Nomadic_Brian

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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 way it is set up on film we have two lovers Nick and Fanny in a private moment. This works because the audience feels that Fanny is sharing through song how fortunate they are. Thus the line 'people who need people are the luckiest people in the world'. Stage performances usually were done with more animation and with more force. This singing is more like a night club song. Streisand already had experience with this type of singing. Note the emotional transition moments in this scene: how do the two characters relate to each other as the lyrics are sung? Fanny leads out first pursued by Nick and she lead him along. As she begins her song Nick listens from a distance. The emotional focus is shifted to her. The camera moves to the right and a little further inward. The background lighting dims and a spotlight shines on her. We close with this sweet heartfelt rendition of 'People' with a final closeup. How does the direction and editing of this scene support Streisand’s performance? Be specific about blocking, reaction shots, etc. Aside from some cuts to Nick much of this number looks like it was done in long takes. The camera moves and we don't get a lot of shot changes. I think the longer shots added to her strengths.
  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 haven't watched 'Gaslight' in a while so I'll pick 'A Star is Born'. In supporting Judy Garland with set design and staging I'll start with the nightclub scene where she sings 'The Man That Got Away'. The lighting is darker and we have Judy in the middle of musicians. It is an intimate staging played down a little. Judy moves into the song and before you know what hit you realize you are in a big number. The camera moves in on her as the song becomes more emotional, Another interesting scene is the 'Born in a Trunk' number. The costume stands out here. Judy in top hat and tails. She takes of the hat and we see a short slick hair style. Behind her is an arrangement of flowers roses or carnations but a sea of red. The stage light is on her as the camera moves in. She is sitting as if to tell a story again intimate. Once in the song the reflections back on the experiences transform into transitional scenes. Each scene vivid with color and costume. Cukor played with the sets sometimes interchanging colors with background and costume. As Judy goes through doors pitching her talent to studios she may have a red dress with a gray background. In the next door her dress is now gray and the background is red. This also occurs in the scene when she joins the chorus line moving colors around. I don't know if there was anything to the scene in which Judy's character discusses her husbands alcohol problem that was drawing out some personal demons that Judy herself battled with. Her addiction lead to being fired on previous films and oddly enough to this film and this scene. Was this by design from Cukor? Note the emotional transition moments in this scene, how the actors portray them, and how Cukor supports them. If I were a fly on the wall on the set I would have liked to hear Cukor and Hepburn going over the scene. If we go with the premise that he was a director for women I'm thinking he made them feel comfortable enough to open up emotionally. Many directors had tricks that they used to draw more out of an actor. If he could get them to open up and maybe even confide in him he had a trigger mechanism. I can only support what the lecture notes state about costume and props. The elegant dress and the jewelry and wrapped around Eliza who underneath is another person. Now caught in between two worlds she anguishes over the awakening of what she could be and what she has been. Throwing the shoes is symbolic of revolt. Like the dutch throwing their sabots into the machinery to sabotage the works. The machine in this case is the cold Henry Higgens who cares little for her personal feelings. What do you notice about the relationship between Eliza and Higgins that seems enhanced by Cukor’s direction? They reverse their roles at the end of the film and quietly settle together. At first Eliza is the more vulnerable. She starts out with little confidence or self worth. She has a good heart though. Henry is cocky and sure completely absorbed in his work. All appearances are that it is Eliza that is be transformed by Henry. Henry over time begins to exhibit bothersome feelings. Henry shrugs them off at first as an inconvenience. 'Why can't a woman be more like a man Pickering?'. Up to the point of his 'Damn! Damn! Damn!' and leading into 'I've grown accustomed to her face'. We realize that Henry has been controlling his feelings and has to learn how to open himself up. Eliza loves with a true heart and has to deal with the strength she needs to become more. Its a drag out emotional prize fight. The final scene of a slow walk into the room by Eliza and putting on Henry's slippers is a sort of calm and promise of new beginnings for both.
