JamesRusso

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About JamesRusso

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  • Birthday 10/21/1967

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    New York
  1. 1.) Another Hitchcock inspired thriller is 1987's "The Bedroom Window". The films is a homage to Rear Window and stars Steve Guttenberg and was directed by Curtis Hanson. 2.) Another Hitchcock remake is 1976's "The Lady Vanishes" starring Elliot Gould. This was the last film produced by Hammer Studios. 3.) Full title of The Birds II is The Birds II: Lands' End and the film was 1994 made for Showtime movies.
  2. 1.) Most definitely I think Brian DePalma would. I think composer Giorgio Moroder and Alan Silvestri. Also, Tangerine Dream. 2.) As for screenwriters, I could see Hitchcock working with David Mamet.
  3. 1.) Another film inspired by Hitchcock is the 1994 suspense thriller (American giallo as well) Color of Night starring Bruce Willis and directed by Richard Rush. 2.) Some of Italian filmmaker Dario Argento's films are inspired by Hitchcock most notably 1975's Deep Red and Do You Like Hitchcock ? 3.) There was a science-fiction retelling of Hitchcock's film, Lifeboat. A 1994 TV movie entitled "Lifepod" was about several people trapped in an escape pod in outer space.
  4. Also inspired by Hitchcock is Halloween directed by John Carpenter The movie "Bats" starring Lou Diamond Phillips was inspired by "The Birds".
  5. 1.) A series of films that were not just inspired by Hitchcock, but were direct continuations of his storyline from "Psycho" were the three "Psycho" sequels: Psycho II Psycho III Psycho IV: The Beginning (This third sequel was a TV movies and was written by Joseph Stefano) 2.) Currently, there is a series on A&E Network called "Bates Motel". There was also a TV movies called The Birds II". I think it was broadcast in the 1990's, but I would have to double check. 3.) No to mention that Anthony Hopkins played Hitchcock in a biopic about his life entitled "Hitchcock" which was released a few years ago. 4. ) There was also a TV movie remake of "Rear Window" starring Christopher Reeve. 5.) The Burt Reynold's directed crime drama, Sharkey's Machine (1981) features numerous scenes where Tom Sharkey Is observing Domino (Rachel Ward's character) using binoculars from another apartment building across from hers. The entire scene is directly inspired by Rear Window. 6.) There was also a remake of "Psycho" released in 1998 starring Vince Vaughan and directed by Gus Van Sant.
  6. Casting Sean Connery right after he had done the first James Bond film, Dr. No, as the lead in Marnie was a courageous move on Hitchcock's part. Since we know from analyzing how Hitchcock used stars in his films, do you think Hitchcock was trying play with audience expectations of Sean Connery's on-screen persona in Marnie ? By casting Connery in the role of a man who struggles to help a woman who is suffering emotionally and mentally, he seemed almost to be saying to the audience you thought this was going to be an adventure/romance film like Dr. No where Connery(007) wins the girl's love right away in the first few minutes of the film.
  7. It almost boggles the mind to think that these three Chaplin scenes were repeated, copied, and imitated by almost every slapstick comedian who followed Chaplin right up to the modern comedians of today. Keaton, Laurel & Hardy, Abbott & Costello, The Three Stooges, The Marx Brothers, all used scenes like these or scenes very similar. The concept of the slapstick comedies protagonist being pursued by the police and the main character making the cops look like fools began right here with the scene of Chaplin rolling through the hole in the fend in "A Dog's Life".. Think of how many comedies you have seen that have shown police being foiled in slapstick comedy. This concept was continued even into modern comedy films such as Smokey & The Bandit, The Dukes of Hazzard, and The Blues Brothers.
  8. JamesRusso

    What is Slapstick? A Discussion of Definitions

    I agree with the definitions of what encompasses slapstick comedy as presented by Prof. Edwards. I would like to add to that definition that slapstick comedy frequently presents a poor, lower class character invading the high society life of a wealthy person and causing mayhem and chaos. This poor vs. wealthy concept can be found in silent comedy (Buster Keaton, Chaplin), early talkies and two reelers ( The Three Stooges, Laurel & Hardy) right up to today's modern comedy films such as Caddyshack. Yes, I believe that for a comedy film to be considered purely slapstick it must contain all five of those conditions.
  9. JamesRusso

