Dr. Vanessa Theme Ament

DAILY DOSE OF DELIGHT #3 (FROM THE LOVE PARADE)

362 posts in this topic

For the next Daily Dose Forum, recall that you watched The clip from The Love Parade. As you think about the clip curated by Richard Edwards, and you do your close reading of the film text (visual analysis) think about his questions that begin discussion.

Post your responses here.

 

Here are a few discussion starters (though feel free to come up with your own):

  1. 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)?
  2. 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.
  3. What themes or approaches might you anticipate from this clip in other Depression-era musicals?
  • Like 7
  • Thanks 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What do you notice about the Lubitsch touch?

The "sly visual wit" is evident in the frustration the woman feels when her husband can't zip up her dress, and she casually goes to the man with whom she has just been caught by her husband to have her dress zipped up.

How do the props, the dialogue, and the staging help you understand the character of Alfred (Maurice Chevalier)?

One of the more obvious is when he tells the Sylvanian Ambassador that the rumors about him are exaggerated as he is holding a garter in his hand.

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 only translates a handful of words from French into English.  We are left to observe the actors' mannerisms to discern the rest.  This makes the audience integrate sound. dialog, and imagery to follow the plot.

What themes or approaches might you anticipate from this clip in other Depression-era musicals?

Well-dressed, well-to-do people enjoying excesses.

  • Like 17

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1) I found that he added comedy to the scene and it added to the entertainment of the film. also loved the character talking to the screen this adds to entertainment and makes the character mischivous to me.

2) I loved the sounds of the gun going off but yet nothing happens it adds comedy to this because you think the lady is dead but she was play shooting and had a whole drawer of guns.

3) They made humorous movies to cheer people up and help them escape from the depression in the country with optimism, and humor

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh goody! Lubitsch is my favorite director. Scott Eyman's biography of him was very illuminating as to what went into "the Lubitsch touch." Eyman essentially described the unique character of Lubitsch's direction or the "touch" as portraying the ironies and shocks of mundane life such that the audience could discover and identify with the situations faced by Lubitsch's characters by being drawn into their individual points of view. He was particularly interested in the matter of infidelity. For example, in the "Smiling Lieutenant" in which the corpulent king only discovers his queen is cheating on him with a slim, handsome, young lieutenant when he accidentally tries to put on the lover's belt and sword. The audience can experience the king's shock, but can also stand outside the situation with great amusement. Hence, the "touch."

1.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)?

Lubitsch comes from the silent era where the director had to communicate subtle ideas visually. Another director like this is Hitchcock. In the sound era the visual cues are a sort of shorthand to replace dialogue when a visual can convey the plot point much more effectively. Among the visual cues in this clip are: the garter, which lets the audience know that the lady in the scene is not remotely the only such woman in Chevalier's life; the other guns in his desk drawer, which attest to the fact that Chevalier has been caught by more than one husband in a compromising situation before; the husband's struggle with the zipper, which shows that he only deals with one lady's garments, but Chevalier is an old hand at assisting women with their zippers after they have removed their clothes in his presence. The sum total of the cues show that Chevalier is a true roue, and not ashamed for anyone to know it.


2.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.

First, Lubitsch uses French dialogue when he wants the audience to be just that, viewers of the scene, or merely folks who somehow have a bird's eye view into an intimate situation. When he wants to draw the audience into the story more fully, he switches to English, both for the asides in the beginning and then in the discussion in which Chevalier is fired from his position.

Second, the rattling door heightens the tension when the lady's husband arrives and the audience is waiting to see if he will catch the lovers together. Here Chevalier looks at us and exclaims "her husband," in English, so we know what is coming.

Third, the muffled pop of the gun, which signals the audience that the weapon might not really be deadly.

Fourth, the husband is forced to zip his wife's dress, which has been undone during an assignation with another man. To add insult to injury, the wife insults him in French by telling him that he is 'taking too long, it is not that difficult' and culminates by calling him a "fat beast." He is so happy to have her back, the husband puts up with it. This is my favorite dialogue in the scene.

3.What themes or approaches might you anticipate from this clip in other Depression-era musicals?

Some of the themes to anticipate are infidelity as amusing, and handsome cads who must be taught a lesson. For those wanting to imitate him, Lubitsch shows other directors how to say things in shorthand with visuals much more effectively than dialogue ever could. Early sound directors who came from the silent era, especially from the school of German Expressionism (Lubitsch, Hitchcock, Lang, etc) already knew how effective an approach this is.

