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Out of the Past Podcast: Official Discussion Topic


29 replies to this topic

#21 spelcastr_max

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Posted 22 July 2015 - 01:29 AM

I really have enjoyed the podcasts, although started to listen to an assigned one for a film I had not seen yet. I found myself getting annoyed that I could not visualize what they were discussing...so I stopped listening, watched the film, then listened. I have a strange feeling that this was an important step. :D



#22 Sir David

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 01:04 PM

DOA

 

What I like about the podcasts is that they invariably make me think long and hard about the films in questions: make me questions some of my conclusions too. DOA was (almost) a case in point. I really enjoyed the discussion and realized that there were things I missed, or perhaps didn't appreciate at the time. I laughed out loud at their statement about Frank's death being the worst in Film history...because I was surprised I agreed! It was SO bad! But I really disagree with Edmond O'Brien being labelled a great character actor: I honestly think he was only any good running through the crowd and walking in step with the music! 

 

I want to go and watch it again now though...

 

A Touch of Evil

 

Now, I've never seen the movie so I'm not qualified to make any comments about it, but I have to wonder at the...awe that they seem to hold Orson Welles and the virtual omniscience that they attribute to him in A Touch of Evil (the image of the bull with spears in it being somehow an allusion to the end of his hollywood career. Seriously?). It seems to me that you can analyze and over-analyze a scene into meaning almost anything and I felt this was the case in this podcast. I have to say I've never been convinced for the argument for Welles's greatness and I was stunned to hear some of the conclusions about this film and also in their analysis of The Lady from Shanghai.

 

Anyway, I will watch the film and make my own mind up and I like that this course in allows me and others to voice my opinions and say how and why I might agree or disagree. 

 

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#23 Marianne

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 08:48 AM

Out of the Past Podcast: Touch of Evil

I must confess that this podcast made me feel like total beginner. The close examination of all the conventions of filmmaking (and not just film noir filmmaking) in the discussion about Touch of Evil showed how far I have come but also how much I still have to learn. I hope I feel differently as Professor Edwards’s film noir course concludes and we watch films made toward the end of the classical film noir period.

 

So where to begin?! Clute or Edwards mentioned in the podcast that Touch of Evil reminded them of movies that have come after Touch of Evil because so many films used various parts of the movie for inspiration. But the only thing I thought of was the film Get Shorty, based on the novel of the same name by Elmore Leonard. That film was very self-conscious about portraying the film industry mostly from the point of view of the hustler Chili Palmer (played by John Travolta), and it worked beautifully. It was part comedy, part neo-noir, part heist because it retold the story in Leonard’s novel. But I never thought until I heard this podcast how hard it is to pull off a self-conscious story like that. And that may be the only way Get Shorty connects to Touch of Evil.

 

I’m really going to have to watch Touch of Evil again: That’s the biggest takeaway for me.



#24 davecook

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 12:48 AM

I enjoy the plot twists in the best of the films in this group; these films do grip and hold my attention.  I am a romanticist at heart; though, a "Gone With the Wind" kind of girl who falls in love with the leading man and that is not something one can easily do with this film genre; many of the characters are anything but likeable.The post-war brutal realism displayed in these films has a modern feel, even though the films are from a previous generation.  These films draw me into their world but I want to escape from them; not into them!  I very much appreciate the opportunity to learn about this part of our cultural history.  Thank you TCM for offering this course.



#25 trsquare

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 03:55 PM

Thank you so much for doing all of this!  This was a genre I didn't really even understand, and took the class to challenge myself.  My husband is a HUGE 1950s science-fiction B-movie fanatic, but now I can't tease him because a lot of the elements that are in those SF B-movies are also found in film noir.  Bless his heart, but he has sat through me through almost all of the Friday night movies, and we've been playing our own version of MST:3K -- The Film Noir Style.  



#26 Marianne

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 11:32 AM

That scene where Frank is running and there is the life magazine.. life, life, life, there is the little girl playing, the happy couple.. for me that scene is very realistic.  Not to go off on a tanget but briefly, This is coming from a person who has experienced the feeling of not having much life left and all you can see is other people enjoying life when you feel your life is coming to an end. His resignation and determination to find his murderer is not far fetched or hokey. When you think about it, You can see that determination in people like Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Robin Roberts, people with hard circumstances but take their life and become extraordinary people and you hear people say how can this blind person or sick person or paralyzed person  doing such great things. It's that determination and appreciation for life.

