LAURACORN

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  1. 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. Mama Rose knows about being on stage. She knows about lighting and positioning on the stage and the use of music and sound effects. She knows how to upstage and take over the scene. Lastly, she knows how to act as the "drama queen" to put everyone on notice that "she will be heard".
  2. Jerry is not unlikable. Jerry is human and reacts like any one of us would. The most telling statement is his comment about "if you tell me you like it nothing will change and if you tell me you don't like it, that will just bother me." Before she approaches him he is happy and purposefully moving along and chatting with the locals. Then this woman shows up and obviously acts like she trying to impress by speaking French and he, being a little more worldly, sees that she is just trying to "show off". As a result, he becomes annoyed. Who wouldn't? Interestingly, though, when the "older" more sophisticated woman begins a discussion, he has a much different reaction to her comments about the paintings. And that was before she even offered to buy them. Is his result because of her age, or does he see something else that he didn't see in the "third-year" coed? We don;t know and can only surmise but he DID seem to become the affable Jerry again.
  3. How do the pre-dance movements of O’Connor and Kelly compare to their actual dance movements? What appears to be back and forth about the diction lessons is really a setup to the well choreographed dance routine. These two have basically taken over the lesson and are teaching the teacher. Once Gene Kelly gets the book the banter becomes just as choreographed as the dancing. There is a seamless movement from the lesson to the dance routine. It is an example of the increasing use of fluid entry into a musical number.
  4. As you reflect upon female representation in the 1950s, where do you think this film character falls in the continuum? Why? Doris initially starts out as a complete opposite of the female leads up until this time. She is not merely a tomboy but presents with male-like actions and mannerisms, like bellying up to the bar and ordering a drink, but not coming off as quite complete. Even in the songs her voice has a bit of a harshness. This is not the women from the musicals of the 40's where they wore large hats and fluffy dresses and well-coiffed hair and high heels. However, not dissimilar to the earlier movies, her heart is taken over by the love of a man and she begins to soften up. Instead of guns she handles daffodils. Her hair is much more put together and even her voice in the song from the second clip has much more "female" tines than a harsher tone. In this transformation she becomes much more similar to the women in the prior movies that were in love.
  5. Coordination and BLUE. All the men wore blue in one way or another. Levant wore a blue tie but he was also coordinated with Fabray in her gray skirt. The rose at her waist tied in with the scenery and was the one splash of color that may have marked her as the female. Even the ascot was blue. The hats during worn by Astaire and Buchanan were Black and that tied to Levant's tie. What you really notice is that they all seem to blend together so well. Different shades of blue with white shirts and a touch of gray - it all blended so well.
  6. You can tell immediately that she is relieved and so grateful that her husband is alive. her happiness is evident in her voice, her eyes, her smiles - you can just tell that she loves him with all her heart and soul. And the words in the song support her presence and actions. And then she goes outside and even when she is doing something so dreadfully mundane as taking down the wash, she finds joy. Seeing her throw the arms of Joe's shirt over her shoulders makes you realize just how in love she is and how she must miss his physical ability to use his own arms at that moment. And she doesn't change her demeanor when she lovingly moves him in his wheelchair - and then goes back to remove more clothes from the line. The way she plays this scene is so touching and gentle - you can tell that Ethel is real and an original.
  7. 1.What was the first Judy Garland film you recall watching? What was your impression of her? Wizard of Oz. Based on my age and the content of the movie I thought she was like me - young, impressionable, life-loving. Yet she was also very talented, and that was a role model I wanted and needed at that time. While there was little dancing, her singing and acting skills were obvious yet delivered with such skill that they seemed second nature. 2.How do you view her differently after viewing these clips than you might have viewed her previously? While much older and more experienced, Judy still exhibited some of the same characteristics that I first saw in the Wizard of Oz. However, for me, those characteristics seemed a bit out of place for someone her age. While she still showed singing, dancing and acting skills, she seems to be "stuck" with some of the early freshness she had exhibited when paying a younger character. 3. 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 Garland owned the song, the set, the character. She was a gifted actress and had a unique ability to pull the viewer into the song, character, or set due to her skills and professionalism. Based on her abilities, she could make the mood of the scene happy or sad or comic. Personally, she was not a favorite and I was not interested in other movies that she was in and my comments are based on videos I have seen of some of her different songs (like the film clips in this daily dose).
  8. The opening with Cohan entering the White House and going up the steps shows a significant amount of patriotic or nationalistic objects. Every photo on the way up the stairs is of a previous president. Each step and each painting adds more importance to the meeting and sets up the one comment Cohan makes about being nervous. But he is also deeply patriotic and takes the opportunity to discuss with the President what drives him. And this is the best setup to the Cohan show in Rhode Island and the parade. This setup is much more effective than just starting with the parade. And, as for patriotic objects, the flags, the flags and more flags! This theme goes through the entire movie. The imagery at the end of the moving is deeply patriotic and, even today, watching this finale can elicit deep feelings of patriotism in those who watch it. The movie plays on the "hard work will get you everywhere" work ethic of Americans. Even for as successful as the Cohan family was, being visited and considered by Albee was portrayed as a huge opportunity that the family received for all the hard work they did.
  9. Perhaps this is out of context but I don;t see it as a battle but a show that Ginger can keep up with whatever Fred can do and do it just as well. This is not, however, the flowing dress, dreamy dance sequence of earlier years. This is a dance with a purpose. The relationship is advanced at the end of the sequence. The steps are more intricate than they have been in earlier films and when they dance together it is magical.
  10. I find that what is interesting about this scene is that even though there are very few English words spoken during a large portion of the scene, the props and the activities are so obvious that you really don't need to speak French or a need to have sub-titles. It is striking the ease with which the wife goes to her lover to zip the dress with little response from the husband. Perhaps this is also a characteristic of the Lubitcsh effect; the openness of the sexual situation. And seeing the gun go in the drawer sets up a scene later where the "wrong" gun will be chosen. So there is a sense of the audience knowing something that the characters don't and the expectation of when it will happen.
  11. He is obviously smitten with her but she is playing cool. Yet when she sees him in the saloon where she is outside of her element and not acting so aloof, I think she is concerned how he will react to her performance. She is also conflicted as she has seen him with the singer that so easily connected with the audience and was much more approachable and I think she might be wondering if he could really be interested in her since she is not as relaxed and theatric.
  12. Watching the clip you don't really consider the questions but they really do provide a different perspective. For example, this is still a time of depression and extravagances are out of reach for most people but the movie allows a perspective for the viewer to enjoy a respite from their own challenges by experiencing "having money" in the movie. Who wouldn't think that "thousands of francs" would be an extravagance out of the reach of most viewers. But the movie provides that brief respite. It does what movies are supposed to do in that regard. Not sure if this is exactly related to the post-depression era but I do think that the "girl plays one guy against another" will be a recurrent theme.
  13. Watching the clip you don;t really consider the questions but they really do provide a different perspective. For example, this is still a time of depression and extravagances are out of reach for most people but the movie allows a perspective for the viewer to enjoy a respite from their own challenges by experiencing "having money" in the movie. Who wouldn't think that "thousands of francs" would be an extravagance out of the reach of most viewers. But the movie provides that brief respite. It does what movies are supposed to do in that regard.

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