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About SRG

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  • Birthday January 13

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    Chicago Area, Illinois
  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? Unlike theatre, film magnifies the emotion, so for Streisand to belt the song and be more theatrical would have made the emotions exaggerated and over the top and we wouldn’t feel as compassionate towards Brice in this number. The opening of the scene is an intimate discussion between the two characters on what their lives are now and finding that, from different perspectives, their lives are similar. They lyrics themse
  2. 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) Firstly, I’d like to comment on Cukor’s label as a “woman’s director.” I feel this was terribly unfair because he’s truly an actor’s director with no preference to one sex over another. As noted in the lecture notes, he won more awards for films featuring men. What Cukor did was to allow the actor (male and f
  3. As you look back to the masculine performances in musicals of past decades, what changes in male representation, and performance would you say are most noticeable? The biggest change in male respresentation of this time is that the male characters have real flaws. Earlier musicals might have the upright, stoic character (Nelson Eddy) or elegant gentleman (Fred Astaire). Any “flaws” these characters might have are often due to the situation or a misunderstanding (e.g., the female lead may believe the hero is married). In these years, the male characters have true flaws—he is a conman, a
  4. 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? Based on a popular Broadway hit (similar to The Bells are Ringing, Music Man, etc.) and typical to earlier musical numbers, this one is very proscenium-based (as are most of the numbers in this piece)—all takes place on a single set and the audience is the casual observer. In this particular scene the musical number does help to move the plot, but it is also an inserted piece. Until we see this same song used in the rest of t
  5. 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? Had the film been presented in a more stylized setting throughout, it would detract from the final ballet sequence. We’ve seen the “real” Paris (albeit on the MGM backlot) and Jerry’s struggle as an artist. To have these scenes in a more stylized setting would not provide the same sense of character and might make the audience question whether Jerry is merely playing at being an artist or seriously pursuing it. The final seque
  6. How do the pre-dance movements of O’Connor and Kelly compare to their actual dance movements? As the film has progressed, the relationship between Cosmo and Lockwood has always been a great friendship and they have endured many hardships before coming to this point in their lives. In the beginning of this scene, Lockwood is still playing the leading man. He doesn’t quite take the elocution lessons seriously and does the line as he sees it should be done. When Cosmo enters and sees the ridiculousness of the exaggerated consonants and rolling of the “Rs,” he brings Don back into the sens
  7. As you reflect upon female representation in the 1950s, where do you think this film character falls in the continuum? Why? The character of Calamity Jane falls somewhere in the middle of the 1950s female representation. In the beginning, she is competing in a man’s world by acting and dressing as a man. But, in order to get Bill Hickok’s attention, she must become more feminine. Going to the opposite end of the spectrum, she fails and comes to a compromise. Granted, she maintains her masculine garb with a more feminine edge, but she is still conforming rather than being accepted as th
  8. 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? The entire song is the creation of a play. Initially, Jeffrey takes charge of the situation to convince Tony that this play is doable; Lily and Lester, respectively, are the next ones to take over convincing Tony. When Tony finally comes to the realization that they can do the play (“It could be Oedipus Rex”), he is not overly enthusiastic but rather deciding logically that i
  9. 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? The first shot with Ethel Waters and Butterfly McQueen is shot with almost a noir quality to illustrate Petunia’s fear that she may lose her husband; these deep shadows mimic the scene when the devil, or evil, is present. Even her dress is comprised of dark patterns. Inside the bedroom, there are still shadows, but not as severe, most likely from the presence of the angel. Jus
  10. Thinking like a director and editor, describe how each shot spotlights key actions. Firstly, it’s interesting to note that, despite being set in turn-of-the-century, Shirley Delwyn (Betty Garrett) is very much the aggressor in this relationship (something she also does in On the Town). Both films were released in 1949 and reflect the greater independence of women after World War II. Shirley is waiting outside the locker room for Dennis Ryan (Sinatra) and immediately seeks to block his path before chasing him outside into the stadium. We go from close-up action to wider shots to s
  11. What was the first Judy Garland film you recall watching? What was your first impression of her? I grew up with my parents playing the recording of "Judy at the Palace" (they had seen her perform in New York on their honeymoon), so I was more aware of her voice long before I remember seeing her on film. It’s hard to say which may have been the first Judy Garland film since one of our local stations televised classic films. I suppose, like many fans, it was one of the early 2television presentations of The Wizard of Oz, so I may have been a little taken aback by the fact that this powerful
  12. 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. Walking up the steps to the President’s office, Cohan and the butler pass a variety of presidential portraits on the wall and it appears as if they are chronologically going back in time (last portrait is that of George Washington). At the end of the film, as Cohan dances down that same staircase, he’s coming from the past back to the present day. Cohan wears a flag pin on his coat’s left lapel.
  13. What other aspects of battle of the sexes do you see indicated in this clip or in the film Top Hat? As noted in the lecture notes, Rogers is wearing pants (something we have never seen before and rarely afterwards), but she is also mimicking his stance, his walk, and his hands (putting one or both of them in her pockets as he does). Yes, he challenges her, but when he issues the first “challenge,” she actually out-performs his original step, adding additional taps and flourishes. When they finally do come together (i.e., actually touch since in the majority of the dance they maintain a
  14. (1) Lubitsch is one of the masters of subtlety – you don’t need to understand the French dialog to know that the woman had found another female’s garter in Alfred’s bedroom and yet Alfred fluffs it off my telling the audience “she’s terribly jealous.” It’s also interesting that Alfred has a better working knowledge of getting the clip out of the gun, as if he’s had previous experience. His collection of guns also attests to his numerous affairs and run-ins with husbands. Also the fact that the woman chooses to go to Alfred to re-button her dress shows he has far more experience with women
  15. (1) Like many of the movies of that time (or even beyond), the protagonists will often have a hate-love relationship, starting off as disliking each other which, over time, will develop into love. In the first scene, for example, she admonishes him but, once he starts serenading her, you can see her visibly change her attitude towards him, even turning on the line "I choose you." He, in turn, makes light of the song by showing that he can adapt it to any female. In the second scene, she's embarrassed that he has seen her humiliated and quickly takes on the "I don't care what you think" attitud
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