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About MotherofZeus

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  1. A new way to discuss this perhaps. I just got done re-listening to Judy Garland Live at Carnegie Hall. Gosh darn it, she is on fire. Live. Nearly flawless. Powerful. Persuasive. Has one in the palm of her hand. She sings all the songs we want from her. Yet, not being able to see her -- the eyes, the facial expression, the body gestures. Her body was just as powerful an instrument in communicating while singing. That's saying a lot when the voice is her voice. What she does without video is incredible. I yearn to see her as I listen because she was so empathetic and in the moment. Thank goodness for film
  2. MotherofZeus


    Are you not getting the point that they are fleeing these conditions (the ones whoever is posting this picture thinks is so clever to post to show folks didn't have it good where they came from ) to try to find better lives for children and loved ones -- to escape rape, violence, harrassment. They are fleeing hunger, inhuman conditions, and fear. That's why they left. Your posting of the living conditions prior to migration underscores their desperation instead of any naiveté on the part of folks crying out in horror that our government would treat human beings -- especially children -- this way. Only now, thanks to Turmp's too cute by half law, and Sessions' enforcement of the law, families and women seeking protection where they feared violence (a valid reason for asylum in the U.S. although Sessions chooses not to acknowledge it) are having children pried from the very arms trying to protect them. The Trump argument is, "Then don't bring them in the first place," but that's not an acceptable answer from a country espousing humane values. This picture proves the point of those objecting to the handling of immigrants instead of underscoring how correct Trump's supporters are. Just wow that one would not get that.
  3. MotherofZeus


