DianeKSA

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  1. 1. 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? Have not seen this movie for a long time, the thing I noticed is that for me, I think she should have been more theatrical and expressive... even belting the song out more. What I seemed to been drawn to is her hang wringing while she was singing on the stairs, making me feel that she was very nervous... and perhaps it was intended that way due to her singing about people needing people.  2. Note the emotional transition moments in this scene: how do the two characters relate to each other as the lyrics are sung? Omar’s character is looking and listening to what Barbara’s character is singing and saying within the song. He really looks like he is taking it all in to heart. This said, this is a bit of a hard sell for me - the song is lovely but it’s hard to see them really connected. 3. How does the direction and editing of this scene support Streisand’s performance? Be specific about blocking, reaction shots, etc. The focus is really entirely on her while Omar’s character is in the background... you do feel the emotion of the song and I like the setting. I don’t feel particularly drawn into the scene. Having her move down the street on onto the stairs is a nice touch but I think she should have kept moving somewhere rather then wring her hands. Love this son though... really timeless.
  2. 1. Explore any common themes and filmmaking techniques in a very different movie also directed by George Cukor, Gaslight. (If you are not familiar with Gaslight, compare and contrast Cukor's theme in this scene and his techniques with another musical you have seen during this course) I’ve only seen two of George Cukor movies, The Philadelphia Story and My Fair Lady. There were so different from one another that’s it hard to think of common themes other than the leading ladies had very prominent roles in each and both had two male characters, two play off of. 2. Note the emotional transition moments in this scene, how the actors portray them, and how Cukor supports them. Higgins is just so oblivious to any real feelings... mostly I think until this scene and then realizes that he actually might have feelings for her. 3. What do you notice about the relationship between Eliza and Higgins that seems enhanced by Cukor’s direction? This is a hard question to answer for an amateur movie watcher. It’s hard to know what Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison brought to the scene themselves as opposed to what direction George Cukor directed them to do. The scene is so believable though. You understand Eliza’s frustration after weeks of work, wasn’t even congratulated at all, as if it was all of Higgins doing. And, you also understand that a real relationship was built over time, this scene exposes that.
  3. I fell in love with Music Man the moment I saw it as a young girl. This movie really became a classic and I feel Robert Preston should have won his Academy Award in this movie and not for Victor Victoria. Although he’s great he WAS the music man. There was so much going on with him in this movie.. Nobody could have portrayed this character like he did. This said, I think others could have believable played his role in Victor Victoria. 1. 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? I think Harold is masculine without having to fill the shoes of the alph male. He was a very likable character in spite of the fast talking traveling salesman that finally falls in love with the girl. 2. What other specific qualities do you notice about Robert Preston in either or both of these clips? I found Robert Preston so believable in his role of Harold Hill that I found missing in his character of Toddy. Robert Preston is still a masculine character in both films, very engaging. 3. 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 I’ve always wanted to see his other films but have not, at least that I remember. I will look forward to seeing some of his other work.
  4. 1.. 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? In this movies since it’s Gene Kelly it’s hard not always feel like you like him. This said, it’s rather a opposite personalities that come together. It’s really not my favorite movie with Gene Kelly but they seem to always work and Leslie Caron is charming in her first movie that shows off her talents. 2.. What keeps Jerry Mulligan from being completely unlikeable in a scene in which he acts pretty darn unlikeable? There always is this boyish charm that may belong to Gene Kelly or it comes out in this character.
  5. Singin in the Rain has been one of my favorite movie musicals since I was a kid and I could easily say that I’ve watched it almost a 100 times and never tire of it. There is such playfulness in this movie. And, you can imagine how the early pictures went and how difficult it was to coordinate everything. I’m wishing and wanting more time spent in this class talking about who created the music and choreography for these numbers. They are pure magic!! I realize this class is short but rather than focusing entirely on the performers, I would love to know the background as well. 1. How do the pre-dance movements of O’Connor and Kelly compare to their actual dance movements? The pre-movements are setting the stage for what it is to come.. the segue for the viewer to follow into the dance and song moves. This is an amazing number!! How did they do it and in complete synchronization!! Amazing!! 2.Watch the Professor all the way through and consider the role of the straight man. He is awesome!! the look on his face without being overly done... like uh oh... who did I just get as pupils? The playfulness of this routine is incredible. You get the feeling that Don and Cosmo are tired of these classes and poking fun in such a good humored way. 3. How do the representations of masculinity in all three men compare and contrast with each other? For sure Don Lockwood is the charmer and star. He’s confident, they way he carries himself before he even open his mouth. Cosmo is always the one in this film making things light and keeping them laughing and not taking it too seriously. The professor is the complete nerdy fellow... just doing his job. Really one of the most creative numbers, son, dance of all time!!
