bclarke18

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About bclarke18

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  • Birthday 12/18/1971

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    Riverside, CA
  1. Each POV shot puts the viewer in middle of the story. When the boys walk into the room, I can feel their eyes trying to convey every thought and feeling they are having as they take the long walk of foreboding towards the headmaster (me). The shot itself is interesting too because I just watched Hitchcock talk about the counterpoint of a performance. A girl who is sobbing and saying not to laugh. So it is that when we have to take a bitter medicine we want to get it over with fast, but that walk of the boys is so long and slow. I also liked the way the girl shares her memory with the superimposed montage. Clever! Hitchcock uses these techniques to tell different sides of a story. The feelings of the boys at being summoned, the girl with her accusation, the headmaster who has to deal with, probably for the umpteenth time, boys in trouble. When we are engaged in a story in our real lives with friends or family, I think of how many times my head swings back and forth listening to the information being related. Hitch is fantastic at the "ball's in your court" POV to further the understanding for the viewer. The connection that jumps out is the use of the narrowing of a shot to emphasize a feeling or point. The narrowing of the shot on the stairs and the one on the legs in Pleasure Garden to the dark halo around the girl's face in Downhill. Even when we see her looking at the camera between the back of the heads of the two boys, we focus in on her stare and her thoughts.
  2. 1. What stands out in both films is the ability to manipulate the audience with "the shot." Whether Hitchcock is narrowing the view to focus on something small or the large open-mouthed scream, we are forced into what he wants us to see. It's not unlike a magician with slight of hand tricks. We are looking left when all the while the manipulation is happening to the right. Then wham! We are blind-sided with what seems impossible to the human eye. Then we think him clever, as I was not looking in that direction. Of course not, he didn't want you to look there yet. That's his ability to have climax and twist endings you never knew were coming. Brilliant. 2. The Hitchcock styles I see are the POV shots. I really liked and laughed when we are looking through the rear car window that looked like eyes. I also noticed a change in color from the cold outside blues to the warm sepia colors of an office. Pacing was a notable affect. The cars were rushing, the printing machines spinning at a blinding rate and people crowded and grabbed maniacally at the newspaper, all to lift the viewer to a height of anxiety and rush. I also could see all the different ways of conveying the written word: the repeating of a title, the flashing of the word "murder," the telegraph typing, the message board scrolling the news. And the specifics like saying that "Tuesday was his lucky day." Then I think what's my lucky day? And why do bad things seem to happen on my lucky day? Tuesday is such a boring day of the week. It's not the beginning, middle or end. That means murder can happen anytime! 3. There may be silence in that scream, but my mind fills in the sound that is not there. Psycho would have the most notable screams by Hitchcock.
  3. Hitchcock pulls us into his voyeuristic style through his camera. What does he want us to see? Beautiful legs, ogling men, women wise to the ways of a man, thieves. I can see his first attempts at his art manifested in his later films. His use of silent objects or scenery to make a subtle statement, but only if you are astute. He was a very sharp director telling a story for the keen observer.
  4. Hoping for one more female mate!!

