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About mavfan4life

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    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 01/22/1956

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    Seattle, WA
  1. 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? First, my observation the speech teacher in "Singing in the Rain" was being held up for ridicule as a stereotypical gay man contrasts dramatically with the Preston characterization in "Victor Victoria". Here, Preston is not a buffoon to be acted upon but the instigator of trouble. Although he plays it much straighter than the earlier depictions we often saw in Hollywood, he does have certain effeminate flourishes - the scarf in
  2. 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? Well, we're puttin' on a show! Vibrant colors. As to disruption, I'm having a hard time with this concept. I guess the one thing about it are the lyrics, which we all know where "Let me entertain you" goes in Gypsy Rose Lee's life. That pushed the envelope a tad. This is the introduction of Mama Rose in the film. Comment on Rosalind Russell’s entrance and performance especially as a traditionally trained stage and film
  3. 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? There probably has to be a balance. If the entire film is highly stylized there's nothing to contrast it with. If too realistic the leap to a spectacular finale would probably be too much of a stretch; more jarring than it should be. Maybe. What keeps Jerry Mulligan from being completely unlikeable in a scene in which he acts pretty darn unlikeable? I don't think he's unlikeable at all. But, I like cynical, wary people. So
  4. How do the pre-dance movements of O’Connor and Kelly compare to their actual dance movements? Both are clearly choreographed with O'Connor moving around the professor while Kelly provides an anchor and the professor a pivot point. As the scene moves toward the dance, O'Connor pushes further with Kelly eventually getting in to the act. Everything builds towards the pure dance (as opposed to dancing/singing which is just a stage to the finale). Watch the Professor all the way through and consider the role of the straight man. The straight man provides a base from which the sc
  5. As you reflect upon female representation in the 1950s, where do you think this film character falls in the continuum? Why? I don't think it's easy to make an apples-to-apples comparison of this because there are different strengths and weaknesses when compared to female leads in other eras. In some ways, her character has a more brash, cruder persona than the leads of the 40's. But, in many ways, those more self-reliant women of the 40's weren't necessarily feeling the need to prove their worth as Ms. Day's character in this film does. That seems to imply more doubt about her own positio
  6. 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? Just reviewing all of the Daily Doses we've worked through to date, the most obvious difference is each of those involved a singer singing to someone - Petunia to Joe (or God?); Gene Kelly to Judy Garland, etc. This is a group singing to one person, all singing the same notes, words, etc in sync. As to how they relate to each other, I feel like they're using the same backs
  7. 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? Most obviously Petunia is devoted to Joe despite his shortcomings and that devotion brings her great joy and fulfillment. The clear tie to the song is that it's all about her love for Joe and the happiness her love for him brings to her. She sacrifices herself for the cause of her marriage to Joe, but she doesn't see it as a sacrifice but a blessing. How would the song chang
  8. Thinking like a director and editor, describe how each shot spotlights key actions. The first shot of Frank entering the hall puts him and Ms. Garrett in a confined space where she jumps up from a recline against the wall and starts the song, trapping him by matching his moves. Quickly, he backs out and into the stadium seating area. The camera pulls back to give us a wider shot as he runs away. Here the idea is freedom as amplified by the more expansive view. She stops him with the yell "Hey!" and we're back into a closer space, the camera moving to the right to narrow the spa
  9. What was the first Judy Garland film you recall watching? What was your first impression of her? Well, since I was born until the 50's that would mean The Wizard of Oz. I have no recollections of my first impression but I certainly remember that she was always there. She was always Dorothy (my mom's name, too). Any memories of anything nuanced would have come much later and was gradual. But, I do remember the first time I really really appreciated her. It was at the very first TCM Classic Film Festival when the Opening Night feature was "A Star Is Born". It was a magic night for all
  10. 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. The first scene showcases the Presidents (and our historic tradition) as the two men climb the stairs lined with their portraits towards the Oval Office. The second scene in the Oval Office is full of displays of historic sailing ships - pictures on the walls, miniatures under glass - and American flags. My guess is this is meant to emphasize the glory of the American Navy in light of the rec
  11. What other aspects of battle of the sexes do you see indicated in this clip or in the film Top Hat? Honestly, although I do get the parity of the "Battle of the Sexes" premise, I see the relationship as a fairly stereotypical Hollywood treatment of courtship - the man is trying to woo her with his charm and wit (and dancing skills in this film) and she is playing hard-to-get. It perfectly conforms to the fantasy of courtship. How does this film distinguish itself from other Depression era musicals we have watched or discussed this week? I must be lacking my analytical skills thi
  12. What do you notice about the Lubitsch touch? How do the props, the dialogue, and the staging help you understand the character of Alfred (Maurice Chevalier)? Light. Lubitsch's films were always sophisticated and funny and this scene is no different. The set sparkles and is well-lit. Flashy. Chevalier is mischief and witty and confident in his own place. The drawer full of small handguns tells us this is a scene that he has seen play out many times. Perhaps not all in the same way (i.e. blanks), but with similar results. Based on this scene, what are some of the things you notice abo
  13. What do you notice about the interaction between the characters in these two scenes? Please give specific examples. The two scenes represent different stages in their relationship, with MacDonald having the upper hand in the first and that power shifting to Eddy in the second. Although Eddy remains the suitor with hat-in-hand in both, MacDonald's awareness of the slight insincerity of Eddy's overtures and the resultant power she feels over him completely dissipates in the second scene as she is personally overwhelmed by her woman-out-of-place situation. Eddy's lack of sincerity also
  14. 1. Do you agree that the clip exhibits a brighter perspective of life than might be realistic? Why or why not?  The most obvious example of this is the camera interplay between the two producers, Ziegfeld and Billings. Ziegfeld looks to be all business. He's intent on showing his interest through his intense stare, whereas Billings is clearly off balance seeing Ziegfeld in the audience. He's on the defensive almost immediately. But, the playfulness is the result of Anna Held's song and playfulness with the hand-held mirror, using it to reflect the stage lights into the eyes of the aud
  15. 1. Definitive Hitchcock. First, look at the camera work - close-ups, odd angles establishing the power structure between the actors, Bergman looking into and through the glass of bicarbonate, hair down in her face. Again, all you need to know about where this is headed. The dialogue fills in the details, but it's the camera work that establishes all context of the main idea of this film. Time and again, through the focus of these Daily Doses, I can't help but reflect on comments in earlier classes about Hitchcock never straying far from his silent film roots. There is, to me, nothing more Hitc
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