  • Like 29
  • Thanks 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This scene has made me want to see the movie, the garter, guns, and her showing him that she has both of hers on says simply that he is a womanizer to the core and yet lovable at the same time. I loved his wit and charm when he looked into the camera and spoke to us he was welcoming the audience into his situation. The use of French being spoken did not through a person off as to what they were discussing, I loved listening to them bicker and all the while he just stood there watching as, well, as we were. From this opening scene you know you are in for a rowdy, fun night at the movies and yes that would help you escape the wolf that was outside those theatre doors during the depression.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  1. What do you notice about the Lubitsch touch? Lubitsch presents his version of an urbane, witty, sophisticated lifestyle with references to sexuality by inference or implication. Lubitsch knows his audience is a less sophisticated crowd who will enjoy escaping from their daily existence by watching how the Hollywood version of the upper classes carry on. We are clearly coming on scene post-coitus yet we never are shown the act itself. He presents Alfred at the open bedroom door, yet we do not see into the bedroom. But Lubitsch leaves no doubt as to what the couple have been doing by revealing the lady's zipper to be incompletely closed, with Alfred completing its closure when the fumbling irate husband is unable to do so. One can easily infer Alfred was the one who lowered it in the first place, yet nothing is said or shown overtly in that regard.
  2. How do the props, the dialogue, and the staging help you understand the character of Alfred (Maurice Chevalier)? The set design and wardrobe are of the upper crust. Alfred is adorned and given dialogue that paints an instant picture of him as a sophisticated scoundrel whose entire life is devoted to bedding as many women as possible, but in a most charming way. He is cool under fire when the husband appears, perhaps knowing the blank gun routine will shortly ensue, as it had many times before as can be gleaned from the drawer full of similar small pistols.
  3. 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. Obviously, the sound of a gunshot, heretofore not heard in silent films, is a jolt to an audience new to talking pictures. (The soundless gunshot taken at the audience at the end of the 1903 silent film "The Great Train Robbery"} stands in contrast to this Lubitsch scene.
  4. What themes or approaches might you anticipate from this clip in other Depression-era musicals? Watching the escapades of the somewhat dotty idle rich is one of the hallmarks of Depression-era musicals, as well as many of the screwball comedies (see, It Happened One Night). Poking fun at royalty and the rich was a staple of that genre in the 20s and 30s.

 

  • Like 8
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The character played by M.C. reminds me of Hugh Hefner as a character. He has an apt where women surround him.  He is playful and unapologetic with the female character in the clip.  Given the souvenirs in the desk drawer, it seems to be a routine.  At the same time, he seems able to walk away frim the relationship in the clip and the woman does not appear angry or hurt, but pragmatic, right dowin to deciding to have him zip her dress in order to facilitate leaving the apt with her husband.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DAILY DOSE #3 (Love Parade):

Thank 'eh-Väh(n)! for leet'l guns.

1. Alfred (Lubish) sets the stakes low by breaking the fourth wall, telling us that he knows he's in a movie.  His ease at accepting being shot and then finding out he wasn't, furthers this.

2. The violin plays suspenseful lines punctuated with loud dark chords, except for the last time when it's punctuated by the small gun shot, tipping us off that the gun isn't loaded.

3. Even now, we easily allow that the wealthy (and the French) have loose morals which enables these movies to deal with dark subjects with a light touch.

 

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the sounds I thought was most interesting was the crowd sound we heard when the woman and husband in the clip left the apt.   M.C. opened the door to the balcony.  We could hear the crowd sound as he did.  He seemed weary of the noise and the audience.   He closed the door immediately and shutting out the sound.  And was momentarily unburdened. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  1. 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.

  1. 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

  1. 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.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The scene was composed so perfectly and precisely with props and intonations, translation of the dialogue was not needed. So adept were the visuals and cadence of conversation, Chevalier's aside to the audience seemed unnecessary. I am not a fan of breaking character unless the practice is intrinsic to plot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  1. 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)?

The Lubitsch touch is a very vaudeville style in that on character speaks directly to the audience while the other characters don't see the audience. Also  the different camera close ups are very dramatic and helped to raise the stakes in regards to the current conflict. Also they helped to give the audience a better idea of what was going on because the two characters were both talking in French. 

  1. 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.

The sound was very soft and hard to hear. Only certain things were loud including Alfred's English lines and the gunshot sounds. Also there were a lot of long pauses for dramatic emphasis. Personally not a huge fan but I understand why they were there. 

