msmukmuk

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  1. 1) In this scene Streisand's rendition of "People" is soft and reflective of her inner turmoil at that moment. She is shy, insecure and not sure how to handle his need to be"free". The lyrics of the song "lovers needing other lovers" expresses a message to him. At this tender moment, the song needs to be sung in a delicate but dramatic fashion. Her message leaves him pensive and enchanted. 2) The emotional transitional moments are subtle in this scene. Sharif follows her as she starts to sing and move away from him. The camera picks up on his expression of admiration but he doesn't move toward her. He is not to disturb her solo moment. I felt like one of her neighbors looking out the window watching her intense rendition of "People". She made every lyric count and poured her heart out. I wanted to yell out "Nick, go to her now" 3) Wyler keeps the camera on Streisand throughout this scene. After all, he HAS to highlight the best singer of that era and more. He allows us to see Sharif staring at her intently but the attention and merit goes to her. Audiences wanted a closer look at the STAR and Wyler knew exactly how to do it.
  2. 1) In both movies, Cukor uses period costumes, shadowy lighting (at times) and detailed scenery. In My Fair Lady, he uses Audrey's bold colored dress to frame and enhance her climactic moment. Cukor re-used the theme of the man using a woman for his benefit. He kept the idea of the manipulative man hovering over and controlling the female. In Gaslight though, Bergman stands bravely over him during her emotional scene. I agree that in both movies the women are made to feel out of place. 2) Cukor uses long shots to help viewers focus on the different temperaments of each character as they spoke. The camera pans to where Higgins is leisurely searching for his slippers then it moves to Audrey crouched on the floor sobbing. An effective shot I liked is when the camera focuses on her still sobbing on the sofa with his body barely visible hovering behind her. The scene transitions when she calms down and they both become a bit reflective and begin to listen to each other. 3)Cukor's direction is focused on the nuances of their interaction. After she throws the slippers at him, Higgins chooses to stay with her instead of retreating. During the entire scene he seems to be mocking her (and he is) but his soft voice, the offering of candy and the suggestion to sleep on it is the start of his transition. Cukor wants us to believe that Higgins is beginning to understand that she is lost, ashamed, has no where to go, is confused about the change in her lifestyle and perhaps experiencing feelings of love.
  3. 1)Male representation changed as the decades passed. In the 30's and 40's males were gentlemanly, romantic and often the center of the story. In the 50's there were more prominent musical performers, but in the 60's we see the growth of transcendental (as you put it) female roles. Males couldn't stay behind. How do you compete with an Audrey Hepburn ??In the 60's, male characters were either alpha or beta or a combination of both. They had more depth, emotion, and intelligence. 2) Preston had a unique voice and manner of speaking, evident in both movies. He plays a strategist that knows how to influence people with exquisite words and cat-like moves. He exudes charm, confidence and a sense of humor. Quite attractive qualities regardless of sexual orientation. I agree with LynnBlake, that Preston's singing keeps you present with the character. 3) I have not seen too many Preston movies except for "How The West Was Won" and "Reap the Wild Wind". In both cases I remember how he approached the character with integrity and authenticity. He kept it real. What a showman.
  4. 1) In this scene, "Gypsy" moves backward because it starts off as a backstage musical with innocent little girls auditioning for a show. It takes a quick turn forward to a more permissive time to include a sinister promoter pushing for his girl to be selected. Meanwhile innocent looking June and Louise sing and dance in a clingy number when June does a cartwheel and exposes her undies. Later the story goes from untainted girls in vaudeville to young women doing harsh burlesque stripping. 20 Rosalind Russell known for her quick witted banter comes into the scene like a lightning bolt...loud, brash and IN control. She shows tremendous confidence and expects everything to go her way. She takes charge of the scene, lighting and orchestra in one swift move. Great example of female power over men.I think Russell pulls this off magnificently. 3) For those that have seen the movie, you know that the words have a subversive meaning later on. "Let Me Entertain You" and "I will do some tricks" define the world of burlesque where women provoke and "satisfy" men in the audience. I agree with some of my classmates that there even was some sexualization of little girls in vaudeville to appeal to males.
  5. 1) The stylized approach used throughout the street scenes in this film add a sense of artistic authenticity. Viewers from different parts of the world could feel as if they were walking the streets of Montmarte. Minnelli made it that believable! In this scene there are various types of artists in the busy alleyway streets as well as tourists or visitors walking by. It is my opinion that it was necessary to create the realism in each scene i.e. cafe, hotel, apartments for consistency, establish the love story then explode with the fantasy scenes. 2) Gene is likeable from the beginning of the scene as he gleefully carries his paintings, greets his fellow artists and sets up a spot for himself. For some this may seem as the "Ugly American" a little too cocky, too comfortable competing with French painters???? Although he has not sold a painting, he displays his work hoping for a buyer. The only moment that he becomes disagreeable is when the art student starts to dissect his work. He snaps at her. He doesn't even want a compliment from her.He is frustrated perhaps because the public doesn't appreciate his work. Then along comes Milo........
