Dr. Vanessa Theme Ament

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

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The close up of the garter immediately gives us the indication that Alfred is a playboy, especially once we see that Paulette is wearing both of her garters. Alfred's line "Her husband" lets us know that Alfred will be playing the field throughout the movie. The close up of the drawer full of guns was a great Lubitsch touch. Alfred's feeling his body after he has been shot sets the tone for the comedic aspect of the film.

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1) the fake out with the shot, the drawer full of guns, breaking the 4th wall

2)when the wife "shoots" herself"

3) the slapstick quality

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  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 gun, the garters, the muffled and slightly secretive dialogue all work to let us know that Alfred is something of a lothario, and that this is not his first time being in this type of situation. Personally, I loved Alfred’s grin while the husband was trying to zip up his wife’s dress. Alfred knows he’s a lech and he seems to revel in 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.

There was quite a lot of sound going on in this clip and it seemed to crescendo from the muffled dialogue before we meet the characters to the climactic sounds of the two gunshots. The dialogue between the married couple got even louder still, and then the sound decrescendoed. I also noticed sound that wasn’t there. For example, when the wife seemingly shoots herself, you hear the shot but not her hitting the floor. You also don’t hear the entrance of Alfred’s superior. 

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

The screwball comedy tropes of the rich being mocked and viewed as vapid and silly, the wealth and fancy clothing and lavish apartments, all adding to the feeling of escape for the audience. I don’t know when in 1929 this film was released, but if it was before the stock market crash I can truly see how this was a primary example of Depression-era filmmaking without even realizing it, and how it would sort of shape the entire genre in that era.

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The Lubitsch touch revealed Alfred's character by putting him in a situation where he is obliged to try charm to get himself out of it. The garter, which seemed a little stiff and round to me, showed his womanizing with one glance. His comment about jealousy also made it known that he wasn't a faithful lover. When the husband showed up he again had to use charm to try to make the husband like him and therefore, not kill him. But, he did stand there and take the shooting, probably because he knew the gun was filled with blanks. He had a drawerful to prove it.

The use of sound with the gunshot was important because, first, we didn't expect Paulette to shoot herself, but Afred. Second, it was the first sound besides voice in the film and it was startling. In fact, Lubitsch shows people running in the street towards the sound, proving they had actually heard a gunshot. Finally, the line that Alfred used about the reports of him being "exaggerated" used English to try to be charming and dissemble as he hid the garter behind him. Previously he had been argumentative in French. This line increased the portrayal of his character as a charming rogue.

In this film, there was a definite understanding of the physical relationship of Alfred and Paulette. Perhaps because it took place in Paris, it was less shocking. But, I think it probably led to more risqué situations in future movies.

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I like how the scene is like a rollercoaster of emotions for us. We don't understand what is being said but we get the gist.first we have the argument about the garter which is amusing now but back then to see a woman's garter on screen was a bit shocking.then when she pulls out the gun we are really shocked. Then her husband shows  up and things get awkward she appears to shoot herself which we find out minutes later is a pistol with blanks it's almost like a miniature soap opera. And with Marie,s facial expression it also tells its own story

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Just started watching this film today. Did anyone notice Lillian Roth playing the maid Lulu? She had a tumultuous life and a movie made about her (I'll Cry Tomorrow with Susan Hayward.) She was cute in this film.

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1. The Lubitsch Touch- I noticed that there was a close-up of the garter, and then the woman lifts her dress to prove that it's not HER garter. (At first I thought that the woman was Chevalier's wife/girlfriend)

2. Specific sound? Well, the gun going off. As for dialogue, it was mostly in French, and my French is very limited. But when the woman got frustrated with her husband's ineptness with her dress, she just turns to Chevalier and says "please", as in he's obviously done this before. I was surprised her husband wasn't more mad at Chevalier's expertise with her dress! The ease of the zipper also proves the official's point that Chevalier shouldn't be ambassador- obviously he's spent too much time with women and not on his duty!

3. Themes- the glamour. The fantasy of it. Everybody's rich, or dressed well. Huge suite. The drawer filled with garters and guns- that's an expensive dresser, and obviously he has room for these small things- his drawers aren't needed for clothes

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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 quick camera shots of placement, at the bedroom door, at the woman's clutch bag, etc., are very suspenseful and comedic making the spin Lubitsch puts on the drama more sophisticated and in keeping with the French the characters are speaking. Their broad gestures utilized also don't make the use of English subtitles necessary to understand the scene as everything is dramatized clearly.

