Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Diary Of Anne Frank – episode 9

All dialog in brown text is taken from the movie script at www.springfieldspringfield.co.uk

After Mr. Dussell has told everybody of the conditions that exist outside the attic, their spirits, which were on the rise existed prior to his arrival, have crashed to the ground.  Everybody is concerned for friends who have disappeared, knowing in their hearts that their friends are now victims of the Nazis. Since he and Anne now have to share a room she helps him get acclimated to his new surroundings. She says he’ll soon get used to everybody, even Peters cat.

96. Peter has a cat

                                                         A cat…here ?

I have an allergy to fur-bearing animals”. Mr. Dussell starts to wheeze, hack, and cough even though Mouchi is no where near. We soon learn that the “allergy” is totally psychosomatic, even though he would probably fight to death maintaining it isn’t in his head. After Anne gets into bed she can’t help but hear the sounds outside of a woman laughing, a man bellowing in German, machine gun fire, and the splash of somebody falling into the canal. Her mind combines the sounds with the dismal news Mr. Dussell brought with him, and has a doozy of a nightmare. She screams which unsettles Mr. Dussell. Her mother rushes to her side only to be rebuffed and to hear Anne ask for her father. Mrs. Frank goes to get Mr. Frank, he goes to Anne, while Margot comforts her mother who’s deeply upset. Mr. Dussell maintains something should be done about Anne. Mr. Frank asks Mr. Dussell to return to his bed. “Excuse me. I'm going to the W.C., the one room where there's peace”. Mr. Dussel is not used to having his opinion dismissed so easily, and retires to the W.C. (bathroom).

Mr. Frank is flattered by his daughters request, but at the same time is dismayed that she should hurt her mother so. Anne tries to explain her feelings to her father. “I think I'm really grown up...and then something happens and I run to you like a baby. She doesn't understand me. Whenever I try to explain

99. She asks me if I'm constipated

 my views on life, she asks me if I'm constipated”. Anne is confused and asks her father for guidance. “There's so little we parents can do to help our children, Anne. We can only try to set a good example. Point the way. The rest you must do yourself”. Anne rambles on about practical jokes, and having a conflict of feelings - the child versus the emerging adult. Her voice gets weaker and weaker, and soon she is fast asleep.

The luster of having someone new to talk to rapidly wears off, and Anne and Mr. Dussell are having almost daily fights. Sometimes its simply a difference of opinion but she writes “Someday, I'm going to give you such a smack...Why is it that every grown-up thinks he knows the way to bring up children? Particularly the grown-ups that haven't any”.

The radio has become the primary source of information and entertainment. At times they are huddled around it to distract themselves from the almost constant bombing. Usually they listen to the BBC as they are in this screen capture. But sometimes they listen to Hitler.

100. Listening to Churchill

Mrs. van Daan knits while bombs rain down. They shake the building, causing dust to fall into her hair. She knits a lot when she’s nervous, which is most of the time. When bombs fall she knits almost non stop. Mrs. van Daan is also prone to asking very stupid questions when she’s nervous. When the bombing is at its height she asks one the most stupid questions I’ve ever heard. “Suppose they hit this house? What will we do? We can't go out in the street. What will we do?”. Everyone looks at each other, wondering if they should respond. Mr. Dussell, ever the optimist, gives a most succinct answer. “If they hit this house, your worries will be over”. Mrs. van Daan soon regrets asking such a foolish question. Peter is upstairs watching the air raid when a British plane crashes near them. He gives those huddled around the radio a play by play summary of the happenings outside.“That noise--that big explosion--they hit one of the English planes. It fell right in this block”. They all go upstairs to look at the bombers headed for Germany. Just before they arrive at the window the glass shatters from the vibrations caused by the explosions.

101. bombing of Amsterdam intensifies, glass in the skylight is smashed

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Diary of Anne Frank–Episode 8

All dialog in brown text is taken from the movie script at www.springfieldspringfield.co.uk


While Mrs. van Daan is telling Anne about her girlhood she shows off her legs. Mr. van Daan is less than pleased, and Peter registers his embarrassment at his mothers conduct. Mr. van Daan quickly shifts his attention to his sons studies  which are no where near as good as that of Anne’s or Margot’s. Mr. van Daan makes a few unkind remarks about Peters scholastic aptitude. Margot thinks Peters marks would improve if he studied with Anne and herself. Mr. Frank asks Peter to join and make their little school “coeducational”. Peter looks at Margot (Diane Baker), says yes, and smiles.

