terça-feira, 12 de janeiro de 2016

Love finds Andy Hardy (1938) and the Great Depression

This was the only film I've seen in the series "Andy Hardy". I had long wanted to watch this movie essentially because it has a young Lana Turner. I am Lana fan and I like watching her movies, good or bad. 

Obviously, "Love finds Andy Hardy" is a simple movie without striking scenes, but the innocence and happiness explores in the film makes a very sweet movie.

It is very probably that this film not appear on anyone's list. In my appears and occupies a good place. It's so nostalgic, dear, innocent, happy. The teen movies are the most dirty that exist. "Love finds Andy Hardy" is the opposite. Quite the opposite of "American Pie". I do not believe that teenagers were, in the 30s, so childish and innocent as Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland interpret their characters. It happens that certainly they were more innocent than now. I don't believe teenagers like the film nowadays. It's so childish as a Disney movie. However, it is this purity that makes me like the movie.
Mickey Rooney is not an actor I like particularly. I think it makes a lot of "overacting" sending screaming. In this film it is often because the kisses that girls give him wake up this bad habit in himself. but wait,  Mickey is one of the film's stars. He prints and innocence and jovial joy that provides charm to the film. 

Like Lana, Judy Garland is also an actress who I love. She is adorable, as always, but "Love Finds Andy Hardy" is not a essencial Garland's movie if you see her as a talented star. Her role is a little cruel for her, because defined her a a ugly duck, a girl without glamour, as she said in the film. Judy, in real life, felt herself as a ugly and too homely girl. so, the sadness of her character in "Love Finds Andy Hardy" is the same of the real Judy. The songs sung by Garland, in this movie, are nothing special, but "In Between" transmits a real feeling (there is  not only the character that sing; is the real Judy too):

Ann Rutherford is lovely and beautiful. She could become a great star because she could have done characters style "Olivia De Havilland" (they both are even physically similar). She doesn't have the Havilland's talented but she is so charming.

Note: I was disappointed with the scene where Mickey takes Judy to the ball. I wanted to Mickey realizes that Judy should be attached by him to the ball. But she only save him. Mickey doesn't ask her to go to the ball with him. what a pity!

The innocence of "Love finds Andy Hardy": guys that not make sex. Guys that not drink alcohol. Guys that go to the drugstore and drink a soda.

Historic and Feminist analysis

In the 1930s, the US was sunk in the Great Depression. The american film allowed to spectator forget, or at least mitigate the difficulties of day-to-day. In the present post, I explain the need for the adult mind had to develop this "Andy Hardy" youth series in the context of the Great Depression, particularly focusing on the analysis of Love finds Andy Hardy film (George B. Seitz, 1938), one of the best-known episodes series.

Andy Hardy, the young model to teenagers and the son of ideal for parents

In my view, in a economic and social crisis generated by the US grown population, the adult mind focused its attention on the future and male generation and looked at them as the hope for the resolution of depression (such as recuperadora the American way of life). This attention paid to male adolescents is manifested in the film industry through the creation of the series dedicated to young character Andy Hardy. Love finds Andy Hardy clearly shows the hope that the older population deposite in the young people as builders of a better society. As Nancy K. Young and William H. Young claim, Andy Hardy symbolizes the ideal teen for many parents and politicians (2007, 539). Let us not forget that the series dedicated to energy Andy was directed by adults. Adults who drove these young actors, such as parents guide their children in the hope of making them important, influential, responsible and useful adults. Andy is, in fact, the teen model that many parents certainly wish for their children boys. After all, the character played by Rooney is energetic, happy, knowledgeable and friendly. These features are in tune with the spirit of someone who is seen as able to resolve the crisis or at least to mitigate the anguish and hopelessness ingrained in American depressive mindset.

Despite all the inherent qualities to Andy, there is a feature that, at first glance, may seem contradictory. The character embodied by Rooney is clearly child. In fact, Andy is too immature behavior for his age (16 years in Love Finds Andy Hardy). Notice that Andy is derided by his. Polly Benedict (Ann Rutherford), his girlfriend, by constantly, is more mature. He and not she  love to give small kisses and hugs in secret with her. Apart from this, Andy's clumsy and bodily comic (falls from ladders, for example).