From the way, Renard handles the discarded garter belt, to handling the misfiring prop gun and commenting in English (i.e., "She's terribly jealous." and "It's her husband.") the viewer is made aware of his humorous duplicity and slyness. Despite his elegant appearance, he's actually a playful jokester who revels in the exchange with the woman's husband and the gun.

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.

Rising, suspenseful and full of tautness the sound effects and music made me believe Renard was about to be shot in retribution by the woman's husband who supposedly killed herself in front of him. Up until he takes the gun out of her hand until the firing of the gun I thought the shot would end the scene tragically instead of providing a punch line for a physical joke where the gun turns out to be a prop that's carelessly thrown into a drawer full of similar models.

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

A cat and mouse relationship, between Renard and the woman, is the main theme I anticipated from the argument in the beginning. Even though it appeared iin the initial scene and culminates when he zips up her dress it culminates when she smiles at him.

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  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 many guns, the extra garter and Alfred's expertise in fastening an evening gown all establish Alfred's philandering.  He doesn't try to oppose the husband.  He joins with him to examine the gun.
  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.  When the husband marches over to shoot Alfred the music is added only to that part and lends dramatic tension to the comedy.
  3. What themes or approaches might you anticipate from this clip in other Depression-era musicals?  Since most of the words are in French for me it's like no dialogue and we're left with the actions (a throw back to the silent era).  Slapstick is about action not language.  

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The props honestly defined the whole scene for me. I picked out a few words from my limited memory of grade school French, but I knew exactly what was going on. It truly could have been a silent film to me. Then the drawer full of guns made it clear Alfred was no stranger to the situation, as did his calm attitude. While I can’t speak specifically to the dialogue, I will say the tone of the actors made it easy to follow. The woman’s anger at Alfred and exasperation at her husband; the husband’s anger, sadness, then relief were all evident.

I admit, the sound didn’t stand out to me, but I noticed a couple times that some movements/events had a sound effect, while others didn’t.

Definitely a continuation of keeping things light. For all we know the woman had killed herself in front of her husband and lover, but there wasn’t much urgency or dramato it. Then when we realize the truth it is played off as a harmless gag and life goes on for all. No big deal. ?

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In thinking about The Lubitsch touch, I noticed this when the husband is trying to button his wife’s dress and looks over at Count Alfred Renard with a look of disdain, and the Count simply smiles and smirks at him, as if finding the situation quite amusing. And the scene where the husband shoots the Count is quite comedic, because the Count himself  helps the husband try to figure out why the gun didn’t shoot him. The props the Count uses, for instance the fake gun and the many garters he has stored in his drawer, help us understand he is a jokester, and enjoys stirring trouble.

 

In terms of the scene’s use of sound, the gun shot sounds are a bit delayed and awkward, not exactly synced up quite well yet. I’m also thinking of the film term non-diegetic sound, for instance, when the Count puts his fake gun away, the camera focuses on his drawer and the many other garters and fake guns, but we hear the wife and husband bickering in the background, which still feels relatively new, and I think this might be implemented in other Depression-era musicals along with the setting of a luxurious apartment with simple problems in the narrative such as trickery. 

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I didn't see this movie when it was on this week, but after watching the clip and reading the information about it, I'm going to see if it is available through the TCM app. It looks like it's very funny. I enjoyed Maurice Chevalier's performances.

It's interesting that you can hear the couple arguing before they enter the room/stage, which is a theatrical touch. The focus of the camera on various items, though, is a cinematic technique. I found this a very interesting combination.

The opulent apartment shows that these characters are of high society, a setting that many Depression Era movies use. Also, the fact that the main character (Chevalier) is royalty is a typical motif for the time. Americans love their nobility.

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When i watch the pre code Lubitsch films, one of the things that always stands out to me is the racey humor although  know that this type of humor was not uncommon in films of this era. The best example in this clip is when the man is helping his wife, Chevalier gives him a suggestive wink. 

