rmoser

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  1. 1. Had Straisand sung “People” more theatrically, the song would have lost its intimacy. Sung as is, people can connect with it better because it conveys a vulnerability inside each of us. 2. Omar stays in the background, but as Straisand moves, he is drawn to follow her. Her singing seems to lure him closer. The attraction seems stronger as the singing progresses. 3. The way this scene is filmed is very effective. The distance between Omar Sharif and Straisand allows the viewer to sense a change in their relationship from just physical attraction to a more emotional one. The camera follows Straisand, as Sharif follows, but I noticed that it keeps its distance from Straisand, allowing the audience to see her twist her hands together and see her discomfort and her own vulnerability.
  2. 1. Comparing this scene to Gaslight, one can see how the use of lights is similar. Both movies take place in upper class Victorian London society. As in Gaslight, shadows are immensely important to conveying the mental anguish of Bergman and Hepburn respectively. Both movies have sumptuous, safe settings that negate the nervous, agitated mental states of the actresses. Both have lead actors who belittle their counterparts concerns. However, while Gaslight’s lead actor is purely evil, Harrison is thoughtless and deals only in what he understands, rather than attempting to be sympathetic and truly involved. 2. While we do not see the previous scenes, we do get a sense of what has occurred. The bet that Higgins made at the beginning has been won. Eliza masterful hard won performance is shunted to the side as Harrison heralds it as his great achievement. Over the months that the two work together, both have come to rely on and have feelings for each other. Eliza is aware of this, but Harrison treats her like an old glove to be tossed aside when it is not needed any more. The wide shots permit the audience to see Higgins befuddlement and Eliza’s breakdown clearly, as they talk at cross purposes. Neither one clearly conveys their meaning to the other. 3. Cukor allows the characters vulnerability to shine through. They have never opened up to each other in this way before. Eliza speaks to Higgins as her equally. He retreats to what he knows- calm, professional, educated reasoning, because he does not know nor understands how to handle the situation with which he is faced. Eliza’s outburst is initially done in close ups, yet when Higgins enters the room, the shots are wider, allowing the characters to fully interact with a wider range of emotions.
  3. 1. Looking at the past musicals, Preston seems to fit in the consummate performer category. He is suave with a wide range of ability. He can do everything with a grace and ease that is remarkable. 2. In both clips, Preston has command of both situations. His words, looks, gestures, inflections, and expressions combine to keep his audience rapt with attention. This can particularly be seen in The Music Man clip. 3. I have only seen Preston in one non-musical role, Beau Geste. In this role, Preston demonstrates a depth of feeling; however, his versatility as an actor is highlighted in musicals.
  4. 1. Like many of the classic musicals, we see the behind the scenes view of vaudeville. However, it also foreshadows the burlesque scene with the balloon girl. The interruption of the mother disrupting the entire workings of the show looks forward to the studis’ and society’s upheaval. 2. Russell commands the scene. The second her voice is heard, Marsden has lost control.ironically, he knows it. While the teacher in me is irked by her rudeness, I applaud Russell’s ability to carry the scene with such strength and humor. 3. The song’s lyrics have a double meaning. As a child, it plays innocently, but as an adult, those same words can be used to convey the striptease show. The tricks can be dancing, as the children do, but as an adult, Gypsy changes the meaning of the trick to the striptease.
  5. 1. No, the ballet scene is strictly fantasy, but the rest of the story is based in reality. Therefore, it would not make sense for the film to maintain such a stylized element throughout the story. 2. Although Jerry is abrasive and rather obnoxious, there is a certain quality to his character that keeps him from being completely unlikeable. With the college student, he recognizes her falseness and reacts against it. His honesty in that situation keeps his rudeness understandable. With Milo, his complete bewilderment over her desire to purchase the paintings is genuinely endearing, that is until he sees her car and demonstrates a purely crass commercial attitude.
  6. 1. If you watch Donald O’Connor while the Professor reads the tongue twisters, his facial expressions are rhythmic. When O’Connor and Kelly begin to dance before the music begins, they move in rhythm with each other. 2. The professor is a consummate straightman. He initially looks confused before looking annoyed. To be a straightman is even more difficult that the actual comedy, and he plays it to perfection, even as he is covered with things from the office. 3. The professor is uptight, proper, and genteel. Meanwhile, the other two are more relaxed, not just in their dress, but als on their interactions. Donald O’Connor is the ringleader of the duo. He is the one who initially begins the torture of the professor. Kelly is a willing accomplice. They are excellent dancers, but I must admit that I find O’Connor’s dancing to be better than Kelly’s. Kelly makes his dancing appear arduous, but O’Connor makes it look effortless. This is probably one of my favorite scenes in the whole movie. I love the interactions among the three men, and I find the dancing absolutely mesmerizing.
