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

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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)?

He is very subtle in how he is describing the personality of Maurice Chevalier. For example, the drawer full of guns. You can obviously tell that this has happened before... and he likes to live dangerously!!! Then the lace garter the women found and then the fact that the lady was wearing lace garters. Maurice looked like he lived very highly as if he has lots of money and can afford to do that. The dialogue sounds like there is an argument between the both of them. But he can easily calm her down a little, which means he has practiced in relaxing women. You can just tell from the sound of their voices how their mood is and what they are feeling. Basically, the touch that Lubitsch made spells out a bachelor that has experience in hurting women and making them feel like they have been cheated on to the point of suicide. 

 

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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)?

Wow! Once you know what you are looking for the Lubitsch Touch is easily discovered.  

The props and setting help me to understand the character of Alfred in many ways. As an example, the large picture on the wall of a woman scantily dressed and posed for pleasure indicates he enjoys beautiful women and isn’t inclined to mask this fact! The apartment is more ornate than one might expect for a gentleman’s home…glittering sconces, floor to ceiling doors with intricate design, wainscoting…one might expect a more masculine décor, but, the setting is arranged in many ways for the delight and comfort of women. The dialogue, though primarily in French is understood through implication and good acting…even for a person like me, with limited understanding of the actual language. We see the dress lifted to show garters in place, knees and legs to a man that we will later discover is NOT her husband...the argument is first heard distally from behind the bedroom door…

The staging also helps me to understand the character of Albert! The scene opens serenely with a lovely room where a dog is quietly resting on a sofa…what is interesting is we begin to hear the argument (distal and behind closed doors) and the dog never stirs. As I reflect on the movie clip the dog’s LACK of reaction to anything that is going on is a high indicator that it is all too familiar with this type of happening. The dog is used to such things. This is another indicator of Albert's character.

The ornate roll top desk is strategically placed so that the gun can be nonchalantly placed in a drawer that we get a close up view of…multiple pistols and other feminine do dads are within, indicating this is NOT the first time this has happened…This is part of Albert’s M.O. and this is, more than likely, going to happen again! This has been staged to happen while the husband is distracted with helping his wife to gain her composure and “pull herself together”…the need to have the zipper of her dress raised and the hook on the dress secured…the husband fumbles indicating a lack of familiarity and then the wife brazenly moves to Albert to have him finish the task. Albert, of course, is familiar, once again showing us the Lubitsch touch.

 Based on this scene, what are some 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 Albert appears in the open doorway and speaks directly to the audience he is setting the stage for what is going to happen. He is transitioning, momentarily, from French to English for the audience’s behalf. This is most effective! It draws the viewer in to the story line and causes the viewer to wait with anticipation…wondering what else, if anything, does this man have to say to me. It makes the viewer an intimate!

In particular, I also noticed how vivid the pistol shots were. The movie indicates the pistol shots were loud enough to be heard outside on the street and we were able to hear the neighborhood scuffling and crying out in response.

 I noticed and appreciated the use of distal sounds like the opening and closing of doors, and conversations.

                                                                                              

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

I would anticipate the approach of actors speaking directly to the audience.

I would anticipate a common thread of opulence in settings.

I would anticipate and the tolerance of infidelity as a theme in story lines.

I would anticipate story lines that really caused the viewer to exercise their observation skills and share in the intrigue… Viewer involvement as another way to escape the realities of daily life

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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)? 

I believe that the Lubitsch touch makes the dialogue and the scene more real for the watcher.  It's almost like I am the person in the room instead of the camera.  You get more of a feeling of what the people are thinking.  I like how the seriousness and the wit are shown.  The person's character is shown very quickly and thoroughly.

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 banging on the door was very loud when the husband was trying to get it.  It seems that that sound was added in to express the drama of the situation.  When Alfred says "husband" afterwards it solidifies the affair and the scene.

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

As was stated in lecture notes previously, wit and humor was used quite a bit to distract people from the solemn times of the Great Depression.  The fun of a scene, the music and dancing take people into a happy place for a while.  I feel that society was trying to entertain when not much else could be done at the time.

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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)?

  • It is a very light touch about something that could have been serious -- a woman who pulls a gun on the lover she thinks has betrayed her only to "use" it on herself after her husband shows up. Chevalier's character is winking at the audience throughout to let us know this is NOT serious. No one will ACTUALLY be killed. It is farce.

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.

  • Frankly, I didn't notice much about the sound other than the "gunshot." You also see/hear Chevalier open a drawer with "guns" and "garters" from previous dalliances with women.

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

  • Continued playfulness with circumstances that would not end so well in a drama or noir-style film. 

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Lubitsch was a great storyteller.  The props help us to understand the story along with Alfred breaking the fourth wall because they were all arguing in French.  The sound of the gun,   the rattling of the door and the crowd noise help keep the scene and the story together.

This whole scene shows how the rich have their problems too.

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  1. I noticed that the way Lubitsch staged the scene in full body to establish the scene, close ups of moments subtly that can be seen as sly wit, and use of French without subtitles, plus the main lead being generous to ease the situation with her husband at least shows that he has gone through in the past better than her husband, and can easily debunk the exaggeration of his deeds speculated.
  2. French is used in the majority of the scene without subs to allow us to see their body staging and expressions visually effectively. If it were to use English, it would be a bit half and half in the visuals and dialogue execution. Also the gun sound made it effective to fool you thinking that she’s dead, but when used the second time, it was revealed that it had “no buwelts” (insert Elmer Fudd reference), and the lady has a comedic glaring look on her husband for being foolish to believe in her fake death.
  3. The comedy aspect would play out in the majority of great depression era films and as what screwball comedies would do. And add a glimmer of hope and optimism from the main characters. The setting of it being a rich environment would be like that for the films of that time.

