vldehle

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  1. Q1) While I haven't seen Gaslight in a long time, what strikes me somewhat is the use of light and dark. Eliza, while dressed up is definitely down in the dumps and at first look the light in the room appears dark near her. She starts crying and stops once Higgins appears. Higgins, in the meantime, is in a great mood almost as if waking on air since he won his bet. In fact the cheeriness in his voice acts as an insult to Eliza. In Gaslight, Charles Boyer drives his wife, poor Ingrid Bergman, to question her very sanity. It's as if she is being sent from the light into the dark. Q2) This is a highly emotional scene, more so for Hepburn than Harrison. She must go from mad, sad, angry, hurt, to every other emotion she can express in that scene and in the end translates how desperate she feels. Cukor provides her the whole room for her emotions to expand in as she approaches Harrison, yet he is still providing Harrison the chance to say, yes, things may be changed for you, but I feel no different and you'll soon see life is fine. Q3) It is a paternalistic relationship. He treats her as the child he found wandering the streets. She is a little lost girl who he now has managed to save from her sad life, but he holds all the power as Eliza can really never go back to the streets. Her words, "What is to become of me," says it all. She is asking him, what now. You've created me, (in a sense as Frankenstein created his monster), and now what is Eliza to do. She continues to need direction about what to do as he given her the tools, but not the way to sustain their use. Much like giving a brain to the monster, but not guiding him how to use it.
  2. Q1) I think as you get further away from the first musicals you see men showing more sensitivity and feelings rather than having to be the manly man at all times. Q2) Preston has quite a way with his wording...it is very elegant and the while the writer of the music has used certain words to convey the meaning Preston has taken them to another level. The stresses he places on the words themselves as well as his mannerisms help further convey the story. Q3) I'm sure I have seen other movies with him and after looking at a list of his movies, I've seen some of them, but don't remember his characters. It dawned on me that I especially associate him with his Music Man role.
  3. 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? 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. 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). Q1) This is take on looking at vaudeville in this scene. The whole time we are looking at where Gypsy comes from and can't quite figure out where she is going with that thumb in her mouth. Mama's entrance creates a bit of chaos that you realize is just the beginning of the chaos for this family. Q2) It is hard to believe that Rosalind Russell is playing this Mama Rose as less loud. Her entrance is grand and overtakes the whole scene...in fact you forget about everybody else. It is like she thought if she keeps talking then her girls will make it. She played this scene so well and I loved when she went after the balloon girl. The look in her eye and the pointer in her hand said it all. Q3) The song says it all..."Let me entertain you, let me make you smile." I always think about how crazy it is to hear this song come out of a child's mouth and one would assume that they would have no real knowledge of what this song is really saying. We know that the real entertainment comes much later when Gypsy is older and gazed upon by those wishing to exploit her body.
  4. I would have to say the musical I dislike the most is The Pirate with Gene Kelly and Judy Garland. The music and story just never seemed to flow for me and at times I would just get lost in the whole thing.
  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? What keeps Jerry Mulligan from being completely unlikeable in a scene in which he acts pretty darn unlikeable Q1) Yes, I think it does need to be less-than-realistic, stylized approach throughout the film. In a sense this film in some ways is more about art than anything. In that case using the lesser approach allows for all types of art to be used in a variety of ways. For example, you have the ballet scene, which wouldn't necessarily show up in other musicals as it doesn't flow with the rest of the movie. I feel like Vincente Minelli was trying to paint this movie rather than directing it. It was flowing from him in a way that allowed for expressionism and realism to coincide together. Q2) He definitely acts like the angry American in this scene. I think the only thing that keeps him from being unlikeable is the conversation he has with the young painter across the street as well as the other stops he made along the way to visit with other painters.
  6. Q1) I think many of their movements are similar to their dance movements. It is all about rhythm, of which both men are inordinately blessed. Their movements in the beginning are to keep the rhythm and pace as they segue into the music. I really love watching Kelly and O'Connor dance together as, especially in this clip, their faces seem to hold sheer joy and delight in what they are doing. Q2) The role of the straight man in this instance is to give the actors someone to make fun of and to have fun with. They moved him around the room at will and in the end discard him just as they would the trash they decorated him with as he sat on the desk. Q3) Kelly and O'Connor seem to be manly men. They swagger, use big steps, and big movements to convey their sense of space in the world. Watson on the other hand remains controlled at all times, whether by the small movements he makes or by the other men as they move him around the room.
