hussardo

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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? The scene would’ve come out fake. It’s the subtle take that makes this performance stand out. Especially when you’re dealing with different kinds of performance actors. Note the emotional transition moments in this scene: how do the two characters relate to each other as the lyrics are sung? The characters support for each other and comes out together with their differences as the lyrics progress. How does the direction and editing of this scene support Streisand’s performance? Be specific about blocking, reaction shots, etc. The camera follows the main character as she’s making her point through song, without completely blocking the male character so the audience can interact with both reactions and feelings. Again, subtly shot to look effortless.
  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) I don’t recall watching any other Cukor movie, but you can definitely see traits of Gigi and maybe Gypsy in terms of colors, design and atmosphere. Of course this particular scene is pure drama, but the feeling of musicals alike is there. Note the emotional transition moments in this scene, how the actors portray them, and how Cukor supports them. The camera work relates directly to what the actors are portraying. The handling of movements are really well done. What do you notice about the relationship between Eliza and Higgins that seems enhanced by Cukor’s direction? Again, the camera and movement work that was used to shoot this scene helped bring about what the relationship between Eliza and Higgins is about and what kind of possible feelings they might have for each other.
  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? changed in contrived performances and the need to showcase vitality changed from early musical numbers and male characters in musicals. What other specific qualities do you notice about Robert Preston in either or both of these clips? Robert Preston had an amazing speech control. Every word spoken and pronounced crystal clear. That’s a very hard thing to accomplish in multiple performances. 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? unfortualy I haven’t seen anything from him apart from some musicals. But from what I watched, he was on top of his game and his craft was impeccable.
  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 scene looks totally under produced and out of sync. You can see that it’s well shot and well set, but the intentions were probably to have the look of an amateur feel. 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. She comes in and takes control of the whole scene without braking a sweat. She takes away the attention and the audience is immediately drawn to her character and at the same time the segment goes forward without interruption. 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). Lyric wise it’s not as noticeable as performance which when brought together becomes sly, subversive and edgy. It was probably made this way to bring the topics as a subliminal message.
  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? No, it doesn’t. It’s a film more or less about art and the stylized aspect of it all needs to be there. What keeps Jerry Mulligan from being completely unlikeable in a scene in which he acts pretty darn unlikeable? When the use of a likable person is used to play a villain or an unlikeable, it’s hard to dive into the feelings of the scene is approaching. Then again, the way Jerry Mulligan acts somehow contradicts the whole unpleasant experience of being unliked.
  6. How do the pre-dance movements of O’Connor and Kelly compare to their actual dance movements? There’s a clear connection between the ore dance and performance dance sequence. All related to making fun of the professor. Watch the Professor all the way through and consider the role of the straight man. The naivety of the professor is clearly shown maybe up to half the scene where he doesn’t notice where and how Kelly and O’Connor is making fun of him. Then the whole satire of it comes out. How do the representations of masculinity in all three men compare and contrast with each other? Kelly clearly plays the alpha and O’Connor the Beta in this case. The professor stands alone as a supportive player. Three good examples of male model representation.
  7. As you reflect upon female representation in the 1950s, where do you think this film character falls in the continuum? Why? This film character is so ahead of its time. You see here a very independent woman that knows her ways and yet can still be fragile with matters of the heart. Yes, there are similarities with other female characters but her strong will sets her apart indeed. How do you think Doris Day grows as an actress in her various roles in the 1950s, before and after this musical? Doris Day was able to bring top notch performances with all her characters without losing her signature persona. From musicals to romantic comedies and the every so famous remake of The Man Who Knew Too Much, she comes in playing well with her counterparts without repeating herself. Does Doris Day’s bright and sunny persona add or detract from the role of Calamity Jane in your opinion? Please defend your answer. Again, she comes and adds to the character without compromising the storyline. She brings another facet to the performance making it her own.
