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PatriciaH

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  1. 1. I feel her performance of the song "People" is exactly the way it should be - perfect. She does not look or sound like a beginner to films. Anything more theatrical or expressive including belting out this song would have been wrong and fake. Her emotion shows in her eyes, her mannerism and her voice. More is not always better. 2. You know that Streisand is enthralled with Sharif. He is the man of the world and her mother runs a saloon. She is a lot prettier than the real Fanny was but while staying in character she wants him but knows from her past that there is no hope about that and has been used to rejection. Sharif's eyes do not stop looking at her and he is thinking there is something real here and overlooks everything else. 3. The direction and editing of the scene does support her performance. For blocking It is in the wee hours of the morning or almost dawn with residue of wet sidewalks. There is no interference or distraction of anyone else on the street, no cars, no people, only the two of them. She is shy and ends up walking in front of him and singing very shyly crouching slightly and nervous. He posture is upright and following her like a predator and very sure of himself. She uses her hands to steady her nerves, touching the fence, waving them at some places. He remains constant. There is a good reaction shot when she is standing on the stairs looking towards the street when the climax of the song happens and you see him in the proximity off to the left leaning slightly forward with his full attention at her and the audience sees his reaction and connection to her.
  2. 1. The common themes and filmmaking techniques in Cukor's My Fair Lady and Gaslight - both are Victorian settings, are with a dominating male lead with a submissive or tormented female being made into someone she is not. She is ridiculed and her comments and feelings are completely dismissed. The sole purpose of the male is to reach his goal. In Gaslight, Boyer murdered for jewels and is obsessed with finding them even if it means that getting rid of Boyer into thinking she is insane. In My Fair Lady, Harrison wants to win his bet, to prove that he is above everyone else and can change Hepburn into something she is not and fool everybody while doing it. Both males use the ends justifies the means. At the end the roles reverse the females become stronger and prevail. 2. The emotional transition moments in this scene start with Harrison being superior and Hepburn is a crying, snivelling, weak woman. The tables turn throughout the scene Hepburn gets stronger and Harrison is bewildered. Eliza will become a teacher and she can stand up for herself. 3. The relationship between Eliza and Higgins that seems enhanced by Cukor’s direction is the use of design, camera movement and framing. He knew how to place the performance within the total structure of the movie. expressive use of composition, camera movement and movement within the frame to make a total visual and narrative experience. In most of Cukor's movies the woman becomes stronger some throughout the movie but at least all definitely by the end
  3. 1. Masculine performances in past musicals were straightforward and one dimensional. They sang, danced, had an eye on a girl, worked to get the girl, got the girl and were basically in charge of the relationship, with the woman following or losing them. Male representation in musicals changed to be more than that to be multi-dimensional. They were no longer one dimensional - they were independent gang members in West Side Story; a charming con man with no morals at the start of The Music Man, who ends up getting a conscience, changing his ways for a woman; a gay man who is simply a gay man and not a comic figure or overly flamboyant, and a good friend in Victor Victoria; regular bunch of guys trying to deal with success in A Hard Day's Night. 2. Robert Preston is very charismatic, very natural, and mesmerizing. He looks like he is not acting and is believable in building up on the individual talents of the townspeople. He uses facial expressions and close contact speaking right to the individual. His hands are always in motion are very expressive as well. Both are honest performances to the role he is playing. 3. I saw him in Gun for Hire - the antagonist hero but memorable; he was GREAT in S.O.B. There were a few westerns as well but I have not seen them in quite awhile so cannot comment. He did continue on stage and Broadway as well but unfortunately never saw him on stage. Apparently The Music Man was his first professional singing role. He worked hard to hone his craft to keep his parts coming across as always natural. You saw and followed the character he played truthfully and honestly. You saw and felt for the character without seeing the actor Robert Preston acting.
