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Warne's Brat

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  1. 1) In Gaslight, the rooms in Bergman's and Boyer's home are equally busy with fussy, ornate wallpaper, chandeliers... and portraits and mirrors and sconces and lamps and all manner of foofaraw on the walls. In that film and in My Fair Lady, the overall effect of this is cloistering, claustrophobic, and constricting. Both women in the two films are slowly and methodically transformed from what they originally were by a controlling man for personal gain. Naturally, in Gaslight, Boyer was a true villain, and Harrison is more of an antagonist turned potential romantic hero in MFL, but they both
  2. I have a lot to say about this particular daily dose, partly because the curator's comments were particularly interesting and insightful, and partly because An American in Paris is the film that sealed the deal for me in terms of becoming a lifelong fan of Gene Kelly. 1) I think the ballet, as a more or less self-contained island within the film, is about as stylized as the film ever gets. Just prior to it, we have the highly stylized and visually arresting Beaux Arts ball, where nearly everything is black and white. That said, the Minnelli touch is everywhere, and as we've already lear
  3. These come to mind! From Singin' in the Rain: "Hey Joe, bring me a tarantula!" From Top Hat: "We are Bates." "If I ever forgot myself with that girl, I'd remember it." From Swing Time (more of a conversation): Helen Broderick: Beautiful, isn't it? Victor Moore: What is? HB: The music. VM: What music? HB: The music they're playing. VM: Oh, yeah... what made you think of it? HB: Think of what? VM: The music. HB (most drily and sarcastically): Oh, I don't know; my mind was wandering, I guess. From Brigadoon: "If there's anything I hate, it's you!" (or pretty
  4. 1) The pre-dance movements of the two dancers are much slower and more deliberate, as the rhythm of the words they are repeating builds into the moment where the music from the orchestra kicks in. As the 'bigness' of the music increases, so do their movements - both in size and in comedic broadness. For example, Kelly has the moment where he jumps on the chair and drapes the curtains around himself in an attempt to imitate the Moses of the Bible. It's one of the smoothest transitions into a musical number that I can think of, though others in this particular film are handled with equal aplo
  5. Hi - Interesting final point. Could you please clarify what you mean by the comment about Gene Kelly? Are you intentionally separating the actor from the character he is playing? In what way is GK a beta male?
  6. I confess I've never been drawn to either of these musicals. I've never particularly cared for the whole western presence in a musical, nor for the big, broad, and brassy way the performances of both the men and women seem to come off. All of that said, Doris Day does have a completely winning presence, and it's hard not to like her no matter what she is saying or doing. You can understand why Wham chose her as a superlative about making the sun shine bright in their song. 1) Doris Day, at least in this performance (she isn't like this in a movie like Young at Heart), seems to be at th
  7. That makes sense. Like Pal Joey. I can't remember where I read that about the Bernstein songs being more highbrow; for some reason, I'm associating it with a biography I read on Kelly, but I could be wrong. Perhaps it's my own conception of Bernstein's music relative to the types of compositions I'm used to hearing in film musicals. This is probably one of those instances of a person being more attached to what they hear first, or are more familiar with. I've seen On the Town many, many times; it would take a lot to dislodge the place the film's songs have in my heart. :-)
  8. I love Anchors Aweigh, too - but it's about 40 minutes too long and there is too much Jose Iturbi. I'm also not a fan of Kathryn Grayson's warbling, but I think Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra are great in it together and little Dean Stockwell is one of the most adorable and natural child actors I've ever seen. To each their own, I guess. On the Town is perhaps a bit over exuberant, but I like it, anyway.
  9. Hi, all. I wanted to talk more generally about On the Town following the lecture discussion. As much as I respect some of the viewpoints on offer, I'm not sure I fully agree with the suggestion that the film is overly 'presentational.' If anything, the opening sequence in particular strikes me as being very dynamic and naturalistic. Or how about that wonderful scene on the subway? The film feels timeless to me in moments like these. I'm by no means a film scholar, but the fact that the camera takes us to so many actual places in NYC and we see the three fellas engaging with the sights an
  10. I first saw Cabin in the Sky many years ago, and I instantly loved it. The film is literally luminous, in that the lighting just gives everything this inner, glowing sort of radiance. The cinematography and mise en scene are equally beautiful. I also love that yes - this is obviously a film featuring African-Americans and is about the intertwined lives of African-Americans, but it isn't really a movie about race. They are just people. This scene in particular is one that brings me to tears. There is something so moving about her connection to the song and the warmth of her performan
  11. I don't have a lot to say about the questions our professor has posed that others haven't already covered. I will say that though I've watched this film many times, I noticed new things while watching this scene today as a result of the prompts given us. The segue was smooth, in that the movements of the two performers corresponded seamlessly with the music as they led into the choreographed routine. I say choreographed, even if there wasn't really dancing - it was just so carefully timed and crafted. It reminded me of that wonderful (albeit brief) opening segment to An American in Paris,
  12. Yeah... I think the story there is that SITR directors Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly told Arthur Freed (the producer who happened to write most of the songs in SITR back in the 20s with Nacio Herb Brown) that they needed a song LIKE "Be a Clown" for Donald O'Connor's showstopper. When they got "Make 'Em Laugh," they realized that it was more or less the same song, but went with it, anyway. I'm a bit hazy on the details, but I imagine a citation could be found somewhere. Anyway, as I recall, Cole Porter did notice it, but was too much of a gentleman to make a big deal out of it. As far as th
  13. I love The Pirate precisely because it's 'goofy.' I think it's hilarious! The over the top acting and the screenplay are the reasons I'm drawn to it, whereas the songs, despite being Cole Porter, are only a secondary attraction - and sometimes, dare I say, skippable... If anything told Judy it was time to move on from the MGM musical, in my opinion that would have to be Summer Stock. It's got some lovely moments, but that plot is really outdated for 1950 and it feels like a step backward for both Gene and Judy.
  14. I have to preface this by saying that a person couldn't have chosen two better clips to showcase Judy Garland in a musical - unless, perhaps, one draws from The Wizard of Oz, which everyone has already seen. These two numbers fill me with equal delight and joy. 1) I was a kid in the 80s and as many will recall, in those days The Wizard of Oz seemed to come on once per year, sort of like how The Ten Commandments could be counted on to be shown every Easter. (Not sure if that's still the case.) If you didn't have a VCR (we didn't!) it was your one chance each year to immerse yourself in
  15. I hate being a day late and having to repeat what I can only imagine everyone else has said, but here goes! This opening scene is in the White House. There are few (if any) settings that could be associated more strongly in the eye of the public as a symbol of the U.S. of A. There are flags everywhere you look, and as Cagney is ascending the stairs with the manservant, he passes portraits of great presidents virtually every American can recognize. The scene is designed to be stately and impressive, and to make Americans sit up a bit straighter in their theater seats. I thought it
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