  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? What is quite clear is that typical male lead role has been changed (disrupted). The forties and fifties were careful to present the American lead role as the alpha male winning the female by displaying virtues that were in line with a strong male of the war years or a conservative one of the post war years. One thing that changed was honest hard working character. We now get more of the bad boy male. The womanizer in 'Pal Joey' or in the case of the 'Music Man' Professor Harold Hill the 'flim-flam' man that uses his skills to rip off a town of innocent people and is also a womanizer. He collects on all counts and leaves a wake of destruction behind. By the seventies we have the gay rights movement taking root and that begins to reflect in film. In the film 'Cabaret' we have the gay and bisexual characters. Directors like John Waters collaborate with actors like Divine to make films like 'Pink Flamingos' where dressing in drag is featured. By 'Victor/Victoria' we now have an actor who who is known for one of the most famous family films of all time playing a gay performer. Its a full character in a mainstream film and having the typical Blake Edwards comic style. Compare this to previous decades where the gay character if at all was only slightly alluded to with a subtle suggestion of femininity. What is especially sad is that for decades gays had to remain in the 'closet' including a number of actors who never got the chance to play a character that was more real to them. What other specific qualities do you notice about Robert Preston in either or both of these clips? He appears to be completely comfortable in the roles in the clips. Perhaps that is part of the technique that he worked at to become immersed in the character. Why do we feel that he will always be Professor Harold Hill? Is it all chance or catching lightning in a bottle? His use of actors to play off of in a scene. In the 'Trouble' number he starts pulling in the crowd then like a conductor works the crowd. Is that him or just the way the character was written? I think its him. In the cafe scene in 'Victor/Victoria' he also works the crowd. I don't believe this was Blake Edwards. It is Preston again playing off the actors as the audience in the cafe. He moves around them in a sort of dance, flirting and finally causing a fight (that end is Blake Edwards). The key here is that we get to enjoy him play off other actors which has the effect of keeping us drawn to him. 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 remember him in 'How the West Was Won' but that film was one of those epics that included a lot of actors and spanned over a long period of time. He didn't have much screen time. I don't have another film of his that comes to mind.
  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? It starts with a familiar stage, song and dance act. The sister act is similar to 'The Broadway Melody' of 1929. One sister leads with the other sister behind her arms at the hips following the movements. This would have been the kind of vaudeville act at the time actors were transitioning into the first musical. The disruption begins when Mama Rose enters the studio and pushes herself up onto the stage. We did get musicals that had behind the stage activity like many of the Busby Berkeley musicals. But that was usually a setup for saving the show like in '42nd Street' or 'Footlight Parade' were actors in the wings suddenly find themselves on stage. Mama Rose has a relentless, bold and brash attack as she kicks over the apple cart to get her kids to be stars. She is selfish in her drive for her kids specifically Baby June. She does not display a spirit of team work. This is not a character that would have been showcased as an ideal fifties female. 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. Rosalind Russell always seemed to be playing females that were more aggressive. Although not aware of her training as a stage actress it does makes sense looking back at films like 'His Gal Friday'. That film was shot like a stage play with many scenes confined to one room in the building. She delivered her lines in a manner that got the audience to focus like they would if she were on a stage. It seemed to me that she and Director of Gypsy (Mervyn LeRoy) knew what worked. She had that stature and delivery directly to the invisible audience. She belts out her lines to keep in character with this brash, loud and bossy stage mom. She also brings some of that fast talking head to head banter that overwhelms the male character in this case Karl Malden as Herbie. 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). 'I will do some tricks' or mama will do whatever she needs to do to win this audition and get this spot. 'I'll tell you a story' or mama will follow through on her threat and blow the whistle on this rigged competition. As was pointed out in the lecture the lyrics went through some changes from stage to film over time. The difference in using 'may we' to 'let me' allows for a shift in the meaning of the lyric as performed at different stages in the film (yes I'm breaking the rule by jumping to Louise's (Gypsy Rose Lee) version later on). One is speaking to the behavior of Mama Rose through the innocence of Baby June. The other is an adult version suggesting a more burlesque delivery of the original vaudeville song. I think Sondheim was the sort of artist that would have wanted to play around with the lyrics and get as much as possible out of the experience. There was nothing simple about his work.