  4. 1. The scene looks backwards to classical musicals / ahead to new disruptions that will happen Backwards: It deals with a new and struggling artist waiting to be discovered on the Vaudeville stage. There is focus on only one person Baby June - who has the talent and wants to be a star - even though Natalie Wood is dancing with her, she is invisible, just a partner. Vaudeville stage, orchestra, props, song is part of the scene. Ahead: This is not a disruption. Ahead the focus will be more chaotic, the songs will be focused to record sales, and it will be more focused on youth and the future as opposed to the past. 2. Rosalind Russell walks in the theatre as if she just left for lunch - she owns it. She first starts telling her children to smile and sing louder so the back of the house can hear her. She walks onto the stage with moxie. First speaks to the Malden who is the main host of the show. Then she puts her attention to the orchestra - conductor and arranger. After that comes the person in charge of lighting. She is oblivious to anyone else as they are not important enough. She understands the dealing behind the pre-chosen Balloon girl. She knows the ropes, goes right to the person in charge of decisions, not afraid to say she will go to the press. Knows she has won because without taking another breath the music begins and the spotlight goes on. . 3. “Let Me Entertain You” The underlying message is there but a child is singing it which changes the connotations slightly as she is doing a simple dance routine. With the age and routine she will simply entertain the audience and everyone will have fun. However, it changes to being racy and has a whole other meaning when Gypsy becomes a stripper. It is staging at this time and not disruptive. In my dancing school at recital when I was around 13 we sang and did a musical comedy dance routine and it as fun.
  5. The interaction between the four characters are as equals. They are sticking together, supporting each other, and confirming that they can do anything as a team. It is different from the earlier musicals, as there is no focus on one person, or one individual, and one star is not singled out from the others. They are one and each one has something to offer. The costuming is regular streetwear of the time. No one is more flamboyant than the others. Men are in casual suits and Nanette is wearing a blouse and skirt. This reconfirms that they are as one and equals. The song intro is Anything Goes and turns into That's Entertainment an they sing of anything that can be done with different scenarios throughout. The staging is an empty rehearsal hall and togetherness and sticking together is the interplay with nonchalance. Fred and Jack wear bowler hats and have a short Laurel and Hardy type interplay. Nanette and Oscar step in using the ladder and stumps the others. Jack stands beside a closet Oscar lights his cigarette and then plays hide and seek inside the closet. Then they are all in unison again. Great movie and see it each time it is on. "By Myself" into "Shine on Your Shoes" as an opening for Fred and for me, even though the simplest, my best and smoothest, music and dance scene ever "Dancing in the Dark".
  6. I am not sure where to post replies here or on the discussion tab in the course. By the way Happy Birthday Judy - June 10th. 1. My first introduction to Judy Garland was from the records or vinyl that my mother had and continuously played including Gay Puree. I first saw Judy Garland on her TV show. The first film was the Wizard of Oz. Okay before the days of VCRs, DVD's or PVR's or Internet. Before seeing her my mother had records of her and played them all the time, even Gay Puree. I found her mesmerizing in the Wizard and what a voice. Cried with Over the Rainbow. She was so believable. 2. I have seen the movies for the Easter Parade and For me and my Gal and almost every movie she made. Love the clips you chose. My admiration for her talent is limitless. Energetic. She could do comedy and drama and sing anything and everything. 3. Later years A Star is Born (the sequence which ends in Swanee, Turn your frown upside down), I Could go on Singing (the theme song plus in the theatre with the orchestra revving up just before she sings Hello Bluebird, the scene when she is saying to Dirk Bogarde that she can't be spread too thin and she sings for herself) A Child is Waiting (not a musical), Judgment at Nuremberg. In my books from Swing with Deanna Durbin, You Made me Love You, to Andy Hardy, Summerstock she gave herself completely. I have watched everything and was so glad when That's Entertainment brought her back. I am sorry she did not win the Oscar for A Star is Born, that may have changed things for her. I remember delivering morning newspapers in 1969 in Montreal and her death was on the front page, so devastated. Also the internet those years when she was singing at dives, so sad. Sorry to go on and I have to stop. Loved her in everything she did. One of a kind and cannot be replaced.
  7. It was a great week and introduction and cannot wait for next week. Other aspects of battle of the sexes seen in the clip or in the film Top Hat are: comedic battle of the sexes and battle of wit. Which one is going to win or if there will be a compromise. This film distinguishes itself from other Depression era musicals watched or discussed this week as there is actually a plot. It does not look like a Broadway stage play and the lines are sung instead of spoken resulting in a better flow or song when they could be talking. It's more tied in. 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. To be more entertaining.
