chelseaguy5050

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  1. This is actually the second time Rita sings "Put the Blame on Mame" in Gilda. The first is after hours at the club. Rita sings as she plays the guitar.but otherwise she is stationary. She is singing to get Glenn's attention...to physically wake him up. The only other presence is the washroom attendant from the club. In the black dress Rita pulls out all the stops. In contrast to her first performance she is almost constantly in motion and she works the entire room, mesmerizing the entire audience...almost daring them to look away...knowing they can't. Again Gilda is singing to try and "wake" Johnny up. She's fragile, hurt and lashing out to get back at him for his mistreatment, this time in front of a very crowded night club, using the only weapon/power she, has, her incredible sexuality. As she's singing the song she's also acting out the story of hers and Johnny's relationship, where things seem like one thing but are actually another. Is Gilda really a bad girl? She'd like Johnny to think so, just to get some kind of response out of him, to provoke him and ultimately she does finally get a response when he slaps her. Johnny can't stand that he lost control and leaves Gilda there hurt and crying. He's embarrassed that he caused a scene in front of all the patrons of a night club he is running. Up to now he has only shown Gila mental cruelty, but whatever has been building up underneath (and there's always "an underneath" that's not too pretty in films noir) finally explodes. "Gilda" is filled with a lot of the emotions we've come to associate with films noir: jealousy, greed, lust, twisted relationships that don't seem to make any sense and characters with backstorys that are alluded to but we never actually get any of the details and maybe they are best left in the shadows.. I think Rita on the dance floor actually becomes part of the mise-en-scene. She seems totally in her element...a part of it...and here she feels she has total control. She is both the black of the dress and the gloves and her incredibly beautiful skin which is so white it could be alabaster. (She has the most beautiful underarms I think I've ever seen). When she raises her arms, which she does repeatedly, she is almost cut in half...half the gorgeously sensual black dress which seems to be almost glued to her body, and the other half in contrast her skin so white it almost seems like it's lit from within. She's "two" people and able to segue from one to the other at a moments notice.One moment a femme fatale in the best noir style and the next almost a little girl who is uncertain, lost, bewildered... It's a brilliant performance by Hayworth. She so totally brings out all the nuances of the character. She's always Rita Hayworth..but she's also always Gilda, two sides of the same coin. Can't wait to watch it again on Friday! This little clip has really whetted my appetite.
  2. chelseaguy5050

    June 2015 TCM Spotlight: The Summer of Darkness

    The openings of the two Lang films, M and Ministry of Fear both rely heavily on the use of sound. In M the sound of the children playing is comforting, reassuring to the mothers. In Ministry of Fear the ticking of the clock is sinister, almost threatening...maddening. The music over the credits of Ministry combines with the simple ticking of the clock to become infused with a whole other meaning. Instead of being soothing, comforting, and rhythmical it's ominous, creating an atmosphere of dread and claustrophobia. When the camera finally pulls back it reveals a room that's shadowy, dark, even a little spooky. There are bars on the windows and our first introduction to the protagonist is from behind and he is in total shadow. Through his choice of images and the way they are lit Lang poses question after question to the viewer. Where are we? Who is the person steeped in shadow? Why is he sitting in the dark in a room with bars on the windows? What is he waiting for? When the doctor enters his mood is almost jovial but Milland isn't buying it. He's free and can't wait to get away from the quiet to the hustle and bustle of the big city of London. The doctor recommends against it but again Milland pays no attention. If we hadn't had the spoiler reveal in the quote before the clip we would have been asking ourselves what did the doctor mean by warning him to stay away from the police...that they wouldn't tolerate a second charge. Second charge? What was the first? And then as Milland finally leaves the thick walled heavily gated facility he walks by the sign of the establishment, Lembridge Asylum, which answers one of our questions but begs even more to be answered. Lang has set us a puzzle to figure out but he hasn't given us the cover of the box so we don't know what we're looking at. We also don't have all the pieces to start. They are being given to us one by one and still don't seem to fit together. Can't wait to see the whole film again on Friday!
  3. chelseaguy5050

    June 2015 TCM Spotlight: The Summer of Darkness

    What Nino Frank says about the Philip Marlowe of "Murder My Sweet" being a different kind of private eye is evident on many levels. Dick Powell as Marlowe is more personally invested... when Ann Shirley asks him who cares about who stole the emeralds he replies that he does. It's personal. Powell can be ruthless. Note the way he goes after Ann Shirley, even resorting to physical violence, to find out what he wants to know. He leads her into a trap and then springs it to get a look at her bankbook. From the moment they meet they are too close in each others personal spaces to be conducting business. I fell for the trap too. I thought the way he touched her he was making advances, being familiar. The way he put his arm around her to lead her into his inner sanctum. The way he slyly locks the door. The way he takes her hand, stroking it all the while he is questioning her. And then suddenly the romantic becomes ruthless...clever and physical..but not in the way I had expected. Marlowe's more "true to life" in that though he always has a cynical edge, is a hard bouiled dick, He's alternately charming, ruthless, no nonsense, funny and very committed to his own personal code of what's right and wrong. His character is much more fleshed out..He freely admits his failure to protect his client and is bothered by it...wants to somehow right the wrong of his client getting killed by "solving" the robbery of the jewels, as though somehow that will balance the scales of blind justice again. The solution to the crime will be his absolution for not protecting his client..
  4. As the camera lovingly, preciously pans across Waldo's apartment we see all of the beautiful things he has collected and from the way he's talking about his relationship with Laura we see that he had "collected" her too. I don't want to spoil it for anyone but there is an important clue we're made aware of almost immediately in the opening shot. As for Waldo receiving McPherson while he's taking a bath...It's a really unique way of greeting ones "guests." If you notice, when he realizes who McPherson is he stands up and Dana Andrews looks at him naked and smirks. Waldo also wants the upper hand and he orders Andrews around. Get me that wash cloth, give me my robe and treats him like a servant. Webb's opening monologue is amazing and thinking about it just now the only other film I can think of off hand that might be comparable in its opening is Hitchcock's "Rebecca".when Joan Fontaine says, "Last night I went to Manderley again..." I can't wait to rewatch this again on Friday!
  5. The opening POV sequence sets the whole tone for the movie.and immediately pulls/yanks us into the story. Your interest is piqued right away and the director plays with us and makes us wait to finally see Bogie and not just hear his voice. The slow disclosure rivets our attention and we're anxious to see what's going to happen next.. By not seeing the Bogart character right away what's happening seems almost unclear...jumbled and it's unclear where the story is going next. You don't know who his friends are and who's on the level. I guess it's only fair since he doesn't either. and it's perfect noir...not being able to tell the good guys from the bad guys. I'm struck by the economy of the whole opening. in a few short minutes you get a lot of information...from the naturalistic sounds, the actual narrative and the way the images are put together and juxtaposed with each other. Quite literally we are actually put in Bogart's shoes and it feels uncomfortable. We're on the run with him and we don't know why. It's rather exhilarating and at the same time a little frightening.

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