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  1. The Lubitsch touch here moves into a new realm of cinematography, moving away from flat, simplistic shots to an array of CUs, creating tension from a sexual and thriller perspective, as well as drawing the viewers attention to key items in a scene that hold significant importance. As the dialogue isn't completely in English, the audience is left to draw their own conclusions from SFX and strategic staging of props and visuals. From Alfred's facial expressions, we are able to conclude he is somewhat sly and promiscuous - the multiple garters and fake pistols. He's calm and collective - this isn't the first time this encounter has occurred.
  2. The sound is used to illustrate tension and provide context clues. The scream at the beginning - we know the female character is upset and uneasy. The locked, jiggling door - we know there is an attempt to keep something a secret. The sound builds tension, and we know something is bound to unfold when the door is opened.
  3. The characters are depicted as wealthy - and like the lecture pointed out - we should expect many films to tease or mock the wealthy lifestyle. Themes aren't necessarily romanticizing sexual encounters and fame, but rather making fun of the lifestyle as a whole. Humor will be prevalent, and scenery will be unrealistic, yet not necessarily envied, due to the humor implemented within the narrative.

 

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1. Lubitsch's style was already becoming well defined at the time "The Love Parade" was released.  The director used sexualized props from the beginning, and had the character, Renard, set the plot by addressing the audience.  The viewer realizes from the first scene that Renard is a playboy by way of lavish sets costumes and the way he downplays his infidelity toward his love interest, who is also unfaithful.  HIs drawerful of pistols makes it clear that this is not Renard's first encounter with a jealous lover.

 

2.  "The Love Parade" was made during the very early years of sound in film.  Lubitsch took advantage of the new technology by using intriguing foreign language dialogue, music and a sound affect mimicking a firing gun.

 

3.  Lush, imoral living and the folly of the rich are dominant in this picture.  Vaudeville-esque staging, such as the addressing of the audience by the main character and characterizations such as the naive, male authority figure, in this case the husband, are typical of Lubitsch's work. 

 

  

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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)?  Noticed that the clever use of camera shots were like photo stills adding another media reference to the film. Also, his method saves time, adds suspense and humor. All the characters are developed to some degree by use of the props, staging and dialogue. However especially in the case of Alfred, we seem to understand that he is sly and always looking for what's next by the use of the doors. He comes out of a door, he looks out of the door and he is approched by those entering the doors-all while staying in pretty much the same space. Would like to see the rest of the movie to see his fate.
  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 use sound is sublte yet dramtic providing carisma which match the two characters. Also noticed was the use of the outdoor scence after the gun fired as if it were heard outside even though to was muffled-funny. The outdoor scence also gave you the sence that they were on an upper floor adding more opulence.
  3. What themes or approaches might you anticipate from this clip in other Depression-era musicals? The approach that there's something happening more or other than what you see on the everyday street. 

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Even though I did not understand all of the conversation in French, it was still obvious what was being discussed. I thought the director did a good job with handling the gun shots. The noises were slightly disturbing, but not so much that it changed the tone of the humorous scene.

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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 Lubitsch touch certainly re-enforces the old saying, "a picture is worth a thousand words." The single garter in her hand, the two garters she is wearing, the gun, the drawer of guns, the zipper that the husband can't close, but the lover can—all say so much that the French being spoken is not a problem for those of us who do not speak it. The props (single garter, drawer of guns), the dialogue, and the staging all work together to help us understand that Alfred is a ladies man and a bit of a rogue. 

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 use of a language we do not understand, makes us watch the scene closer. The pop of the gun, makes us realize that this is not a serious "murder." I thought the rather lengthy French dialogue behind the door at the beginning of the scene was especially interesting and attention getting. Then, when M.C. says "she's jealous" at the camera, we know that this is comedy rather than a drama. The sound of the people on the street when M.C. opens the window makes the scene more realistic. The use of dramatic music when the gun goes off and when the husband approaches M.C. seems to be a nod to silent movies. 

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

Wealthy people acting badly or stupidly is a theme that will come up often in Depression-era musicals. Also, the lavish sets and the well-dressed, high society people are all typical of these musicals. 

 

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1.  I notice more a subtle, sexy and even humorous style being presented.  In a way, I can see that the direction was that of two ways: the scripts for the actors had you listening and thinking one way while the scene itself was having you question yourself on what you heard.  The only way to interpret is in a humorous way.  

2. The film's sound seemed quiet. But in the scene with Mr. Chevalier can't understand why anyone would leave Paris, he pats his valet on the shoulder and the sound  is muffled but clear at the same time.  Then the valet goes to the door and the dog barks. Again the bark is clear but the background sound is muffled.  Mr. Chevalier's singing is sung with such clarity though his strong accent does not deter me from listening with a smile.

3. The glamour of this film can be seen in many of the future films.  The sexuality of the garter scene used as a tease though the film carries off the 'boy meets good girl' theme quite frequently used in future musicals.   

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