D'Arcy

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About D'Arcy

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  1. How might Streisand’s performance of the song “People” have felt different in the film, had she been more theatrical and expressive, perhaps even belting her song more? Her character does not warrant the song to be anymore theatrical. As they begin their journey together this scene provides an excellent look at the character Fanny. The softness is magical. Note the emotional transition moments in this scene: how do the two characters relate to each other as the lyrics are sung? The characters are drawn together. A commonality and basis for their attraction. How does the direction and editing of this scene support Streisand’s performance? Be specific about blocking, reaction shots, etc. She is picture perfect. The lighting, the scene, the handsome gent. It’s absolutely dreamy. Love it.
  2. Explore any common themes and filmmaking techniques in a very different movie also directed by George Cukor, Gaslight. (If you are not familiar with Gaslight, compare and contrast Cukor's theme in this scene and his techniques with another musical you have seen during this course) Common themes, the casts are not big like other musicals. In both films it is more centered on intimate relations. Although the themes are worlds apart, the direction of the actors are more developed/involved. Not big productions like broadway etc. Note the emotional transition moments in this scene, how the actors portray them, and how Cukor supports them. This is a fabulous movie. Watching this film as a kid growing up, it was so realistic and I remember just being pulled in maybe even a mesmerizing experience. I love film, I love the escape etc. For me this is wonderfully directed, I related with Eliza, you watch her grow up it’s brilliant. What do you notice about the relationship between Eliza and Higgins that seems enhanced by Cukor’s direction? They work beautifully together, he is able to fine tune their talents and weave them together in a way that keeps the viewer involved. The audience grows with the direction of the film. At the end, we all learn something and hopefully a better person beacause of the experience.
  3. As you look back to the masculine performances in musicals of past decades, what changes in male representation, and performance would you say are most noticeable? Not seeing either films, the clips are so different from earlier persona of a masculine performance. everything has changed, the sexual revolution and cultural differences from post war production. These films surely shocked audiences who did not realize the plot and thought oh goodie another musical in small midwestern towns. The expressionism in Preston’s performance is with precision. I see pure confidence in every step, every word. What other specific qualities do you notice about Robert Preston in either or both of these clips? Basically, I see an actor who has authenticity. He has charisma, intellect. He believes in who he is, he trusts himself and has full confidence of self. Impressive. Have you seen any Robert Preston films that are not musicals? If so, what do you notice about his characters and his approach to acting, now that you are more aware of his dedication to working his craft outside of his stage or film work? im not familiar with his films
  4. In what ways does this scene look backwards to classical musicals and how does it look ahead to new disruptions that we now know will happen in the movie musical? The vaudeville touch this clip shows definitely brings the viewer back in time until the modern day woman, Mama Rose, takes the lead. It feels very slapstick, screwball, variety as we watch the characters define their roles. There’s a little bit of everything in the costume department line up behind the action on stage. Almost circus like. Russell’s role is completely out of place in this scene hence the disruption of what classic musicals theme were. Her persona is exact opposite of the surroundings. Her wardrobe so different from all others, grandiose, modern day Hollywood animal print etc. a blend of old and new is how I viewed this clip, musically, culturally, and with the lovely, talented, amazing Rosalind Russell leading the pack. This is the introduction of Mama Rose in the film. Comment on Rosalind Russell’s entrance and performance especially as a traditionally trained stage and film actress. Russell’s performance is theatrical and well pronounced. She is the epitome of well versed talent in stage/film. She doesn’t miss a take and it shows. Truly a delight and masterful presentation. A troublemaker to boot.... Pay attention to the song “Let Me Entertain You” in this scene. Is there anything you notice in Sondheim’s lyrics that are sly, subversive, or edgy? You can also discuss the song’s performance and staging as disruptive (or not). Close attention is right. Although some may see “Let Me Entertain You” as edgy/even suductive, with Mama Rose at center stage it really plays down any hidden meaning in my opinion. For me, the song really points once again to Russell. Her idea of entertainment is not so much exploiting her darling girls, as much as Mama Rose is self-centered/absorbed, even blinders that she has children. She certainly seems to treat them as her creation therefore at her disposal. Wood declares this with not even having an identity... what mama thinks is best. Her children have absolutely no identity. Baby June is the puppet while the other sucks her thumb and flounders behind her sister. This scene is very disruptive to classic musicals. It has a lot more storyline, realism, and dysfunction displayed. I believe this film begins to uncover humanity’s frailty and fallibility in an unprecedented way.
  5. Does a movie that has as stylized a scene as An American in Paris’ ending ballet need to use a less-than-realistic, stylized approach throughout the film? My favorite Kelly movie. I could not imagine this film any other way and find this stylized approach leading and preparing the viewer for the wow factor of the ending ballet. Otherwise, it would have been choppy. It’s simply brilliant and smooth throughout. It’s like little morsels until the finale. What keeps Jerry Mulligan from being completely unlikeable in a scene in which he acts pretty darn unlikeable? The “go on and beat it” is typical street artist behavior for negative feedback from people who just want to voice opinion without good conversation. Kelly is very welcoming among other artists, very worldly and seen her coming. It’s expected. Also, there is the persona of the hungry artist mentality. He is surprised with a sale, and very open to suggest “should’ve asked for more”. Kelly does a great job of showing the viewer this side of Paris life.
