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

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Wow, we had a lot packed into four minutes there!  First off, quite funny, and if I need to focus on one element of the "Lubitsch touch" it would have to be the quick close-up cuts that stand out to me the most.  We are made sure to clearly see the garter found, the garters on her legs to show that isn't HER garter that was found, and the guns both coming out of the purse and later in the drawer.  We certainly can tell that Chevalier's character has been in this situation before!  I especially love that the dialogue is all French, but thanks to the quick cuts and through the tone of the players when they're speaking, we know EXACTLY what the situation is.  Three words of English during that entire scene give us all we need to know:  "She's terribly jealous."  Of course, it only takes a few seconds more for us to realize she's not jealous, she's angry.  He's two-timing her!  Then HER husband comes home, so she's as guilty as he is.  Brilliant stuff.

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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)?

You can noticed that the silent movie style is still very much present which is probably a facet of Lubitsch touch. Props, dialogue and staging helps you understand and see the charlatan side of Alfred.

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.

Sound is used in this scene through props to bring attention to actions that progress the story. the gun shot sound adds to it as a motif for illuding the husband.

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

Second chance and possibly a love triangle might be anticipated as approaches from this clip. 

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The close ups add to the scenes. The garter shows a subtle sexuality even when she lifts her dress and is wearing two garters the audience is now in on the joke. This is even more accentuated when Chevalier calmly puts the gun in the drawer with all the other guns

Chevalier breaking the fourth wall. Being a non-French speaker the 4th wall breaks up what would have been slight confusion and adds a level of humor and slyness. The audience suddenly realizes what is happening and follows along without understanding the language (Us non-French speaking people anyway)

Everything was big and opulent. Women in magnificent dresses, men in tuxes and the haves living the life of excess. Pure escapism.

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I think the mix of French and English was very cleverly done. The audience gets the plot without understanding French up to the point where the "twist" is exposed and Chevalier says "her husband." The audience had assumed until that point that the the husband and jealous wife were Chevalier and the woman. Sound-wise, the only bit of music is when the husband holding the gun steps menacingly toward Chevalier. It's like a parody of a melodrama, an interruption in the comedy.

On the other hand, it is also a  highly visual scene. It's hysterical where Chevalier and the husband examine the gun together to see why Chevalier is not dead!  

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(1)

Lubitsch is one of the masters of subtlety – you don’t need to understand the French dialog to know that the woman had found another female’s garter in Alfred’s bedroom and yet Alfred fluffs it off my telling the audience “she’s terribly jealous.” It’s also interesting that Alfred has a better working knowledge of getting the clip out of the gun, as if he’s had previous experience. His collection of guns also attests to his numerous affairs and run-ins with husbands. Also the fact that the woman chooses to go to Alfred to re-button her dress shows he has far more experience with women.

Alfred’s commentary to the audience, or “breaking the forth wall” brings the audience in as his co-conspirators. Keeping himself separated from the husband-and-wife interaction as if to see how it’s going to play out, as if merely an observer in the scene rather than an active participant puts him at the same level as the audience.

Chevalier, like most stage actors, is better at using his body to define the character. My favorite part is when he “tests” himself to see whether or not he has actually been shot – he doesn’t seem to be particularly bothered whether he is or isn’t shot, and yet shakes his head at the husband as if he feels sorry for the husband being such a bad shot. I found this “shooting” scene similar to the champagne cork “shot” Lubitsch uses in Ninotchka.

(2)

This film was made only two years after The Jazz Singer and the effective use of sound is still sporadic. Like many early films, it's shot like a theatrical production and there are periods of silence until a piece of dialog. Lubitsch does try to vary the sound, e.g., when the characters are behind closed doors, to give the audience a sense of depth in the room. Also, after the husband and wife leave the room, Alfred opens the terrace door to let in some air and we can hear the murmur of crowds (whom we saw running toward the scene earlier), making the statement that they are still hanging around to see what the outcome of the situation will be.

Like many films in the early days of sound, there is very little musical undertones to the scene. We only have dramatic music when the husband finds the gun and aims it at Alfred, the music punctuated by the inevitable shot.