  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? I don't believe this need be true. I think its more about the setup. In 'An American in Paris' the ending ballet is a sort of a day dream sequence. It only takes a few seconds a minute or so on film to state that we are being taken into the imagination of Jerry. In fact the realistic existence of Jerry and his art work are immersed in the fantasy ballet sequence. It has to be as large and fantastic as the artist's imagination. Minnelli knew how to make this work. What keeps Jerry Mulligan from being completely unlikeable in a scene in which he acts pretty darn unlikeable? Perhaps that he is an artist. Artists are often stereotyped to be temperamental, moody, quick to anger or upset and change disposition easily. When he jumps down the throat of 'Lois Lane' as the 3rd year student and defends himself by stating that they make astute observations they overhear. With the Nina Foch Milo character we can't really blame him for not wanting to be put into a cage with golden bars. He is not for sale. Milo gets knocked to the canvas repeatedly but she keeps getting up. He is the alpha male chasing after Leslie Caron's Lise. The heart wants what the heart wants. Even though we know that Henri is a wonderful guy and doesn't deserve to get dumped in the end. I have seen this film many times and sometimes I imagine the characters reacting differently. What if Henri wasn't the bigger man and decided he couldn't give up Lise? What if he walks up to Jerry, socks him in the nose and then takes off to the car with Lise? Well he probably loses Lise anyway so there you are.
  6. How do the pre-dance movements of O’Connor and Kelly compare to their actual dance movements? Here we have a libretto coming in the form of a book of tongue twisters. The first step in in the transition to the dance sequence (in unison) is the pairing of the play on words between Don and Cosmo. The second step in the transition is to speak the words in dance tempo (sort of like a modern day rap). The third step is to start displaying a little body movement to match the tempo. Then finally they break out in full dance with music. Watch the Professor all the way through and consider the role of the straight man. Its funny but in these choreographed dance sequences in which another character starts in the scene but suddenly has no purpose I have watched more than a few times in curiosity at the other character. What are they to do? They may be forgotten all together or just have to wait around for the wrap up and pull in again. During this and many of these scenes I've noticed that the actor should transform into a good prop. Mostly keep still and blend in with the scenery. Not distract in the least from the dancers. It may seem easy to us but then again there may be an art to being the straight man that goes beyond setting up jokes or being a good foil. It may also means becoming invisible but present during the scene. We understand the rules for the musical. The straight man is a good foil. In real life the professor would go smoke a cigarette and let the jokers get the clowning out of their system. But if you have to wait for the dance number to end then finish the scene getting a bunch of stuff dumped on you it requires the skill of invisibility. How do the representations of masculinity in all three men compare and contrast with each other? Don is the alpha male, Cosmo the buddy and the Professor is the foil. Is 'foil' one of our options? Oh well I made one up then. The pecking order is Don, Cosmo then Professor. Cosmo comes in for comic relief and pokes fun at the Professor (foil). Don and Cosmo bond and have fun at the expense of the Professor (foil). Don and Cosmo are the buddies which usually require one alpha and one beta male in these films.
  7. As you reflect upon female representation in the 1950s, where do you think this film character falls in the continuum? Why? This character is a bit unusual in my opinion. Based on a female that had to survive the rough frontier ending up in Deadwood with Wild Bill Hickok. The only connection I can make is that the character is subjected to conformity. Wearing a dress and acting lady like to win over a man. I guess that was one of the played up characteristics in female characters of the fifties. This is Calamity Jane however and it just doesn't sit right. Some compromise is made by the time we get to 'Secret Love'. Maybe this is saying American women can be strong (like what it took to live on the frontier) but still have feminism and end up with the man in the end of the picture. How do you think Doris Day grows as an actress in her various roles in the 1950s, before and after this musical? I think in her early film she is playing second fiddle to the lead male actor like Cagney or Gordon MacRae. In this film I think she breaks out a little more with her own persona. A little more energy and fun. By the time she does 'Pajama Game' she is a dynamo on the screen and equals costar John Raitt. After the musicals more of her real wholesome self goes into those quaint romantic comedies with Rock Hudson. Doris Day is the icon of wholesome American woman in pictures. Does Doris Day’s bright and sunny persona add or detract from the role of Calamity Jane in your opinion? Please defend your answer. I've got to say that the Doris Day take on Calamity Jane was unique. Most other representations were not so sunny such as the TV show Deadwood which touches on the problems with alcohol and the frontier town is not such a rosy place where people sing and dance. I say you have to just file it away as artistic license. This is Doris Day in a far fetched musical version of Calamity Jane with Bill Hickok. Is it a good musical? Yes. Is Doris Day good in this film? Yes. I don't think the audience cares that this may not be the most accurate account of Calamity Jane.