  6. How do the pre-dance movements of O’Connor and Kelly compare to their actual dance movements? As they gear up for delightful schoolboy mischief, the scene attracts the viewer by implementing an enactment of Moses Supposes while pulling in the professor as well. It no longer becomes an exercise of alliteration and rhyme. The tables are turned as they begin to bring the professor into a student role. As the scene progresses, Kelly and O’Connor continue to astond the audience on and off the screen into a fabulous tap of perfection. Those two aced this test. Watch the Professor all the way through and consider the role of the straight man. I love how O’Connor mimics the professor in such a silly fashion. Right away the viewer knows they are going to take the lead and the professor hasn’t a chance. He becomes a rag doll, puppet even as Kelly shuffles him about in step. Piling everything on him. For me it was Slapstick Tap if there is such a thing. How do the representations of masculinity in all three men compare and contrast with each other? O’Connor is very attentative in this clip. Watching as the middle man and praising the other two and then mimicing the professor as if childlike. Also he watches Kelly as they dance which shows his appreciation and dedication. The professor is prim and proper. Jolly old soul, reminds my of Rex Harrison. Kelly is the thinker and the designer of the scene as always. Wow....the leader.
  7. As you reflect upon female representation in the 1950s, where do you think this film character falls in the continuum? Why? Day is a show stopper!!!! This is one of my favorite films, stands the test of time. She breaks the barrier and portrays a brilliant character breaking the norm. No seductive, man pleasing, well mannered, needy gal with Calamity. She is a rootin’ tootin’ high flutin’, amazing, nothing’s going to stand in my way, do what I want sasparilly gem. This role was made for her. No one could have done a better act in my opinion. Day is a pioneer for equality of women hands down. How do you think Doris Day grows as an actress in her various roles in the 1950s, before and after this musical? Day is so versatile, the compassion and authenticity of each and every character she reveals in film is astounding. I believe no other actress in history can play her roles better. There is true humanity, charisma, and growth in everything she does. Does Doris Day’s bright and sunny persona add or detract from the role of Calamity Jane in your opinion? Please defend your answer. Calamity can be done one of two ways......Doris Day style or Robin Weigert style.....either is the perfect portrayal in my opinion. These two cover the full spectrum of what an actor can accomplish in their brilliant interpretation of a single character.
  8. 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 remind me of the Four Musketeers, I know that’s a bit corny, but all for one and one for all is the theme of this scene. A pep rally for Astaire to come aboard, then a little song and dance to set the mood of knowing they are going “all in” for the next musical show. The clip gives the audience a knowledge even if it’s been done before they can make it bigger and better, also, broadening the material to include new acts. They commit and the audience knows they are in for a delightful afternoon at the movies. What do you notice about the costuming of the characters that indicate cohesiveness of the ensemble, as opposed to setting anyone apart? Be specific. Blended well together. They match each other from ties to socks, while the dress is neutral and sets the tone, with a very beautiful red flower that pops. All together you have unity and flow. What do you notice about the staging and interplay between the characters that helps define the relationships between the characters in the song? I haven’t seen this movie so the clip shows a a definite band wagon amongst colleagues and friends. Lots of cheer, memories, good times. Being there for one another.
  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? The direction of this scene brings the viewer to an intimate union of the love and unbreakable bond that Petunia has religiously. For me, the simplest form of existence is to love and have purpose. Petunia performs this perfectly. Praising God, get the preacher, and everyone...tell them Joe is fine. She doesn’t want/need a doctor to fix anything as her faith in love and purpose is all she needs in this moment. She nurtures him back to health therefore fulfilling her purpose as his wife. Petunia is in perfect alignment with her beliefs and dedication as she sings outside tending to her duties and Joe close by. How would the song change if it was a woman singing about her child? Does the cultural meaning change? How? As for a child in place of her husband, the intimacy would not be as deep rooted. I feel it would be more uplifting and not as romantic. With a child it would be more of a hallelujah, possibly even seeing the town folk in the scene clapping and joining in somehow. What other thoughts do you have about this film, the issues of black Americans during WWII, and this film’s importance in this era? The clip is all I have seen, with that said, I see equality in a segregated time which is very progressive and amazing. It feels now as if maybe equal rights started with Hollywood, very interesting. Need to watch the film now. Goodnight all you Mad About The Musical Fans.....
  10. Thinking like a director and editor, describe how each shot spotlights key actions. Very comical clip, Sinatra being cornered. In a stadium no less. Each spot has huge exits and he still is not able to find a way around her as the camera closes in on intimacy. It’s brilliant. It’s interesting to examine how musicals segue into musical numbers. How does this sequence prepare us for the singing? The segue speaks volumes with the action taking place. It does this amazing work of allowing the viewer to actually know with a feeling of hearing the actors in a conversation before the singing even takes place. The conversation has already begun with music. Excellent!!
