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Erin E.

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About Erin E.

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  1. 1) The pre-dance movements of O'Connor and Kelly are light and airy, and joking. They spend most of their pre-dance time using the rhythm of the tongue twister to build up the song itself. They tease each other and the teacher to show how playful they are and can be. Their gentle teasing leads them directly into the dance sequence. 2) The professor during this sequence is the "straight man" shown by the shocked look on his face, and the bamboozled reaction to these two men dancing and making fun of the lesson at hand. His face when O'Connor makes fun of him reading the tongue-twister doesn't change much once the guys start dragging him around the studio, showing his disbelief and desire for more respect. 3) The differing variations of masculinity in this sequence show: the older up-right man, demanding to be respected more than anything, the "friend" as played by O'Connor who is the comedic relief of the trio/movie, and the "dashing leading man" played by Kelly commanding most of the attention of the audience (even though both men were in the shot at all times).
  2. 1) Unlike the musicals of the 1940's and before, the newer musicals of the 1950's focused on the group and the idea that everyone is the same, and if they're not, then they should be. During this clip, it is clear that they are all equals. Not only are they portrayed as friends and as co-workers who can get along regardless of the struggle, the film styles showcase that fact. No one star takes center "stage" over another. If they do separate during the song, they are usually split into twos and are frequently going in and out of the shot. Although Astaire could easily have performed this on his own, or have been the showcase of the number, the entire cast participated and the choreography was tailored to accommodate the different talents (comedy, dancing, singing, etc). 2) The costuming, much like the choreography, is very similar. The tones are muted and each character has a match (blues and greys). There aren't any fancy dresses or white tie and tails - just what the average person would be wearing. The light and simple costumes contrast the bright and loud set they are performing on and help them stand out together. There was not a lot to draw the eyes to the costumes so the audience could remain focused on the performers themselves. 3) This goes back slightly to my answer for number 1 - the togetherness of the cast as a whole working together to play to each other's strengths. There is some slight physical comedy, and that is mostly left to the men performing. Fabray is showcased at one point as being the beautiful woman walking buy to distract Levant and Astaire. Buchanan is typically separated slightly by the rest due to his newness to the team of pre-established friends, but always comes back to join the group as a whole. Towards the end of the song, where they are stepping their feet over each other and reaching their arms across resembles one person trying to reach the "top," as if they are trying to break out on their own, but they "work it out" and end up compromising on a stance to promote each person equally.
  3. 1) This song showcases the playfulness of the music by mirroring the sounds with actions, making it come alive. The director/editor needed to be the perfect team, communicating the message from the takes gathered to the way the film was cut together. Putting these two together with just enough space to spread out, but never too far, makes for the "chase scene" of the musical. In an atypical way, the woman is shown here as being strong and athletic (running, picking up Sinatra, etc) in a way to match the strength of her "target". The music and the action line up perfectly, from their running to their sliding down the railing, to handshakes and the catch/toss of the baseball. The foley artists had their work cut out for them! 2) The musical sequence was indicated to the audience when the background music (part of the score itself) moved from being generic, happy background filler to action-based, syncopated and rhythmic. It moves in time with Garrett as she corners Sinatra, and continues to speed up as they make their way out to the bleachers and continues to build until Garrett stops and says "Hey!" just as the music stops with her. This break between the action-propelling music and the beginning of the song notifies the audience that it was moving from score to song.
  4. 1) Much like many others on the forum, my first Garland film was Wizard of Oz. I was mesmerized by her voice and her display of youthful maturity. Although some of her other films are more dear to me now that I am older, the magic of The Wizard of Oz will never leave. 2) Easter Parade has been one of my favorite Garland and Astaire films since first seeing it when I was a teenager. When I saw this film, I was able to put her into a comedic light rather than just being a "pretty singer" like much of her other roles had portrayed her to be. 3) Some of the other films around this time seem to capture the beauty and the storytelling aspect of her singing, such as Meet Me in St. Louis, The Harvey Girls, and In the Good Old Summertime (a personal favorite). Although her personal life plagued her towards the end of the 1940's, she still was able to push through the struggle on-screen and bring her stories to life.
  5. 1) It is apparent in the 2 scenes that these two have a courting-type relationship with one another. They are not going together, but there is an attraction they hold between them. The camera scenes mimic the witty back-and-forth style of banter and singing to further show they have a tense, but budding relationship. The way Marie plays with her fingers with a raised eyebrow shows her interest and playfulness towards the sergeant. The sergeant's words are playful but aimed to strike a chord - especially when discussing him rowing her towards her suitors. 2) I have not had the opportunity to see any other movies with these two actors together, so I am unable to comment on their chemistry. 3) Looking back on this era of film-making (after the Code was enforced), it really seems tame. Real life is hardly ever this neat and "proper," and I think it skews our view of what life was actually like during that time. The male/female relationships of this time seem good-natured and playful, as if they didn't want to take anything too seriously. The "norms" supported under the Code seem to be: minimal physical interaction, hinting at rather than being direct with anything sexual in nature, and also showing the virtues of each character through their courtship.
  6. 1) I do believe that this clip shows that this musical definitely leaned more towards a light-hearted view of life than your average American at the time. A woman debating over 2 contracts would likely not be as frivolous with her decision, based upon how nice a bouquet of flowers were sent over. Likewise, the two men competing for her partnership would likely not be as cordial "in real life," so to speak. Focusing on the high living of a foreign star, rather than your Broadway chorus girl "trying to make it big" also attempts to shift focus away from the struggles more common to the movie-goers of the time. 2) I anticipate a lot of the same mentality - lightness in speech, in struggle, or in living, and shifting focus away from any "real" struggle that could be related to by the general public. This clip is indicative of the other musicals of the time and how they focused their main plot around a romantic theme or one of high-living. The movies seemed to want to give hope to their audiences rather than show them their own reality on screen. 3) Compared to The Broadway Melody, or other pre-code movies, this was definitely tamer. If this movie had been produced in the pre-code era, I'm certain there would have been a few dirtier jokes, a more well-placed innuendo into the song, or perhaps Held to be in another form of "undress" or costuming, whether on-stage or in her dressing room. The costume she performed in, although form-fitting, was not as risque compared to performance costuming in previous films - perhaps more skin would have been shown. The topic of the Ziegfield common-law marriage, and his philandering, maybe would have been made more obvious to the audience, as well.
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