Leticia Lopez

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About Leticia Lopez

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  1. 1) If the song "People" was upbeat and theatrical in the film it would have given the character of Fanny more confidence and provided more visual and vocal entertainment for the viewers. If "People" was sung with Barbra Streisand belting the tune and dancing around, the audience would see it as another entertaining part of the musical. The way the song was produced and filmed in Funny Girl made Fanny's character more vulnerable to express her feelings, to allow viewers to let her voice and opinion be heard. To support this argument I remember in my public speaking course in college the professor would tell us that to present an opinion and speech we needed to talk slow and low, because it would allow our listeners to pay more attention and get a sense of what you are saying. In fact, the way it was presented adds more to the story and reveals more of who the character is. It tells us how she has fallen in love and just like any person, she wants love in return. 2) As Fanny begins to sing, Nicky Arnstein slowly follows her. Fanny looks down, touching the gate and shyly looking up at him while she sings, "People who need people..." When she sings about children she swings from the staircase, goes up the stairs and playfully sways from one side to the other while smiling at Arnstein. She then turns away, looking over her shoulder and her face is more serious. She then fidgets with her hands and nervously tries to look back at him when she says, "One very special person." He is still looking at her, as if to give her enough space to let her express herself while he observes. 3) The direction of this scene is very effective as it goes perfectly with the song. We notice the two characters under a lamp talking about being lonely. It is something they relate to and talk about, which is highlighted with the lamp and shot of both of them. There is a lot of shadow used as Fanny walks away and begins to sing. It isn't until she reaches the fence in front of a building and she continues the song that the shadow has disappeared and she is spotlighted. He followers her but then stops to rest on the railing to observe her. When she sings, "acting more like children" we see the camera change to Arnstein, which could signify that he is acting like a child because he doesn't accept the fact that he needs someone or the fact that he is in love. The entire scene focuses more on Fanny singing, because it makes it more effective to see her movements as she sings. It allows the viewer to see the character and understand her more.
  2. 1) I have not seen the movie Gaslight, so I will compare and contrast My Fair Lady with Meet Me in St. Louis. Both My Fair Lady and Meet Me in St. Louis take place during the Edwardian era (1900s), so the costumes for women are full-covered dresses paired with hats, and the men wear tuxedos. The mise-en-scene is different for both films. When Judy Garland is at the dinner table with her family we can see how the wall décor complements the wall paper and dinning table. The colors are bright and blend well with the outfits of everyone at the table. In My Fair Lady everything in the room seems to be a dark green representing money and the color brown/bronze. It adds to the darkness of the scene and there are too many items and furniture in the room, which could represent the unfamiliar and suffocating mental state that Hepburn's character is in. Her red cape and white dress, and her expressions serve as a contradiction to the scene. The scene is mostly shot in medium or wide shot. We never get to see a full close up of Eliza and Higgins like we are familiar with earlier musicals to fully understand a character. 2) This clip from My Fair Lady is dramatic and emotional compared to previous musicals. We can see Audrey Hepburn's character feel trapped inside the crowded room. She is in shadow and then moves next to the lamp to turn it off as if to not reveal her facial expressions and feelings. When Eliza throws the slippers the camera is focused on her and it quickly changes to Higgins being hit by them. Cukor focuses the camera on her to show her crying and angry. It is not until Eliza and Higgins are in the same shot that we can see them interact with each other. 3) The relationship of Higgins and Eliza is different. Eliza seems to be the main character in the scene. She is always in focus and in front whereas Higgins always appears behind her. She shows more sentiment and emotion while he doesn't seem to care. She yells and cries and gives an explanation of how she feels as the camera pans to her movements. Higgins' character is inexpressive and absent just like he is in the scene.
  3. 1) The obvious changes in masculine representations after the 1950s musicals include, the physical appearance and personality traits. As we have discussed in the course, the 1940s musicals had men support the war because they were in the navy or army, which is very masculine. In the 1950s musicals they were strong, fit and very handsome, and popular with the ladies. These clips of Robert Preston show that the men didn't have to be in tip top shape, very handsome and be the alpha male beyond the '60s. The clips show two types of masculinity: the first being smart and confident while being an average man, and the second clip shows what looks like an average man but with a not-so-strict and straight personality and sexual preference. 2) I noticed that Robert Preston is not an old-fashioned actor like those in the 1920s-1950s. He doesn't give the impression that he is playing the role of a character. His acting looks authentic as if he has immersed himself in the character to be the character. Both roles in the two clips are contradicting but they show real-life, ordinary characters that are very believable. 3) I have not seen Preston in non-musicals, but I would like to so I can compare and contrast his acting work. Also, to compare his transition from early musicals to The Music Man and Victor, Victoria.
