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Musical Mondays - Week 18 - Gigi


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#41 Quasar Sniffer

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 07:54 PM

View Posttomspanks, on 14 August 2017 - 03:43 PM, said:


I thought they had a lovely apartment, but then Gaston describes the apartment as moldy, with decaying walls and worm ridden furniture (what?), surrounded by filth. That definitely didn't come through in the movie.


This gets at something I did actually like about the film. That is, the movie allows it's characters to say two-faced, hypocritical bullshit and lies and trust that the audience will know the speaker is full of shit. In this case, Gaston is packed to his starched collar full of shit. Of course Gigi's apartment is gorgeous, especially for early 19th Century Paris, but Gaston is so out-of-touch, so in his own ivory tower, and so determined to look at others with disdain, that he's willing to let himself belief Gigi lives in squalor. Sure, maybe her family is cash-poor compared to his tycoon-level wealth, but actual poor, they are not. It's kind of like someone shitting on his girlfriend's Mercedes S-class just because he drives around in a Rolls Royce. What a turd.
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#42 Quasar Sniffer

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 06:30 AM

Another thing that really bothered me about the movie is the way the ADR and lip-syncing was done. I know it's a musical and I know this was the way a lot of movies were done at the time, but it seemed like every damn line was ADR'd, spoken or sung. This is fine, but it was SO clumsily done, it was as if entirely different performances were driving the on-set scenes and the spoken dialogue. Again, I know a lot of the performers were French and having to perform in English, my issue is to how poorly the dialogue was synchronized with the visuals. Just very distracting.
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#43 Cameron H.

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 06:30 AM

Sorry, I picked kind of a dud, guys. I had hoped, being an Academy Award Winning film and all, that it would have been better.
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#44 tomspanks

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 07:09 AM

View PostQuasar Sniffer, on 14 August 2017 - 07:54 PM, said:

This gets at something I did actually like about the film. That is, the movie allows it's characters to say two-faced, hypocritical bullshit and lies and trust that the audience will know the speaker is full of shit. In this case, Gaston is packed to his starched collar full of shit. Of course Gigi's apartment is gorgeous, especially for early 19th Century Paris, but Gaston is so out-of-touch, so in his own ivory tower, and so determined to look at others with disdain, that he's willing to let himself belief Gigi lives in squalor. Sure, maybe her family is cash-poor compared to his tycoon-level wealth, but actual poor, they are not. It's kind of like someone shitting on his girlfriend's Mercedes S-class just because he drives around in a Rolls Royce. What a turd.



I wondered though if the movie did a poor job of depicting the home life of Gigi and her family. Do they even have an income besides Gigi's mother's gig at the opera? I think they mention she has one line, so she can't be earning enough to support 3 people, right? So all things considered, I think it's more likely that they live in squalor rather than in the beautiful set from the movie.

#45 tomspanks

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 07:24 AM

View PostCameron H., on 15 August 2017 - 06:30 AM, said:

Sorry, I picked kind of a dud, guys. I had hoped, being an Academy Award Winning film and all, that it would have been better.


While I'm not enamored with the movie, it was an interesting look back at the past. Gigi is kind of considered a good, wholesome, family movie, right? It's amazing how much attitudes have changed.

#46 taylor anne photo

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 07:27 AM

View PostCameron H., on 15 August 2017 - 06:30 AM, said:

Sorry, I picked kind of a dud, guys. I had hoped, being an Academy Award Winning film and all, that it would have been better.

I haven't had time to watch or participate but from reading this thread it sounds that there was a lot to unpack and discuss so I don't count this as a dud at all!
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#47 Cameron H.

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 07:31 AM

View Posttaylor anne photo, on 15 August 2017 - 07:27 AM, said:


I haven't had time to watch or participate but from reading this thread it sounds that there was a lot to unpack and discuss so I don't count this as a dud at all!


Thanks! I mean, that was my hope - at least once I realized what the movie was about.
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#48 Quasar Sniffer

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 07:31 AM

View Posttomspanks, on 15 August 2017 - 07:09 AM, said:



I wondered though if the movie did a poor job of depicting the home life of Gigi and her family. Do they even have an income besides Gigi's mother's gig at the opera? I think they mention she has one line, so she can't be earning enough to support 3 people, right? So all things considered, I think it's more likely that they live in squalor rather than in the beautiful set from the movie.


I did see it as more of an Old Money vs. New Money type of conflict. Gigi's family maybe was part of the old aristocracy, raised to believe in their own superior status, but now have no actual money to spend and have to rely on their traditional status. That's why they put so much stock in manners and etiquette and why they center their plot to land Gigi a husband around "educating" her on social niceties. Gaston, being the product of New Money (being a sugar magnate) is rich as hell, and frequently sings about being bored with the minutia of social performance.
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#49 Quasar Sniffer

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 07:34 AM

View PostCameron H., on 15 August 2017 - 07:31 AM, said:

Thanks! I mean, that was my hope - at least once I realized what the movie was about.

