Jon Severino

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About Jon Severino

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  1. DAILY DOSE OF DELIGHT #9 (FROM THE BAND WAGON): "You may be stranded out in the cold but you wouldn’t change it for a sack of gold"—what and quit show business? (from Annie Get Your Gun) It’s such an ensemble effort that Fred, Nanette and Jeffery mock hogging the spotlight during their time step. Later Oscar, as the foundation, leaves the acrobatic stance but the others don’t fall which shows that no one member is more important than the team. Previously, the star would take the spotlight and even Fred and Ginger would trade steps in challenge routines. For their time, the dress was cajj nice but today, millennials would call it: basic hipster. Their characters are suggested by the song: Oscar is “the clown with his pants falling down;" Fred is “the dance that’s a dream of romance;" Jeffery is “the boss who is thrown for a loss;" and Fred points to Nanette when he sings: ”the skirt who is doing him dirt.” Then Shakespeare is referenced (“The world is a stage.”), which suggests that they (and we) are all play acting in the roles we have to play and it’s all good fun. At the end, their eyes and arms extend slightly left of camera to an imaginary audience implying that we are right there with them.
  2. DAILY DOSE OF DELIGHT #8 (FROM CABIN IN THE SKY) “You’ll have brains…heart…courage to last your whole life through/If you believe in yourself as I believe in you.” (from The Wiz) This is a musical fable of redemption. In this scene, Petunia rejoices that her prayer to save Li’l Joe has been answered. She lies next to him, closes her eyes and then we segue to a scene of her folding linens on the line in the sunshine. On first viewing, the cross-fade seems like just a time jump to a later time but on second viewing, we realize that we’re entering an extended dream sequence (similar to Dorothy’s in the Wizard of Oz). We might also see the clean linen as a metaphor for Joe’s soul which was cleansed white by the blood of the Lamb (Rev:7:14) through Petunia’s intercessory prayer. “Li’l Joe” is what rolling a hard 4 (two 2s) in dice is called. It’s the lowest you can roll without “crapping out.” This scene (and the movie) shows how a husband’s and wife’s fate and happiness is intertwined through their strengths and weaknesses. And how love and faith can redeem from transgressions and trials. Petunia’s relation to Joe is of love and devotion but also of dependence on him for her happiness. And as Joe represents a sinner in search of redemption, he couldn’t be played by a child which would represent innocence. To me, this isn’t a race movie but a movie about all humanity with what happens to be an all-black cast. Like Joe, we all wrestle with our conscience and with temptation. Like Petunia, we have all had to make sacrifices and forgive loved ones because their happiness is also our happiness because we are joined to them in love. The wartime subtext being that as brothers-in-arms and sisters-in-arms, all Americans who love their country are all brothers and sisters joined together by that love and therefore their fates are united.
  3. DAILY DOSE OF DELIGHT #7 (FROM TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALLGAME) "Whatever Betty wants, Frankie gets." (from Damn Yankees) 1. There's no dancing in this scene but it is well choreographed. Staccato actions match staccato orchestra chords, they hop up and down on the bleachers in time to glissandos and arpeggios, and even the arc of the tossed ball is matched to a rising and falling scale. 2. What starts as incidental running music turns out to serve as the intro to the song. This intro is recapitulated to match their running up the bleachers but this time it's clearly a part of the number serving as an instrumental bridge.
  4. DAILY DOSE OF DELIGHT #6 (FROM TWO JUDY GARLAND FILMS) “Don’t try to rearrange me, there’s nothing can change me ‘cause I (don’t) care” (from "I Don’t Care") Wasn't Dorothy everyone's first impression of Garland and didn't everyone think that she was oh just ever so adorable? But in these clips she is already a seasoned performer. "The Man That Got Away" is the seminal Judy Garland performance. While some school of actors "just hit the mark and say the line," others, like Judy, aren't "acting" at all but are really feeling the full emotion of the song or dialogue. And when you're emotionally honest and vulnerable enough to keep living and "acting" in the moment, eventually you become a virtuoso in emoting nuanced universal feelings. This is the genius of Judy Garland and all great artists. And because all art is a conduit of empathy, great artists grace their audiences with an expanded, deeper humanity just by their experience of it. (This is why we should teach art and music in school.) P.S. I loved Dr. Ament's and Dr. Edward's Video Lecture on Meet Me in St. Louis. There's not a false note in the whole movie. Speaking of which, did anyone notice the jazz note in "Skip to My Lou" at the end of the line, "Go to another par-ty?" I think it's a 9th on a dominant 9th chord which is a note that you'd never hear sung in a 1903 version of the song. This lets us know that we aren't in Missouri any more.
