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About RoniRae

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  1. What other aspects of battle of the sexes do you see indicated in this clip or in the film Top Hat? I think there is a transformative idea of "battle of the sexes" in this clip. For one, the dancing choreography features both dancers equally. Literally in sync, neither dancer (specifically the male dancer) is put into showier or more complicated dance. They are literally partners. Also, while he is singing his lovely song to her, she seems to be more interested in the storm than she is in him, holding her own. How does this film distinguish itself from other Depression era musicals we have watched or discussed this week? Not as shiny and glamorous! Seems much more relatable. What possible reasons might there be for the changes in roles between men and women depicted in these screwball comedy musicals that distinguish themselves from earlier musicals in the 1930s? Women's rights and the role of women in society, especially in Hollywood, have changed. Men are no longer the only leading actors and many women are coming into their own. Ginger Rogers is a star in her own right, apart from her partner.
  2. 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)? For someone who hadn't seen or heard of this show, this clip is quite shocking in the sense that it isn't filled with as much of the light hearted and comical aspects we expect in musicals from this era. However, the close up shots of the props and some of the dialogue add the comedic elements, especially the big drawer filled with many little guns. 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. Actually, the opening dialogue from behind the door is quite new and effective. You can tell that the people talking are at a distance and moving closer, as this is reflected in the sound, going from quiet and muffled to clear and loud. Very effective. What themes or approaches might you anticipate from this clip in other Depression-era musicals? Like we learned in the lecture notes, the indulgent and opulent apartment and lives of these people must have been mental vacations for many Americans suffering during the Depression.
  3. What do you notice about the interaction between the characters in these two scenes? Please give specific examples. This is a tried and true plot line through a lot of movies, where two seemingly opposite personalities have a banter and an attraction, all while developing true feelings for one another. It is seen time and time again in movies and shows even today! The interaction and dialogue is much less "wholesome" than we even saw in the Judy Garland example and the people seem more realistic in many ways. The female character is especially sympathetic in the second scene, where here discomfort and embarrassment at the situation in the bar is almost palpable! If you have seen either or both of these actors in other films or television shows, please share your perceptions about them. I have never seen them in other shows, but I am impressed with their acting and singing abilities! What do these clips tell you about the male/female relationships as they are depicted in the films during this era? What norms might you expect are supported under the Hollywood Film Code? In these two clips, the people seem as much friendly acquaintances than they do romantic interests, but there is also a level of respect and caring that develops even throughout these short scenes. The norm of a plucky female character looking to prove herself and improve her situation is common during this time, as is the friendly and successful male character put in her path to both crash against and run to. I enjoyed this one!
  4. I will watch Jesus Christ Superstar and Fiddler on the Roof anytime! They were popular in my house growing up and are now nostalgic favorites.
  5. 1) Well, most obviously the glamorous life of both the performers and the audience depict a much different lifestyle than most Americans were facing during the Great Depression. And as for the performers and impresarios, their lives were much less picture perfect and much hard work than perhaps this picture would depict! 2) I would say a common trend is the idea that lead characters, specifically male leads, spend much of the musical “one upping” each other, creating a certain amount of happy conflict and plot line. Also, the revue style of musical numbers that this show allows were very popular in this era. 3) I think the most obvious pre-code aspect is the fact that the scene is filmed as one would film a stage production, from the always in front perspective to the actual stage performance.
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