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About PacNWFem

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  • Birthday 02/08/1970

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  1. 1. Brice is not confident at this beginning of the film. She is also quite innocent of the ways of the world. The song must reflect that. The softness of the song along with her movements display the shy uncertainty of her beginning infatuation with Nick. But, the song is also (we find out, tragically) hopeful about what she hopes the relationship with Nick will be. I think it shows a foreshadowing of Brice's willingness to too generously forgive Nick's faults (which is really co-dependence). I understand her feeling, and Streisand's acting allows me to feel Brice. This is beautiful and pr
  2. 1. Dear goddess, the whole relationship between Higgins and Eliza is characterized by gaslighting. Eliza only comes to Higgins because he placed the notion in her head that she couldn't possibly understand her own reality. In the clip, Higgins completely disregards Eliza's genuine fear and anger over what she knows is true, that she was not a person with feelings left to suffer the consequences of Higgins interjection, but is only a game piece. Higgins abruptly initiates a self-righteous, self-important, blameless perspective that brings her known truth into doubt. This gaslighting is precise
  3. 1. I notice the wide gestures most. Masculinity is often portrayed as restrained and controlled. Masculine men speak little while sparsely interjecting hand and arm movements. Typically, you only see men raise their hand to attract a waiter for the bill, or hail a cab, or throw a punch. Preston is free with his gestures complimented by the fluidity of the silk handkerchief. Even in past musicals, Astaire and Kelly were allowed free movement while dancing, but otherwise their hands and arms were, say, in pockets. In past musicals, there could never be any hint that a leading man might be gay.
  4. 1. Gypsy appears to be an homage to film's vaudeville roots. We see how entertainment evolved to the musicals of the big screen. We also see the demise in importance of the highly managed musical executives, the producer, for the rise of the independent, individual star (managed here by mom). 2. It's Rosalind Russell! She always makes an entrance. To her early comedic roles in "The Women" and "His Girl Friday" to the fabulous "Auntie Mame," it is all Rosalind Russell -- fast talking, fast moving, genius with the use of props, brash, loud, and aggressive with a profound sense of use of
  5. 1. I don't know if it needs the less-than-realistic, stylized approach. Do we have an example in this course of one that does not? Maybe the on-location scenes in On the Town where, as our lecturers noted, has some pretty dirty, gritty backgrounds? However, for An American in Paris, the more stylized approach works. The entire musical is a more theatrical production. Some of this approach may have been logistics, since Paris was less than idyllic after the destruction of WWII. The scenes had to be created opening the space for everything to look just so with lots of color to add to the final
  6. 1. I actually feel Day's Calamity character falls right in line with the female representation of the 1950s. It tells the story of the post-war gender conformity, yes? Women were no longer meant to be strong, be breadwinners, be heads of households with the ability to stand on their own two feet as during the Depression and WWII. There was a societal clamp down on the strong woman. Women were now meant to return to the role of housewives and mothers. Calamity was the strong, independent woman who stood on her own two feet. But, in this MGM musical, that had to be tamed, and tamed it was.
  7. 1. There is definitely an overall theme that each character has a role to play in bringing together this comeback. I also get a hint, though I cannot really put my finger on it, that each character's role is pronounced...the writer, the producer (or director?), the musician, and the star. I could not say that such a collaborative style is only a manifestation of post-war musicals, as we see the same regard for team work in musicals like Meet Me in St. Louis and On the Town. However, we do know Astaire is a professional dancer while you easily notice the heavy, uncoordinated footing of Levant,
  8. 1. I think the song was the theme song of Petunia's love for Joe. It is a song that is enduring, fitting for bedside and separation. It is one thing to be grateful one's husband has thwarted death, it a deeper thing to feel grateful in the everyday, and Ethel Waters was terrific in depicting this everyday, no-matter-what devotion. 2. I read a few of the other comments. I am not sold on the context of husband vs. child and separation due to war. I do think a mother would feel just as strongly about a dead, absent, or missing child as a partner. What would change, I feel, is the level o
  9. Quick Side Note: Kudos to Garrett for running up the bleachers in a long skirt, petty coats, and, mostly likely, some sort of corset. 1. The hallway is a great technique to create tension of determined pursuit. The director and editor then frame each scene to accentuate the pursuit. This is Betty's gag. Frank is vacillating, but playing hard to get -- which is a fun switch of gender roles. But, Betty is the center in this scene and the gag is her dogged pursuit of the man she loves. Her actions must be staged as bold and strong, the editing must highlight this strength. 2. We know t
  10. 1. I know I watched Wizard of Oz, but I was scared to death of the witch (poor Mr. Rogers couldn't even break my fright when he had Margaret Hamilton on his program and he showed how it was all make believe). Plus, those flying monkeys were downright creepy. Unfortunately, I've never been able to overcome my early reaction, so Wizard of Oz simply is not a movie I watch. For me, Judy Garland will forever be Esther Smith, in love with St. Louis and the boy next door. Meet Me in St. Louis is my favorite....and, my daughter's favorite insisting we watch it at the beginning of each Christmas seaso
  11. 1. The White House is depicted as grand. It is our White House. Huge portraits of past presidents line the walls impressing the exceptionalism of our fore fathers. Walking into the Oval Office, an entire navy is depicted in the decor providing honor, pride, and remembrance of Pearl Harbor. The American flag is prominent and is lit (it is not in shadow). Notice the president's clock is set at 9:00 - the first attack at Pearl Harbor came at 7:53 a.m. and the second at 8:55 a.m. Notice FDR's desk is clear, except for one piece of paper. Notice the atmosphere is calm. All of this assures the audie
  12. 1. To begin, Astaire's character tries to gain control by playing on Rogers' character's fear of the storm, and she knows she must contain her fear when she realizes he is going to use it against her. Then, while he's pleading his case, she is being very shrewd about her decision to consider his advances. And, I love how she puts up her hands at the moment he would typically take her in his arms to indicate that she isn't playing his game. Of course, Astaire takes the cue, saying through his dance moves, "Okay, that's the way you want it, if this is what it takes, let's go!" 2. I feel the
  13. I feel the Lubitsch touch begins in the opening dialogue; that is, when Chevalier's character addresses the viewing audience. His note, "She's terribly jealous," is a male character gaslighting to bring witnesses onto his side of the argument...a roguish move if there ever was one. The lover, female, is stereotypically hysterical while he remains the elegant man of reason. The audience immediately doubts the woman placing emphasis and gaze at the male lead. Of course, the garter and guns give a fuller picture of Alfred's philandering, but so does the fact that Alfred and the woman were in the
  14. 1. These are the early code days (correct?), so what I see in MacDonald and Eddy are worldly individuals fitting their outward performance into polite, acceptable behavior. In the first clip, there is heavy flirting, though the flirting was carried on in the subtext to the dialogue. For example, Eddy conveys how experienced he is with the other sex by explaining he created the song, his "line," to fit the name of whatever woman he is with (and his closing punchline, "Nothing ever worked with Maude," conjures up hints of many cold showers for Eddy though he gave it his best go). Meanwhile, Mac
  15. 1. I began looking at the films aesthetically in relation to history. This film was Depression Era so there seems to be an emphasis on freshness. The viewer gets the idea of climate control that is part of the escape into the theater (e.g., air conditioning lured people to the theaters in the summer). The flowers present this idea of controlled comfort. So, it wasn't only the material escapes -- nice clothes, big spending, elegant spaces, etc. -- it is the pure idea of comfort away from the reality that was ragged, dirty, and exposed to the discomforts of nature. 2. I agree with many of
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