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  1. Science fiction - the one genre I really don't watch. I'm not knocking it, but it's just not my thing. So I'll skip this year. Too bad. I'd like to see courses that don't necessarily focus on genre. Like the Hitchcock course was great. How about another director? Or music in films? Thanks for the info.
  2. The main way I saw the "Battle of the Sexes" and the equality in their dancing was in two places. As others said, they were matching each other step for step, and occasionally Ginger threw in something extra. (Though I don't feel like Fred was leading all the time - maybe we just "read" it that way because that's what we expect.) Nonetheless, given her clothing, she was the one who was matching Fred - she was in the masculine clothes and dancing to match the "real man." However, at two moments, Fred look "feminized" to me. One was at 3:26 when Fred initiates a strong rhythmic move that pr
  3. What do you notice about the Lubitsch touch? How do the props, the dialogue, and the staging help you understand the character of Alfred (Maurice Chevalier)? Several folks (chillyfillyinak and thinman2001) have mentioned the great use of the garter, the gun, the drawer full of guns, the zipper, etc. One thing that I also noticed was the picture on the wall just above the cabinet where the guns were stored. It shows a woman lounging in a diaphanous gown - it seemed almost like a representation of his life with all these women that he's seducing. It's subtle, but it shows that this appro
  4. The thing that struck me about the male/female relationships in these scenes is the way that music is used for seduction. In the canoe scene, it is Eddy's crooning - and his virtuosity - that is appealing to MacDonald. As long as he's singing in that very refined, "gentlemanly" kind of way, she seems to be thinking, "Hmm, he's appealing." It calls to mind the quote that Dr. Ament gave us: "the soundtrack indicates that he is avidly commingling with her." His vocal mastery and dexterity seem to also be a stand in for his romantic (and perhaps sexual) dexterity that she seems to be intuiting
  5. I wanted to comment about the clip in the Lecture Notes of Judy Garland and Deanna Durbin in Every Sunday (1936). The juxtaposition of the classical/popular music is, of course, obvious in the scene in their two singing styles. But a couple of other things also strike me. 1) Right at the beginning the guys in the audience look at the program and say, "Ah, a waltz. Real music." That gets right to the heart of the issue. For many at the time swing wasn't "real music," but a waltz with its classical flavor was. 2) When Judy starts singing in her more swing way (after singing a bit of a
  6. In light of the discussion in the Lecture Video of women in musicals having to choose between career and domesticity - it's interesting to watch the scene of Anna in her dressing room. Billings is clearly the man she's planning to meet - and he's depicted as all business (when her dresser says something about - he'll talk to you about the American tour). But she's also clearly smitten with the flowers. Even as she's pooh-poohing Ziegfield as a "Junior," she intrigued and is continually drawn back to the flowers. Billings = career; Ziegfield = romance? I know it's not that simple, but I j
  7. Wondered if anyone can identify someone in a clip from Broadway Melody. If you look at the Lecture Video from Day 1 (Monday) at 2:55 - you can see her behind the male singer. She's in a black dress with long pearls. What energy she has!! This is just a quick clip, but I recall from seeing the full movie that she's just right there the whole time adding pep and joy to the scene. Any thoughts on who she is? To me, she makes the scene.
  8. Interesting no one's mentioned Doctor Doolittle. Not a fave of mine either. But I thought I'd share that it's one of the films that's discussed in the book by Mark Harris, Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood. An interesting book that looks at 5 films from 1967/68 and how they changed the terrain in Hollywood. It also looks at Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?, Bonnie & Clyde, The Graduate, and In the Heat of the Night. Lots of interesting history and backstory about the making of each film. Evidently Rex Harrison was a real piece of work on the set (a
  9. One thing that's also of interest when it comes to musicals: how do we define what a musical is? We all know one when we see one, right? But there are those interesting examples of blendings of genre. My students often ask me if, for instance, O Brother! Where Art Thou? is a musical. I always say "good question - what do y'all think?" And then I don't have to try to give them a definitive answer - because ... who knows? I can go either way. It's on the musical continuum it seems to me. But I also think you can't just say a musical is when music is at the center of a film (like in Amade
  10. Like many others - I enjoy a variety of musicals (Sound of Music, Oklahoma, West Side Story, 1776). But I can NEVER turn away from Fred and Ginger - no matter how many times I've seen them. My favorite dance sequence is the first one in Swing Time. So amazing - much of it in one long take! And the way they fly over the little "fence" around the dance floor as if they're floating - lifts my heart! And Fred singing "The Way You Look Tonight" from the same film - so sweet! And I love Fred and Eleanor Powell's "Begin the Beguine" number in The Broadway Melody of 1940. The way
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