  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? Keeping on theme with the group contribution the presentation of the song makes use of a number of devices. First off Tony Hunter takes on the role of the doubter and holdout. He must be pulled into the idea by the group which sets up the segue to the song 'That's Entertainment'. Each of the three performers take a line one after the other equally. Then they dance in unison (sans Levant who was not a dancer) and do the symbolic pyramid. That is clearly a gesture of team play. In earlier musicals performers often did their numbers alone (sans boy-girl duets or chorus like the Busby Berkeley films) The spotlight usually centered on one person at a time. The new kid saves the show theme is gone like we had with Ruby Keeler in 42nd Street. 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 costumes are played down to indicate a more conservative look. They use colors like gray or blue. No tuxedo with tails for Fred Astaire in this scene. Even the most flamboyant character the director is toned down with a blue-gray and only slightly set apart with a more stylish jacket. This may be playing to the conservative feel that was predominant during the McCarthy era. American's dress conservative, work hard and look a certain way. What do you notice about the staging and interplay between the characters that helps define the relationships between the characters in the song? I've mentioned above that the key device to me is the way each of the performers takes a line in the song as they work together to get Tony on board. After each segment they regroup together like the Three Musketeers to reinforce that bond between them. There is strength in the coming together. The pyramid is right out of athletics and team spirit. Just the kind of feeling spreading around the country in the 50's in the US.
  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? I think the scene is meant to emphasize Petunia's love, dedication and the simple country life she leads. At the bedside the shots are close up to her face that shows the smile whenever she looks at Joe. She is just so happy to have him home and safe after the gun shot wound. The laundry scene is there to show the poor simple life they lead and the hard work and good values she holds to. How would the song change if it was a woman singing about her child? Does the cultural meaning change? How? The lyrics would probably change focus from the heart and feeling of the soulmate connection to one of protection. More of a mothering feel to it. Culturally I believe Petunia would remain true and consistent. The sacrifice in scraping by with little and toiling to keep a good house and her loved ones taken care of the same. The strength of Petunia is her genuine love and purity. Her dedication is her power. What other thoughts do you have about this film, the issues of black Americans during WWII, and this film’s importance in this era? Culturally black and white Americans couldn't be further apart at the start of WWII. The split is everywhere in the United States. Its in Restaurants, theaters, nite clubs, trains, buses, public restrooms just to name a few things. In the film industry its in separate black films mostly. There is need for all able bodied men to enlist and do their part in the war effort. 'Cabin In the Sky' although still an all black cast comes from a major studio with a noted Director Vincent Minnelli and a cast of very well know talent. Its a significant step forward in race relations. It goes hand and hand with black Americans in the military. Its not an instant end to race issues as even blacks in the military weren't immediately given significant duties. It is part of a movement forward. Blacks in mainstream films (primarily white cast) would be still have to work for years in roles that depicted characters as a lower part of society. All of that talent black talent in a film released by a major studio was incredible. It is still amazing to watch all these performers in this time capsule film
  10. Thinking like a director and editor, describe how each shot spotlights key actions. As a director I look at the script and get the first motivations for my actors. The theme is the pursuit or chase with a comical twist as the female character played by Betty Garrett's character Shirley is chasing Frank Sinatra's character Denny. I want consistency in the scene. Shirley remains aggressive and determined. Denny remains naive and sensitive like a teenager. The running gag in the film perhaps as Sinatra was actually 34 when he shot the film. Early in the film Gene Kelly's character alludes to Denny's inexperience with woman by saying 'You know Denny you are getting old enough to find out'. Next I'd be taking a look at my set and getting the big picture. The actors are running up and down an entire section of bleacher seats. The last row of bleachers butts up against the back wall of the stadium and the sides of the bleachers are blocked as well. So Denny is going to get cornered and caught but he'll do all he can to get out. When