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thstarkweather

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  1. I liked the first shot, which was a good 50 seconds in length. It allows us to see the reality of Eliza's emotions as she is always central in the frame. We and the camera stay with her. Here, Cukor's direction allows us to sympathize with her and later question Higgin's motivations and manipulations. Without this shot, the tenor of the rest of the scene would be dramatically different, and we would be less able to identify with Eliza.
  2. So the first thing I need to write is that I never before noticed how this clip from Music Man inspired the song sequence from Monorail episode of The Simpsons, with Phil Hartman voicing the huckster. My opinion on question 1 varies from some of the other posters. I feel that the move away from Astaire or Kelly like dancing and operatic singing was done to make the male performers more masculine. I don't know when, but I feel that song and dance became coded as gay and/or feminine. Men can still perform, but they can't be too showy (or flamboyant, to use a term laden with connotations
  3. It is on Filmstruck if you want to try that streaming service. I watched it last night. Can't explain the US and Canada discrepancy.
  4. I don't know if my response is what Jon Severino had in mind, but I have been thinking about that post and surmised that the analysis has to do with genre and the direction of Hollywood's leading male actors in the 1960s (and possibly in the 50s). Gene Kelly can more than capably perform as the lead alpha male in these musicals, but I have a hard time picturing him taking on the roles of Warren Beatty, Steve McQueen, Clint Eastwood, Burt Lancaster, etc. This statement is not an indictment of Kelly, nor should it be taken as a ranking of which actor is better. But as the musical waned and th
  5. This trio here work into the template of the professor/teacher who is not street smart enough to know that he is being had by the two school buddies: class clown (O'Connor) and the too-cool-for-school alpha male (Kelly). All three play their roles perfectly. And O'Connor facial expressions are pitch perfect. I love how he and Watson go back and forth and how O'Connor skillfully sides with the professor only to undercut him later.
  6. I don't know if I could identify a single person as "the lead" in this scene. Indeed, take this number out of the film and ask someone who has never seen the film who is the lead, I don't know that they could answer. They all appear to work communally to convince us that they are all equally entertaining. As I formulate a response to the costumes, I realize that I really don't remember much about the costumes, which might be the point. They were all well dressed, but there was nothing obvious or flashy or distinct. The male costumes in particular did nothing to highlight or accentua
  7. Alicia Malone's Filmstruck podcast brought up this film. A month or two a ago she had a panel discussing art versus artist and how we view view films in the #metoo era. The podcast also turned to issues of race and depiction of race in film, and Song of the South was discussed. The panel largely agreed that the film is incredibly offensive, but some panelists mention the necessity of seeing such films to see how and why such art is created. I haven't listened to the podcast in a while, but I believe they drew parallels to Birth of a Nation.
  8. The Kid from Spain is available on Filmstruck. I was looking for something else, and then I remembered your post.
  9. Filmstruck has a good number of musicals. They don't have everything that the course is recommending. I do believe that 3 of the 4 for next week are available. But only 1 in week 4's recommended viewing list is (Cabaret). However, Filmstruck has many of the other films, particularly 30s musicals, that have been referenced by Dr. Ament and her guest lecturers.
  10. I agree with this in at least as far as the camera's depiction of the city is concerned. That is what struck me the most. The camera does not turn the city into a stage. So in that sense I do not view the scene "presentational." I will draw a quick comparison to the dance scenes in Top Hat. Let's take the dance competition in the gazebo in the rain and the ballroom dance in the hotel. While Astair and Rogers don't look into the camera, those scenes are presentational in that they present those settings as theatrical stages for the dance numbers (which are great!). In On the Town, New Y
  11. Thanks for the West Side Story reference. I will see it next weekend in the theatre and look for similarities in how the city is captured.
  12. I agree with you TopBilled. While my personal preferences skew in certain directions, those preferences should not be seen a statements about which genres are more important or significant. But I will inevitably draw upon my current knowledge of films to help me think about a genre with which I have limited experience. And I was struck by the convergence of those two opening sequences filmed on location in NY and released within roughly a year of each other. I appreciate the feedback and conversation.
  13. Well, if we can't draw comparisons between and across genres then I suppose that we will be prohibited from talking about the amazing noir influenced musical number in The Bandwagon.
  14. Rather than commenting on today's Mad about Musicals Daily Dose, I wanted to write briefly about Dr. Ament's discussions regarding On the Town and the significance of it being filmed on location, particularly the opening sequence and musical number. During the lecture, I couldn't stop thinking about the opening sequence in Dassin's The Naked City (1948). This was also shot on location in New York and its opening also begins with large panoramic views of the city. But unlike its musical counterpart, this noir film digs into the particular nitty-gritty aspects of the city as night falls and daw
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