Richard Hecht

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  1. Right off the bat he introduces himself to General Sternwood's butler. "My name is Marlowe, General Sternwood wanted to see me." Marlowe is polite. He has a sense of humor, which he shows to General Sternwood's daughter, who walks down the stairs, all legs and flirting. "good morning." he says "you're not very tall." she says. Marlowe tells her his name is Doghouse Reilly." He's more polite, and gentler than in his portrayal of Sam Spade, but still has an edginess, a sense of humor, and some smart alecky sarcsm. This shines in a reply to General Sternwood asking, "How do you like your brandy?" His reply "In a glass." Some very Noir elements are, Private Investigator, Marlowe., Possible Femme Fatales as in the daughters mentioned, and one seen.(Carmen)Great writing and dialogue are very noteworthy contributions to Film Noir. Take the General talking to Marlowe about orchids. "You like orchids?" "Not Particularly." "Nasty things, their flesh is too much like the flesh of men, and their perfume has the rotten sweetness of corruption." Afterwards Marlowe goes on to reveal some m,ore things about himself, "I'm 38, I went to college, I could still speak English when my business demands. I used to work for the district attorney...." Marlowe also does his research, in revealing all he knows about the General and his family. Great Noir work ,from a great Novel.
  2. The documentary style, brings a realism, and an almost newsreel like atmosphere to the opening of this film. The music, the camera angles, and the narrator's voice give an urgent almost,"you need to listen to this, and watch this" feel to the audience. This is important to us, and could affect all of us. There is also a darkness to the opening, especially with the fence covered Braceros scene. This is very Noir like also. The mention of the illegal entrants, the fence jumpers getting robbed by bandits, is ominous, and brings to mind a possibility of something terrible looming. Crossing lines, genres, styles, fence jumping if you will , but retaining a sense of darkness, crime, uneasiness, and anxiety are what makes this Noir. We aren't safe outside of the urban areas, there is danger in the rural, and farming communities as well.
  3. The influence of German Expressionism is seen in the chiaroscuro lighting and shadow, high camera angles, and the large shadow of Nick above The Swedes bed. In the diner the mood is quite realistic, and almost normal, despite the fact that there are two mysterious strangers in the diner up to no good. It all changes when Nick leavers the diner. From the loud dramatic music to the contrasting shadows and high camera angles, when Nick jumps the fence and runs down the alley..Contrasting styles, shadow light, the use of music top set a mood, or change a tone are all great contributions to Film Noir. The Swede says, "I did something wrong, once." It tells that in Film Noir, and possibly in life, one mistake, one wrong move, or decision could seal your fate.
  4. The performer, Gilda played by Rita Heyworth is part of the action. She gives a very sexual, flirty performance. This makes Johnny uncomfortable, and eventually infuriates him. As she throws out her glove to the audience, and then the necklace, which Johnny probably gave her, it symbolizes that she isn't anyone's property, especially Johnny's, and this angers him more. Music is sensuous, fun, mysterious, and liberating. I think the influence are that it allows Film Noir to cross genre, so to speak. It enters into anywhere it wants. Musical performances, lavish sets, great costumes, as well as dirt and darkness, and despair, of films like Detour.
  5. Darkness, tension, and fear are Noir themes in this clip. As well as, subjects, of money, and blackmail. Ending with the threat of death that the mother has over Veda. The shifting triumph from character to the other, for example Veda is happy about having lied about being pregnant to get money, and her mother is furious, and as the scene progresses that shift from the daughter in power, to the mother is strong, and helped by with camera angles giving one character the upper hand over the other. Contributions to Film Noir are many, shadows, dark clothes, anger, threats, also a strong female presence.
  6. In both M and in The Ministry of Fear, a clock strikes the hour and in both cases, there is a sense of impending doom, or dread. the clock in nThe Ministry of Fear should be a countdown to Neale's freedom from Lembridge Asylum, but instead seems to be a countdown to doom instead. Very similar in M. Shadow and Light are used very deliberately in both films and is n important element in Film Noir. In M the shadow of the unknown character that appears on 'The Murder" poster, and in The Ministry of Fear lightfloods a portion of the room, when the door opens, to shed a little light on our main character. Sound is also very important tool in Film Noir, The Cuckoo Clock, and the car horn in M, and the ticking clock pendulum, and creaking front gate of the asylum are a couple of examples.
  7. Richard Hecht