  1. What themes or approaches might you anticipate from this clip in other Depression-era musicals?

Light hearted, funny, a lot of breaking the fourth wall to get the audience more connected with the film and away from the hardship outside of the theatre. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From the start, you know the Count is a playboy- the garter that doesn’t belong to the woman, the collection of guns in the drawer, the fact that he can zip a difficult zipper with ease, when the woman’s husband is not able. He’s most likely usually adept in unzipping a difficult zipper. He is not unfamiliar with being in this predictament and has used his charm to get out of trouble in the past.

For me, the accents and language made it difficult to understand what the actors were saying. Like in silent films, I relied on the actions of the actors and the music to understand the story being presented. 

The opulent setting, formal dress, even the concept of being a playboy are in line with the escapist themes of Depression-era films. The public can make fun of the wealthy, take a break from the struggle of trying to get by in their daily lives. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. 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)?

The “Lubitsch Touch” is a delicate, expert display of show-don’t-tell storytelling and characterization. Instead of using dialogue (or, in the silent era, a title card), Lubitsch is able to insert drama into the scene with a few carefully placed visuals. We see the garter, the gun, and desperate tugging at the door, and are already clued in to what is going on before Chevalier dutifully announces, “Her husband.” The set design, costuming, and use of props (like the drawer filled with prop guns, suggesting this is a routine trick from Chevalier) all point to the character’s roguish charm. 

2. 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.

While the use of sound and dialogue is still very much being worked out in this film (there are plenty of hiccups, including some dryly-delivered lines and some clunky, unrealistic sounds), the use of sound here adds a depth not possible in the silent era. If the sight of a gun and smoke sent audiences running in the silent Great Train Robbery, then the sound of a gunshot (particularly so early in the film) must have brought a shock and excitement to the scene. Furthermore, the casting director is able to make use of accents for the first time, as Chevalier’s thick French accent no doubt added to the romantic charm of his characters.

3. What themes or approaches might you anticipate from this clip in other Depression-era musicals?

As we see here, the playful romantic escapes of high society would continue to be popular with audiences in the 1930s musical. We see similar costuming and comedy/romance blending in the other films pairing Chevalier and MacDonald, as well as in the popular Astaire-Rogers films. People in the midst of the Depression liked the escape of seeing the carefree, romantic, and high society life.

 

**Although it comes on the heels of Jolson’s famous, “Wait a minute...” in The Jazz Singer, the fourth wall breaks here can’t help but feel ahead of their time. Lubitsch carefully uses the break for the sake of character development, as Chevalier’s break of the fourth wall establishes a playful tone that accentuates his roguishness. This works much in the same way that we come to love Ferris Bueller through his endearing fourth wall breaks, understand Michael Caine’s title character in Alfie, or feel uncomfortable by Haneke’s breaking of the wall in Funny Games. Having the first line spoken directly to the audience invests us in Chevalier’s story and endears him to the viewer.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I actually laughed out loud during this scene.

1. The Lubitsch touch is evident by the suggestive props - the garter, the guns (love the whole plethora of guns our Lothario has collected in the desk), the dress that is still unclasped at the back...all very sexy and dangerous on the surface. 

2. I love the loud dialogue we can't quite understand before the door opens with the couple and the husband and butler. A whirlwind of something is about to burst through the door...but what? The first opening is the couple and the 2nd represents the discovery of the wife's affair! It's funny that the everyone is speaking French for most of the scene except for the few words in English that Maurice speaks directly to the audience. It shows that with just a word and their actions we know what is going on. We don't need to understand French to get the idea! I absolutely love the gun scene. She shoots herself as penance. It upsets her husband and surprises our Lothario. In an act of revenge, the husband shoots Maurice but nothing happens. He lightly checks himself for bullet wounds and we realize that the gun has blanks. Both men look towards the wife who they realize is not dead. She's lying on the floor smirking at both men. The desk drawer with all of the various pistols that our Lothario has taken away from his liaisons is also very funny. And lastly, his explanation to the ambassador while holding a garter defies all logic. Love it!

3.  Escapism in opulent sets, an affair with a foreign Lothario, dialogue in French - perhaps in a foreign location, beautiful costumes, handsome men and women...all meant to take us away from the day-to-day living that will be waiting for everyone when they exit the theater.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  1. 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)?
  2. All of the props were right next to each other very close by.  The staging was almost staged like a broadway show or just a stage show.
  3.  
  4. 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. 
  5. I am answering question 2 as my first question. i can tell you that the use of the gun shot was very loud and it got peoples attention outside the building. It was very effective.
  6.  
  7. What themes or approaches might you anticipate from this clip in other Depression-era musicals?
  8. The themes are always seems to be about the upper class one way or another. one of the themes from this clip is a cheating wife on her husband. But also the wife wants to teach her husband a lesson. In the end money always wins.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1.  It has the Lubitsch touch in it. I found it more in the props and the facial expressions of Maurice Chevalier. It made light of the scene and pulled in the comic aspect of it. The props, especially the number of guns he had in the drawer, you knew he was a player. 

