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JULY 10 TCM FILM DISCUSSION FOR #NOIRSUMMER FOR ALL 15 FILMS


90 replies to this topic

#81 MyMoll

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 01:36 PM

You hit the nail on the head with me. The Warner bros and MGM noirs seem predictable, but still good movies. The  RKO's didnt seem to have a formula and they seemed fresher compared to the other studios

Maybe I've just seen so many recently in such a short time (because RKO has so many top noirs) that the visual style is becoming a bit too familiar for me?

 

One thing you clearly notice with RKO is that there's a lot more comparative creative freedom than with the other studios. 


  • goingtopluto likes this

I'm NOT blogging #NoirSummer because it's over,
But I'm still blogging classic movies and Noir because
JOY LOVES OLD MOVIES
Follow me @ 
http://joysnoir.weebly.com

 

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#82 BrianBlake

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 01:23 PM

i like the RKO noirs best, but the Warner Brothers gangster movies better. That being said Warner Brothers has good noirs

 

Maybe I've just seen so many recently in such a short time (because RKO has so many top noirs) that the visual style is becoming a bit too familiar for me?

 

One thing you clearly notice with RKO is that there's a lot more comparative creative freedom than with the other studios. Armored Car Robbery really struck me as very ahead of it's time and edgy at some points--brutality of that final killing and the depiction of the police dragnet and police as more beatable to name two. Of course, there was lots of Hays Code and seemingly marks of clear studio interference (although that final scene which lightened the tone and made things happy almost seemed like it was intentionally shot as a mocking throwaway, drawing attention to it's own artifice.) RKO changed up it's management and ownership quite a bit, however, is my understanding, and thus the artistic freedom we associate with the studio could really ebb and flow just depending on the top brass at the time and some other factors.


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#83 Noirnado

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 01:15 PM

Working from home again this Friday, and unfotuately, I am on call so not sure how much I will get to see today. Iam hoping things slow down so I can watch Red Light and The Hitch-Hiker later this evening!



#84 MyMoll

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 01:00 PM

Watching Caged now. It reminds me alot of Ladies They Talk about, but to its a bit better. I like that Jan Sterling was in it and other familar faces. Now if Barbara Stanwyck was in caged, she'd beat up all those female inmates


  • classicsuz likes this

I'm NOT blogging #NoirSummer because it's over,
But I'm still blogging classic movies and Noir because
JOY LOVES OLD MOVIES
Follow me @ 
http://joysnoir.weebly.com

 

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#85 MyMoll

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 12:57 PM

i like the RKO noirs best, but the Warner Brothers gangster movies better. That being said Warner Brothers has good noirs

I'd say the decisions are free. That's not to say they aren't influenced, but they are free in the sense that the characters have moral ownership and responsibility for the choices they make. To go along with the existentialism from this lecture, when Noir characters act as though they have no choice and refuse to take accountability for their actions, they are typically dwelling on the negative sides of existentialism and ultimately looking at themselves as a being-in-itself, a thing, rather than a being-for-itself, i.e. that they are meaning making beings in a meaningless world.

 

For Out of the Past, I do think Jeff's decision is free. He could have gone on with being in the web of a completely murderous spiderwoman. He likely would've ended up dead at some point, but he embraces his fat and ultimately forces it at the end of the line, making sure that the femme fatale is unable to murder her way out of things once again.

 

I enjoyed Armored Car Robbery a lot, I'll be back for D.O.A. I've just noticed how many RKO pictures I've been watching recently. Oddly enough, in general, I'm not sure that the RKO visual style is my favorite cinema look. Just, on average, of the major studios I'm a bit more partial to the grit of Warner Bros. What's everyone else's personal preferred studio so far?


I'm NOT blogging #NoirSummer because it's over,
But I'm still blogging classic movies and Noir because
JOY LOVES OLD MOVIES
Follow me @ 
http://joysnoir.weebly.com

 

6751415_orig.jpg


#86 BrianBlake

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 12:51 PM

Making poor choices goes to the heart of noir.   What we are is a result of the choices we make (or don't make).   Trouble is, choices are almost never made in a vacuum or on a level playing field.   They're almost always weighed down and burdened by the accumulated baggage of the past.  

 

Which broaches the question: is any choice truly 'free'?   Not in noir, it isn't.   The choices characters make are invariably compelled by their nature or by the forward momentum of the past, the cruel necessity of the present or the lure of a better, 'free' tomorrow, influencing, if not dictating, the decisions they make.  

 

"One who follows their nature finds their true nature in the end," said Elsa Bannister in The Lady From Shanghai.    Jeff in Out of the Past is trapped by the past and revisits it in false hope of breaking free.   Ole Anderson embraces death as the only outcome and atonement for 'having done something wrong, once' in The Killers..    Roy and Gil pick up Emmett Myers on a desolate road in The Hitch-hiker.   Mike Hammer stops for Christina Bailey on the highway, shields her when learning she's escaped from an asylum and then proceeds to make a long series of bad decisions that only make things progressively worse in Kiss Me Deadly, and how many bad decisions do both Jake Gittes and Evelyn Mullwray make to seal her fate in Chinatown?   The list goes on and on. 

 

But are these decisions truly 'bad' or flawed?   Can these characters, in these situations, have made any other choice but the one they made?   Would different decisions have truly changed the narrative?   If you grant that their hands may indeed have been forced by the past and by circumstances and their own true nature, could any outcome other than the one achieved have been possible?

 

I'd say the decisions are free. That's not to say they aren't influenced, but they are free in the sense that the characters have moral ownership and responsibility for the choices they make. To go along with the existentialism from this lecture, when Noir characters act as though they have no choice and refuse to take accountability for their actions, they are typically dwelling on the negative sides of existentialism and ultimately looking at themselves as a being-in-itself, a thing, rather than a being-for-itself, i.e. that they are meaning making beings in a meaningless world.

