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Amanda VanValkenburgh

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  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? I think that showing more emotion in the acting and singing have changed dramatically from the start of musicals to present day. What other specific qualities do you notice about Robert Preston in either or both of these clips? Robert Preston has such a unique voice and presence when he is performing! You cannot ignore him! He's a likeable know it all of sorts in Music Man and a lovable cad in Victor/Victoria. Have you seen any Robert Preston films that are not musicals? If so, what do you notice about his characters and his approach to acting, now that you are more aware of his dedication to working his craft outside of his stage or film work? I have seen him in The Last Starfighter and again his voice and personality is just so engaging and believable, even in a sci fi fantasy film!
  2. 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? showing the children younger and the headaches and heartaches of traveling and growing up. This is the introduction of Mama Rose in the film. Comment on Rosalind Russell’s entrance and performance especially as a traditionally trained stage and film actress. I LOVE HER! She just takes over a scene and a stage! S Pay attention to the song “Let Me Entertain You” in this scene. Is there anything you notice in Sondheim’s lyrics that are sly, subversive, or edgy? You can also discuss the song’s performance and staging as disruptive (or not). I recall the lyrics "I want your spirits to climb" as she shows some leg as being very edgy. The whole song is very sly with the lyrics.
  3. How do the pre-dance movements of O’Connor and Kelly compare to their actual dance movements? they are keeping a rhythm (hands smacking the desk) that is similar to the one that they will be keeping when tapping around. Watch the Professor all the way through and consider the role of the straight man. he is appalled by their antics at first, but then keeps straight faced and observes their movements never trying to stop them even as they place trash and all kinds of stuff on top of him. He is treated and becomes a prop in the scene between Kelly and O'Connor How do the representations of masculinity in all three men compare and contrast with each other? they are all dressed like men, but what O'Connor and Kelly are wearing is more relax and a guys guy wear for that time, while the professor is in a suit to make him seem more uptight. The dancing that Kelly and O'Connor perform is masculine and wide armed and acrobatic showing off their manly physiques. While the professor is timid and withdrawn to their behavior he is being moved around like a chess piece by two men that are stronger than him. It is showing that he's not the same type of man as the two friends but rather a "square" that they can push around.
  4. As you reflect upon female representation in the 1950s, where do you think this film character falls in the continuum? Why? I think women in the 50s are suppose to be homemakers and wear dresses with a perfect commercial look. A rough and tumble type of character falls at the end of the spectrum during that time. How do you think Doris Day grows as an actress in her various roles in the 1950s, before and after this musical? I think Mrs. Day will grow by really leaning more into her character and making them ore rounded after this film Does Doris Day’s bright and sunny persona add or detract from the role of Calamity Jane in your opinion? Please defend your answer. I think that it can detract from what should be a more rough and tumble character. She's wearing animal skins with flawless makeup and hair in the scene, kinda detracts from the character a bit.
  5. 1. No one upstages any other actor. Everyone is given a part to play and equal time together. 2. Basic colors no one flashy with extra colors or jewelry to take away from anyone else. 3. They honestly seem like friends that are entertainers by trade in the clip shown. They play off of each others dancing and comedy throughout the performance, and it's just entertaining because they do it so smooth and naturally!
  6. Thinking like a director and editor, describe how each shot spotlights key actions. Using the baseball stadium as a part of the sequence and choreography of the song helped show the chasing and pursuing of Frank Sinatra held well with the song. It’s interesting to examine how musicals segue into musical numbers. How does this sequence prepare us for the singing? The clear chase of the main character at the start of the film then leads into the song and how she is trying to convince him that their being together is fate as she forever attempts to trap him through the chasing around of Sinatra in the ball park
  7. What was the first Judy Garland film you recall watching? What was your first impression of her? My first Judy film was Wizard of Oz. My first impression of her was how sweet and innocent she seemed in that film. She had such a sadness in her eyes in certain scenes in that film (when they take Toto for example that just breaks your heart, or when she sees through the witch's crystal ball Aunt Em) that as a young child would make me sad too. Of course I also remember every song she sings in the film because of her amazing talent too! How do you view her differently after viewing these clips than you might have viewed her previously? Until I saw Easter Parade and Meet Me in St. Louis I never knew just how funny she was! She's hilarious playing the bum beside Fred Astaire in Easter Parade, and again her acting is amazing in Meet Me In St. Louis! What films in her later career come to mind as examples of her increasing ability to capture an audience’s imagination as a storyteller when she sings a lyric? I think mostly of her in Meet Me In St. Louis with her two emotional songs the joy and happiness of the Trolley Song and the sadness and pain in Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. Her acting and emotions with both songs are perfection! She tells quite the story in those two songs one that we as the audience relate to and connect to thanks to Mrs. Garland's talents!