  4. 1) We can see that this scene looks back into classical musicals, because it is a backstage musical. It reminds me of the scene of The Band Wagon when Fred Astaire, Oscar Levant, Nanette Fabray, and Jeffrey Cordova are backstage coming up with ideas for a film. They sing about plot ideas - "That's entertainment!" In the case of Gypsy, we can see entertainment being crafted and critiqued on stage. The clip shows what it is like for the boss of the show and Herbie to audition acts and choose the most entertaining and new acts for the vaudeville show. We can see the orchestra play during the dancing of Louise and June, while the mother tells the light director to put a pink spotlight. The clip looks ahead to the disruption of musicals in the 1960s because the talent on stage is all children and adolescents. It is targeting a specific audience by having acts made up of kids and teens. 2) Rosalind Russell's entrance in the scene is disruptive yet strong. Her presence is very outspoken and secure, because she knows what's best for her daughters' performance and what will help them become stars. I remember that in one of the lecture videos Dr. Ament mentioned how stage performers had to know when to wait for an audience's response after punch lines, whereas it was different in film. Since Russel was a trained stage performer it is not very evident in this clip because she seems to talk fast and keep the humor going. She doesn't have to wait for a live audience to get her humor. 3) Baby June's outfit is more revealing and her dolled up face and hair for her age makes her look and act like an adult. Her dress is short and we can see her underwear when she does a flip and twirls. Louise is more childish in her movements and her way of dress, because she is covered up and almost looks boyish. When Baby June sings "Let me entertain you" she simply smiles and steps left and right while looking at the audience. She talks about entertaining but doesn't do so in her actions, because she doesn't tap dance, do ballet, or play an instrument like normal children.
  5. 1) I don't quite understand the question but I will try my best. The less than stylized approach throughout the film adds to the escapism of the 1950s and the purpose of films. The fact that the movie is very stylized during the dance numbers adds to the whimsical and dream-like quality of being in Paris - in a foreign country outside of the United States. 2) From the beginning of the clip we can see Jerry Mulligan smiling and greeting fellow painters. He looks happy to start a new day in hopes of selling his paintings. He has a brief conversation with the female painter across from him by asking about her day. The character is very likable because he is friendly and happy. It is not until the third year student comes confident and arrogant to criticize his work. Obviously Mulligan's own goal is to sell his work not discuss it or have it on display for criticism. When the rich lady asks Mulligan if he doesn't like criticism he replies, "Who does?" He defends his behavior toward the student to say that Americans go to Paris for culture and be (or pretend) to be more educated than others just by saying something they had heard someone else say. We can see his struggling artist personality become more evident when the rich lady asks about the price for two paintings. Mulligan says, "Gee, I don't know. I never thought I'd come to the point when that would be an issue." He has struggled as an artist that he began to realize that he never would sell any of his paintings until now.
  6. 1) The pre-dance movements of O'Connor and Kelly are quick and in synch to the Moses Supposes tongue twister. Their big (but not grand) hand movements accompany their lines. It reminds me of when I hear a song that has a good beat and makes me want to dance so I begin to listen to the rhythm by doing small dance movements before breaking into actual dance. The actors' pre-dance is a rising start to what will become their grand, fast and admirable dance movements. 2) The professor is much older than O'Connor and Kelly. He has a stern posture and serious, respect-seeking personality. Although, he does smile when he is teaching them the tongue twisters, he looks proud of himself for knowing them. Once Kelly and O'Connor start the Moses Supposes he looks very serious and stiff, and his eyes pop as he becomes amused that the two young men are saying the tongue twister. While they dance he tries to get away until he is sat back down and dragged from one side of the room to the other. It's as if the roles have been reversed because now Kelly and O'Connor are showing off while the professor just looks at them with confusion yet admiration for their leg-twisting footwork. 3) The masculinity of Kelly and O'Connor are very representative of what we will continue to see during the 1950s. They are all about dancing and singing and having fun. The men are young, active and looking for a good time. They both contrast with the old-fashioned masculinity of the professor. The professor is a serious male who doesn't believe in having fun - only hard work. He is dressed in a classic black suit while the dancers are wearing colorful and comfy clothing.
