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About Margo60

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  • Birthday August 22

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    Milwaukee, WI
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    Art, film, writing, military history.

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  1. As you watch the interaction between the four characters in this scene, what do you notice about the way they include each other or relate to one another? How is it different from early musicals we have discussed? They are all coming together as a group to unite in a show - theme for 1950s musicals. Earlier musicals were concerned with economic disparities, and war. In the 50s, the economy was improving after the war, and people were able to live a good life. What do you notice about the costuming of the characters that indicate cohesiveness of the ensemble, as opposed to setting anyone apart? Be specific. They are unified in more of a dress casual ensemble with 50s dress style. Subdued coordinating colors in suits, and dress. What do you notice about the staging and interplay between the characters that helps define the relationships between the characters in the song? The delightful light dancing style, use of props, comedic gestures making for a light hearted energetic stagey feel for the audience. At one point they joined together in a fan style resembling unification. The world is a stage of entertainment - "The American Way" theme.
  2. What do you notice about the way the scene is directed as Petunia goes to Joe’s bedside and as we cut to her outside hanging laundry? What does this tell us about her relationship, and the connection to the song? You see the love and devotion to her husband. She is happy with a simple life as long as she has his love. She caresses his shirt from the laundry. Even the song has very simple lyrics of love. How would the song change if it was a woman singing about her child? Does the cultural meaning change? How? She would have sang it reflecting a different kind of love for her child. The cultural meaning would be one of nurturing not one of a love for a man. What other thoughts do you have about this film, the issues of black Americans during WWII, and this film’s importance in this era? Society was becoming more diversified at this time. Many black Americans served in the war even though they were still segregated within the military units. It was a time for racial awareness, and having films which included minority actors and actresses. The film industry wanted to create films that personified their cultures for entertainment. Return to top
  3. Thinking like a director and editor, describe how each shot spotlights key actions. Right from the start of the scene the two are shifting back and forth to create the chase, and music takes flight. Suddenly and abruptly the music stops, and she goes right into the song of his fate. When he throws the ball, she throws it away, and sings that it will happen sooner or later. She uses many hand and body gestures to make her point. A woman going after what she wants. He slides down the banister into her arms. It’s interesting to examine how musicals segue into musical numbers. How does this sequence prepare us for the singing? The pauses and rhythms in the dance scenes introduce the music. Also, the chase scenes create the acceleration of music, and singing. Using props for added effects in harmony with the music. Fate is in the stars, and goes into singing about destiny and astrology.
  4. What was the first Judy Garland film you recall watching? What was your first impression of her? The very first Judy Garland film I watched was the "Wizard of Oz". As a child, I was fascinated by her, and looking at it now, it is a film that is still magical for both adults and children. Who cannot forget how she looked wearing that gingham dress, ponytails, and "red shiny shoes" clicking her heels to a fairytale place. Her voice was amazing, and had that star quality. How do you view her differently after viewing these clips than you might have viewed her previously? We discover her talents in dancing, and comedy roles. Maturing into more dramatic acting roles. She was the definition of a "Star". What films in her later career come to mind as examples of her increasing ability to capture an audience’s imagination as a storyteller when she sings a lyric?
  5. Describe how the scenes in today’s Daily Dose were designed to promote American values for audiences during World War II. Be specific. Refer to props, set design, settings, etc. in your answer. References made to the celebration of the flag and parades. Entrance to the staircase, historical framed photos on the walls, encased memoirs of ships, the camera only showing the back of the President's back during the vocal interchange of conversation. Antique like props on the President's desk indicative of the decor in the White House. Listen carefully to the dialogue in these scenes. In what ways does the dialogue and/or the screenplay work to boost American morale? Quote specific lines of dialogue in your response. Cagney's line, "I was a cocky kid back then always carrying a flag, attending a parade or following one" (symbolism of American patriotism). The President's response, "I hope that you didn't outgrow the habit. That's one thing I admired about you Irish Americans. You carry love of country like a flag, right in the open. It's a great quality." (reference made to the patriotism of immigrants in the country - the fabric of America). Cagney spoke of inheriting this from his father. His father ran away at the young age to join the Civil War. Since this is the opening of a biographical musical, how differently do you feel this film would be if it opened with the Fourth of July Parade scene in Providence, Rhode Island vs. the opening with FDR in the Oval Office? Defend your answer. It wouldn't have the reminiscent effect as Cagney is going back in time to where it began with his father, and his roots. His father performing at the time of the parade, and leads to why he suddenly had to leave - introducing the story with a musical theme. He is dressed in Irish attire, and proud of his heritage but also proud of being an American.