  6. 1)Their pre-dance movements are slower, quieter and in rhythm to their giddy singing. The actual dance number is an energized iconic tap dance routine. Their dance movements are quick paced and timed perfectly with one another. I agree with chillfillyinak (again), O"Connor's style and Kelly's moves although different meld together in this number. 2) At the beginning he was "the professor in charge" then the dancers took over. The tortured the poor man! The professor becomes a willing prop for the two dancers, they place him wherever the routine call for it. It is harmless fun and adds to the entertainment value of the scene. A straight man was needed for this scene to balance the dancers. 3)Gene exemplifies a strong, confident athletic man. Donald is a more fluid, expressive and comical performer. At times a little feminine. They are both casual and exacting in their moves, an attractive quality for a man in that time. The buoyant comedic elements of this dance routine paired with the synced tap dancing routines made it perfect for a musical in the 1950's.
  7. msmukmuk

    Cyd Charisse!

    Cyd Charisse was the BEST, most stylish and accomplished dancer in Hollywood. She was classically trained in ballet and incorporated that into all her dancing. She had the most beautifully shapes legs. Oh those thighs. How I watched her movies and tried to dance like her. She may not have been the greatest actress but she held her own. favorite numbers....Dancing In The Dark with Astaire and the final number in Bandwagon with the red dress WOW!!! Silk Stockings..Number in the hotel room all by herself and final number with "Russian" dancers. I love an early dance sequence In "Sombrero" where does does a ritual dance on a mountain top WOW WOW WOW
  8. 1) Doris Day is showcasing a totally new type of female in"Calamity Jane". She plays a rough and tough aggressive "gal" who can hang out with the guys at the bar. The last clip shows a more subdued romantic side. During the 1950's in Hollywood there were several images in the continuum. There were the voluptuous types like Marilyn Monroe, early Sophia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor and the waif girl like Audrey Hepburn and Leslie Caron. The All American like Grace Kelly or sultry like Ava Gardner and Dorothy Dandridge. Each look lend itself to certain feminine characteristics. 2) Doris Day took on interesting roles starting in 1949 in "My Dream Is Yours" a musical with some drama but well done. "Love Me or Leave Me" a profound dramatic performance in my opinion. She followed with "The Man Who Knew Too Much" where her performance bordered on a little too hysterical but yet effective for Hitchcock. During the 60's she entertained us comically with her Rock Hudson, James Garner, Cary Grant movies. I would say it's a very well rounded career. 3)Without a doubt, Doris day's effervescent personality added an interesting dimension to the Calamity Jane character. She personifies a brave woman trying hard to show her courage, physical strength and bravado to fit in with the males in her community during THAT time. She is essentially a non-conformist willing to go beyond the restricted female role. Doris does it with such pathos and honesty. her body language is on point. She is believable.That's what counts!!!
  9. 1) The four characters are part of a cohesive ensemble, they each have an equal part in the musical number. At first they surround sitting Astaire but he quickly joins them in song and dance. Each one sings and includes one another in a jovial manner. In reality, Astaire is the only dancer and Fabray is the true singer. They all take part in the action except for Levant in the dance number.Their rendition of "That's Entertainment" is full of expressive moves and the clever use of props. In past musicals, there was usually a star or two top entertainers in the show. This movie is a show within a show because the "out-takes" and bad rehearsals are entertaining and key to the story. 2)The men are dressed in casual suits in tones of blue and gray. Fabray is in a "casual" cocktail dress in par with her partners. Their individual outfits sort of fit their parts i.e. director with a kind of smoking jacket. 3)During the number all three members dance and move around in hopes of convincing Astaire to be part of the show.Eventually he joins in, it's a message to the viewers that he has been convinced. Quite clever! I agree with "chillyfillyinak" the Minnelli intentionally holds back Astaire's dance moves in this scene. We all know he can outshine the others but ...he doesn't. So smart.
  10. 1) This scene depicts the movie's ideology of good wins over evil. Ethel Waters prays for the recovery of her gambling, flirtatious husband because she is devoted, dutiful and forgiving in a religious way. When she realizes that her Joe will survive, the entire scene changes. She becomes elated and even accepts her daily house chores because after all, she has love. Her happiness is Joe and that is a direct connection to the song. 2) Like other viewers, I couldn't understand this question. The song describes a strong love that seems fit for adults and that's its purpose in this scene. Not sure what the cultural meaning is. The song could possibly be sung to a child. A mother's love is strong and unconditional as well. I really think that in any culture love is love is love.... 3) I watch this film whenever it is shown on TCM because of the story, actors and music. It was innovative and honorable for Minnelli to select this project for his directorial debut. Perhaps he wanted to attract all audiences by including top African American stars of that time. He showcased similarities between the races and offered starring roles to blacks headlining instead of secondary subservient roles. In addition, African Americans were figting in the war like all other Americans.
