TCBelcher

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  1. I totally agree with what has been said. I had so much fun with this one, I'm really sorry I missed the other classes (comedy, Hitchcock, Noir etc) I can't wait to do another one.
  2. 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? I find Streisand's performance of "People" to be almost conversational. She's explaining something to Him so there is no need to yell/belt out the lyric. She is telling him about herself and expressing that she believes him to be the same kind of person that she sees herself as being, (IE: someone who needs others). To have belted out this song at this point would have taken away from the meaning of the lyric and the tone of the entire scene. Note the emotional transition moments in this scene: how do the two characters relate to each other as the lyrics are sung? They are clearly interested in one another and are at this point in the relationship trying to learn about one another. The performance of "People" in this scene the character of Fanny comes across as shy. She wants him to know this about her, but yet she's somewhat embarrassed to admit it out loud. Nicky is intrigued by Fanny. He's interested in her as a woman, but at this point I would guess that she is different from the women he usually associates with. How does the direction and editing of this scene support Streisand’s performance? Be specific about blocking, reaction shots, etc. As the song begins she is walking away from him, much of the song she doesn't even look at him. This shows her shyness at being in this situation with a man that she clearly feels that she's not good enough or pretty enough for. To her he is out of her league. He stays a distance away giving her the space she needs to feel comfortable with what she is saying to him. As she sings he watches her intently listening to every word. At one point leaning slightly toward her, but not moving any closer. As if he were to move closer to her it would break the mood and she would stop what she was doing and wouldn't continue to communicate with him her feelings.
  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? The male character are more willing to show emotion. They are less stoic and contained. What other specific qualities do you notice about Robert Preston in either or both of these clips? Both of these guys are manipulative. Maybe in slightly different ways but it's still there. 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 haven't seen a lot of Robert Preston's work. Last Starfighter is one that comes to mind first. In a lot of ways that character is like the professor in Music Man. As he is trying to sell an idea to someone.
  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? It's a throw back to the backstage musicals. Gypsy shows us how things work both in front of the burlesque house as well as behind the scenes. But unlike those old stories this one doesn't have the opulence and the display of wealth. These performers are struggling for every dime they earn and it shows in how they dress and live on the road. 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 immediately makes her presence known. Mama Rose is a loud obnoxious, boisterous, stage mother. She is living vicariously threw her daughters (specifically June since she sees herself as being as talented as her daughter). She comes in yelling at the girls, the director, the musicians, the lighting folks, trying to run off the competition for her daughters. Things will go her way or else. 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). This song is an important one in the show as it is used repeatedly threw out. The lyrics are in this case meant to be innocent to show what the girls are capable of. Later the song is used more seductively by Gypsy to show that she is not a little girl any more and she is more than capable of "entertaining" in many ways. I also think Gypsy's continued use of the song is a bit of a slap in the face to her mother because Mama Rose wanted her to strip, but she really didn't intend for her to because a start that way as it wasn't "legitimate theater".
  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? I don't think so. The ending ballet is a fantasy and I think because of that it should be over the top and highly stylized. I think to have that heightened a style run threw out the entire movie would take away from the effect of the fantasy sequences. I do think however that the rest of the film should to some extent reflect the same style. To avoid it completely in the rest of the film would I think lesson the effect. What keeps Jerry Mulligan from being completely unlikeable in a scene in which he acts pretty darn unlikeable? I think it's because when he becomes unlikeable in the scene he has a legitimate reason for being so. Before that point he is seen enjoying his morning walk, interacting with those he meets along the way in a friendly manner and making conversation with the others in the area when he reaches his destination. He becomes unlikeable and harsh when dealing with someone who is basically acting superior to him. The "third year" student is attempting to be a critic and give an opinion that wasn't asked for. She didn't ask to or even indicate she wanted to have a conversation with him until after she'd already irritated him. Where as with the rich lady, she asked if she could look at his work and offer an opinion before she actually says anything about the work. He is still somewhat rude of tone to the rich lady, but seems more accepting of her.
  6. How do the pre-dance movements of O’Connor and Kelly compare to their actual dance movements? They are already bouncing to a rhythm before the music ever begins. That bouncing is what turns into the dance steps. Their actions and movements mirror one another. Steps and arm motions are almost totally in sync. Watch the Professor all the way through and consider the role of the straight man. Poor man thinks he's in control of this learning session. At which point he seems to enjoy the encounter with O'Connor and Kelly because he thinks they are really interested in learning what he has to teach them. He quickly realizes that he is being mocked and made fun of. As he realizes that these two don't really care about his lesson, he then becomes the straight man to their antics. How do the representations of masculinity in all three men compare and contrast with each other? What I see here are the Jock (Kelly) and the class clown (O'Connor), The professor seems to be the stereotypical academic, he would have been the bookworm when he was in school. He probably would have been the kid teased and tormented.
