Miss Kij

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  1. 2. Eliza certainly runs through quite a gamut of emotions. First she is sobbing in despair then filled with rage when she sees the unfeeling Doolittle. She then she calms down, probably soothed by thecalming tone of his voice. But then she spirals back down into despair as she realizes that while she has learned to talk and behave, she has not really learned how to fit the world, certainly not in her past one. Higgins on the other hand, only show emotion when she takes credit for winning the bet. He calls her an insect (!). He calms himself down and reverts to his usual condescending role and voice. 3.I have to say, every time I watched this film, I have never believed that this relationship would survive. I do not believe his epiphany at the end when he realizes that he cares for her. "I've grown accustomed to her face..." Once again, Eliza is reduced an object that he would like to keep in its place. It's natural for Eliza to have feelings for Higgins. It's called "transference" and happens in some teacher/student and patient/doctor relationships. Eliza seemed to have some backbone in her at the beginning of the movie. I think she still has some. It would be an interesting take to revisit this "couple" a year after the events of the movie. I predict Pickering and Higgins would be living together and Eliza would be a successful florist shop owner. Someone make a musical of that!
  2. 1. What's interesting about Robert Preston's performance in Music Man is that it reminds me of the fast talking alpha males in the 1920's and 30's, but with much more nuances to the performance. Harold Hill does not seem like a one dimensional character although he sure is a fast talker. His performance in Victor/Victoria (one of my favorite movies) offers an updated take on masculinity. 2. Both characters have magnetism and wit. Both are con-men in their different ways, so both characters have the ability to win over a crowd in their own different ways. Harold Hill by playing into the fears of the parents, and Toddy with his wit and style. 3. I have to say that I must have seen Robert Preston in a non-musical role...but can't remember any. oops
  3. 1. The setting starts out as a typical theater musical of the 1930s. But it has a seedier, rundown quality than those films. 2. Rosalind Russell as a season performer, totally steals the show once she enters the stage. All focus is on her, not her children. Of course she know it but keeps up the pretense that her daughter is the star of the show. 3. The lyrics certainly can be interpreted as racy but it's all about context. Is it racy when it's sung by the two girls? No. It certainly is calculated to draw attention but innocently. Is is racy when a female burlesque performer sing it? Of course, that's what a burlesque performer does. It also becomes an interesting callback to the earlier numbers.
  4. 1. The finale ballet should be stylized because it is fantasy and needs to contrast to real life. 2. Gene Kelly is very likable. He charmingly interacts with everyone on his walk through the Montmartre, including Churchill. He is decidedly unfriendly to the "third year" student, who had a condescending air and epitomized "the Ugly American" abroad. I'm sure his attitude was based on previous encounters with other such students.
  5. 1. In the non-dancing movements, both Gene and Donald are very theatrical in their gestures. The heads (and faces) are constantly moving. And their hands are used to punctuate all the non-singing text. Their playful behavior serves in emphasize just how much they do not want to be taking these lessons. 2. The Professor is the perfect foil for all the playful antics of the guys. And a good straight man doesn't pull focus from the main actors but compliments them. The Professor does this in spades! They first mock him (unknowingly to him)on his teaching style. But once the full out dance begins, the Professor really helps keep all the attention on the performers. The professor is personal avatar as we watch the musical number! 3. The Professor is masculine but educated, very stiff in mannerisms. Gene is obviously the alpha male, very athletic and precise in his dance steps and behavior. Donald, the beta comedy relief male, is looser and goofier than Gene even when they are performing the same steps.
  6. 1. Calamity Jane is portrayed as an outsider initially but as usual, has a makeover to make her more palatable to the men in the movie and the moviegoers of the era. She does maintain some of her original identity but it has been watered down. 2. I have seen a lot of Doris Day films. I have enjoyed her range from "The Man who knew to much" and the Hudson and Day comedies as well as her grittier roles earlier in her career. 3.In 1950's musical, her personality is totally appropriate. Her tomboy nature is not too threatening. An actress with a darker interpretation of the role would fit the music and honestly wouldn't have been cast in the role. Not sure if there were any actresses at the time that would have fit that bill anyway.