In my view, this childish is due to the fact that the adult mind be aware that plays an important role in society as the younger educators. To me, "Love finds Andy Hardy" wants to convey the idea to male teenagers that they should have the enthusiasm and respect that Andy has for elders (including their parents). The teenager spectator, seeing Andy is a teenager like him, identifies with the character and, so, it is probably that he likes the protagonist. Andy is energetic. The film, therefore, shows to young people that they must have the will to solve the Great Depression. Alongside this, the film also shows adults that they should see that the younger ones, if they are or if they learn to be like the protagonist of the film, have the "ingredients" to succeed in society. However, since they are immature, they must be "polished", educated by adults: young people are the future but the present, the adults, are responsible for the times to come. "Love finds Andy Hardy" has in mind not only the teenage audience but also adult.

The concern in educating young people is clearly reflected in the fact that Andy want to have the same profession as his father, the righteous Judge James K. Hardy (Lewis Stone) and in the fact that Judge James give advices to him son constantly. The first "Love finds Andy Hardy"'s scene shows  the decent and respected judge to exercise their profession. The film makes it clear from the start who is the holder of "legitimate authority" (Art Silverblatt 2007, 87), who is on the side of the law: the adult man, the father. During the film, James teaches, as a responsible parent should do, his son Andy in relation to their amorous adventures. The fact that Andy want to be like his father transmits to the teenagers that they should admire their parents and see them as teachers and models (ie obviously in the context of structured families). Andy has the energy to fight in order to be like his father. However, he does not have the maturity to do so. It is in this context that the adult role of James reveals important: educating the intantil son. James is then the "ideal adult" (Art Silverblatt 2007, 87), with a job related to law and able to educate the child. Like Andy, his sister, Marian Hardy (Cecilia Parker), strives to be like your mother, Emily Hardy (Fay Holden). Emily has unexpectedly to be away from home and Marian takes over the functions related to housework, wanting to be as skillful as their mother. Obviously, Marian is not capable of being a competent housewife. This is clearly evidenced in the fact that she doesn't know how to make coffee. She wants to be like her mother but it is necessary for Emily to teach and insist on the apprenticeship of her daughter. Without her mother beside her, Marian can not succeed in her home work.

From what has been said so far, it can be said that "Love finds Andy Hardy" shows, as stated by Art Silverblatt (2007), a harmony between generations (the children want to be like their parents and these are responsible for the growth of those).
As Art Silverblatt says (2007), in "Love finds Andy Hardy", depression and American crisis are not commented or reflected. Simply do not exist. Andy, his family and his friends live in a small fictional town, Carvel, within the United States, a simple and happy mood with all the amenities that were weakened in the 30s, "economic security, social stability and values ​​of a small city ​​"(Art Silverblatt 2007, 87). This dreamlike nature reflected in the film reflects the escapist role of cinema and their desire in enviable style of American life recovery. It is no coincidence that the series dedicated to Andy Hardy won in 1943 an Oscar for "representing the American way of life" (Barbara Jane Brickman 2012, 30).
That said, we are faced with a contradiction rooted in "Love finds Andy Hardy": on the one hand, the film ignores depression (note that MGM was known for their production of films dedicated to the "spectacle "and far from mirroring social reality); on the other, the way Andy and his parents are represented reveals the hope that the US adult community deposited in the younger male generation and concern that had to reinforce the idea at his parents' mind that they should bring up their children to that they were able to overcome depression.

It can be said that "Love finds Andy Hardy" is a misogynistic film, defender of patriarchal culture.
After all, the film reveals that the American ideal life is "the man is the family sustainer (with an active role in the public sphere) and the woman responsible for the tasks devoted to housework". Furthermore, it shows that the man is one who can, instead of women, overcoming the great depression, if one takes into account the Hardy family. Notice that is Andy's father, not the mother, the one who has money ("ingredient" key to resolving the crisis) and the young Rooney is what you want to be. Him sister does not have the characteristics of Andy (energy, enthusiasm) of such sharply and is likely to be a housewife like Emily. Moreover, the character embodied by Lana Turner, Chyntia Potter, is operated as a wet object, which reveals the male nature of the film. It is critical to address, with regard to this issue, the thesis of British researcher Laura Mulvey this in his essay "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema" (1975).

