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  1. With the exception of one cutaway, the director lets the actors "act." The camera movement is subtle and unobtrusive, allowing Streisand to use her talent and charisma to carry the scene without distracting cuts and edits. The audience, like Omar Sharif, is mesmerized by Streisand and her performance. No need for her to "belt" out the song. This is a great example of talent, direction, camerawork, sound, lighting, etc. combining to produce a wonderful scene in a movie.
  2. It seems like this scene was shot with letterbox. In addition to the actors, a considerable amount of background can be seen. In a sense, the trappings of wealth and high society visible in the scene becomes a character that contributes to the entire storyline. The "wideness" of the shot allows for both characters to be visible and interact with minimal editing. Unfortunately (in my opinion) the "wideness" does not allow for the type of closeups that were used in films like Gaslight (see clip). The "faces" in this scene provided a considerable amount of detail and drew the viewer into the
  3. The camera composition reminds me of the very early days of the Hollywood musicals. A significant amount of the scene is framed with the entire stage in the shot. It is also shot from the point of view of the audience. Some of the early musicals we watched were little more that recordings of a stage play. The acting in the scene also reminds me of a stage play. As I sit and watch the clip, I envision myself in a small theatrical venue watching a stage play enter and exit from the wings. Rosalind Russel's dialogue delivery reminds me of her performance in His Girl Friday. In both fil
  4. This scene is reminiscent of a Martin and Lewis routine. On the one hand, you have the comic relief (Donald O'Connor/Jerry Lewis). Then you have the smooth masculine type (Gene Kelly/Dean Martin). The straight man (the stuffy, out-of-touch professor) provides the opportunity for O'Connor/Lewis and Kelly/Martin to showcase their individual talents. In this case, O'Connor provides the humor with his facial contortions and frenetic movements. Kelly remains smooth during the conversational portions of the scene but displays his athleticism and grace during the dance sequence. Each character
  5. I think the contrast between the elegance and opulence of the musicals in the 1930s vs. the "That's Entertainment" clip stands out. Compare the extravagant settings and costuming of a Busby Berkeley sequence or a dance scene from Top Hat with the "That's Entertainment" clip and you'll see quite a difference. Berkeley's numbers has elaborate sets with waterfalls and staircases. This number is on a stage with a couch, some ladders, and hand-painted scenery. Top Hat has Astaire in coat and tails while this clip has a nice suit. Berkeley's numbers has the female performers wearing all types o
  6. Thinking like a director and editor, describe how each shot spotlights key actions. There seems to be two types of shots. One shot relies on a medium closeup of the actors while singing, focusing on their facial expressions while singing. The other type of shot is a wide shot that focusing on the full body, displaying the choreography of the scene. If I remember correctly, I think I read where Fred Astaire wanted a wide shot of his dance scenes that displayed the movement of his body movement with minimal cutaways to closeups. On a side note, I suspect a stunt double replaced Sinatra a
  7. Like most people, the Wizard of Oz was the first time I saw Judy Garland perform on film. My first impression was that she was extremely talented singer and performer. These clips confirmed her talent as a singer and performer. It also highlighted her range as an actress. This is not a film but in the Sixties, Judy Garland had a TV show that once again showcased her talents as a singer and performer. Here is a clip. You may want to fast forward through the opening graphic.
  8. The paintings along the staircase feature iconic presidents in American history (Washington, Jefferson, Grant). FDR's office is filled with ships and paintings of ships. I suppose this is to emphasize his service as Assistant Secretary of the Navy. The dialogue between Cohan and FDR is full of references that touches on key elements of America's greatness. A nation that welcomes immigrants/assimilation - "That's one thing I've always admired about you Irish-Americans. You carry your love of country like a flag. Right out in the open." Patriotism/American Exceptionalism -
  9. One of the differences between the Astaire/Rogers dance scene and other dance scenes from the early Depression era movies is the objectification of women in films like 42nd Street and Gold Diggers of 1933. Through various dance scenes in early film, dancers are elaborate set pieces and kaleidoscopic spectacles that are visually appealing in their presentation. In Gold Diggers, women are clad in strategically placed coins that metaphorically connect sex and money. Compare Ginger Rogers costume in Gold Diggers when singing "We're in the Money" with her outfit she wears while dancing with Fred
  10. Two things I noticed about the Love Parade clip was 1) The residue of silent filmmaking that permeated this clip and 2) how much Lubitsch relied on visuals instead of dialogue to make his comedic points. Regarding the first point, I could imagine a title card used in silent filmmaking announcing the arrival of the "Husband" into the scene. Instead, of a title card, Chevalier looks straight into the camera to announce the unexpected guest. Regarding the second point, there were several visual gags (reminiscent of silent filmmaking) that added to the comedic flare of the clip. When t
  11. 1. In both clips, there is a "distance" between MacDonald and Eddy. While rowing the boat, MacDonald keeps her back to Eddy throughout the scene, despite the fact he is trying to gauge her interest in him. In the bar scene, Eddy remains seated at the table while MacDonald is singing in front of the rowdy crowd. 2. I've seen MacDonald in San Francisco with Clark Gable. According to a TCM article, Gable and MacDonald did not get along during the film. See article link. http://www.tcm.com/this-month/article/288495|0/Behind-the-Camera-San-Francisco.html 3. As mentioned in the firs
  12. 1. In the clip, everyone seems to be prosperous. Everyone from the audience in the theater watching the singer, her attendant, and the doorman seems to be well-to-do despite their position in life. Even the doorman attempts to return five pounds given to him by Ziegfield. By watching the clip, all economic worries are non-existent. 2. Filmmakers during this era used pure entertainment for escapism. The costumes, the music, the performances were pure entertainment, allowing Depression era audiences to escape the hardships of their daily existence if only for a few hours. Additionall
  13. There are so many great musicals to choose from. For me, two musicals stick out. Yankee Doodle Dandy and A Hard Day's Night. Both have great music. But just as important, they are a reflection of their time period. Obviously, Yankee Doodle Dandy reflects WWII patriotism, Hollywood's support of the war effort, and the government. By contrast, A Hard Day's Night reflects the post war generation's rebelliousness. There are scenes in the film poke fun at the older generation who fought the war. It's an interesting contrast. Regardless, it's the music that stands out in both films.
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