  7. 1) Watching these two clips from Calamity Jane destroy and later emphasize femininity in the 1950s was very different to other female roles that were created at the time. Although Jane is very tomboyish we get to see her tone down her roughness and manliness a little bit from one clip to the other. The 1950s were all about making females soft and feminine, and making men manly not just based on society rules but because of nature. The second clip tells us that even though a woman might act a lot like a man because of her way of dress, actions and personality there is no doubt that she is still a woman not just physically but naturally. The second clip proved to American audiences that if a woman was falling far from her gender role we can still see that they are warm, sweet, and loving underneath their rough persona, because after all they have a tender and loving nature that defines all women. 2) I have been a fan of Doris Day for a couple of years now. Her sweet smile and charisma reflect in the movie roles I have watched her star in. Based on the films I have seen with her in appearance, I have noticed that after the 1953 Calamity Jane role she starred in more feminine roles like Young at Heart (1955), Pillow Talk (1959), and Send Me No Flowers (1965). From these later films she played a daughter with a failed love life, a bachelorette and a wife. Prior to Calamity Jane she played the very feminine singer who was a single mother in My Dream is Yours (1949). After doing some research I found out Doris Day had another tomboy role who reached into her femininity to attract her suitor. That role was in the 1951 film On Moonlight Bay. She grows as an actress after Calamity Jane because she is able to take on more serious characters that reflected real-life situations of women in the 1950s. She was able to portray what many women wanted, which was to fall in love and be loved. Of course, we still get to see her lovely smile and charisma added to the characters she became in films. 3) In my opinion, Doris Day's cheerful persona adds to the role of Calamity Jane. Although the character sticks to her guns about her rough appearance and personality, Day's funny and bright trait gives Jane a not-so-tough and rugged look. It adds more depth to the character because it provides a sense of humor and positivity. Also, it adds to Jane's optimism and to her ability to soften the look and character when jane realizes she is in love with Bill Hickok.
  8. 1) I noticed each character contributes lyrics about the stage and entertainment. They are each brainstorming and helping each other come up with ideas; they are working as a group, as a team. I noticed they all seem to look at each other when they suggest a storyline for the stage at the beginning of the song, and they all have the same footwork when they are standing next to each other. This clip shows the comradery and unification of Americans working together and supporting each other. They also fool around and play with the stage props, which symbolizes having a good time and a good laugh. 2) The costuming is very neutral. Not one character stands out more than the others in regards to eccentric clothing. The colors are very neutral and formal. They blend together and work together just like their singing, dancing and cooperation do. I see slight tones of beige, navy, grey and purple. Nanette Fabray's dress includes a pop of red on her lipstick and rose on her skirt, and her blouse and skirt match with Oscar Levant's shirt and jacket. His tie is similar in color to Fred Astaire's tie, and both are saturated colors of Jeffrey's softer jacket and pants. 3) The staging and interplay between the characters is fun and upbeat just like their personalities. They have fun with the props and they are smiling throughout. It synchronizes with the fun ideas they sing about. For example, when Astaire and Jeffrey pretend to be mobsters they are showing an example of a plot for a movie or theater. When the four of them dance and sing, "That's entertainment" they are actively putting on a show of their own. When they all pose in front of a red prop they are working together physically, which is what the song is about and what America at the time was hoping to inspire. Their interplay defines their teamwork and fun times. Fabray is feminine but not too feminine as to not be considered one of the guys. She only acts extremely feminine with she mentions a story idea about a dame, the lady in tights and when she is flirting and pops her hip in front of the mobsters.
  9. 1) What I noticed about how the scene is cut is the switching of roles. First, we can see Petunia on the bedside of Joe singing to him if he still loves her. The shot moves to the outside where Petunia is doing the laundry while she continues to sing "Happiness is Just a Thing Called Joe." I assume that it is the next day because it is daylight. Joe is now seating and watching Petunia as she removes the clothing from the line. She goes up to him and goes back to the clothes while she smiles at one of Joe's shirts and puts the arms around her. The switch of the scene shows Petunia doing her job as a housekeeper while Joe watches. She also has him in eyesight to take care of him. It could represent that after men got injured at war and returned home, the wives had to look after them. It tells us that their relationship is still strong as we can see in the clip with the song. Also, the song tells us that Joe is all the happiness for Petunia and she loves him so much that she wonders if he feels the same way. Once they are outside I get the idea that Joe does love her because now he is now by Petunia's side. 2) If the song was about a mother singing to her child it would be different. First of all, we can understand that a mother considers her child to be her world and her everything. We can assume that the child loves their mother back because he or she lives with her and the mother has always been their for them through the good times and the bad times. There would be no doubt that the child loves their mother. The cultural meaning would be focused more on family values than a man and woman who are struggling during the war. 3) I think Cabin in the Sky was able to address to a certain audience while also giving others an insight into the lives of African Americans. It shows that they experience the same troubles about love, family, and society regardless of race. This film was a form of unification and patriotism during the 1940s because it allowed races to understand and support each other.
