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Everything posted by dittietwin

  1. 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? The scene would have felt different if Streisand’s performance had her belting it out by putting her character in a loud and pushy character where it could have scared off Arnstein. Brice had to keep in her quiet naive role so we could eventually feel for her success on the stage in contrast with her (Brice’s) personality. The portrayal kept her sensual and passionate about people rather than have the scene be all ab
  2. 1. Explore any common themes and filmmaking techniques in a very different movie also directed by George Cukor, Gaslight. (If you are not familiar with Gaslight, compare and contrast Cukor's theme in this scene and his techniques with another musical you have seen during this course) I love the movie Gaslight. The Cukor direction in that movie was superb. He seemed to give Bergman freedom to put herself in a constant state of confusion, but to portray it subtly; little by little where we don’t really see her reaching her limit of possibly going insane until, we, as the audience, and
  3. 1. As you look back to the masculine performances in musicals of past decades, what changes in male representation, and performance would you say are most noticeable? The most noticeable changes in I see are in the strong male actors that were being placed in musicals. I don’t think the typical charismatic actors were being put in the typical musical roles anymore. In addition to Robert Preston’s Musical Man role, I also thought Omar Sharif was not the typical co-star to portray a musical number alongside Barbra Streisand. 2. What other specific qualities do you notice about
  4. 1. This scene looks backwards in the way it has a vaudeville-ish performance when the two girls dance so animated and that they are performing individually like the 1940’s performers did. It seems to look ahead when Russell begins to put demands on the director and lighting crew. She, as a female, is being in charge which is the attitude of female performers to come. 2. I feel Russell’s entrance was very theatrical with lots of drama and quick talking. Her appearance was set up so she would look very important, with the brief case and dog in hand, which allowed her to be a bit int
  5. 1. Does a movie that has as stylized a scene as An American in Paris’ ending ballet need to use a less-than-realistic, stylized approach throughout the film? I like the less-than-realistic approach throughout the film. It provides a nice contrast to allow the viewer to focus on the story while the characters can act out their dreams and fantasy. This approach helps keep the story in perspective. 2. What keeps Jerry Mulligan from being completely unlikeable in a scene in which he acts pretty darn unlikeable? The only thing that keeps Jerry from being completely unlikeable
  6. 1. The pre-dance movements seem to set us up for a kind of comical scene where O’Connor is not taking the lesson seriously. Kelly’s reading keeps the cadence going and then they both start breaking into a two-part song. 2. A straight man has got to have a lot of self-confidence and be willing to step back and let the others get all the attention. Still this scene would not be nearly as affective without a straight man. The focus is on the wonderful dancing, but the professor is needed to give the dancers a reason to use the props and finish the scene. 3. I think th
  7. 1. As you reflect upon female representation in the 1950s, where do you think this film character falls in the continuum? The film represents a strong reflection of how a female performer can really take hold as a leading actor and how more women were becoming the focal point of the musical themes. Why? Woman were becoming more independent and were eager for stronger character roles and could hold their own against the male performers. The economy was doing well and woman could choose their career rather than have it be assigned to them like what happened during WWII.
  8. 1. As you watch the interaction between the four characters in this scene, what do you notice about the way they include each other or relate to one another? For this, I turned the sound down on the video clip. So first, I noticed how close they stand, sing, and dance next to each other and how often they touch each other. Then I noticed how animated they are; their hand movements and facial expressions are so exaggerated. But in the end they are keeping each other positive and smiling. How is it different from early musicals we have discussed? The early musicals were of ind
  9. 1. I noticed that the scene was directed to keep Ethel on a close up shot while she sang with a huge smile on her face. Although the song is poignant because of her love for Joe, her smile is infectious. Cutting into the laundry scene shows another day has passed and we see Joe sitting up in his chair on the way to recovery. 2. I don’t think the song would change even if Ethel was singing to a child. Singing to Joe is like singing to a child. The lyrics talk about angels, Christmas, and love; lyrics that can relate to anyone. 3. I can see in this scene that besides
  10. 1. The key actions highlighted were the running up the stairs, the the knocking on the wall, and the running up the bleachers, in that dress, in addition to Betty lifting and swinging Frank on the bleachers no less! This scene really made Betty look like an aggressive woman and made Frank look like a little boy. 2. This sequence prepares us for the singing as each key action pauses and the music also follows a swell and then calms so the actors can start their singing.
  11. 1. The Wizard of Oz was the first film I watched with Judy Garland. I thought her singing was wonderful and that her crying was so moving. 2. I view Judy as being so professional because she makes the routines look so easy. Her body movements are natural and fluent. She’s dancing with two of the best technical dancers in musical history. You can tell she loves music and all it has to offer with singing and dancing. I’m surprised the scene actually shot Judy’s hands on the piano keys; they didn’t do that very often. It’s like placing Judy in Dancing with the Stars…she, too, ha
  12. 1. This scene promoted American values by the making the long staircase a focus of the scene so it can highlight the huge paintings on the wall of past presidents and by the conversation between the two characters about George’s dance number about the flag. I also noticed the flag pin on George’s lapel. Just the fact that George was visiting the President of the United States showed a huge American value; that the President was accessible to those people who put America first. 2. I thought when George started talking to the president and the president said how George “was his doub
  13. 1. The Lubitsch touch allows the audience to see how dramatic these characters can be without it being a musical scene. Alfred is very amused by the woman being disinterested in her husband and prefers Alfred instead. 2. The sound in this film is very quiet except for the sounds that made a difference in the scene, the dialogue, the prop gun, and a door shutting. There’s no background noise like music, or noise from the outside in the streets, or noises from the characters’ movements. 3. I can see where the glamourous dress of these characters were used and repe
  14. 1. I noticed that Sgt. Bruce has a huge liking for Marie but she does not seem to return his flirtatious persona. 2. I’ve only grown up seeing film clips and remember how they were the classic romantic musical couple of the silver screen. Many early cartoons and television shows would imitate them. 3. These clips tell me that the male/female relationships were very different than they are today and that during that era it was very common to see women dancing as one of the main sources for a man’s entertainment.