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1.      The first thing I notice is how each object is very important and specific to demonstrate and introduce you to each character. The seemingly very well to do woman with the Casanova-type gentleman. She herself is not being true to her husband but is beside herself because her lover has been seeing other women. I love the use of the 4th wall with the character, it sets the tone of the scene. All of the items the camera focuses on, in a silent film way, further reinforce Alfred’s character. It was very “in your face’’, but an interesting way to translate this information in an age moving from silent to sound films.

2.      The use of sound is integral.  Even hearing the argument behind closed doors when the scene starts. The sound of the pops for the gun also further punctuate the scene, at first feeling very final, then as you realize not a life or death moment, a funny moment. The husband’s urgent cries and pleas for his wife. The sounds of the door when the husband enters, everything is very specific to the story and its development.

3.      One theme that has shown up in some of the other Depression-era movies, as well as this one, is “rich people’s problems.” Seeing the way this class lives and how their lives unfold, introducing a type of madcap story, inserting in musical numbers.  The costumes are again very lush, with beautiful surroundings, helping the viewer to escape. Having sound intertwined in these films must have just been such a wonderful experience, to go from silent to this lushness, and sound, how exciting!

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The whole scene actually tells its story through the filming, the dialogue helps and adds something extra, but the whole thing is just as easy to follow without sound. Close - ups are used for

emphasis, such as when she is yelling about the garter there is a close up, when she pulls out the gun there is a close - up on that to bring attention to those items. With the opening of the

clip it is clear that Alfred is a Casanova since the woman is upset to find another lady's garter in the room meaning he's seeing someone else, which is quite ironic since she's having an

affair with him.

While I find this clip works without sound, the sound does make it all the more interesting, especially with all of the chatter that seems to be coming from off screen; that was probably my

favorite part. I like the arguing in French, even though I couldn't understand it (which made it even better honestly), behind the closed doors, then even more chatter when he opens the door.

This is a great example of the use of sound in the film because it helps to set the scene, it's a small detail that technically doesn't have to be there - the arguing probably does, but it didn't have

to be behind closed doors - but it adds layers to the scene that give it more character.

Like many of the clips before this one, the theme of extravagant backgrounds and settings is prevalent, along with eveningwear, promotes the "high life." It's clear that this was a widely used

theme during this time, perhaps because people were escaping to the movies, or perhaps because that was what they knew best, having come from the Roaring Twenties, everyone knew how

to have fun.

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I noticed that Lubitsch relies on props and visuals much more than words.  Although the characters are speaking, it is in French so to most of his American audience the dialogue is unintelligible.  However, through the actions of the characters, we can easily discern what is happening.  Starting the film with a closed door and a conversation most will not understand is novel. Chevalier breaks the fourth wall almost to "label" the action for the audience with one short sentence of "She is jealous."  

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  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 close ups to the garter, the skirt being lifted, you give for a fact the character is a "player" and in this case on of his lovers is mad at him for being cheated.
  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. The sound in general of the whole scene is surreal, looks a like a silent film with selective audio, only certain things have sound, there are no sound for most of the effects only sound for the voices, and the most distinguishable effect is the sond of the revolver gun, definitely gives the scene extra impact. 
  3. What themes or approaches might you anticipate from this clip in other Depression-era musicals? The lubitsch touch would be a lot less if it was filmed after the code, this makes the movie have a more sexual comical tone than the post code movies.

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We hear the lovers arguing as the scene begins before entering. There is the play on sexuality throughout the scene. We are aware without seeing the bedroom there is cheating going on, and Maurice Chevalier speaking to the audience as he is the only one who can see them. He states to us “she’s jealous” and “her husband”, with humor, translating for us. She is married and jealous of him cheating, the garter in his hand, her garters she reveals lifting her dress that suggests it isn’t’t hers. There is no surprise about the gun, and the number of them in the drawer adds comedy. Maurice appears to know it was blank shot and shows no concern nor shock as her husband rushes to her after hearing the shot. Maurice being the playboy can handle the difficult zipper, the husband can’t. 

The sound of the arguing behind the door, the husband banging on the door, the crowds gathering outside add to the scene effectiveness. 

The humor and carefree lives of the upperclass and wealthy, poking fun at high society are perfect escapes for the depression era. The costumes and music add to the fun of the movie goers experience. 