The breaking of the fourth wall, as I mentioned above, brings the audience in as Alfred’s co-conspirators so that we will be on his side. I especially loved that Alfred tries to explain that his affair is nothing as terrible as the ambassador is led to believe, and yet he still has the garter in his hand.

(3)

This scene displays some of the elements that will show up in other musicals of this period as well as later screwball comedies in both the characters and the settings. Our hero doesn’t particularly want to get involved or married (preferring his freedom) yet is playful and endearing; someone who gets into situations and a servant who seems to be in on whatever shenanigans his master is up to (as the servant in this scene signals to his master behind the back of the ambassador).

Like Top Hat, the setting is lavish, albeit not as sumptuous, and the characters are impeccably dressed in evening clothes and jewels.

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Although the clip has a sort of "stagy" feel, for instance, the melodramatic element, breaking the fourth wall, the jump cut to the crowd on the street, it is pretty difficult to go wrong when you have Chevalier.  He is a fine tuned comedic, song and dance man.  Plus his accent, OOH LA LA, he personifies the American idea of the elegant European, scoundrel.  The set is beautifully detailed.  I love the paintings of semi-nude women. The crystal wall sconces, the airiness of the room and the window dressings all contribute to the delicious polish of the scene.  

 

 

 

 

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daily dose 3.docx

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1. Lubitsch focuses on details and props that help us to understand Alfred better - the garter that belonged to a different woman and his collection of small guns tells us that this is usual behavior for Alfred and that he is quite the playboy.

2. The use of sounds like the doors rattling and the gunshots adds a touch of drama to the comedic scene and makes the audience feel tense. 

3. Based on the scene's setting - a luxurious apartment - I would guess that other Depression-era musicals will be set with similar backgrounds that feature rich people.  I think that musicals from the same era will also be more comedic instead of dramatic.

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This scene reflects both the theater and silent film ... starting with the breaking down of the fourth wall. The untranslated French dialogue is understood through props and acting that could easily make this a silent film. Pre-code sexuality is strong without being overt... the garter, the closed bedroom door and most of all, the zipper that the cuckolded spouse cannot zip.

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love parade

1 props my favorite prop was the drawer filled with the derringers from Chevalier’s various l’amours.  This definitely tells us how much of a philanderer he is as well. The nice of the lastest female lover enters with a garter in hand not as she shows hers on her legs. Again evidence that he has had other ladies.  

2 sound the sound that is most effective in the scene is the gun shots, appropriate for derringer and close shot. The sound for the rattling of the knobs of the door both draws the attention of Chevalier and his lover as well as announce her husband and company.  Sound and dialogue help to further the action and define the characters.

3 the theme of Love Parade tells about love provides the strength to help us through the depression of our time so that we must happy.with who we are and who we are with

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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)?  By starting the scene with the dialogue behind closed doors Lubitsch creates a bit of naughty "voyeuristic eavesdropping."  The door opens and Alfred appears; he's unruffled by having had others overhear what is evidently a moment of marital disharmony as he blithely looks at the camera and tells the "eavesdroppers", "She's terribly jealous".  Then when the "wife" confronts him with a garter found in his possession he laughs it off, claiming it is hers.  In a matter of seconds Lutitsch has painted Alfred as a smiling bonhomme. 

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.  As the scene continues "she" pulls a gun, threatening him.  There is a brief exchange in French, which seems to make the scene more sophisticated than if we were to hear American dialect/colloquialisms ("Why you dirty, no good, four flushing cheat...").  Suddenly they are interrupted by the rattling door handle and Alfred again looks directly at the camera announcing, "The husband".  Enter the husband, and the wife, disgraced and abashed, now turns the gun on herself.  There is a muffled gunshot, which strangely enough has been heard all the way outside and down the street, as the camera cuts to a shot of people rushing towards the hotel (the lurid is always an attraction).  Moments later we discover, in a rather humorous way, the gun has been loaded with blanks and that similar situations have occurred in Alfred's life as he surreptitiously turns to deposit the gun in a drawer loaded with other small caliber weapons and womanly accoutrements; more of the Lutitsch touch, the souvenirs of a philanderer. 

