Kaykitties

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  1. Kaykitties

    Character Actors Wanted for Star of the Month

    Eric Blore, Edward Everett-Horton, Allen Jenkins, Frank McHue, Hattie McDaniel, John Litel, Eugene Pallette, Glenda Farrell, Eve Arden, Alice Brady, Alan Mowbray, Walter Connolly, George C Stone, John Ridgely, Spring Byington, Ruth Donnelly, Gale Patrick, Jack Carson, Allyn Joselyn, Jerome Cowan, Nigel Bruce, Gladys Cooper, Lee Patrick, Ward Bond, Cesar Romero, Minna Gombell, Nat Pendleton all should be Co Star of the month
  2. So I took this course to support TCM whose films I enjoy immensely. I also wanted to support online courses, Canvas, Dr Edwards and Ball State U. The combination is amazing. I love Film Noir and enjoyed that course, so I thought I would take this one. I watch (record to watch later) TCM's Sunday Silents. Since this was the starting point for this course, I thought I would learn something and did. Thank you so much
  3. The cameos make me smile and gasp because of the surprise interruption to the story. Cameos don't necessarily forward the plot. They are just comedy relief. It's rather generous of the star to offer his time in support of the movie. What makes cameos work is the knowledge of who the star is or what his or her schtick is. Without that the cameo falls flat. I enjoy cameos--their appearance is like finding a treasure. They also keep you interested in the movie, waiting and wondering if someone else is going to appear.
  4. I just saw the first video lecture. I love this format. It is so helpful having the dialogue about what we need to focus on and then seeing a clip. Pausing the clip while pointing out a particular scene of note is fantastic. With this format you can show us the progression of slapstick such as in the film clips of Chaplin. I enjoyed this very much. Ty
  5. I would agree that this silent film era could be called "The Golden Era" because of its timeframe in history. To some it is the "greatest era of comedy". It's certainly a precursor to screwball comedy which I prefer. Since the early language of cinema was visual, this era of cinema provided a new language through sight gags, facial expressions and movement. As the pictures began to talk, less emphasis was put on the visual language and more on the spoken. This was s practical end to the means--the use of sound equipment and renovated theaters had to be paid for. Documentaries and compilations of this period are essential in preserving a part of cinematic history and the history of those years from 1912-1930. They should never be forgotten.
  6. Of all the films in this Films Noir series, the 5 I would take to the proverbial island are--& not in any order: Laura His Kind Of Woman Kansas City Confidential The Letter While The City Sleeps All of these films have a great cast, a compelling story and beautiful photography
  7. California Noir vs Mexico Noir. Both locations r a character in the films. In San Francisco the city streets r important. In LA the suburbs r important. In the California Noirs there is air and distances and weather (trench coats). Spade walks the SF streets hiding from the gunman. In 99 River St driving a cab around the city is part of the conflict. In Woman On Pier 13 the docks r part of the mise en scene. In Postman Always Ring Twice & The Hitchhiker, hitching along the open road drives the plot. In Dark Passage & In A Lonely Place the local apartment complexes house most of the action. The Mexico Noirs have Mexico as a hideout-a place to wait. The spaces r confined. The characters wear white & sweat a lot. In Out of the Past Cathy steals the money & hides in Mexico. In Kansas City Confidential the pay off & secret of the heist is revealed in Mexico. In His Kind Of Woman the face exchange is to take place in Mexico. In Where Danger Lives the guy & girl flee to Mexico to escape a murder. Mexico is only a temporary resort & safe haven. It is never the final paradise. In California life goes on after the drama unfolds & life's routine resumes.
  8. California Noir vs Mexico Noir. Both locations r a character in the films. In San Francisco the city streets r important. In LA the suburbs r important. In the California Noirs there is air and distances and weather (trench coats). Spade walks the SF streets hiding from the gunman. In 99 River St driving a cab around the city is part of the conflict. In Woman On Pier 13 the docks r part of the mise en scene. In Postman Always Ring Twice & The Hitchhiker, hitching along the open road drives the plot. In Dark Passage & In A Lonely Place the local apartment complexes house most of the action. The Mexico Noirs have Mexico as a hideout-a place to wait. The spaces r confined. The characters wear white & sweat a lot. In Out of the Past Cathy steals the money & hides in Mexico. In Kansas City Confidential the pay off & secret of the heist is revealed in Mexico. In His Kind Of Woman the face exchange is to take place in Mexico. In Where Danger Lives the guy & girl flee to Mexico to escape a murder. Mexico is only a temporary resort & safe haven. It is never the final paradise. In California life goes on after the drama unfolds & life's routine resumes.