  5. DAILY DOSE OF DELIGHT #5 (FROM YANKEE DOODLE DANDY) "And when my time is up, have I done enough?" (from Hamilton's "Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story?") George M. Cohan's biography is quickly associated with America's story. The president summoned him to the White House at 9 pm where he's greeted by a butler who stayed late to show his admiration for his song, "You're a Grand Old Flag" from his play, George Washington Jr.. FDR calls him his "double" because Cohan is playing him in I'd Rather Be Right. Then we flashback to a July 4th parade (where flags abound) when Cohan was born and segue into a born-with-sawdust-in-my-veins scene. (Who writes this stuff?)
  6. Same here. I sent a message in Canvas and tweeted Dr. Ament & Dr. Edwards about it.
  7. DAILY DOSE #4 (Top Hat): When you hear it thunder, don't run under a tree; They'll be pennies in the Depression in the movies. Ginger sits upstage with an earful of Fred's applesauce; Turns one cold shoulder to 23 skidoo him and brush him off; She mocks Fred's angles then mimes his ankles in real (swing) time; They Oliver Twist and she hits on all six in pant suit pantomime. She's given equal footing, because many women had to put in, till they were all in--working for their dough. They weren't floozies, and times were doozies, so cuties wooed the movies--because men's work was slow. This scene advances the quirky love story plot, And it's not part of an enchanted Berkeley staged play; And shows when times are bad, there's still times to be got... ...dancing...and the rain.
  8. DAILY DOSE #3 (Love Parade): Thank 'eh-Väh(n)! for leet'l guns. 1. Alfred (Lubish) sets the stakes low by breaking the fourth wall, telling us that he knows he's in a movie. His ease at accepting being shot and then finding out he wasn't, furthers this. 2. The violin plays suspenseful lines punctuated with loud dark chords, except for the last time when it's punctuated by the small gun shot, tipping us off that the gun isn't loaded. 3. Even now, we easily allow that the wealthy (and the French) have loose morals which enables these movies to deal with dark subjects with a light touch.
  9. DAILY DOSE #2 Not a more congenial spot for happily-ever-aftering than: Courtly Love. 1. Scene #1: Courtly, campy, canoe-crooning courting. Scene #2: Unlike Durbin in Every Sunday, MacDonald endearingly haplessly mimics her swinging partner. 2. I've only seen clips of them singing Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life. 3. Courtly Love Stages: Attraction to the lady, via glances Worship of the lady from afar Declaration of passionate devotion Virtuous rejection by the lady Renewed wooing with oaths of virtue and eternal fealty Moans of approaching death from unsatisfied desire (and other physical manifestations of lovesickness) Heroic deeds of valor which win the lady's heart Consummation of the secret love Live happily ever after From A Distant Mirror: the Calamitous 14th Century by Barbara Tuchman (via Wikipedia).
  10. DAILY DOSE #1 VOULEZ VOUS ORCHIDS AVEC MOI CE SOIR 1.Everything is as big & bright as Anna Held’s blinking eyes who literally reflects the audience’s sensibilities and their desire to escape the Depression. 2. There’s a surreal larger-than-life fairy-tale feel that seems to characterize the era. 3.Though the song is no “Cherry Pie” by Warrant it is far more suggestive than it is performed considering Florenz Ziegfeld actually based his follies on the Folies Bergère and not “The Palace Music Hall.”
  11. The first that came to my mind, but BrianBlake beat me to it, was: Mulholland Drive. So here are some others: The Shining Silver Streak Foul Play Pulp Fiction The Man Who Wasn’t There The Bride Wore Black Crimes and Misdemeanors The Lady from Shanghai The French Connection Some Like It Hot
  12. 1. What's with all the trains? 2. Can these films be thought of as love stories with a metaphorical suspense story making their whole plots into a MacGuffin? 3. There's several Shakespeare quotes in Hitch's work. Are these passing or was Hitch heavily influenced by The Bard?
  13. Jon Severino