What themes or approaches might you anticipate from this clip in other Depression-era musicals?  It's a movie stereotype that it's seemingly in a Frenchman's genetic make-up, the traits of a Casanova (he can't help himself for pursuing beautiful women anymore than a wolf can stop chasing a rabbit), and therefore it's acceptable behavior and a source of entertainment.  And again the overall lavishness of sets, costumes and frivolous nature of the situations are a source of escapism for the "oppressed and depressed" masses.

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It is pretty obvious that Maurice Chevalier's character is a philanderer. One of the best use of props that is shown on the film is the drawer full of guns. As it happens in the scene, after her lover is fighting him over the possibility of another women, she takes out a tiny gun out of jealousy. The said drawer may well be and example of how many love escapades Alfred may have been part of. I was an incredibly subtle way of develop Alfred's character with strictly visual elements.  

As it has been said, it is pretty evident that the movie is the product of a long tradition of silent films. Sound is used mainly to accentuate scenes, characters and moments. The gun shot and the French dialogue are examples of this. For one presents a lethal force relating to the characters and the other makes the nature of the movie more evident. With the French dialogue the film situate the movie goers as spectators of a story, not active participants.

One of the main themes treated in this clip is rich people as flawed people. Most of movie goers of the time went to the movies for the chance to escape; laughing at wealthier people would have been one of the elements that helped reach that escapism.  

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1). Unfortunately, I am not as familiar as I should be about Mr. Lubitsch. However, reading many of the previous comments gave me an inkling as to what I should know. Maurice Chevalier is perfectly cast as a Lothario.  He is caught in the act by the husband and yet there is no reprisal for what he has been up to. From the arguing in French behind closed bedroom doors to his having to zip up the woman’s dress because the husband can’t is brilliant.

2) Chevalier spends most of the scene with a smile on his face.  The woman takes the gun from her purse, after the husband fights to get the door open, and shoots herself with an unloaded gun. Then falls to the floor. The husband then picks up the gun and shoots Maurice with it. All that happens is the handkerchief in his pocket flutters as it goes off. Maurice checks to see if there is blood anywhere and then he gets with the husband to see why he is not bleeding. Both of them are mystified, and the wife is looking at the two of them from the floor. What a hoot!

3). I think this happens in many depression era movies. A supposedly compromising situation is handled in a light hearted manner and is easily resolved.  No harm. No foul. Life was already depressing enough. No one wanted to go see reality shoved in their face. Escapism was what people went to see. Comedic relief. 

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In some ways it reminds me that silent movies were still primary at that time.  The dialogue is relatively sparse and often in foreign language yet it is performed in such a way that you can understand with few words what is happening in this scene.  The exterior scene is very quiet even though there is a lot of action happening.  I enjoyed where Maurice is shot but other than the gun's pop there is no sound just his actions and facial reactions along with the husband as he feels for the wound and they realize together that he wasn't shot.  

The fact that these movies at that period of time were an escape for people with the depression reminds me of conversations even during the financial crisis of 2008 that although many were also having financial problems, movie and restaurant attendance remained high.

 

 

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Alfred is obviously a scoundrel as per the garter that is found by his mistress. The gun which is placed in the desk with all the others tells the audience he’s done this many times before reinforcing the scoundrel persona. Thirdly when he expertly zips up the dress show he’s well practiced at his art. I liked the 4th wall break at the beginning telling the audience that “she’s jealous “again show his roguish flair for life. The same theme is used here as in most musicals, shows life being much lighter in the movies especially in musicals. The rich abundant life styles we all wish we could escape to.

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1. What I noticed about the Lubitsch touch as it is called, was that he was able to translate what was going on in the scene very easily by using objects and facial expressions in humorous ways. In the beginning of the scene Alfred states that she is jealous, once we see the garter and it is established that it is not hers, we begin to understand what kind of character Chevalier is portraying. The many guns in the drawer and the way he charmingly smiles show us that this is a regular routine for Alfred.

