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About Rainydaygirl

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    Central Point, Oregon
  1. How might Streisand’s performance of the song “People” have felt different in the film, had she been more theatrical and expressive, perhaps even belting her song more? It would have felt that she was channeling Ethel Merman. Note the emotional transition moments in this scene: how do the two characters relate to each other as the lyrics are sung? Nicky is not overtly coming on to her--but letting her lead the way. Fanny was showing him her feelings by turning to him at times and singing directly to him but at other times sharing her feelings by singing but not directly to him. How does the direction and editing of this scene support Streisand’s performance? Be specific about blocking, reaction shots, etc. Nicky is following Fanny but we are seeing the front of Fanny as she is singing to him. She is being highlighted by the way he is in the background, and she is leading the movement. He shows his interest by watching her and balancing her by being lower downstage. The lighting, Fanny's costume, the setting were sort of a sepia color. Soft. Reflective. Nicky in mostly black was not overtly standing out. This is to give Fanny the focus of this scene. The sepia-like colors also help show the times of that era. Not actually black and white, but channeling the idea of the history.
  2. I love Victor/Victoria. I have probably seen this film at least 20 times if not more. I am not sure exactly what the allure of this film is for me. I think maybe it's the friendship between Victoria and Toddy that continues through the film, as well as other friendships that happen. I think Preston gives Toddy gives a view of masculinity that isn't frought with apologetic nuances for being gay in that era. Preston, in his portrayal of Professor Harold Hill, in The Music Man, is on the outside a flim flam man. But ultimately his character, through Preston's singing and acting and dancing abilities, shows a vulnerability. It is that vulnerability that shines through in his portrayal of Todd in Victor/Victoria. I think this ability to show a man in a variety of emotions gives a greater meaning to the leading man character.
  3. I have yet to get an email from TCM with the "Now Playing" guide....I have subscribed a lot of times, with different emails, with different browsers. NOTHING. I have contacted TCM with my problem. NOTHING. Really frustrating.
  4. Is anybody else surprised not to see the film "Double Indemnity" on the list for Barbara Stanwyck's day under the stars? I know the picture has been shown on TCM this year, but still it is surprising not to see it today.
  5. For actresses: Robin Wright, Kim Basinger (for the blondes). Both actresses can be emotional, icy, cool and act in both comedies and dramas. Robin Wright in her current role in House of Cards, shows her range and Kim Basinger's role in L.A. Confidential, was the classic blonde but with depth. For actors: Like others, I agree that Tom Hanks is the Jimmy Stewart of today and I see George Clooney as the Cary Grant type. But I would suggest also that Anthony Hopkins can play the smooth evil character (like the husband in Dial M for Murder), John Cusack I can see as the every man type character who is thrown into all sort of unconventional plot twists. For directors: Wes Anderson---because he has his own style so indelible that you can tell it is one of his films without knowing the name of the director. The framing of the scenes, music and color remind me of the way Hitchcock used those in his films. Also, Anderson uses the same actors for many of his films. He also has had actors that have been cast against their usual 'type' (Bruce Willis in Moonrise Kingdom, for example). Another director: Robert Altman. Yes, Altman had actors improvising their lines, but his work showed a quirky sensibility---and humor (Cookie's Fortune---humor at a death).
  6. "The Lady Vanishes" was remade in 2013 for PBS's Masterpiece Mystery series. I watched this and loved it. When I read it was a remake of a Hitchcock film, I then saw the original. Although the PBS remake was good on its own---if you compare it to the original, well, I think the original is far superior. What I liked about both pieces was the starting at one point and then going through the 'tunnel' of a storyline into something that you never would have thought would happen when you start watching the films. Hitchcock brought in other storylines that added interest to the film. The PBS remake changed some details for the 21st century audience which I think made the film less interesting in some aspects.
  7. I think Cary Grant works very well as a villian in Hitchcock's movies (or perceived villian). He can be menacing without being over-the-top which adds to the suspense of the plot using his character to make us wonder. What's interesting from what I have read is that Cary Grant looked at his 'persona' of CARY GRANT as a character unto itself. So, if you look at how he uses this persona in Hitchcock's films (debonair, sophisticated, man of the world) it works with how we look at Hitchcock's use of Film Noir for his own personal strategy for whatever film he is making. It is not the end product, but rather a means to Hitchcock's film product. Cary Grant works as a Film Noir type villian in Hitchcock's films. If it was another film maker making these films with Cary Grant, I think he would seem out of place and not right for the roles. Hitchcock uses the complication of taking a screen idol, romantic lead and placing him in a different type of format and role which, I think, really strengthens the films Hitchcock made using Cary Grant. Ingrid Bergman has the styling that isn't fussy and allows her to be emotional without seeming insincere. Her ability to be soulful, playful and serious adds to Hitchcock's films that she stars in. I like how she is 'against type' with his later 'icy blond' starring actresses. There isn't any 'foolishness' with Bergman in her roles for Hitchcock. She plays a real, adult woman. Paring her with Cary Grant really is a great balancer. They work well together because they are different in their personas. That contrast sets up the scenes in the films for heightened emotion.