In his essay, Mulvey explains how the classical Hollywood cinema developed in the patriarchal context, strongly raises a heterosexual male gaze from the audience to the detriment of any other. This means that the pleasures offered by Hollywood movies impose masculinity by the spectator. Before developing this question, it is important to clarify how Mulvey considers that male and female characters are represented. The British theoretical distinguishes them based primarily on the question of who is the holder of the look in the film and who is the one who is the target of that look. For Mulvey, the male protagonist (the hero of the film) is active, to be the owner of the look, controlling the female character (to look at it as an erotic object), and dominate the narrative, making the action unwind. The female character, in contrast, have a passive role, since not having a driver looking functions as a target object erotic masculine look. Mulvey designates this erotic look, relating to male characters in the film and the spectator, as male gaze (the musical numbers and close-ups reveal that even by making women an erotic image). The presence of women in their traditional exhibitionist role, tends to oppose the unfolding story of a movie (Mulvey 2005, 63). The representation of women in cinema, to be reduced to an erotic object designed by man, has no relation to reality.

From what has been said, it is understood that the classic film reveals have been itself developed based on socially established sexual differentiation: the cinema, designed especially for men and done in the context of a patriarchal society, managed through the objectification erotic female and, so, impose a masculine look from the onlooker.
In this test, Mulvey discusses two types of pleasure offered by the cinema: the scopophilia and narcissistic pleasure. The scopophilia is the resulting pleasure in the act of looking at someone as an erotic object (Mulvey 2005, 68). The film provides a look scopophilic by the spectator, in that exploits the female character as erotic object. The narcissistic pleasure is related to the issue of identification: in the sense that the spectator is led to identify with the hero of the film, because this is the asset, which serves as a perfect image of himself, the spectator feels a narcissistic pleasure. The hero, which dominates the course of action, is seen by onlookers to have greater control over the film's story than they does about the events in real life. Thus, the hero is seen by the audience as her most perfect ideal ego. Thus, the spectator experiences a narcissistic pleasure.

In "Love finds Andy Hardy", the scenes in which Chyntia appears involve a mild sensuality. In her

first scene, the girl kisses Andy, leaving him dazzled. This scene reveals Chyntia as a sexy girl. Andy is not in love with her, but for Polly. Thus, it is clear that his resulting of the Chyntia's kiss is purely erotic. In this same scene, you can watch a close-up to Turner's face, which allows her objectification. 

At the drugstore scene, Chyntia wears a coat just to her body, revealing the voluptuousness, which

accentuates her breasts. These are shot for some time profile, clearly revealing its size and positioning, once again, Chyntia in a erotic role. In addressing this issue, it is impossible not to mention the fact that Turner have become, in 1937 (one year before the release of "Love finds Andy Hardy"), an sex-symbol, known as the "Sweater Girl", after entering in the movie "They Won't Forget" (Mervyn LeRoy, 1937). In this film, Turner appears to go a street with a sweater, enhancing your breasts (Crane 2007: 27). Turner was indeed being cast as a sex symbol of MGM, whose culmination, I think, happen in the film "The Postman always rings twice" (Tay Garnett, 1946). In this film noir, the sexualization of the actress is clearly exploited.
That said, it can be said therefore that the male spectator experience the pleasure of escopofila since Chyntia is explored as an erotic object. It is possible that the female spectator can fell the pleasure of escopophilia if she adopt a male position.

If we compare Andy with Polly and Chyntia, so, we can said that Andy is a active character. After all,
is Andy who holds the look, controlling Chyntia, to regard her as an erotic object. Moreover, is Andy who controls the action, causing it to unfold. In fact, is he who generates the confusion around the girl which should lead to the school dance. In contrast, Chyntia does not have an erotically look as sharp on Andy or control the unfolding of the narrative. She's just an erotic object disconcerting emotions in Andy. Is he who has to solve the problem of carrying the ball or not. Polly little appears in the film, having a check on the progress of history. Your erotic glance at Andy is also not as sharp as that of Rooney's character on her. Adopting thus the Mulvey ideas, I think that Andy is one that is able to arouse an identification mechanism by the spectator, regardless of their gender. However, in my real view, the male adolescent spectator has problemas in identifying with the Mickey's character  because it is very difficult for him be reviewed in the protagonist. In fact, Andy is too childish for his age. Not to mention that in the context of the Great Depression, many teenagers would not be, of course, an comfortable economic and social situation as the protagonist. Maybe, the power would be here to open the possibility of the male spectator to identify with Andy for wanting to be like him. However, I doubt this to happen. Surely comfortable economic situation is a dream of life for many teenagers. However, Andy's heavy dependence on parents and him childish do not show Andy as a ideal teen to teenager audience.

