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  1. Had this performance been more theatrical and expressive, which to be honest there's still a sense of it being theatrical here, it would have lost that intimate feeling. Making it a bigger song makes me imagine there being more of an ensemble and more going on. I like that it has a more personal feel to it, especially since it starts off being more intimate. However, I can see her belting the song some more, when she starts to belt it then comes back down, I got excited then calmed along with the rise and fall of her voice. Then again, that could very well have been what they were going for. You get to rise and fall with her and her voice. As she begins to sing she starts to move away from him, but his eyes stay locked on her the entire time. She tends to look away from him at times, almost like she's contemplating her feelings and if it's a good idea. But in the end, she turns back towards him, though her eyes are closed. The lighting here put emphasis on her, nearly spotlighting her, while her dress seems to practically match the background. But her singing and the lighting allow her to stand out. The camera follows her and moves as she moves, smoothly. It appears to be done in one shot since there aren't too many different angles, except just at the start of her singing, there's a cut back to him. Once she starts singing the camera moves with her, as I mentioned.
  2. One of the first noticeable things about this scene is that it has a lot of passion in the acting. If I saw only this scene, and knew almost nothing about My Fair Lady, I wouldn't even think this to be a musical. I like that the start of the scene has soft music playing in the background to match Eliza's mood, and as you hear Higgins in the background the music is harder to hear, until it stops abruptly as Higgins enters the room. It highlights that she can't even be alone, or she can't even have the chance to be herself, in her own thoughts. Higgins has infiltrated everything that makes her who she is; this is evident throughout this scene, but especially when he offers her the chocolates. The first time he does it, it's what gets her to stay with him, it's essentially how he controls her. When she screams "NO!" she's taking back control of who she is, and then remembers her "training" and adds, quietly, "Thank you." The passion seen throughout this scene is different that what I've been seeing in the musicals so far. The acting here is more than vocal, it goes deep into body language. Often a change in facial expression would be followed by a change in tone of the scene. Whether it was going to get loud, or soft, it was evident by their movements and expressions. Additionally, their movements are followed with the camera. When Eliza stands to meet Higgins face to face, the camera rises with her. When Higgins walks into the room, the camera backs up, as if to make room for him. All of the shots here are either medium shots or long shots, almost no close ups, which allows room for both of them to be in frame, even if they aren't. What's interesting, and neat, the two don't get very close to each other, except when she tries to strangle him, there's always something between them. That's also one of the few times they touch in this scene. Higgins places his hand on her shoulder briefly when he offers her a chocolate, but she moves away from him. After that he stays behind her, and slightly turned away, perhaps he's trying to give her some space? Or perhaps he is uncomfortable in this situation. He has come to like Eliza, whether he realizes it or not, and being that close, yet separate, is new to him.
  3. The alpha male changed in that he wasn't so stern, he wasn't so "my way or the highway." Instead, he would still have a sense of command, but the females were really starting to take over. They were making their own decisions, and they weren't waiting for a man to come along and save them, so to speak. The men became helpers, guys that would help the lady to get where she was going, and if they fell in love along the way, so be it. The guys also showed more emotions instead always having to be tough; they could be a little more exposed, to the right person. In both of these clips it's clear that Preston gave it his all for his roles. He didn't merely play the character, he became the character, allowing the character to have a lasting effect, instead of something you forgot once you moved on to the next movie.
  4. Like many of the old musicals, this brings back that classic backstage musical feel. They're trying to put on a show and are in the process of casting for the show. The audition we really see is one of vaudeville style. The music adds a pinch of comedy to simple moves, such as when Baby June lifts her leg up. Rosalind Russell steals the show with her entrance, as her character often does throughout the movie. She immediately begins barking orders at everyone, her kids, the orchestra, and the men in charge. In doing so, she takes charge of the stage and the scene. Even as the other girl starts making her way back to the stage, possibly to see the act or possibly because she thinks the spot is hers, Mamma Rose "threatens" her with her hat pin, leading her back off stage. That, along with her entrance and how she takes over, adds to the chaos of the scene, which was already partially chaotic. She talks over everyone, never letting them get a word in edgewise, something she does often as the film continues, which further solidifies her "take charge" attitude. As it has been mentioned, the song works in two ways. You can see how it can have it's meaning changed, but in this scene there's not much enticement as it gains later in the film. Instead it has more of a "look at me!" sense to it in the way kids have when they do anything for attention. What I did find interesting, which I didn't catch when I first watched this movie, was when Louise first says that she's company "until [her] mother figures out what she does best." That makes the rest of the movie even more interesting as I think back to it. That stripping was what her mother found she did best, at least to get her foot in the door. It just adds that extra layer to the film.
