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About Earthshine

  • Rank
    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 02/06/1963

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Northeastern Ohio
  • Interests
    I have been teaching English at the high school level for the past 32 years. The one course I truly enjoy teaching is my Science Fiction/Horror Fiction class, where I have my students study film making techniques that are effective for both of those genres. I thoroughly enjoy watching as many films as I can, primarily but not exclusively from the horror and science fiction genres. I enjoy studying film making techniques, looking critically at what a director chooses to include (and exclude), how he/she shoots a scene and why. I am also an avid reader, with my interests covering a wide gamut; however, I am particularly fond of Kurt Vonnegut, whom I heard speak twice during his lifetime. Look for me on Facebook under the name Loren Santiago.

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  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? Having seen a few videos of Streisand performing “People” live, I do not see how she could possible belt this number more than she does in the film. However, her rendition here is more “muted,” as it needs to be within the context of the larger film, I think. Once, again I am at a disadvantage because I have not seen the entire film as of this posting. But based on what I have seen, it seems that Fanny sings the
  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 have not seen Gaslight. However, I have seen The Wizard of Oz several times, a film that Cukor also contributed to, as I am assuming no one taking this course needs for me to mention. I discovered that Cukor was hired as a “stopgap” director at one point after Richard Thorpe was fired? According to o
  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? These two clips seem to focus more on the singing as a means of establishing/developing Preston’s characters, and of advancing the plot in The Music Man, since the song about pool in integral in “selling” the town on buying instruments to keep their children out of “trouble in River City.” True, the songs in earlier musicals often did the same thing as well; however, some songs in earlier musicals—as noted earlier in th
  4. 1. In what ways does this scene look backwards to classical musicals and how does it look ahead to new disruptions that we now know will happen in the movie musical? As a backwards glance to earlier musicals, this scene shows the hallmarks of the “behind-the-scenes” or “backstage” musical as we watch the auditions for Uncle Jocko’s Kiddie Kapers and the politics and pressures surrounding signing the “balloon girl.” The song being part of an audition at this point in the film, it does not necessarily advance the plot, as songs in musicals from the 40s and 50s might have. However, ind
  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 must admit that I have not seen the entire film as of this posting. In fact, all I have seen so far are this clip, the scene where they try to describe Caron’s character, and the final ballet scene, so my response is largely speculative and may end up missing the mark a bit. However, as Dr. Ament, Dr. Ghering, and Gary Rydstrom have all noted, this musical is a “luscious love letter to Paris.” That being said, it seems that
  6. 1. How do the pre-dance movements of O’Connor and Kelly compare to their actual dance movements? O’Connor’s rubbery facial expressions reflect how his dance style differs slightly from Kelly’s: O’Connor seems to be a bit looser and more elastic than Kelly. Also, there is a definite rhythm and “poetry” to O’Connor’s and Kelly’s words and movements—after their initial “stiffness”—as they repeat the tongue twisters more quickly, which prepares them and the audience for the song and dance that this leads into. This rhythm carries over into the beginning of the dance, which quickens just
  7. 1. As you reflect upon female representation in the 1950s, where do you think this film character falls in the continuum? Why? Out of necessity during WWII, women needed to enter the workforce to fill the roles vacated by men who were serving. However, when men returned after the war, women returned to their more traditional roles within the home. As noted on the Khan Academy website, “The norms of consumer culture and domesticity were disseminated via new and popular forms of entertainment – not just the television, which became a fixture in middle-class American households during
  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? How is it different from early musicals we have discussed? Right away, when they begin dancing, I noticed that each character uses the same choreographed moves in the dance, unlike the “competitive” dance between Rogers and Astaire in “Isn’t it a Lovely Day?” from Top Hat. Perhaps as a sign of equality and stronger roles for women, at one point, Lily steps out from the line to sing, and each man in turn does a brief dance step w
  9. 1. What do you notice about the way the scene is directed as Petunia goes to Joe’s bedside and as we cut to her outside hanging laundry? What does this tell us about her relationship, and the connection to the song? First, as a side note, I find it interesting that King Vidor first wanted to cast Ethel Waters as Chick—the temptress—in Hallelujah! It’s a bit ironic that she is now the dutiful housewife who is trying to keep Joe from the clutches of Georgia Brown in Cabin in the Sky. And as the dutiful housewife, she remains loyal to her husband, a known gambler who has left a church
  10. 1. Thinking like a director and editor, describe how each shot spotlights key actions. At the risk of imposing an unintended baseball metaphor on this clip, one could argue that Garrett is simulating the role of a catcher blocking the plate and getting Sinatra in a “run down,” keeping him from getting past her. I saw this as soon as he leaves the locker room and tries to walk down the hall and around the corner. Even though there is no actual dance in this scene, their slide steps come close as she keeps stepping in front of him. As they come out into the stadium, the camera remain
  11. 1. What was the first Judy Garland film you recall watching? What was your first impression of her? To be honest, prior to this course, the only Judy Garland film I was familiar with was The Wizard of Oz, which I have been watching since my childhood (too many times to count and more years that I want to mention). In fact, this is one of the reasons I took the TCM course this summer. I was more “well-versed” in the films of Alfred Hitchcock for last year’s course, but I wanted to learn more about the history of musicals, which is why I took this course as well. But when I saw Garla
  12. 1. Describe how the scenes in today’s Daily Dose were designed to promote American values for audiences during World War II. Be specific. Refer to props, set design, settings, etc. in your answer. The opening scene being set in the White House as Cohan is preparing to meet Roosevelt and the flashback to the July 4th celebration the year Cohan was born not only establishes the framing story that outlines Cohan’s (auto)biography but also establishes both the American values prevalent at that time and the values that the nation tried to promote during the war. Roosevelt’s presence in th
  13. I love the graceful fluidity of the choreography in this scene. 1. What other aspects of battle of the sexes do you see indicated in this clip or in the film Top Hat? One aspect of the battle of the sexes that I detect at the beginning of the scene is Rogers’ reaction to the storm. Astair compares aspects of the storm to parts of a courting ritual. And it is assumed to be a man’s role to comfort a woman during a storm. The lightning is the spark; their kiss, the thunder. He makes the latter comparison after seeing how Rogers reacts somewhat negatively to that suggestion, show
  14. 1. 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)? First, I noticed a carryover of some silent film techniques in this clip. More specifically, I noticed the close-ups on the garter, the handbag and gun, and the contents of the drawer. Granted, more contemporary films also include similar close-ups. But too often, today’s “innovative” directors create a more frenetic pace, by not focusing on any image for more than 2-3 seconds. In earlier films, more specifically silent fi
  15. 1. What do you notice about the interaction between the characters in these two scenes? Please give specific examples. In the first clip, Eddy seems to view women as conquests, perhaps, as is suggested with his comment about using his song more than once, as long as a woman’s name fits the tune. This seems to be reinforced with his comment about Maude—merely one of his past women—when he says nothing worked with Maude. His comments about MacDonald’s current love interest also suggest that he perceives her as yet another conquest, showing that he doesn’t like to lose, and usually doe
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