manni

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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? In this film People is more intimate with Nicky and her. It is not a song made for the audience. Note the emotional transition moments in this scene: how do the two characters relate to each other as the lyrics are sung? He admires her. She has fallen in love with him. This is why People need each other. How does the direction and editing of this scene support Streisand’s performance? Be specific about blocking, reaction shots, etc. Most of the song is her close up then at the end when she finishes the song with the line you're half now you are whole the shot widens to both and he is just staring at her affectionately.
  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) Similarity is the anger of both women. Both have an anger while one is out of madness the other of being scared. Note the emotional transition moments in this scene, how the actors portray them, and how Cukor supports them. Both characters get their say. She throws a fit because she does not understand her future and he not understanding why she is not happy that it is done. What do you notice about the relationship between Eliza and Higgins that seems enhanced by Cukor’s direction? It is a love hate relationship and will learn that one can not live without. Now is it love who knows?
  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? Masculinity has now new meaning. One is a showman/salesman the other is a gay male. Both are masculine. Today both are acceptable. The Toddy character is flirty with male and female, but you know the preference. The other thing is that his sexual preference is not hidden. What other specific qualities do you notice about Robert Preston in either or both of these clips? His hand motions are the same. He is the ultimate salesman. In one he is trying to cheat the town while in the other he is selling his lifestyle. Both roles are fun and lively. 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 have see the Last Starfighter with Robert Preston. I have always liked his acting, but this character was very similar to the musical roles. I think the only role where he plays someone different is How the West Was Won. This role was not the salesman and upbeat it was a regular role.
  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? The kids start then the mother comes on the stage. It starts with the minor then moves to the major character. 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. She is eccentric woman with having her kids become a star, When she is on stage she demands it the people will listen to her and not the people who are running it. 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). It states what you will see from the girls, one talented the other clumsy. It is a song made to be loud and brass like the mother.
  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? No, Kelly tends to be known for tap. In this movie, the ballet is more of a dream sequence. This way it does not have to be realistic. What keeps Jerry Mulligan from being completely unlikeable in a scene in which he acts pretty darn unlikeable? Who could hate Gene Kelly? He has a sarcastic wit, but a grin that is forgivable.
  6. How do the pre-dance movements of O’Connor and Kelly compare to their actual dance movements? It works to get the song and dance. O'Conner makes fun of the Professor before O'Connor got caught he thought the two gentlemen were being serious. When they began to dance that was when the Professor knew he was being made fun of. Watch the Professor all the way through and consider the role of the straight man. He only moves when he is moved or pushed into that position. He is not having a good time. They only time he tries to leave they grab him by the sleeve to put him back into the number. How do the representations of masculinity in all three men compare and contrast with each other? Kelly and O'Connor are very much moving together. The noticeable differences is O'Connor is smaller steps and he looks down more than Kelly. Kelly has bigger motion and knows the steps. The professor only moves when told to move. Return to top
  7. As you reflect upon female representation in the 1950s, where do you think this film character falls in the continuum? Why? I think they are becoming more powerful but still looking for that prince so I think they fall in the middle of the continuum. The reason I think so that she will live fine without her man but once she falls in love whe willing to give up everything up for him. I don't see where he gives up anything for her. How do you think Doris Day grows as an actress in her various roles in the 1950s, before and after this musical? She rounds the spectrum of an actress. She is wonderful in musical comedy like this one. As well as an dramatic actress like Midnight Lace and Love Him or Leave him. She is able to hold a film without a known male leading actor. Does Doris Day’s bright and sunny persona add or detract from the role of Calamity Jane in your opinion? Please defend your answer. It does detract. Calamity Jane was a tomboyish figure. I don't see her singing and dancing. Doris Day is the all American Girl. She is beautiful and one of few movies I always record when I see a movie with her in it. Calamity Jane wore men's clothes and was very masculine looking. 
  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? The characters are very aware of each other. They interact with each other by singing and dancing with each other. It's like they are talking to each other. Comments like watch me now states that they are working together. This musical is different because music is telling the story, because Astaire And Cyd Charrise are in this film they use dance to tell the story. Since they are putting on a musical on Broadway the songs are seamless. What do you notice about the costuming of the characters that indicate cohesiveness of the ensemble, as opposed to setting anyone apart? Be specific. They are wearing about the same outfit. It is casual for the time. The dress is simple and the suits are classic. It is saying we are telling the story, but there is no costume change. What do you notice about the staging and interplay between the characters that helps define the relationships between the characters in the song? They scene in which they look like an acrobat and Levin walks away states that this musical is a comedy. Even when he is carrying both sides of the ladder shows comedy. The song, "That's Entertainment" is telling you that they are here to entertain you.