  5. When there's a highly stylized scene in a film it does not mean the whole film needs to be done that way. By making a scene stand out it gets an emphasis that it wouldn't have if the whole film matched that. Does it need to be less-than-realistic? Probably not. It all depends on how that stylized scene is supposed to make you feel. To me, Jerry Mulligan isn't too unlikeable here. I can see what he's doing with that student, "Don't waste my time by trying to act the way you imagine you should act, and I won't waste your time by playing your little game." It's the same thing I do when telemarketers call, "No, I'm not interested, have a nice day." and hang up, or if it's in person, I walk away. Clearly he's been there for a while so he can tell what type of person is inspecting his artwork, and he can tell what type of opinions they'll give. When Milo walks up, intrigued by his treatment towards the student, he can tell that she is genuinely interested in looking at the artwork. Why should he have stood around being critiqued by someone who is trying to be someone they're not? Instead he can get actual feedback, whether he cares for it or not, from someone who is being real. In this whole clip he is just being human.
  6. The pre-dance movements are just as calculated as the dance routine, however, as it has been pointed out, they are not as grand. Their arm movements and steps sync up to the words they are saying, or rather the "beat" they are creating with their words. as they break into dance their movements become grander, their arms become more open in their movements, and their steps bigger. Through the whole thing there is a fluidness of their movements, even before they actually start dancing. The professor was very stiff, I noticed, during this whole scene. He hardly smiles, except at the very beginning when he is reciting the tongue twisters; of course, as the two begin to mess with him I can't blame him for losing that smile quickly. Once they hijack the scene, all of the professor's movement comes from them leading him around, they take him to the window, then bring him to the desk, then guide him to the chair and make him watch each performance, pointing to show him even where to look, and it all ends with them taking him back to the desk. So all of that is not the professor's decision, they make the choices and force the actions for him. I didn't quite see much of a difference in masculinity in this sequence, unless it was that the professor was very rigid, Gene Kelly was precise, and O'Connor had a flair about himself.
  7. In this film both representation of women are portrayed. Calamity is not in the least bit feminine, and she's just fine with that. Wearing dresses and overall being concerned about her outward appearance doesn't fit with what she does. She protects the town and the stagecoach; she shoots, she rides, she rides and shoots, and she shares her stories of her adventures with the guys. Wearing a dress and worrying about how she comes across would only get in the way of that. She's a female, everyone knows she a female, but she isn't seen as a woman, and I don't think she totally understands that when she's told that (something I liked about her). The first time she shows any form of "femininity" is when she sees the photo of the actress wearing almost nothing; she shows great concern over her posing in her underwear like that. When she meets the city girl, that's when Calamity really starts to realize what was meant by her not being seen as a woman, that she isn't feminine. Because of how she is during this movie, how she is represented, even when she becomes more feminine towards the end, but still isn't wearing dresses, it's a great step forward for women. I'm not saying that most of the portrayals of women before were "wrong" and this one is "right," I'm just saying that this shows that you can be independent, strong willed, and not have to conform in order to "get the guy." You can express yourself, be yourself, and not be afraid. I haven't seen many of her films, or at least I can't currently think of roles I've seen Doris Day in at the moment, but I'm sure she only improved as she continued on in her career. Doris Day's bright and sunny persona only added to the character of Calamity Jane because it added that bright and sunniness to the character. It made Calamity seem more full of energy, more expressive in her movements and reactions. Every smile, every little bit of excitement seemed natural and not just a form of acting. Day's personality highlighted the character of Calamity's personality.
  8. In this clip all the characters seem to be equal in talent since there aren't any step routines that showcase an advance knowledge of dance. The singing is done in more of a talking way, as in there are not many long notes held, the pace is similar to conversing with each other. They all seem to interact with each other, as though no one is to be left out, the only exception being when the one goes to get the handkerchief. Most musicals we've seen up to this point was more of a sing - and - dance type of thing. If there was a well known dancer, like Fred Astaire, we could expect to see him dance throughout the film, the same goes for the music, we could expect to hear great songs, whether a great ballad, or a lively tune, singing and dancing was usually showcased. As many have mentioned, the costumes in this scene are coordinated, with almost a monochromatic style. Most of the color in the scene comes from the props they play with, the reds and greens, and even those colors seem to be used sparingly. No one is singled out in looks, just as no one is singled out in talent. The couple are always together, neither of the other two really come between them when they're dancing as a group. The only time they're separated, again, is during the step routine when Lester exists to get the handkerchief.
