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Everything posted by Leej07

  1. We've finally reached the final Daily Dose of Delight. It's been fun, guys! 1. How might Streisand’s performance of the song “People” have felt different in the film, had she been more theatrical and expressive, perhaps even belting her song more? The tenderness of the moment would have been lost. The song is meant to be largely introspective, and singing it over-the-top and bombastically would have ruined the moment. 2. Note the emotional transition moments in this scene: how do the two characters relate to each other as the lyrics are sung? They are clearly attracted
  2. I adore this film, and was very pleased to perform in a production of My Fair Lady on stage last year. Many happy memories. 1. Explore any common themes and filmmaking techniques in a very different movie also directed by George Cukor, Gaslight. (If you are not familiar with Gaslight, compare and contrast Cukor's theme in this scene and his techniques with another musical you have seen during this course) I am not as familiar with Gaslight. However, I note Cukor's use of lighting and shadows to emphasize moods. Eliza is cast in darkness at the beginning of the scene, and she seems t
  3. Before I get into my observations of the two films, I would like to say that I have been to Meredith Willson's hometown of Mason City, Iowa, which has been stated to have been the real life basis for the fictional River City in "The Music Man." Willson's birthplace is preserved as a museum, and there's also an adjoining tourist attraction called Music Man Square. I have many fond memories of Mason City, and "The Music Man" remains special to me as a result. 1. As you look back to the masculine performances in musicals of past decades, what changes in male representation, and performance w
  4. 1. In what ways does this scene look backwards to classical musicals and how does it look ahead to new disruptions that we now know will happen in the movie musical? At the start, it's highly reminiscent of the backstage musicals of the 1930s. It almost vaudevillian in many ways. The orchestra pit is clearly seen, as well. However, about halfway through, the entire scene takes a turn, becoming entirely more disruptive and even subversive. Mama Rose barging in can be seen as symbolic of the upheaval experienced in movie musicals and the studio system in the 1960s. 2. This is the
  5. 1. Does a movie that has as stylized a scene as An American in Paris’ ending ballet need to use a less-than-realistic, stylized approach throughout the film? I do not think so. I think the clash of styles produces a more interesting result. There's almost an ethereal quality to the whole film, even before the ballet at the end, and I feel that serves to emphasize the romantic, dreamlike quality of Paris. 2. What keeps Jerry Mulligan from being completely unlikeable in a scene in which he acts pretty darn unlikeable? Gene Kelly himself, actually. He acts brusquely toward the
  6. 1. How do the pre-dance movements of O’Connor and Kelly compare to their actual dance movements? It all lines up very well. Their pre-dance movements already have a rhythm, and a sense of musicality. You can tell a song is coming, because they're already starting segue into the dance moves. It's all a very smooth transition. 2. Watch the Professor all the way through and consider the role of the straight man. The professor very much believes that he is in control. At the beginning, he's delighted, believing he's taught his two pupils perfect elocution. As the song and dance
  7. 1. As you reflect upon female representation in the 1950s, where do you think this film character falls in the continuum? Why? Jane is something of an outsider. She's not your typical girly-girl. She's more of a tomboy. She is more aggressive, and assertive, very different from the 1950s ideal of femininity. Halfway through the film, however, this changes, as she adopts more feminine attire and mannerisms as she attempts to conform. 2. How do you think Doris Day grows as an actress in her various roles in the 1950s, before and after this musical? I adore Doris Day, no matter wha
  8. 1. As you watch the interaction between the four characters in this scene, what do you notice about the way they include each other or relate to one another? How is it different from early musicals we have discussed? All four perform as equals. There is no leader, and no true individualism in this musical number. The overall theme is that of conformity, and working together, two chief ideals of the 1950s. 2. What do you notice about the costuming of the characters that indicate cohesiveness of the ensemble, as opposed to setting anyone apart? Be specific. The men all wear suits
  9. 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? Petunia is completely, hopelessly devoted to Joe. There is almost nothing he can do that will push her away. She forgives his gambling, and takes care of him, because he represensts everything that makes her happy in life. 2. How would the song change if it was a woman singing about her child? Does the cultural meaning change? How? If it was sung to a child, the imp
  10. 1. Thinking like a director and editor, describe how each shot spotlights key actions. The entire song is choreographed as a chase: Betty Garrett is pursuing Frank Sinatra. For every lyric that Garrett sings, Sinatra is attempting to get away. Garrett is persistent, however, and at the end she literally "catches" the object of her desire. 2. It’s interesting to examine how musicals segue into musical numbers. How does this sequence prepare us for the singing? Frank is walking along with a jaunty gait, and tossing a baseball back and forth. Garrett is leaning against the wall, wa
  11. 1. What was the first Judy Garland film you recall watching? What was your first impression of her? My very first Judy Garland film was, like many others, THE WIZARD OF OZ, which I first saw when I was a young child. I remember thinking Judy was relatable, and I could well understand her longing to get home. I thought she was really beautiful, too. To me she will always be Dorothy. 2. How do you view her differently after viewing these clips than you might have viewed her previously? I've gained a deeper appreciation of her talent. There was never anyone like Judy Garland. She w
  12. 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. There are flags prominently displayed everywhere, a not-so-subtle bit of patriotism. As soon as the flashback starts, what do we see? The American flag again. The patriotic symbols are front and center. 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.
  13. 1. What other aspects of battle of the sexes do you see indicated in this clip or in the film Top Hat? Echoing the sentiments of others above, I do not really see many aspects of a battle of the sexes here. Fred and Ginger are pretty evenly matched. 2. How does this film distinguish itself from other Depression era musicals we have watched or discussed this week? Bright, glitzy, and glamorous. Ginger distinguishes herself from Jeanette MacDonald by being a take-charge, no-nonsense woman. She makes it very clear that she won't be swayed by Fred Astaire until she's ready to be, no
  14. 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)? As has been noted above, Alfred's breaking the fourth wall to address the viewer, the garter, and all the guns reveal that he is a cad, but a lovable, urbane, and witty one. He is unashamed of his womanizing ways, and, indeed, likely sees it as a sort of game of cat and mouse between himself and the objects of his affections. That he has no trouble zipping up the dress when her husband couldn't reveals that he has done this many t
  15. 1. What do you notice about the interaction between the characters in these two scenes? Please give specific examples. It is fairly obvious from the canoe scene that the mountie is going to woo the girl, but she'll reject his advances until she eventually comes to realize she really does love him. This same trope is copied countless times in film from the silent era to the present day. Furthermore, the saloon scene establishes that Jeanette MacDonald is the demure, safe, good girl type. She doesn't fit in with the rough crowd of prospectors and mountain men. Eddy is clearly drawn to
  16. 1. Do you agree that the clip exhibits a brighter perspective of life than might be realistic? Why or why not? Most definitely it does, as is to be expected of a Depression era musical. People attended the cinema back then as a form of escapism, so lighthearted plots were the norm. Any darker aspects of the real story were glossed over in an effort to make it more entertaining. 2. What themes or approaches might you anticipate from this clip in other Depression era musicals? Continued lighthearted plots, bright and glamorous sets. The Depression was a time of escapist entertain
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