  6. What other aspects of battle of the sexes do you see indicated in this clip or in the film Top Hat? They are both in sync with their dancing and finding common ground. Gingers Rogers plays a female role that is strong, no nonsense, and independent. She relates to being as an equal to a man. How does this film distinguish itself from other Depression era musicals we have watched or discussed this week? It is captured through the way of dress, more casual, the scenes are more natural. What possible reasons might there be for the changes in roles between men and women depicted in these screwball comedy musicals that distinguish themselves from earlier musicals in the 1930s? The Depression era and the war brought women in the forefront. They wanted to become more involved supporting men and the war effort. They had to survive while their men were away at war. It goes back to the escapism through comedy, and relatable characters, and situations. In the earlier musicals, it was a lot about social class, and the expectations of men and women roles, suppression and inequality.
  7. 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)? The use of various props (the guns in the drawer) suggests Alfred's sly conquests of women. Taken from the silent film, the focus of the object or objects of a dramatic scene. Witty dialogue interchanged between characters with playful sexual undertones. Alfred's sophisticated European style and flair, and his indiscretions reveal a double standard, and flawed character. His elegant charm and wit captured in a single scene when he flawlessly undoes the button on the woman's dress with Freudian overtones. Alfred speaks in dual languages of French and American, and it is revealed that he is of a prominent position making the situation even more humorous. 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. There is dramatic music at the beginning of the shots being fired, and the knocking on the doors when there is an entrance creating anticipation, dramatic effect and escapism with humor. What themes or approaches might you anticipate from this clip in other Depression-era musicals? Playful adult themes, witty lines, sophistication and style, focused camera on objects, use of sound and music. - "No one should try to play comedy unless they have a circus going on inside". ~Ernest Lubitsch
  8. 1. The interaction in the first scene is about "the courtship". Nelson Eddy being the perfect gentleman trying to impress Jeannette McDonald. Both playful and humoring one another in a suggestive way. The boat and just the two of them makes for a romantic setting. The second scene Nelson Eddy walks in with two ladies by his side, within a crowd while he sees Jeannette singing. One of the ladies is dressed very risque and her movements which Jeannette mimics as to point out her contempt and dislike without saying anything. it could only be for good/bad contrast of how a woman is depicted. The gentleman that he is, walks out of the room to go after her. 2. Never have seen them in film/TV but have heard their names before. I may have seen "The Merry Widow". 3. Mostly that men did the pursuing, and the women played hard to get. Women shouldn't outwardly be sexually suggestive or speak profanities.
  9. 1. Yes, since it was during the Depression, men wouldn't be so frivolous with their money. The song suggests something more lighthearted, and carefree. The clip reveals that the two men have intentions of pursuing her, and were of a higher class. 2. The stage is lavish and so are the costumes. Intentionally, looking to the better things in life with a sense of comedy. I think these themes would be prevalent during future Depression era musicals for the audience to escape for a moment in film from the hardships. 3. More lavish and revealing women's costuming, and dramatic musical scores.
  10. These are some of the musicals that are my favorites: "All that Jazz", "Guys and Dolls", "The Red Shoes", "Cabaret", "West Side Story", "Wizard of Oz", and "Sound of Music". Really looking forward to visiting the earlier Broadway musicals of the 30's and 40's. Loved the great dancers like Gene Kelly, Ginger Rogers, and Fred Astaire. Always loved the lighting, staging effects, and costuming of the different eras. The dance routines were so flawless, and mesmerizing. They had great songwriters and composers.
  11. A big "Thank You" to all students of this fantastic class, TCM, and Professor Edwards. I learned so much more about Hitchcock, and watched most of his films. There is always something more to understand about the vulnerability, strengths, and fears within human nature, art, society, cinematography, music, sound/visual effects that Hitchcock left as his legacy. Culturally influential, and timeless. This was his final cameo. My selection of modern day films similar to "Rear Window": Body Double, 1984 Brian DePalma Blue Velvet, 1986 David Lynch Peeping Tom, 1960 Michael Powell

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