Selu7

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  1. Streisand’s performance of the song “People” may have felt different in the film, had she been more theatrical and expressive, perhaps even belting her song more. It would have taken the intimacy between her and Omar Sharif away to belt out the song. It was important to point out that lovers needed connections with that song so any other delivery would have taken away from that building of intimacy between the characters. Omar Sharif's character is attentive to her but is very distant in the scene. As Barbara Streisand sings, she is very emotional, moves around, wrings her hands, clutches at her heart, etc. Everything appears to support Streisand's performance. Sharif is in the background but on screen watching her but he keeps his distance. She takes the stairs that are reminiscent of some older Hollywood musical numbers.
  2. This scene goes back to earlier days when films were first coming from stage to screen. Acts were not always chosen by talent alone but by who you may know in the theater. That is reflected in this scene. She comes very close to breaking the fourth wall in the scene. 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? Rosalind Russell is very bold and brash when she enters into this scene. she is quite confident and sure of herself. She wants to make sure that her children get into this production. She tells the musicians how to help as well as the lighting person. "Some old and then some new tricks, I'm very versatile," are very suggestive lyrics for an adult to sing, much less children. So as the movie progresses and Gypsy Rose Lee becomes an adult entertainer, it foreshadows her future.
  3. As you look back to the masculine performances in musicals of past decades, what changes in male representation are that males are less rigid and macho, some are showing a more tender side. I really like the energy that Robert Preston gives to his performance in the Music Man. He is believable as a hustler with a heart. In Victor/Victoria he is also believable as an aging gay man. Although he has some effeminate movements, he still just seems natural and full as a gay male, not pretending to be one. I have not seen any other Robert Preston films.
  4. No, of course, a movie that has as stylized a scene as An American in Paris’ ending ballet does not need to use a less-than-realistic, stylized approach throughout the film. I personally do not care for the ballet scenes and feel the film would be better without them. Kelly is a starving artist in Paris who appears to have fallen into a routine of not selling his paintings. It sort of begs the question of how he is keeping himself afloat? He treats the "3rd-year art student" with open disdain. He is less hostile to the second woman but it could be because he sees that she might have money and may not be just "window-shopping." Then when she actually offers him money for his paintings, he is totally unprepared, which makes him a bit vulnerable. Then when the woman's chauffeur drives up in an expensive car, he seems to be in a gender role reversal. Again he seems to be slightly unsure of his role in the situation.
  5. O'Connor and Kelly's pre-dance movements are slapstick, uncoordinated, and literally jerky compared to the actual dance movements which are very fluid and smooth as well as almost mirrored of each other. It must be hard to be the straight man to slapstick/physical comedy and pretend that it has no effect on you or that the other person's behavior is normal. The Professor does a good job of being the straight man for O'Connor and Kelly. The Professor is seen as an egghead and perhaps effeminate. O'Connor and Kelly are the All American men who are strong, athletic and can literally dance rings around the Professor.
  6. Calamity Jane falls into the tomboy who can be coaxed into a young woman continuum of the 1950's mindset. She wore pants and was rough and tumble and could hang with the boys so to speak. Then when she realized she might have a more serious love interest than Danny (first crush), she starts the metamorphosis to the 1950s woman of dresses, petticoats, and pearls. I have not seen many Doris Day films so I can not say much about her body of work. It is about context. It is a musical so bright and sunny is always possible. You do have to suspend your knowledge of women at the time. Although I am sure there may have been bright and sunny personas during the time of Calamity Jane, historians do not paint her as being such a person. The records show she was out on her own and most likely working as a laundress and a camp follower which was a hard existence for women She was also reputed to be a heavy drinker which was not uncommon for the time and her purported station. Her drinking led to antics which led to performing. She died relatively young most likely from the effects of alcohol. Hardly the shiny biopic we see in this version of her life.
  7. The interaction of the characters in the scene seems to be more of an ensemble and cooperative - playing off one another rather than just performing next to each other or as individuals. This is different from earlier films where actors played to their own strengths and at times didn't even acknowledge that another actor was on screen with him or her. Everyone was dressed in the same color palette. Two of the men were dressed in regular suits and one was dressed in a less formal version of a suit. Nannette Fabray was dressed in that same color scheme so that there was a sense they belonged together even though they were not dressed exactly the same. She did have one spot of color on her waist - red that matched her lipstick. The movements were all relatively cooperative or in sync so that no one person stood out. A cigarette was lit for one gentleman by another. One character even helps himself with the ladder.