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  1.   The Lubitsch touch is very playful and interactive with the audience.  We feel like we are there, witnessing the scene as it unfolds.  The props, dialogue and staging all help understand Alfred by being tools to further explain the scene.  For example, the garter not belonging to the women in the scene shows that he has been with other women.  The foreign language helps us better understand that Alfred is away from home.  The drawer with the various guns and garters shows us that this scenario is not new to him.
  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.  The gun shot of the women shooting herself added realism to when she shot herself.  This made the scene of her being awake more dramatic than if there was no sound.
  3. I would expect more humor, light-heartedness and playful approaches to serious situations.  

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1. Lubitsch uses the camera to make sure you notice key things going on in the scene. Lubitsch does a close up of a garter and a close up of a woman’s legs with a garter on each leg, so it’s not her garter. A gun being pulled from a purse, so that you would notice that it was the lady’s gun. And a drawer full of both guns and garters, so this isn’t the first time that Alfred’s been in this situation.

2. The scene open’s with arguing from another room. I don’t know what was said cause I don’t speak the language. But when the couple comes into the room Alfred says “she’s jealous”. Then the lady pulls out a garter. He says it’s hers and she proves it isn’t hers. But because the scene starts with a room with no one in it but a dog, and the yelling coming from closed doors, you wonder what was going on before the yelling. What caused the woman to get upset? 

3. From the clip I think the depression-era musicals approach to serious situations is to make it funny and not as big of a deal. The situation of this scene is so serious, but the look on the women’s face when the guys realize the gun was empty makes me laugh every time I watch it.

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1. The Lubitsch touch, specifically with the garter and the gun, made me feel like I was  watching a,silent movie—focus for a long moment on the visual just before the intertile appears.  Each “touch” provides a moment of humor for the viewer.  They certainly indicated the the character was not new to the game of seducing rich men’s wives, especially the collection of revolvers

2. The mix of French and English dialogue was interesting.  We’re so accustomed to subtitles for foreign dialogue that NOT having it Intrigued me.  The specific “pop” sound of the revolver, revealing its harmless nature, took the viewer from suspense to relief.

3. Finding humor in disparaging the rich, escapism (allowing a general viewer into the upper class for an hour or two.

 

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I think this clip was by far my favorite from the week!  Without translating the dialogue to English so many things are implied with a wink to the audience.  For example, her husband was unable to zip up her dress yet the man standing off to the side had no problem with this task.

The use of sound was perfect.  I love it when a director isn't afraid to have some silence in a scene, as a movie watcher is makes me pay more attention to what is (and isn't) being said.  The use of contrast in this film was also beautiful, it was clear that the director really understood how to light this scene perfectly.

The props added so much and helped the audience understand the main characters.  Without any dialogue it was clear she was a woman of means who had a flair for the dramatics.  This is a film I have not watched yet, but it is getting bumped to the top of my "to watch" list!

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1. The use of the French language, which was considered a sign of high class. The drawer full of guns was actually quite humorous.

2. I noticed at the beginning the sound was muffled while the actors were behind the door. Made want to go behind the closed doors and see what was going on.

3. The use of upper class society, fine clothing and elegant decor, and the almost casual use of royalty. All these items in some way or another allowed a chance of escapism. 

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  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 staging is done with great care with the intention of developing the character and also to help connect the audiences with a protagonist via a new technology. he is very precise in his placement of items and in his shot selection.

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 gets louder or quieter based on how close the actors are from the center of the screen. The sound is all pervasive. I suspect for viewers it was a sensoryThe score also rises and falls with the action in the film. overload. A specific sound is the gunshot near the beginning. It comes after the audiences hear's 'her husband.' 

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

There is a recurring theme of decadence as well as an ongoing theme that women are prizes to be competed for. There is also a sense of escapism in the film.

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  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)?  We see the drawer-full of guns and women's articles of clothing that he's collected from other escapades and see that he is a womanizer, but playfully!  I love that it is completely in French but no subtitles which is so amazing since that would not be so today since no one speaks two languages typically in America.
  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 enjoyed when the wife said to her husband it's not difficult and walked to Chevalier to have him zip up her dress.  He does so easily and says "voila!"  Too funny and sweet.
  3. What themes or approaches might you anticipate from this clip in other Depression-era musicals?   Well, the romance and ease and grandness from the costumes and setting is a way for the audience to escape from the heaviness of the depression.  Also the glimpse we get of the made up country and the queen, the scandal and possible spy is alluring!

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