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Fred & Ginger

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Everything posted by Fred & Ginger

  1. This is a beautiful song and I think Streisand does it so well here. If it was "belted out" I'd say it would lose a lot of what you see. The intimacy, the vulnerability would be gone and so would the softness of her character. And I like how there's a distance between them here as she sings the song as well. You see the chasm that is widening between them, that they both want different things. The fact that Fanny is off on her own, on the stairs, seems to say that she knows she could lose him. Yet the song still has her yearning to be w/him and to be close to him. It's a very interesting dynam
  2. I saw Gaslight about a year or two ago so I'll give it a go on comparing them. The idea of the male controlling the female is definitely predominant in both films just in different ways. In Gaslight, Charles Boyer as the husband is trying to make his wife go mad, and here in My Fair Lady we have Rex Harrison trying to mold Audrey Hepburn's Eliza into someone she's not. The idea of light and shadow I believe was also showcased in Gaslight, as Ingrid Bergman's character was continuing her descent into madness. Eliza herself seems absolutely despondent here as the scene opens. Her grief is
  3. I think that as time went on into the 1960s we began to see that there were different types of masculinity across the spectrum. The idea of "alpha" and "beta" were not the only types to be considered. Audiences began to see more layers to a man than had ever been seen before. Man was now more complex and multi-faceted and so was their masculinity. Robert Preston is truly fantastic. I hope to see him in other films as I've only ever seen The Music Man and always thought he was stupendous in it. He is a very articulate performer who pulls you in to the point that you don't want to let go.
  4. I feel like we are looking back here to the time of the "backstage" musical where we are putting a show but the idea seems quite different. We have Mama Rose, who wants her child to be the star (obvious nepotism at play) and wants to see only her succeed whether she's talented or not. The choice of song for the child is also rather suspect and seems more like a novelty than a true performance. Mama Rose is quite forward and basically takes over the direction the minute she steps into the theater. She is bold and brazen basically walking all over the director. It's evident who is in charge from
  5. I would say yes, mainly because if there was realism throughout the film and then you dive into a fantasy sequence it appears jarring, out of place. Now mixing a little realism into the fantasy wouldn't make it so bad and the transition itself would feel more seamless and smooth. I feel like there is more fantasy in this film due to the main idea of Jerry's relationship w/Lise. The very idea of their relationship feels like a fantasy as Lise is engaged more or less to Henri. Now once we get to the party, we see little bits of reality thrown in at the break-up of the two relationships. Then at
  6. Throughout the number the one thing that stood out was how each character here is represented: Don is the student learning dutifully from the teacher, the Professor himself is the straight man, and Cosmo is the comic relief. Before the dancing starts Don is the one learning this difficult rhyme while the Professor tries to listen and Cosmo is clowning in the background. This seems to translate into the number as Cosmo really seems to be having a ball, Don is a touch more serious while still having fun, and the Professor is watching off to the side. I've always thought of the straight man
  7. I think that Calamity Jane seems to fall somewhere in between when talking about female representation. She's trying in ways to become more feminine and attractive but at the same time continues to retain those stronger characteristics of independence and energy. Doris Day does a fabulous job of blending these two ideals together which is evident in "Secret Love". Jane is a touch softer now and sweet while still keeping the vitality and passion at the forefront. As I have only seen a few of Day's films I can't quite comment on how she grows as an actress during the 1950s. The films that
  8. In this clip, it truly felt like the four of them were making a collaborative effort in this number. Not one person stood out, and everybody each got there own time to shine in form or another. They were all equals in figuring out how to create a show. The costumes even showed it, as each person was wearing something that didn't stand out. The colors all seemed much more neutral, like Lily's gray dress and Jeffrey's blue jacket. I found it rather interesting that though this was a collaborative effort, Fred Astaire seemed to hang back for most of this number and the others were at the forefron
  9. Bill "Bojangles" Robinson is definitely on my list. He was without a doubt the best tap dancer of his time, if not all time. It's amazing for me to think now that I'm older that this man was doing amazing work like this in his 60s and he's just as nimble, quick, and graceful as someone half his age, perhaps more so! And I loved seeing his work w/Shirley Temple. They were so sweet and charming together. Donald O'Connor is another good one. He easily matched Gene Kelly in Singing in the Rain from Fit as a Fiddle to the Moses Number. Plus Make 'Em Laugh was really a tour de force of his com
  10. You can definitely see the love and the intimacy between Petunia and Little Joe when she sings this number. The focus is entirely on them. I love how her hand is gently resting right below Little Joe's chin throughout the first part of the number and how eventually his hand comes up to meet hers. There is a change in how Ethel Waters handles the number. In the first part her love and devotion to Little Joe is on full display along with her gratitude that he is okay. Then when the shot switches to her folding laundry it seems more lighthearted and carefree. She seems more relaxed and happy. But
  11. I feel like with each shot we see exactly what we need to see of the action throughout the musical number. The camera pans out so we can see long shots like the tossing of the baseball, them running up the bleachers, and the slide down the railing at the end of the number. Then we have close-ups where there's touching, the knocking on the bleachers, the finger that Betty points back and forth between them, etc. And the number is also seamlessly put together by the editing so there are no cuts, no jumping and we feel each moment smoothly transition into the next. The soundtrack to me kind
  12. Like everyone I'm sure has already mentioned, the first film that ever exposed me to the wonderfully talented Judy Garland was The Wizard of Oz. Sometimes I think it was simply an unwritten law that you had to see The Wizard of Oz as a child. Anyway, I remember as a young child even being captivated by Judy's beauty, youth, and innocence in this film. I don't believe that I truly began to appreciate her dazzling talent though until I saw Meet Me in St. Louis somewhere in my teenage years I believe. There I just fell in love w/her charming personality, though we also saw a feisty side to her wh
  13. In the first few minutes of this film, the ideas of patriotism loom large from the portraits of former Presidents on the stairs to the flags in the Oval Office, to the parade on July 4th in the flashback. The dialogue also promotes it, showing Cohan's love and pride of his country, Cohan's mention of "always carrying a flag" stands out the most. Opening with the July 4th Parade I think would change and/or dampen the message of patriotism coming from the film. Seeing Cohan coming to the Oval Office means something and shows how important the love of his country is to him. His talking to the val
  14. I'd say Cyd Charisse without a doubt. The number "Dancing In The Dark" from The Band Wagon was absolutely fantastic. And Judy Garland as well. They only worked together in Easter Parade but the impact is obvious.
