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About BrianBlake

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  1. A great point. I'm not sure the two have to always been at the expense of the other though. For example, post-code SWING TIME is a really bizarro/spectacle movie in a lot of ways, but it holds together well, imo, albeit in a loose kind of comedy way. The same is true of TOP HAT, which maybe I'm in the minority on because I liked SWING TIME more. It might just be my taste or a small sample size, but while they're formally progressing, I'm not enjoying the 50s musicals as much some of the earlier ones.
  2. 1. do the pre-dance movements of O’Connor and Kelly compare to their actual dance movements? I took this as roughly their actions before about a minute in. O'Connor clearly is the one doing the most mirroring and mocking of the two (esp. the close ups of him and the professor and the exagerrated facials), though he doesn't go into humor territory with Kelly as much, which I think signals how in sync they're meant to be for their dance number, but they're each going to have their own style and movements within the core framework. Kelly's pre-dance movements aren't as noticeable as O'Connors before the dance, but he's driving the conversation and he also seems bemused. (To me this seems like some sleight of hand as Kelly seems to take up more of the space once they start dancing, though he does seem to follow along and possibly be led once the dancing starts.) 2. Watch the Professor all the way through and consider the role of the straight man. He is a straight man for this number, but he's also very hammy, especially with his facials. He gradually becomes the straight man more and more as the dance goes on, and I guess he gets emasculated by being shown up so hard. 3.How do the representations of masculinity in all three men compare and contrast with each other? I'll have to chew on this some. I guess the professor is supposed to seem more of the intellectual, aggressive with the knowledge he wants to impart type. O'Connor is a bit like the boyish student, class clown type, who seemingly adores the intellectual, but really is mocking him just as much as appreciating him. O'Connor also acts with the drape like it's a head scarf, which maybe is meant to show he's playfulness gender-wise. Kelly seems more like smart jock pupil who gets what's the teacher is sayin, but he enjoys the class clown more and joking around. Plus, he's going to really show off and demonstrate that he's got it totally down. Interestingly, I think O'Connor actually starts more of the key transitions in the dance.
  3. I'd be very curious to read what people with professional dance training or experience have to say on this. To my uneducated eye: Kelly's style strikes me as more clearly athletic and hard-working. He's also got a stronger build.Maybe there's a number of Astaire movies I haven't seen where he does numbers that disprove this, but I'm not sure you see Astaire doing as many moves with lifts or carrying people on his back as Kelly sometimes does. Kelly seems to also favor doing broader moves with his body or steps or landing with his legs farther apart and knees bent. Maybe I'm talking from too small a sample size, and that's more a choreography difference vs. style difference. Astaire's is more graceful and smooth. Obviously, there's a ton of athleticism and showmanship there too, but Astaire seems more like he can conceal and trick audiences with it. At times you almost think to yourself...this guy must've rehearsed this 100s of times and meticulously planned. He's got a less animated, more within himself/naturalistic sort of vibe, at least to me. edit: Great PDF btw. Other thing I've noticed is that Astaire tends to stays more upright, whereas Kelly will bend more forward or at the knees during numbers, and more extremely to the sides as well.
  4. In how it's conveyed, no, his gambling doesn't come off negatively. But there's still numerous lines about how he needs to change his ways, and it's implied that he does at the end after he loses a key bet and the main romance culiminates. I think that's how this movie loosely satisfies the code, not all that different from how many film noir movies manipulated their way into satisfying the code but still getting a bleaker vision across. I don't think it reflects negatively on his character or anything. But it's also obvious, when you think about it, that if they made that character an asian lead role or a black lead role, I don't think sections of the movie would've worked for audiences. So in that way, it does reflect his race.
  5. That's part of it. He does have a class and grace, but at least in SWING TIME, you can tell he's got a bit carny/vaudeville in there. He is elegant and smooth, but it's a bit performative somehow. Victor Moore being in the movie also I think is meant to make him seem even more elegant--he's crass and likely to intentionally cheat people, but even just looking at appearance and style: Moore is balding even more, he's more rotund, he's not as tall, he stumbles around more, and he slurs his speech far more.
