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NeverGonnaDance

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  1. If there is anything we have learned this month, it's that musicals are of their time. What do you think La La Land tells us about our time, and the relationships we have personally/culturally/politically, as a musical intentionally set in a vague time period somewhere between the old and the new? These are the interesting things to think about - how a musical, or any movie really, transports us to a specific time and place for a reason. Whether that is for pure escapism, subversive political/cultural commentary, relaying values, experimentation for disruptive reasons, or what have you, t
  2. 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? Most noticeable to me is the the change toward the male figure as a genuine and affecting storyteller, and not just someone who carries a song, dance, romantic plot, or represents masculinity in a very superficially "alpha" and emotionally inaccessible way. In the first clip, we have a musical number featuring a con man, Hill, trying to get everyone in River City to believe his story about the moral dangers of playing pool
  3. 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 this scene takes place during an audition for a stage show, we are immediately reminded of the Backstage/Show Musicals of yore and their focus on giving the audience a glimpse into how a show is put on. There are quite a few elements present in this scene that we can associate with these classical musicals, including the setting, the presence of a less-than-friendly producer, the over-worked and under-appreciated theatre musi
  4. 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? This needn't be the case with a film that includes fantasy-like or stylistically strong elements, especially when those elements are mean to contrast with reality; however, with An American in Paris it is the case anyways. Because this was shot on a backlot in Culver City rather than in Paris, we are already seeing a highly romanticised version of what Paris looks like in reality. So the day-dreaming sequences, such as the beautiful end
  5. How do the pre-dance movements of O’Connor and Kelly compare to their actual dance movements? What's noticeable about how they set up their dance is that their actions are synchronised in the way that they are playing off of one another and sort of following the other's lead - although O'Connor comes across as more of the "gag man" with his starting off the whole thing and making funny faces behind the back of the professor. Even so, from the way they step in time to the way they move their hands and speak, it's clear they are in on it together. This synchronisation sets us up nicely for
  6. Some food for thought / an intriguing look into what could have been and a compare and contrast exercise for those who are interested
  7. As you reflect upon female representation in the 1950s, where do you think this film character falls in the continuum? Why? In the 1950s, we typically saw a return to what was considered "ideal femininity", or what studios wanted to depict as the height of feminine appeal and allure and place within society - we were supposed to be getting back to "normal" after all, and studios needed to keep with the sentiments of the time. But because we had just come out of a depression and a world war, there had to be a delicate balance between what public opinion was regarding females and how they s
  8. I am much more familiar with Depression Era & WWII Era musicals - so I am looking forward to these next couple of weeks since there are quite a few of them that I have never taken the time to sit down and watch from start to finish. Started with Gigi this evening, and would also love to try to get to all, or some, of: Calamity Jane, Annie Get Your Gun, Small Town Girl, Pal Joey, It's Always Fair Weather, and Silk Stockings.
  9. 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 way this scene unfolds makes it clear that there is not just one "star of the show", but rather four of them. As each character begins to bounce ideas off of the other ones, we see them constantly switching places within the shot according to who is singing about what. The movement and choreographic elements of this number are very simple, thus allowing for a "let's do this
  10. Our themes this week included nationalism and unity in pre-war, wartime, and post-war America. I encourage you to think about why you disagree with Dr. Ament's interpretation of their usage of blackface in musical numbers of this era, and what you would say was going on there instead. I quite enjoy the podcasts. It's difficult to not go off on "tangents" when there is so very much to be talked about. With a condensed course like this, we are only getting a tiny snippet of the plethora of interesting topics and information available to chat/think about when it comes to studying films of
  11. I would always keep in mind that, much like anything, critical analysis is not something that can be perfected. There will always be some detail or other that you feel like you missed or could have done a better job explaining. This is mostly because we just never really have all the information we need when we need it. But that's okay! Analysis is not something that comes naturally - as such there is no proper answer on "how to do it". It takes years of practising putting yourself in the mindset to sit down and think differently about a topic. Baby steps and small victories. Focus on fle
  12. 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? The sentiments of the song are clearly genuinely felt by Petunia, and the way this scene is directed shows the audience that she needn't just be by Joe's side in a time of need in order to feel this way. Her love permeates even life's most mundane moments - such as airing laundry - and she probably feels like she could sing this song all the time and still mean every word. Her re
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