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Everything posted by BrianBlake

  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'Connor
  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 t
  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 as
  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 nu
  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
  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 do
  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 late
  15. FYI Broadway Melody is pre-Great Depression. It was released in February, and the Great Depression started to begin in August/September 1939, and then there was the big stock market crash day Black Tuesday at the end of October 1929.
  16. I haven't seen very many, especially pre-1960. A lot of more modern ones I've seen were bad. I think GREASE 2 probably is the king of this category. But there's some modern musicals that got awards nominations which I hated as films. My go to's for that are: SWEENEY TODD (2007), LES MISERABLES (2012) (don't @ me, Tobe Hooper's direction was terrible--hey hit us in the face with another close-up--as was Russell Crowe), and FAME (1980).
  17. I'm not in this field, but those would probably be called race films as well. American history tends to focus on white-black, but of course there are other minorities and the treatment of them can be quite disparate. At the risk of stirring the pot, I watched SWING TIME earlier today, and in a certain way I'd say it's a quite 'white' film. In particular, this occured when you think about Lucky's character and all the various things he does and gets away with. I don't think it was consciously meant to be about race in some way, but it's hard to ignore watching it today, especially when a
  18. Finally watched SWING TIME, since Unspooled is doing a podcast on it this week and I'm doing the TCM course this month. Wow, for a big chunk of the movie it's on one--the scene to scene plot progression and presentation feels like it's way out there for awhile and kind of on pluto until things start to wrap up after the blackface number. I'm not familiar with many older musicals or Fred Astaire. What a weird movie star that guy seems like. He's got such a goofy look to be a romantic lead but it works for the broad tone and comedy. There's lots of clever callbacks with words and things set
  19. I'd bet the farm that that's the case for the vast majority of these titles. With more and more services and channels focusing on acquiring and licensing IP, it's got to be much more difficult for TCM to easily and economically show movies that it doesn't already have the rights to. I'm sure there's something in the fine print of contracts, but I do think it's weird that Filmstruck currently has a number of musicals that aren't scheduled to air--e.g. Singin' in the rain.
  20. Very ironic feminist role model, considering how they later film the Rhett/Scarlett love/rape scene. (But she's happy after! She got what she needed!) And that scene is progressive, but again pro-lost cause and confederacy since the yankees are rapists and carpetbaggers. But you're right. It's complicated and I still enjoy the movie for those elements, the performances, and other things it's epic scale is impossible to overlook. But I do find it ridiculous, aside from it's undeniable importance, iconography, and cultural significance and popularity that it's so often listed and listed high as
  21. It's not harsh at all. The movie comes after a number of films decrying mob justice and the fickleness of the mob. And at the point it does it, it's almost just another moment to hit us with how wrong she is. The movie goes out of its way to depict her as a flawed matchmaker, emasculator, and completely blind the realities of what's going on and willing to buy into whatever would make her look or feel the best, but depicts her inclinations as totally corrosive to society.
  22. As a history major, focusing on American history, I can tell you that you really can't get very far with that rationale. And even that aside things like the character Priscilla...it's practically indefensible on the race relations front. Nevermind how many people are now more cognizant of the whole lost cause hagiography and how this movie fed into that, not as explicitly as Birth of a Nation, but nevertheless clearly is sympathetic to that idea. I wonder how the sexual politics play to people as well. I'd also go out on a limb and say in 2007 with people loving the Lord of The Rings movi
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