Fearless Freep

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  1. 1. It wouldn’t have felt as subtle. In theater, generally actors and actresses have to project their voices so everyone can hear them, even the farthest ones back in the audience. In a film, though, taking this approach feels kind of awkward because the characters feel as though they’re yelling, so taking a quieter approach like Streisand is doing here is generally the better option in film performances. 2. For the most part, this is Streisand’s performance, and there does appear to be somewhat of an emotional buildup as she goes along with the performance, which works to her advantage, especially since she doesn’t ever go overboard with it. 3. There actually isn’t a whole lot of editing during the song outside of a brief reaction shot of Omar Sharif’s character, which makes sense to include since it gives us a glimpse as to what he thinks of her throughout her emotional performance. Otherwise, the camera mainly follows Streisand around, giving a good mixture of closeups and long shots at just the right moments.
  2. 1. In some ways, the background story is kind of similar to Cukor’s A Star is Born, with both dealing with women who rise to success in society, though in A Star is Born, Norman Manine is struggling more with the success as opposed to My Fair Lady where it is Eliza Doolittle. 2. The emotional transitions mainly come from Hepburn. Harrison actually acts quite the same throughout the scene, which reminds us that Doolittle is really the one struggling with the change and not Higgins. The mixture between the darker lighting and Hepburn’s performance works very well. 3. Higgins wants her to act a specific way, so in a way their relationship feels fake, at least during this scene. Once again, Cukor gives only Hepburn the emotional transitions, which reflects the division that the two seem to have in their relationship.
  3. I think it’s because animated musicals weren’t as common back then. Outside of two movies from the Fleischer Brothers, Gulliver’s Travels and Mr. Bug Goes To Town, Disney was the only American studio making animated features throughout the 30s, 40s, and 50s, and even then, they didn’t do many. They only made four animated features in the 1940s (I don’t count the package features besides Fantasia), and even though it had some songs in it, I don’t really consider Bambi to be a musical. Animated features in general are a lot more common now, hence why they’re being covered. Although I do wish we could have covered some of the old animated musicals like Snow White, I can see why they weren’t, since they weren’t as common and are generally considered to be in their own category. I’m hoping TCM and Ball State will consider doing an animated films course sometime in the future.
  4. 1. Probably the thing I think is most noticeable is that Preston’s character flaws are addressed, specifically in The Music Man, and he tries to fix them, as opposed to someone like Gene Kelly, who usually used his charm to make you forget about his flaws. 2. Kind of tying into my first point, Preston feels very human here. He seemed to be really good at the method acting practice, as he never feels like an actor pretending to be someone he isn’t. He’s so realistic in it that, if we didn’t know any better, he probably was like that in real life. I’d like to point out that I’m not hating on previous actors for being less realistic. Both work in their own ways, and many of the previous actors were able to capture some of these qualities as well, just not as well as Preston. 3. I’m not really familiar with his other works, but I do like his style and would be willing to check out something else he appeared in in the future.
  5. The Looney Tunes always had great music, even just the scores, and I feel that was a part of their appeal. Carl Stalling and Milt Franklyn, who were the Looney Tunes composers during the golden era, both had a wide variety of musical tastes that ranged from classical music to jazz, and they were good at incorporating these into the cartoons. Both of them were geniuses.
  6. My favorite’s The Lion King. Lots of great different songs in there. Here’s two of my favorites: As for a more classical musical, I feel that Alice in Wonderland is pretty underrated. The songs are short, but still pretty good. For example, “‘Twas Brillig” by Sterling Holloway (who in general was a pretty underrated singer): https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KxxuVhq6MZA
  7. 1. It does seem as though there is an effort to capture the classical music styles with this number, especially since it takes place many years before. As for disruptions, I feel mother disrupting the act is something different, implying a darker tone later on in the film that wasn’t as common in movie musicals in the past. 2. Russell sings along a bit to the song, so that gives the idea that she was someone who at least wanted to be part of the experience, and her demanding nature seems to be in the direction of the kinds of values she was taught as a classically trained actress. 3. I guess so, and from what it sounds like, when performed later in the film by an adult, these lyrics do take on this meaning. However, since it’s sung by a child here, it doesn’t have any real meaning. The girl is simply singing the lyrics she was taught.
  8. 1. I don’t think so; the Paris setting on its own, as well as its attention to detail, is enough to make it stand out, in addition to some genuinely good performances. 2. Gene Kelly played these kinds of characters quite a bit, so he had experience. Kelly’s character is unlikeable throughout the entire film, though in this scene the only rude thing he does is insulting the college student who wants to critique his work and though he obviously could have been more polite about it, I can also understand his feelings in that situation, especially since she isn’t a professional art critic. If she wanted to critique his work, she could have told somebody else; she didn’t have to say it directly to his face.