he is caught there is physical contact between the actors initiated and dominated by Shirley. So I take the actors through each scene, go over their motivation and the physical interactions. Not a Director in real life so I don't know how the details where the extras come in for choreographed scenes are discussed. Then we shoot each scene and switch out stand ins and do retakes until I get the feel that I want as I picture the the film running up this point and forward toward the capture and the beginning of the funny but awkward courtship to come. I'm also getting the nod from technicians that the lighting looked good, coordinated with the sound technicians and there is enough material for the Film Editor to work with As a Film Editor I'm hoping the Director worked with the technicians to get me enough material to put together. That there was careful attention to the actors responding to the pre recorded sound, that the lighting was consistent, color used smartly. I think I am spending many hours repeating film segments and matching up sound. Looking for the best takes. Maybe I'm going back and forth with the Director reviewing takes and picking the best look. I go back and forth in sessions with more and more completed product until there are significant scraps on the proverbial editing floor and what survives is a contiguous integrated entire film ready to screen for the Producer before release. It’s interesting to examine how musicals segue into musical numbers. How does this sequence prepare us for the singing? We get a brief moment in the stadium outside of the locker room where Shirley is waiting for her prey. She blocks Denny's path. The music begins to swell up and quicken as if to suggest there is a chase coming next. Then Denny bolts with Shirley in hot pursuit. This continues as Denny starts to get some distance from Shirley with a crescendo in the music and suddently a synchronized shout of 'Hey!'. Shirley is signaling that she has a song to sing and Denny better listen up. Because as the song goes. 'Its Fate Baby'. Aside Note: Betty Garrett was one of my favorite MGM stars. She was beautiful and fun to watch on screen. I didn't get to know her until after the TV show 'Laverne & Shirley'. Her character was wonderful on that show too. Later when I discovered her MGM work I was floored. 'She's absolutely gorgeous and she can sing and dance. I'm in love'
  11. What was the first Judy Garland film you recall watching? What was your first impression of her? Like most the first film I recall watching was 'The Wizard of OZ'. Even as a 9 year old (or so) kid I was mesmerized by the song 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' The rest of the film had many distractions such as Toto, Scarecrow, Tinman, Cowardly Lion, a witch and flying monkeys. Now that for me was around 1967. I had no idea the girl I was watching on film had been through an entire career and was already gone. How do you view her differently after viewing these clips than you might have viewed her previously? Now this is another story altogether. My dad loved watching old films including Judy Garland movies. I watched 'For Me and My Gal' with my dad on late night TV in NYC. When I returned to live with him after being away at a Catholic Convent run by Dominican Nuns. Watching these films with my dad was a sort of binding experience. I loved the old films and musicals as much as he did. So watching this clips brings back great memories of my dad. As for making the connection to the little girl in OZ when I first watched 'For Me and My Gal' I can't say that I made any distinct recognition. I simply enjoyed the musical for what it was and fell in love with Judy Garland the more I saw the classic films. Each time I saw more of her films watching OZ and the young girl Judy I think I felt more like 'There's Juidy! God she was so young in this film'. 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? Judy could capture the heartache of a female character in love. In 'Easter Parade' one of the songs that always pulls me in is 'Better Luck Next Time' that she sings to Mike the bartender. Judy had that way of showing vulnerability so naturally that you really believe it. Judy fit in well in period pieces. In 'Meet Me In St. Louis' I always get lost on the trolley car in the 'Trolley Song'. Riding the trolley car is always fun when you visit places that still have them like in New Orleans. We are taken back to a time when this form of transport was in its heyday but its magnified by the direction of Vincent Minnelli and Judy's punch of a delivery. We get to use our imagination and its topped off with whipped cream and a cherry. The ultimate is her overall performance in 'A Star is Born' in which she takes on the roller coaster ride of love and endurance with her difficult marriage. The 'Man That Got Away' is a number that continues to freeze me solid. The emotion put into that song is genuine. Put in context with the rest of the film you come to feel for the character's anguish. Its possibly Judy's most single powerful musical performance.
