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  1. 1. Over time there seems to have been a shift from the gentleman figure, like any of Fred Astaire's characters, to the more typically masculine, confident male lead. The alpha male figure in the Music Man clip seems to have evolved a bit from the alpha male figure in the 1950s. I'm thinking in particular any of Howard Keel's characters- in Kiss Me Kate, Calamity Jane, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers- though he's somewhat similar to the vibe Gene Kelly gives off. The sense of confidence and charisma rather than overpowering masculine aggression seems prominent here. 2. I really love Robert
  2. 1. The clip looks backwards to earlier musicals in its exposure of the "backstage" of a show- in this case vaudeville rather than Broadway, but still a similar concept to earlier movies in which the female lead is struggling for a role in musical theatre (for example, Broadway Melody of 1929 and 42nd Street). But looking forward to later musicals, this clip is dealing with grittier issues and exposing some of the harsh realities of the business, especially child exploitation. Even as they show dealings backstage, earlier musicals seem to maintain the glamour of the theatre: even the hardships
  3. 1. I don't think that a highly stylized approach like that of the dream ballet has to be used throughout the piece; the contrast actually is nice. But I don't think that we need to see a completely realistic, nitty-gritty Paris either. The film as a whole is somewhat escapist, and it would be a shame to lose that quality. I like Minnelli's mise-en-scene in this movie in particular because it feels like we're watching a movie about an artist through the lens of an artist. It's so easy to find beauty in just a simple street scene in this film, and it feels oh so appropriate that this is what Mul
  4. 1. Before the dance, O'Connor and Kelly's movements are more parodying the professor and his earnestness about these silly tongue-twisters. O'Connor in particular starts by imitating the professor, and then by mocking him more playfully with silly faces; when Kelly joins in, both start chanting in imitation with a mockingly formal tone and gestures. The gag seems to break out in fully when they use the curtains as costumes, and the scene gets increasingly dynamic from there, with some seriously great dancing. The professor's role at first is overly serious, but by the time Kelly and O'Co
  5. I like Day's bright demeanor for this role because I think it highlights the essential difficulty the character (and real person) must have faced trying to get men to take her seriously. At the same time, it makes it a little difficult for the audience to take her seriously, no matter how much she tries. It's a bit of a tricky line to walk.
  6. So I do get the sense that the film was really trying to defend women in some way: Adam is outed as a sexist jerk, and all the men learn how to treat women more properly. But I agree that there's something just really disturbing watching the film! Or at least there was for me. Watching the girls get carried away in a comedic musical number is unsettling because of course that's every woman's nightmare- being kidnapped and taken to a second location by strange men. I couldn't help thinking about rape the whole time, and it was hard to see it treated so lightly. But maybe that's too m
  7. In some ways, Calamity Jane seems to fall a bit outside of the standard for women in the period. She runs with the boys and does her best to match them in dress, manner, and attitude. Even dressed in more feminine clothing later in the film, she fails to meet expectations for a 1950s woman: coming home from fetching water, she falls into the mud, and even at the ball, where a lot of the men seem to recognize her as a woman for what she's wearing, her mannerisms toward them (calling them "fellers," cracking jokes) identifies her as a different kind of woman from Katie, who more fully fits the f
  8. 1. The scene as a whole is very interactive, as the gags tend to require multiple players instead of emphasizing the humor or talent of one. In the beginning, Fabray, Levant, and Buchanan surround Astaire and act as a cohesive effort to bring him to their side; the configuration of three against one makes clear the idealistic disagreement at this point in the scene. Once Astaire joins in, there's an emphasis on configurations of four (besides the moment Levant steps out, which seems to be for practical reasons of dance ability), and even when the characters aren't arranged in this line of four
  9. 1. The way Petunia's entrance into Joe's bedroom was filmed gives the sense that she is a step ahead of the camera, since we see her exiting from behind; I liked how this emphasized her haste in hurrying to him. The direction of the laundry scene suggests the way that her love for Joe permeates every aspect of her life, even the mundane task of laundry. Her sentiments at his bedside aren't just an outburst of joy that he is alive; that attitude is one she carries with her always. 2. The idea of loving unconditionally would transfer well to a mother-child relationship, but I feel like a mo
  10. 1. The choreography here is mostly focused on Betty Garrett's pursuit of Frank Sinatra through the bleachers; they (and the camera) occasionally pause for gags, like Garrett sitting Sinatra down and trying to lie on his lap, or Sinatra throwing a baseball in response to Garrett's "Play ball with me." The bleachers sort of entrap Sinatra, aiding Garrett in her attempts, and allow for some nice up and down motion to create interest in the cinematography. 2. I thought the musical segway was actually pretty clever. Sinatra is coming from another room and is accompanied by a jaunty kind of b
  11. 1. The first Judy Garland movie I saw was the Wizard of Oz, and I was just enamored with it! Her performance is just perfect in a role that could have easily been over the top in naivety, and her singing in Somewhere Over the Rainbow is just stunning. 2. I don't really view her any differently in these clips; they just confirm how talented she really was. 3. Probably Meet Me in St. Louis; her performance of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas had me in tears!
  12. 1. As they go up the staircase in the opening of the scene, the camera follows the pictures of the presidents on the wall along with the characters. The setting of the White House generally is very patriotic, as it is kind of considered the epitome of American government. The ships on the wall of Roosevelt's room are a reminder that it's wartime. 2. There's a strong emphasis on patriotic behavior and glorification of the United States. The screenplay particularly emphasizes the patriotism of Cohen and his performances: "You was just singing and dancing all about the Grand Ol' Flag." "Reg
  13. 1. I do think there is some battle of the sexes going on in this clip. Ginger is wearing men's style clothing and adopting Fred's carriage and movements, and the overall sense is one of "anything you can do, I can do" (though I don't get the sense of "anything you can do, I can do better" because she isn't initiating the steps so much as emulating them). Ginger seems to be showing herself to be on the same level as Fred, even if it's not really a competitive number. I do like how they don't dance hand in hand until the end of the number, once each has shown the other what he/she can do and the
  14. 1. I really enjoyed the presentation of the props, like the garter and fake revolver(s), zoomed in at first to allow us to come to our own conclusions before we see the role they actually play in the scene. The cinematography used for the revolver was especially effective because of all the reversals of expectations it created. At first we see it in her bag, and the context make us think it's a sign of danger to come. When she shoots herself, the danger seems to be over, until the husband turns the gun on Chevalier (the music is very effective here), but that climax is absurdified when he chec
  15. 1. In both clips, Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy are separated in some way-- in the boat, she's facing away from him and their interaction is mostly vocal (rather than visual or physical), and in the saloon, he's seated at another table, and she's attempting to distance herself from him. The focus is all in how one reacts to the other individually; we see how Jeanette's character is slowly warming to Nelson's charm in the boat, and how Nelson's character admires Jeanette's bravery in the saloon scene. It's more subtle, rather than overt sexual attraction. 3. Based on these clips and
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