    Are you still looking for a cabinmate? My mom would like to attend the cruise. She is 65 and is excited to attend her first TCM experience. I attend the cruise every year and the film festivals. I think she'd love it. Thank you!!
  5. 1. Using the amusement park as his set up is genius. It's a common thread for most people. Comedy doesn't work unless we can relate to the situation and most everyone has had the pleasure of going to the park. Lloyd's success at the park is due to the unwitting situations. He's not normally a winner, right? He's like the rest of us, at least that's what we think. No one wins except by freak accident at an amusement park. They're rigged, true? He wins the spinning contest? Well, there's a crab in his pocket. He wins the doll for his girl? Of course the angry guy knocks down the cans. And which of us can relate to the oversized gluttony of amusement park food? Giant cones of cotton candy, beer and fritters, loads of deep-fried corn dogs. We've all been there. 2. I agree that he is freer. There is less schtick to his slapstick. He doesn't wear the stone face or the tramp garb. He is the every man. It is the ordinary circumstances that we relate to, shared experiences even across 9 decades that pulls both Lloyd and us, the viewers, together. 3. I think Lloyd adds a certain type of fulfillment in his slapstick. He finds the funny in the common man experiencing dream situations. Success at the amusement park in front of someone you're trying to impress. The brush with fame when someone famous walks into your business and how, instead of cool and collected, we'd all probably make fools of ourselves in the process. He looks like he's enjoying his life and I think we find joy in those things amusing.
  6. As a set designer/builder for community theater, I give a big hurrah for the all the props and set build for this clip! It's the set-up before the set-up, the perfect storm. We are, for the most part, the little guy. Something is always too heavy, too long, too high and we never have the proper equipment. What makes this gag work as a visual comedy comes from the positioning of the large or heavy piano and the little guy. If he was a big guy like the delivery man there would have not been any humor in getting the piano in the house. I love the rope that was long and bound up in knots. How often do I find myself lugging something that's a matted mess? ...an extension cord, a garden hose and let's include my phone charger and headphones in that equation. I laughed as he shimmied up the pole to attach a pulley to the ceiling. I thought maybe the chandelier would come down with him, but no... It's the unexpected happenings in real situations that we all find ourselves in and our best laid plans to accomplish our tasks that go awry. So many times, I find myself like him. And so many times, I just have to laugh.
  7. Comedy has been around since ancient Greece and the stories of gods and heroes. Humor is intelligence and it is clever. We feel smart when we can "pull one over" on someone. And who doesn't like to laugh? It feels good and gives us a sense of well-being. It makes perfect sense that Lumiere would want to capture this feeling. Especially when trying to promote film as an art form. Nothing can be so engaging and inclusive to an audience as laughter. It is the shared experience that brings us together. What I love most about these types of comedic gags is the disposition of the protagonist. Do they get mad or do they laugh along? It's funnier when the person doesn't take a joke well. The cranky old man who gets water in the the face, the arrogant performer who wears the juicy tomato. It's always best when the "bad" guy gets it! We really mean him/her no harm, just a little lighthearted justice!
  8. I don't feel like the dialog in this film is being parodied or burlesqued as much as it has become ordinary. What was once unique and interesting has become standard. I found myself thinking about the hook. Where is it? What is going to make this noir film interesting. Is there a gimmick or a twist that is going to put this film on its head? For me the hook didn't come in the opening or the dialog. I wonder if it lurks around the bend?
  9. Time. It's one of those things that we wish we could control, but, inevitably, can only count on. Clocks, and watches move at a predetermined pace. We set our lives by them as does the man watching the bank. This is counterbalanced by the erratic pacing feet of the people doing daily errands, people rubber-necking to see into the bank, like chickens for the feed, the rhythmic heartbeat of the music that slows and builds as the scene progresses. We know that timing is everything for this man and that his intentions are dark and nefarious. This is a heist, a gamble where all factors need to be precise and, yet, we know that people are not. We know we are being set up to believe that all factors have been taken into account. That's what the check marks are for. But at any moment the "noir" factor is going twist this perfectly timed crime into a continuance of chaos.
  10. This film is iconic in all of the elements of noir that we've been discussing...contrasting light and shadow, diagonal lines, the realism of a worn out European city... However, my favorite part of the scene is the Harry smile. Love it. These noir figures don't smile. They sulk, estrange and evade. He was three seconds of that scene. To come right out and smile, that was different and, yet, so in character. It's the hook to the scene along with the cat. What also makes that smile so engaging and germane is that it is accompanied by the ever-increasing zither music. It's a pointer. The cat, the smile and the zither are drawing us down the nefarious path.