  10. 1) If I were an editor or director, I could see that key actions were highlighted in "It's Fate Baby, It's Fate" clip. For example, the beginning of the clip shows Frank Sinatra trying to make it past the hallway but Betty Garrett slides to mimic his moves to prevent him from going past her. As we see them "dance" there is musical synchronizing to create comedy. Another example is when Sinatra throws her the ball and raises his hands in hopes Garrett will throw it back, but she doesn't. Their actions are in medium-shot and accompanied with music again. The camera then pans to Garrett chasing Sinatra until he hits a wall. The camera then goes on close-up of their faces and shoulders, and we can see and hear Garret signing, pointing and knocking. The next shot spotlights their physical courtship and their facial expressions. Then is the panning shot of Sinatra being chased up the bleachers as the music plays quickly. Once they reach the top we can see more physical comedy as Garrett grabs him and sits him down. She is about to rest on his lap but Sinatra stands up and misses. Sinatra begins to sing while Garrett plays around with him by touching and hugging. Then she pushes his shoulders down to sit him down and she jumps on his lap. The next key action is when Garrett shakes Sinatra's hand and takes his hat while he tries to retrieve it, but she holds it behind her back and waves her hand as she says, "got you coming and going". The actors' movements and actions, the director's framing with the camera and the music all synchronize and they highlight specific moments that make them key to moving the story forward. 2) This sequence prepares us for the signing from the beginning. As I mentioned, Garrett and Sinatra meet in the hallway and they "dance" because he tries to get by but she blocks his way. There is also music that accompanies the scene. There is a specific sound that seems to make each moment stand out best. Then the music speed up as we see them running up to the bleachers. The music stops when Garret yells "hey!" so we can expect she will break into song as the music starts up again.
  11. 1) The first Judy Garland film I ever watched was The Wizard of Oz. I remember watching it in third grade and telling my mom about it when I got home from school. I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to buy it and eventually did buy a VHS copy. I watched it so many times as a kid because I thought Judy Garland was so beautiful and talented. The way she sang and made friends with the lion, scarecrow and tinman while being accompanied by Toto was a dream for me. I wanted to visit the land of Oz and be best friends with Dorothy. Judy gave me so much happiness and hope. When my mom would take me to the public library I would spend my time looking at pictures of my first icon and renting the L. Frank Baum book with a 1939 film shot on the cover. One Halloween I even dressed up as Dorothy because she was my favorite character and Judy Garland was my favorite actress. 2) There is still the same impression of Judy Garland that I get from watching the Easter Parade and Me and My Gal. She still has the ability to keep a viewer entertained and in awe when she is on the screen. The difference from a teen star to her roles in 1940s films is that she has matured both as a woman, and an actress and singer. Her ability to play older roles and provide a sense of humor and romance proves she was not just someone who played fantasy roles. Her performance in "A Couple of Swells" is believable. Her ability to dance a choreography and sing at the same time while maintaining character is marvelous. She has such talent to step out of herself to become the character she is playing. The Me and My Gal clip is also very believable. From playing the piano to being coquettish with Gene Kelly's character is a great quality that not many actors today have. She definitely immerged herself in her adult roles. Her acting and performances improved since her early films, which is why she became such an iconic star during the end of the Great Depression and well into WWII. People enjoyed seeing her on screen because she was able to take them away from their troubles. 3) The film that comes to mind of her later career is Meet Me in St. Louis. It is another Judy Garland film that I absolutely enjoy. After watching the lecture video I can agree that this film became a transition from Garland's early work. The way she performs a song and the mise-en-scene of Vincent Minelli capture her maturity as an actress. Her on-screen relationship with Tootie and the boy next door are both forms in which she can get to someone's age or appropriate behavior. The way she behaves with Tootie is as a big sister who is fun and also supportive when things go wrong. When she is with the boy she is in love you can see how her behavior is very authentic, because as an actress she makes herself step into the character's shoes and flirtaciously and timidly be around him.