  9. The start of the scene is darker, until she hears Joe call her name and she rushes in to see him awake and alive. The scene starts to let some light in, specifically when she looks up to thank God for answering her prayers; you can see her face is illuminated as she smiles a grand smile communicating with God. When she begins to sing, she seems to sing to Joe, almost specifically, as if telling him how he makes her feel. She wants him to know that even during his mistakes, because of his gambling "sometimes the cabin gloomy and the table bare, but then he kiss me and it's Christmas everywhere," she still loves him, because all she really needs is his love. This could be why she questions if he loves her, because she loves him, and his love is all she wants. In fact, in that first moment when she questions it, she loses her smile, until she says "that's all I need to know," when she smiles again. When it transitions to her hanging laundry, she's no longer singing to Joe, but to herself. He is fine, he's sitting upright and outside with her, and she's already told him how she feels, now she's just singing because she's happy. Because of the type of love expressed in this song it would have to be completely different if it was sung to a child. The love this song talks about has more attraction in it than just general love that one has for their child. The way it's sung would probably be different too, for example I imagine it would have more of a lullaby sound to it than the way she sings this song. I haven't seen the film, I can only go by what little bit is shown in this clip, but I would imagine at first glance it would have the whole "We have to stick together as a country!" tone that many of the other films of this time had. But, because there was still a lot of prejudice during this period there is probably a sense of "We have to stick together as African-Americans!" as well. They were fighting in the war too and weren't always treated as part of the platoon there either, and let's not forget, in a little more than 10 years the Civil Rights Movement would be getting into full swing; so I would imagine, as I said, there was a sense of coming together and being together as a whole.
  10. As mentioned, the music and the actions are synced up perfectly. The ball landing in her hand matches perfectly to a pause in the music. When she is chasing him the tempo of the music speeds up. A transition in their movement coincided with a feeling of transition in the music itself. Just as the location adds obstacles for him to go through, over, and around, she makes herself an obstacle he must go around, or under to get away. There is a cat and mouse type of thing happening here, and the music portrays it, if you were to listen to the music alone you would see that it would tell the story without the lyrics. Something interesting too, when they are close together, such as when she pins him to the wall and playfully dances her hand nearly on his shoulder, there is a close up, or a medium, shot of them. When they are far apart, like when he's running away, there is a long shot of them. This brings the viewer in closer with them, and keeps them separated from the two of them when they are separated. As I mentioned, the music coincides with the movements very well in this clip, so when she stops after he leaves the locker room the music starts with their movements. Short bits of music play as they move side to side, and stop each time she stops him from moving. As soon as he runs to the bleachers the music follows him, just as she does, and you know you're about to enter a musical number.
  11. I think, like many others, my first Judy Garland film was The Wizard of Oz. Because I was young I didn't have much of an opinion of her, after all I wasn't watching and dissecting movies then like I occasionally do now. I wasn't picking up on patterns in acting, lighting, cinematography, or co-star interaction, but if anything, I was probably hypnotized by her singing, I mean who wasn't mesmerized when she sang "Somewhere Over The Rainbow"? Especially at such a young age. Since then I have seen a few of her movies here and there, often times I'll be watching a movie and suddenly she shows up on screen and I get wide-eyed and enthusiastically say, "Look! Judy Garland is in this!" (It's hard to tell she's one of my favorites, isn't it?). There isn't much change in how I view her except that maybe I just like her more as I see her in a variety of roles, each one showcasing more and more of her talents. I can't think of any specific examples that showcase her ability to capture an audience because I feel like all of her roles do. Every time she sings you're fixated on every note she hits, when she dances you're entertained, when she acts, you feel what she feels. She gives it her "all" in everything she does, and it shows. I don't think I have ever been disappointed by a Judy Garland movie.
  12. From the very beginning of this clip nationalism is front and center. The butler is smiling ear to ear with the chance to meet Cohan (again) and talk about how he last saw him, singing about "that grand ol' flag!" The staircase they ascend is lined with portraits of the Presidents, and when they switch to a medium shot of the two of them you can see those portraits even better, you can even name who they are. Throughout this whole clip, if the flag wasn't shown, it was mentioned. Roosevelt even says to him, "That's what I like about you Irish-Americans, you carry your love of Country like a flag, right out in the open!" The dialogue is also delivered in short bursts at times, almost like a radio host would deliver their lines. It's makes it more direct, short, sweet, and to the point, it's easier to follow. Opening in the White House instead of the parade I think calls for more respect towards Cohan. He was so patriotic that the President wants to meet him, at the White House, not just anyone can go there, so this guy, Cohan, must be pretty special. It can almost make someone think, if I'm that patriotic maybe I can meet the President too! While the parade allows for a sense of patriotism as well, it's not as commanding. Instead it just instills that feeling in the audience, but it may not get them to act that way after the film ends.