  9. John Payne/Phil Karlson collaborations: 99 River Street, Kansas City Confidential and The Crooked Way. In all Payne just a guy trying to make a living --whether being barred from the boxing ring with a cut eye and driving a cab, or trying to re establish himself as a florist driver after getting out of prison, or trying to find himself after getting amnesia in the war. Karlson has great BW photography and lighting in all of these films. His close ups of Payne show the sweat, the gritted teeth, the turned under upper lip and the clenched fists. Not a lot of dialogue and it's not necessary because the camera on the actor's face and body tells us what he is going through: rage & uncertainty. He's a kind man in all 3 films, until pushed beyond his endurance. After the struggles which are forced upon him, he survives, becomes kind again and is rewarded by getting the girl. The casts and photography in each of these films make them compelling to watch. Wish there had been more. But the Payne/Karlson collaboration came near the end of the Films Noir. Pity
  10. I prefer the "traditional" films noir of the 40s and 50s. By traditional, I mean the crisp black & white photography with shadows, light & dark. There's usually a detective or hero, a girl and a dame. The detective or hero is morally ambiguous--has his own code of ethics. The girl is trying to hang on to the hero. The dame has her own code of ethics which are devoid of any morals. This combo makes for a great story with interesting characters and is beautiful to watch. I don't care for the "noirs" that are more modern. The ones that deal with atomic bombs, drug dealing swingers or are in color. To me, these films aren't noirs. They belong in s different category--those that evolved out of noir, but into something else.
  11. Postman & OutOfPast. Both femmes fatales' enter dressed in white. They catch the eye of The Guy. They have an agenda--to make money or get money. Both realize they need help with their plans and use sex appeal to achieve their goals. Both r married, but that doesn't matter. Stealing and murder don't matter either. They r willing to cross the line. The Guys fall for them, realize the danger and go away. They meet the Femmes again & r irresistibly drawn to them. The attraction is too great. The Guys fall. They become part of the agenda. Both Femmes die. Evil doesn't win out. In Postman Frank is taken all the way down with Cora. In Out Of Past Jeff is redeemed.
  12. Songs. In Detour the song represents Al's & Sue's happy relationship. When Sue leaves & Al meets the hitchhiker, he remembers the song & looks back on happier days. In Gilda the song represents Gilda & her past. She is now married to a wealthy man she is not in love with. The song reminds everyone of her past when she was free & uninhabited. The song drives Johnny wild. He tried to protect Gilda from herself while keeping her wild behavior from his boss, her husband. In The Killers the song sets up the triangle. The Swede's girl looks at him looking at Kitty who is singing. The girlfriend's voiceover tells us that during the song is the moment she lost The Swede. The song moves the story forward into the new relationship & partnerships. The song in The Big Sleep lets Marlowe know that Vivian is a woman and he is interested In Mildred Pierce after Veda's fall from grace, she sings in a **** Tonk bar. (In the novel she is a coloratura opera singer). Mildred can't stand seeing her daughter in this place, so she reconciles with her--temporarily There is no song in Laura--just her theme which plays throughout the film. It is a sweet piece as Shelby says and it represents how all thought of Laura In Nora Prentiss the doctor becomes attracted to Nora as she sings In Nocturne the unfinished song is the clue to the murderer. The songs in these films are a catalyst. They move the action forward while revealing the emotions of the characters.
  13. Since this week's theme is influences on Film Noir, we can extend that to movies that Film Noir has influenced. For example, Night Moves. In my opinion this film is in no way a Film Noir--from the lack of BW photography, to no flashbacks, to no voiceover to no interestIng camera movements or shadows. . The plot and characters are influenced by Film Noir--the PI who just steps over the line. The Girl in this case is the wife; the Dame could be any of the 3 other females. The PI takes a beating; lives are lost and he is literally adrift at sea at the end
  14. Mildred Pierce vs Sam Spade. Both live in meager surroundings and work for a living. Sam takes on cases and checks with his lawyer to stay just on the right side of the law. Mildred makes cakes at home for pin money to buy her favorite daughter's love. Mildred's marriage fails so she takes action. She has a relationship with her husband's partner to get help in a real estate deal. This relationship is implied in the movie but evident in the book by James M Cain. Sam has a relationship with his partner's wife. Motive? Because she's there? Mildred also has a relationship with Monty. Attraction at first, then he becomes a means to win her daughter's love. She married a man she does not live in hopes that her daughter will return to her. Sam has a relationship with Brigid. Attraction at first. Later is it monetary or to get information on the blackbird? Veda is like the blackbird--both are the final prizes that Mildred and Sam are grasping for. Mildred loses her prize when Veda is charged with murder and leaves her forever. Sam loses his when the blackbird is a fake. Mildred returns to her first husband and disappears in the morning light. Sam returns to his routine after he turns Brigid in for murder although he tells her that he will wait for her. Knowing Mildred as we do, we know she will also be waiting for Veda.
  15. Films I would watch over and over- seeing something new each time are: Laura, The Letter and Mildred Pierce. Glad these films are part of the course. Heard that the original ending of The Letter had Robert taking Leslie back. The End. But Will Hays office said infidelity had to be punished. Thus, the death of Leslie

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