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Musical Mondays - Week 18 - Gigi


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#1 Cameron H.

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 01:47 AM

Thank Heaven...for finite running times.

We watched:

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#2 Cameron H.

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 02:51 AM

You know, when it comes down to it, I could have gotten past the age difference between Gigi and Gaston. According to IMDb, when they filmed this, they were 27 and 37 respectively. So, in my mind, I could imagine that they were supposed to be 17 and 27 in the movie, which isn't appropriate by today's standards, but in France at the turn of the century, I'm sure that wasn't all that uncommon.

The problem was, every time I would try to get past their age difference and how gross everything was, the movie would go out of its way to remind me that she was a "little girl" as if that was the quality that was the most desirable.

So fucking gross.


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#3 Quasar Sniffer

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 03:30 AM

If I really went out of my way to defend the... social philosophy of that song, it could be contained in the line, "without [Little Girls], what would little boys do?" Because little boys are the fucking worst so they need women to distract them and prevent them from being assholes 100% of the time. But even that is reaching. And saying that women's role in society is to regulate male bad behavior. ick.

It also says that, even well into adulthood, years in physical time ahead of Gigi, Gaston is still a fucking child. Which is true.
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#4 Cameron H.

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 03:40 AM

I also felt like the movie was leading to a reconciliation between Maurice Chevalier and Hermione Gingold. Like, he was going to realize that his philandering ways had - ultimately - been unfulfilling and he truly regretted losing her. But, no. He just wanted to remind her that he cared so little about her he couldn't even come up with a single memory of their time together that was even remotely accurate.
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#5 tomspanks

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 06:09 AM

View PostCameron H., on 14 August 2017 - 02:51 AM, said:

You know, when it comes down to it, I could have gotten past the age difference between Gigi and Gaston. According to IMDb, when they filmed this, they were 27 and 37 respectively. So, in my mind, I could imagine that they were supposed to be 17 and 27 in the movie, which isn't appropriate by today's standards, but in France at the turn of the century, I'm sure that wasn't all that uncommon.

The problem was, every time I would try to get past their age difference and how gross everything was, the movie would go out of its way to remind me that she was a "little girl" as if that was the quality that was the most desirable.

So fucking gross.


In the story, Gigi is 15 going on 16 and Gaston is close to 40. The author Colette's real-life "models" for Gigi were a teen and a man of SIXTY.

#6 tomspanks

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 06:17 AM

A better title for this movie would be How Gaston Got His Groove Back. This is really his story and he even gets to sing more songs than Gigi. While things happen to Gigi, Gaston gets to make all the important decisions. I guess that's expected though, since you know, Gigi is a CHILD.

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 06:41 AM

View Posttomspanks, on 14 August 2017 - 06:17 AM, said:

A better title for this movie would be How Gaston Got His Groove Back. This is really his story and he even gets to sing more songs than Gigi. While things happen to Gigi, Gaston gets to make all the important decisions. I guess that's expected though, since you know, Gigi is a CHILD.


Absolutely agreed. I just don't get why this movie digs itself such a giant hole right off the bat: start out with the pedophile's anthem and then smash straight into our 'hero' brattily saying everything is a 'bore', as though we're supposed to be cheering for his recovery and redemption. Seriously, that 'bore' song made me say FUCK YOU to Gaston for the rest of the movie.

AND SERIOUSLY GUYS WHAT IS WITH THAT MOMENT WHERE EVERYONE CONGRATULATES GASTON ON GETTING EVA GABOR TO ATTEMPT SUICIDE
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#8 Cameron H.

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 06:53 AM

View PostCakeBug Tranch, on 14 August 2017 - 06:41 AM, said:



Absolutely agreed. I just don't get why this movie digs itself such a giant hole right off the bat: start out with the pedophile's anthem and then smash straight into our 'hero' brattily saying everything is a 'bore', as though we're supposed to be cheering for his recovery and redemption. Seriously, that 'bore' song made me say FUCK YOU to Gaston for the rest of the movie.

AND SERIOUSLY GUYS WHAT IS WITH THAT MOMENT WHERE EVERYONE CONGRATULATES GASTON ON GETTING EVA GABOR TO ATTEMPT SUICIDE


I don't disagree that this is Gaston's story, but I don't have a problem with a douchebag learning how to be less of a douchebag as a redemptive arc. That's basically the plot of Iron Man. Except substitute "bored aristocrat" with "war profiteer" and "love" with "becoming an Avenger."

As far as the suicide thing goes, the movie is trying to position itself against the superficiality of the time. Age discrepancies aside, the central problem is that society is forcing Gaston to be with a certain class of women who all act a certain way and are exactly the same. He falls in love with someone outside of his bubble, but is afraid how the society he hates will feel about that. Eventually he takes her on as a courtesan, but doesn't like that it is killing who she is - the fun-loving, card cheating woman he actually loves.