Love finds Andy Hardy also revealed misogynist if you  counteract Andy with Chyntia and Betsy Booth (Judy Garland). Andy, although immature and childish, reveals himself to be an intelligent and proactive boy. After all, that adolescents have eye for business concerning the purchase of auto and has the bright idea of ​​making his father can communicate by radio with his wife, who is far from City. Alongside this, Andy is considered physically beautiful for girls. The very title of the film reveals this. His girlfriend, Chyntia and Betsy feel attracted for him. Andy is therefore a complete man: physically attractive and intelligent. Regarding Chyntia and Betsy, the question is quite different. Chyntia is considered glamorous. Their erotic exploration and the fact of getting arouse a prurient interest in Andy with a simple kiss on the lips reveal that. However, the character played by Turner seems to be endowed with proactive or interests that go beyond kissing boys. It can be said that it is a futile girl. Andy complains addition to his own father. Chyntia does not like basketball or swim in a pool, to Andy's displeasure. Betsy is already clearly intelligent, proactive and far from fostering futility. She can play piano and  tries to help Andy about the car. However, she is not seen as being as beautiful as Chyntia. Seeing that does not arouse interest in Andy, unlike what happens with Turner character, Betsy complains to herself their lack of glamour. In fact, unlike Turner, Garland was operated by MGM as the "girl next door", the "good girl", homemade and honest. MGM had difficulty assigning more adults and daring girl and glamorous roles for Garland (Gerald Clark 2009, 80). The Wizard of Oz (Victor Fleming, 1939) is an example, in which Garland, aged 17 at the time, plays a character aged 14 years. Garland would take to appear in a more mature and glamorous role. It was not until 1943 that Garland, with the movie musical Presenting Lily Mars (Norman Taurog), began to play more adult and sophisticated roles.

The innocent Judy with other girl next door, Diane Durbin

In general, the classical Hollywood cinema constantly explored the stereotypes addressed here: the intelligent woman, nothing given to frivolity, but little physically attractive and the uneducated and frivolous woman but with stunning looks (except noirs movies, in which the female character is glamorous and smart. However, her intelligence is maleficent). Some characters of Marilyn Monroe are an excellent example of sensual and futile but unintelligent woman. The exploitation of these stereotypes reflects, in my view, the patriarchal mind present in society, as a stunningly beautiful woman, and also intelligent, proves to be too powerful and perfect for a man to accept. Their masculinity is affected before such feminine presence (hence, as Mulvey points out, the woman often being punished and male sadism target in film noir).

Although this misogyny in Love finds Andy Hardy, the film is also provided with a feminist character, if one takes into account the characters Betsy and Polly. In the scene where Andy is with Polly at the public pool, he says excitedly to his girlfriend that in the course of the ball, can hide and give hugs and kisses. Polly considering child Andy's attitude, says that both are already "too old for that sort of thing." Andy complains, never saying "if it's too old to hug and kiss!". As repairs Jeffery P. Dennis, Andy proves to be children when using the terms "huggin" and "kissin ', rather than Polly, who says" hugging "and" kissing ". Besides the infatilizada grammar, his mannerisms and his voice also reveal their immaturity (Jeffery P. Dennis, 2007, 100).

Polly it is more adult, mature and, consequently, a protective role against Andy. As is known, in the
context of a patriarchal society, the control and the role of protector is associated with the man and not the woman. Polly proves to be ready to have a love affair more series (certainly involving sex) Andy and not for the so-called "puppy love" in walking only hand in hand and have to hide to give a little kiss on the mouth.

The feminist movie character reveals itself more strongly with the character Betsy. First of all, she is a very rich financially girl. She has money, power. Betsy offers to pay the car that Andy wants. Since this is a blow to their masculinity, the character played by Rooney does not accept the payment. Moreover, Betsy solve the mess of Andy about the girl that would be his partner. At a time when Andy despair by those who no longer have to take the ball, Betsy appears, as if by magic, with a gala dress, ready to offer himself as a young passenger. The character played by Garland therefore has power and control capacity and resolution on Andy adventures.