  11. What was the first Judy Garland film you recall watching? What was your first impression of her? The Wizard of Oz.... as a 70’s kid, this was my all time favorite film. Grew up watching it, and couldn’t wait until the next year to watch it again. My year was not the traditional Jan 1st but Nov, the day of Thanksgiving, turkey all the fixings and an evening of brilliance. This was one time I was in complete control of the television box. I feel very fortunate to have grown up with this forever magnificent classic. I only knew her as Dorthy, had no clue she even had another name. She was my Disney Princess. She was magical walking out of black and white and into color. Her ruby slippers and her scarecrow, tinman, and lion, a child’s dream. She is the original have basket and pup will travel gal. How do you view her differently after viewing these clips than you might have viewed her previously? Its hard to compare as I didn’t see other films until much later in life. Almost like an old friend linking me to a time before I new how difficult this world can be. She is my safe place still today. I tear up....not until this class did I realize this. Comfort, safe, friend. 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? Haven’t seen many of her films (4-5). I need to. Meet Me In St. Louis, Merry Little Christmas, hands down my favorite all time holiday song my whole life. And yes, my children grew up with her as well which meant so much to me at the time. She is part of our family and will always be in our home. Love love love her. On a side note, seen Liza in Vegas 1988 VIP, she captured the audience magnificently, has her mothers touch. We cried, we laughed, we sang, with storytelling. She brought every emotion we as real people with real emotions have. Unforgettable. She blew my socks off.
  12. 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. Equality, unity and the pursuit of happiness. Good ol red white and blue. From the lovely parade to the the Oval Office. The veterans where loved and hero’s. More important than the president himself. It promoted we’re all in this together. 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. Melting Pot, no prejudice behaviors. One could even stage as the president and be thanked. Good hearted America. The entire dialog is set at promoting American values of the times. Fight for your country. 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 truly brought honor to all events in film. Beginning with commander and chief’s recognition to Cagney. It displays the memoirs of a man who with so much patriotism was recognized and favored by the president. It shows realism, couple people who love their country chatting the common ground of love, honor, dignity, and friendship for their country. Yeah, this doesn’t exist today.
  13. What other aspects of battle of the sexes do you see indicated in this clip or in the film Top Hat? I found this scene to be very playful and a demonstration of whimsical compatability dueling tap relationship. Rogers decides, ok he’s interesting, let’s see if this may go some where. I feel the scene lacks any battle of the sexes. I see her with the upper hand throughout, Astaire already knows this, wants to be noticed. He begins with, come on...dance with me....don’t you think I’m cute? as her back is turned. The thunder brings her to make a decision in or out and the courting begins. In my opinion this is more flirty than battle, in Top Hat as well. How does this film distinguish itself from other Depression era musicals we have watched or discussed this week? The musicals have now lost the Broadway stage feel and grown into their own work of art. 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? This is the natural progression of Hollywood showing men taking the blinders off and giving women the credit deserved. This clip is a fabulous even brilliant way to show America, the world perhaps, the true essence of a lasting couple. You have your dance on, I have my dance going on, now let’s dance together and blow their socks right off.
  14. 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)? My first thought is 007. The scene is set in a lavish penthouse type suite, fiasco, girl, report to the queen. I believe this could be a hint of the original “Bond” experience. Haven’t seen the film, I could be wrong. 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. Lubitsch has been tedious about the details of the film, taking the eyes of the viewer to follow his exact direction of the film. The expression of the actors really puts you into the seat of each individual character quickly. As for props, I especially noticed the balcony door when opened/closed you could hear the crowd and felt Alfred couldn’t get any air out there. It was emotion driven as well as entertaining, fast paced, held my interest. What themes or approaches might you anticipate from this clip in other Depression-era musicals? Relationships with spice.
  15. What do you notice about the interaction between the characters in these two scenes? Please give specific examples. They are one of the most adorable couples on screen. Haven’t seen any of their films but excited to get to know the characters and where the adventure leads. At this time from just seeing two clips, he is the hero, knight in shining armor, always to the rescue, perfect Mountie. Geez could he be anymore gorgeous hunk of a gentlemen. He is all for the girl playing and toying while he stakes a claim. She goes for the bad boys, hence the Italian Tenor. There is a underlying knowing but she continues to play hard to lasso. Although, seeing the failed saloon scene her character can be quite timid yet open to suggestion, she is seen fleeing. The two watch and ponder one another and off he goes to save the day or should I say catch the girl. Cute cute cute If you have seen either or both of these actors in other films or television shows, please share your perceptions about them. What do these clips tell you about the male/female relationships as they are depicted in the films during this era? What norms might you expect are supported under the Hollywood Film Code? Courtship, appropriate lingo, playful yet not over the mark of what your great great grandma would approve.

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