  11. Fate. The thing we all hope for, but are never ready for. I think Garfield is guy who has "itchy feet" because he's always on the take. Looking for the next best thing or to take advantage of a situation. He's never content. He's offered food and a job, obviously not having one, and doesn't know if he's ready to commit. That is until Lana enters. Lana owns it, the cafe, the scene and the beauty. It's a peep show. The anticipation builds...something falls, a rolling lipstick, bare legs and then her. She's gorgeous. He's sold. But wait, is she game? He tests her by not giving the lipstick back, provoking her to come and get it. She doesn't retrieve her dropped item, rather she waits for it to be given back. A little cat and mouse. I think she sees something in him. She takes the lipstick and finishes the show with the flair of confidence. Her look conveying the knowledge of where her lipsticked lips go. Perfect example of two top-notched actors with contrasting images. The rugged male and the female beauty. The ideal mix for a film noir. I wonder where the saying, "opposites attract" comes from because film noir fulfills that saying in almost every aspect.
  12. I think the entrances of the two characters are in direct contrast. Lorre's entrance begins as a relaxed, slight man in a large doorway, peering low to get the key into the hole while Greenstreet, a large man enters confidently through a small archway, broadening his appearance. As the banter continues, Lorre is standing and Greenstreet, with gun in hand, takes a seat, submissive and relaxed. Lorre says he has nothing to hide and then lies down and has a smoke, also submissive and relaxed. Both characters underplaying the anxiety set in this scene of a room in disarray, a drawn gun and hidden secrets. I also would like to mention the speaking styles of both men. Greenstreet, a Brittish actor, had a sort of distinct grumble to his pedantic speech that seemed to emanate from his wide chest. While Lorre was a very breathy speaker, his words exhaled from the top of his throat suggesting a smaller expression. One style implying a largeness and knowledge while the other the brevity of a sneak or snitch. Deep contrasts mark film noir, I think. Even on the level of the delivery of the dialogue.
  13. While a generous part of the scene is shot outdoors with all the bright sunlight that is so contrary to film noir, I think the elements of noir are still present. The dark lines that trace the buildings and diagonal shadows cast upon them is stock noir. The smoke from cigars and cigarettes obscure the the sharpness of the scene and provide another color and element. There is that feeling in the shot as Kathie enters the bar that she is some type of heavenly vision. The use of bright lighting and her light colored clothing gives a celestial sort of feel. She is a vision as the dark, contrasted archways highlight the light at the end of her tunnel. Sucked in by what one would assume is an angel. ...She is beautiful. Once you enter the bar, the scene becomes idyllic of the film noir. Contrasting shadows and light walls, upbeat brass playing in repetition in comparison to the somber conversation holding a lonely lope. Kathie plays as if she is uninterested and yet she drops a coin and leaves her calling card, Pablo's. Jeff lays it on thick...I'm lonely, I want to share my time with you, maybe that's why I'm here... A little cat and mouse banter, foreplay. If it was hot outside, you wouldn't know it because the flame ignited in La Mar Azul.
  14. I think Bogart is the well-dressed man of Chandler's writing. Well-dressed to play a part as he was calling on a wealthy individual. It's hard to gain the confidence of someone affluent without the demeanor, competence and vestments that lend an air of familiarity, sophistication and sociability to Sternwood's standing. But you get the feeling that this is not how he always dresses or behaves. It's a game and he knows it. From the moment Carmen eyes him and begins her equivocating, Marlowe is the very picture of calm, cool and collected. But under the harsh scrutiny of Sternwood, in his pressure cooker greenhouse, he renders his vestments and is the common man, down to earth, hard working, rolling his sleeves to get down to business. I think he has a similar character portrayal in The Maltese Falcon. He's never shaken. Calm in all matters, even when guns are pointed at him. I think that's what makes his character likable. I think that is also why so many admire his characters. We would all like think that we would be so unruffled in these same dramatic and dangerous moments.
  15. I agree that the credits at the opening of the film seem to lead us to the feeling that this is a noir film. Stark contrasts of the lettering against the background shots and the foreboding musical direction by Andre Previn. Then there's a break from that to the mood and atmosphere that is represented by the documentary style filming with long shots and an authoritative narrator. The words that come to mind are fact, truth, law, order, organization. Each geometrical shape of the land and the lines form borders and parameters. Trees like a pegboard giving us orderly content. Everything in its place. And eventually, everyone. Borders of fencing and geometric confinement hold back the people. The fact that noir has eased itself into another genre tells me that this style was a desired style by more than just crime stories. Anything can be twisted to give a foreboding feeling or a sense of misdirection. I like that it challenges the intellectual in us not to assume anything on first viewing. We become cynical, choosing what to believe not by what we see or hear, but by what we feel. Trusting your gut becomes a virtue in film noir. I think that this film clip leads us to see how the "art" of noir can be applied to different genres. If it works in detective stories, I wonder what it can do for a documentary style film or a historical drama? I think we can believe that nothing is sacred. Noir is contradiction.

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