    June 2015 TCM Spotlight: The Summer of Darkness

    One of my favorite films of all time! The unusual behavior of Philip Marlowe does make him a "new" kind of detective. Upon entering his office he finds a woman sitting there. She introduces herself to him, "Mr. Marlowe, I'm Ms. Allison from The Post." He doesn't introduce himself, or say hello, or exchange any pleasantries. The first thing he says is, How did you know about me?" unusual, and new. He is untrusting of Ms. Allison from the start, who actually turns out to be, Ann Gayle. He is also uninterested in her presence, for the most part, until she mentions The Jade. Then he is very interested. "come in Ms. Allison, have a seat." He probably needs money. He is still untrusting of her, but interested. He gets slightly rough, grabbing her arm, dumping the contents of her purse onto the desk. Finding out she wasn't who she said she was. With all this, Marlowe has integrity. This is the new protagonist, the new detective,is the new US in WW2 era America. Untrusting, alone, darker, but with integrity. Marlowe says, "I'm just a small business man in a very messy business, but I like to follow through on a sale." This pretty much says it. Deception, spare and to the point dialogue, known as "Hardboiled" as well as suspicion are all contributions and themes of Film Noir.
  8. "Charming character study of furnishings and faces." The people in the narrative are important, who they are, their lives, their desires, frustrations, these things are essential to the story. Things, objects, such as clocks, paintings, "priceless" objects, are also important characters in the story. "careful there, that stuff is priceless..." Waldo Lydecker, Pompous, he acts as if the story is about him. The film should b entitled. Waldo, not Laura, as far as he is concerned. He cares more about his possessions, then people, unless he can possess them... Laura, symbolized by a striking portrait, a grandiose clock, "I noted that his attention was fixed upon my clock, there was only one other in existence, and that was in Laura's apartment." Preminger introduce Waldo in the bath, as if he has nothing to hide. Elements of Noir include gliding camera movements, and references to murder, and shootings.
  9. I feel that the pov style works well with the story. True it is a bit awkward at first, but then it grabs you and doesn't let you go. You empathize with an escaped convict, you also feel the suspense, danger and excitement elt while the radio announcer is describing the escape from San Quentin, and what Vincent Parry looks like. The Noir themes, and contributions, in those 4 minutes, are empathy with an anti-hero, suspense, fear and desperation.
  10. wow a great opening. Love the slow camera work. Letting the viewer take in the setting, the surroundings, before hitting us with a murder right away, with the killer standing right in front of us. Symbolism, and darkness, and breaking traditional film themes, and styles is what Film Noir has to offer. The Letter offers this up to us in the first 3:20 of screen time. With emphasis on the full moon going behind a cloud, and spreading darkness over the face of one of the crew on the plantation, and therefore throughout the whole area. And then the moon appears again from behind the cloud to show the murderer standing over her shadow as well as her victim.
  11. The realistic depiction of a train speeding along the tracks is exciting, we are right there with the two train engineers. We are feeling, hearing, and seeing what they are seeing. There is a claustrophobic atmosphere inside of the tunnels,and the loud screeching of the whistle, and chugging of the train on the tracks fill the viewer with exhilaration and anxiety. Both definite themes of Film Noir. I also sensed an atmosphere of loneliness, and isolation. So, what this contributes to Film Noir is , anxiety, claustrophobia, excitement, smoke, and great sound.
  12. Awkward, Tense, Foreboding, and fear are just a few words that describe the atmosphere in the opening scene of "M" The sounds of the clock, the bells, and the car horns add to a feeling of a possible coming of madness, insanity and dread. The camera movements, are deliberate, and at times jerky, and also add to a feeling of anxiety, and discomfort, fear, and insanity The ways that "M" is an important contribution to Film Noir, are The sense, and feeling of discomfort, and fear, a loss of innocence and stylistically, in the camera angles, shadows, and chiaroscuro

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