  12. You are very kind. Thank you for your kind words and advice. I always thought I would find someone in college but I graduated with only a bachelors degree in hand. I'll just have to wait for the right person. I hope you are enjoying the course. I know I am!
  13. I have repeatedly watched The Wizard of Oz and Meet Me in St. Louis. One reason being that Judy Garland is one of my favorite actresses from Old Hollywood. When I think about these musicals, however, I find that the escapism into a world that is happily singing and dancing is much more fun and appealing than my ordinary life. The Wizard of Oz is a fantasy that I have dreamed of since I first watched it in 3rd grade. The fact that one's own life seems dull and boring, and filled with natural problems (like Dorothy in Kansas during the tornado) makes us yearn for a place over the rainbow. The change of sepia film to color makes the film even more magical. The signing and dancing with these magical characters makes the film entertaining. Meet Me in St. Louis is a romantic film with family values. I enjoy watching it because it gives me hope that I will be able to find a handsome man to marry even after all the troubles and situations my family and I have been (just like Garland in the film). The costumes and songs are beautiful and they take the viewer to a different time while showing common situations that viewers might experience.
  14. Questions 1 & 2: As George M. Cohan walks up the stairs of the White House there are framed paintings of the previous U.S. presidents. The butler talks about singing the Grand Ol' Flag and says, "It is just as good today as it ever was." Inside the President's office we can see the American flag as well as framed photos of boats and ships, which could represent the American Navy. Cohan mentions carrying a flag and wearing a beret, and FDR hopes he hasn't "outgrown the habit" and Cohan replies, "not a chance." Their conversation is promoting patriotism and how it has not changed since years and wars prior. Cohan is particularly patriotic in what he says because he assures FDR and the viewers that patriotism is even more stronger now (during WWII). He also mentions how support for America has been run down in his family thanks to his father who joined the Civil War. He tells a story of the people who were optimistic and happy on July 4, 1878 (as we can see in the wall and the theater sign during the flashback scene). There is a marching band and people at the parade are waving the American flag and cheering. What I find interesting is when Cohan Sr. is on stage wearing an Irish costume and exits the stage, one of the production crew members tells him that he can't go out dressed like that or he'll be taken to jail. It makes sense because everyone outside is waving the U.S. flag and boosting the American morale just after the civil war. It would be strange to see a man in the street promoting or dressed in another country's clothing. 3) I think the thought of opening the bio-film musical with the parade scene would not be as effective. I think the opening sequence of Cohan talking to FDR gives a more strong purpose to the boosting of American morale during WWII. What could be more American - and an American dream - than to visit the White House and talk to FDR, especially in regards to the U.S. and its patriotism. The White House scene provides a clearer focus on what Hollywood was trying to do with its films at the time. Their conversation sets the tone of the film. Then, transitioning to a previous form of patriotism in a flashback is more effective because we get to see an example of how it was back then on the 4th of July and how it hasn't changed much since the time of the film (1942).
  15. 1) This clip is an example of "anything you can do, I can do better" or in this case - just the same as you! This is not a typical male and female dance routine where the man leads and the woman follows. Rogers imitates Astaire throughout the scene. It is a form of communication because at first she seems reluctant to fall in love with him, similar to the Rose Marie scene in the canoe. She has her back to him until Astaire starts singing and she smiles and begins to dance along with him. Through dance they tell each other that they are interested in becoming a pair and sharing equality in a relationship without bloopers or prearranged roles because of their genders. 2) I have not watched Top Hat in its entirety, but just based off on this scene I think it differs from other Depression era musicals we have discussed this week. One reason being that women are allowed to dress in pants and jackets. The era had just come out of the roaring twenties when women could wear trousers and suits, because they experienced freedom in their way of dress as well as behavior. It translates to this film and at the same time it shows how people wanted less constraints in terms of gender roles during a time when money was tight. Women didn't want to follow men but be equal to them. 3) The previous question ties in with this last one. Screwball comedy musicals showed equality and carefree personalities when it comes to gender roles as was shown in The Love Parade (1929) when the married female is able to have affairs just as a man would. The scene of Rogers and Astaire is the same because they are dressed almost alike, their is no leader and follower in this dance routine. They are both equal and capable of doing the same thing while having fun and trying to impress each other to date.

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