2. The opening sound sequence of muffled voices behind a door has a very engaging effect. From the fast speech we can assume that they are arguing and we can also hear their French accents. Both of these deductions make the film interesting because we want to know what the argument is about and it is always interesting to observe other cultures of people. With one line in English you know what is going on and the rest can be translated through props and attitudes.   

3. Themes you mite see would be a look into the upper class life and the sophisticated being knocked down off their high horses for amusement (in some cases literally). In a lot of films of the era you will see a strong romantic story line which I believe did not only serve as a entertaining distraction, but maybe as a sign of hope to some people that want a happy ending in their own lives. 

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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)?

  • We know that he is a playboy.  The lady had both of her garters yet, there was an extra from another of his loves.  He has a play gun.  Then we find there are many guns.   They are obviously fake and that he has pulled that scam before.  

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 noticed the music and the gun pop more than anything.  The music definitely got faster as the drama increased.  The gun was a single pop like a toy more so than a real weapon.  

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

  • I thought it might be like a screwball comedy more so than a musical.  Even though there was drama is was just a joke played on the husband and the audience too.   The music sounded as if it was pre-recorded and added later.  

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1.  I notice the Lubitsch touch when Alfred breaks the fourth wall saying "She's terribly jealous" and she comes out of the room furious about the garter, he tries to get out of the mess by telling her is hers and she shows her legs to show is not hers.  The camera moves to the door and now he breaks the fourth wall again and tell us "her husband!" After she tries to kill herself with the gun and her husband tries to kill him and then realize the gun wasn't loaded the husband goes to her and hugs her shaking her bosom to add humor.  Alfred puts the gun inside a drawer where he keeps a collection.  Then her husband can't hook her dress but of course Alfred is an expert. Alfred is a womanizer.  It's confirmed when he's told about his scandals and to go back to Sylvania.  

2.  Some of the things I noticed on this scene:  the gun shot sounds, the use of music to add intensity, the sound of conversations behind closed doors or when he opens the balcony door and then shuts off the sound of people talking by closing it.  I also notice perhaps the use of pre-recorded sound for the drawer close up because you can hear the background conversation.

3.  The use of visuals to tell the story and the use of music to add intensity to the scenes. 

 

 

 

   

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1. You could tell that Alfred has had several of these incidents. The close up of the guns in the drawer shows that this isn't the first time it has happened as he adds the current gun to his collection.

2. The only sound that I noticed was the gun shot. The first gun shot to look like the woman shot herself and died. The second to make us think Alfred will die from the gun shot.

3. The Depression era themes in this are wealthy people involved in craziness. The comedy of the scene that most Depression era movies exhibit.

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  • The Lubitsch touch is definitely not subtle, but it does help tell the story without the actors needing to have a discussion about it, or even for it to be in a language that one speaks. Just watching the props such as the garter, the small revolver, and the dramatic way the dress needs to be done up at the end, you know exactly what has happened before we arrived at the scene. You understand at least some part of Alfred before seeing the rest of the movie.
  • The introduction of music after the woman ‘shoots’ herself adds a lot of tension to the scene. The fluid strings and abrupt stops lead you to think something bad is about to happen - you anticipate trouble. Which does come, as the husband does try to shoot Alfred.
  • Themes of love, either found or lost, are something I’d anticipate seeing in a lot of Depression-era musicals. They can add tensions, fear, hope and romance to the movie plots. I’m imagining that they might all be a bit dramatic and over the top. A way to pull the audience in, to make them laugh and gasp and forget their lives for a short while.

 

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Maurice Chevalier's facial expressions are so great; from him announcing her jealousy to the squinch he makes when the husband is attempting to zip up the wife's dress.  He is a cad, but a lovable one.  That drawer of guns was hilarious, making you realize that Chevalier's character is quite used to these types of confrontations.  

The shot from the gun not having any effect caught me off guard but then I realized that, of course, the wife would have done it to garner sympathy from her husband, with whom she leaves even though they're still battling it out with words.

I, too, am interested in seeing the full film.  I liked that, while the rooms are still opulent, they are not the bright and sterile white of a lot of the musicals done during that time.  Is that part of the Lubitsch touch, too?

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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.