    I have to concede that Trump is unscrupulously playing his cards well in the immigration policies he is trying to force into policy. Unfortunately, he is doing so with the lives of children and their families. He has Democrats where he wants them because HE implemented a law that brings about the separation of families and HE is having his departments enforce the policies by prying children away from mothers and fathers. He will likely succeed in seeing a reduction in families trying to come to America because what mother wants her child torn from her arms? Instead, they will stay in the horrid conditions they are seeking to escape and remain hopeless for their children to have better lives. Trump will succeed in getting Democrats to cave to his demands because he is heartless and could care less about human beings while most people in Congress want this to end immediately. Republican leaders find it appalling too although they won't break from Trump for fear of reprisal. It is up to citizens in the United States to force Trump's hand. Unless we want to see that wall built, we need to take action and get elected officials more concerned about reprisal from us (via elections and no contributions) than the are of Trump. Anyone saying " is within the democrats' power to stop the separations but their political interests are more important to them than children..." is not acknowledging who implemented the law, who is calling for the law to be enforced and who is making a human tragedy out of immigrants seeking opportunity. I hope anyone applauding such tactics is never in need of protection, never in need of mercy, never in need of compassion, never in need of the ideals the U.S. promulgates because suddenly being in need of the things one denies others is a really, really unfortunate situation. I hope those in favor of this behavior never experience it. No one should be treated this way, ever. Not even hypocrites who claim people can't have it both ways. I hope said people never need it both ways because their own wouldn't likely be likely to offer it although Democrats and progressives probably would offer asylum and protection because that's what we do.
  4. Instructors with such a small space of programming and so few weeks to cover musicals of over 40 years have to determine the themes they can adequately address. It is unfortunate we cannot take all of this musical course and to the 30s cohesively, then the 40s, then the 50s, and so forth. Or by theme, or by director or choreographer. So many things going on as is pointed out in this discussion. @Charlie's Girl astutely points out this is always the case. Perhaps those of us who wish to continue the exploration of musicals could continue a "viewing group" after the course is over to discuss a topic, director, cinematographer or decade and come back together to assess.
  5. As for Song of the South, I would argue, yes, it is truly offensive. That does not mean it should not be available or banned. I've seen the movie. I learned the songs when I was young. I think I can straddle multiple viewpoints and for myself conclude that the merit of the film doesn't outweigh its offensive aspects. However, like the movies we have watched in Mad About Musicals already, it is no more offensive than they are. Thus, having it not accessible to examine for oneself negates the kind of cultural opportunity to explore past representations of race as well as how they inform the present. That's my two cents.
  6. I brought up South Pacific elsewhere because I was surprised it wasn't on the viewing schedule or syllabus for the Mad About Musicals class (I asked to be corrected if I was wrong and no correction was given). Because we've explored Cabin in the Sky and Hallelujah's depictions of race and because South Pacific is overtly about fears of miscegenation in a way unlike the previously discussed films, I would like to discuss it in the context of the course. Our instructors almost exclusively picked Black American culture to explore, but Asian American tropes have gone untouched (I love Auntie Mame, but I cringe at Ito). I know South Pacific includes stereotypes of Asians I find offensive, but it does so post-WWII -- after so many GIs and WACS of Western Europe and the U.S. had been in Asia and were having to reexamine their assumptions. The play/movie is attempting to reconcile what has been inculcated into Nelly and Lt. Cable's views of non-whites. I've had people tell me they are offended that I like South Pacific. I can see why Asian Americans or Asians wouldn't want to watch or listen to it, but "Carefully Taught" is about as powerful a rejection of racism and a statement of how racism is passed along as one can find. Nelly rejects her ingrained values after thoughtful exploration in South Pacific. I am certain I am not ignorant of tropes used as an educational device or for comical/entertainment purposes. I think some of both happens in South Pacific, but I open this up to folks to determine whether one should be shamed publicly for enjoying it (I won't be shamed even if people argue I should be). Also, allow me to preemptively note as I did already that I brought this up elsewhere. Threads do pick up themes previously discussed elsewhere -- especially as folks are going through a course and the content is programmed onto TCM.
  7. The horizontal egalitarianism of the choreography puts everyone on the same level quite literally. There is a level of evenness to every scene punctuated by Levant's hysterical horizontal carrying all by himself of both ends of an exceptionally long ladder. The ladder isn't going up but sideways...forever. Height disparity is minimized such that no character is above the other save the scene in the "castle" with a brief pyramid choreographed. With that exception, there is no verticality. Additionally, there are no brief solos within the group routine featuring particular talents or standouts. It is all group, all the way. This most certainly underscores the theme you highlighted of community over the individual. Only Levant plays slightly out of this zone -- as the clown -- the typical function of the clown in theater. Yet even his clowning feeds back into the equalizing of all. His participation deflates any grandiosity of the number or the players and as such allows him to play the foil of sorts, but it is minimized in comparison to what he does in "An American in Paris." Interactions amongst the players is supporting of the whole. Gestures, steps, are very tight and cohesive rather than expansive. Again, only Levant wanders off camera for the briefest of moments. This unity is carried through visually in absolutely neutral tones in costume. The only color that pops is a single red flower worn at the belt of Nanette. No individuality here. Astaire's typical urbanity which normally sets him apart is minimized in this number. There is no standout here. No one is set as the focal point with supporters cast. To pull this off, each is essential in equal measures. I find the set purposefully more artificial than most musical numbers admit. The concept of "That's Entertainment" is that everything is a stage or possible prop. The set emphasizes the artificiality of musicals while the words bring life to the team's use of props to bring life to the story. Levant's elongated ladder pokes at the artificiality of the props, but his joke causes the genuine entertainment. Levant, again, brings a handkerchief on the set from nowhere and it is seamlessly threaded into the Astaire's moves. The duality of such a "chicken or egg" question is part and parcel with the lyrics. It is the device of allowing viewers behind the scenes of how the magic is made that we have seen in other musicals as a type of musical. Here, it is taken to a higher level of artificiality even while it is overtly stating that art makes it real in as much as entertainment breaths life into any idea or event in ordinary experience.
  8. I am watching South Pacific right now, and I love the musical. It has everything we have been exploring in the course so far. If I am not mistaken, it is not on our syllabus or on the TCM schedule. Discussing race and depictions in post WWII musicals doesn't seem complete without examining South Pacific's use of Asian American tropes as well as white Americans' post-war attempts to deal with systemic racism impinging on who they love and why. It's set in WWII, and I think the progression makes sense in the course. Again, this is why I feel that things which modern viewers find offensive (Bloody Mary, Happy Talk) as well as the struggles of Joe and Nelly to deal with racial boundaries and miscegenation amidst the Americana prior musicals and South Pacific celebrates matters. "Carefully Taught" is as relevant now as it was to that generation. The number in Holiday Inn is exceptionally perfect in showing the use of black face to juxtapose against ideals of white beauty -- especially with the dialogue mentioned above. It's appallingly informative. Once again, this is why the movies should be shown.
  9. The first and only time I saw Paint Your Wagon, I wondered if the agents for the leads stayed he managers after the film. What are Clint and Lee doing singing? No. No. No. It's so ridiculous, Mel Brooks can't send it up any further than it already is.
  10. MotherofZeus


    I would have liked to see Garbo mature on film and see what she chose to do if she was able to follow Bette Davies' lead in fighting for her films. As a woman who shattered convention in her private life, I would have loved to see if she chose to do so in subtle or big ways on the screen.
  11. MotherofZeus

    Should GWTW be banned fropm movie theaters?

    Transport the idea to the Jersey Shore, and you've got The Boss supplying ample plot lines and music for a GWTW Jersey Shore. Who are your west coast players? I'm interested in your rendering of Aunt Pittypat. Is she a leathery-skinned beach bunny of yore or is she more of an aunt in need of a Xanax prescription? Do tell...I'm on board for this picture. Who plays your Ashley?
  12. MotherofZeus


    @Sepiatone, I feel that way about Norma Shearer. Just. Don't. Get. It. However, she clearly struck a chord with some. I find her a fascinating person to study but not as an actress. I think @CaveGirl has it right that it takes all kinds.
  13. MotherofZeus


    Let's remember Cagney, Garland, Hepburn (Audrey and Katherine), Jimmy Stewart, Chaplin and many others in this diminishing pool of multi-talented performers.
  14. My granny used to sing this all the time! She loved it so much, and now it's an ear worm for me because of her devotion to it. Very fond memories. Can't not sing it. People around me have no idea what I'm singing and no frame of reference.
  15. MotherofZeus

    "I'd love to see a biopic about..."

    I think David Bowie or Eric Clapton would make great musical biopics. Non musical, I would opt for Pres. Obama, J.K. Rowling, or Stan Lee.

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