  9. 1. The pre-dance movements are a bit more silly, like when they are playing around with the curtains, though otherwise they seem to correspond with the actual dance movements fairly well. 2. It is impressive that he is able to keep a straight face all the way through this routine. The straight man often is an important role in these scenes and Watson does an excellent job as a confused outsider. 3. O’Connor is the silliest of the three, although Kelly obviously has some of that in him as well. However, Kelly’s main role in the film is as the Alpha Male, while the professor serves as the normal person who is not used to these kinds of antics.
  10. 1. It’s definitely different compared to most female representation in the past, especially in the first clip, even though you can sense an awkwardness towards the end in that she is still not entirely seen as an equal to the men. 2. Unfortunately, I’m not too familiar with Day’s later work. I’ve been meaning to check out more and hopefully will sometime soon. 3. I personally think it adds to the role in that it makes her more emotional which I think is more relatable, though I can also see people thinking that it detracts since it’s probably not accurate to the real Calamity Jane.
  11. 1. There is a certain playfulness between the four that I think helps establish the ensemble aspect to it, although they do exclude Levant at one point. Otherwise, it does show an equality that I think has been missing since Astaire and Rogers worked together. 2. Their costumes are all slightly different, though they’re all dressed in a professional manner, so it doesn’t feel as though they’re trying to emphasize anyone over anyone else in terms of the costuming. 3. Levant seems to be the more comedic of the four, especially when he does the bit with the ladder (I’d like to note that both this and Astaire and Buchanan in bowler hats are references to Laurel and Hardy; the ladder gag is based off of a gag from their silent short, The Finishing Touch). Once again, the playfulness between the four seems to be emphasized, giving the idea that they’re all friends and glad to be friends.
  12. I only have seen a few clips from this movie, so I can’t really fairly say whether the film deserves as much controversy as it does or not. I will say, though, that Disney’s behavior regarding this film has always baffled me, not necessarily because they refuse to acknowledge its existence, but more the fact that they refuse to acknowledge its existence while still using their animated characters as part of the Splash Mountain ride at both of Disney’s theme parks. For the record, I love Splash Mountain, at least the one at Disney World (I haven’t been to Disneyland), and, from what I understand, the animated portions are not considered as controversial as the live-action portions. However, the animated scenes do contain the infamous “Tar Baby,” so it’s not as though these segments are devoid of racial insensitivity and audiences probably will question where the characters came from, so having the rides with these controversial characters as the central theme seems confusing. I would also like to note that Disney did campaign hard for lead actor James Baskett to receive an Academy Award for his performance (the Academy refused to nominate him for Best Actor, but Disney was able to get him an honorary one). Also, Nick Stewart, the actor who voiced Br’er Bear, said in an interview in the 1980s that Disney treated the voice actors (who were all African American) “like kings.” Judging by this information, Disney may not have been trying to make something intentionally racist and for all we know, it could be a similar case to Hallelujah, in which the intentions at the time were harmless but come across as uncomfortable today. I would like to emphasize that I am not defending this film; I’m not going to defend a film I have not seen all the way through, and even if Disney didn’t intend for the work to come across as racially insensitive back then, there are at least elements that come across that way today. I just wanted to make clear that making this film doesn’t automatically make Disney racist, as I feel some have tried to imply with this film. Also, Stewart said that he contributed his pay for this movie to his Ebony Showcase Theatre, which was made as a way to help African American actors do some acting without having to conform to using the common stereotypes of the time, so at least that money went towards a good cause.
  13. Supposedly, Jerry’s reflection on the floor was a last minute addition; at a preview screening, one of the executives noticed the fact that Kelly had floor reflections and Jerry didn’t, which, as mentioned at the end of the video, meant they had to do another separate animation exposure for his reflection. I’m guessing that either they were so preoccupied with the missing floor reflection that they failed to also notice a missing background shadow, or that they were running so low on time that they simply decided that adding the floor reflection was more important than the background one. Glad you all like this. I’m also a person who loves seeing the creative processes behind many of these films and seeing something like this always is a treat.
  14. 1. Although we do briefly cut to a shot of the angel as a reminder of Joe’s redemption, this scene is mainly about her happiness that he is back and the cut to her doing the laundry shows that she also is fine with taking care of him while she handles the laundry herself, even despite his past behavior as a gambler. 2. She’d probably still have the same tone of happiness, and the fact that she is taking care of him would apply to a child too, so I don’t think there would be anything too drastic about this. 3. In the film industry during this time period, African Americans were only able to get supporting roles usually in subservient roles, Eddie Anderson included (although unlike many African American characters at the time, the Rochester character on The Jack Benny Program was usually the one picking on his boss, rather than the other way around). Having a film like this not only with African Americans in central roles but also in sympathetic roles was very good, although it does tend to use common stereotypes.
  15. Just thought I’d share this video explaining the creation of one of my favorite scenes in a musical. I thought it was really interesting to learn how it was done.

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