  15. Daily Dose #1 1. Yes. I think the brighter perspective is shown here vs. how things were in the nation as people were coming out of the depression. The audience was filled with high society people dressed in expensive clothing in an expensive theatre and probably prior to that, out for dinner and drinks. 2. I see a theme where life was carefree and money was not a concern. 3. If this was pre-code, I think the language and costumes would have been more provocative.
  16. 1. Other aspects of battle of the sexes would be the flirtation by Astaire where he thinks he can swoon Rogers because she should be afraid of lightning and she would see him as her protector. 2. I think, again, this film distinguishes itself from other Depression era musicals first by the scenery. A lovely gazebo of some kind is presented which makes you think the residence is either a fancy hotel, ballroom, or even a rich person’s backyard. Astaire’s and Rogers’ attire is of high quality and very nice looking which indicates that they must have had money to buy those outfi
  17. I think Hitchcock might consider reaching out to writer/director M. Night Shayamalan. His list of awards is very impressive: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_awards_and_nominations_received_by_M._Night_Shyamalan#Academy_Awards M. Night... 1) uses the same 'stars' for his films (actors in 2 of his movies: Bruce Willis, Bryce Dallas, Joaquin Phoenix, and Cherry Jones) 2) He writes and directs and likes surprise endings 3) He does cameo appearances in all his movies 4) He introduces the story with 'ordinary' people' in extraordinary situations: The Sixth Sense, Signs, Unbreakable
  18. To both Dr. Edwards and Mr. Philippe: Whom would you consider a "current Hitchcock-type director today? I think M. Night Shayamalan comes close due to the way he creates a life/relationship story amongst his characters within the story line of the movie; he tends to set his movies in the outdoors; he also lets the viewer see the mystery while we watch the characters figure out a resolve; and I notice now he also adds MacGuffins in his films, and of course, he appears in his films. Your thoughts? Thank you for sharing your love and enthusiasm for Hitchcock! I'm going to miss this cla
  19. 1. How does the opening of Frenzy differ from the opening of The Lodger? Feel free to rewatch the clip from The Lodger (Daily Dose #2) for comparison. Frenzy differs from The Lodger first in the opening music. Frenzy’s music is more of a patriotic sound and The Lodger’s music is dramatic and builds up the suspense of the opening scene with the body. The Lodger opens with a dark evening as one person approaches and sees the body while Frenzy opens on a bright sunny day with a crowd already in place to see the body. 2. What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in
  20. 1. Based on the opening sequence alone, what do you feel you already know about Marnie as a character? In what ways does Hitchcock visually reveal her character through her interaction with objects. I sense that Marnie is a woman with good taste in fashion and that she has money to purchase all the items she’s packing and from the box belonging to Albert’s which s a very high end store. I see suspicious behavior with all the money and hidden I.D.’s and changed hair color. Definitely a woman on the run from something. 2. How does Hitchcock use Bernard Herrmann's score in this sce
  21. 1. In what ways does this opening scene seem more appropriate to a romantic comedy than a “horror of the apocalypse” film? What do we learn about Melanie (Tippi Hedren) and Mitch (Rod Taylor) in this scene? The opening scene music is light and matches Melanie as she walks quickly and “lightly” across the street and soon gets whistled at by a young boy making me feel that her looks may be an important part in this movie. I’m beginning to realize that Melanie is a main character with good looks, class, and money. The look on her face when Mitch comes in lets me know she is attracted to hi
  22. 1. Psycho opens with title design by Saul Bass and music by Bernard Herrmann. This is their third collaboration for Hitchcock, including Vertigo and North by Northwest. How does the graphic design and the score introduce the main themes of this film? The graphic design and score are introduced at a fast speed, setting up a fast paced feeling for the viewer with anticipation for something serious to happen and something to happen soon. The moving lines through the titles create a feeling of confusion and that “things are breaking apart; breaking down” referring to the word Psycho.
  23. 1. Even at the level of the dialogue, this film is playing with the idea that two Hollywood stars are flirting with each other (e.g. the line, "I look vaguely familiar.") How does our pre-existing knowledge of these stars function to create meaning in this scene. Being aware of Cary’s reputation and previous roles which he played, Cary creates a character which is very close to his own self; debonair, controlled, well dressed, so he is playing a type-cast character which fits and provides his ordinary character with a controlled debonair attitude while being put in a unpredictable a
  24. 1. Describe what you think this film will be about simply from the sounds and images in these opening credits. Even if you have seen the film, try to focus on these sounds and images themselves and “the story” (or if not "the story," the mood and atmosphere they are establishing) that this sequence is communicating to the audience. Actually, with the opening bold and quiet music build up, I think the film is going to be a dramatic story; the close-up of the face showing the lips; lips that are not smiling and the eyeballs that are moving, searching, and become wide as if the person is
  25. 1. How would you describe the opening camera shot of this film? What is Hitchcock seeking to establish in this single shot that opens the film? Whose vantage point is being expressed in this shot, given that Jeff has his back to the window? The opening camera shot is an in-depth continuing pan around the apartment courtyard giving the viewer the full description and feel of the architect and different levels of the apartments and how the apartment connects with the use of fire escapes and stairwells. I think Hitchcock is trying to make me feel like I am the one looking out the apartment
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