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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? The way it is set up on film we have two lovers Nick and Fanny in a private moment. This works because the audience feels that Fanny is sharing through song how fortunate they are. Thus the line 'people who need people are the luckiest people in the world'. Stage performances usually were done with more animation and with more force. This singing is more like a night club song. Streisand already had experience with this t
  2. 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) I haven't watched 'Gaslight' in a while so I'll pick 'A Star is Born'. In supporting Judy Garland with set design and staging I'll start with the nightclub scene where she sings 'The Man That Got Away'. The lighting is darker and we have Judy in the middle of musicians. It is an intimate staging played down a l
  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? What is quite clear is that typical male lead role has been changed (disrupted). The forties and fifties were careful to present the American lead role as the alpha male winning the female by displaying virtues that were in line with a strong male of the war years or a conservative one of the post war years. One thing that changed was honest hard working character. We now get more of the bad boy male. The womanizer in 'Pa
  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? It starts with a familiar stage, song and dance act. The sister act is similar to 'The Broadway Melody' of 1929. One sister leads with the other sister behind her arms at the hips following the movements. This would have been the kind of vaudeville act at the time actors were transitioning into the first musical. The disruption begins when Mama Rose enters the studio and pushes herself up onto the stage. We did get musical
  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? I don't believe this need be true. I think its more about the setup. In 'An American in Paris' the ending ballet is a sort of a day dream sequence. It only takes a few seconds a minute or so on film to state that we are being taken into the imagination of Jerry. In fact the realistic existence of Jerry and his art work are immersed in the fantasy ballet sequence. It has to be as large and fantastic as the artist's imagination. Minnelli
  6. How do the pre-dance movements of O’Connor and Kelly compare to their actual dance movements? Here we have a libretto coming in the form of a book of tongue twisters. The first step in in the transition to the dance sequence (in unison) is the pairing of the play on words between Don and Cosmo. The second step in the transition is to speak the words in dance tempo (sort of like a modern day rap). The third step is to start displaying a little body movement to match the tempo. Then finally they break out in full dance with music. Watch the Professor all the way through and consid
  7. As you reflect upon female representation in the 1950s, where do you think this film character falls in the continuum? Why? This character is a bit unusual in my opinion. Based on a female that had to survive the rough frontier ending up in Deadwood with Wild Bill Hickok. The only connection I can make is that the character is subjected to conformity. Wearing a dress and acting lady like to win over a man. I guess that was one of the played up characteristics in female characters of the fifties. This is Calamity Jane however and it just doesn't sit right. Some compromise is made by the ti
  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? Keeping on theme with the group contribution the presentation of the song makes use of a number of devices. First off Tony Hunter takes on the role of the doubter and holdout. He must be pulled into the idea by the group which sets up the segue to the song 'That's Entertainment'. Each of the three performers take a line one after the other equally. Then they dance in unison (san
  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? I think the scene is meant to emphasize Petunia's love, dedication and the simple country life she leads. At the bedside the shots are close up to her face that shows the smile whenever she looks at Joe. She is just so happy to have him home and safe after the gun shot wound. The laundry scene is there to show the poor simple life they lead and the hard work and good values she h
  10. Thinking like a director and editor, describe how each shot spotlights key actions. As a director I look at the script and get the first motivations for my actors. The theme is the pursuit or chase with a comical twist as the female character played by Betty Garrett's character Shirley is chasing Frank Sinatra's character Denny. I want consistency in the scene. Shirley remains aggressive and determined. Denny remains naive and sensitive like a teenager. The running gag in the film perhaps as Sinatra was actually 34 when he shot the film. Early in the film Gene Kelly's character alludes to
  11. What was the first Judy Garland film you recall watching? What was your first impression of her? Like most the first film I recall watching was 'The Wizard of OZ'. Even as a 9 year old (or so) kid I was mesmerized by the song 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' The rest of the film had many distractions such as Toto, Scarecrow, Tinman, Cowardly Lion, a witch and flying monkeys. Now that for me was around 1967. I had no idea the girl I was watching on film had been through an entire career and was already gone. How do you view her differently after viewing these clips than you might have vi
  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. We start with George M Cohan making a visit to the White House and he meets with then President Roosevelt. We see the wheel chair the FDR had to use as his health began to deteriorate. Parade with flags and music emphasizing patriotism of the past that will be needed again. Listen carefully to the dialogue in these scenes. In what ways does the dialogue and/or the screenplay work to
  13. What other aspects of battle of the sexes do you see indicated in this clip or in the film Top Hat? In the 'Caught in the Rain' clip there is still a hint of vulnerability when Dale rushes into Jerry's arms at the sound of thunder. Its quite clear that Dale is an independent woman. She refuses to be rescued by Jerry right off and he has to woo here into a dance. Later in the film Beddini tries to boss Dale around trying to lay down the rules for providing the wardrobe. She sets him straight on that score. Madge and Dale concur on the awful behavior of men. Madge even gives Horace a
  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)? My first thought is that we are in for a somewhat sophisticated perhaps racy time. If we can include Paris as a prop we think of it as a place for lovers. The discovered garter and half zipped dress suggesting there is some romantic tryst under way. The dialogue suggest a cool and casual character that never panics even when the husband arrives on the scene. He's been in this situation enough times to keep his cool. Even between him a
  15. The Nelson Eddy character is a model for the perfect gentleman. The depiction of the Mountie is other films, TV and sketches followed for years later. Anyone remember 'Dudley Dooright' from cartoon fame? Jeanette's character is the ultimate 'Lady'. The setup right off is that our Mountie has to protect our lady heroine from the perils of frontier land where corruption runs wild and rampant. So we go from the indifference of scene 1 on the canoe then on to scene 2 and the beginning of the her vulnerability. Now we know he feels he needs to protect. Yes we know they will fall in love along the
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