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ladyjessica68

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  1. 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? One of the things that I’ve noticed about early musicals is that the men are not really alpha male type characters. They often are flowery and warbly and don’t have a very strong masculine presence on the screen. Fred Astaire, while being a great performer, was not really an alpha male. Moving on to Gene Kelly and the musicals of the late 40s and 50s, the male characterization changed. I think the war had to do with thi
  2. 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? This scene looks backwards to early musicals first and foremost in the staging. Early musicals were often staged as a live theatre performance would be staged, with the audience looking in on the action. It also hearkens back to classic musicals with the show within a show mentality, but looks forward in the subject matter. Mama Rose is probably one of the most disruptive characters in musical theatre history, and she does n
  3. 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 don’t think that the entire film needs to have the same stylized approach throughout. For one, if the entire film was as stylized as the ending ballet, the ballet wouldn’t seem as special because it would be no different or better or worse than the rest of the film. 2. What keeps Jerry Mulligan from being completely unlikeable in a scene in which he acts pretty darn unlikeable? For starters, he’s played by Gene Kelly
  4. How do the pre-dance movements of O’Connor and Kelly compare to their actual dance movements? They clearly are preparing the audience for something big. O’Connor starts it off and Kelly mirrors his movements, first in how they speak and then in how they move the professor around. Cosmo even starts the dancing while Don tries to maintain his cool, apathetic manner, but then Kelly takes his obvious lead and really gets into it and ratchets up the number. 2. Watch the Professor all the way through and consider the role of the straight man. The Professor does a fabulous job playing t
  5. 1. As you reflect upon female representation in the 1950s, where do you think this film character falls in the continuum? Why? Most female characters in the 1950s perpetuated the view that women were soft and feminine and good housewives and mothers. Calamity Jane, while showing a softer side of herself (and only to herself, not to anybody else) in the second clip, stands out because she obviously is not comfortable portraying the soft and feminine woman. I haven’t seen the entire film, but it seems that this character stands apart from the continuum but also follows it at times. 2.
  6. 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? The characters in this scene truly seem to be working as a group, without any one of them being the focus. This is different from earlier musicals in that early musicals usually had one person in the numbers who was the focus and the rest of the performers were in the background. The earlier Astaire films that were discussed showed him as the star and highlighted his dancing
  7. 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? This scene begins in shadow, and Petunia is despondent. Once Joe calls her, the entire mood of the scene changes. The scene is lighter, both in feel and in actual light, as Petunia goes through her song. She sings like a giddy school girl, happy in the knowledge that, for all his faults, her Joe is going to be okay. This tells us that Joe is her world, and to her life is not wo
  8. 1. Thinking like a director and editor, describe how each shot spotlights key actions. This scene starts off small and grows to use this entire section of the ballpark. To me, this highlights how Betty is willing to go to any lengths to get what she wants. Frank literally running away from her and her chasing him up those wide bleachers turn the tables on traditional male/female roles and put her in the driver’s seat. She is aggressive and has no qualms about going after her man. Frank is submissive and eventually caves to her advances. 2. It’s interesting to examine how musicals
  9. 1. What was the first Judy Garland film you recall watching? What was your impression of her? The first Judy Garland I recall seeing is The Wizard of Oz. I was very young, probably 5 or 6, and I was just totally and completely enthralled by her. I became obsessed with the film and watched it over and over and over. Even then I think I recognized how special she was, and how she showed you her heart in every note. The love that I found for her with that film has never wavered.  2.How do you view her differently after viewing these clips than you might have viewed her previously?
  10. 1. From Cohan’s flag pin, to the portraits of American presidents, even down to the paintings and models of ships in the Oval Office, this clip oozes patriotism. This continues with all of the flags waving and the musical selection played during the parade scene. The idea that a regular American immigrant, or son of an immigrant, can work his way up to greatness and meet the president is also one that reflects American values. 2. The dialogue in this clip almost makes it seem like a war promotion reel that would be shown before the film. The butler saying that Teddy Roosevelt sang “You’
  11. What other aspects of battle of the sexes do you see indicated in this clip or in the film Top Hat? I can see very subtle hints. Most women in film at this time would have been easily wooed by Fred’s singing and romanticizing to her, but Ginger is having none of it. Early in his song, you can see her almost rolling her eyes and thinking about how she’s going to get out of this. Gradually, though, she puts herself on the same level as him, indicating an equal partnership instead of him leading the way. I can also see kind of the “will they or won’t they?” question in this dance. They start
  12. 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)? The gun, the garters, the muffled and slightly secretive dialogue all work to let us know that Alfred is something of a lothario, and that this is not his first time being in this type of situation. Personally, I loved Alfred’s grin while the husband was trying to zip up his wife’s dress. Alfred knows he’s a lech and he seems to revel in it. 2. Based on this scene, what are some of the things you notice about the scene’s use of s
  13. 1. In both clips, it strikes me that the interaction between the two characters seems to be mostly at arm’s length. They are close in the canoe, but they barely look at each other and Marie acts cool and disinterested. In the second clip, she clearly has fallen in stature and is embarrassed, yet Sgt. Bruce treats her no differently. However, in the first clip Marie clearly is in control of the situation whereas in clip 2 she is not in control at all. 2. I have not seen these actors in any film or on tv, but I have my dvr set to record tomorrow. 3. Again, I bring up the distance betwe
  14. 1. Yes, I do agree that the clip exhibits a much brighter perspective of life. The Depression was, for lack of a better word, depressing, and if people scrimped and saved their pennies to be able to afford to see a movie, they didn't want it to depict the harsh realities of their everyday life. The movies really saved people during this time by giving them a way to escape, even for an hour or two, from their downtrodden lives, and this clip depicts that escape. The costumes, the frivolity in Ms. Rainer's performance, the lighthearted music and score, the comedy - it all adds to the escape from
  15. My love for musicals started when I was about 5 or 6 with Annie. My dad would get me the video and I would watch it over and over and over and pretend I was Annie. I then became obsessed with The Wizard of Oz, and that helped develop my love for Judy Garland. Both of these films were integral to my childhood, and to my never-ending love for musicals, both movie and live theatre. As I got older, I learned to appreciate them even more. I can't pick one favorite, but my top choices include the two already mentioned as well as The Music Man, Singin' in the Rain, The Sound of Music, My Fair La
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