  8. Describe how the scenes in today’s Daily Dose were designed to promote American values for audiences during World War II. Be specific. Refer to props, set design, settings, etc. in your answer. - Discussion of patriotism and war when George mentions his father being a veteran. Also the fact that they use symbols of patriotism with flags and the fact that Cohen was born on July 4th during the Parade. Listen carefully to the dialogue in these scenes. In what ways does the dialogue and/or the screenplay work to boost American morale? Quote specific lines of dialogue in your response The fact that they show Cohen talking to FDR and receiving an award for his patriotic life with Cohen's music being so pro-Americana. Cohen again talks about his family's history of being supporters of America when fighting in the Civil War, and in the film they even show Cohen himself attempting to become a fighter after the Lusitania is sunk during WWI and then going on tour for WWII singing his songs to the troops. Since this is the opening of a biographical musical, how differently do you feel this film would be if it opened with the Fourth of July Parade scene in Providence, Rhode Island vs. the opening with FDR in the Oval Office? Defend your answer. I think that showing the conversation with FDR is wonderful for the time that the film was made in, which was during war time. I would also like to mention the importance to James Cagney for portraying such a patriotic figure due to the fact his name had been connected to Communism and McCarthyism was black listing many of Hollywood's brightest starts. Yankee Doodle Dandy made sure that Cagney would be forever seen as Cohen and as a patriot. If they had started showing the parade it would have taken away from the Patriotism of meeting and showing the acting President of the time of the film, and really focused too much on the man that was Cohen.
  9. What other aspects of battle of the sexes do you see indicated in this clip or in the film Top Hat? - A little in the attitude of Ginger with Fred at first, trying to maintain the "I'm too clever for this" persona between Ginger's character and Fred's character. How does this film distinguish itself from other Depression era musicals we have watched or discussed this week? - This film has way more playful banter between the two stars and the talent is amazing and mesmerizing in Top Hat! The dancing and wonderful music really makes for a great escape away from the woes of the year. What possible reasons might there be for the changes in roles between men and women depicted in these screwball comedy musicals that distinguish themselves from earlier musicals in the 1930s? - they show women as more of a equal in the story as opposed to being the damsel needing saving or protecting.
  10. What do you notice about the interaction between the characters in these two scenes? Please give specific examples. - I noticed that in the first clip both characters were playful and they easily talk and connect through flirting and playful banter. However, the characters change by the second clip with Jeanette MacDonald acting timid and shy and reluctant to really go for the song because it's just not her style. If you have seen either or both of these actors in other films or television shows, please share your perceptions about them. - I haven't seen either actor in any other film What do these clips tell you about the male/female relationships as they are depicted in the films during this era? What norms might you expect are supported under the Hollywood Film Code? The man is more forward to the classy lady, but the "wilder" gal is portrayed more as a vixen compared to the sweet female character that the leading man is clearly more interested in pursuing. I would assume that under the Hollywood Film Code it is acceptable to show the leading man being a "player" type of character, but that is not how they will portray the main female characters.
  11. I do agree that this shows a brighter perspective of life during this time. The musical number shows happy people, wealthy people being entertained by a happy and playful song. The depression was the exact opposite of this, and would most certainly have affected the audience present at this show. I believe that most musicals during the depression era time were created to help bring joy and a more positive emotion back to its audiences. The movie musical becomes more about escapism of the trappings of the real world as we will see in musicals such as the Footlight Parade. I believe that the song number would have been more like a vaudeville, Gypsy Rose Lee number had this been before the codes. I also think that the backstage dressing room scene would have been more realistic in showing the quick change of an artist after leaving the stage.
  12. This question was so difficult for me to answer because really there's just so many musicals that I love! However, I always find myself so entertained by the musical Gigi! I love Leslie Caron so much and her funny spunky ways as a young Gigi in the film makes everything comical and light, despite what life she is going to lead if her aunt and grandmother have their way! The costumes and settings are beautiful and the songs are catchy and really move the film along.
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