 

2. It starts at the beginning of the scene with the 2 of them yelling on the other side of door. It continues when the husband and butler enter the room just as the wife points the gun at Chevalier. 

3.  The movies of the era were escapism from the issues and basic surviving. The comic/musicals allowed that to happen. The majority of them were done in high society and in a comical way. I think Lubitsch did it the best of all. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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)?

Several folks (chillyfillyinak and thinman2001) have mentioned the great use of the garter, the gun, the drawer full of guns, the zipper, etc.  One thing that I also noticed was the picture on the wall just above the cabinet where the guns were stored.  It shows a woman lounging in a diaphanous gown - it seemed almost like a representation of his life with all these women that he's seducing.  It's subtle, but it shows that this approach permeates his life and apartment.

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.

One thing related to sound that I noticed is that the French dialogue doesn't have subtitles, and Chevalier translates the action for us twice ("she's jealous" and "her husband").  This not only breaks the fourth wall, as noted, but it made me think of title cards of silent film.  I could totally imagine this scene being in a silent film (which in a way it is for an English-only-speaking audience since they all can't understand the French dialogue).  So Chevalier, like a title card in a silent film, explains whats going on.  I could imagine the scene without his asides - and instead replace them with a title card with the words he says.  I'm not saying this would be better.  No - his character doing this shows him as the master of seduction and he's cool under pressure and a little amused at the situation, etc.  But I'm just saying that this odd fourth wall break seems to have some kind of tie to the silent film world.  Maybe I think this because when I rewatched 42nd Street or Broadway Melody (can't remember which it was - maybe both?) last night on TCM, I noticed that there were a couple of title cards used there to tell us where we were, etc.  Just like early film borrowed the look and style from B'way and general straight on theatrical presentation, so the early sound film might still retain vestiges of the conventions of silent film - even as they have sound.

Another sound element I noticed was the moment when, after the couple has left, Chevalier opens the French doors to the outside and you can hear the crowd noise below - which disappears as soon as he closes the door.  That created a very realistic feeling, and it also demonstrates how much of a spectacle and scandal he's created.  This isn't a little private incident between him and the married couple.  No - we saw people on the street running toward the apartment when the gun went off - and we're reminded that the crowd is still gathered, gossiping happily, no doubt, about this Sylvanian lothario.  This moment of crowd noise creates this mental picture of the reaction of the community, and further sets up the appearance and attitude of the ambassador who scolds him for creating such a problem for his country.

Finally - was it just a coincidence?  But I noticed when the people are running to the apt outside, they go past an awning with the word BOIS on it (meaning "wood").  And Chevalier is from Sylvania (the "wooded" place - as in sylvan).  Just sayin'.  ?

  • Like 13

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really like the “touch” and I think it’s a visual version of what radio did with a lot of the breaksnfor sound effects. You have to stop and observe and comprehend for a moment to complete the setting/character in your mind. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are several instances of the Lubitsch touch, including the garter and the girl lifting her dress to expose the garters on her legs. 

The character of Alfred seems to be a two-sided one. At the beginning, you think that he is a playboy, who likes to go around with women and would be one to break a marriage up, based on his mannerisms with the girl and his reaction to her husband. But when that guy from Sylvania comes in at the end, I than got the impression that the playboy facade was present to cover up his true identity.

There is one particular sound that, for me, transforms the scene to that of a silent film, especially with no dialogue for that chunk of the scene. When the husband of the girl picks up the gun and starts going toward Alfred, that particular suspenseful tune makes the scene more tense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. What do you notice about the Lubitsch touch? How do the props, dialogue, and the staging help you understand the character of Alfred (Maurice Chevalier)?

The Lubitsch touch is a sort of visual storytelling rather than a lot of verbal exposition; it is left to the audience to draw their own conclusions. 

The props and dialogue tells us a lot about Alfred:

Props: The introduction of the garter tells us that Alfred is a bit of a womanizer. When being "shot" with the gun by the husband, he doesn't even flinch, implying that he's been through these situations before and can tell when a gun is loaded with blanks instead of regular bullets.

Dialogue: Alfred saying "She's terribly jealous" with a chuckle tells us that he doesn't really understand why a woman would be angry about her lover fooling around with another woman; the whole situation is amusing to him. Also, the ambassador's reprimand of Alfred tells us that Alfred's womanizing is causing a great deal of frustration and embarrassment to his country. 

