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About MrZerep

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  1. The character of Calamity Jane is the breakout woman- tough enough to challenge a man and feminine enough to get a man She is a product of the "wild" frontier and perhaps was not content with silly girlish things- her world was surrounded by men who could be strong figures for her to admire. Yet she has some femininity in her to help her survive the frontier a a loving, nurturing woman. This film is perhaps her defining moment in film musical history. It's a comic, serious, challenging role that made everyone notice that Doris Day = box office bonanza. Her films post-Calamity involved musical and non-musical roles that defined her as an actress well qualified for whatever Hollywood had to offer. Miss Day's persona added to the character of Calamity Jane. I'm sure in real life she adored what life had to offer and it shows in her performance. The opening number introduces us to a rambunctious, carefree life-loving person who gives a hoot about what others think of her. Yet, in "Secret Love" she shows us a woman who's been longing to really love someone. Her interpretation of the song is literally a smile of happiness for the 3 or so minutes of the song.
  2. The idea that theatre is a community and all work together is exemplified in this song. They need each other in order to portray or give the world "entertainment." This scene is more of a collaborative effort as opposed to a couple or single dancer/singer. The costumes are simple- nothing outlandish or too, too colorful. Simplicity sometimes is better than spectacle; the really colorful outfits are for the productions for the show they are going to do. Everything they do blends into each other's action- a reaction to what one starts. There's great continuity in the things they do. They are obviously good friends and they are adding to the song's idea of what makes entertainment.
  3. 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? Petunia starts the song at Joe's bedside as she is relieved to know he is alive and on the mend. The angel disappears as if to say all will be well; we cut to the hanging laundry and we see Joe in a wheelchair enjoying life and his wife. She repeats his name and thus we see how in love she is with her man. How would the song change if it was a woman singing about her child? Does the cultural meaning change? How? If the song were about a woman singing to her child, the whole scene would have probably been filmed differently. The cultural meaning would not change as much just that she would be demonstrating a mother's love as opposed to a wife's love. What other thoughts do you have about this film, the issues of black Americans during WWII, and this film’s importance in this era? It is a wonderful film- a time capsule of sorts of the era- and shows what life is going to be like on the homefront. The women became a strong feature in the American family of all races and nationalities. With the majority of the men at war it was imperative for the women to lead as much a normal life at home and keep the family, and the nation, going and moving forward.
  4. Thinking like a director and editor, describe how each shot spotlights key actions. As we read in the intro the director is the "author" of the work and all his ideas come into play in such a scene for it to be enjoyed, frowned upon or lead to serious thought or serious confusion. The whole team, along with the director, is responsible for making these scene a success. From the start where Betty Garrett is chasing Frank Sinatra- that's the thesis...woman chasing man and the whole scene is her trying to convince him she's the one or him. The conclusion is wonderfully illustrated by him sliding down the rail and ending up in Bett's grasp! It’s interesting to examine how musicals segue into musical numbers. How does this sequence prepare us for the singing? The music itself builds along with the action as a prelude to the singing. With the action preceding the song the audience feels a song is going to come at them and it is going to be about a determined woman getting her man.
  5. 1.What was the first Judy Garland film you recall watching? What was your impression of her? I think for a lot of people my age it was THE WIZARD OF OZ. I was in 1st grade and remember seeing it on a black and white TV (and if I'm not mistaken, Danny Kaye was the host). Didn't really think much of her at the time as the wicked witch was terrifying. When we got a color TV, boy did that change my view of the film forever. When the film goes into glorious color I felt like a child again. Judy Garland looked so beautiful in her dress and her voice always impressed me. 2.How do you view her differently after viewing these clips than you might have viewed her previously? Judy could do anything, sing anything and even dance to anything. As mentioned in the curator's notes, she did not "hog" the scenes and her co-stars were up there with her. She probably believe that their performances would enhance hers. 3. 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? I've never seen her later career musical films and am looking forward to watching A STAR IS BORN. I was moved by her tour de force performance as "Irene Hoffmann-Wallner" in JUDGEMENT AT NUREMBERG. Whether singing or acting, Judy Garland is a legendary performer and we are fortunate enough to have her on film.
