The son of a conductor, Minnelli started in theatre, designing sets and directing plays, before going to Hollywood and MGM. His first film was Cabin in the Sky (1943), a jazz musical starring Lena Horne that is also part of the BFI season. He directed Judy Garland (his future wife, and mother of their daughter Liza) in Meet Me in St Louis, filmed Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire dancing together in Ziegfeld Follies and won an Oscar for Gigi.
As well as non-musical films, this season includes I Dood It, starring tap dancer Eleanor Powell, Yolanda and the Thief with Astaire and Lucille Bremer, Garland and Gene Kelly in The Pirate, The Story of Three Loves with Moira Shearer and Leslie Caron, Brigadoon, Kismet and On a Clear Day You Can See Forever.
See the bfi website for dates and to book tickets.
Picture: Lucille Ball in Ziegfeld Follies. Photograph courtesy of the BFI