 

I also think it points to how some people have little or no appreciation for life until they realize through their own circumstances or viewing others how great life is and then there is the appreciation for it

To me, angst (which is a word I would apply to Frank's situation and his feelings in the film) is an all-encompassing term that describes any reaction to the apparent indifference of the universe and the enormous amount of choice involved in coming to terms with that. Each person has to define angst and the universe and her or his place in it for her- or himself. It's at once liberating and frightening. Each film noir shows us a different way to describe or to define the human condition because it's our human condition. I'm starting to find film noir much more inspiring rather than depressing.



#27 MyMoll

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 07:38 AM

That scene where Frank is running and there is the life magazine.. life, life, life, there is the little girl playing, the happy couple.. for me that scene is very realistic.  Not to go off on a tanget but briefly, This is coming from a person who has experienced the feeling of not having much life left and all you can see is other people enjoying life when you feel your life is coming to an end. His resignation and determination to find his murderer is not far fetched or hokey. When you think about it, You can see that determination in people like Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Robin Roberts, people with hard circumstances but take their life and become extraordinary people and you hear people say how can this blind person or sick person or paralyzed person  doing such great things. It's that determination and appreciation for life.

 

I also think it points to how some people have little or no appreciation for life until they realize through their own circumstances or viewing others how great life is and then there is the appreciation for it


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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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#28 Marianne

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 07:29 AM

Out of the Past Podcast: D.O.A.

The podcast’s background discussion of D.O.A., about the quality of the prints once the film fell into the public domain, was very helpful. The poor quality of the prints that I have seen detracts from the viewing experience, which is unfortunate, but I’m glad to know the reason behind it.

 

One aspect of the podcast really stuck in my mind, and that was the discussion of the sequence when Frank Bigelow, played by Edmond O’Brien, pauses at the newsstand after running away from the news of his own death, so to speak. While he stands at the newsstand, a child’s ball bounces into the frame, and he returns the ball to the child who appears onscreen in search of it. A man and a woman meeting at the newsstand are oblivious to Frank’s presence. They don’t notice him at all as they meet and go on about their business.

 

I wonder if the couple and even the child represent the indifference of the universe impinging on Frank’s consciousness and a turning point in his existential crisis. Frank can choose action or simply resignation now that he knows that he has been poisoned. Bigelow chooses action (I think the podcast used the term self-determination) by choosing to solve his own murder. The rest of the movie shows him doing just that and taking control where he can. The beginning of the film, including the zinging sound effects, the exaggerated acting (especially with Paula), the frenetic sequences in the jazz club, could be the meaninglessness, the absurdity of the universe. None of it means anything until Frank starts to search for the truth.

 

So I’m not sure that D.O.A. represents the end of film noir, not just yet, as the podcast mentioned. Maybe it represents a turning point, where the existential crisis of the postwar world is now a major theme in film noir, as represented in D.O.A. via one man’s crisis. I’d have to see the film again before I commit to this interpretation, but I’m liking it more and more!


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#29 Marianne

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Posted 19 July 2015 - 10:15 PM

So happy to see this! Thanks!



#30 Dr. Rich Edwards

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Posted 19 July 2015 - 09:28 PM

I have been requested to open up a separate official discussion topic related to the podcasts of "Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir." Shannon Clute and I began that podcast back in 2005 and we ended up recording 52 podcasts that each investigate a single film in relation to film noir.

 

You can visit our podcast site, http://outofthepast.libsyn.com/, to listen to all 52 podcasts, if you like.

 

For this course, I only assigned a handful of the films that were also a part of TCM's Summer of Darkness. We also have a new podcast up in which Shannon and I were interviewed about this TCM-Ball State class by Miguel Rodriquez of Monster Island Resort and Will McKinley of Cinematically Insane. We recorded it right before we started this class. 

 

Feel free to use this topic to discuss the podcasts! 

 

Let the discussions begin!

 

 


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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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