Chicago , 2002 Rob Marshall 談玉儀
Table of Contents (1) The Director: Rob Marshall
2 Discussion Questions: Musical + theme
Table of Contents (2) The characteristics of the musical film such as Chicago
Discussion of the theme of gender, media, and power of manipulation
The Director Rob Marshall Marshall worked from dance captain to assistant choreographer
Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)
The History of Chicago (1) A 1926 play by Chicago Tribune reporter Maurine Watkins The real-life 1924 murder trials of 2 women A 1942 film , Roxie Hart , by Ginger Rogers A 1975 musical production by Rob Fosse
A 2002 film by Rob Marshall
The History of Chicago (2): Rob Fosse (1927-87) A musical theater choreographer and director
A jazz dance style with stylized and cynical sexuality
The History of Chicago (3): Rob Fosse (1927-87) His musical All That Jazz ( 1979 ) won the Palme d'Or . A semi-autobiographical fantasy
About a chain-smoking choreographer being driven to the brink of a heart attack
Plot Chart 1924 Chicago Billy Flynn Lawyer Mama Morton Matron Roxie Hart Housewife Velma Kelly Chorus Girl Charles Husband Veronica Sister Fred Cassely Boy Friend Amos Husband
Character-analysis Mama Morton (Queen Latifa) A matron in charge of the female prisoners on Murderers' Row
A woman who knows how to use her job to make money
Character-analysis Billy Flynn (Richard Gere) A slick (skillful) lawyer who has never lost a case
He helps Roxie to win her case even though she’s guilty.
Character-analysis Roxie Hart (Renee Zellweger) A housewife who fantasizes becoming a vaudeville star
Finally she realizes her dream of being a jazz singer and dancer.
Character-analysis Velma Kelly (Catherine Zeta-Jones) A chorus girl who dreams of greater fame than she currently has
A woman who murders her husband and sister
Character-analysis Amos Hart (John C. Reilly)
A true sad-sack as Roxie's cuckolded husband
All That Jazz Chicago the Musical (London) - Production Footage http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZR150AnWvU&feature=related All That Jazz, interpreted in French (C'est ça, le jazz) by the Star Académie
And All That Jazz: Rhyme the repetition of similar sounds In poetry, the most common kind of rhyme is end rhyme , which occurs at the end of two or more lines.
e.g., town-down, jazz-jazz, hall-brawl, shoes-blues, hug-drug, apart-start, here-ear, girdle-curdle, life-wife
And All That Jazz: Metaphor Jazz can be used to teach people to be more flexible and innovative in their life. Jazz as a metaphor for freedom to set oneself from the prison of life
Jazz as an artistic form to express one’s anxiety
Jazz (Wikipedia) An original American musical art form which originated around the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States out of a confluence of African and European music traditions.
The use of blue notes , call-and-response , improvisation , polyrhythms , syncopation and the swung note of ragtime are characteristics traceable back to jazz's West African pedigree .
Jazz (Wikipedia) During its early development, jazz also incorporated music from New England 's religious hymns and from 19th and 20th century American popular music based on European music traditions. Jazz includes a variety of subgenres such as New Orleans Dixieland dating from the early 1910s, big band-style swing from the 1930s and 1940s, bebop-style jazz from the mid-1940s, a variety of latin-jazz fusions such as Afro-Cuban and Brazilian jazz from the 1950s and 1960s,
jazz-rock fusion from the 1970s.
1920s (Wikipedia) The 1920s is sometimes referred to as the " Jazz Age " or the " Roaring Twenties ," usually applied to America . In Europe the decade is sometimes referred to as the Golden Twenties (see 1920s Berlin ). Since the closing of the 20th Century, the 1920s has drawn close associations with the 1950s and 1990s , especially in the United States. The three decades are regarded as periods of economic prosperity, which lasted throughout almost the entire decade following a tremendous event that occurred in the previous decade World War I and Spanish flu in the 1910s , World War II in the 1940s ,
and the end of the Cold War in the late 1980s ).
