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About miss_judgment

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  1. 1. In this clip, Fred and Ginger are both wearing suits and seem to mimic each other's moves. Fred tries to use the typical methods to woo her, but she does not fall for his tricks or lines. Instead of looking at him with admiration, she glances at him skeptically, looking him up and down with an expression of mistrust/annoyance. During their dance-off, Ginger proves that she can do anything Fred can do. 2. In the other Depression era musicals we have discussed this week, gender roles/portrayals have been fairly traditional. Males were portrayed as the confident, dominant sex, while females are portrayed as more demure and submissive. In Top Hat, on the other hand, Fred and Ginger are portrayed more as equals. Ginger is a lot tougher and feistier than many of the other heroines we have seen in Depression era films. She is very no-nonsense and is not going to fall for Fred's tricks very easily. 3. The roles of men and women in films likely changed in the late 1930s due to the change in women's role in society resulting from the Great Depression. In response to the financial hardship brought on by the Depression, women had to take a more prominent role and assume some of the responsibilities that were once considered to belong only to men. To reflect this "new" type of woman, women in film also began to take on a new role.
  2. 1. The Lubitsch touch is characterized by subtly "sexy" humor and visuals. In this scene, we see a close-up of a garter, a revolver, and a dress that needs zipping up. The garter (that most certainly doesn't belong to Alfred's current arm candy) as well as the dress, immediately provide us with the knowledge that Alfred is a philanderer/playboy who doesn't take life or relationships too seriously. The closeup of the revolver gives us the clue that at some point soon, it will be fired and play a critical role in the scene. The effect of having most of the dialogue in French as opposed to English makes the audience have to infer what is going on in the scene based on context clues. 2. The main thing I noticed about the scene's use of sound was that the majority of the dialogue in the clip was spoken solely in French. Even though there were no subtitles, the body language, tone of voice, and actions of the characters made it easy to infer what was going on. I specifically noticed the muffled yelling in French behind the door as Paulette is yelling at Alfred in the opening scene. This muffled, angry-sounding French sets the tone of the scene well and gives us a good idea of what is going to happen next (someone is in big trouble). 3. Like most Depression-era musicals, this film provides the audience an escape from the reality of economic crisis by depicting comical scenes. In this era of films, there is hardly ever any serious conflict, and any arguments are typically depicted as humorous. For a brief moment, the scene appears to be taking a serious tone when Paulette shoots herself with a revolver and her husband subsequently shoots Alfred. However, the scene takes an immediately comical turn when we come to find out that the gun is fake, and no one is actually hurt. The fancy costumes and ritzy setting provide the audience an opportunity to dream of wealth while also making fun of the rich and their petty issues depicted in the film.
  3. 1. Nelson Eddy's character is very upfront and straightforward in the way that he tells Jeanette MacDonald's character to choose him as a suitor, but he is also humorous in a very dry, tongue-in-cheek way (almost like the type of guy who would constantly tell dad jokes). Jeannette MacDonald gives the impression of a character who is proper and cares about respectability in the way that she scoffs and totally ignores Eddy's advances at first and then tries to play coy and hide the fact that she is somewhat attracted to him. The interaction between the two characters is fairly formal/respectable, as one would expect the interaction between the two sexes in post-code (is that a term?) film to be. In the 2nd clip, Jeanette MacDonald behaves in a less ladylike way and embarrasses herself in a bar, while Nelson Eddy's character behaves compassionately and in a caring way once he sees her embarrassment. 2. I have actually never seen any films with Jeanette MacDonald or Nelson Eddy before, but I instantly liked their on-screen dynamic after watching this clip. Jeanette MacDonald seems so expressive and versatile as an actress, and I loved Nelson Eddy's subtle humor and great voice. 3. These clips show the traditional, proper, and respectable behaviors exhibited by males and females in films under the production code. During this time period, male/female relationship are displayed in a very courtly manner. Women are respectable and never make the first move, while men are depicted as chivalrous gentlemen and subtly make the first advances.
  4. 1. I agree that the clip exhibits a brighter side of life than might be realistic. At the time the film was made, the world was in the middle of the Great Depression, and most Americans were struggling financially. In contrast, Florenz Ziegfeld does not seem to be worried about money at all, as he gives the doorman a 5-pound note without any hesitation. Anna Held is also not portrayed as the "starving artist" archetype in need of a job that is seen in many films about show business. The clip also does not depict much strife or conflict, and the characters crack jokes and do not seem to take anything too seriously. Like many Depression era musicals, this clip gives its audience an escape from the harshness of reality. 2. Depression era musicals were typically lighthearted in order to provide their audience an escape from the harsh reality of economic crisis. These films typically contain grandiose sets with larger-than life song-and-dance numbers. Storylines are typically humorous, fluffy, and depict no serious conflict. 3. If this movie musical had been a pre-code film, I would expect Anna Held's musical number to be more risqué and contain more double entendres. In this clip, Luise Rainer is wearing a Victorian-style costume that appears very modest. Pre-code films, in contrast, typically had female performers who were often scantily-clad. If this was a pre-code film, she would most likely be wearing something more sparkly and revealing, and the number likely would have been more of a burlesque/strip-tease number.
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