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  1. I watched the clip the first time and I picked up a few of the things the questions posed. I then went to the message board and started reading the posts. One went into great detail, answering each question in order, giving insights that I was not aware of. So I went back and re-watched the clip, paying attention the costumes, the extras, the easily overlooked sexual innuendo to fool the censors. 1. It definitely exhibits a life that was not reality. Everyones clothes were immaculate, even the extras. The nonchalant way in which Ziegfeld addresses the handing off the money (more than his day's wages at the time) to the doorman for freely giving him the information he needed showed life is great, let's spread it around. The theater was ornate and held was bedecked with jewelry. The hat, which at that time, how tall ones hat reflected one's wealth. Notice she never takes it off. Her dressing room is completely unrealistic. First the size. I don't care how big a star you are no theater has the room to give anyone a room that large. Second, the rooms decor spoke of wealth and overindulgence. Also, her maid's clothes are brand new and she speaks better than most maids would have. And let's not forget the orchids. Who gives orchids? And that many? It's ridiculous. Exactly. 2. Wealth or the obtaining of wealth and status. The theme of two wealthy men vying for a poor girl. Anything that either treats wealth as normal, but the wealthy could be loony, pretending not to be wealthy, making others wealthy to prove he doesn't need it. 3.Well, first off, I want to talk about some of the things they did to subvert the censors. The suggestiveness of the song is an obvious device, but what I didn't notice the first time, but could only laugh when spotting it the second time, was the placement of the mirror as it hung on a chain from her neck. It draws your eyes directly to her crotch as it bounces around her pelvis with it's semi-phallic shape. Pre-code, everything good have been changed to a more realistic scene. The doorman probably would not have chosen her eyes on which to compliment and the tip would have been penny. The rivalry between the men could have been hostile. The singer could be a more realistic performer from France; sexier, more revealing costume. She could be escaping from pre-war France with whatever wealth she still possessed. Since it is a story about Ziegfeld and Held they could write it more closely to reality.
  2. Will Mad About Musicals be accompanied by a Canvas course? I have taken the last three and really enjoyed them. Usually I am informed via e-mail about any new courses, but I might have missed it.
  3. This is the third TCM class that I have taken, and I have never participated in the online discussions. I find it difficult to express any new thoughts that haven't already been posted. With so many voices speaking about the same questions posed, I feel like I am just a parrot. That said, I haven't seen a Hitchcock film in years, so trying to say that this shot or that theme is one that he will develop over the years is what I expect to learn in this course. As for the limitations due to a lack of dialogue, to start with, I had to watch the scene twice just to realize that we weren't watching the same girl from the opening. I thought she was wearing a wig and took it off. In the second scene where she is robbed, I immediately thought it was money they took and they would be surprised when all they got was paper. It finally dawned on me that the guys who took the letter are bouncers for the club and knew what they were looking for. It also explains why she didn't react when he pulls her back when people come out, giving him a chance to take the letter. Dialogue between the two men to set up the scene would have made clear why they were taking the letter, they might not even know, but we might have learned who wanted it taken, or even who the girl is. The third scene was fairly obvious and did have some dialogue to help the story along. But when the woman came down the stairs the dialogue was in her eyes. She was not happy to see the young men talking to the pretty girl. The movie can go in any number of directions after this scene. Many questions where created during the scene and how they are answered moves the story in a different direction. For example: Why was the woman looking for a job at a low class establishment, and who wrote her the recommendation? Why did the men take said letter, and for whom? Why was the woman coming down the stairs bothered by the men, one of whom was most likely her date for the night, talking to another woman, and whether or not she knew the girl. These are my thoughts. Although it feels like I am talking to myself.
  4. I too was fascinated by the way the subject was broken down like a sports show. This is a very modern way to teach the subject, having one personify the audience and the other the instructor answering on a one-to-one basis. I quite liked it. I know that I shouldn't be talking about how the information was disseminated, but it really was used quite effectively as a teaching method. I have been watching Slapstick since I was a wee lad in the early 60's and have never examined them for what made them funny. The scene with the banana was masterful. It wasn't the slipping that I noticed, it was all the other extraneous movements that preceded the slip. Hand waving, leg bending and feet movement helped to distract the eye away from the banana and onto Charlie so that the slip would be a surprise. In the cop scene I was impressed not only by the choreography, but also with the editing to make it look so seamless. If it was shot in one take, then his acrobatics were even more amazing.
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