stuartgrist

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  1. The gay suggestion is good analysis, but too easy a guess for Webb's character. it's too easy of an red herring. Here's an opposite view of the same character, but MORE focused on the living room and not the bathroom (I copied my statement from canvas.net and it's also somewhere her on the board but I can't find it)..... Just seconds of fading in black, Clifton Web says what is the climax of the whole story at beginning. Laura was murdered, and we know immediately he loved Laura. The film is really the afterwards conclusion of the terrible crime. Web is obviously making hints about clues when he mentions the clock. The clock that has an exact copy at Laura's room where she was murdered. So immediately like Hitchcock who often says the clock is our "macguffen" an obvious clue and plot device, and so important to the plot that we even see Dana Andrew looking at the clock along with the camera's eye! It's telling us to take notice! The furnishing of Lyndecker's apartment are instant clues to his personality. He sophicated, educated man who values priceless things. Obviously, Laura was the most priceless because he talking about Laura from very beginning! The various items are made of fragile materials of glass and ceramic. The Masks possibly made of mud or plaster also be easily broken. Is Lyndecker wearing masks himself about who he really is? Is that why he likes them? Does he see Laura fragile? Her death seem to be like shattered glass to Clifton Web's character. However, the statues, and the clock are made of stone or marble. Such things are not so easily broken. So maybe the clock represents the time is fixed and cannot be undone. The past is the past. One more thing: the statues are of oriental women. There's even some images of women on the base reliefs of the fire place, and even a painting of a woman above the fireplace This guy loves the female form for it's beauty. Yet when we see what he looks like we know this man had no shot getting Laura as his lover. He's graying, he's also old,and from seeing above the water in the tub he is boney and thin. Yet he's intelligent, cocky, and very sure of himself. He's constantly thinking of ideas that he even types while bathing. His bathroom shows more marble, even beauty. There are less things of fragile value here, except a very large vase with lid above and behind his head. Is director saying that Waldo's brain is the great fragile thing of them all? All of this unspoken material and hints of our own amusing, and yet in three mins. of the movie we know a lot about Waldo Lydecker! Including that he's such a snob he has initials stamped on his towels "W.l." It's almost like a little Roman Emperor spa room, with Waldo as emperor. Besides set design which I personally believe is important to noir style, Web's awesome narration is part of the staple of the style. We see everything from his perspective, He even mentions how he see Andrew's through the crack of the door whereas we don't see him when the camera is looking elsewhere. Is the writer and director strongly hinting that this is the man who moves behind the scenes of our story, perhaps the chief suspect, and perhaps may be the one who did the murder? We as the audience can only ask why? That's another noir technique. The movies manipulate audiences so ask the why question, and sometimes they are shocked by the answer, hence Film Noir popularity even today. You just never know what people are going to do and why! Lydecker is complicated character, with many motives in his heart. ADDENUM: Let's say your right and he is gay. That's not to say he didn't fall in love for Laura. He may have had a change of heart, people do all the time. Human beings are complicated things, and they a universe unto themselves a famous rabbi once said. Just when you think you know someone something pops out of their heart and soul that shows something new. This probably why such films like Laura constantly defy being fixed...there's always something new to learn about the human condition. Basically Lydecker viewpoint I just painted is a Caesar who has objects in the living room glorify women. It seems to me he worships the form, and to him Laura was ultimate essence of feminine perfection. Isn't interesting how two moviegoers can see two totally different views of the same character! Fascinating!
  2. All I can say is wow! I love the bath connection to Murat! As someone with a degree in History I wish I would have thought of that! I have to repost this! All four poinst are excellent! Good job!
  3. Excellent literary connection! Joyce did make a good deal of writing on settings and locations, and objects because he believed it was important for explaining his characters. His book "Ulysses" is pointed out as a prime example(Although I haven read that one yet, but many have) because describes in detail almost all of Dublin. Many of the buildings are standing today in that great city! Film Noir seems to follow this idea with the "city" as the setting! Nice noticing!