  7. 1. I think this falls in the middle. Many of the musicals made in the 1950s had female characters who lived outside the norm of a demure woman. Kiss Me, Kate, Annie Get Your Gun, Calamity Jane, and even Day’s character in By the Light of the Silvery Moon all had characters with strong, empowering woman as the leads. 2.Doris Day could do everything. She could play comedy as effortlessly as she did drama. Day’s strength came in her ability to make a statement without showboating, and she seemed to have an amazing chemistry with anyone she acted. Her voice only served to enhance her performance. 3. Day’s sunny disposition only adds to her charm. It made her relatable to her audience, and it allowed her audience to feel as if they knew her. Her hopefulness drew her to her audience, and it immediately caused audiences to respond to her difficulties with empathy.
  8. 1. I thought it was interesting how each person has a single line to sing before coming together. When they were dancing, not one had a spot all their own; no one was highlighted. This differs from movies from the 1930s and 1940s where the stars either had a single number all to themselves or parts with the spotlight on them. As a teacher of the Deaf, I found it very interesting how Nannette in particular interacted with her fellow actors, as she had a substantial hearing loss. 2. As far as costuming is concerned, they blend together. Most had grays or navy in their outfits. The only one with any truly different color was Nannette Fabray’s red flower at her waist. The costumed lent themselves to this idea of collaboration. 3. Levantine really did not do any of the dancing; instead he had the comedic role in the scene. The other three danced and playfully tried to upstage the others, while still bouncing ideas off each other.
  9. 1. Minelli’s decision to move from the bedside to Petunia doing the laundry outside just adds realism to her joy. If my husband were on the point of death, yet survives, I would practically be dancing and singing throughout the day, not just at his bedside but also with whatever job needed to be accomplished. Her devotion and love are evident as Petunia sings, regardless of the task at hand. Therefore, as Petunia sings “Happiness is Joe”, one can readily identify this as true. 2. If this song was about a child, the meaning and the cultural connotation would change. True, the love and devotion outdoors still be the same, but the type of love changes as does its manifestation. As far as the cultural meaning, most would not equate their love of country with love of child. Therefore, the bond between the movie and the culture would be lessened. 3. I guess I have always viewed these movies with a historical eye, for I have always seen this movie as a tribute to African Americans and what they can do. Seeing films where they were celebrated and worked with premier directors such as Vincent Minnelli and King Victor Just reenforces this concept of barriers being broken. Booker T. Washington in Up from Slavery said that if African Americans made themselves indispensable then the barriers would naturally break down. During WWII, those barriers were breaking both in the movies and radio and through the efforts of the Tuskegee Airmen, the many thousands of African American soldiers and sailors who served faithfully and with distinction, and those at home who served the war effort through their work and volunteer efforts.
  10. 1. First of all, that was a riot to watch; Betty Garrett and Frank Sinatra are wonderful together. I love how the director kept the idea of Betty Garrett pursuing Sinatra by keeping his back to the audience for much of the actions. The close-ups were of Grable as she held control of the situation much to Sinatra’s character’s chagrin. 2. The race up the stairs and into the park itself lends itself to this idea of Sinatra being pursued by Garrett, fully preparing the viewer for the song that immediately follows.
  11. 1. I must admit that I do not recall exactly which Judy Garland film was my first, but I think it was Easter Parade. I plead being younger than three according to my mom- I had to check with her to figure out which movie. Because of that, I just remember her singing and dancing. 2. You picked one of my favorite scenes in Easter Parade, and she is phenomenal in Me and My Gal. I love the interplay between Garland and Astaire, especially as they leave the stage. In the one with Kelly, I was amazed at how well she holds her own with him. Because I have grown up watching Judy Garland, I cannot say that it has changed my impression of her in any way, but it is always a pleasure to watch her work. 3. As far as later films are concerned, I never really liked A Star Is Born- either version. But I loved her in In The Good Old Summertime; the interplay between her and Van Johnson is wonderful. When Judy sings while Van accompanies her on the piano, I always laugh. As far as her acting is concerned, Judgment at Nuremberg always stands out to me because of her skill as an actress as she is being cross examined.