  6. 1 .As you reflect upon female representation in the 1950s, where do you think this film character falls in the continuum? Why? From what we learned at the beginning of week 3, there was a return to male dominance in the movies. In this movie, Calmity Janes shows that she is equal to men... but not entirely. Little scenes make you look a bit clumsy and still, you know a girl. Perhaps cannot do everything like a man. 2. How do you think Doris Day grows as an actress in her various roles in the 1950s, before and after this musical? I’ve always loved Doris Day but not for really the reasons I admire other actors. She is a very similar person in all of her movies. I don’t think she transforms herself, nor perhaps was she expected to in the films she played. She was lovely and beautiful voice and a completely likable personality. 3. Does Doris Day’s bright and sunny persona add or detract from the role of Calamity Jane in your opinion? Please defend your answer. Although I thought she was great in this, part of me doesn’t really think she was the best fit. My reasons are similar to what I stated above. She is lovely, almost perfect, girl-next-door personality and it’s hard to see her in this rough and tumble role. This said, it was nice to see her in something entirely different and perhaps that’s why it was her favorite film.
  7. 1. 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 dance number is a collaborative effort unlike earlier dancing where although they might be together, there were strengths also as the individual. Everything that was done, really counted on the other for number to look and feel cohesive. 2. What do you notice about the costuming of the characters that indicate cohesiveness of the ensemble, as opposed to setting anyone apart? Be specific. All of the attire on all four where very coordinated and all colors complimented one another. Only the red flower on the dress stood out, but even the flower coordinated with the red in the background sets, so as not to make any one person stand out. 3. What do you notice about the staging and interplay between the characters that helps define the relationships between the characters in the song? There was one scene in particular where they are all together but cross stepping forward. So much of the play in the dance scenes really relied on the others to make it look light and fun but still a group effort.
  8. 1. 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? I get the feeling that when they transition to the laundry that all will be well with Joe. Together they will be okay from the movement and within the sone. 2. How would the song change if it was a woman singing about her child? Does the cultural meaning change? How? I think the song could be used singing to a child as well, but you seem to know by the body language that this is a relationship between them. 3. What other thoughts do you have about this film, the issues of black Americans during WWII, and this film’s importance in this era? It’s an interesting time period during WWII and the unity of the nation that needed to be present. Hollywood, I,m sure was keenly aware of the influence they has on their audiences, since there wasn’t so many forms of entertainment like there is today.
  9. 1. Thinking like a director and editor, describe how each shot spotlights key actions. The number is perfectly choreographed with the song. The two complement each other, such as the set up in the initial scene in the hallway, Betty Garrett is waiting and ready to peruse Frank Sinatra’s character. Frank Sinatra backs into wall, while Garrett starts singing “it’s fate baby, it’s fate” “knocking at your door” while she has the top of the wall to knock on. 2. It’s interesting to examine how musicals segue into musical numbers. How does this sequence prepare us for the singing? The hall scene as she following him out from underneath the bleachers. Wonderful!
  10. 1.What was the first Judy Garland film you recall watching? What was your impression of her? I am 56 and Judy Garland was before my time. This said, the first film I saw of hers was Wizard of Oz. I was enchanted and terrified by the flying monkey scene!! I loved the film and have been a Musical film nut since. Learning in later years that Shirley Temple was considered for the film (whom I also liked) I really could not possibly consider her in that role. Judy Garland was so relatable to her other co-stars and to me as a kid when she was on this great adventure and just wanting to go home. 2.How do you view her differently after viewing these clips than you might have viewed her previously? Now taking this course, I can see her even more how relatable she is. She seems so at ease with her other co-stars and believable. Knowing now how difficult her personal life was, it makes you wonder how she could pull of these incredible performances. 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? I have seen a number of her films over the years prior to this course due to my love for musicals (and the music of which I own many soundtracks... as a side note, when the world news gets too difficult, my great retreat is listening to musicals). I think her ability to transform from a child actor to adult was amazing since that was not an easy transition for many. I loved Easter Parade and My Pal Joey, along with Meet me in St. Louis. She did have that ability to feel very connnected to the audience. Perhaps it was just her style or something that stemmed from her own struggles.
  11. 1. 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. There are flags waiving and the conversation was about family and a connected family. Additionally support of America in spite of being Irish and how much it meant to their family. 2. 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. Being invited to the White House to talk to the President would be huge even to a man like Cohan. “Irish Americans carry their patriotism right out in the open”. 3. 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 the scene in the White House is important as the symbol of being American and where our support is to our country and to our President and the decisions that are made there. Too bad we cannot reinstall one from the past!
  12. What other aspects of battle of the sexes do you see indicated in this clip or in the film Top Hat? How does this film distinguish itself from other Depression era musicals we have watched or discussed this week? 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? 1.. I don’t think I really saw additional “battle of the sexes” within this clip. For it’s time period,I think this was unusual to even see a battle of the sexes within a dance and with the female dancer dressed in pants and pairing off as an equal to a man, so in itself, this was unusual and delightful. I suppose as this period, it also had a light playful touch to the subject. 2. This movie is different from the other earlier movies, in that this particular scene is not depicted in a theater nor attempting to look like a Broadway show on film. 3. Although women were allowed to vote in around 1920, I think there was and still is a movement for recognizing women with the same abilities as men. I could not speculate on the motivation to add this into this movie, but I think this subject would have been very unique in 1936.

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