  7. 1. Of course, the first movie I saw Judy in was The Wizard of Oz. I really like her but I have to admit that I was mostly interested in the fact that Oz was in color and Kansas was in BW. And those flying monkeys scared the crap out of me. It wasn't until I was older and watched her other movies, that I gained an appreciation for her performance in that movie! 2. Watching these two clips really haven't changed how I feel about her performances because I have seen (and own) both of these movies multiple times! 3.I have to say two of my favorite movies are Easter Parade, which we do watch every year on..Easter. Judy really knows how to put over an Irving Berlin tune. And The Pirate. It's such a delightfully garish movie with Judy, Gene and the Nicholas Brothers, all consummate performers!
  8. 1. Flags, flags and yes, more flags! 2. FDR says to Cohan, after a back handed compliment to Irish Americans, "you carry your love of country like a flag." Then later he commends Cohan for "spending his life telling the other 47 states what a great country this is." 3. I think the framing device was a way to include the (for the time) modern audience into the story.It sets the tone for the patriotic theme of the movie. The parade scene seems like it belongs in one of the theatrical musicals of the earlier decade.
  9. I have to say my least favorite musical is "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" or as I have heard it described, the Stockholm Syndrome musical. Lots of cringe worthy moments, the highlight or lowlight being "The Sobbing Women" number where Adam convinces his six other brothers to kidnap their crushes. Great dance number at the barn raising but the rest of the movie,yikes!
  10. 1. The costumes worn by Fred and Ginger also serve as another salvo in "the battle of the sexes." Ginger is wearing a snappy and sporty riding outfit , complete with jodphurs and riding crop. She seems mush more casual and athletic compared to Fred, who is wearing a standard (and impeccably tailored) suit. They look like they have come from two different worlds! Also,Ginger at times has to assume a more masculine stance (for example, hands in pockets) to compete with Fred. 2. The earlier musicals revolved around a theatrical backdrop. The songs and musical numbers were part of the theatrical production and did not really move the plot along. In "Top Hat," the songs and dance numbers are vital to the plot. 3. I think the audiences were becoming more educated. Instead of just musical spectacles, they were looking for plots and engaging characters (with lots of great singing and dancing!)
  11. 1. I loved Chevalier's nonchalant reaction to being shot point blank. He just shrugs his shoulders. Obviously he's been through this before judging by the collection of guns he has stored in the drawer. Also it's very telling when he's proclaiming his innocence while holding the telltale garter in hand. His personality comes through long and clear in the first minutes. 2. The sound that really caught my attention was the first gunshot, which to me sounded just like a popped champagne cork! Seemed appropriate for that cad, Chevalier! 3. This movie summed up a common theme of the time: Watching how the rich lives and loves but with music!
  12. 1. It was interesting to observe the body language in the two scenes. In the first, Nelson seems very stiff in both acting style and posture. Jeannette on the other hand, seemed almost languid and relaxed. Her flirting seemed more natural. In the second scene,Nelson seems much more relaxed as he is hanging out with his entourage. Jeannette on the other hand, is humorously uncomfortable in both her singing and dancing. Her embarrassment at being discovered in singing in the dive is also provides a contrast to Nelson's behavior. 2. I've seen all the Nelson and Jeannette movies. They are a bit formulaic but the singing is mighty fine. And there are some great sets. 3. Snappy patter between the sexes who hate each other at first but later...
  13. 3. I do think it's interesting that Held's stage costume has a very youthful, even juvenile appearance. Her hat is a baby bonnet, for crying out loud. She is definitely showing less flesh on stage compared to the costumes of Broadway Melody. I also would have expected the dressing room scene to involve more seductive undressing, aside from removing that baby bonnet!

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