Don't get me wrong though. I agree this movie has a terrible message.
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#9 Cam Bert

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 07:29 AM

I have watched some truly bad and poorly made movies in my time, but I pride myself on being able most of the time to follow the plot. Despite their flawed attempts to tell I story I see what they were going for. That said this movie is not poorly made but I just could not follow the ending at all.

Maybe it was self delusion on my part that he didn't just like Gigi because she was young and youthful I thought it was hoping it was because she wasn't cultured and refined. She wasn't "a bore" like everyone else playing the social game. Being with her was fun and exciting because she didn't follow the rules and say the right things so it was always interesting. Yet at the end when they go out to the club she's doing all the right things. She's doing what's been taught of her and Gaston is getting irritated. Again foolish me I was hoping it was because he loved her for who she was and not this fake version of herself. I felt nothing at all for him leaving her and then turning around and coming back. I guess it was suppose to be a triumphant return or something a la Gone With the Wind or something but it all just kinda fell so flat.
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#10 kateacola

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 08:11 AM

I agree with you guys, I was put off a bit and creeped out from the start. And also agree with everything Cam Bert said about the end. It really did fall flat. It did feel like it was supposed to be a big deal Gaston came back, but I didn't care.

But throughout the movie, I was comparing Gigi to My Fair Lady. The songs in Gigi felt very similar in sound/style/etc to songs in My Fair Lady.
Like the "Gigi" song when Gaston is talk-singing-realizing that Gigi has grown up / maybe he's into her..it reminded me of when Higgins (Rex Harrison) is talk-singing "I've Grown Accustomed to her Face" when he's realizing he misses/loves/cares for Eliza (Audrey Hepburn).
And then the song at Maxims.. where everyone is gossiping, it reminded me of the song at the racetrack in My Fair Lady. With a big group singing and with all the pauses.



Though songs really reminded me of MFL, I didn't love the music in this. The one that stuck with me the most from Gigi was "Thank Heaven for Little Girls" and that's mainly because it was creepy AF. I kind of remember some songs and what they were about but other than "Thank Heaven" I can't remember the melodies or any bits of lyrics.

#11 Cameron H.

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 08:29 AM

View Postkateacola, on 14 August 2017 - 08:11 AM, said:

I agree with you guys, I was put off a bit and creeped out from the start. And also agree with everything Cam Bert said about the end. It really did fall flat. It did feel like it was supposed to be a big deal Gaston came back, but I didn't care.

But throughout the movie, I was comparing Gigi to My Fair Lady. The songs in Gigi felt very similar in sound/style/etc to songs in My Fair Lady.
Like the "Gigi" song when Gaston is talk-singing-realizing that Gigi has grown up / maybe he's into her..it reminded me of when Higgins (Rex Harrison) is talk-singing "I've Grown Accustomed to her Face" when he's realizing he misses/loves/cares for Eliza (Audrey Hepburn).
And then the song at Maxims.. where everyone is gossiping, it reminded me of the song at the racetrack in My Fair Lady. With a big group singing and with all the pauses.



Though songs really reminded me of MFL, I didn't love the music in this. The one that stuck with me the most from Gigi was "Thank Heaven for Little Girls" and that's mainly because it was creepy AF. I kind of remember some songs and what they were about but other than "Thank Heaven" I can't remember the melodies or any bits of lyrics.


IMDb trivia says that one of the songwriters was taking a crap while the other guy was noodling around on the piano. He then ran out with his pants around his ankles and was like. "That's Gigi's song." It went on to win an Academy Award.

I don't know. Something about writing these songs while taking a shit seems somehow appropriate...
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#12 CakeBug Tranch

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 09:15 AM

View PostCameron H., on 14 August 2017 - 08:29 AM, said:

It went on to win an Academy Award.


I brought this up on letterboxd too but it's worth reposting here:

This POS won nine Oscars. That's only two fewer than 'Ben-Hur' and 'Titanic'.

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#13 tomspanks

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 09:46 AM

View PostCam Bert, on 14 August 2017 - 07:29 AM, said:

Maybe it was self delusion on my part that he didn't just like Gigi because she was young and youthful I thought it was hoping it was because she wasn't cultured and refined. She wasn't "a bore" like everyone else playing the social game. Being with her was fun and exciting because she didn't follow the rules and say the right things so it was always interesting. Yet at the end when they go out to the club she's doing all the right things. She's doing what's been taught of her and Gaston is getting irritated. Again foolish me I was hoping it was because he loved her for who she was and not this fake version of herself. I felt nothing at all for him leaving her and then turning around and coming back. I guess it was suppose to be a triumphant return or something a la Gone With the Wind or something but it all just kinda fell so flat.


So, when Gaston storms out of Gigi's apartment (the first time) and he's strolling through Paris ruminating about Gigi, he sings:

Quote

she's as swollen as a grape
she doesn't have a shape
where her figure ought to be it is not
...
unequipped and undesirable to men
of course
I must in truth confess
that in that brand new little dress
she looked surprisingly mature
and a definite allure
it was a shock in fact to me
a most amazing shock to see
the way it clung
on one so young


It sounds like he was more attracted to her body than her youthful spirit.