1920s (Wikipedia) the liberalism of the 1920s and 1990s, the 1950s the enormous debt caused by the war as well as the one-sided Treaty of Versailles. Such a crisis would culminate with a devaluation of the Mark in 1923, eventually leading to severe economic problems and the rise of the Nazis. the decade was characterized by the rise of radical political movements , especially in regions that were once part of empires. Communism began attracting large numbers of followers following the success of the October Revolution The 1920s also experienced the rise of the far-right in Europe and elsewhere, starting with Fascism in the world as an antidote to Communism.
The Stock Market collapsed during October 1929 (see Black Tuesday ) and drew a line under the prosperous 1920s.
Setting: Chicago in 1924 1920 Chicago Population: 2,701,705 (2nd only to NYC)
Discussion Questions (Demo) The characteristics of the musical film such as Chicago
Discussion of the theme of gender, media, and power of manipulation
Musical Film (Wikipedia) The musical film is a film genre in which several songs sung by the characters are interwoven into the narrative. The songs are used to advance the plot or develop the film's characters.
A subgenre of the musical film is the musical comedy , which includes a strong element of humour as well as the usual music , dancing and storyline.
Musical Film (Wikipedia) The musical film was a natural development of the stage musical . Typically, the biggest difference between film and stage musicals is the use of lavish background scenery which would be impractical in a theater . Musical films characteristically contain elements reminiscent of theater; Performers often treat their song and dance numbers as if there is a live audience watching.
In a sense, the viewer becomes the deictic audience, as the performer looks directly into the camera and performs to it.
Chicago as a Musical Film Yet as a film, Chicago has more lavish scenery comparing to the theatre production
The use of satire to criticize the legal system and media manipulation of the public
Satire (wikipedia) human or individual vices, follies, abuses, or shortcomings are held up to censure by means of ridicule, derision, burlesque, irony with an intent to bring about improvement . Although satire is usually meant to be funny, the purpose of satire
is not primarily humour in itself so much as an often quite angry attack on something the author strongly disapproves
Chicago as a Musical Film The film borrows some concepts from the stage musical . Songs+ dancing+ design + narrative (a story line) The performers often treats the camera as a live audience and perform to it. A real world vs. an imaginary world The musical world lives in Roxie’s imagianation
The concept of “Life is vaudeville ”
Chicago as a Musical Film
The film attributes its respect to the black-and-white film and documentary genre
2. Discussion Question Theme: media, gender, power Media’s fascination with the murders and its entanglement with the juridical
The metaphor of legal system indicates the hollowness of all American institutions
2. Discussion Question Theme: media, gender, power Women defendants in the 20s have taken great advantage of the media’s interest.
They understand (through the male lawyer’s eye) the game of being a true woman in front of the all-male jury
2. Discussion Question Theme: media, gender, power
The female body has relinquished power from the patriarchy using patriarchy’s preconceptions about femininity
Discussion Questions 1 (Oral Report) 1. Please explicate the meaning of the title name “Chicago”? 2. Please explain the function of the black-and-white documentary presented in the film 3. Choose at least 3 thematic songs to explain the character’s personality. 4.Please explain the function of 3 different versions of the song “Nowadays.”
5. Why Roxie is a woman who refuses to come home with her husband Amos. What is her ambition? And how does she realize her dream?
Discussion Questions 2 (Oral Report) 6. Make a detailed explication of the dancing scene of Roxie’s press conference and the “Hungarian Disappearing Act.” 7. How is the media entangled with the juridical system and how does it manipulate the audience’s mind? Link the motif with at least 3 scenes in the film. 8. How is the issue of gender relationship presented in the film? Please explain it at least with 3 examples. 9. Why is the Hungarian woman sacrificed yet the other guilty women such as Velma and Roxie are free? 10. What are your favorite scenes (at least describing 3 scenes) and the reasons for loving them?
11. What are the climatic scenes in the film and why are they crucial?
Websites Reference http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musical_film http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jazz Official Site: http://www.miramax.com/chicago/ Storyline from Amazon Website http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00005JLSE/104-4244358-5115928?v=glance&n=130 Bob Fosse’s Biography, from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Fosse http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1920s#Culture.2C_religion
Beauty and Violence in Maurine Watkin’s Chicago http://elearning.hfu.edu.tw/moodle/mod/resource/view.php?id=6232
Chicago , 2002 The End 談玉儀