LesleySargoy

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  1. What was the first Judy Garland film you recall watching? What was your first impression of her? The Wizard of Oz. First impression is of that strong voice! What an amazing talent she had and she was only 16-17 when she made this movie. How do you view her differently after viewing these clips than you might have viewed her previously? I don't view her that much differently, only that she was much more versatile than perhaps we give her credit for. She wasn't only a singer/dancer, but a very accomplished actress. I'll never forget her dramatic performance in Judgement at Nuremberg...
  2. What other aspects of battle of the sexes do you see indicated in this clip or in the film Top Hat? Just the "pursuing male/reluctant female" aspect of the storyline, similar to the Jeannette MacDonald/Nelson Eddy clip we watched earlier in the week. It also seemed like Fred and Ginger were more competitive with each other on the dance steps than in other films. How does this film distinguish itself from other Depression era musicals we have watched or discussed this week? Long introductory song sequence, before the dance came in. Also, interesting use of costume, particularly on Ginger's part. Usually the women are dressed in very glamorous dresses and the men in tuxedos, but in this clip Fred and Ginger are dressed more casually.
  3. What do you notice about the Lubitsch touch? How do the props, the dialogue, and the staging help you understand the character of Alfred (Maurice Chevalier)? Because the film is coming off the silent era, I first noticed the richness in visual detail, particularly with the luxurious surroundings of Alfred's home. You get a sense of character and story just by looking at all of the details. Based on this scene, what are some of the things you notice about the scene’s use of sound? Describe a specific sound or line of dialogue you hear and what you think it adds to the scene’s effectiveness. Interesting when the gun goes off, there is quite a long pause ... almost going back to the silent days, when instead of a sound, there would be a title ... then the sound comes back. Perhaps the pacing of the film is borrowed from the earlier days?
  4. 1 What do you notice about the interaction between the characters in these two scenes? Please give specific examples. If you have seen either or both of these actors in other films or television shows, please share your perceptions about them. Jeanette MacDonald barely tolerates the Nelson Eddy character, won’t even look at him until he starts singing. Then a smile comes to her face, even though she still won’t turn around and look at him. Finally as he finishes, she turns to him and smiles. Afterwards, when he asks if she likes the song, she plays it cool, swapping in other girl’s names, but she is clearly impressed. Her perception has changed... Jeanette MacDonald played the same character in San Francisco (1936). She must make money by singing in **** Norton’s (Clark Gable) saloon, but thinks she is above it. The conflict comes when she is offered a chance to sing at an opera house. But she has fallen in love with **** Norton … Again the male/female conflict where the woman thinks she is "above it" yet because of bad luck, must do something she ordinarily wouldn't do. The male, being attracted to her (a different type of woman than he is used to), woos her and wins her in the end.
  5. Do you agree that the clip exhibits a brighter perspective of life than might be realistic? Why or why not? Yes, only because this time period was the great depression. People wanted to get away from their troubles and be entertained. A little bit of escapist fantasy is what the audiences were looking for (and perhaps still are). Nothing like the movies to project yourself into another world! What themes or approaches might you anticipate from this clip in other Depression era musicals? Very similar themes in all of them - the escapist entertainment. The only one I can think of that shows how tough times were is "Gold Diggers of 1933" with some of the musical numbers, particularly "We're in the Money" and "Remember My Forgotten Man." The storyline also reflects the times: aspiring singers/actresses desperate for work, a producer whose creditors close down the show, etc.
  6. UPDATE: Tried to mirror the iPad directly to the TV through the Lightening to HDMI Cable Adapter instead of the Apple TV. Same issue, got the sound but no picture. TCM material works but not the feature film. If I don’t mirror from the iPad to the TV, the movie plays directly on the iPad. Would rather watch films on the big screen, but guess I’ll have to wait and see if there is some update to the TCM app that removes the DRM restrictions for mirroring under iOS 11.
  7. Thank you so much for your suggestion. Interestingly, the streaming worked from my MacBook Pro over to Apple TV by using WatchTCM through Safari. Tried it again from the app on my iPad and I only get the sound, no picture. However, if I don't mirror the content over to Apple TV, the movie plays fine on the iPad... strange? I might try to mirror the iPad directly to the TV through a Lightning to HDMI Cable Adapter ... bypass the Apple TV entirely and see what happens then...
  8. Hello All, I recently upgraded my my iPad Pro to iOS11. Before I did this, the TCM Watch App worked perfectly on the Apple TV with AirPlay Mirroring. I'd start the movie in TCM Watch (iPad), click on AirPlay Mirroring > Apple TV and the film would appear on my TV screen. Now with the iOS11 upgrade, all I get is a black screen. Short segments like the "host" section with Ben Mankiewicz will mirror, but not the main film. Can't figure out why? Does anyone have any ideas on how to fix this? I tried re-downloading the TCM Watch app, but it still doesn't work. Or even better, TCM - why not develop an Apple TV version of the App? Little hint :-)
  9. What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific. The panoramic view of a famous place (London) with all of the prominent buildings shown to their best display. Its almost like we are on an airplane and coming in for a landing on the spot where the government official is talking about eradicating water waste and pollution. Even the music if very "official" (pomp and circumstances). However, Hitchcock throws in a surprise when an ordinary man yells, "LOOK!" and everyone sees the dead body floating. This is an abrupt switch in storyline, similar to Psycho, where the lead character gets murdered. Although this switch happens much more quickly and we don't know who the man officiating is, one may think that Frenzy is its about the government, pollution, perhaps corruption and later a murder, etc. However the discovery of the dead body quickly changes the storyline to that of a serial killer in London who rapes and chokes women with a necktie.