  7. Q1) This female character is outside of the norm as she is a tom-boy rather than a girlie girl. This time period was very interested in reinforcing traditional roles for men and women. Of course by the end we see Calamity Jane give the role of being a woman in this era her own twist. Q2) I love Doris Day movies and first, I have to say she not only has a beautiful voice, but an outstanding sense of comedic timing. From this musical you see her take on more light hearted musicals such as By the Light of the Silvery Moon and Moonlight Bay. These were both with Gordon MacRae who is wonderful as well. They seemed to have quite a chemistry together, which I think shows her growth as an actress. Q3) Her bright and sunny personality adds to the role of Calamity Jane. She always seems to be sure of herself and feels she fits in and life is all good. Calamity Jane is made fun of for her manly ways, but she doesn't see that as a problem. It isn't until she realizes she loves Bill rather than Danny that she understands she has to be true to herself to be fully happy and Doris Day carries that through with her singing Secret Love and the fact that while she is a woman, she is dressing and behaving in her own way to remain true to herself.
  8. I've been out of town for the last week, but still want to catch up on this as I find musicals so fascinating. I always thought if I could do any acting it would be just musicals as I love the way the story and music intertwine. Q1) Everyone is meant top be a part and I think this is by design that we can no longer act as a lone wolf. It takes everyone, together to get things done and this musical number shows that. It is meant to create the cohesiveness we've felt as a country and to encourage it to continue. It is very different from past musicals, which seemed to often focus on one character. Thinking specifically about Meet Me in St. Louis...while there is a family the main focus is on Judy Garland's character Esther. Most of the music scenes focused on her singing, even if another character was there. Q2) The characters are all dressed as if they were having a meeting at work. It seemed to be showing them as equals versus different levels of society. This was designed to again create cohesiveness, which was to inspire the watcher to continue this attitude of we are all in it together. Q3) The characters all appear to be those who have worked in the entertainment industry and therefore feel most comfortable in the stage environment. At this point while none of them is more famous than the other, though depending upon the show, it might change.
  9. Q1) This song implies that everything for Petunia revolves around Joe. He is her very reason for being and she believes him to be so good that lilacs smile when he goes by. When the film cuts to Petunia hanging clothes and still singing about Joe, I think this symbolizes how much her love for him is a part of her everyday life. Joe is such a big part of her life in that Joe is what she is always thinking about...at least when she isn't thinking about the Lord. Q2) It is hard to imagine this song being sung about a child. The words and orchestration of the music make it seem romantic rather than maternal. The look on her face is one of love, but love for a man not a child. If this song were about a child, it wouldn't fit well in the movie. It is also about the hope and love so deep that it won't change no matter what...at least up to this point we doubt that Petunia would ever stop loving Joe. Q3) The importance of this film is that it was an all African-American cast, which seen very often. It gave these actors/actresses/singers/musicians a chance to shine. I enjoyed watching this movie and oh how I rooted for Joe to pull it together. The presence of good angel vs bad angel was lined up well with rooting for the Allies vs the Axis. In its own way it helped strengthen the ties to war. I can't help, but think it gave some people a thought to reforming their life in case death was just around the corner. No one wanted to go with Lucifer Jr!
  10. Q1) Lots of flag waving in this whole movie. The Cohen songs that were most patriotic were the big highlights/dance/song numbers. People couldn't help leaving the theater and feeling pride in their country. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that every admission ticket also included a free flag. Plus, when the movie starts and Cohen goes to meet FDR the use of the pictures of the past presidents is extremely important. It is to remind everyone of our long history and what we could lose if we don't win the war. You can't say enough about Cohen's birth scene. Fireworks, flags, a parade...what is more American than that. This movie was designed, top to bottom with getting people excited to be an American. Q2) "It seems it always happens. Whenever we get too high-hat and too sophisticated for flag-waving, some thug nation decides we're a push-over all ready to be blackjacked. And it isn't long before we're looking up, mighty anxiously, to be sure the flag's still waving over us." This quote from the movie says a lot about what the movie was meant to do...get us to be flag wavers again. Q3) I like the way the movie opens. If the movie had opened with the Providence, RI scene, I think it would not have had the same impact. Starting with a scene in the White House and Cohen being there starts us right out on a journey of history. This was designed to give us reminders of what makes the USA great and Cohen great. It lets the movie goer think of how Cohen is intertwined in US history. This movie was designed to get our patriotic juices flowing and if it had started with his birth rather than the Oval Office if would have lacked the impetus to get us thinking from the very start about waving our flags and music that makes us feel strong as Americans.