View Postkateacola, on 14 August 2017 - 08:11 AM, said:

But throughout the movie, I was comparing Gigi to My Fair Lady. The songs in Gigi felt very similar in sound/style/etc to songs in My Fair Lady.
Like the "Gigi" song when Gaston is talk-singing-realizing that Gigi has grown up / maybe he's into her..it reminded me of when Higgins (Rex Harrison) is talk-singing "I've Grown Accustomed to her Face" when he's realizing he misses/loves/cares for Eliza (Audrey Hepburn).
And then the song at Maxims.. where everyone is gossiping, it reminded me of the song at the racetrack in My Fair Lady. With a big group singing and with all the pauses.


You know what MFL had that Gigi didn't? A choreographer. I don't understand why they would cast Leslie Caron and give her no dance numbers. I don't think they hired her for her voice either, as they dubbed her singing in the movie.

I mean, are you kidding me?

Posted Image

I've said this elsewhere, but Gigi has too much singing while people are sitting down or just casually strolling along. Give me some choreography! There's literally a scene where Chevalier sings at a table while preparing to pay the bill. WHY.

#14 Cameron H.

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 09:48 AM

Here's a big problem I had with the movie. The movie is told to us by Chevalier who tells us that little girls are awesome and that dudes shouldn't bother to get married. Gaston, his protege, ultimately rejects this notion and marries Gigi. But in the end of the movie, Chevalier goes back to singing, "Thank Heaven for Little Girls." It's like his character learns absolutely NOTHING! So, basically, Gaston takes up the opposite position as his uncle, but somehow they both live happily ever after? Then, what exactly is your point of view movie? If the point is to be yourself and marriage is great, then I feel like Chevalier should walk away from it having learned some kind of lesson.
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#15 Cameron H.

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 09:51 AM

View PostCakeBug Tranch, on 14 August 2017 - 09:15 AM, said:


That's only two fewer than 'Ben-Hur' and 'Titanic'.



To be fair, I don't think Titanic deserved that many either.
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Posted 14 August 2017 - 09:55 AM

View PostCameron H., on 14 August 2017 - 09:51 AM, said:


To be fair, I don't think Titanic deserved that many either.

Arguably not, but it was a pretty incredible visual achievement (with lots of practical effects). It hasn't aged well but when you watch it you go 'yep, I see why they swept the awards'. THIS one? Whoo boy.
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#17 Cameron H.

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 10:02 AM

Best Picture, definitely not. But Costume Design, Cinematography, Production Design, and maybe, Adapted Screen Play, I can see. I'm not sure about Best Musical since the only other Musical I've seen from that year was South Pacific, and I don't remember being that impressed with it.
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Posted 14 August 2017 - 10:02 AM

Yes, the quantity of Oscars is a misleading list, for sure. Those behind the scenes ones add up fast.
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#19 Cameron H.

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 10:18 AM

Also, I just want to go on record as stating, I didn't really like this movie either - although I didn't exactly loathe it. I'm more defending it in a Devil's Advocate role for the sake of conversation. I do not endorse anything in this movie. Plus, I feel some responsibility for thrusting this upon all of you. :unsure:

If you want to know how I felt about this movie, I would say, in a word, exhausting. I felt like every five seconds I had to rationalize and put into context what was happening on the screen. I was constantly having to say to myself "it was the fifties," "it's set in 1900," "that's how it was in France," "being a courtesan, at that time, would have given her some level of autonomy that a lot of women of that era would not have enjoyed." And every time I was able to successfully do that and finally enjoy it, something else would happen.

So, ultimately, I think it was a well made movie. There were some gorgeous shots and whatnot, but ultimately, my 21st Century brain couldn't really cope with the level of BS they were shoveling.
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Posted 14 August 2017 - 10:29 AM

View PostCameron H., on 14 August 2017 - 10:18 AM, said:

Also, I just want to go on record as stating, I didn't really like this movie either - although I didn't exactly loathe it. I'm more defending it in a Devil's Advocate role for the sake of conversation. I do not endorse anything in this movie. Plus, I feel some responsibility for thrusting this upon all of you. :unsure:


Posted Image

View PostCameron H., on 14 August 2017 - 10:18 AM, said:

So, ultimately, I think it was a well made movie. There were some gorgeous shots and whatnot, but ultimately, my 21st Century brain couldn't really cope with the level of BS they were shoveling.


I couldn't quite figure out what they achieved by all of their on-location filming in Paris - they didn't really make the most of the locations in the Tulieries Gardens and the Luxembourg Gardens that didn't look vaguely like green-screen. A lot of the stuff that was shot on location was so often so tightly framed that the impact was lost. There were few moments where the majesty of Paris was immaterial, because they were clearly in a studio (like where Gaston rides his buggy right underneath the Eiffel Tower!!), so the much-feted on-location shots were wasted.
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