Rejana Raj

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About Rejana Raj

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    rejanaraju@outlook.com

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  • Gender
    Female
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    Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Interests
    *Reading Memoirs.
    *Listening to Classic Movie Songs.
    *Watching Classic Movies.

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  1. Daily Dose# 12 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? I must agree that “An American in Paris” was an extravagant bonanza with melodious songs, vibrant dance sequences and myriad of wonderful settings. It seems like a painting has come back to life. At the same time, we could not make this movie a whimsical affair with lively dance sequences. The director knew that the audience need to know about the real Paris and that’s why he shot the scenes with Jerry through the street corners of Paris with realism. What keeps Jerry Mulligan from being completely unlikeable in a scene in which he acts pretty darn unlikeable? Jerry is a likeable person as we see that he chats along with the other painters he come across. Well, he know that certain “Third Year Students” would come to criticise his paintings. Eventually, he shoos them away just like how we shoos bothering pigeons away. When Milo comes along, he knew that she was O.K.
  2. Daily Dose# 11 How do the pre-dance movements of O’Connor and Kelly compare to their actual dance movements? Gene was the “Alpha” male and Donald was the “Beta” male. Here, we could see they join together to sabotage the Professor’s diction lesson. Yes, they succeeds in it. All I could say is that Gene starts the show and Donald starts to follow. Watch the Professor all the way through and consider the role of the straight man. The Professor is a man with serious look. He is a no-nonsense man who doesn’t have the capability to digest practical jokes. Unfortunately, he becomes the “Jerk” of their mockery. How do the representations of masculinity in all three men compare and contrast with each other? Gene was the leading man who has complete control to portray any emotions. Donald was the supporting lead to Gene’s role and all he had to do was support him throughout the film through song and dance. The Professor was in a character role with serious approach, so he had only limited screen time in the film.
  3. Daily Dose# 10 As you reflect upon female representation in the 1950s, where do you think this film character falls in the continuum? Why? Calamity Jane was a icon of feminism. That makes her stand out among the roles played by women. It is that women were meant to be sweet, soft, gentle, humble etc. This character was kind of rare for women. We could see that Calamity was the rough and tough chick who was a torchbearer of the West. Miss Day totally nailed it as Calamity. How do you think Doris Day grows as an actress in her various roles in the 1950s, before and after this musical? Miss Day was an exceptional singer who began to act in films during the late 40’s. From there till Calamity Jane, I believe that her performances went on the right track. This is one of my favorite movie roles ever portrayed by her. That’s the one I liked about her. Does Doris Day’s bright and sunny persona add or detract from the role of Calamity Jane in your opinion? Please defend your answer. Miss Day as a romp missy with rugged look make one think about the roughest, the toughest and the meanest cowboys. Well, she’s a hoyden cowgirl and she was literally “The Errol Flynn with a feminine touch”. Calamity Jane=Doris Day.
  4. Daily Dose# 9 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? The song shows that team spirit is not only reserved for sports but the entertainment industry as well. We could see that a dancer, a pair of playwrights and a dramatist could assemble together for a song. It is interesting to know that there isn’t a sign of inequality among the group as it consists of three men and a woman. What do you notice about the costuming of the characters that indicate cohesiveness of the ensemble, as opposed to setting anyone apart? Be specific. The attire of the group are in casual style. Fred and Oscar was in formal black and grey suits respectively. Nanette wore a pretty white sleeveless dress with grey shades and squares. Jack wore an actor’s attire with collar. It made him look elegant. But, that doesn’t keep them apart from doing the number. What do you notice about the staging and interplay between the characters that helps define the relationships between the characters in the song? We could see that Lester, Lilly and Jeff were singing to Tony in order to give him inspiration and a big morale boost. Afterward, Tony joins them to sing in an ensemble. This song reminds me of another ensemble song from an MGM musical which was released 3 years back: Annie Get Your Gun. The song goes like this...
  5. Daily Dose# 16 An amazing song to hear. After a few words, this song begins with the elegant voice of Miss Streisand who excels well as Fanny Brice. I was glad that she did not “belt” the song as it was perfect just as it is. Even though the lovers are in taciturn, we could see that Nick gazes lovingly at Fanny during the song. The camera shots were simply perfect as it follow the movements of Fanny till it ends.
  6. Daily Dose# 15 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) "Gaslight" and "My Fair Lady" are common in one thing. The plot of both these films revolve around in London. Yes, we could see that the men have designs on their ladies. The fact is that the former wants to get hold of the jewels whereas the latter wants to get a well-polished woman out of her Cockney accent. Note the emotional transition moments in this scene, how the actors portray them, and how Cukor supports them. Yes, the emotions of Miss Doolittle was brimming and Professor Higgins was happy to see his Galatea back to life. This scene has a juxtaposing effect i.e. (Happiness and Sadness viewed together within a room) What do you notice about the relationship between Eliza and Higgins that seems enhanced by Cukor’s direction? We could see that Eliza's time as Cinderella is up and she has to return to her normal life. Eliza is struck by the Cupid's arrow but the Professor was not ready to show his affections yet.