  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? Petunia is excited to see that he is alive. When hangs the laundry she is slower but happy. She sings to the Lord to thank him for saving or giving Joe a miracle for being alive. How would the song change if it was a woman singing about her child? Does the cultural meaning change? How? I think the song would be very similar. The song would be a little slower because she is happy. I feel she would be crying for happiness if it was a child. I think any changes with the cultural meaning would be less religious. What other thoughts do you have about this film, the issues of black Americans during WWII, and this film’s importance in this era? Black Americans seemed to be deeply religious. They believe in a Heaven and Hell. They seem to be looking for someone else to solve the problem for them whether it be money or God. This film was important because it showed the American Public that Black films can hold up to the white counterparts.
  10. Thinking like a director and editor, describe how each shot spotlights key actions. When Betty Garrett sings your eyes are on her. Frank Sinatra is in profile. We start following him until she jumps into the picture then we start to watch her. It’s interesting to examine how musicals segue into musical numbers. How does this sequence prepare us for the singing? You can see that she will not let go of her man, so she sings about fate. She follows him even picking him up like a caveman. It's a cat and mouse game while she is singing knowing that at the end she will get her man.
  11. What was the first Judy Garland film you recall watching? What was your first impression of her? I guess like many people it will be The Wizard Oz. I have always been impressed with her voice. At such a young lady it was like listening to a full adult's voice. How do you view her differently after viewing these clips than you might have viewed her previously? Her voice is the same she can belt out a song like Julie Andrews where you can still hear hers over everyone else. 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? Where does one start? A Song is born, Summer Stock and the cartoon Gay Purree in which she could let a song out and everyone knew it was her. Every time she sang the story was compounded into a more complex plot even though you could figure out how it ends it still was enjoyable to watch.
  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. With just the title Yankee Doodle Dandy, just screams American values. Other things President Roosevelt, parade, flag waving and the White House 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 scene where the father needs to go back to work even if his wife if having a baby. The dialogue between the butler and Cohen going up the stairs. They were talking about the flag waving parts of his play. As well as the scene between the President and Roosevelt on who made a better President. 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 prefer it in the Oval Office. It help explains where and how he got to love tis country.
  13. What other aspects of battle of the sexes do you see indicated in this clip or in the film Top Hat? I see that she tries to do things better than him. He whistles she whistles, he dances she tries to do better. How does this film distinguish itself from other Depression era musicals we have watched or discussed this week? The music here tells the story while in previous musicals it was part of the scenery. 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? I think women are growing into their own. They have a future not just a husband.
  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)? Lubitsch is a flirty way of directing and Maurice is the best at the flirt in English or in French. The guns containing blanks made it funny when Maurice/Albert was shot and acting as if he was not. 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 only thing I truly notice is the gunshots. The scene show her killing herself and the man trying to defend so shoots Albert. What themes or approaches might you anticipate from this clip in other Depression-era musicals? Scams and always trying to trick the others into a false sense of security.
  15. What do you notice about the interaction between the characters in these two scenes? Please give specific examples. The two major characters in both scenes, he seems to be attractive to her, but she is rather aloof to him. In the first scene she does not notice him until he starts to sings then she becomes attractive to him. They play a cat and mouse game with each other creating more of a love interest. In the second scene, he does not notice her until she is singing, but she does not sing like what he us used to she sings different. She is more operatic than the every man style that the audience in the saloon likes. If you have seen either or both of these actors in other films or television shows, please share your perceptions about them. Rosalie is the only movie that I can think of that Eddy Nelson is in. He always seems to play the all American man. He is always the hero and protects the leading lady. What do these clips tell you about the male/female relationships as they are depicted in the films during this era? What norms might you expect are supported under the Hollywood Film Code? She is coquettish while he plays the strong hero. She is expected to be sweet and innocent while he is bold and protective. The norms are women will be women and they both will live happily ever after.

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