  10. Based on the opening sequence alone, what do you feel you already know about Marnie as a character? In what ways does Hitchcock visually reveal her character through her interaction with objects.We know right away that this woman's is making herself over when the two suitcases appear. She is dumping things in the suitcase on the left, which represents her old identity, while the other suitcase is packed very neatly with her new clothes. These new outfits are Hitchcock's visual representation of her new identity. We don't know why she is making this change, we can only assume it is to hide from someone or criminal activity. Once again, the audience has more knowledge about the character than the other characters in the film. By giving us the visual clues early on, Hitchcock puts us ahead of the game when it comes to events unfolding in the film.
  11. In what ways does this opening scene seem more appropriate to a romantic comedy than a “horror of the apocalypse” film? What do we learn about Melanie (Tippi Hedren) and Mitch (Rod Taylor) in this scene? Melanie and Mitch are flirting with each other when Melanie is pretending to work at the bird shop. Although Mitch is sees through her, he plays along with her practical joke. They engage in very witty banter, reminiscent of the 1930s romantic comedies - The Thin Man (1934) comes to mind. Mitch and Melanie are very sophisticated and urbane, just like Nick and Nora Charles, as shown by their dialogue and wardrobe. Melanie is dressed in an elegant suit; her hair is styled in a French twist and her nails are perfectly polished. Mitch is also dressed in a typical business suit - one that a man would wear if he were an accountant, lawyer, or other business professional. In this opening scene, the numerous birds flying in the sky are not ominous, but only part of a scene one would expect in a waterfront city like San Francisco. Mitch chooses love birds in the store, which only adds to the romantic element of the opening scene. ​After you see this film, you realize those birds in the opening scene are a foreshadowing of events to come. Interestingly in the last scene, Cathy takes the lovebirds with her, as they are escaping the apocalypse. As she says, "the love birds haven't done anything..." Is Hitchcock saying that "good will triumph over evil?"
  12. Psycho opens with title design by Saul Bass and music by Bernard Herrmann. This is their third collaboration for Hitchcock, including Vertigoand North by Northwest. How does the graphic design and the score introduce the main themes of this film? The graphic design shows a split in lines and a split in the words - two halves become a whole. Perhaps this is a foreshadowing of the Norman/Mother personality split that is revealed in the end of the movie. This visual, combined with the sharp, scary music - almost shrill - raises the blood pressure and anxiety levels of the audience. We know something is coming, but what? Really sets the tone of the film and grips you right away.
  13. There is minimal action in this scene, so any deviation from the overall pattern of focusing on the faces of the two leads will have increased significance. In that sense, discuss how Hitchcock uses the R.O.T. matchbook as an important piece of acting business (or as a prop) in this scene. How is Hitchcock using sound design in this scene? Consider music and other background sounds in your answer. The R.O.T. matchbook allows Eva Marie Saint to touch Cary Grant's hand as he is lighting her cigarette, but more importantly, it's a foreshadowing of what will happen later in the film. The matchbook reappears when Cary Grant is at James Mason's house overlooking Mt. Rushmore. He uses it to get the message to Eva Marie Saint that "they are on to you and don't get on that plane..." The sounds are very subtle in the train dining scene: the rhythmic pattern of the train, the soft music and the clatter of dishes as dinner is being served. Its a romantic scene and the background sounds supplement the dialogue between the two.
  14. In your own estimation, what is the single most powerful image in this title sequence? Defend your answer. How do Saul Bass’ images and Bernard Herrmann’s score work together? How different would this sequence be with a different musical score? The most powerful image is when the camera closes in on the widened, frightened eye, and it becomes a spiral. We have been set up by the ominous music that gets louder every time a name appears on the screen, i.e., Jimmy Stewart. We already don't know what to expect, why is the camera closing in on the lips, cheeks, the eyes and finally the one eye? Of course, that's the moment when the title "VERTIGO" appears on the screen - to correspond to the spiral overlay on the eye. Vertigo as in fear, dizziness and the audience will feel the "whirlies" while watching that title sequence. The music, imagery and graphics are wonderful!
  15. What do we learn about Jeff in this scene without any pertinent lines of dialogue (other than what is written on Jeff’s leg cast)? How does Hitchcock gives us Jeff’s backstory simply through visual design? We learn that Jeff is an action photographer who is immobilized by a broken leg during a brutal heatwave. He is stuck in a wheelchair in the apartment, the sweat runs down his face. We see a montage of his photographic works hanging up on the wall and stacked on the table. His work is quite varied, ranging from sports/action shots to a magazine cover from Paris. He is used to traveling and being in constant motion. To be immobilized is pure torture for Jeff. However he soon realizes there is a "story" right outside of his apartment window. Being a visual person, he comes to this conclusion early on in the movie. However, from the opening shots of the different apartments and the people who live in them, the audience knows the story potential before Jeff. Again, Hitchcock is giving us information up front - information which the characters in the movie don't see right away. However Jeff is very quick to discover the possibilities and convinces Lisa and Stella (Thelma Ritter) that something interesting and sinister is going on. Love this movie!

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