    All the Cameos

    Every HItchcock cameo taken from the description of: The Lodger: A Story of London Fog- 2 cameos! Clip 1: The man shouting into the phone in the bottom center, Clip 2: in the middle of the crowd with the fake beard Easy Virtue- walking with a cane on the right Blackmail- sitting on the left being harassed by a child (one of his longest cameos) Murder! - walking across the shot from left to right The 39 Steps- walking to the right and tossing a piece of paper on the ground Young and Innocent- to the left fiddling with a camera (another of Hitchcock's longest) The Lady Vanishes- walking to the left smoking a cigar and shrugging his shoulders Rebecca- in the background walking to the left wearing a bowler hat Foreign Correspondent- reading a newspaper on the left Mr. and Mrs. Smith- walking from left to right as the camera pulls out Suspicion- 2 cameos! clip 1: leading the horse, clip 2: mailing a letter in the background Saboteur- top left corner under the light bulb Shadow of a Doubt- playing cards with the doctor Lifeboat- in the ad for Reduco "the obesity slayer" Spellbound- leaving the elevator smoking a cigar and carrying a violin case Notorious- drinking champagne The Paradine Case- on the right, smoking a cigar and carrying a cello case Rope- walking on the sidewalk in a blue suit and holding a newspaper Under Capricorn- 2 cameos! clip 1 in a blue suit, brown pants and top hat in the middle of the frame, clip 2 same outfit in the middle of a group of 3 people Stage Fright- on the right turning and looking at the main character Strangers on a Train- boarding the train with a stand up bass I Confess- walking across the horizon Dial M for Murder- sitting at the table in the picture Rear Window- winding the clock in the piano player's apartment To Catch a Thief- Sitting on the right in the bus The Trouble With Harry- walking on the left in a trench coat The Man Who Knew Too Much- standing the bottom left of the crowd The Wrong Man- This cameo is different. Because The Wrong Man is based on the experiences of a real person Hitchcock wanted to approach the whole thing differently. Vertigo- walking from left to right carrying a trumpet case North By Northwest- failing to catch a bus Psycho- in the window wearing a cowboy hat The Birds- walking his real-life dogs out of the pet shop Marnie- exiting a room on the left and looking directly at the camera Torn Curtain- holding a small child on his knee Topaz- sitting in a wheelchair and then standing up to shake hands with someone Frenzy- 2 cameos! clip1: in the middle of the crowd wearing a bowler hat, clip 2 same hat in the bottom center Family Plot- silhouette seen in in the window of Registrar of Births & Deaths
  14. DAILY DOSE #20 (Frenzy). DYING THAMES FOR MURDER: 1. While both Frenzy and The Lodger puts us with a frightened public over a murdered blonde, Frenzy gets us there quicker and establishes a realistic (travelogue) tone. 2. Common Hitch touches include: a long continuous shot, placing the viewer within a crowd, a murdered blonde, and establishing the genre early (even if it's undercut later). 3. In addition to all of the above, even starting with the opening credits, Hitch tried to grab the attention of the viewer early with action and tends to handle exposition visually rather than verbally (showing not telling).
  15. DAILY DOSE #19 (Marnie). THE TROUBLE WITH HAIR DYE: 1. The Fake IDs suggests she's a con artist. 2. The score begins melodramatically but shifts to tones of rebirth with the new hair color. 3. Hitch is caught ogling Tippi who could refer to their last film together as: The Gooses.

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