  8. There is a fluid relationship between caring for Joe whether he is in bed or in the wheelchair while she is working. He is always on her mind no matter what her primary task is. I feel it may not change much if the woman were singing to a child because people of color were often thought of as children by the prevailing culture. It may be more difficult to say how the African American culture would truly view the change from singing to a male to a child. Although all people of color were viewed as less than during this time in American history, it is important to remember that they were recruited in high numbers in the war efforts. Therefore, they were vital to the success of the war efforts and it was important to influence people of color in whatever ways they could. It is also important to remember that many people of color clung to whatever visual representation of themselves that they saw.
  9. The Wizard of Oz was the first Judy Garland film I recall watching. I was young when I first saw it so I wanted to be her. I wanted to go on those adventures. 2.As an adult, I have always had a great respect for Judy Garland's talent and always felt that she left too soon. Having read the notes about For Me and My Gal makes me appreciate her talent even more because I thought she was playing the piano in that scene. 3. I liked Easter Parade and Summer Stock. "I love a Piano" and "Get Happy" are good examples of her ability to capture the audience's imagination as a storyteller when she sings a lyric.
  10. There were flags everywhere, use of the Whitehouse and the power of the office of the Presidency, power patriotic musical score as well as the immigrant story in America. All of these props were used to promote a sense in the viewer of patriotism. The dialogue promotes positivity about America and the change from being an immigrant to being a "true" American. The dialogue is meant to inspire one to support the system of American values and mores . For example, when the butler greets Cohan at the Whitehouse, he tells him that he was off duty and would have left but heard that Cohan was coming and wanted to be there to greet him and lead him to the President personally. It was a strong opening with FDR and because it was an immigrant story, highlighting Cohen as an Irish immigrant whose family bought into the American story was important to the selling of this patriotic tale.
  11. Most middle and upper class women didn't wear pants so the fact that she had pants, jacket, and a more masculine hat in the clip seemed to be challenging the gender mores of the day. She was also there with him alone. I didn't think that many middle or upper class women were allowed to be unescorted if they were single. At times she seemed to challenge him in the dance moves but I could be wrong about that. It makes fun of the middle and upper classes which other films we looked at this week did not seem to do. It made being wealthy look frivolous. Making the man-servant the more intelligent and key could have made working and lower middle class people feel like they were of value because they worked hard even though they had no real money to compare to the wealthy. The first wave of the women's movement was in full force. The right to vote for women was new and women were finding their voices.
  12. It is clear that Alfred is a philanderer because he has a garter in the bedroom, then a drawer full of small pistols that were from presumably previous other women who committed similar acts to this married woman. He is smooth, dashing, and quite the ladies' man. The gunshots were very effective. They were quite jarring and unexpected. The flow from English to French and back was interesting. English is quite a harsh language compared to French. To have to "romantic" scenes in French which is more pleasing to the ear and then change to the harsher English language to tell Alfred he has to go back to his country because he has disgraced his post is interesting to me. I would expect more gender-based themes and approaches along with the show of wealth.
  13. I thought the interaction between the characters seemed real and relaxed, not wooden like some early films. They definitely had some chemistry. In the canoe, the dialogue that McDonald had at the end about the song being adaptable seemed almost adlibbed. It was very playful and gender specific in how it played. I don't remember seeing either actors in other films or television shows. These clips tell us that the male and female relationships are very strictly defined during this era. Some of the norms that I thing were supported during the Hollywood Film Code are: Men have the role of pursuit and the choice of many partners. Women wait to be pursued. Gender roles are well defined and should not be crossed. There are consequences for crossing gender roles.
  14. I do agree that this film depicts a brighter world. I found her use of the mirror as a spotlight fascinating. A mirror speaks of narcissism and yet it is being used to shine a light on the men. What does that say about the men? I assume we will continue to see wealth displayed as the norm. Women will continue to be stereotyped in various ways. Men will just be good old boys living the American dream in some way. Minorities will be stereotyped if shown. Music will be upbeat and boy will always get the girl. It could have been grittier, more noir. There may have been some value in showing the competition of two men fighting it out in the system of commerce and one prevailing. That was a theme at times in other films I have seen.

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