  11. 1) As a director it is crucial to pair the song lyrics and purpose, the exact dance movements with the orchestration and rhythm of the number. Not an easy task! This scene starts off with a shuffle of movement for the couple, she blocks his moves and he tries to change direction all of this done in perfect timing with the music. The rest of the choreography is designed to concur with the music in all of its movements. Her vocal cadence matches the drums and pace of the song as do her actions. As an editor it's important to capture the camera's movement with the quick paced movements of the characters as they move up and down the stadium with the exact timing of the music. No choppy cuts. It has to be seamless. 2) This sequence prepares the audience for the singing because the song's lighthearted words and pace are synced with the dance movements in the stadium.The love story is so much more entertaining done in clever song and dance.
  12. 1) As many have mentioned, The Wizard of Oz was the very first Judy Garland movie I saw. I was six years old and totally mesmerized with Judy's emotional performance, her dynamic rendition of "Over the Rainbow" and her dominance in being the central character for the entire movie. I remember wanting to speak like "Dorothy" and have the where with all to help everyone. That's the impact she had!! 2)I have seen both of these movies and am impressed with the change in Judy's role in movies. She was no longer the girl next door trying to get Andy Hardy's attention. In these clips you see a grown-up multi-talented Judy performing with the top musical stars of the time, Astaire and Kelly. What I love most is her on-point comedic timing and general playfulness. She was much more than a triple threat. She did it all with such emotion and finesse. No one like her. 3)In "A Star Is Born", Judy tears your heart out in "The Man That Got Away". Wow It's a simple scene in a jazz club after hours but her rendition tells you quite a story. You feel her pain. The other Garland movie that showcased a song with a story is without a doubt, "Meet Me in St. Louis" when she sings "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas". As Professor Ament said, Judy sang it with total authenticity. It has been part of our popular culture for more than 74 years.
  13. 1)This movie is framed perfectly. It opens in 1942 with Cohan invited to the White House by President Roosevelt, that is a top honor even in today's measures. As Cohan ascends the stairs, he admires the portraits of former Presidents. He speaks to the valet who tells him that Teddy Roosevelt loved his song "It's A Grand Ol' Flag". Viewers immediately starts to feel a sense of national pride and what it means to be an American. The flashback scene takes us back to July 4, 1878 , the day Cohan was born. We witness a celebratory parade with flags, soldiers and marching bands. Testament to national pride even after the Civil War. 2) The initial conversation on the staircase was intentionally designed to let us know that African Americans also shared in national pride despite difficult times.The dialogue between FDR and Cohan shows mutual respect and acknowledgement of intense patriotism...."you spent your left telling the other 47 states what a great country this is." FDR adds that Cohan's Irish ancestry "carry your love of country like a flag right out in the open". I think that viewers of different backgrounds could get the message that regardless of cultural ancestry we are all Americans. A message we desperately need today. 3) The meeting with FDR sets the story of Cohan in relation to his patriotism. it's just not a bio pic. It allows for Cohan to tell his family history, patriots who sang and danced their nationalism on stage. In that way, we can truly understand why the most courageous, honorable President we EVER had ...would in turn honor a hero like our Yankee Doodle Dandy. I am typing this as I am listening to a PBS program on the Roosevelts. They're broadcasting several FDR's speeches. It is so fascinating to hear his actual voice as I write about him. Sonia Fuentes
  14. CYD CHARISSE HANDS DOWN. WATCH "DANCING IN THE DARK" FROM BAND WAGON
  15. 1) In this clip, Astaire starts off with a song to relate his intentions to woo her. Next, he challenges her to follow his expert dance steps. They go toe to toe on each step. Ginger"faces the music"as his equal and is pleased to have met his match. It is interesting to note that she is dressed in slacks and appears to be his equal in all physical moves. At the end she is pleased with herself and shakes his hand symbolizing parity at all levels. 2) Top Hat takes place in a luxurious Art Deco setting with the inclusion of important secondary characters that add to the comedic/romantic story. It is not a backstage drama. Here the song and dance numbers are central to the plot.In addition, Ginger's role is of a strong, assertive woman unafraid of challenges matching Astaire step by step. 3)The changes in the roles between men and women are due to the need for more sophisticated stories, I think. In addition, women were changing, joining the work force and establishing a firm place in society. Perhaps producers and writers realized that women were the ones attending the movie theaters more often and wanted to offer them a fantasy world or a model to follow.

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