You succeeded! I mean, this movie won 9 fucking Oscars. It defintely says something about the culture in which it was made and how that culture viewed the society it depicts. (Middle aged men marrying teenage girls! LOL! Family Entertainment Spectacular!)
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#50 tomspanks

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 07:34 AM

View Posttaylor anne photo, on 15 August 2017 - 07:27 AM, said:

I haven't had time to watch or participate but from reading this thread it sounds that there was a lot to unpack and discuss so I don't count this as a dud at all!


You mean you're not going to study this movie in prep for your trip?

#51 taylor anne photo

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 07:36 AM

View Posttomspanks, on 15 August 2017 - 07:34 AM, said:

You mean you're not going to study this movie in prep for your trip?

Oh I really should. That's a good idea. Good thing I'll have a week in between moving and traveling (srsly lol @ my life) to really study up on French culture lol.
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#52 Cameron H.

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 07:46 AM

View PostQuasar Sniffer, on 15 August 2017 - 07:31 AM, said:


I did see it as more of an Old Money vs. New Money type of conflict. Gigi's family maybe was part of the old aristocracy, raised to believe in their own superior status, but now have no actual money to spend and have to rely on their traditional status. That's why they put so much stock in manners and etiquette and why they center their plot to land Gigi a husband around "educating" her on social niceties. Gaston, being the product of New Money (being a sugar magnate) is rich as hell, and frequently sings about being bored with the minutia of social performance.


But they weren't trying to get her a husband, were they? I thought the whole point of her classes was so she could be a successful courtesan like her Aunt. I also got the vibe that the Aunt was supplementing their income which is why her Grandmother kept insisting that she keep going to those classes. It was a way of keeping them on her good side.

Basically, without a father, Gigi was going to have to support herself one day. The best way, at that time, for a woman to live both comfortably and independently, would have been for her to be a courtesan. Fortunately (?), she had an Aunt who was already successful in that field and was willing to apprentice her. But neither Gigi nor her grandmother really wanted that for her. It's just the best they could do given the situation.
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#53 kateacola

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 11:31 AM

Just wanted to point out... Gigi was directed by Vincente Minnelli (Liza's dad).
He also directed An American in Paris (noting since we've made comparisons to).

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#54 CakeBug Tranch

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 11:59 AM

Guys, let's just say what we are all thinking.

1. Shared universe where Gigi and Gaston's son grew up in Paris to be the Emcee in Cabaret.
2. Jacob's Ladder Scenario: Honore starts singing 'Thank Heaven for Little Girls', dies of disgustingness halfway through, the whole movie is his death rattle, only to have him finish the song at the end and then head straight to hell.

Sorry to point out the obvious guys.
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#55 Cam Bert

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 02:24 PM

I know this was briefly brought up before by I found Gaston's first girlfriend's cheating on him to be handled very oddly. So he's on to the fact that the skating instructor and her are very close. She overplays her hand a little by making him tip the skater and going off about how awful he is. In reality, she knows she's got no real future with Gaston right? If she was trying to marry him for the money you think she'd wait until after the marriage to start seeing people behind his back. She's actually just playing the same game he is, yet she's seen as the villain. Gaston dumping her and her loving being payed off to runaway result her being suicidal and everybody is happy about it? It's just so crazy.
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#56 tomspanks

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 03:43 PM

View PostCam Bert, on 15 August 2017 - 02:24 PM, said:

I know this was briefly brought up before by I found Gaston's first girlfriend's cheating on him to be handled very oddly. So he's on to the fact that the skating instructor and her are very close. She overplays her hand a little by making him tip the skater and going off about how awful he is. In reality, she knows she's got no real future with Gaston right? If she was trying to marry him for the money you think she'd wait until after the marriage to start seeing people behind his back. She's actually just playing the same game he is, yet she's seen as the villain. Gaston dumping her and her loving being payed off to runaway result her being suicidal and everybody is happy about it? It's just so crazy.


I think it was a case of "if I can't have her, no one can". He's a vindictive prick.
It was so weird how her suicide was never brought up again. I wonder how many women were driven to suicide by Gaston's crazy antics.

#57 Quasar Sniffer

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 04:00 PM

View PostCameron H., on 15 August 2017 - 07:46 AM, said:


But they weren't trying to get her a husband, were they? I thought the whole point of her classes was so she could be a successful courtesan like her Aunt. I also got the vibe that the Aunt was supplementing their income which is why her Grandmother kept insisting that she keep going to those classes. It was a way of keeping them on her good side.