    The Flaw in Blow-Up

    I have to agree with some of the views posted here in that the Sister who hosted TCM's "Condemned" series completely missed the point and theme of Blow-Up. I was disappointed by the commentary she provided before and after the movie. I was hoping, as with other forewords and concluding remarks by TCM hosts on learning some trivia concerning the film's production or something about the film's director or stars. Whole books have been published concerning what the imagery in Blow-Up symbolizes and even with all of the films available, Blow-Up is still a staple in many films schools. None of this was mentioned in the commentary.
  10. 1.) The swinging light also obscures the violent beating of the scene. We don't really see the gangsters hitting Steve, just the reactions on their faces. 2.) Mann and Diskant's changing points of view draw the viewer close into the action of the scene. First we see Steve's beaten face from the gangter's point of view (lead gangster played by Raymond Burr, I believe). When Burr breaks the bottle and threatens Steve with disfiguring his wife unless he confesses to the cops, we see the broken bottle up close with the sharp glass practically touching the camera lenses. This puts us right into the scene; the viewer can almost sense those sharpened edges on the bottle.
  11. 1.) The swinging lamp containing a solitary light bulb lends tremendous atmosphere to this scene. First we see the gansgters in shadow then the light swings and we see them with a key light.
  12. 1.) The film depicts this unnamed city as appearing almost bombed-out. We see scenes of streets littered with debris. In fact, the city almost resembles scenes of bombed-out European cities in other postwar film noirs such as The Third Man. Huston utilizes this city in decay as the background of a character who may also be in some decline or decay. The title The Asphalt Jungle suggest a hybrid of jungle adventure story (like Tarzan) and a gritty urban thriller. The title suggest that this burnt-out unnamed city is akin to a jungle existing within an urban landscape. 2.) The city shown is a urban cityscape based on an existentialistic view; we see a city that is dark, decaying, morose, depressed with a characters who appears to feel the same wandering through it. the character Dix appears to be in some trouble as he enters the diner and asks the owner to hide his weapon. He is a disintegrating individual existing in what appears to be an equally disintegrating and disoriented world. The film shows postwar economic effects on US city. Some cities flourishing in America while others have infrastructure decay. We learnt hat Dix appears to be able to get himself out of trouble with the police quickly and has a lot of power to influence people to help him.
  13. 1.) Miles' Davis' score works with and contributes additional layers of meaning to Malle's visuals in that as the camera pulls back from the main character talking on the phone, we see he is occupying one room in a large apartment or hotel where there appears to be no one else in the other apartments or hotel rooms. The score underscores the isolation of the scene and further complements Malle's visual style. The building shows a sens of symmetry and geometrical repetetiveness; the viewer sees that each room is exactly the same, a complete clone of the room next to it. The character appears lost in this and the music emphasizes an overall sense of loneliness and malaise. 2.) The idioms of jazz resonate so well with film noir because many jazz scores such as the Miles Davis score in this film usually highlight the saxophone as a major instrument in the foreground of the music. The saxophone has a lonely sound used to punctuate scenes of a character living is isolation or a deepening depresseion. The saxophone can also become stronger to underscore romantic scenes or scenes of dangerous passion. A quickening of the sax can be used for chase scenes or suspense sequences.
  14. 1.) The film's opening shot of the Salvation Army band shows us the happiness of Christmas time. We associate the Salvation Army with goodness and generosity. This scene establishes a mood of happiness which eventually becomes progressively darker. It tells us, in essence, that drifting just under the happy moods of the holidays, there is death and murder. 2.) Film uses many postwar films noir themes present in 1950's era films noir. The man working as a handyman brings to mind the postwar noir theme of men's disillusionment with their postwar roles. There are also several extreme close-ups of items such as the calendar showing December 1918 and the "to do" list with several chores checked off. Also, the use of the mirror on the wall -we see the handyman's reflection in the round wall mirror just before he discovers the dead woman's body in the broom closet. The mirror's reflection serves as a forebearer of the horror to come; an inverse flip-side of the this man is shown first in the mirror's reflection and then that id-like reflection become real. Did he kill the woman ? We can't tell from the scene, but the mirror's reflection and the handyman's mental state after he discovers the body show a descent into an existentialistic madness.
  15. 1.) There is evidence in this scene from "The Narrow Margin" to support Foster Hirsch's claim that this is a parody of the hard-boiled school. When the two detectives exit the train station, we see they are dressed in what was perceived by film noir audience to be the definitive "detective" wear which is fedora hat, gray or black trenchcoat, suit worn underneath and an ever present cigar or cigarette. The dialogue is atypical films noir dialogue; delivered at a fast clip in between puffs of the cigarette. 2.) Some of the major film noir elements in this scene are the train itself. Trains and the action taking place on trains was a traditional setting for films noir. The lighting is reminiscent of other films noir; the two detectives leaving the train car at night surrounded by steam; the two detectives emerge from the shadows of the train cars into the bright, key light of the train station. The scene in the backseat of the taxi cab when the two private eyes are discussing the woman they are about to meet is a variation on several Daily Doses we have seen. Typically, in films noir the main characters ( most especially the male protagonists) do not discuss the femme fatale before meeting her. The adjectives the two detectives use describe the as-yet unseen woman characters are the words used to describe a femme fatale which is further evidence to support Hirsch's claim that the dialogue in the film is meant as a parody of1940's films noir.

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