  13. The whole scene actually tells its story through the filming, the dialogue helps and adds something extra, but the whole thing is just as easy to follow without sound. Close - ups are used for emphasis, such as when she is yelling about the garter there is a close up, when she pulls out the gun there is a close - up on that to bring attention to those items. With the opening of the clip it is clear that Alfred is a Casanova since the woman is upset to find another lady's garter in the room meaning he's seeing someone else, which is quite ironic since she's having an affair with him. While I find this clip works without sound, the sound does make it all the more interesting, especially with all of the chatter that seems to be coming from off screen; that was probably my favorite part. I like the arguing in French, even though I couldn't understand it (which made it even better honestly), behind the closed doors, then even more chatter when he opens the door. This is a great example of the use of sound in the film because it helps to set the scene, it's a small detail that technically doesn't have to be there - the arguing probably does, but it didn't have to be behind closed doors - but it adds layers to the scene that give it more character. Like many of the clips before this one, the theme of extravagant backgrounds and settings is prevalent, along with eveningwear, promotes the "high life." It's clear that this was a widely used theme during this time, perhaps because people were escaping to the movies, or perhaps because that was what they knew best, having come from the Roaring Twenties, everyone knew how to have fun.
  14. I'm not sure there's much of a battle of the sexes exactly, but there is a sense of a challenge. Travers does initiate the dance sequence as he sings and walks around, looking at Tremont each time he comes around, but she doesn't join in the way he wanted or expected her to. He was looking for her to join as a partner, "I want to dance with you, so come and dance with me." type of thing. Let us dance as a couple, the usual way a man and a woman dance, the man is the lead and the woman follows. When she decides to join him, she doesn't join in the typical couples dancing way, instead she takes the "I lead, you follow" to the extreme by copying his every step. So she joins him, but on her terms, the way she wants. The difference in this clip from the other ones we've looked at, as some have mentioned, is the presentation of them as "equals." They challenge each other, first her challenging him by copying then him challenging back by doing more difficult steps. She's even "matching" him in what they're wearing, she's in pants and a jacket just like him. This is also an example of the changes in the roles of men and women in the screwball comedies. We see this in these musicals as opposed to the earlier musicals because it's more likely to be "accepted" in this manner. It's easier to make a point, or challenge something in a comedy because the whole film is more lighthearted, allowing the audience to let their guard down. In a more serious film, something like this would not be as accepted, take for example the film Some Like It Hot, I'm aware that it's not a musical, but can you imagine how differently the movie would be viewed if it didn't have that comedic aspect to it? Just the men dressing in drag as a form of hiding is something to laugh at. When pushing issues, comedy is one of the best ways to go about it.
  15. In the first clip there is a playfulness about the scene. The Mounty does not hide his attraction towards her as he says "every time I realize I'm helping you get to another man, it takes the heart out of me!" He even tries to guess what type of guy she's seeing, and when he finds out that the guy is a singer, he proves that he is a singer too. The playfulness continues with Rose Marie trying to exhibit a carelessness about his singing and his song, trying to act as though she doesn't enjoy it and even gives him a shocked look and challenges him at the end. She jokes that he must have composed it on the spot, and he plays along, catching what she is doing, by singing it again but with a different name, and even "admits" that he sings that song as long as the girl's name fits with it. As appalled as she appears to be by this news, she really did enjoy the song, and uses his comment about the names as an excuse to be able to hide her feelings for him. In the second clip, Marie is more vulnerable as she is out of her element. She isn't in control of the situation, and can't quite figure out how to gain that control, no matter how hard she tries. It's clear that the style of performance needed for the saloon is not her style of performance, but she is willing to give it a try out of necessity. Her talent doesn't go unnoticed by everyone as the pianist points out that she has a nice voice, she just has to put some pep in it. When the "regular" steps in to "save the day," or perhaps just to upstage her, Marie doesn't fully give up. However, realizing that's just not for her, and realizing that the Mounty is present and has definitely noticed her, it's clear she's had enough. Though she leaves embarrassed, she leaves with her head held high. That playfulness from the first clip is replaced with a sense of concern by the Mounty for her. I have not seen them in any other movies and from these short clips I can't form any opinion or anything about them. From these clips, it would seem that the relationships are more like a chase. The guy chasing the girl, and the girl giving the guy something to chase. The girl also makes him work for it, she doesn't just let him have, he has to earn it in some way.
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