  7. As you reflect upon female representation in the 1950s, where do you think this film character falls in the continuum? Why? I think Jane is very much a step forward away from what female characters have been shown to be. She is very much her own person and doesn't allow a man to tell her who she is and what she is going to do with her life. She makes her own choices and deals with the consequences of those choices on her own. Yet she is not afraid to make changes in herself to please the man that she wants. With in reason to her. How do you think Doris Day grows as an actress in her various roles in the 1950s, before and after this musical? I think she is able to play a wide variety of roles. I've seen her in several things and there seems to be a wholesomeness to her characters even when they are struggling with life. But one thing every character I've seen her play seems to have in common is this strength to know who she is and to make her own choices and live with the consequences of those choices. She is wonderful in dramatic parts, but seem to really shine in comedies. Does Doris Day’s bright and sunny persona add or detract from the role of Calamity Jane in your opinion? Please defend your answer. Oh it totally adds to the character. The tom boyishness of the character and her bright outlook seem to add to the optimism of of Jane as a character.
  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? This routine kind of brings to mind for me Mickey Rooney and Judy Garlands, lets put on a show musicals. They have an idea and they need to sell it to someone to carry it out. In this case Astaire is who they have to convince to join them. They put him front and center so that they have his full attention as they begin their pitch. As he is convinced to joint them it becomes enthusiastic and exciting. The tempo changes and they begin to play off of one another and build on ideas as to where it could go. At that point they have become a team and are working together for a common goal. No one is a stand out as leader they all are equals and relate to one another that way. 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 all well dressed, but not extremely formally. Maybe a tad overdressed for the setting. To me, Nanette Fabray and Oscar Levant's costumes colors compliment one another and lend to the idea that they are the couple in this quartet. Her red flower at her waist gives her a pop of color and a feminine touch what could other wise be a rather drab dress. Jack Buchanan's costume seem to be what would at some point become a rather stereotypical style of a movie depiction of a director. What do you notice about the staging and interplay between the characters that helps define the relationships between the characters in the song? Everyone seems to play to their strengths without anyone being the "star" of the piece. Levant bows out of the dance portions of the number by simply walking out of the camera site only to return and being with him some piece of comic business (IE: the ladder or the handkerchief, stepping out of the pyramid to show that it was really and illusion). The things on the set seem to become members of the group as they find things to play with (again the ladder, the handkerchief, the pyramid, the hallway set, the hats etc.)
  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? It tells me that she loves this man very much and his well being is important to her happiness. That the usual daily chores or the lack of things in every day life are bearable for her because she has him in her life. She goes from being totally heartbroken and dejected to contented with life again simply because he is going to recover from his injuries. How would the song change if it was a woman singing about her child? Does the cultural meaning change? How? I don't think the over joy and love would change in the song. This woman is one that loves deeply and I can see her as an extremely loving mother. But the over all tone would be a little different because she would be singing of a completely different kind of love. That being the difference between the love a woman has for her child compared to the kind of love she has for her man. Other than that the depth of that love and the devotion to the person would still be the same. What other thoughts do you have about this film, the issues of black Americans during WWII, and this film’s importance in this era? I can see that they are trying to show us that Black American's are not all that different from white americans. They have love in their lives, are devoted to their families and friends and they have struggles. This film is important to the era because it was a step forward for black performers. Giving them the lead in a growing part of the entertainment world. For a change these black characters are the stars of the show, not regulated to playing maids and butlers or background characters.
  10. Thinking like a director and editor, describe how each shot spotlights key actions. This is and has always been one of my favorite films. I find this song and the actions playful. Betty's character is the aggressor obviously. Frank's actions are at first playful trying to distract her from her mission, but she continues to corner him cutting off his escape as the words of the song imply leaving him no choice but to listen to what she has to say and notice her. Thus accomplishing what she intended all along, getting his attention. I've always admired Betty's agility. Running up the bleachers like that isn't easy. I know I personally would not be able to do it in shorts and bare feet, let alone in a long dress like that and heels. It’s interesting to examine how musicals segue into musical numbers. How does this sequence prepare us for the singing? They prepare for the song by having Garrett's character laying wait for Sinatra, then dropping the music in over the action of her beginning to try to get his attention, then the chase begins as he attempts to avoid her. The chase continues as the music turns into the song. The choreography then reflects the words of the song.