  15. As you can see by my name, I'm naturally a huge fan of Fred and Ginger. And this film in particular is a favorite of mine. I like how it shows them both on a more equal footing, something that really wasn't seen in other musical films prior to this. In the first part of this clip, I noticed for the first time Ginger's facial expressions as Fred is singing to her. She has this look of like 'Oh really, you think you can charm me? Think again.' But, Fred is persistent and begins to dance. The surprise I think here is how well she can match him, step for step. It's fascinating. I love how they see
  16. Alfred definitely appears to be a playboy showcased in this scene by the garter and the line indicating that our lady is married. The many guns tell us that this little scene has played out before many times w/similar results. We also see that the gun is not loaded and neither of them have been hurt and that the wife is rather disinterested in the proceedings. I found the lack of sound rather interesting. You could barely hear the gun when the husband shot Alfred and thereafter there was no sound as he checked himself for a bullet wound. Impressive and elegant surroundings I believ
  17. In the first scene, Eddy and MacDonald have more of a playful vibe w/the banter going back and forth between them. When each of them sing, however is where you see the attraction. They are visibly affected by it. In the second scene, Marie is very embarrassed and uncomfortable about her abilities to sing correctly in that particular atmosphere and this gets heightened by Brucie's presence (when she recognizes it). On his part, he seems very interested in her singing the moment he sees her and continues to watch her throughout. To me, it is a very different level of intimacy. The idea of seeing
  18. The perspective is extremely bright here. Anna is very light and carefree, showing no problems or worries. Her having a maid shows money which was in scant supply in those days for most of the American public. Essentially we are seeing a facade of the times, something that the public desperately needed in those days. They wanted to see a bright happy future w/love and romance, wealth and prosperity which is what is portrayed onscreen. Themes I think would be naturally consistent and as the movie musical progressed, they usually followed a similar format. The idea of boy meets girl, boy ch
  19. The Lodger's opening seemed much more frenetic and chaotic than the opening here for Frenzy. It was much more played up there where as here in Frenzy it was look, there's a dead body. The reaction didn't seem at all the same to me. The Lodger was much more high-energy while in Frenzy it was much more calm and orderly like. The biggest Hitchcock touch that I saw was the opening aerial shot with the helicopter. Bringing us slowly into the picture with a wonderful view of the river.
  20. Much is revealed as to Marnie's character in the opening scenes. The vastly different suitcases one very neat and orderly and the other completely chaotic show two different lifestyles entirely. Several different SS cards show that she must live a double life of some kind perhaps more with all the different aliases she appears to have. Also, at the end she disposes of the key to the suitcase obviously not wanting it to be found. At one point Marnie even looks to be changing her hair color from brown to blonde (at least it appeared that way to me). Herrmann's score starts off rather light
  21. There is a more light, playful and flirty vibe in the opening scenes which gears towards romance rather than horror. However, there appears to be an undertone of what's to come by the birds appearance as Melanie enters the store and the raucous noises of the ones inside as she talks to the shopkeeper and Mitch. The sounds of the birds give the mood a very noisy, chaotic feeling with a lot of unpredictability. Nobody knows what could happen next. Which seems to be reflected in the banter between Mitch and Melanie as they talk birds.
  22. With the title design and score it feels as though we are being transported to a different world. The score is very dramatic and frantic signaling a significant change will occur early on in the picture. The title design feels fractured with the credits seemingly going in different directions (like Hitchcock's name). Noting the location, time, and day makes it feel as though this is very important to remember later on. Something will happen and given the fact that it's so specific whatever it is will be big. The opening reminds me of Rear Window giving us the feeling that as the audience w
  23. This is quite a scene as far as scenes go in the Hitchcock world. It's very simple but it lays groundwork for what's to come later as that matchbook shows. Cary Grant is the suave, debonair, handsome guy while Eva Marie Saint plays it cool but also manages to be wonderfully sexy at the same time. The music is very low and romantic staying that way until the sexual tension begins to ramp up hence raising the music as well. And the sound of the train interspersed with noises in the dining car keep us grounded in the reality of the location.
  24. The sounds and images in these opening credits make me think of messing with your mind all those hypnotic shapes and images with that psychedelic like music in the background. The close up on the eyeball is also interesting when it registers shock giving the audience the clue that we're in for quite a ride. With the shapes going back seemingly into the eyeball at the end, it gives us the impression that we were inside that eyeball's mind and seeing those shapes and images as they saw it.
  25. In the opening shots of the film, Hitchcock seems to be giving the audience an idea or a window if you'd rather, into what Jeff can see. We as the audience meet his neighbors and see what some of them do, an idea of who they are. Jeff is revealed fairly quickly to us as the audience by showing us where he lives, why at the moment he is there, and his sense of humor based on the cast. Then the camera pans to to Jeff's camera equipment, his photos, and a magazine cover giving us an idea how he met the woman in his life. This opening scene definitely gives the impression of living in a
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