  6. Because they aren't stars and probably can't act as well in terms of modern film acting... La La Land certainly isn't perfect, and I ride hard for Moonlight, but I never got people hating it. Just like how okay...I wasn't in love with The Shape of Water, but it was still fine.
  7. From having watched SWING TIME (1936) earlier, I'd recommend that people DVR that if they can. But FYI it does have a blackface song/number, if that's something that's too much a turnoff for some folks. But man, I'm planning on rewatching it at some points--hopefully it gets introductory and/or end comments--but it's an out there movie in a lot of ways. Or it hit me that way anyway. And Stevens really brights a lot of energy to the directorial craft. I don't know if I agree with AFI's 100 movies list for it, but I can see why it's on there, and it definitely was an interesting watch in numerous ways.
  8. I've not seen a ton of these. But, yes, constantly, even today. For example, I really disliked Les Miserables, The Producers (the musical obviously), Sweeney Todd, etc. I'm not gung ho for Sweeney Todd the play, but I enjoyed it, but the other two I adored on the stage.
  9. Hoping for: Footlight Parade, The Wizard of Oz, Top Hat, Born to Dance, maybe Hallelujah or parts of it anyway I got a head start some this week and have already watched: Swing Time and 42nd Street, and finished Broadway Melody today. I'm also likely to watch Victor/Victoria on filmstruck since I missed it on TCM when it aired earlier this week.
  10. I wasn't a huge fan either, but I think there are worse musicals. I don't think the casting and the rest was as much to blame as you put out because obviously they were struggling and limited by the technology, and probably didn't know much about the limits at the time they were trying things either. But the acting and direction definitely needed considerable improvement. I get what you mean, if you want to just solely avoid context, and say, hey what am I going to rewatch and turn on cold one night after work... But having had the misfortune of taking a date to a **** like From Justin To Kelly, or having to sit through Grease 2...I wouldn't go worst musical. If you include animation, The King and I is was truly dreadful too.
  11. She's been gunning like she knows she should've gotten the lead part, and is going to make sure people notice so she gets future leads.
  12. Man...I'd guess it was a kids or epic movie...maybe WIZARD OF OZ, GONE WITH THE WIND,or BEN-HUR (but maybe not since my grandmother had the VHS for that one.) If I had to guess one, I'd guess GWTW since I did some googling on what TCM was showing in 1994 (I was born in 1987). However, I do recall the first time as I was getting more into movies and decided to turn on TCM and late one night a movie knocked me totally on my butt. That was RAGING BULL.
  13. That's a good one. It reminds me of THE NAKED SPUR, where I also had a similar it's symbolic but c'mon! issue--like okay, that lesson is really important and pivotal for the characters, but you know....ya'll could still take the money, right? It doesn't have to be a false dilemma! It's still a great movie though. There are a number of Spielberg movies I'd put on this list. I really, really hated how WAR OF THE WORLD's ended at the time. Now, okay, I guess it makes sense as a terrorism metaphor, but I still think it was a weak cop out. MINORITY REPORT I really like a lot, but part of me does wish Spielberg had stuck to the darker parts of the story and Tom Cruise doesn't pull it out at the end. I'm sure others will come to mind.
  14. Obviously an important movie and groundbreaking movie, but like some groundbreaking movies...it didn't hold up that great to me. It might've wowed a lot of people at the time to see people talking and doing musical numbers, but plenty of later ones did things a lot better and while innovating things that would get recycled going forward and eventually seem formulaic. Anyway, I didn't like a number of the voices, that might've been a technology issue somewhat perhaps, and lots of the acting was bad, even probably for this era. The direction wasn't so hot either. I've got to watch HALLEJUAH later, but I think King Vidor or somebody like that would've at least pushed the visual elements more. Choreography also clearly got pushed ahead a lot more too in the following years. It is funny though how MGM as a studio would develop a rep for sophistication and glamor, when this movie didn't hit me that way at all. I didn't hate it, but I imagine this is probably a consensus bottom 10 for those Oscar best picture completionists.
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