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About Janeko

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  1. I want to thank Dr. Ament, Dr. Edwards, Dr. Gehring, Mr. Rydstrom, and all of the behind the scenes people, for Mad About Musicals. I'm not exactly known for my technological expertise, so I can't imagine how complicated it must be to put together something like this! The video lectures, daily doses and podcasts made for a great learning experience. It was a such a gift to hear all of you sharing your knowledge and personal experiences so freely, and I really appreciate all of it! Like so many of my classmates, I'm sad to see the class end. And I'm already looking forward the next one! As Dr. Ament would say, see you at the movies! Jane Kominiak
  2. I would love to take a course on the history of Sci Fi films. I'm also hoping for a course on the history of horror films. There are a lot of great (and, truthfully, some not so great) films in TCM's library in both categories. It would be a lot of fun to explore the development of these genres.
  3. A course on the history of horror films would be awesome. They could start with silent films like Nosferatu, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, and The Phantom of the Opera, and go on from there. That would be awesome!y Maybe they'll consider it if enough people are interested.
  4. I got through Seven Brides but was very disappointed in it. I thought the dance scene at the barn raising was spectacular but the rest of the movie went downhill after that.
  5. When I read your post, I couldn't help thinking of the post WWII drama The Best Years of Our Lives. Al has an upper middle class lifestyle, family has been able to continue living in quite an apartment while he was at war and he returns to the bank he worked for with the nice surprise that he has been promoted. But Fred has no real job skills and can't find a better paying job, winds up going back to his old job as a soda jerk. His younger coworker is now his boss! And Homer and his family and fiance are struggling to adjust to his having come home with a major disability. Three very different homecomings!! Al's daughter works in a hospital and apparently is keeping that job. Fred's wife has been running around with other men while he was at war and finally divorces him, and Al's daughter is going to marry him, a divorced man! The male bonding talked about in the lectures is evident in the film but it's not guys trying to get the girl. It's men who have been through war and who give each other support at various times in the film, support that only fellow veterans can provide. None of the issues in this film are the subject of any 1950's musical I've ever heard of!
  6. I also find it difficult to analyze films at times. I think that some people are just more analytical than others. I find that reading the posts of my classmates is a big help. And I also find it helpful to watch the movie more than once. But I really just focus on enjoying the class and the films. I learn so much from the video lectures and daily doses and written notes. By the end of the course, I'll know a lot more about musicals than I did at the beginning. The class is a starting point of sorts, and I can continue to learn by picking up a book or two on the subject.
  7. I haven't seen one of their movies in ages and truly had forgotten just what beautiful voices they had!
  8. To me, the opening sequence images and the tone of the music let me know that we'll be watching a film about a relationship between two people that becomes mysterious, dark and disturbing as it deepens. The changing, swirling patterns reflect the many twists and turns that will be occurring in the story. I love the transition from black and white to color as the sequence plays out. Relationships aren't black and white, and the use of color reflects the range of emotions that the characters (and we) will be experiencing. Bass' images and Bernard Herrmann's music are perfect together. I've not seen this film in many years and had forgotten just how striking the opening sequence is, as least to me. It is mesmerizing! I've loved Bernard Herrmann's music all my life. I don't know anything about how a composer creates music to enhance what we're watching on the screen. So I don't know what this opening sequence would be like if someone like Dimitri Tiomkin had written the music instead. It makes me wonder how a producer/director chooses a composer to write the music for a film.
  9. This scene shows so many aspects of film noir. The scene starts with children playing in the bright light outside, and then moves to the dimly lit room of a run down rooming house. There's the contrast between innocent kids playing in their neighborhood, an everyday occurrence and, not so far away Uncle Charlie, a serial killer, stretched out on the bed. He's well dressed, a contrast to the condition of the room. He appears depressed, almost resigned. The scene is so similar to the one showing The Swede in The Killers. When the landlady comes in, she's a middle aged woman, like Uncle Charlie's victims. She's not a target, though, because she's not wealthy. It's established that Uncle Charlie is able to charm women, because the landlady is sympathetic towards and protective of him. He's polite to her, but his whole manner is "off." She makes him aware of the men looking for him, and, of course he knows it's the police. When the landlady pulls down the shade and his face is covered in dark shadow, I thought two things. First, it was symbolic of the police closing in on him and second, it was like a foreshadowing of his own eventual death. But unlike The Swede, who was resigned to his fate, Uncle Charlie suddenly gets out of the bed and pulls the shade up completely, defiantly. He smugly assures himself that the police have nothing on him and arrogantly goes outside and walks right past them in a show of bravado. He doesn't think much of them, the way he doesn't think much of the women he's killed. In the video lecture, Dr. Gehring mentioned Uncle Charlie's "losing it" at the dinner table. I think there are signs of his starting to unravel even in this scene with the way he is so careless with the money, rambles on to the landlady about the men not knowing him and maybe he'll have to go out and meet them,etc. And then there's the way he suddenly throws the glass hard enough to shatter it. Dimitri Tiomkin's music underscores the rapid changes in Uncle Charlie's emotions and actions. I haven't seen this film in ages and am looking forward to watching it again. I'm a big fan of both Joseph Cotton and Teresa Wright, enjoy Alfred Hitchock's films, and love Dimitri Tiomkin's music. He did wonderful scores for so many films in addition to Hitchcock's, including one of my all time favorite classic Sci Fi films from the '50's, The Thing from Another World.
  10. The opening scene is at a much slower pace than the earlier films we've seen, no crowds in a public place. Instead, there's an eerie, otherworldly feel to the scene as we slowly move along the overgrown path and eventually see the ruins of the house. It's sad and creepy at the same time. At one time it was a showplace with manicured gardens and well kept grounds. Now, it's in a state of decline and disrepair. It echoes the events that took place in the lives of everyone who lived there, the tragedy and heartache...I've not seen this film in a very long time, but it feels like the house, dark and forboding, is the architectural representation of Mrs. Danvers. The use of light and shadow and mist as well as the twists and turns of the camera angles, are Hitchcock touches. We're suddenly introduced to the main characters during a potential crisis. Laurence Olivier is apparently contemplating suicide by jumping off the cliff. We hear Joan Fontaine before we see her. While she doesn't scream, she does shout to Olivier,trying to stop him from jumping. As with previous films, the initial interaction between the man and woman destined to become a couple starts out on rocky footing.
  11. I sometimes have a problem where the entire video suddenly freezes and I have a really hard time getting it started again.This happens both with the daily doses and the video lectures. I've tried shutting it down and reopening it, but that doesn't always work. Yesterday I had to watch daily dose of The 39 Steps by watching the movie on YouTube. Today I had no problem at all. If anyone has a solution, I'd love to hear it. This is the 3rd online class I've taken with TCM/Canvas and I've never had a problem like this in the past.
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