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mjbreuer

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  1. Dr. Edwards, the course has been so much fun. I appreciate the time and effort that has gone into creating this experience, and am truly enjoying myself, discovering a few new films while revisiting some old favorites. The insights from the lecture videos have been great, and I’ve seen quite a few of these films in a new way from the course content.
  2. 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? As the song begins with Petunia at Little Joe’s bedside, the meaning of the song comes across as an urgent prayer for his recovery and the care she shows her husband in his time of need. Here, it is particularly appropriate that the character is “Little” Joe, as Petunia’s treatment of her husband is very nurturing, much in the way a mother would care for a sick child. Later,
  3. Yes, I understand who Cedric Gibbons was, and the studio custom for assigning credit to works. Gibbons’ participation in the listed films from the notes is not being questioned. My point stands that the lecture notes contain an error, which is all that I was clearing up. By listing the 1944 version of Kismet as one of the “movie musicals of the 1940s,” the professor either mislabeled Kismet (1944) as a musical, or got the decade wrong, as the 1955 film is the musical version.
  4. I just wanted to post a correction to the lecture notes for anyone who is keeping track of all of the films mentioned in the course, as I have been. In the note about Cedric Gibbons, there is the following bullet point: His works is evident in many of the movie musicals of the 1940s, including Strike Up the Band (1940), For Me and My Gal (1942), Cabin in the Sky (1943), Best Foot Forward (1943), Bathing Beauty 1944), Kismet (1944), Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), Anchors Aweigh (1945), The Harvey Girls (1946), Good News (1947), The Pirate (1948), Easter Parade (1948), Words and Music (1948)
  5. 1. Thinking like a director and editor, describe how each shot spotlights key actions. Each shot spotlights key actions by placing the camera in the right place to capture some physical cue/gag that goes along with the action of the story (i.e. Sinatra tossing the ball for a game of catch after Garrett sings for him to “play ball with [her]”) and by keeping the focus on Garrett as the dominant force in the scene. Having the camera retreat with Sinatra as he tries to evade her advances (often framing him in profile or from behind), while keeping Garrett’s face in view throughout much of th
  6. 1 What was the first Judy Garland film you recall watching? What was your impression of her? The first Judy Garland film for me, as it was for many people, was THE WIZARD OF OZ. I was a child, and I remember finding her very relatable and engaging. I see this same connection as I watch the film now with my young daughter, who has made it one of the most requested screenings in our house. Her voice and expressiveness are among her greatest assets, making a song like “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” incredibly iconic through her delivery and emotion. 2.How do you view
  7. 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. The scene’s opening, with Cohan’s walk through the White House before his eventual meeting with the President utilizes costuming and mise-en-scene to develop the nationalistic tone of the film. As he walks up the stairs, the walls are adorned with patriotic portraits of past Presidents, while Cohan himself wears an American flag pin on his jacket. Once in the Oval Office, the office of Presiden
  8. 1. What other aspects of battle of the sexes do you see indicated in this clip or in the film Top Hat? In the clip, we see the “battle of the sexes” played out as a competition, with Rogers’ character matching Astaire step-for-step, proving her independence and that she is second to no man. This reminded me a lot of the old “Anything you can do, I can do better,” Nike commercials from the early 2000s, where male and female athletes would try to one-up each other in various athletic feats. Unfortunately, the clip also fails to push the envelope very far, and we still see Rogers resigned
  9. 1. 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)? The “Lubitsch Touch” is a delicate, expert display of show-don’t-tell storytelling and characterization. Instead of using dialogue (or, in the silent era, a title card), Lubitsch is able to insert drama into the scene with a few carefully placed visuals. We see the garter, the gun, and desperate tugging at the door, and are already clued in to what is going on before Chevalier dutifully announces, “Her husband.” The set design, co
  10. 1. What do you notice about the interaction between the characters in these two scenes? Please give specific examples. In both of the scenes, you can see the impact of the film code in the characters' interaction. Everything between Eddy and MacDonald is lighthearted and safe, with a very chaste portrait of courtship. In the first clip, Eddy croons romantically while MacDonald playfully rejects him by poking fun at the sincerity of his lyrics. In the second clip, we see the discomfort of MacDonald's character when attempting to "lower" herself to the level of barroom revelry. She is out-o
  11. 1. Do you agree that the clip exhibits a brighter perspective of life than might be realistic? Why or why not? The clip certainly presents a brighter perspective of life than might be realistic. For a Depression-era audience, seeing a character like William Powell's Ziegfeld give away five pounds to the doorman, accompanied by a carefree quip about trying to "lose weight" makes light of the financial struggles that led to unprecedented poverty and unemployment. Although money may be a metaphorical "weight" on the shoulders of many audience members, the cinema offered an opportunity for vi
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