  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? the scene is probably about persuasion. The fact that the information is divided into 3 parts to try and make up the mind of the fourth character, makes this scene different from what we have been watching up till now. There’s no evident separation or any kind of undertone that makes one stand out more than the other. 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 color tones of the clothing against the red sharp of the background indicates that the ensamble is not the main focus in this particular performance scene. What do you notice about the staging and interplay between the characters that helps define the relationships between the characters in the song? The staging and interplay helps define each character’s role. Looking at the scene alone and not the whole movie, you see that even though all characters have equal importance, they each play a separate job reference.
  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 scene is directed to showcase the love for her husband, showcasing the happiness she feels to live beside him. The song also makes this connection, which brings the importance of having a companion. How would the song change if it was a woman singing about her child? Does the cultural meaning change? How? I’m not sure the song and the meaning would have changed if the scene was related to a child and not a husband. The whole idea behind this particular scene is probably to show love through companionship, relationship and family. What other thoughts do you have about this film, the issues of black Americans during WWII, and this film’s importance in this era? I think that it’s always great to think outside the box and call attention to styles and art craft that sometimes is overlooked and overshadowed by big names or regular and exclusive titles. The WWII era was a sensitive one and I think showcasing the simple lifestyle of black Americans was also a great way to show how important feelings are compared to consumerism.
  10. Thinking like a director and editor, describe how each shot spotlights key actions. The scene was shot in classic cat and mouse chase. One can even compare to the famous Pepé Le Pew cartoon. In terms of editing and directing this was an easygoing scene with simple takes and edits. It’s interesting to examine how musicals segue into musical numbers. How does this sequence prepare us for the singing? The waiting outside the room, corridor trap sequence that takes us to the ballpark benches sets up the mood for both performance and subject within the singing.
  11. What was the first Judy Garland film you recall watching? What was your first impression of her? My first Judy Garland film was of course The Wizard of Oz. She was captivating and I’m certain that anyone watching this movie goes under a spell. How do you view her differently after viewing these clips than you might have viewed her previously? Even though I haven’t seen much of her movies, it’s clear that she was indeed a star and a anything she did was a treat. Almost impossible to deny her of her ability to enthrall us all. 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? What I recall from her later career is bits and pieces of musical numbers I watched on TV such as a singing performance of Happy Days... which was nothing short of greatness. Again, she had this ability to pull the audience to whatever she was doing.
  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. The display of pictures on the walls, the way the butler handled the guest and the oficie itself promoted a great deal of American values. 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. The dialogue boosts the American morale when the guest roundly remembers his youth as a Yankee Doodle Dandlt waving the American flag at parades and how his father influenced his patriotism. 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. Opening the movie with the office scene, gives you a better idea of what the movie is going to be about. The sense of patriotism and country values is set right of the bet. Great camera work gave a stronger feeling to the scene.
  13. What other aspects of battle of the sexes do you see indicated in this clip or in the film Top Hat? Other aspects apart from who's better or who's best, are battle for control and maybe power over situations. How does this film distinguish itself from other Depression era musicals we have watched or discussed this week? This film showcases the female character in a different light giving her more or equal parts and say throughout the movie. 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? Again, reasons could possibly have been due to actresses being given more because of their star power and atributes. This making the distinquished difference between earlier movies where most parts were seen as props.
  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)? You can noticed that the silent movie style is still very much present which is probably a facet of Lubitsch touch. Props, dialogue and staging helps you understand and see the charlatan side of Alfred. 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. Sound is used in this scene through props to bring attention to actions that progress the story. the gun shot sound adds to it as a motif for illuding the husband. What themes or approaches might you anticipate from this clip in other Depression-era musicals? Second chance and possibly a love triangle might be anticipated as approaches from this clip.
  15. What do you notice about the interaction between the characters in these two scenes? Please give specific examples. The interaction is clealrly subtle If you have seen either or both of these actors in other films or television shows, please share your perceptions about them. Unfortunately I haven't seen anything else with these two actors. 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? the relationship is shown with more clarity in terms of respect and courtship with or without the norms of film code.

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