  4. Just seconds of fading in black, Clifton Web says what is the climax of the whole story at beginning. Laura was murdered, and we know immediately he loved Laura. The film is really the afterwards conclusion of the terrible crime. Web is obviously making hints about clues when he mentions the clock. The clock that has an exact copy at Laura's room where she was murdered. So immediately like Hitchcock who often says the clock is our "macguffen" an obvious clue and plot device, and so important to the plot that we even see Dana Andrew looking at the clock along with the camera's eye! It's telling us to take notice! The furnishing of Lyndecker's apartment are instant clues to his personality. He sophicated, educated man who values priceless things. Obviously, Laura was the most priceless because he talking about Laura from very beginning! The various items are made of fragile materials of glass and ceramic. The Masks possibly made of mud or plaster also be easily broken. Is Lyndecker wearing masks himself about who he really is? Is that why he likes them? Does he see Laura fragile? Her death seem to be like shattered glass to Clifton Web's character. However, the statues, and the clock are made of stone or marble. Such things are not so easily broken. So maybe the clock represents the time is fixed and cannot be undone. The past is the past. One more thing: the statues are of oriental women. There's even some images of women on the base reliefs of the fire place, and even a painting of a woman above the fireplace This guy loves the female form for it's beauty. Yet when we see what he looks like we know this man had no shot getting Laura as his lover. He's graying, he's also old,and from seeing above the water in the tub he is boney and thin. Yet he's intelligent, cocky, and very sure of himself. He's constantly thinking of ideas that he even types while bathing. His bathroom shows more marble, even beauty. There are less things of fragile value here, except a very large vase with lid above and behind his head. Is director saying that Waldo's brain is the great fragile thing of them all? All of this unspoken material and hints of our own amusing, and yet in three mins. of the movie we know a lot about Waldo Lydecker! Including that he's such a snob he has initials stamped on his towels "W.l." It's almost like a little Roman Emperor spa room, with Waldo as emperor. Besides set design which I personally believe is important to noir style, Web's awesome narration is part of the staple of the style. We see everything from his perspective, He even mentions how he see Andrew's through the crack of the door whereas we don't see him when the camera is looking elsewhere. Is the writer and director strongly hinting that this is the man who moves behind the scenes of our story, perhaps the chief suspect, and perhaps may be the one who did the murder? We as the audience can only ask why? That's another noir technique. The movies manipulate audiences so ask the why question, and sometimes they are shocked by the answer, hence Film Noir popularity even today. You just never know what people are going to do and why!
  5. I've been watching the whole lineup today, and I've noticed with M to Johnny Eager certain themes and artistic styles growing in the chronological order I thought I I've would give. M, indeed laid the foundations it's obvious! The use of light and shadow, the use of unusual camera angles, the dirty, dangerous city are obviously themes and styles. But what also noticed the story of the inner person. From Lorre's compulsion to kill little children to Gabin trying not to kill (basically due to genetic problems) we see evil is ever there no matter how a person looks. Film noir is about what makes us tick, what makes do what we do, I think that's part of why it was so popular! For Betty Davis it was love, all comsuming passion. Or the Eurasian women who hated her, we are all capable of being biblical Cains. Stranger on the Third Floor was a new one for me to see, and even in that I notice our hero dreams he committed murder! This film was the first one our lineup to show a flashback with a very extended dream sequence was impressive! We know Lorre's an immediate target for a murderer but the film points to the concepts of a normal looking man capable being one. High Sierra is a important because Bogart's a likeable antihero. He's a criminal we like, but he doesn't have a problem killing for his own ends. This antihero concept would feature quite large in film noir. The Maltese Falcon features Boggy as a detective yet still antihero. Boggy certainly created the standard for film noir leading man. Johnny Eager is another likeable antihero until he tricks Lana Turner, but in doing so we see her heart and her love for him. He never really loved anyone before until she's totally willing to give up her saneness for him, that he really, really falls for her. We all can't help ourselves for the choices of people we fall in love with, and sometimes, there are consequences for our choices. All these themes feature large on .the canvas of these films. One of my favorite films "Vertigo" follows a similar theme. Finally the city starts to feature (although with exception of M) as setting and character in Falcon, and Eager. I love the whole street scene at the end in Eager. It's nighttime-sounds of clanking subway trains, stream rising from the vents, and it's wet and dirty! I loved it! Well that my summary so far!
  6. This was the first time I've ever seen Fritz Lang's "M"! I was impressed by the multilayered script, and many, many characters! Lorre's performance as the murderer was brilliant and the best I've ever seen of his! There weren't major actors, but an ensemble cast of many. I love the whole phone conversation between the Commisioner and the politician. There conversation flows with images that tell the story of the investigation. I thought that was brilliant and Lang's use of editing and sound was effective as well! Like the meeting session of the criminals vs. the police. Both sides of the law trying to solve the case! Ironic twist on Lang's part. I was surprised by the many wide shots for important scenes like the mock trial of the crimnals or the cops hitting the streets to sweep the cafes. One final thing: the unique faces of the actors some were pretty, ugly, strange, and funny! They looked like everyday people, whose faces and clothes tell their own story. It's like Sergio Leone said of his film's characters that..."faces are like landscapes." These faces would never be shown in American films, we like beauty too much!

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