  11. 1.What was the first Judy Garland film you recall watching? What was your impression of her? The first movie I remember seeing Judy Garland in was of course The Wizard Of Oz. I was small enough at the time that I had no clue who she was. Then I remember seeing the movies with Micky Rooney. I believe that the first movie that I saw that I honestly knew who she was, was Meet Me In St. Louis. I Thought she was wonderful. She was so much fun to watch I wanted to see more that she had done. 2.How do you view her differently after viewing these clips than you might have viewed her previously? The clips really didn't change my impression of her as a performer. She was so talented and I always got the sense that she was enjoying herself when she performed. 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? Summer Stock comes to mind and Easter Parade. Showed how she had matured from a little girl performing to a woman. Later I think it was pretty clear when she sang she was putting more Judy into her performances than ever before. You could see threw her physical presence that this was a woman who had been threw a great deal and it was weighing on her, some of the carefree and light that was there when she was younger was gone, sadly. But it didn't change the fact that she was wonderful.
  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. The painting on the walls of the past presidents, the flags that were present in the office, it was clear that they were in the White House. I see the values in Cohan's reaction to his surrounding too. He is clearly impressed to be where he is. Even though he's involved in a conversation on his way to see the President he is trying his best to take in those surrounding. 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 conversation between FDR and Cohan was about how important FDR thought that what Cohan did was for the country and how he had been pro-America for as long as the President could remember having seen him preform. Cohan explaining that he had learned it from his father as a child, but that he honestly felt the same way. It was clear that he loves his country and it is important to him as well to do his best for his country. 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 think it would have weakened the film. By beginning at the end and allowing Cohan to reflect on his beginnings not just as a performer but where he came from as a person it allows the audience to get to know not only George M. Cohan, but where he came from as an individual. Of course this would still be the case if they film started with the parade, but we wouldn't have had Cohan's prospective of the events to lead us into them. I think it makes it clearer just how important and proud he is of his country and being born on such an important day to the nation.
  13. What other aspects of battle of the sexes do you see indicated in this clip or in the film Top Hat? I see a woman who is making a choice to engage with this guy. He is making the initial invitation by singing to her and picking her, but she is choosing to engage with him. At first she seems to ignore him, but then becomes interested enough to turn it into a case of anything you can do I can do and maybe do it a little better. Then they both appear to start to really have fun and enjoy the sort of one upsmanship. She is dress similarly to him. For a woman in the 30's to be dressed similar to a man that is unusual. True she is dressed for riding, but her riding clothes mimic his suit. How does this film distinguish itself from other Depression era musicals we have watched or discussed this week? This one seems to have a more natural flow to it than the other. There seem to be less awkwardness in going into a song and dance. 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 the change comes for the changing times. The world is changing and roles of men and women in the real world are beginning to change, film begin to reflect that change. Women are gaining more control over their lives and more in charge of their worlds. Men are coming home from war or finding themselves without jobs for what ever reason and finding their women more self reliant. They don't need to be taken care of.
  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)? I can see that Lubitsch comes from the silent era. He shows this by focusing on the items that will become important to the scene as it goes on. Alfred is odiously a "gentleman" who is used to dealing with the outbursts of emotional women. He's totally not phased by her, doesn't seem to deny the garter and is unimpressed with her gun. The Husband after he enters seems more surprised by the fact that the gun is loaded with blanks than Alfred is. The lady seems to show us what she thinks of her husband with her expression on her face when he turns and finds her alive. She doesn't seem overly impressed with his relief that she was alive. She further shows us that he's not the husband she wishes she was with her casual return to Alfred for help when her husband can't do what she wants him too. Maybe she's telling us a great deal about how she views her husband and marriage with that small gesture. 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. Chevalier breaking the fourth wall makes the scene very effective for me. Since I speak very very very little french. His breaking of the fourth wall, though it's only a couple of times, helps greatly to clarify what is going on in the scene What themes or approaches might you anticipate from this clip in other Depression-era musicals? Characters who weather they actually have the money or not live what seems to be a life of excess and of few real problems. The problems that are depicted in the films seem to be pretty easily solved.
  15. What do you notice about the interaction between the characters in these two scenes? Please give specific examples. They were very guarded in the first scene. Both were clearly enjoying the flirtation that was going on between them, but neither wanted the other to know that they were enjoying it. In the second scene, he was clearly enjoying watching her performance and he seemed to me to be clearly disturbed by her being on display and her discomfort at being in the position she was in. If you have seen either or both of these actors in other films or television shows, please share your perceptions about them. No I have never seen either of them in anything other than clips of their performances. That I recall anyway. 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? They were less obviously showing their attraction to one another. More formal I guess is what I'm trying to say.

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