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Cathy Bitler

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  1. 1 - The contrast between the more realistic scenes of Paris and the ballet sequence at the end helps to meld the film. The ballet make the rest of the movie seem more “real” even as Minnelli makes use of his traditional lush colors. 2 - I think Jerry’s “unlikeability” is meant to mask his fear of failure. He’s gone to Paris to practice and perfect his art but he is, at heart, and American trying to fit in. I remember thinking when I first saw the film, many years ago, that he is not a very like able character until he meets Lise. Love brings out the likeability factor that lies just
  2. 1 - The scene builds as Buchanan, Fabray and LeVant convince Astaire that the idea has merit. You can see Astaire come on board and when he does, the threesome becomes a guartet with each member playing his or her part. No one character is emphasized over another. Even LeVant, who is clearly out of his element here, is a necessary part of the whole. 2- While I’ve seen this film several times, and this clip even more times, I had never notices how the costuming blends with the colors complementing each other. The husband/wife duo are in gray with the “singles” in shades of blue. The
  3. 1 - Until this week, I had never seen Cabin In The Sky an while I was familiar with the song, I had no idea it was featured in this film. Seeing this scene gave the song new meaning for me. This is a song of devotion; of Petunia’s deep abiding love for Joe. It helps us understand their relationship. While Joe is a bit of a scamp, Petunia is happy to overlook his habits as long as he loves her. She is convinced Joe can change and, literally, prays for him with all her heart. She is willing to sacrifice herself for Joe. The song sets up the plot. In the beginning, Petunia is forc
  4. 1 - Like so many of my generation, The Wizard of Oz was my introduction to Judy Garland. I was fascinated by the story and the color, of course, but I distinctly remember being wowed by Garland’s voice. Upon hearing Somewhere Over the Rainbow I knew, even as a child, that she was something special. 2 - As a Garland fan (while in high school, I was invited to make a presentation about her to an English class), I have seen all of her films. I followed her from enthusiastic, bright eyed, spirited teen (i.e., Andy Hardy movies) to maturing woman (i.e. Meet Me in St. Louis and Easter Parad
  5. 1 - The very act of opening the film with a visit to the White House and a private meeting with the President is a show of patriotism. Add to that the flag positioned across from FDR’s desk near the fireplace, the flag pin in Cohan’s lapel, the reference to Irish-American’s wearing their patriotism like a flag and the number of flags along the parade route and you’ve got a very patriotic picture (literally and figuratively). Any maybe it’s just me, but the darkness of the Oval Office seemed to reinforce the action taken by every-day Americans of the time: blackout curtains and conservation
  6. 1 - The battle of the sexes does play out in this clip. Astaire attempts to woo Rogers (even before this scene - here’s just another attempt) and she’s having none of it. He adds the dancing as part of the courting routine. She quickly shows she is just as adept as he. What I see playing out here is the concept that a woman can do things as well as men and that Rogers doesn’t necessarily need a man to feel accomplished and complete. 2 - Dancing in this film is more dreamy and romantic than in other films we’ve “discussed” this week. The ballroom scenes especially portray men and w
  7. 1- By allowing the Alfred to break the 4th wall, Lubitsch involves the audience in the process - rather than being mere observers, we’re almost “friends and confidantes” of the character. I’m not familiar with Lubitsch’s work, but from this clip I would assume his “touch” includes portraying characters as urbane and witty - perhaps likeable but flawed. 2 - The drawer full of guns is certainly a clue to Alfred’s roguish nature and what we might expect from him in later scenes. I found the use of French in the scene interesting. When combined with the visual expressions of Alfred, Paul
  8. In the first clip, the characters are more playful which indicates the start of their romance. It appears they don’t know each other well yet but, if Sgt. Bruce has his way, that will certainly change. His comments and questions about Rose Marie’s mysterious suitor are designed to both solicit information and to show her what she’s missing by not considering him. The song is one way of showing off to win her affection. In the second clip, the relationship changes. She’s embarrassed to be caught singing in a saloon as that behavior certainly doesn’t match the image she’s been portrayin
  9. Musicals of this era provided a method of escape for many Americans and this film was no different. Yes, I believe it definitely portrayed life as more upbeat and gay. When people went to the movies, they wanted a version of life different from their own. Several of the musicals released during the depression did seem to carry similar themes: portraying lives of the day’s “rich and famous” or, in some cases, showing the “little guy” triumph (seeing his or her dream fulfilled). Main characters in musicals of the era worked together and showed respect for one another even when in compe
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