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About Stephesch

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  1. 1. 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? The focus the entire time is Petunia. We see that her happiness truly is a result of her love for Joe, regardless of what he has done and what he has out her through. 2. How would the song change if it was a woman singing about her child? Does the cultural meaning change? How? I don’t know that the song would change much. A few lyric changes and even the scene itself could work. The way Petunia interacts with Joe could easily be a mother with her child. The focus is the love, not the relationship itself. The subtext would change I think. We often think of parental love as unconditional, and while romantic love can be as well, a woman choosing to remain loyal to her husband (or nation) despite any wrong-doings is more in keeping with the era. 3. What other thoughts do you have about this film, the issues of black Americans during WWII, and this film’s importance in this era? Representation of black Americans in a major film was obviously an important achievement. I agree that it is important to look at this film through the lens of the time it was made and set.
  2. Thinking like a director and editor, describe how each shot spotlights key actions. Each shot coincides with what we should be focusing on. Closer shots in small spaces force us to watch the facial expression of the performers, which shows us his reaction to being pursued by a woman who knows what she wants. The wider shots allow for the bigger actions - chasing and being chased. It’s interesting to examine how musicals segue into musical numbers. How does this sequence prepare us for the singing? The feel of the music changes from being part of the background to moving with the performers.
  3. What was the first Judy Garland film you recall watching? What was your impression of her? I’m fairly certain I saw Meet Me in St. Louis before I saw Wizard of Oz. We didn’t have cable growing up, not even basic channels, but someone taped Meet Me in St. Louis for us. We didn’t own a copy of Wizard until it was out on DVD. Meet in St. Louis is still one of my all time favorite movies! I loved everyone and everything about it. When I was little I wanted to be Tootie, and as I got older I wanted be Esther - gorgeous, kind, not afraid to throw a punch to protect her sister! How do you view her differently after viewing these clips than you might have viewed her previously? I can’t remember the last time I saw Easter Parade, so my memory of that is spotty, and I’ve never seen Me and My Gal. It was great to see her in a comedic role, I don’t think I would have thought of her in that way. Me and My Gal seemed like classic Judy to me as far as the scene itself and the song, but I enjoyed watching her dance. What films in her later career come to mind as examples of her increasing ability to capture an audience's imagination as a storyteller when she sings a lyric? I haven’t seen much of her later films beyond Meet Me in St. Louis. Us these 2 clips prove she was more than just a pretty face and enormous voice. It’s easy to see why people love her.
  4. Last week knocked me for loop! Glad to be getting back on track and caught up this week! 1. 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. It doesn’t get much more patriot than the White House. Flags, portraits of past presidents. It’s hard not to think of American values in a scene set like this. 2. 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 response. The conversation with the servant was interesting. It was as if the servant’s own patriotism couldn’t be repressed. The mention of Teddy Roosevelt showed that his love of country was long-held rather than in response to the war. The same for Cohan - mentioning that he inherited his patriotism from his father. I thought it was interesting that Cohan seemed to minimize it a nit when he talked about being a young cocky kid, but FDR assures him it’s an admirable quality. them mention of Irish-American patriotism was interesting too; like a reminder that whether born in America or not, very person’s love of America is equally great. 3. Since this is the opening of a biographical musical, how differently do you feel this film would be if it opened with the Fourth of July Parade scene in Providence, Rhode Island vs. the opening with FDR in the Oval Office? Defend your answer. Opening at the White House gives us a “full circle” feel. We start here, we travel through Cohan’s life and end neatly back where we started. I like that gives the whole movie a storyteller feel.
  5. I didn’t see this as a battle of the sexes so much as a woman making it clear that it takes more than honeyed word to make an impression. When Rogers starts to dance there is a moment where Astaire is surprised she can hold her own, but it seemed more of a collaboration with a few moments of them challenging each other rather than a battle. That said, this clip is the only portion of the movie I’ve seen as of yet so there may be more to it. I definitely want to watch it. I think this is the first clip we’ve seen where the woman is already (or seems to be) successful. The others portray women as struggling to find success or love. From this clip it seem like Rogers is content in her life as it is. Also it is very simple scene that relies solely on the talent of the performers rather then combining it with glamorous sets, costumes, or over the top comedic gags. The roles of women especially were changing in society. The depression meant that both men and women had to find ways to support a family or themselves. Rather than a whirlwind romance and finding true love in one scene, we start to see films reflecting the truer to life love story - it takes time, and more than a smile and few compliments to win the heart of a woman.
  6. The props honestly defined the whole scene for me. I picked out a few words from my limited memory of grade school French, but I knew exactly what was going on. It truly could have been a silent film to me. Then the drawer full of guns made it clear Alfred was no stranger to the situation, as did his calm attitude. While I can’t speak specifically to the dialogue, I will say the tone of the actors made it easy to follow. The woman’s anger at Alfred and exasperation at her husband; the husband’s anger, sadness, then relief were all evident. I admit, the sound didn’t stand out to me, but I noticed a couple times that some movements/events had a sound effect, while others didn’t. Definitely a continuation of keeping things light. For all we know the woman had killed herself in front of her husband and lover, but there wasn’t much urgency or dramato it. Then when we realize the truth it is played off as a harmless gag and life goes on for all. No big deal. ?
  7. I loved both these clips! I laughed out loud at both. The banter in the canoe, then the attempt to sing like the other woman in the saloon! I’ve never seen any of their movies together, but I can see why the worked together multiple times. What great chemistry! From just these 2 clips you can see how the romance progresses. In the canoe she is uninterested, then tries mocks him to cover it up when she becomes interested; he is trying to impress a beautiful woman. Then in the saloon it’s clear that she is embarrassed for him to see her, but he shows compassion and perhaps a bit concern. I imagine they eventually admit their love and sing their way into the sunset. I agree with others that the good girl vs. harlot angle is at play here. There’s a feeling that Marie can’t be successful as a saloon singer because she’s not the kind of girl who belongs there. Bruce, however, can walk in, link arms and sit with the regular singer and it seems like the norm.
  8. I’m on the same page as most everyone for all 3 questions. I think the biggest difference pre-code would have been the tone of the song - the light hearted tone we see makes it seem almost childish. Pre-code the sexual subtext could have been on display. Certainly the brighter perspective was evident. During the Depression it’s hard to imagine than a doorman would spend enough of his hard earned money on a show enough times to be singing her praises. It goes out of its way to show Ziegfeld’s lavish spending - cracking a joke about the tip, and flowers that cost 1000s of francs.
  9. I was stumped on that too. Currently looking for any excuse to use chimerical in every day life!
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