gmidget221

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Everything posted by gmidget221

  1. I was surprised at how physical she is with Sinatra in this song; I was kind of creeped out by it. Usually it's the man who's pursuing the woman in musicals, so it is nice to see the gender roles reversed. But the fact she's so physical - grabbing his lapels, picking him up and putting him over her shoulders, catching him semi-bridal style - that is seems very "out-there" for the time period, not only in the movie itself, but also when it was made. I don't think society actively advocated young girls and women to physically pursue the man they were interested in. I haven't seen the movie, so I'm wondering what the outcome of their relationship is.
  2. What I noticed in the clip from Easter Parade is how Judy embodies the character of the swell. She seems very comfortable in this role and therefore portrays it much more naturally than Astaire seems to. I've never noticed this because I've usually watched them as a pair; they are two power-houses in Hollywood at this time and at the top of their respective games, so in the case of this film, you take them as two parts of a whole. But singling Judy out helped me notice the difference between the two actors. Astaire looks a little uncomfortable and appears to be going through the motions; it's understandable since this was out of his range. But Garland fully becomes the swell through body language and facial expressions. Perhaps because she had a different understanding of entertainment influenced her acting in this scene.
  3. I was struck by the retrospectiveness in the opening scene. Obviously, they're setting up the story, but there does seem to be heavy air of nostalgia. Both Cohan and Roosevelt make comments about the "good old days," and while no one outwardly says they were better, they both acknowledge that things appeared simpler. The patriotism is there, in the flag lapel pin on Cohan's suit and in the comments the President makes towards the musician. It's not heavy handed at first, but the start of the flashback makes up for it.
  4. I see some parallels in this and "What a Waste of a Lovely Night" from La La Land. "Isn't It a Lovely Day?" is the more "romantic" sequence of the two; Jerry capitalizes on the bad weather to try to woo his crush. It does set up the troupe that rain is more romantic than a sunset, which La La Land makes fun of and dispels. "Lovely Night" is the antithesis of "Day," in that they make fun of a scenario similar to Rodgers and Astaire. Both have lyrics that are cleverly written and both work to achieve similar goals: to bring the characters closer together. As for the dancing, Rodgers and Astaire do it better, no questions asked. While I love La La Land, I'm dis-satisfied with this song because it was made to be tapped to. I understand that Gosling and Stone had little dance experience prior to this movie, and so that obviously limited what they could do. But the dancing is lack luster; ideally, this could be a show-stopping number. But it's not. The dancing in the thirties is more technical and therefore more impressive. I could probably do the routine of "Lovely Night" in a few days, maybe a few hours. "Lovely Day" would take me longer to learn. Interestingly, the characters who tap better stay together at the end of the movie; Gosling and Stone's characters break up. While their routine is more of a spar and has a I-Can-Do-Better attitude, Rodgers and Astaire is more collaborative; they don't just copy the steps, they build off of them. It's interesting how the directors of both movies used the similar setup to achieve different goals.
  5. Powell has more dance experience, and it shows. She not only tap dances, but she also showcases some ballet training as well. Her dancing is very effortless, and while she looks a little out of control and all over the place, I think she has a strong control over what she's doing. It's obvious that dance is she strongest talent, and MGM featured that over anything else. They gave her time in the spotlight and didn't really feature any other female dancers. Keeler appears to be a traditional triple threat: she can act, she can sing, and she can dance. Singing seems to be her stronger quality because Warner Bros. features that more than her dancing. (However, this doesn't seem to be the entire number. I haven't seen the full movie, so I'm not sure.) Her tapping is rather good: it's clean, strong, and she knows what she's doing. I want to see more of it to have a better comparison with Powell. But the number features a lot of other dancing women in similar if not identical costumes, which takes away from Keeler. If Warner Bros. had wanted to feature Keeler as a dancer, they may have had her do more dancing. Both studios have a spectacle element to them, and while there were differences that would appear, they have similarities. Both use a stage that's bigger than it appears. Both use ginormous choruses to back up their one or two featured dancers. Both are over the top and use special effects to elicit a "wow" factor. In general, I think Powell owns the stage more than Keeler does, though Keeler is more desirable because she can do it all.
  6. I loved his use of language in this scene; only a few things are translated for us directly, and the rest is left up to interpretation through the action. Lubitsch does rely on troupes at the beginning: the French couple having an affair fighting about another affair, the woman who threatens (and does) shoot herself in the name of love. But then Lubitsch upsets these troupes immediately, with the husband's inability to shoot Alfred. I'm wondering if other films of his were influenced by ethnic troupes, and if so, how he flipped them like he does in this scene.
  7. The second scene reminded me a lot of the scene in Guys and Dolls where Sarah tries to act like the Latin dancer in Cuba. There are obvious differences - MacDonald's character is sober and realizes how big of a fool she is making herself to be - but they both feature squares trying to act like sexpots. Hollywood could be saying that no self-respecting girl or woman should act this way, but both Sarah and Marie get their man in the end. And Code-era Hollywood is notorious for portraying "loose" women as antagonists or as thinly drawn characters. So what does this then represent to audiences during this time period?
  8. The clip is rather sanitized; Ziegfeld Follies were a tad more risque than Hollywood portrayed them, I believe. I thought the use of the mirror as a spotlight was an interesting use of a prop; I hadn't seen it before. Pre-code would have been more out there in terms of costuming and jokes. I'm wondering how this compares to other introductory solo spots in other movies. The pattern of using a song and dance number to introduce a character would be used again. Can anyone think of examples and how they do or do not follow the patter of Anna Held?

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