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Amy W

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Everything posted by Amy W

  1. Given up? Sadly I’m an Orioles fan, so I gave up watching extra inning losses to EVERYONE. So I feel ok! I did get back my TV from my family in the name of “Momma has homework to do.” What story can I come up with for July!?
  2. How might Streisand’s performance of the song “People” have felt different in the film, had she been more theatrical and expressive, perhaps even belting her song more? "People" is Fanny's realization that she can't keep pushing potential suitors away. There's no way the song would have so much resonance if she had been belting it full force a'la Ethel Merman. The song itself is more a soliloquy, meant for her and the audience, than a loud monologue meant to be heard by the entire stage, backstage, and audience. Note the emotional transition moments in this scene: how do the two ch
  3. I made a checklist for keeping track of which musicals I watched this month. Thought I'd share Musicals.pdf
  4. Explore any common themes and filmmaking techniques in a very different movie also directed by George Cukor, Gaslight. (If you are not familiar with Gaslight, compare and contrast Cukor's theme in this scene and his techniques with another musical you have seen during this course) The theme of changing social station/power plays out in this scene. The Newly formed Lady Eliza should be the tallest point in the frame, but she's at the bottom of the camera on the floor. As her social standing rises, so does Eliza, into the top portion of the frame. Note the emotional transition momen
  5. 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? As we enter the 1960s, the deep bass and baritones of Howard Keel and Gordon MacRae as lusty, confident, masculine leads are replaced with older, limited range singers. Preston in The Music Man reminds me vocally of Rex Harrison, talk-singing his way through My Fair Lady. What other specific qualities do you notice about Robert Preston in either or both of these clips? In both films Preston is charismatic enough to
  6. 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? In the early musicals, the camera was the audience's eye on the stage. There is a full frame, end-to-end shot of the stage as a whole, and we get to watch the performance. However, there's going to be a shift. Just as the filming of musicals historically have shifted, the stage performance is loudly interrupted by Rosalind Russell's Mama trying to "backseat drive" the performance of her daughters. Our wide eyed view is then g
  7. Does a movie that has as stylized a scene as An American in Paris’ ending ballet need to use a less-than-realistic, stylized approach throughout the film? I get the impression that since the studio had insisted that the film not get made on location, there was no choice but to stylize the set design. The Toulouse Lautrec-esque set design in the final ballet had to stand in STARK contrast to the rest of the film to lend the dreamy nature to the sequence. I suspect that had the majority of the film been shot on location around the actual Seine, Montmartre, etc, the final ballet would have
  8. How do the pre-dance movements of O’Connor and Kelly compare to their actual dance movements? Since Kelly is the alpha male in the sequence, it is he who begins to taunt the Professor through the readings of the tongue twisters to have O'Connor follow. Once the dance begins, Kelly starts the dance off with O'Connor, who mimics Kelly's movements all the way to the conclusion of the clip. Watch the Professor all the way through and consider the role of the straight man. I'm quite certain the professor's expressions mirror that of "awed amazement" from the rest of the audience watch
  9. As you reflect upon female representation in the 1950s, where do you think this film character falls in the continuum? Why? Things are starting to change for female performers in the 50s. Ten years prior to Friedan's Feminine Mystique, Day's Jane is starting the revolution of portraying a woman in roles other than mother/wife/starlet. Jane has a job frequently occupied by a man; she gets dirty and is outwardly unfeminine. Even after thoughtful reflection, Jane decides to be her true self and ditch the dresses for britches. The closer we get to the end of the decade, more powerful assert
  10. 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? In the earlier musicals, a dance performance was either going to be a long solo or pas de deux for the audience to focus on. In the post-war era, to try to mimic the concept of cooperation and sharing, the groups start to get larger. In the "That's Entertainment" segment from The Bandwagon there is a balancing act of three dancers at a time from the group of four on the screen