It appears that the sound often preceded the action:  Examples: we see a door and hear voices (commotion) outside before we see what (or in his case, who) is making the noise after the door is opened and the husband enters.  Same with the gun: we hear the shot thinking that the wife has killed herself and, based on that, the husband assumes the gun is real, and rushes to the wife’s aid.  He then turns the gun on Alfred, only to find out the gun contains blanks.  Lu**** aims for an “all’s well that ends well,” with the wife walking away with the husband who is grateful she’s still alive and Alfred who is frightened (wipes his brow) but none the worse for wear. 

Alfred is dressed in a tuxedo and the room appears to be the abode of a well-to-do personage, which will be reflected in future musicals with the opulence and excess taken to extreme with Busby Berkely. 

One particular line of dialogue I found most effective was: 

Que fais-tu, imbécile? Tu ne peux même pas défaire une fermeture à glissière? Vous prenez trop de temps. Ici, laissez le comte Renard le faire! Ici ! Où est mon arme? Prend ça !

Just kidding !  Wanted to see if you were paying attention !

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

The depression era musicals were filled with opulence in sharp contrast to what was happening on the street at the time:(Wall Street suicides, foreclosures, soup kitchens, etc.).  Top hats and canes were in vogue in film – allowing the audience to fantasize about better times. 

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Lubitsch’s touch is very visual. There wasn't a lot of dialogue in English so it was the visuals that told the story in this scene. Even if you didn't know French you knew what was going on and what they were probably saying. The close-up shots, the facial expressions, etc. told the story. The scene unfolds very smoothly, the pacing is slightly slower so you can pick up on all of the nuances. 

I especially noticed the sound of the gun going off, first with the woman shooting herself--which was shocking and sad and again when the husband shoots the playboy she was canoodling with and that had a totally different effect, it was surprising and funny. 

The theme is playfulness. It's naughty but playfully naughty. The woman is jealous because the man she was with was cheating on her but then again, she was cheating on her husband so she is just as guilty as he was. Nobody was trying to hurt anyone, they were just having fun and of course, it all ends well.

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Lubitsch seemed like he would get the inside joke, ..if he were ones friend!...lol... his props he planned were quite funny, in a quirky way...and Chevalier, not just in this movie clip,  but in other movies I've seen him in-tends to have these type of props or statements that are quirky (Ive had a crush on him 4 a while,  :) all those guns in the drawer,  lol... he was quite the player and used to those tactics,  lo...lThe sound quality was clear & strong to me, especially with the pop of the gun not to mention the crowd reaction, being outside too, seemed appropriate as such...Lubitsch, I'm assuming,  tried to "loosen" the realities of relationships during those times by almost a slapstick/pun theme... make oneself laugh instead of taking relationships and life so seriously

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I really want to see this movie! Right from the beginning we can see that the props play a very important part of the story. It's not her garter yet we don't know that just yet until she lifts her dress to show she is wearing her own. And she obviously knows he's a cad by bringing a gun in her bag. How convenient that it's shooting blanks which only makes the scene even funnier. I had to watch it twice just to watch the scene where the camera moves us even closer to the interaction between the lover and the husband as they inspect the gun. I felt like I was part of that. Hilarious!

The sound was obviously a challenge that many directors had to overcome. The hissing sound was like listening to a bee that was trapped in the movie. The talking and gunshots were heightened yet not so much that it turned into noise. Even the kisses the husband was planting on his wife were loud enough that we didn't need to see them to know how relieved he was that she wasn't dead. And how mushy were those kisses!  I feel like the stage experience the director and actors brought to this film played a big part in overcoming that challenge.

Watching this clip I noticed that little dialogue was really needed to tell us what was going on and who these characters are. Not knowing French, I didn't need to know what was being said. The excellent use of props and the interaction between the characters was more than enough to tell me what to expect in the film.

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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.

Silent films had a few subtitles so audiences could understand the plot. I felt with this clip Chevalier's character, Count Alfred was the vocal subtitle, explaining every once in awhile in english what was going on. Because films started to have sound, directors could rely less on the words and more on the actors. Also, having sound effects was a new thing, I'm sure when the first audience saw this film, the gun shots surprised them.

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