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ClaireAileen

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  1. 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? Fanny is singing "People", as if she is having a conversation with Arnstein. She is highly introspective, emotional and hopeful. If she had emoted as if she was in a "show", the intimacy of the scene would have been lost. Note the emotional transition moments in this scene: how do the two characters relate to each other as the lyrics are sung? As the scene leads into song, Arnstein and Fanny are very conversational.
  2. Explore any common themes and film making 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). Hepburn's character is full of apprehension in this scene. Experiment over, what's to become of her. It seems she is experiencing an awakening. What is next? Harrison's character completely overlooks the human side, relegating Hepburn to chocolate, an good cry and bed. Gaslight features similar surroundings,
  3. 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? It seems that men are shifting to a more softer, but still "in charge" representation in their roles. Less physicality and more sensitivity to still achieve the appropriate ends. What other specific qualities do you notice about Robert Preston in either or both of these clips? Preston moves through both film clips with a masterful command of the subject at hand. He is in charge, making showy pretenses to the knowledge of the
  4. 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? The subject matter reminds us of pre-Code 1930's. It is also filled with show wannabes, although children as opposed to adults, with the classic "everyone is trying o be a star" attitudes. 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. To me, Ms. Russell always enters any film she is in, in a BIG way. He
  5. 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? Minnelli perhaps thought that sprinkling the "reality" throughout the film would provide the viewer with the ability to enjoy the fantasy scenes, such as the ballet without them being entirely over the top. What keeps Jerry Mulligan from being completely unlikable in a scene in which he acts pretty darn unlikable? His interaction with the fellow artist further up the hill, as well as with the Nina Foch character set Jerry up as a
  6. How do the pre-dance movements of O’Connor and Kelly compare to their actual dance movements? The pre-dance movements are setting us up for what is about to happen. They start exuberantly, and continue on until that actual dance number begins. Watch the Professor all the way through and consider the role of the straight man. The straight man allows Kelly and O'Connor to have an extra prop, who happens to be alive. His stiffness allows even more contrast to the antics and dancing of O'Connor and Kelly. How do the representations of masculinity in all three men compare and co
  7. As you reflect upon female representation in the 1950s, where do you think this film character falls in the continuum? Why? Calamity is the opposite of what the female role in 1950's musicals is moving to. She is not beautiful, glamorous or even sexy. She is just trying to be "one of the boys", which has not been seen until Doris Day and Betty Hutton take on famous women of western folklore. How do you think Doris Day grows as an actress in her various roles in the 1950s, before and after this musical? Ms. Day has the ability to lean into each role she is cast in. She may not be the
  8. 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 scene allows each character to lay to their potential. No one is the star, everyone in in the spotlight. What do you notice about the costuming of the characters that indicate cohesiveness of the ensemble, as opposed to setting anyone apart? Be specific. Astaire is dressed as he should be, elegant, stylish and completely up-to-date. Buchanan is dressed in what we seem
  9. 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? She is totally devoted to her husband. Despite Joe's indiscretions, Petunia is unfailingly faithful and very much in love, bedroom or laundry. Seeing her wrap Joe's shirt around her shoulders says it all. The song plays it out perfectly. How would the song change if it was a woman singing about her child? Does the cultural meaning change? How? I don't see this as a song ab
  10. Thinking like a director and editor, describe how each shot spotlights key actions. Each shot is focuses on allowing Betty Garrett's character to have the upper hand. Basically, Sinatra's character doesn't stand a chance. It’s interesting to examine how musicals segue into musical numbers. How does this sequence prepare us for the singing? This sequence is the perfect example of "there's a song a-coming" From the moment the door opens, and Sinatra tries to avoid Garrett, to the characters climbing the stairs, you know what is coming.
  11. What was the first Judy Garland film you recall watching? What was your impression of her? The first film that I can recall was "The Wizard of Oz". As I have watched it many times through the years, Judy just seems to get bigger and bigger to me in voice, and acting. A quintessential performance to be sure. How do you view her differently after viewing these clips than you might have viewed her previously? Based on input from the lecture video, it is opening my eyes to her astounding overall talent. Easter Parade always had me focusing on Fred Astaire, but now I can view
  12. 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. Cohan is climbing the stairs, past portraits of former presidents, then enters FDR's office to a host of portraits on the wall, depicting ships in battle, into one of the more iconic places of the US, the White House. 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
  13. What other aspects of battle of the sexes do you see indicated in this clip or in the film Top Hat? Don't see this as a battle of the sexes, it's a girl letting a boy know that they are equals. Their relationship took a turn for the better, as the boy now knows the girl is no pushover. How does this film distinguish itself from other Depression era musicals we have watched or discussed this week? The story line, dancing and musical numbers in Top Hat move from utter fantasy to a more realistic view of life as it was being lived. Still glitzy, but much more in touch with life in th
  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 Touch" could be considered as cheesy by today's standards, however, in 1929, it seems to be the conduit of pulling the scene together. Based on this scene, what are some of the things you notice about the scene’s use of sound? Describe a specific sound or line of dialogue you hear and what you think it adds to the scene’s effectiveness. The sound of the gun going off, both times, insures the attention of the viewer. We know
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