mariaki

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  1. I'm not a fan of the modern slasher films or gore and mutilation for the sake of gore and mutilation, so I say we stop at 1980. In the 70s- Rosemary's Baby, The Wicker Man, Carrie, The Exorcist, The Shining (well, shining is 1980...) I consider them classics. And if we threw in Europe and Japan, too- wow, what a course that would be!
  2. So happy I found a thread where I can thank our wonderful instructors Professors Edwards, Ament, Gehring and Rydstrom. I loved how each had something unique and valuable to input to the course and how Ament's bubbly personality was the perfect "foil" to the others she conversed with. We were lucky to have had a range of experience and backgrounds in our professors as well, which is team teaching at its absolute best! What a great educational opportunity, and for free, for pete's sake! The dialog/conversation approach, which I experienced with the Hitchcock course, is so much better than any straight lecture could be and I appreciate the clips that were embedded in the video discussions as well. That made the discussion even richer. The podcasts were very interesting though I would suggest keeping them to a max of 30 minutes. Thank you TCM, Ball State, and our great instructors!
  3. I think you are right about the relatability of the actors. That is quite true of both. Attractive, but not unattainably gorgeous. Talented, but not at the Fred/Ginger level. But that brings me to your point about outdated standard: My standard is the lead better be either a great singer OR a great dancer to be in a musical. I didn't see high singing and dancing standards with LLL actors. I can overlook Astaire's singing because he's a great dancer and overlook Dean Martin's acting because he's a great singer, etc, but didn't find anything noteworthy with the leads of LLL that made them the right casting for a musical. (Hugh Jackman, however it happened, I think danced better in his films. ) I agree that LLL is stronger than other recent musicals since it had a compelling story,nice cinematography and a lovely hint of magical realism. (Especially better if we are comparing it to Frozen and Tangled. ) BTW, have you seen the Polish film, The Lure? Imagine vampiric mermaids with a touch of Abba in a sleazy 1980s Eastern Europe. Slightly rated-R link is below.
  4. I must be a curmudgeon or maybe its just that I watch a lot of old movies with INCREDIBLE talen,t because though I liked "The Greatest Showman," it didn't wow me. I am a circus fan so I had big hopes, and I enjoyed the big dance numbers and one smaller beautiful one that included the dancers dangling acrobatcally, but I didn't find the music overall captivating and felt the "theme" song was played and "stomped" out too frequently so it became redundant. But what a fabulous topic for a musical! Can we try just one more film, please?
  5. I would be interested in hearing opinions on LaLa Land. I felt "OK" about it just because it was something different and I appreciated the attempt. (Plus I loved the ballet homage at the end.) But thinking about it now after re-watching so many amazing old musicals reminds me how anemic the songs were and how "first dance at the wedding" the dancing was.
  6. Great post, Charlie's Girl! I feel the same about the Beatles though I gained my love and respect from my dad's younger brother who lived with us a while in the late 1960s and played drums in our basement! My first song as a child was "Baby You're a Rich Man", my mother told me. I know I liked the part about "keep all your money in a big brown bag inside a zoo. What a thing to do!" When I was 13 I saw "A Hard Days' Night" in the dollar theater near my house at least 12 times over 3 days. I emerged from that weekend feeling like I knew each Beatle in depth, which made our professors' discussion about each boy's character being shaped in the film ring very true to me. It also makes the film "Let It Be" so sad to see how distant each is to the other after that close interaction and fun of their early days. I was immediately attracted to Edwards phrase "Charming Radicalization" as you also seem to have been. Excellent wordsmithing! Have you seen Howard Goodall's Sgt Pepper documentary? It's excellent. From one fan to another!
  7. Hard to pick just one! I thought the "war prep, during the war, and post-war" discussion of the 1940s was fascinating. So was discussion on race with Cabin in the Sky and Showboat. I like how each week our instructors really drove home the point that film is a reflection of the period in which it is made regardless of the period of the film story. That brought a strong cultural/historical view to each discussion and broadened the scope of film watching.
  8. Some observations: 1. An empty city sidewalk at night is a sexy location. It's the post-crowd, end-of-night, intimate time of a date. It is a blank canvas full of possibilities. (Think Singing in the Rain, though Kelly is contemplating alone.) 2. I love how she uses the iron railings as props to hang on to and stroke. Gives her hands something expressive to do. (Kelly and the lamp post.) 3. The camera does a wonderful smooth swirl around her that is both vertical and horizontal when she is on the stairs, like its draping her in satin. It's done to get Shariff back in the frame, but psychologically it seems to move her from a lonely woman to one who is no longer alone. She's also fiddling with her fingers at this point showing her trepidation which adds a lot to the story and which would not have been visible if the camera had caught her from the waist up. 4. One of Streisand's most beautiful poses is the one I have snipped here at the tail end of the song. It elongates her neck gracefully and gives her a more classic profile. Nice way to end the song.
  9. Yes, great insightful lecture.
  10. I adore Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn, but I could never buy them as a couple at the end of this film. On his part, I get no attraction to her whatsoever, not even in the upper class British "we seem to get along all right; what say we make it official?" sort of way. As far as an auteur link with Gaslight, I notice the way the camera follows Hepburn in her emotional collapse in a similar manner that it followed Bergman during at least one of hers. Both are beautiful, feminine, and emotionally fragile women, being manipulated by men. They flit through several mental attitudes and emotions in short spaces of time and need the focus to be strictly on them with no distraction. I recall some medium close-ups on Bergman's confused face and a lingering camera. In our clip here, even when Harrison comes into the scene, he remains framed in the door for some of it until she gets to her feet. In the shot I clipped below, even though it is Higgins doing 90% of the talking, and even though he moves toward the camera and back again more than once, the camera remains stationary, focused on Eliza's emotions.
  11. Thanks for another great post! There is no doubt that Cukor did shine directing all the leading ladies of the decades, including those with difficult reputations. Did his POV favor women in a way that didn't bring out the same in his leading men? (Real or imagined by the men?) On the one hand, being called "a woman's director" is a compliment, and on the other, a career disadvantage, not because of any so-called "vice" of being gay, but because leading men might be worried about being upstaged by the women under Cukor's direction. Cukor's homosexuality didn't need much coding since it really was no secret, though of course not publicly discussed.
  12. Mama Rose's entrance reminds me of something I once heard about the transition of stage actors to film. A stage presence is very different than a film presence and it was hard for some stage actors to tone themselves down and to become more subtle in their expressions and movements. With cameras, they no longer had to project out to the back row. Mama Rose shows her theatrical background by pretty much leaving a vacuum in her wake as she walks around the stage giving out orders.
  13. Our professors were on fire in the 42 minute podcast on the 1950s. It was like an NPR driveway moment. Very captivating with a lot of interesting points and much food for thought. Favorite Dr. Ament point- about how men had to learn to live in civilized society again after the war. Favorite Dr. Edwards moment- his unabashed enthusiasm for the spectacle of the musical with words like "energy", "flamboyance", "epic" and the best one, "the screen crackles." Made me wish I could have them both over for wine and a movie!
  14. mariaki

    HAIR!

    Loved it too. Well, it was the soundtrack that I really loved, I guess. I remember singing one of the songs that had a Latin word for a sex act that I didn't know at age 14. Gosh, I really used to belt it out, too, in front of family. I'm still so embarrassed more than 30 years later!

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