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Linda Spirit

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  1. I love 1776. Being a history major I've subjected my children to this movie every 4th of July for years. Of course the songs between John and Abigail are from their letters. Abigail said they spent more years of their marriage apart because of his service to his country then together. Some even consider Abigail a greater intellect than John. I also like any play (or movie) that can get that many different people into a room together and interact. I suspect Congress hasn't really changed much. It breaks my heart when Franklin explains they can't abolish slavery in the Declaration. He wa
  2. 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? She was not "performing" even for Sharif in the scene. Streisand always feels her songs so on a quiet street and no other distractions she goes deeply inward and stays far away from Sharif. Note the emotional transition moments in this scene: how do the two characters relate to each other as the lyrics are sung? Streisand's character is shy and unused to male suitors but leads the conversation out of embarrassment
  3. 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) Both "Gaslight" and "My Fair Lady" are manipulations by men (Boyer & Harrison) of trusting souls (Bergman and Hepburn) who at the end of the movies wake up to the fact that their love isn't returned (although Harrison later discovers he'll miss her). Both Boyer and Harrison's characters are masterful, in control
  4. 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? Gentlemanly manners (Fred Astaire) are replaced by animal magnetism (Elvis Presley) with Gene Kelly being the pivot point. What other specific qualities do you notice about Robert Preston in either or both of these clips? In V/V He moves gracefully through and keeps performing at the same volume even though newcomers come in loudly and the audience makes disparaging comments. He has experience all this before and is
  5. 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? This is set in early 20th century. Also it's reminiscent of some of the auditions in "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm" (1938). The tryouts seem to be for a vaudeville show which dates it. Rosalind Russell's character is very aware of all the lighting and sound techniques and communicates like a director with the technicians and musicians who seem to understand perfectly what she is directing. The child is not talented but very rehear
  6. 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? Minnelli shows us a happy Paris of the daytime here. Paris also seems to be filled with Americans. Its a dream everyone has of going to Paris. It feeds our fantasies. What keeps Jerry Mulligan from being completely unlikeable in a scene in which he acts pretty darn unlikeable? Jerry isn't unlikable, the college student is. He's not unlikable because he says what he thinks and its hard to argue with what he thinks. Nina
  7. How do the pre-dance movements of O’Connor and Kelly compare to their actual dance movements? They use only their hands (fingers) and a book for a prop. In the dance they use everything, especially the Professor. It's very presentational. Watch the Professor all the way through and consider the role of the straight man. His movement was to turn his head and look at one of the dancers. He seemed helpless in all the activity. How do the representations of masculinity in all three men compare and contrast with each other? O'Connor and Kelly try to outdo each other in s
  8. As you reflect upon female representation in the 1950s, where do you think this film character falls in the continuum? Why? Jane is trying to be rough and tough and loud like a man. Bill treats her like a joke or tomboy little sister. How do you think Doris Day grows as an actress in her various roles in the 1950s, before and after this musical? This role is so much better than her 1949 role in "It's a Great Feeling" with Jack Carson and Dennis Morgan. That seemed so one-dimensional. Here she gets to expand a role. Does Doris Day’s bright and sunny persona add or detract from
  9. "NeverGonnaDance" was talking above about color or the lack of it in the costumes. I noticed the stage was this bright, disturbing red color as they did two steps and an incline at one point. Perhaps this song could have been done in a real world situation making the scenery a character and highlighting the scenery with bold colors.
  10. 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 dance is very interrelated with all the characters coming and going and taking turns. The pace never gets to a fever pitch. The tempo builds slightly as the four ascend the stage in the last half of the song. I assume they never really go at it because Buchanan and Levant aren't big dancers. What do you notice about the costuming of the characters that indicate cohesive
  11. 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? This shows us their real life, how it was before and how it will continue to be. Petunia loves Joe and almost lost him and now is living on the happiness of his presence. Petunia is an indefatigable optimist. She is willing Joe to be good. How would the song change if it was a woman singing about her child? Does the cultural meaning change? How? Frankly, her care for Joe (m
  12. Thinking like a director and editor, describe how each shot spotlights key actions. After they climb the stairs and start running the music picks up to keep up with their steps. Every action is to the rhythm of the music much like Matchmaker, Matchmaker is in Fiddler on the Roof. It’s interesting to examine how musicals segue into musical numbers. How does this sequence prepare us for the singing? It comes up to a slight pause and the music begins. I see comments comparing Betty to Mary Wicks who physically reminds me of Olive Oyl in the Popeye cartoons (who sound like ZaSu Pitts)
  13. 1.What was the first Judy Garland film you recall watching? What was your impression of her? The Wizard of Oz. She seemed like an ordinary girl, but then I'm from Kansas too. 2.How do you view her differently after viewing these clips than you might have viewed her previously? I've seen and enjoyed both clips before. It occurs to me that when you are good and perform with excellent partners you become better. I think that goes for Judy, Fred & Gene. 3. What films in her later career come to mind as examples of her increasing ability to capture an audience's imagination as
  14. 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. Nothing makes you feel American like being in the White House. FDR was elected four times and many watching the movie had no recollection of any other president so FDR was the embodiment of that office. 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. Cohan t
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