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  1. Mickey Rooney, Laurence Olivier and Gregory Peck are three of my favourite actors. I also love Joseph Cotten and think he was somewhat underrated. But there are so many other top class actors who I admire too. It's too difficult to choose three!
  2. Mary Poppins Returns is a very tasteful sequel to Mary Poppins. It is clear that it was made with respect to the original movie, capturing a similar vibe through the score, songs, animation, sets and story. It was fantastic to see some old pros in there too with Angela Lansbury and Dick Van Dyke. Emily Blunt was quite good as Mary Poppins. It was not a remake of the original movie but rather a new movie using other Mary Poppins stories that were "in the vaults", set in a later period from original.
  3. If Streisand had belted the song People in a more theatrical way it would be difficult to connect with the lyrics as an expression of her character. The sensitively sung moments in the song reveal intimacy and honesty and bring the audience into the performance. In song’s introduction, Fanny Brice (Barbra Streisand) is walking slowly up a street with Nicky Arnstein (Omar Sharif) following a short distance behind, attentively watching her and listening to her sing. As Brice walks she alternates between facing away and facing towards Arnstein. This conveys character insecurity; she is tott
  4. In both Gaslight and My Fair Lady a woman is under the control of a very selfish man who is dictating how she should behave. The woman undergoes transformation under the clutches of the man. In Gaslight we see Paula gradually lose herself and her sense of identity as she starts to believe she is insane. Her husband Gregory manipulates her in such a calculated way that she is made to feel trapped, guilty and unsure of herself. Paula’s emotional attachment to Gregory does not help the situation either. The themes of transformation, identity, love and manipulation that we see in Gasli
  5. During the Golden Age of Hollywood Musicals men were depicted on screen as strong and in control of situations, protecting their loved ones. They were romantic and respectful of women. There was courtship between men and women. This was part of a code of conduct clearly defined in the movies. As we reached the 1960s things started to become more liberal. There were not as many boundaries in relation to the way violence, race, language and sexuality was played out on film. We were exposed to more options; bisexuality and homosexuality for example. Hence, there were new characters in film
  6. This clip has the old backstage musical theme, the idea of ‘putting on a show’, which was prominent at the very beginning of Hollywood musicals. However, it has a more outlandish appearance. The children come across as precocious with their over-the-top costumes and singing. It is more aggressive and confronting than what we have seen before in the movies. Rosalind Russell has a well-projected, commanding way of portraying Mama Rose. You can clearly see that she is theatrically trained as she gives her all and has nothing to hide. There is not much subtlety or softness in her character.
  7. An American in Paris appears quite stylised throughout the entire film. Hence, there is continuity. It is very artistic with an expansive colour palate and very specific colour choices for each scene. Everything links together and is integrated in a way that makes sense artistically. Jerry Mulligan is somewhat cocky, bossy and rude in this scene, yet we sympathise with him because he is a poor, struggling artist. He is trying to assert and prove himself in a world in which his work has not been recognised. He is substituting weakness with dominance. It is difficult to unlike him when he
  8. Before O’Connor and Kelly segue into dancing they are in fairly casual standing positions. O’Connor has his arms folded in a relaxed way and Kelly has his hands in his pockets and chest more expanded. This body language helps to define their characters. O’Connor’s character is more in the background as a piano accompanist where as Kelly’s character is in the foreground of the public eye as a movie actor. When O’Connor and Kelly dance they are very powerful, dynamic, energetic and in sync with each other. It is so exciting to watch. O’Connor appears lighter and springier in his dancing st
  9. I think Calamity Jane was portrayed on screen to challenge the feminine stereotype and also define the essential characteristics a woman must have in order to survive socially in the 1950s. She is not your typical dutiful housewife; she is strong, skilful and independent and very capable of being involved in the “Man’s World”. When she softens and lets her guard down emotionally, Bill Hickok realises that he has been in love with her all along. Hence, it is communicated that a woman should intrinsically display her kindness, compassion and emotional vulnerability on the pathway to finding lov
  10. During the first verse, the characters alternate in singing each line of the song. Each character has their opportunity to contribute to the key idea of “entertainment”. The second verse is mostly sung by all four characters together. They have cemented their ideas on what entertainment can be. Cohesiveness is displayed. Earlier musicals tended to show a character singing a whole verse on their own – there was more focus on individualism. The costuming is very conventional and practical, showing all four characters in standard day wear of the decade. There are no really bright colours to
  11. Petunia is at Joe’s bedside for the first half of the song Happiness is a Thing Called Joe. It is filmed using a close up shot to emphasise the relationship between Petunia and Joe. The focus is on Petunia. Her deep love for her husband is displayed through her facial expressions. She is smiling not just with her mouth but with her eyes as well. When the number transitions to an outdoor setting, Petunia is taking washing off the line while her husband is sitting in a chair, relaxing and recuperating. Petunia’s role as a wife is clearly defined – she is displaying care, affection and support to
  12. The scene opens and we see the walls on each side of a stadium corridor. Dennis walks out of a side room and is witnessed to Shirley at the end of the corridor acting like a third wall. There is limited space and Dennis cannot avoid meeting her and so he is somewhat trapped. We see Dennis running the other way, out of the corridor, into the open and through the stadium benches to try and escape the clutches of Shirley. Shirley calls out “hey” to grab his attention and then begins singing. The musical number fits perfectly into this scene as a way exaggerate the opposing feelings of the charact
  13. The Wizard of Oz was the first Judy Garland film I watched. I was completely in awe of Garland’s warm voice, her radiant eyes, her beauty and naturalness. I have been a Judy Garland fan for 10 years and have watched all of her films. She is my idol – a magnetic performer and true entertainer. Also, Judy Garland did indeed play the piano, hence why she made it look so real in For Me and My Gal. As a child she was taught how to play the piano by her mum, Ethel Gumm. Playing the piano was a pleasurable pastime for Garland, something which was very personal and private that she did not want
  14. This clip conveys the patriotic style from the get-go. It is all set up in a way to show the ideals of the American Dream. We see Cohan and the Butler making their way up the stairs, alluding optimism. The downward camera angle gives us the perspective of moving onwards and upwards beyond the terrors of war. There are large portraits of American Presidents which establishes a sense of nobility. The White House appears very homely with pictures, flowers, plants, furniture, fireplace etc. The first shot we see in the flashback is of an American flag. The dialogue supports the scene design.
  15. Happy Birthday to the superlative Judy Garland! Born 96 years ago on the 10th of June in 1922 in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. What are some of your favourite Judy Garland movies? Top 5 for me would include The Wizard of Oz, Meet Me in St. Louis, Easter Parade, In the Good Old Summertime and Little Nellie Kelly. Here is the link to a YouTube video tribute I made to Judy Garland a few years ago to the Neil Sedaka song Calendar Girl, because you can enjoy her movies all year round! Judy Garland - a "Calendar Girl"
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