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About Tortuga53

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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? Older films feature situations “Where men are men, and the women love them” It’s a bit of an exaggeration, but a good guy was a good guy and villains were easily recognizable. The situations set the conflict - obstacles to overcome, goals to meet. Later, the lines between good and bad blur - heroes are flawed and often have to overcome their own demons or ghosts. Performances required more depth. What other speci
  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? It’s the old backstage story -at first. Immediately however, the road to success is paved not only with indifference, but with politics and corruption. We see the seedy side of the business right up front. Talent and luck and spunk will not be enough. It will take a force of nature to succeed - these kids are lost until Momma comes in. This is the introduction of Mama Rose in the film. Comment on Rosalind Russell’s e
  3. 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 always thought that the sets in the movie reflect Jerry’s impression of the city. The sets match the paintings that he produces. We are seeing Paris through his eyes. Minelli’s Paris streets are muted with wonderful pops of color that focuses our attention where it needs to be. Flowers along his block, the gaudy car, the cafe. What keeps Jerry Mulligan from being completely unlikeable in a scene in which he acts pretty darn unlik
  4. How do the pre-dance movements of O’Connor and Kelly compare to their actual dance movements? The scene puts 2 grown men in a classroom session and they immediately revert to class clown behavior. Eye contact between them is devilish and fun - that feeling sets the mood for the dance. Watch the Professor all the way through and consider the role of the straight man. I have never done this before - I am always in awe of the tap routine and the main characters, so here we go. The professor is the “adult” in the room and he has to contend with the rowdy “boys”. He is confuse
  5. As you reflect upon female representation in the 1950s, where do you think this film character falls in the continuum? Why? The character of Jane falls a little outside of the 1950’s box. She is very strong, skillful, popular and the town’s kid sister. She likes to be in the thick of the action, not viewing quietly from the sidelines. She identifies the men in town as friends. She is all tomboy in the first scene. Yet, she is very sympathetic because the men do not treat her as a 50’s woman is treated - no polite respect or deference. This must be remedied in the movie. How do you th
  6. 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 first bars of the song, Buchanan is trying to convince Fred to join the show by talking about the link between theater and life. Levant and Fabray are listening and focusing on the director to see where he is going with this and join in with their examples. The first stanza plays as a discussion and Fred finally starts contributing as he gets the point and buys in. I like
  7. 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? We move from the bed where they are hoping for a turn in Joe’s condition, to a happy domestic scene bathed in sunlight. Joe is getting better and everything is looking up. She feels passionate about him both in the throes of crisis and in the rhythm of daily life. Their life revolves around her devotion to him - she is the sun in his life. How would the song change if it was
  8. Thinking like a director and editor, describe how each shot spotlights key actions. The build is outlined below. The body of the song is a setting for a constant contest of Garrett trapping Sinatra as he tries to wiggle away. His dash to the top of the bleachers signals he has had enough and he is finally allowed to get a note in to defend himself with his back to her as she still maneuvers around him. It is a very intricate game of back and forth that is very playful, not aggressive. Garrett has the upper hand and is always the pursuer with Sinatra exhibiting only annoyance. Moving the a
  9. What was the first Judy Garland film you recall watching? What was your first impression of her? I was a kid - The Wizard of Oz. She was spunky and brave and stood up to witches. I wanted to go on her journey with her. She was totally sympathetic. I was drawn into the story and it was very real to me. I understood all of her emotions. I cried and laughed with her. When she ran away from home I felt her conflicted feelings. I don’t think that Shirley Temple would have had that effect - too pretentious. Judy was the person that took that movie from cute to real. How do you view
  10. 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. A walk up the stairs passing Presidential portraits into an office that celebrates the history of the US Navy with all of the ship models and maritime artifacts on the mantles and tables and walls emphasizes American History and American Military history. We build on a long tradition. Listen carefully to the dialogue in these scenes. In what ways does the dialogue and/or the screenplay work to
  11. Some thoughts. Just watched this musical for the umpteenth time and with a nod to Charles Dickens, it was the best of musicals and the worst of musicals. Best - incredible musical numbers and stars with the music of Rodgers and Hart. Worst - why bother with any story? It was a maudlin narrative that was so far from the truth. I love that Perry Como (my personal favorite ever) was a character in the film named Eddie Anders and at the end he is introduced at the memorial service by Gene Kelly as Perry Como. So much for continuity. (My Pittsburgh heart swells with pride at that scene, though)
  12. What other aspects of battle of the sexes do you see indicated in this clip or in the film Top Hat? Often when they dance in other numbers they watch their steps, or where they will be leaping to but in this clip, at the beginning, Ginger really stares at this face trying to size him up. She is not going to let him get away with anything. There is a in-hold spin move towards the end where Fred lifts Ginger in the spin - then she does the same to him. I have always loved this move since first seeing the film. It’s playful and powerful at the same time. It kind of says it all to me. Equa
  13. Eleanor Powell was first and foremost a dancer. She was highly skilled, light-footed, accurate. She was athletic with those kicks and splits. She covered the floor in an effortless, fluid manner. Those taps never stop. And they are much more than taps. They are the percussion section for the number - she is just that rhythmic and musical. Watching her dance is hypnotic. She is power. Ruby is a personality. Shes sings a little, dances a little and is as cute as a button. 42nd Street required a wide-eyed ingenue and she fit the bill. I always thought that everyone else on the floor danced b
  14. 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)? The pearl handled pistol and then the segue to drawer full of them - this guy has been around. The husband cannot fix the zipper on the dress so she goes to the Count to get the job done - obviously he is the more competent male and surely in more ways than one. He is impeccably dressed - he even had sharp creases in the coat sleeve. Window fabrics are lush - we are in a world of opulence. Based on this scene, what are some o
  15. What do you notice about the interaction between the characters in these two scenes? Please give specific examples. In both scenes they are very kind to each other. The ribbing in the first clip is all in fun, both enjoying the banter. He expresses interest, but not in an uncomfortable and cloying way. Her face is so very expressive - a great close-up face. Her reactions are very understated, devoid of staginess. A little eye roll, a smile at the corner of her mouth. These are natural reactions and we are drawn into the relationship. If you have seen either or both of these actors in
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