  11. Q1) Each shot went in motion with the music. For example, when Sinatra and Garrett were swinging their arms as they walked/strode the top of the ball park, the music was doing the same thing. Also, at this point, the camera was pulled so you could see the full motion, which gives you the feeling something big is going on. Actions speak louder than words. Sinatra's face when she was telling him it was fate, clearly said it may be fate, but I feel trapped. Garrett was gleeful throughout this song as she had him right where she wanted him due to "astrology, numerology." Q2) You knew the song was coming as soon as the door opened and Sinatra began walking down the hall. By fate, there was Garrett waiting to let him in on the secret that there was no way out.
  12. Q1) She was wearing what amounted to a suit so they would appear to be on equal footing. However, you knew in the end somehow she was either going to end up on equal footing or better, because she held the croft in her hand. While today people might say, "Oh a little kinky fun with that croft," it really was meant to be part of the scene to somehow give her the upper hand. Q2) It is very similar in that you know in the end the guy gets his girl and life will be grand, which it often wasn't in the Depression. Also, you see the opulence again that could help people forget their own troubles. Q3) I think these changes could be due to the Production Code. By allowing some of these comedic moments you are displaying the romantic/sexual tension on a different level. You have to keep it light so everyone can see it.
  13. Q1) The Lubitsch touch seems everywhere in this clip. The garters, the gun(s), and even the dog seems to be a prop to show some sense of normalcy yet the absurdness of the situation Alfred finds himself in at this moment. The whole set up is designed to show that Alfred is a man of leisure who prefers to be a playboy versus the attache of Sylvenia. I knew before he opened the drawer to put the gun away, there would be more guns as he clearly seems to be a man who attract feminine attention and draws up the jealousy among the ladies. Q2) The pop of the gun almost didn't sound real to me each time it was fired. It sounded like it was from a larger weapon versus the small ladies gun it was. The scattering of the crowd and the crowd was interesting in that it seemed all of Paris knew of his exploits and they all were waiting outside to see what was going to happen to Alfred this time. Q3) I think the touches of opulence will be everywhere. Showing people living ordinary yet extravagant lives helped movie goers forget the real world for a short time. These movies were designed to show that the world was still moving forward and at some point, just the movies, all this might be a dream as well and one could hope for better things to come.
  14. I always love these music type competitions you see in some of the musicals. Swing versus classical. It appears in several Judy Garland musicals. It just made things fun. Plus you go to great voices for the price of one!
  15. Q1) I would say there is a definite attraction between the two, but as a good girl, Jeanette MacDonald has be coy and a little cagey about her attraction. Good girls can't just go throwing themselves at men. I loved how as he sang his love song to her she swayed along and gave him shy looks over her shoulder. Then at the end of the clip she was definitely trying to get his goat by telling him she knew he used this song trick with all the ladies. Q2) I remember seeing Jeanette MacDonald in Three Daring Daughters. I enjoyed the movie so much as I really like Jane Powell and I believe this movie was to highlight Jane more than anything. I so wished they had given Jeanette more to do though her role as mother to these girls was quite believable it was more of an acting role versus a singing role. I don't remember seeing Nelson Eddy in other movies, but I do know my mother loved the movies they both were in together. She always said it was so sad that they were never allowed to marry as you could tell they were attracted to each other beyond the screen. Q3) Attraction was okay, but acting upon it in an obvious way was not okay. Women were supposed to be sweet, shy, and little retiring while men were allowed to be virile, manly, and their knight in shining armor. These views for the Hollywood film code also extended to the personal lives of these stars. While MacDonald and Eddy were in love, Eddy wanted her to quite being in movies, but MacDonald wanted a career. In turn this led them to marry others and carry on their affair behind the backs of the public. The rumor was put about that they hated each other. Louis B. Mayer didn't want a divorce (which would be frowned upon) or any bad publicity to mar his talent.

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