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Kate White

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  1. Characterizations of men in the movies are starting to bring attention to the inner doubts, a more heightened awareness of emotions, the inability to use brute strength to overcome an enemy and win the girl. We see characters who win the girl through intelligence and sensitivity, but we also see how the sexual revolution has placed men in unaccustomed roles that they struggle through. I have seen The Music Man countless times, but taking a moment to focus on this scene really brought his brilliance in focus for me. It occurred to me that the opening of this song was very similar to rap, u
  2. Minnelli's use of famous paintings as a jumping off point for the ballet is brilliant. Since the ballet is something going on in Jerry's imagination, I don't feel that it's out of place, particularly since a similar look was used for the introduction of Leslie Caron's character. I also believe it would not have had the same impact if they had filmed it in a realistic way. Jerry is an intelligent character and has spent considerable effort to learn to be an artist, and has spent enough time in Paris to be able to spot the wealthy pseudo-intellectual students. He was rude to the girl, but
  3. O'Connor, ever the clown-sidekick, mocks the professor from the very beginning of the scene. Kelly half-heartedly participates, the pressures of fame and fortune weighing heavily on him. The song starts as Kelly finally gives in to the playful O'Connor. The professor represents the studios, the establishment, the trap of Kelly's life. The rebellion of O'Connor and Kelly's characters are indicative of a larger shift in the entertainment industry. No longer are we seeing actors whose lives are being micromanaged by the studios, and very soon a new hero emerges: one that breaks the rules, qu
  4. This film character is very much a product of the 50s in that her greatest wish is to win Hickok's love. The concept of marrying and settling down is very much at play here. It is she who must change herself in order to get him. Doris Day's performance in this film is very staccato and hard, bordering on pantomime. As her career progressed, however, she found a balance between her athletic physical abilities and performing in front of a camera. The characters she portrayed had similar traits: strong women who struggled with society's expectations (Pillow Talk, Don't Eat the Daisies, Touc
  5. 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 four have very close relationships with one another. You feel like they are at a level of intimacy that one gets after spending a lot of time with someone and going through a stressful event. Their level of familiarity allows for a lot of ribbing and joking around. The relationships feel more realistic. In earlier musicals someone was either the lead or the side-kick, but h
  6. The scene begins inside the house, where there are strong shadows and low lighting - except her face. She starts to sing, and the strong lighting gives her an angelic, innocent quality. Her love is pure and deep. She cannot contain the smile on her face as she gazes on Little Joe. What I think makes this such a wonderful moment is even with his past, she loves him in spite of it. She has a transcendent hopefulness that hints at our country's desire for the future. She is the personification of the concept of having patience through the toughest trials and being given your fondest wish when you
  7. Since this song is primarily hers, the camera is angled to best capture her face in semi-close ups while she's singing, and wide shots during the instrumental sections of the song in order to highlight the choreography as they move up and down the bleachers. During each exchange/verse, he is tempted by her, but refuses and moves away. A professor in college once said to me, "musical numbers usually happen when the character can't hold the song back anymore. They MUST sing!" In this case, Frank's character is getting away and the only way she can stop him is by starting to sing. She trie
  8. The first Judy Garland film I remember was The Wizard of Oz. I believe it was shown annually during the holidays when I was growing up, so I would always make sure to watch. I remember thinking how much I loved her singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow, and being an animal lover, how much I could relate to her heartbreak of losing Toto to Miss Elmira Gulch. Later on, Meet Me In St. Louis became another film that I would watch any time it was on. While viewing these two clips and after reading the notes, I paid close attention to her movements, especially her face and eyes. Her performance of
  9. 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. As George is walking up the stairs, we see large portraits of past Presidents on the walls. The lighting indicates it was late in the evening and it is quiet other than the conversation between George and the butler. The office is filled with nautical paintings, model ships, and even the desk clock is in the shape of a ship's wheel. We see George's reminiscence of the parade, which, from the first fram
  10. In this clip from Top Hat, we see her begin to soften her resistance toward him. His prior attempts were met with cold refusals. An important thing to note is that she is making many of the decisions in the progression of the relationship here. There were a few interesting thoughts I had while viewing this clip, and later the film: it was fascinating to watch her legs because usually you don't see them as she's frequently wearing a gown! Wearing pants was a strong statement in and of itself, and I think it further demonstrated her independent nature. Another realization was that they don'
  11. Ruby Keeler's dancing felt jazzy, earthy, raw. It tended to syncopate, whereas Eleanor's style felt more polished and elegant, emphasizing the rhythm of the song. Eleanor was poised and almost ballet-like while Ruby's dancing was grounded and solid. Eleanor's upper body was held still to emphasize her intricate footwork while Ruby's movement involved larger, flowing movement that used the whole body.
  12. The "Lubitsch Touch" was clearly evident in the drawer full of pistols. We learn from those few seconds that this is a popular activity for him. He seduces married women whose husbands come to confront him and rescue their wives. Why does he seduce married women? Perhaps they are unavailable and therefore safe in order for him to avoid emotional intimacy. He might regard this as some sort of pleasurable escape. He is a charming, loveable rogue! When he pleads to remain in Paris, he gestures with his hands, one of which holds the garter. He realizes too late he is still holding it and tries to
  13. We see these situations again and again: a fiercely independent woman who fights against society's expectations within a rigid setting. Once she is removed from that setting, she is challenged with learning a new set of rules that will help her survive but that give her a chance to be more true to herself. The conflict is her initial unwillingness to give up the old system to be who she should be. Often, she is engaged to be married to a boring man who will provide her with stability and security but he does not understand why she wants the excitement of the unknown or why she feels the need t
  14. Watching this film, and indeed many others made during this era, the main character, when doing something that might be considered "bending the rules" he (or to a lesser extent, she) is portrayed as a "lovable rascal" or a "charmer". That may be true, but often times the portrayals are sugar-coated so the main character would NEVER be considered anything but a hero. You KNEW who the good guys were - and the bad guys, too. Audiences attended movie theatres as an event, similar to attending a stage production of a Broadway play: they dressed up, they regarded the experience as a special oc
  15. Whenever there's a musical on, I watch! Some of my favorites though, are Singin' in the Rain, Kismet, White Christmas, Annie Get Your Gun, and On the Town.
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