MrZerep

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About MrZerep

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  1. Had she been theatrical in all the songs she may have not won the Oscar. It's a tender moment in the film and she doesn't have to "sing out" to the last row of the balcony. Simplicity can sometimes be more in a performance. As the song starts she is walking away and towards the stairs of the next building. She climbs the stairs as if stating she will succeed in showbiz and maybe love. The way she sings the lyric "Lovers are very special people..." Note that the word "lovers" is sung low- as if she's embarrassed to relate to Nick in that way. They're still getting to know each other and "People" sums up that they need, or at least she does, each other. Interesting blocking in that Nick remains leaning on the fence/gate while Fanny moves up the stairs. The "with one person" shot, she is prominent on the screen right and he is in the back, as if foreshadowing her success and his failure in the future. Overall, a very poignant and touching scene.
  2. The emotional transitions are given adequate screen time for us to enjoy/partake in the given emotion. Eliza's heartfelt cry- one could feel her pain and feel she's been used for the bet. Her wonderful "No!" and then a quiet, polite "thank you" pure genius. I think through Mr. Cukor's direction both Eliza and Higgins really care about each other. She is scared about what is going to happen to her with her new "education" and Higgins seems to be nonplussed about the situation.
  3. Not much alpha-male dominance but a refined alpha male. Thinking about the words snd how they are going to affect the people around. And is performance as Toddy, a gay male, is not the stereo-typical flamboyant queen that is often the case in many films. He's a gentleman always. Suave, sophisticated in his dealings either as a salesman or "queen." Back in the 80s he was in a sci-fi film THE LAST STRAIGHTER as Centauri, an alien agent in search of a star fighter via the video game he invented. His performance, as I remember, was wonderful. Comedic and fast talking- sort of a Harold Hill from space. He truly was a magnificent actor and brought a sophistication to whatever he was in.
  4. It hearkens to the backstage musicals of the late 20s and early 30s...it's an audition, but not adults. It's children and this was the time when Shirley Temple (and wannabes) came from. It also foreshadows the end of Vaudeville/Burlesque as forms of popular entertainment. On film it's (to me at least) the entrance of the star and she tells us she's going to be loud and push- the ultimate stage mother. Miss Russell probably enjoyed this role and wanted to make it her own, as she was probably compared to Ethel Merman. Here timing is wonderful, a holdover from her stint as Auntie Mame. The song as done by the children is cute and innocent. But the song evolves into a suggestive number when Gypsy becomes a star.
  5. The ballet sequence is a fantasy, as if a painter would have designed the "mise-en-scene." Colors and shapes are exaggerated as opposed to the real-life settings of Paris. His interaction with the 3rd year student has probably been a type of encounter he has had in his stay in Paris. He could care less about their opinions and sees them as just "sophisticated" college girls trying to impress him. His interaction with Milo is a tad more gentlemanly. She perhaps is his equal intellectually and they could carry on a conversation. She does show an interest in two of his paintings and that may have sparked something in Jerry to treat Milo different than the student.
  6. The pre-dance movements are a great arm-up to the actual dance. "Moses supposes" is enunciated almost choreographically, perfectly as it is about learning to enunciate. There's a pattern to the dialogue learning so let's bring it to a climax with a fantastic routine! Ah, the straight man. Oh, the poor professor must endure silliness in order to get this lesson to be a success. He never really smiles or reacts, just becomes a part of the dance which makes the routine even funnier. Gene Kelly's masculinity is the alpha male- leader of the group. Donald O'Connor is a follower and adds to the comic situation. The professor is supposed to be the one who is in charge, to instruct, but becomes part of the lesson in a way he never thought imaginable.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.

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