  8. Ah, so glad to be back into the world of Film Noir. Question #1 One thing I wanted to mention was the scene that was discussed in today's lecture video in regard to who Uncle Charlie is. Uncle Charlie shows the misogyny that can be one aspect of the Film Noir world. It is juxtipositioned against the hearth and home of his niece which really gives it a stark contrast. I think this scene really shows the ruthlessness of the character of Uncle Charlie. Charlie isn't a big fan of women. Question #2 The scene we viewed today for the Daily Dose uses starts with dialogue but toward the end uses the classic film noir technique of narration by the main character that gives their point of view. While the dialogue with the landlady is sparse and limited, narration gives the viewer an insight into who this person really is instead of what his dialogue says about him. Question #3 The film's score by Dimitri Tiomkin uses all sorts of techniques to drive home the point of that contrast between Uncle Charlie's world and the world he pushes himself into that is inhabited by his niece. There are happy little passages showing small town friendliness contrasted with darker sections that really give that contrast not only a visual face but an auditory one. Passages that use minor chords with an added chime that might be the foreshadowing that the time is running out for this man. The music builds to a crecendo when Uncle Charlie goes outside and passes the men on the corner. The music moves the scene to its conclusion.
  9. Very sad to hear of the passing of Robert Osborne. I am glad to have been able to 'spend' many years with him enjoying classic films.
  10. I agree with your comment. The brief opening scene dialogue sets up the character of Marlowe and the people he will be dealing with. There's one piece of dialogue that is interesting to me looking back in history. Marlowe is college educated. In that time, college wasn't an expectation for the vast majority of people. The economic situation didn't make college a necessity to get a fair wage that would support a family. College degrees were for certain professions. I think when Marlowe says that he 'still can speak English" he is making sure that he is 'relate-able' to the Colonel.
  11. Like many other folks have said, the narration reminds me of those educational films we used to watch. (Yes, I'm old---and yes, I was, at one time, a teacher---but started teaching long after these types of films were popular. ;-) But I digress... The narration is one thing, but the fly-over cinematography really helped set the tone that this film was going to be something objective, informative and probaby not fictional or at least told in a literary form. The light of day, the narration highlighting what the viewer is seeing all help make the opening something that gets the audience to understand that the film will be one of information. Although I haven't seen the film yet, I did notice that the copyright was 1949. So, the 'police procedural' films seem to me to have started in the 1950s. So, we are on the cusp of that era. "The Naked City", "He Walked by Night" and "Dragnet" (radio series) all happened in that 1948-1949 era. Film Noir, with its 'borrowing' from art, music, photography, literature and now another type of film, seems to add more variety and creativity from this addition.
  12. I have seen the movie "Gilda" several times. Viewing just this scene while just focusing on the dance and how it affects other characters was really interesting to me. This dance is a way to give Hayworth's character another dimension that dialogue or other action can't convey. When she is dancing (like others have said very clumsily) it is an expression of her frustration of wanting to get 'out of the box' that she has been put in. She does want to attract attention, but I don't think it is the attention of the customers, but of Ford's character, "Johnny".
  13. Excellent post. I agree that the music hasn't been discussed as much as other elements in Film Noir. One thing I am wondering about in terms of the Studio System of the late 30s-40s-50s is that studios hired the same composers for their films. So, if, say, a Max Steiner was hired to compose the score for a movie, how much of the score really lent itself to the actual movie? I guess what I am trying to say is how did the music help or hinder the film?
  14. I agree with you. I think what I really appreciated was the linear way he wrote about Film Noir--not only the history of it, but also expanding on how others view it. It's a great overview to help focus on elements of Film Noir.
  15. It wasn't really one film in particular that got me hooked on Film Noir. I watched wall-to-wall AMC when it was American Movie Classics. I found my favorites were the crime dramas---particularly the Film Noir movies. Been a fan ever since. Very happy to be among like-minded people with this class and TCM Film Noir showings this summer!
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