2. 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?

Other than dialogue, there's actually very little sound in the scene (the gunshots, the outside crowd). We hear Alfred and his lover arguing even before they physically enter the scene, giving the audience the sense that they (the audience) have just stumbled right in the middle of the characters' conflict.

3. What themes or approaches might you anticipate from this clip in other Depression-era musicals?

The characters appear to be wealthy, upper-class, and unconcerned with the types of issues that the audience would be concerned with.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  1. 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)?

OMG, this is the Lubisch movie I referred to in my comments from yesterday.  It was quite a shock to see it as today's topic.

That said, I find a little Lubisch goes a long way.  True, his movies are delightfully witty, but they also have a cynical core that I find difficult to take in large doses.  Sort of like eating too many chocolates at once.

The setting is typical Lubisch, lavish, occupied by people who don't have a care in the world except for their romantic entanglements. I didn't know what to make of the drawer full of guns, which I suspect has a different feel to a modern audience.  I know my thoughts went at once to "serial killer", but it must have a tie in later in the movie, since such a dark character has no place in this kind of confection. 

Even though I know Lubisch is cynical, the staged suicide I found quite shocking. It can't work if you see the character of the woman as anything but a plot device.  She's meant to be dismissed.

  1. 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.

It is surprising how little of the dialogue is spoken by Chevalier in English.  This is almost a silent movie to us non-French speakers, which I'd assume would be a large part of the audience in 1929.

  1. What themes or approaches might you anticipate from this clip in other Depression-era musicals?

Clearly the doltish husband and the romantic lover will make appearances, as well as the silly society woman and her lovers.  Oddly, Chevalier stays the same in this movie, while in most musicals the male character will evolve and be more mature by the end, open to the love of a good, down to earth woman, as happened in a lot of the Astaire Rogers musicals.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1.    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)? To show that it’s not her garter, Paulette hikes her skirt to show that she’s wearing hers. There is a humorous gentlemanliness when Alfred helps the jealous husband examine the gun he tried to shoot Alfred with. The fact that Alfred zips Paulette’s dress better than her husband tells us something about both men (and about why her dress was unzipped). We note the suggestion of previous sexual conquests through Alfred’s collection of guns from married women, the extra garter, and the accusation of his superior.

2.    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. I notice that twice, we hear the people on the other side of a closed door before they appear. This is a technique that could not have worked in a silent film.

3.    What themes or approaches might you anticipate from this clip in other Depression-era musicals? Perhaps that the rich would be the focus of derisive humor, as happened a few years later with Screwball Comedy.

Garters.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Dr. Vanessa Theme Ament said:
  • 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)?
  • 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.
  • What themes or approaches might you anticipate from this clip in other Depression-era musicals?

This was a clip I wished had captioning, as it was sometimes difficult to tell when the dialogue changed from French to English. Everything was spoken so quickly that it wasn't easy to always understand even the English (especially since Chevalier spoke it with a French accent!).

The props (garter, gun, unzipped dress, the drawerful of guns) led us to believe Alfred is a Casanova with a long list of conquests. His aside to the audience gives us the impression he isn't serious about this relationship. The wink is classic Chevalier as I remember him from Disney's In Search of the Castaways (I've been singing Enjoy It from that film all morning).

This film must have been a treat for folks who were used to silent movies. To be able to hear the arguing from the other side of the door, to hear the gunshots... The use of music after the woman's "suicide" seemed to be a nod to the silent movie days. It was effective at setting the tone for what would happen next.

I would expect similar themes of relationships gone awry, men fighting over a girl.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I immediately noticed the sensual props the three garters, the lovely case that she removed her gun from. And when Alfred put the gun back in the drawer theirs more guns but on a fluffy white piece of fabric. It all worked so well together.   

The beginning scene where Alfred and Paulette were arguing in French behind the closed doors was quite intriguing as it me want to know what was happening. The scene where Paulette’s Husband takes the gun and begins to walk toward Alfred had added music and no words which I think worked well. This clip was very effective in wanting me to watch this whole movie which honestly I didn’t think I would be interested in when reading about it beforehand.  

I don’t know I other directors would use Lubitsch’s exact staging elements as they are his brand. But we definitely see the close ups on the personal items. But I think the movement and the way the camera flows from one scene to another are seen later. 

This was a great movie choice and clip, I am definitely going to try to find this movie to watch it.  

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

New Members:

Register Here

Learn more about the new message boards:

FAQ

Having problems?

Contact Us