  6. 1. The opening scene sets the tone...truly a salute to the United States. The conversation with the butler's White House experiences mentioning "You're A Grand Old Flag"- making Mr. Cohan feel comfortable before his meeting with FDR. The portraits hanging on the wall of the stairway and inside the Oval Office- pure Americana. The ships in the oval office are perhaps a salute to the naval fleet that was lost at Pearl Harbor. The parade was wonderful and allowed me shed a tear reminding me of my elementary school days where we were taught "for God and country." 2. Butler: (referring to the song "You're A Grand Old Flag")... it's just as good today as it ever was. It's touching because it was said by the African-American butler telling the audience everyone can feel patriotic. Cohan: ...a regular Yankee Doodle Dandy; always carrying a flag or parade or following one. FDR: I hope you haven't forgotten the habit. That's one thing I admire about you Irish-Americans. You carry your love of flag right out there in the open. These lines are wonderful reminding us, the audience, that we should always love our country. Plus the fact that the president mentions an ethnic group that at one time was also victim to prejudice and discrimination. 3. The opening scenes with FDR really set the tone and when it cuts to the parade, it re-emphasizes what FDR was talking about. Had the film opened with the parade scene, there would be no need for the story to be told as a flashback. It's prefect the way it is
  7. Ginger Rogers' character is not going to let a man woo her the old fashioned way. She want to see what he can offer and she demonstrates she is just as proficient as he. It's a friendly battle where dance is the ultimate winner. Almost a mating dance of sorts, but the handshake at the end tells us it was all fun, no harm and their friendship/relationship will go on. The female lead is more confident in that she "dares" copy her dance partner. The fact of the simplicity of costuming shows they are one of us enjoying life. Nothing, not even the weather is going to stop them. The earlier film depicted the men and women as cave men and their mates...the sillier the situation the better. As the technology of film production continued to evolve, the producers, directors and all involved wanted their leading characters to mature into something graceful and awe-inspiring to the movie going public.
  8. Alfred is a "Don Juan," isn't he? Paulette and him arguing, the other garter that appears and the entrance of the husband! Paulette decides to kill herself and the husband want to rid the world of Alfred, alas...blanks! The brief scene of the drawer with pistols from other lovers. And when the ambassador enters and relates that this is the last scandal, we can only imagine the life he has led and will lead. The use of music before the husband shoots Alfred adds to a buildup; this was clever. The sounds of crowds or people on the other side of a closed door helps in the tenseness of the scene. Overall, the use of music, albeit short, was wonderful in setting up the shooting scene. The helpful and comedic butler...a theme in many films and they're the ones who offer a comic relief or even an "equal" to the main character. The overly dramatic death of Paulette- love the scene with her eyes and her face says "Oh brother!" The camera focuses on facial reactions with really helps to understand the dos and don'ts of a character.
  9. In the first clip JM seems to be playing "hard to get." She seems to enjoy his singing and reacts to the lyrics with delight. He is attracted and sings his spur-of-the-moment song only to be found out he uses other names and is a convenience tool to woo women. The second scene has JM trying to sing in a bawdy establishment. She tries her best performing in her style the songs given to her. When NE enters she is embarrassed or ashamed to be caught there. Of course at his table are two women (could one of them be "Maude?"). He likes seeing JM perform and seems to be be entranced more with her. I've seen JM in SAN FRANCISCO and enjoyed her performance. She's classically trained and is wanted by another impresario to sing in an opera house. The Clark Gable character, the other impresario, wants her to sing at a Barbary Coast saloon. The scene before the quake is wonderful as sing sings the titular song, which in my humble opinion is the best interpretation of the song. There must have been some sort if innocence in the post-code films that were attempting to demonstrate social norms and behaviors. Gentlemen could flirt with women, but in a decent non-offensive manner. The women must dress modestly (as opposed to the saloon singer in the tight-fitting dress). Apparently "proper" behavior between a man and a woman had to be- in today's terms G Rated- and improper behavior happens in real life, not like in the movies. The delightful Broadway musical A DAY IN HOLLYWOOD/A NIGHT IN THE UKRAINE has a fantastic number describing the Code; this is where I learned about the code and it was an eye opener! Enjoy.
  10. The song we heard is a light, frothy fun excursion into flirting with her audience. They are well dressed and completely opposite of what the Depression meant, thus creating an escape for the movie going public. It's as if a small percentage of the population escaped the Depression and could afford a night on the town. Perhaps one of "will I get a job?" or "how can I get ahead in life- who will offer me the best offer?" There's the rivalry between producers that will offer the performers a chance, only the performers had better choose wisely or suffer a consequence (such as losing a job or chance to perform). Had this been a pre-code film, "Anne Held" would have been dressed less showing her legs and physique. The dressing room would have had her in undergarments and the camera would show off the legs. Maybe the banter with the doorman would have had a double entendre or two.