78. Peter chooses to study with the Franks


Meanwhile the pressure of having to hide is causing the senior Van Daans to fight more and more frequently. The subjects of the fights vary from time to time, but pressure is always a contributing factor. These two “adults” behave

80. Mr & Mrs D argue or discuss81. Anne watches the van Daans argue

like children, bellowing and yowling like scorched cats. Anne observes this behavior and is first surprised, then disgusted by it. Mr. van Daan becomes aware that Anne is staring at his wife and he. “I thought only children quarreled” she says. Mr. van Daan maintains that it isn’t a fight, and that “it's a discussion”. But Anne knows better, as does everybody else in the hiding place.

Miep and Kraler finally arrive. Miep immediately hands Mr. van Daan another package of cigarettes, one of which is lit immediately. Along with the staples of life they bring a radio disguised as a book. The radio was constructed from stolen German equipment.83. Miep shows them the radio hidden in a book84. Peter franticly hooks up the radio

Peter hooks it up with lightening speed, and for the first time in months they hear music, after hearing only the sound of their own voices for just as long. Shortly after the presentation of the radio after the office below them is burglarized. The burglar is ill prepared for what confronts him – a safe. He hears the sounds of wood bending and creaking and is unnerved. But when Margot starts to cough the burglar grabs a typewriter, and runs out of the building.

86. A burglar enter the building

When Kraler and Miep arrive the following morning they find the office area a mess (burglars are not noted for their cleanliness). They check on the welfare of their charges.

88. Miep and Kraler discover the mess89. Mrs D says she thought it was The Green Police

Well, we had a visitor last night. A thief” says Mr. Kraler. Mrs. van Daan volunteers “We thought it was the Green Police”. She says “we” when it should have been “I”. She’s constantly looking worried, and the ever increasing fights is making life all the more uncomfortable for everybody else. Mr. van Daan smokes like a chimney, and rarely says anything kind. He’s a self centered man whose smoking is a thinly veiled disguise of a coward. I think he would have turned everybody in to the Nazis for a package of cigarettes. The main concern is that the thief will return. Mr. van Daan urges Mr. Kraler to dispose of the safe. Mr. Kraler is not amused at the suggestion and jokes that maybe he put a sign on the door that reads ''Burglars, do not come back. The safe is gone”. The radio is the next victim of semi-hysterical talk. Mrs. van Daan suggests they destroy the radio because if the Green Police discover it would not look good. Mr. van Daan suggests burning Anne's diary. Mr. Kraler take Mr. Frank aside. Apparently a Mr. Jan Dussel has asked Mr. Kraler if he knew of a hiding place. He wanted to talk to the current occupants in the attic first. Mr. Frank says yes to adding Mr. Dussel to their little group.

It’s at this point in the film that I think it starts to go down hill, or loose steam. My interest in watching the film started to wane when Mr. Dussel, played by Ed Wynn, entered the story. It seems that the addition of another single human being is too much for the occupants of the attic to handle. As soon as the character of Mr. Dussel is introduced whatever harmony there was is all but gone. Mr. van Daan goes out of his way to complain about the meager food rations, and with the addition of Mr. Dussel there will be even less to eat – a point he drives home to Mr. Dussel “Did Mr. Kraler warn you you won't get much to eat here?”.

92. introductions are made

After introductions are made he tells everybody of the conditions that exist in Amsterdam for Jews. He tells of people disappearing. He immediately zeros in on Mr. van Daan. “Mr. Van Daan, you don't realize what's happening outside...that you should warn me of a thing like that.You don't realize what's going on right here in Amsterdam.  Every day, hundreds of Jews disappear”. He goes on to name names. And succeeds in bringing buoyant spirits crashing to the ground. People the Franks or the van Daan families knew have disappeared. Anne asks about her best friend. Dussel says she’s gone. Anne’s eyes tear up but she doesn’t cry.

95. Anna learns her best friend is gone

Friday, August 1, 2014

The Diary of Anne Frank – Episode 7

All dialog in brown text is taken from the movie script at www.springfieldspringfield.co.uk

Mothers. Everyone's got one. Sometimes we don’t know who she is, but most of the time we do. She does some pretty miraculous things. Sometimes when you ask her about it she responds “it simply comes with the job”. But one I’ll never fully understand is why some mothers choose to embarrass their children at the worst possible times. Like when they show a baby photo of you to the bride or groom to be. Or when they say something so uncomfortable it makes your skin crawl. You end up wondering if she planned this long, long ago.