  11. What do you notice about the way the scene is directed as Petunia goes to Joe’s bedside and as we cut to her outside hanging laundry? What does this tell us about her relationship, and the connection to the song? I've observed the "heavenly" light that glows from behind Ethel Waters; the room is significantly dark as she sings in full closeup, but her shoulders and back are lit. I interpret this as the "divine" presence that brought Joe back to Petunia alive and mostly unharmed. When the director cuts the outdoors scene, Waters is filmed in a full shot and is fully lit from the sun as she
  12. Thinking like a director and editor, describe how each shot spotlights key actions. This sequence is all about the chase. Overly enthusiastic Betty Garrett wants to catch, and hopefully, keep the amorous attention of Frank Sinatra (I have to wonder why the studio matches them up here and again in On the Town. Frankie couldn't get a girl? For real?) As Betty chases Frank across the stadium and up the stairs, they are filmed equally balanced in the frame moving from right to left. The camera moves as they move, but always keeping the two of them in the shot together. Mostly one continuou
  13. 1.What was the first Judy Garland film you recall watching? What was your impression of her? My very first Judy Garland film would have to have been The Wizard of Oz. As a young girl, playing a teenaged Dorothy Gale, I would wonder as how such a big voice came out of such a small frame. Dancing with Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr, and Jack Haley, athletic Judy was able to keep up with the stamina of much more seasoned performers. As a kid, I identified with young Judy with her dark hair and eyes; where my early exposure to musicals was with the lithe, fair-haired Ginger Rogers 2.How do you
  14. 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. In the opening sequence, as the two characters ascend the White House staircase, you can see the historical portraits lining the stairs; the portraits are lit, where the stairs are not...it pulls your visual focus to America's founding fathers 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 lin
  15. The Wizard of Oz makes fond childhood memories for me. Every year when it was on, my mom would serve us dinner in the family room on little trays so we could sit in front of the screen and watch (you can tell my age...we had ONE family TV and 5 channels...begin guessing...now) I remember that film being sooooooooo very long only to find out as an adult it's only 1:42 without commercials!! I used to cry like a baby when Dorothy would claim: there's no place like home.
  16. If you do a side by side comparison between the styling of Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire, Kelly has a very deep bend in his knees as he dances and Astaire stands up very straight. I'm guessing Gene needs better posture
  17. What do you notice about the Lubitsch touch? How do the props, the dialogue, and the staging help you understand the character of Alfred (Maurice Chevalier)? Since Lubitsch got his start in the silent era, the staging of the scene has to be more "obvious" for viewers. As the majority of the scene is in French (for non French speakers, it might as well be a silent film), the audience needs some cinematic assistance to connect all of the dots. The cross cuts to the close up of the garter, the gun, and other props help drive the action and lead the audience by the hand to find characterizati
  18. What do you notice about the interaction between the characters in these two scenes? Please give specific examples. Eddy and MacDonald in Rose Marie are shot in the selected scene in a loosely framed two shot; there's a slight distance between them to signify the growing interest in each other. There is a playful exchange between them as they travel across the lake. Their verbal tag-teaming is a delicate courtship: it's friendly but puts a tension between them. In the later scene in the saloon, Eddy watches as MacDonald tries to edge herself in where she truly doesn't fit. Her voice (t
  19. 1. Do you agree that the clip exhibits a brighter perspective of life than might be realistic? Why or why not? As the world plunged deeper into the Great Depression, movie audiences needed a place to go to see worlds and experiences other than their own. The fancy dress, tuxedos and ball gowns, give the poor audiences something to cling to other than the world economy. Also, the backstage "organization" of the play seems delightfully non-chaotic (if that makes sense) making the on stage performances seem casually carefree. One would wonder if modern stage musicals would look so ea
  20. That's too hard! I've burned a hole in my copy of "Singin' in the Rain". Watching 19 year old Debbie Reynolds keep up with Donald O'Connor and Gene Kelly makes me feel happy. I find myself studying the FEET of the performers since they are shot in full-screen glory. I also get the giggles knowing Reynolds learned to dance "on the job" and had to keep up with Hollywood's BEST.
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