  11. The spoof style of Ferrell and McKay seem to be more violent...really over-exaggerated than Allen, Brooks or ZAZ. As I watched it it also spoofed the musical West Side Story's rumble scene. One news anchor had a switch blade. The brawl ends with the police siren and Ben Stiller yelling "Policia!" and they all scatter, just as the Jets and Sharks in WSS. It's literally anything goes. Oh, and when Ron Burgundy says "no touching of face or hair," well- I swear I saw some faces get smacked and one news anchor ablaze! The cameos make the scene interesting in that a favorite comedian/actor can really break away from any character ever performed and have fun. I think one of Will Ferrell's influences were The Three Stooges for the physical slapstick. I'm sure Mel Brooks influenced him, as well. The brawl in Ron Burgundy echoes another funny slapstick brawl, the ending in Blazing Saddles. It looks like everyone is saying thanks as well in this message. It has been wonderful to read what my fellow classmates have written and I can now view slapstick with a better appreciation for its actors, directors, writers...from a simple slip on a banana peel, to Dracula scaring Abbott and Costello, to the small screen antics of that crazy red-head ("I'm not a Maharincess, I'm a Henna-rinse-ess!") to the sophisticated humor of the 60s and 70s and today. I am hoping to see more TCM/Ball University courses in the future! In the words of another small screen comedian (who also delved in Slapstick) and I can already visualize the snipets of slapstick as she sings... I’m so glad we had this time together, Just to have a laugh, or sing a song. Seems we just got started and before you know it Comes the time we have to say, ‘So long.’ There’s a time you put aside for dreamin’, And a time for things you have to do. The time I love the best is in the evening – I can spend a moment here with you. When the time comes that I’m feelin lonely, And I’m feelin’ ohooooo – so blue, I just sit back and think of you, only, And the Happiness still comes through. That’s why I’m glad we had this time together, ‘Cause it makes me feel like I belong. Seems we just got started and before you know it Comes the time we have to say, ‘So long.’
  12. ZAZ's approach reminds me of a three ring circus- so much going on, where should I focus? The car air bag goes off and releases the gear lever and it becomes a runaway car to the point 4 air bags pop open and seems to drive itself making a right turn and no one in pursuit. The screaming voices on the soundtrack add to the visual mayhem. Later, after the anti-graffitti wall demonstration (which was priceless) Drebin looks into the microscope until he's told to use the open eye. We hear the professor explaining about fibers and yet we're watching Drebin lower the microscope lens until the lens part breaks the slide. Again, there is so much visual and audio going on and yet we know it's part of the humor that ZAZ is going to give us in 90 minutes. I would have to say they are different. Mel Brooks uses a more "traditional" set up to get to the gag. ZAZ is setting up so many things that there are gags within gags to get to the payoff. Overlapping visuals mixed with audio and it pays off. Inspector Clouseau is a tad suave, sophisticated and buffoonish. He tries to hide his bumbling by acting if what he has broken or destroyed is part of his regular routine. Frank Drebin, on the other hand reacts as if he knows something is wrong, but he acts innocent and if to say he wasn't responsible for whatever is broken or destroyed.
  13. 1. How does this scene successfully parody the old Universal Horror films of the 1930s? Be specific. The use of black and white film; the scene set in a university class with students listening to a professor lecture and the dialogue is reminiscent of the almost scientific babble used to explain things. They make or try to make sense, sort of. ​Gene Wilder is very serious in thous scene in his lecture. To prove his points he experiments with the little old man and he is serious about it. It turns into broad slapstick humor when removes the metal clamp and the old man is in pain. Also, in his discourse about re-animating a scalpel he verbally slapsticks to the point where he physically slapsticks and jabs himself in the leg, then nonchalantly crosses his uninjured leg and dismisses class. Since it is an homage to the old Universal horror films, color or not does not make a difference. Black and white film photography has the wonderful use of shadows and great angles that look eerie or mysterious. The slapsticks of yesteryear were black and white and still make us laugh. Surely the use of color would have accentuated costumes and even some make-up, but it's better in black and white. It's the story that will keep us enthralled regardless of film color.
  14. The "Breakdowns of a Gag" lessons are awesome. In 6-8 minutes we're treated to funny scenes and great comments and what to look for by Vince and the good Doctor. As they stated that people even today and in the future will laugh at Charlie Chaplin slipping on a banana peel. I guess it's human nature to see some form of humor in a slapstick situation. There is an innocence in the slapstick of the silent era to the early 60s; as the world changed in the 60s, so did our choices of how and why to laugh. No longer would silly situations be sufficient, but spoofing the past and creating outrageous and even adult oriented comedy gags. I guess the spoofs and parodies of the 70s are original forms of the what is now known as "re-imagining."
  15. After watching all the previous forms of slapstick, verbal and physical, this is probably the most cerebral example. There is something about Woody Allen that, for me at least, takes a while to warm up to. The slapstick is there in the choosing of the short stick wherein the leader of the rebels hands it to Allen. The restaurant owner doesn't really get outraged with the food order as he writes down what may be his biggest take out order to date! Parody? The exaggeration is there in homage to the great slapstick of yesteryear and Woody Allen's expression and demeanor remind me a tad of Buster Keaton's stone face. I think the spirit of Sennett's and Blake Edwards's style is there in a very subdued manner. It IS a funny scene and it's a very nice, slick and stylish form of slapstick. Had the deliverymen dropped the bags, then it would be traditional slapstick. Again, Woody's style is very cerebral, perhaps a bit ahead of it's time. You might label it as "critical thinking" slapstick.

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