  7. Daily Dose# 7 This scene is quite unique as it flows away from the norm. The reason is that one doesn't see a girl chasing behind a man of her dreams. The usual norm is that "A Man chases a Girl" and courts till she's his own. Here, we could see that Betty is chasin' behind Frank till he runs out. Eventually, she empowers him with less might as Frankie is light as Feather. This scene would be an inspiration for another Baseball movie: "Damn Yankees" where Joe (Tab Hunter) is seduced by Lola (Gwen Verdon) in men's locker room. I should say that this scene was way ahead of its time. Here's the clip.
  8. Daily Dose# 13 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? In this scene, one could see that an audition takes place and the candidates try out their performances. Then, two adorable children perform "Let Me Entertain You". All of a sudden, a woman swiftly comes through the hallway and pushes the casting director aside. Since, she was a stage mother, she knew everything about the stage, the set and the program. Easily, she took over the stage to make her children the stars of the show. Naturally, she made sure to drive away the other children away from the audition. This scene was indeed unusual to me as no one could run and take over the auditions unless the casting director or the show manager says so. 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. Miss Russell's role as Mama Rose is that of an authoritarian mother who stops at nothing but to see her children shine like stars. She will do anything to get them on Show Business. A stage mother knows how to survive on stage. She takes the place of the casting director and casts the existing one out. She has been an experienced actress since the early 1930's and everyone knows her for her performances as the energetic news reporter Hildy Johnson in "His Girl Friday". 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). Yes, the lyrics of this song is a little bit cheeky Since, it is sung by a cherubic child, I don't think that the audience would take this song in a wrong way.
  9. Daily Dose# 14 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? Mr. Preston was known for portraying Beta male characters and he was usually cast as second lead. It is at the peak of '60's do we get to see him as a all-round performer. His performances showed a vaudevillian touch even along with the likes of Elvis Presley and the Beatles. What other specific qualities do you notice about Robert Preston in either or both of these clips? Mr. Preston was seen in both these clips as a charismatic performer who conquers the complete interaction of his audience even though he ended up in a brawl with one of its audience in the second clip. Well, he was charming. 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? I have seen him in "Reap the Wild Wind" as Susan Hayward's lover. Even though, he is a supporting character in this film. His role did have some swashbuckling moments to show for his love. Here's the clip.
  10. Daily Dose #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. The scene takes place in White House where the interior design is simple yet elegant in legacy. As one could see, the pictures of former presidents were hung along the stairway. The American flag symbolises the patriotic love of this country. Even the flag was mentioned by the on-screen President from this scene. 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. One of the best lines from this scene is the one with Mr. President where he says that how Irish Americans would love the country flag. Here is the quote: (President: Well that's one thing I've always admired about you Irish-Americans. You carry your love of country like a flag, right out in the open. It's a great quality.) (George: I inherited that - I got that from my father. He ran away to the Civil War when he was thirteen - the proudest kid in the whole state of Massachusetts.) 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. This scene was just perfect. It began when Mr. Cohan enters the Oval Office where Mr. President was working. It was silent and the scene setting was in a formal mood. When he talks to the President about his past, then comes along the colourful flashback with star-spangled flags flying in air along with patriotic music played by bands and the wonderful setting of vaudeville.
  11. Daily Dose #4 What other aspects of battle of the sexes do you see indicated in this clip or in the film Top Hat? All I could say is that this was the fun-filled “Battle Royale” between Mr. Astaire and Miss Rogers. It was a small competitive show off which ended with a friendly handshake. How does this film distinguish itself from other Depression era musicals we have watched or discussed this week? From the clips and daily doses which I viewed, This movie stands out. It is due to the fact that in this particular scene, we could see our heroine wearing a formal manly attire which shows that the character is free-willed, independent and feisty. 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? Screwball comedy defines as a type of comedy with a plot involving an affluent woman along with a working man. Thus, it shows equality but only on-screen. Literally, it was a movie made during the “Great Depression”. So, it was an escape through a wonderland by keeping one’s troubles at bay.
  12. You are most welcome! Those men have been high flyers! 😊
  13. Gee, thanks for sharing this clip with us!
  14. You are most welcome! I am glad that you liked the clip! 😊
  15. Daily Dose #3 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)? This scene has the “Lubitsch touch” . The scene is set in an extravagant room with rich decorum. The room with an elegant lady and a dashing debonair. Monsieur Chevalier is known for portraying a gentleman. Here, we could see that he is the ladies’ Don Juan with a charming personality. The presence of a garter shows that he is acquainted with more that one women. The other things we see are guns which he have plenty in his drawer. The zip sequence fits perfectly to his flirting character. 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. As the scene is conveyed through few dialogues (most of it in French), there are certain sounds which made me to think a lot. The background music after the lady shot herself reminds me of the silent thrillers movies which are exciting at the same time chilling to watch. What themes or approaches might you anticipate from this clip in other Depression-era musicals? The musical is set during the “Great Depression”. The audience could resort to go away from their monotonous lives to a world of whimsical delight.

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