  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. We start with George M Cohan making a visit to the White House and he meets with then President Roosevelt. We see the wheel chair the FDR had to use as his health began to deteriorate. Parade with flags and music emphasizing patriotism of the past that will be needed again. 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 voice of FDR sounds authentic even though we only see the back of the actor's head. The voice after all was distinctive as many Americans listened over the radio especially on that day in December of 1941 when President addressed the nation about the bombing of Pearl Harbor leading America into World War II. The conversation ensues and we are taken back to the roots of Cohan's patriotism. Starting with a parade with flags and music keeping with the theme. The two together will remind people of Pearl Harbor and get them behind the President (if they weren't already). An iconic patriot like Cohan will boost their morale and get the spirit up that will be needed to cope with the war years to come. That America will endure and its people are part of that. 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. I believe it was essential that the continuity from the present to the past (and back again later at the end of the film if I may take that liberty) be handled like a time capsule opened at a time when the country needed it most. I think there is more of an impact starting with the visit to the Oval Office and FDR. Its a somewhere warmer and more personal segue to the Cohan story. Its an essential message that all Americans both young and old should come together (again emphasized more toward the end of the film when it returns to modern times and Cohen marches and supports the troops. The generational gap is noted recognized but the President emphasizes that the Cohan spirit is needed again).
  13. What other aspects of battle of the sexes do you see indicated in this clip or in the film Top Hat? In the 'Caught in the Rain' clip there is still a hint of vulnerability when Dale rushes into Jerry's arms at the sound of thunder. Its quite clear that Dale is an independent woman. She refuses to be rescued by Jerry right off and he has to woo here into a dance. Later in the film Beddini tries to boss Dale around trying to lay down the rules for providing the wardrobe. She sets him straight on that score. Madge and Dale concur on the awful behavior of men. Madge even gives Horace a black eye when she suspects him of flirting with Dale (mistakenly of course in screwball comedy fashion). How does this film distinguish itself from other Depression era musicals we have watched or discussed this week? Stronger female characters. I have heard that on the set of Top Hat the feathered dress that Ginger Rogers wore in a dance scene really bothered Fred. He wanted it out. The dress remained in the scene. The female won that battle of the sexes in real life. 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? Along with the post moral code standards influencing the portrayal of the female character woman were also pushing for change in society. The women in this film are a lot more in control and sometimes even in charge of the relationship (Madge and Horace).
  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 that we are in for a somewhat sophisticated perhaps racy time. If we can include Paris as a prop we think of it as a place for lovers. The discovered garter and half zipped dress suggesting there is some romantic tryst under way. The dialogue suggest a cool and casual character that never panics even when the husband arrives on the scene. He's been in this situation enough times to keep his cool. Even between him and the husband there is a sort of boyish grin suggesting that 'we are men of the world no?'. 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. The gun did sound a bit like a cap gun. Without knowing what sound a small pistol made in those days. Maybe they were blanks I don't know. The dialogue and other sounds (sans the gun) seemed a bit off (tinny? or are we using that word too much.) I'd have said 'rough' or 'primitive' compared to later films. If you watch these films now on television you can't always tell if the uneven sound volume is not just your settings but I'm going to also say that some of the dialogue was hard to hear unless the volume is set high. Sound effects people were still figuring it out. What themes or approaches might you anticipate from this clip in other Depression-era musicals? There is a clear distinction between the classes. Films like this depicted people in high society and to the nth degree as royalty. We see a little bit of this in the scenes between the loyal man servant and Chevalier's character. As for the audience once again an opportunity to be whisked away from the struggles of the depression and escape to mingle and cohort with the aristocracy. As a comedic effect pointing out the buffoonery of the aristocracy must have helped people feel better about chomping down that coffee and doughnut for breakfast. Finally as an unrelated side note. Who would not be knocked off their feet by beautiful Jeanette MacDonald in those gorgeous gowns with the voice of an angel.
  15. The Nelson Eddy character is a model for the perfect gentleman. The depiction of the Mountie is other films, TV and sketches followed for years later. Anyone remember 'Dudley Dooright' from cartoon fame? Jeanette's character is the ultimate 'Lady'. The setup right off is that our Mountie has to protect our lady heroine from the perils of frontier land where corruption runs wild and rampant. So we go from the indifference of scene 1 on the canoe then on to scene 2 and the beginning of the her vulnerability. Now we know he feels he needs to protect. Yes we know they will fall in love along the way. A simple plot in between the love songs we wait for in anticipation. The Hollywood Film Code people I'm sure were quite happy. This lesson in chivalry and doing the right thing when it comes to how a woman should be treated. Let this be your role model young men of the future and we will come out of this depression a better nation. I've seen Jeannette MacDonald in a couple of films that featured Maurice Chevalier. In fact one of the most romantic scenes for me is when they are dancing and singing 'Isn't It Romantic'.

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