  12. 1. The entire movie is designed to promote patriotism from the entrance into the White House to the pictures lining the stairs- Lincoln, Washington, Just to name two- to seeing President Roosevelt in the Oval Office, and even the flashback to July Fourth speak of a love for America. At this point in time, America was on the verge of war. Its navy was on alert in both the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans. The military knew that war was imminent in the Pacific in particular and in Europe. While the production might have occurred prior to the entrance into WWII, studios such as Warner Bros. were gearing up for war. They were leading the way to changing public opinion from isolation to willing to fight. 2. Several lines stick out. Roosevelt says, “How’s my double?” Cohan States, “I inherited that from my father,” referencing the flag waving. The dialogue serves as a reminder that the President is one of us, and it also reminds people that Americans have always been willing to stand in the gap for each other in time of war. 3. Without the White House scene at the beginning, the context is lost. Curtiz is doing everything he can to prove what a great country America is through the patriotic themes and storyline. This idea would be lost and becomes just another biographical sketch without the White House scene setting the stage for the final scenes of the movie. This becomes particularly noticeable when one looks at the song in the play I’d Rather Be Right, “Off the Record”. After stating various ideas and thoughts that should not be printed, Cohan as played by Cagney looks directly at the camera in a close up and explains how the Axis powers are going to be defeated which is for the record. It was a message to the American people;we Americans would fight until liberty was obtained for all involved. That segways back into the White House scene. Because it appears at both the beginning and the end of the film, the audience is left with no doubts as to what America stands for, who we are, and why we fight.
  13. 1. Throughout this whole scene, Finger is depicted as Fred’s equal. Not only does she match his dance steps, but she initiates some of the dance steps for Fred to follow. Many times, the man leads in the dancing with the woman following; however, based upon Ginger’s character in the movie, her playing second fiddle would have been out of character. 2. Prior to Top Hat, the musical numbers were set up for an audience to see. The setting could have been anything from a hotel lobby to a stage to a living room with friends over, people were still around to observe. Yet, this number had no audience. It was just Fred and Ginger dancing and competing with each other. This actually sets the stage for later musical numbers where no audience was needed for the dance. 3. The changes in style could be numerous. First, at the beginning of the Depression, there was a sense of escapism necessary for those dealing with the aftermath of the stock market crash and the bank closings; whereas here, the escapism takes more of a back seat to the battle of wits between the men and women. Second, it was more common to see women taking on a more prominent role in society. This could be due in part to the influence of Eleanor Roosevelt, movie stars in general, and women specialists such as Lillian Miller Gilbreth. Finally, while America may have been isolationist in its views, the impact of the encroaching ideologies of the Axis powers were beginning to take a toll on Europe itself; the major studio heads, especially Warner Bros., were among those who fought against those ideas through the films produced, including the musicals and screwball comedies of the1930s.
  14. 1. I noticed the garters and the dress right away. The close ups of the gun and later the guns in the drawer were also effective. When coupled with the dialogue, the actions, and subsequent consequences of Alfred’s lifestyle, one is able to understand the playboy nature of the character. 2. Right away, I noticed the agitated French dialogue, but the one that stands out is the sound of the gun firing. Because I am a military historian, I know what guns should sound like. When the lady fired the gun at herself, I thought the gun sounded odd and not accurate to a loaded pistol. Sure enough, when the husband fired the gun at Alfred, my suspicion was proven correct. It added a sense of levity to a situation that otherwise would be incredibly tense. 3. Like many Depression era films, this one has the escapism of the opulent, massive sets. The wealth of the main character, and the upper crust of society are all prevalent.
  15. 1. I love the playful interaction between them, especially as MacDonald taunts Eddy over his song to her. They do not have to face each other to have a great chemistry together. In the second one, MacDonald’s unease with the situation coupled with Eddy’s compassion as he quietly observes creates a memorable moment between them. 2. I have seen them in other films, but only parts of those films. Usually, I pick up on a movie in the middle when I have finished homework. Prior to these two clips, I always considered their interactions to be restrained and at times sickeningly romantic. It was refreshing to see them as having more relatable interactions. 3. Nelson Eddy carries off the role of the pursuer of a relationship in the canoe scene, and, in the saloon, his protective nature is evident but restrained. MacDonald’s restraint, albiet sarcastic demeanor lends her a mysterious air. At the saloon, the propriety of women is immensely evident as she is not too proud to work but will not demean herself in a job that is less than socially acceptable.

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