In the last episode I mentioned Mr. van Daan had a war map to work on. And that Mrs. van Daan had her knitting to keep her busy. And Anne liked hiding Peters shoes. One time she hides them and he is so sick and tired of practical jokes that he picks her up bodily and shakes her until the shoes crash to the floor. Anne’s mom complains that it’s not dignified for a young lady to be carried around like a sack of potatoes. Anne says she only wants to have fun. Peter, whose retreated to his room to feed his cat is asked to come out. When he doesn’t Anne gets into the act, and does a passable imitation of his mother.

66. Anna imitates a stern Mrs van Daan

                                         Your mother says to come out!

When Peter materializes he tells Anne in no uncertain terms to stay out of his room. This is where the motherly embarrassment factors in. Mrs. van Daan glowers at her son and says “Is that any way for you to talk to your little girlfriend?”. Peter slowly approaches his mother, grits his teeth, and says “Mother...I asked you, would you please not say that”.

67.  Mother...I asked you..please dont say things like that

                           Mother...I asked you, would you please not say that

Mrs. van Daan proceeds to make matters worse by claiming that her son is blushing. Peter retaliates by mentioning the age difference between him and Anne.  “She’s only 13”. His mom goes on to make life a little more uncomfortable for her son. “So what? You're 16. It's just perfect. Your father is 10 years older than I”.  Now she aims her comments at Mr. Frank. “Mr. Frank, I warn you, this war lasts much longer, we're gonna be related”. Mr. Frank says “Mazel tov” and makes a face that would seem to indicate the very thought is stomach churning.

68. this war lasts much longer we're going to be related

      Mr. Frank, I warn you, this war lasts much longer, we're gonna be related

68a. how thrilling- what a horrible thought

                                                                Mazel tov

With the aid of Mouchi Anne performs a parody of Peter, and his feelings for his cat. “My little Mouchi. I couldn't live without my precious Mouchi. You wonderful cat, you!”.

69. Anna does a parody of Peter who is not amused

But this little stunt backfires when Peter bursts out of  his room. He’s been hiding a secret, a secret about Anne that she didn’t want known. “All right, Miss Quack-Quack” Peter says loudly. “What's that?”. “Miss Quack-Quack! Heard about how you talk so much in class, they call you Miss Quack-Quack”. Peter takes Mouchi from her. “You're the most intolerable, insufferable boy I ever met!”. But the damage has been done, and the secret is out. Just to be on the safe side Peter repeats it, this time at a much higher volume. “Quack-quack-quack!”. Anne threatens to “give it to you good!” what ever that particular phrase means. Just before Peter closes the door to his room he lets out another “Quack!”. Anne steams.70. Peter calls Anna Miss Quack Quack - a name from school

There are explosions outside, the Germans are shooting at something. Miep should have arrived with some fresh supplies, and everybody is getting concerned, but each for their own reasons. Mr. van Daan is well and truly addicted to smoking. “I'm going crazy without cigarettes”. Mrs. van Daan, who loves to worry about anything and everything already has Miep in her grave. “Maybe she got hurt--the flak”.

Since Anne, Margot, and Peter cannot go to any kind of school Mr. Frank takes on the role of school master. But the students are starting to surpass the school master. Anne gets a grade of excellent on her latest history paper, but when she asks about her algebra paper Mr. Frank admits “Well, I have a confession to make. Up until now I managed to stay ahead of you in algebra. Today you caught up with me”. It is decided Margot will now handle the teaching of algebra.

For some reason, one I have yet to figure out, Anne asks Mrs. van Daan “did you have a lot of boyfriends...before you were married?”. This solicits an expression of boredom/terror/here we go again from Mr. van Daan who has heard the response to this question a hundred times before. He his told very coldly to shut up by72. Mrs van Daan tels Mr van Daan to SHUT UP

                                                       SHUT UP !

Mrs. van Daan.  She goes on to tell Anne about her days as a young girl in Hilversum. Mr. van Daan starts mimicking Mrs. van Daan word for word.

73. Mr D mimics Mrs D

                                    …a house in Hilversum

She is less than thrilled about her husband parroting her every word, so she shoots him such a stony stare that he immediately shuts his mouth.

74. stony stare from Mrs D

                                                Say one more word and…

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Diary of Anne Frank–episode 6

All dialog in brown text is taken from the movie script at www.springfieldspringfield.co.uk

Mr. Frank explains the basic rules for life in the attic when suddenly a siren is heard. It seems to be getting closer and everybody is overcome with terror. Mrs. van Daan is convinced somebody has turned them in. But the siren passes them, keeps going, then comes to a screeching halt.