 

For Out of the Past, I do think Jeff's decision is free. He could have gone on with being in the web of a completely murderous spiderwoman. He likely would've ended up dead at some point, but he embraces his fat and ultimately forces it at the end of the line, making sure that the femme fatale is unable to murder her way out of things once again.

 

I enjoyed Armored Car Robbery a lot, I'll be back for D.O.A. I've just noticed how many RKO pictures I've been watching recently. Oddly enough, in general, I'm not sure that the RKO visual style is my favorite cinema look. Just, on average, of the major studios I'm a bit more partial to the grit of Warner Bros. What's everyone else's personal preferred studio so far?


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#87 VanHazard

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 12:05 PM

I'm surprised Quicksand didn't make the cut on Summer of Darkness. That's a pretty decent film noir. Quicksand was supposed to be Rooney's first role outside his Andy Hardy image. Also the femme fatale is played by Jeanne Cagney; sister of legendary tough guy James Cagney. Every time she came on scene, I kept seeing James Cagney with a wig; nearly identical in appearance. She's a good actress, too.

 

Detour also follows this same theme. Poor choices making events go from bad to worse. 

 

 

Making poor choices goes to the heart of noir.   What we are is a result of the choices we make (or don't make).   Trouble is, choices are almost never made in a vacuum or on a level playing field.   They're almost always weighed down and burdened by the accumulated baggage of the past.  

 

Which broaches the question: is any choice truly 'free'?   Not in noir, it isn't.   The choices characters make are invariably compelled by their nature or by the forward momentum of the past, the cruel necessity of the present or the lure of a better, 'free' tomorrow, influencing, if not dictating, the decisions they make.  

 

"One who follows their nature finds their true nature in the end," said Elsa Bannister in The Lady From Shanghai.    Jeff in Out of the Past is trapped by the past and revisits it in false hope of breaking free.   Ole Anderson embraces death as the only outcome and atonement for 'having done something wrong, once' in The Killers..    Roy and Gil pick up Emmett Myers on a desolate road in The Hitch-hiker.   Mike Hammer stops for Christina Bailey on the highway, shields her when learning she's escaped from an asylum and then proceeds to make a long series of bad decisions that only make things progressively worse in Kiss Me Deadly, and how many bad decisions do both Jake Gittes and Evelyn Mullwray make to seal her fate in Chinatown?   The list goes on and on. 

 

But are these decisions truly 'bad' or flawed?   Can these characters, in these situations, have made any other choice but the one they made?   Would different decisions have truly changed the narrative?   If you grant that their hands may indeed have been forced by the past and by circumstances and their own true nature, could any outcome other than the one achieved have been possible?


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#88 ThePaintedLady

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 10:47 AM

 Side Street ...reminded me of another film noir movie Quicksand with Mickey Rooney. Like the character Joe, Rooney's character kept making choices he thought would help but ended up only making things worse. Both great movies exploring the existential concept of choice but Farley Granger played a more sympathetic character. Both movies also strike me as a cautionary tale on choice as well.

 

I'm surprised Quicksand didn't make the cut on Summer of Darkness. That's a pretty decent film noir. Quicksand was supposed to be Rooney's first role outside his Andy Hardy image. Also the femme fatale is played by Jeanne Cagney; sister of legendary tough guy James Cagney. Every time she came on scene, I kept seeing James Cagney with a wig; nearly identical in appearance. She's a good actress, too.

 

Detour also follows this same theme. Poor choices making events go from bad to worse. 


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Let us read and let us dance; two amusements that will never do harm to the world.

-Voltaire

 

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#89 goingtopluto

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 10:18 AM

I agree with paintedlady on Side Street that it demonstrates a great play of light and dark by showing scenes getting darker as things became worse. I also like the way the storyline progressed. It started out with what Joe thought was a small transgression but then kept getting worse with every choice he made. It reminded me of another film noir movie Quicksand with Mickey Rooney. Like the character Joe, Rooney's character kept making choices he thought would help but ended up only making things worse. Both great movies exploring the existential concept of choice but Farley Granger played a more sympathetic character. Both movies also strike me as a cautionary tale on choice as well.

#90 ThePaintedLady

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 09:10 AM

Currently watching Side Street. As I was watching the early moments of the film, I kept thinking about how light the film is; a contrast on traditional noir filming. As the film progressed and the plot moved forward, the darker the scenes got. Nice play on light to dark. The worse it got for Joe Norson, the darker the scene. Another example of an average Joe in an extraordinary circumstance going from bad to worse.

 

I loved seeing Jean Hagen in this film; although I kept hearing her "Lena" voice come out. Amusing.


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Let us read and let us dance; two amusements that will never do harm to the world.

-Voltaire

 

http://scarlettestreet.blogspot.com/ (Film Noir blog)

http://thepaintedlady922.blogspot.com/ (Vintage living)


#91 Dr. Rich Edwards

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 07:12 AM

This week's lineup is from FOLLOW ME QUIETLY (1949) to RAW DEAL (1948).

 

Week 6 of the course feature The Motives: Film Noir Themes and Characters. As you watch these 15 films consider the themes of this week, especially existential motifs and psychological elements, as well as the leading male and female characters (without forgetting the excellent character actors we will encounter in today's lineup). 

 

Let the discussions begin!


Richard Edwards, PhD

Ball State University

Instructor: TCM Presents: The Master of Suspense: 50 Years of Hitchcock (2017)

Instructor: TCM Presents: Painfully Funny: Exploring Slapstick in the Movies (2016)

Instructor: TCM Presents: Into the Darkness: Investigating Film Noir (2015)

 

 




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