In my view, the female adolescent spectator identifies with Betsy, if one takes into account the essay "Afterthoughts on 'Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema' inspired by King Vidor's Duel in the Sun (1946)" (published in 1981), by Mulvey. After being criticized by, "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema", taking the spectator as a whole, this second article published Mulvey in order to analyze the role particularly of the female spectator in the classic film (Hollinger 2012, 11-12).
Before presenting his new thesis, it is important to briefly explain the Freudian theory of femininity that is used by Mulvey. According to the British theoretical, Freud uses the terms "masculinity" and "femininity" in a conventional way, associating them with an active and passive behavior respectively. The author states that for Freud, "femininity is complicated" since it has to be originated from an active period, male, for children of both sexes (Mulvey 2005, 123). During this phallic stage, both children have as object of love the mother. According to Freud, the "correct path, femininity [passive behavior imposed by society], leads to increased repression of the 'active' 'in women (Mulvey 2005, 124), passing the love object of female child to be dad.

The Austrian psychoanalyst, quoted by Mulvey, adds that the masculine side of the female child can
not be fully suppressed, stating that "in the course of life for some women there is a repeated alternation between periods in which either masculinity, sometimes femininity predominate" (Mulvey, 2005, 123). In this sense, Mulvey considers that the woman having thus their gender "divided", with its feminine and masculine side (Chaudhuri, 2006, 40), can be identified oscillatably with passive character (female), and the active character ( male) of the film.

Mulvey believes that femenine character has a instable sexual identity (ie, that has to have both a male and female side). That means that the female spectator identifies with her. After all, the female audience is also possessed of this identity. In my view, Betsy has the same identity, hence the female spectator be reviewed in it. She wears feminine clothes (skirt, blouse with lace and headband) and this reveals her feminine side, in addition to his desire to be glamorous and for Andy (passive behavior). Her active side and therefore masculine,is evident in her attempts to solve the problems of Andy. It shows have power and control capabilities that are not accepted by the protagonist. Betsy also appears to be active to have control over the course of the narrative, a fact evidenced by the opportunity this gives Andy to go to the prom together. Since this feature is its so little steep, I consider that the narcissistic pleasure felt by the teenage female spectator is hardly experienced.

The fact that Betsy be represented as a well-heeled girl has, in my view, a strong meaning in the film.
Being directed essentially patriarchal society and controlled by men, were those that generated the crisis of 1929. Thus, the fact that Betsy is the holder of power can function as a sign of hope that the adult mind has on the future female generation, wishing the young female audience see Betsy as a model, identifying herself thus with her, since man created the crisis, then maybe a woman can be the salvation. Notice that Betsy has the same characteristics as Andy (energy, enthusiasm), compatible with the spirit capable of resolution of depression and, moreover, is not as immature as the protagonist (despite being younger than him). With this profile, and possessing money (economic power), Betsy seems to be more capable than Andy to overcome the crisis. The role of Garland may even be an women of the coming days of the Second World War, in which the female population would prove central to the functioning of society, holding positions in public life.

What was discussed here refers to the issue of masculindade shaken portrayed in the film. The childish Andy as opposed to the responsibility and the economic power of Betsy and social and sexual maturity of Polly (who seems to has control over Andy in their love relationship) placed Andy automatically in a passive role (and therefore women). Certainly, in the context of the Great Depression, the American manhood was weakened: the men had generated the crisis and they felt powerless can not solve it (hence see the future generation female as a possible "savior"). Jeffery P. Dennis, who also sees that this childish puts Andy in a female role, believes that "to remedy" the situation, the protagonist  is constantly shown in the series in question (Jeffery P. Dennis, 2007, 101). The quoted  draws attention to Andy's chest that is athletic, indicating his masculinity. This is an extremely interesting question. On the one hand, Andy is male showing his muscled body. On the other hand, if you applies the theory of Mulvey, Andy, as a erotic object, shows a passive role.