  8. The Lubitsch touch was his Brand given by studio PR. Today everyone stresses brand. Lubitsch was noted for wit, charm, and nonchalance. The elegant use of the joke you do not expect and another that follows. In the clip, when she gets the gun, you expect her to shoot her husband. He is infuriated and she is going to protect herself. Instead, she shoots herself. Does Alfred (Maurice Chevalier) run to her side, no he stands there nonchalant. The husband's rage about his wife turns to love and the rage is moved to Alfred, who you feel is callous about his lover on the ground. Alfred does not balk or run when the gun is pointed at him, he is shot at, and even helps the husband check the gun. When the husband realizes that his wife is alive and not hurt he forgets about her having an affair and Alfred nonchalantly walks to the drawer where you see other dud guns and you know Alfred knew about these all along. The joke is on the husband who has forgotten everything, who accepts being yelled at by her about the dress and you know she will have more affairs. Alfred is a gentleman who will continue his playboy ways, may even see her again or that may be too much drama for him or maybe he is getting bored of her. As a playboy there are always other women. The sound of the gunshot. You do not see it and you think that she has shot her husband but are taken aback when she is on the ground. The dialogue is fast paced from loving to anger to sympathy to belittlement and to acceptance. Alfred is exceptionally blasé throughout, like a boy getting his hands caught in the cookie jar. The silence between the husband and Alfred is better than having dialogue. What themes or approaches for Depression era musicals, as was said in today's lecture, is escapism and bringing laughter to the everyday population to forget their hardships for a short time. Visually to see the beauty and elegance, even though everyone was rich you could laugh at their clumsiness and the wit. Of course there is always the happy ending in fantasy.
  9. 1. In the first clip, he is being very flirtatious - a real player. She initially doesn't want to hear about it she just wants to get where she is going and he is annoying her because she has other things on her mind and is being interrupted. His voice is what gets to her and she recognizes the quality of same. Maybe she is double thinking about this Italian tenor of hers, whom she appears to be peeved at. She warms up but Nelson Eddy starts listing his conquests and this isn't going to work with this lady. In the second clip, she really doesn't belong there. (it reminds me of Young at Heart when Frank Sinatra is playing the piano in a dive and no one is listening and dishes are clanking when he is singing One for My Baby). In the clip it confirms that Nelson is a player however he feels sorry for the way she is being treated and realizes that she is a lady and not a one night stand. 2. Yes, I have seen various movies with them, sometimes in movie marathons. They are entertaining but one after the other are interchangeable of that type of movie theme. However, as you said in yesterday's lecture, the burden on women is career or love and of course there was the dominating Louis B Mayer. I feel that Jeanette overall had a wider range in acting along with her singing. Nelson appeared to be more stoic and regimented. Maybe it was because it was because he was truly in love with Jeanette and hard to be doing love scenes with someone you want to marry and are in love with. I understand he sang at her wedding, which must have been hard as well. Possibly, a portion could be the extra stress put upon him by the studio, who ran your life at that time. You cannot hide everything from the camera. I think it was Elizabeth Taylor who said you were considered a commodity. 3. The code squashed so much. I agree with Geezer noir - always good girl, bad girl. You can touch the arm but not much else. The dress appears to be satin, shiny and did not hide any bulges...but it is long and not a strapless. With some minor gyrations the camera does tend to move farther away or pan to include everyone else as a distraction. Directors / camera did have a way to constantly test the code very subtly. Pre-code would have been much different and more risqué.
  10. I love musicals, also various other genres. It is too hard to pick a favourite, been watching them for eons. Anything with Judy Garland...that feeling, that voice. Gene Kelly, low to the ground and economic in movements. He uses gravity and no wasted movements. Fred Astaire, elegant and innovative, he glides. The Big Band movies, fun to see Nancy Walker doing swing with Harry James. Kathryn Grayson, for the longest time I thought they used her face for Snow White. The list is too long. I remember when I went to the theatre to see That's Entertainment, when it was first released, I felt so bad that the audience were laughing during so many parts - Esther Williams, Broadway Melody, and so many others and too bad it wasn't appreciated I am so happy with TCM for having so much variety and so many choices in film. Let us not forget the great music of Max Steiner, Franz Waxman, Dimitri Tiomkin. The list is endless.
  11. First time blogging on a forum and should be able to learn all the ins and outs of it soon. 1. I have seen this movie many times and yes the clip in itself does show a brighter perspective considering the time it was being shown. The elite with their tails and furs going out to the theatre, silk costumes, careless, frivolous spending, i.e. tipping the doorman and thousands of francs just for orchids. The banter and friendship between Frank Morgan and William Powell are funny and endearing. Morgan finds the talent and Powell takes the talent. However, as you watch the movie it does deal with portions of reality and the depression which are quite disheartening. 2. I feel that other Depression movies, especially the musicals, were there to have people escape from the hardship and troubles of their daily lives where they can go and forget about everything. 3. Pre-Code may have dealt a little more with the relationship of Ziegfeld and Held considering they had not married and she was very underage. I think I heard 14 or 15 years old. They may have also dealt with his womanizing a bit more.
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