Basically, without a father, Gigi was going to have to support herself one day. The best way, at that time, for a woman to live both comfortably and independently, would have been for her to be a courtesan. Fortunately (?), she had an Aunt who was already successful in that field and was willing to apprentice her. But neither Gigi nor her grandmother really wanted that for her. It's just the best they could do given the situation.


That's basically what I mean. Gigi and her family are cash poor so Gigi needs to marry to make them solvent. In order to marry, she has to make herself appear both as presentable and desirable as possible. This definitely has the appearance of wealth attached to it, as well as the respectability of being part of the Old Aristocracy. The sort of class conflict, at least in my head, comes into play because both sides (Gaston and Gigi) know they are each playing each other, and each side knows the other side knows the game is being played. When there is so much dishonesty and adversarial gamesmanship going on in a courtship, no fucking wonder every marriage is basically a torrent of infidelity and distrust. They start on a stack of lies and die on a stack of affairs.
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#58 Cameron H.

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 04:00 PM

View Posttomspanks, on 15 August 2017 - 03:43 PM, said:



I think it was a case of "if I can't have her, no one can". He's a vindictive prick.
It was so weird how her suicide was never brought up again. I wonder how many women were driven to suicide by Gaston's crazy antics.


No, I think his problem is one of status. He's only with her because she's the most famous courtesan. Being with her is prestigious. He doesn't really care about her, nor she him, but her fooling around behind his back doesn't look good, not to mention, she's probably breaking her contract.

I think it's important to note, the women are entering into a formal agreement. There's no coercion. This isn't just picking someone up off the street. The man offers what he's going to offer and Eva (or Gigi) are under no obligation to sign. They're (ostensibly) adults capable of making their own decisions and are able to negotiate for better terms. The problem is that Gigi actually loves him, so of course, she feels diminished by the arrangement.

The suicide was never brought up again because it never happened. They say she "committed suicide - again." They then say she took just enough pills to NOT die. This is a status thing for her, too. Her "suicide" is just a bit of drama. It's just pretend. She's just doing it to get attention and so she doesn't appear to be in breach of contract- which would be bad for business. The joke is, everyone knows it's pretend.
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#59 tomspanks

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 04:35 PM

View PostCameron H., on 15 August 2017 - 04:00 PM, said:

No, I think his problem is one of status. He's only with her because she's the most famous courtesan. Being with her is prestigious. He doesn't really care about her, nor she him, but her fooling around behind his back doesn't look good, not to mention, she's probably breaking her contract.

I think it's important to note, the women are entering into a formal agreement. There's no coercion. This isn't just picking someone up off the street. The man offers what he's going to offer and Eva (or Gigi) are under no obligation to sign. They're (ostensibly) adults capable of making their own decisions and are able to negotiate for better terms. The problem is that Gigi actually loves him, so of course, she feels diminished by the arrangement.

The suicide was never brought up again because it never happened. They say she "committed suicide - again." They then say she took just enough pills to NOT die. This is a status thing for her, too. Her "suicide" is just a bit of drama. It's just pretend. She's just doing it to get attention and so she doesn't appear to be in breach of contract- which would be bad for business. The joke is, everyone knows it's pretend.


But why not just let her go instead of tracking her down and making a spectacle out of pranking her? He couldn't wait until she got back into town to confront her or void the contract? French high society was weird. FWIW I thought Gabor was actually enamored with that other guy - not that it mattered, since he was a jerk too. Now that I think of it, was there any male character that came off as a decent guy?

I definitely missed the joke about her suicide attempt. I seriously thought people in the movie were being insensitive.

#60 Cameron H.

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 04:48 PM

View Posttomspanks, on 15 August 2017 - 04:35 PM, said:



But why not just let her go instead of tracking her down and making a spectacle out of pranking her? He couldn't wait until she got back into town to confront her or void the contract? French high society was weird. FWIW I thought Gabor was actually enamored with that other guy - not that it mattered, since he was a jerk too. Now that I think of it, was there any male character that came off as a decent guy?

I definitely missed the joke about her suicide attempt. I seriously thought people in the movie were being insensitive.


You're not wrong. Eva was enamored her skating instructor- which is the only reason she would have pursued it. I'm not saying Gaston was being mature, but he felt humiliated and wanted to humiliate her back. Not very admirable, but very human.

Re: male characters. Not really, but Gaston does do the "decent" thing in the end when he rebels against societal norms and follows his heart. As we touched on before, this is really a redemption movie for Gaston. He's not supposed to be likable - not really. Gigi makes him a better person.
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