 In my view, both interpretations are correct. Andy turns out to be male, to have a defined chest and both passive (female) to fulfill an exhibitionist role. The erotic objectification of Andy is in fact more pronounced than that of Polly and Chyntia who are with him in bathing suit pool. When Andy is alone filmed talking to Polly, the camera films your face and enough of its trunk. In relation to Polly, the framework little more catches than its neck, and the young, unlike Andy, does not have its chest on display. In the plane in which Andy is with Chyntia in the pool board, the young man's chest is shown, while the breasts of the character played by Turner are constantly covered his arm. In short, the pleasure of scopophilia can perfectly satisfy the male and female onlookers. The male audience has the possibility to direct an erotic look to Chyntia, the "Sweater Girl", while the female audience can watch the Andy trunk.

Love finds Andy Hardy as "comedy of remarriage"

Before finalizing this work, it is important to consider the idea of ​​"comedy of remarriage" analyzed
by the American philosopher Stanley Cavell. In his book Pursuits of Happiness (1981), Cavell introduced the term "comedy of remarriage" as a subgenre of screwball comedy. Said author created this term since noticed that several screwaball comedies had a common narrative structure: a couple who, early in the film, is divorced or is about to divorce and in the end of the movie they get back together. The movie The Philadelphia Story (George Cukor, 1940) is a clear example of "comedy of remarriage." In his thesis "Divorcing the Comedy of Remarriage and the Screwball Comedies" (2012), Rosa Maria Strengholt states as the setting that gives Cavell's "comedy of remarriage" does not always apply to movies offering as an example. The comedy Bringing Up Baby (Howard Hawks, 1938), which Cavell calls "comedy of remarriage" is one example. In fact, in Bringing up Baby, the protagonists are not married to each other or even divorced early in the film. To my mind, Love finds Andy Hardy can be seen to some extent as a "comedy of remarriage." The film is commonly referred comedy. The issue of remarriage is evident in the loving relationship between Andy and Polly. Surely definition Cavell gives this type of subgenus there is no evidence literlamente the film in question. However, the notion of remarriage are indirectly represented. After all, Andy and Polly show up like lovers at the beginning of the film. From the moment Polly goes away temporarily in town, Andy is alone and seemingly uncompromised. So it is a kind of divorce. In my view, the separation occurs officially towards the end of the film when Polly, after learning that Andy walked to kiss Chyntia, decides to end the relationship with him.

As Strengholt explains, is common in the "comedies of remarriage," the female character get involved with another man after divorce. His Girl Friday (Howard Hawks, 1940) and The Philadelphia Story have clearly present this situation. In Love finds Andy Hardy happens the opposite. It is the male character who gets involved with another woman: Andy, during the absence of Polly, has a mild affair with Chyntia and after breaking up with Polly, go to the prom with Betsy. Unlike the two aforementioned comedies, where the new boyfriend has a higher moral training to the initial husband, Polly is not Chyntia the girl of greater virtue that Andy knows.

At the end of the film, Polly and Andy return to take dating, proving to be happy and in love. The idea of ​​remarriage present in Love Finds Andy Hardy is important as it reflects a psychological maturity on the part of the protagonist and his relationship with Polly. The children love between Polly and Andy that shows the beginning of the film (that which displeases Polly) reflects a maturing at the end, with a rather more daring than usual kiss and given in public between boyfriends. 

Before that, Andy made sure to take Polly to a grove away from the population to give you little kisses. Unlike Polly, Andy had need to venture with another girl, to realize that his love for Polly was really important and therefore able to strengthen. So, Andy, in the end, shows up prepared to take a more adult relationship with Polly. Andy, though still childish, became, grew.

As it turned out, the remarriage comedy occurs with adult characters. In my view, the idea of
​​remarriage present in Love Finds Andy Hardy reflects the need for the adult mind has to do quickly mature the younger male generation. This is because only mature one is that it is able to ensure the progress of society. Andy, to get back to Polly, learn to have a more standard interface, which points to a basic value of patriarchy, marriage.

It is evident here a very interesting question. As it turned out, Love finds Andy Hardy portrays the
protagonist of a child so as to show the adult spectator that this is to educate the younger (make them mature). The film also reveals, through the idea of ​​remarriage, an urgent need to see the American male young people as a mature people. The childishness of Andy and his slight maturing at the end of the film want, in short, to sensitize the adult audience for the importance it is to have her younger male generation grown more responsible.

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