery from caged silhouettes, to distinct women telling their stories, to a unified chorus. It's the movement from anonymous inmates to a crowd with shared desires.