29. the siren gets closer

                                                   The siren gets closer

With a small chuckle everybody realizes they’ve been holding their breath. Peter (Richard Beymer) asks if he may get water for his pet cat, Mouchi. When talk shifts to the sleeping arrangements everyone is satisfied except Mrs. van Daan. Mr. Frank thinks it’s best that he and his wife sleep in the main room. Mrs. van Daan thinks they should have the room above them. Before you know it’s a polite, but well intentioned argument. But an argument is an argument, and her true colors are starting to show.

27. 13 minutes till the workmen come

                               You and your husband will sleep upstairs

Thirteen minutes pass quickly, and everybody becomes very still. Anne and her father choose to read, and to use her fathers shoulder as a pillow while Mr. van Daan stretches out on the bed. Mrs. van Daan looks mournful and sits on the edge of the bed, thinking the police are just around the corner, and they’ll be caught by the end of the day. Peter 43. Anne reads A Tale of Two Cities 42. Mr & Mrs. van Daan at lunchtime

watches over Mouchi who seems quite content with the arrangements as they currently exist. 

45. Mouchi behaves during the day

                                Mouchi lays low, and keeps a low profile

At the end of the first day Anne discovers she has read the entire book in one day and promptly labels it one the saddest books she has ever read. Kraler and Miep come up from the office below to see how everybody is. When Kraler and Miep arrive they are greeted with a level of gusto neither expected. Kraler says “My friends, you are so quiet up here. I thought you'd gone out for a walk”. Unknown to Anne her father has put together a surprise for her. He knows she is a bundle of energy, and their enforced captivity will be hardest on her. Kraler brings the box up from the office below, making sure Anne doesn’t see it.

44. Miep and Kraler appear at the end of the first day

     Kraler and Miep appear at the end of the first day. The box is on the right

44a. Anne Miep and Mrs Frank talk

        Anne, Miep, and Edith Frank – Anne’s mother is played by Gusti Huber

Mouchi, Peters cat, is far from impressed with this particular lifestyle and makes a break for it. Everyone trips over themselves in an attempt to corral the cunning feline. But Margot Frank, Anne's sister, decides to try and figure out where the cat will be instead of chasing after it. Mouchi goes all over but is corralled with Peter in hot pursuit. Diane Baker plays Margot, and is making her film debut.

46. Mouchi makes a break for it

                                          Mouchi makes a not so great escape

48. Mouchi is caught by Margot

                    Mouchi is caught by Margot. Peter is coming down a ladder

After Mouchi is caught Anne is presented with the box her father prepared, and Mr. Kraler delivered. As boxes go it’s a pretty ordinary box, but Anne’s curiosity almost gets the best of her as she tears into it with almost rabid enthusiasm. The box contains photos of her favorite film stars (of which there are dozens), a portrait of the Queen of Holland, Queen Wilhelmina, and a diary which they saw in store front a few days earlier. Anne unlocks the diary and searches for a pen or pencil. Not seeing one she moves towards the door of the hiding place. Her father stops her from proceeding down the stairs. “Don’t ever go beyond that door” he asks her. To quell the torrent of tears that he suspects may soon burst forth Otto Frank relinquishes one his pens. With pen in hand Anne tears into her room, slams the door, and eagerly makes the first entry in the diary.

54. Anne sees her diary for the first time

                                    Anne sees her diary for the first time

57. Otto laws down the law-never go past that door

                                              Don’t ever go past that door

60. Otto gives her one of his pens

                                        Otto gives Anne one of his pens

With the passage of time everyone develops habits or pastimes to ease the pressure on them. Anne has her diary, Mr. van Daan has his war map on which he documents the current state of the war, Mrs. van Daan knits and worries about anything and everything, Peter has his cat and so on. Every so often we see a playfulness in Anne. Sometimes she indulges in mischief by hiding Peters shoes which drives him nuts. Sometimes she imitates one of the others to either release a little energy, or to lighten the mood. Her favorite activity is teasing Peter. In the following screen capture from the DVD Anne performs a parody of Peter who is far from amused. He stomps into his room.

69. Anna does a parody of Peter who is not amused  

When Mrs. van Daan wants her son to come out of his room her request falls on deaf ears. Seeing a challenge Anne performs an imitation of Mrs. van Daan that not only works, but actually gets him to talk a bit.

66. Anna imitates a stern Mrs van Daan

But as shall see in the next episode it doesn’t go quite as planned.