cigarjoe

The Day The Earth Stood Still - almost every genre of film can have a Film Noir

59 posts in this topic

3 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

and he has Xfinity/Comcast AND TCM at NO extra cost!  

That isn't the case for me. I have been able to get the "Digital Preferred" for an extra $10/month. That is no longer available. I now have "Digital Starter." So I dropped from 220 channels to 140. I am in the 2nd tier above basic.

So, I am curious to know where this is. It is so unlike Xfinity/Comcast. Even when my cable was analog (82 channels) TCM was not an option.

By now, I don't care. I cannot afford to keep TCM. Cutting the TV cord means an even greater sacrifice in channels, without any savings.

My TV/Internet package is for 2 years and $141/month.

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I just borrowed The Day the Earth Stood Still from the library! My home library had it, which is quite remarkable--they never have anything I want. I always get everything transferred from other larger libraries. 

I didn't realize that The Day the Earth Stood Still was from '51. I've heard of the film and thought it was from the late 50s at least.  My husband also now wants to watch it, saying it's a famous film.  Looks like we'll be watching it sometime in the future on one of his nights off. We still need to finish Birdman of Alcatraz

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44 minutes ago, Det Jim McLeod said:

I always loved "The Day The Earth Stood Still", below is one of most "noir" moments in it. Plus it was directed by Robert Wise, who had made one of the toughest noirs a few years before "Born To Kill"

Michael Rennie in The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

Yes by their style you will know them. 😎

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8 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

That above is again the whole jist of Noir being a style. There are plenty Noirs without Femme Fatales, and detectives, some even without murder. :D

Yea, well, but....to my way of thinking, classic noir, by definition, involves crooks, detectives, grifters, bad girls, thievery, murder and mayhem.  I understand that the high-con look was used a lot on other films, but just having a dark back street doesn't make it a noir.  Cheers!

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1 hour ago, overeasy said:

but just having a dark back street doesn't make it a noir.

Your right it doesn't, it has to have the dark story or subject matter to match, and the story doesn't always have to involve crooks, detectives, grifters, bad girls, thievery, murder and mayhem. 

"Charles O’Brien who researched the use of “film noir” before the war in Film Noir In France: Before The Liberation documents how that term was used in the newspapers and magazines of Paris during the 1930s.

“Far from a manifestation of critical detachment,” O’Brien writes, “references to film noir during the [pre-war years] often entailed denunciations of the moral condition of the cinema in France. Although critics during the late 1930s discussed film noir in terms of major developments in film history – tracing it to antecedents in German Expressionism and to French films such as ‘Sous les toits de Paris’ [Rene Clair’s ‘Under The Roofs of Paris’ 1930] – they typically attributed to film noir cultural connotations that were unambiguously negative.”

There are nine film noirs identified in O’Briens essay: Pierre Chenal’s “Crime and Punishment” (1935), Jean Renoir’s “The Lower Depths” (Les Bas-fonds) (1936), Julien Duvivier’s “Pépé le Moko” (1937), Jeff Musso’s “The Puritan” (1938), Marcel Carné’s “Port of Shadows” (Le Quai des brumes) (1938), Jean Renoir’s “La Bête Humaine” (1938), Marcel Carné’s “Hôtel du Nord” (1938), Marcel Carné’s “Le Jour se lève” (Daybreak) 1939, and Pierre Chenal’s “Le Dernier Tournant” (1939).

Five of the films are of the poetic realism movement (although as with anything else that could be debated): “The Lower Depths,” “Pépé le Moko,” Port of Shadows,” “La Bête Humaine” and “Le Jour se lève.” The other four films contain similar themes. In three of the films the protagonist commits suicide and suicide plays a role in two other films. In three of the films the protagonist is incarcerated or executed by the state. In one film the protagonist is killed senselessly. Three films have wives conspiring with lovers to kill husbands. In two films the protagonist survives with a lover although what follows that survival isn’t clear and in one film one lover is shot in a botched suicide pact. What also isn’t clear is whether there are more films called “noirs” that will show up with subsequent research and whether similar and earlier films made before the term “film noir” first hit ink are also film noirs.

The film noirs considered part of the poetic realism movement have a visual style that would influence the American crime film made both during and after the war with “Port of Shadows” being the most obvious example, the other films are made in different styles. The remaining films – “Hôtel du Nord” and “Le Dernier Tournant” – are filmed in a more conventional style although the content contains murder or suicide and the other social taboos that are a mainstay of the film noirs.

None of these films are about private detectives hard-boiled or otherwise and none of them are police procedurals or stories where the police – or any member of governmental society – are seen as heroic. The films are about the working class and those below the working class or, in a few films, what was once referred to as the Lumpenproletariat. In fact, there isn’t a single crime film – as that term is conventionally used – in the list. “Pépé Le Moko,” a film that centers on a fugitive criminal hiding in the Casbah of Algiers, is a film about memory and desire more than anything else and its suicide ending has to do with facing what the character believes he has lost and not the possibility of incarceration.

Jean-Pierre Chartier – the other French critic who used the term “film noir” – wrote Americans Also Make Noir Films for La Révue du Cinéma in November of 1946. In that article he discusses three films: “Murder My Sweet,” “Double Indemnity” and “The Lost Weekend.”

“But the hand of Billy Wilder is clearly evident, particularly in the first person narrative which is used as well in his other ‘noir’ film ‘The Lost Weekend.’” Here we have one of the legendary postwar French critics specifically citing a film as a “noir” and yet this film has been ignored in what is considered “film noir” by the noirists. In the pantheon of American so-called film noirs, “The Lost Weekend” could be known as “The Lost Noir.”

“The Lost Weekend” isn’t listed in Film Noir: An Encyclopedic Reference of the American Style. In A Panorama of American Film Noir, Raymond Borde and Etienne Chaumeton mention “The Lost Weekend” as “having been classified, somewhat superficially, as belonging to the noir genre, doubtless because of the hospital scenes and the description of delirium tremens. Strangeness and crime, however, were absent from it, and the psychology of the drunk offered one of the most classic examples there are of the all-powerfulness of a rudimentary desire.”

When A Panorama of American Film Noir was published in 1955, the notion that a “film noir” described a crime film, it created a gospel from which the form would never recover. Dismissing “The Lost Weekend” as “superficially . . . belonging to the noir genre” doomed the film to be ignored by future writings on “film noir.”

On “The Lost Weekend,” Chartier writes, “The impressions of insanity, of a senseless void, left by the drama of a young man in the grip of singular addiction, makes ‘The Lost Weekend’ one of the most depressing films I have ever seen. Certainly a charming young lady helps our alcoholic hero sober up and permits the film to end with a kiss. But the impression of extreme despair persists despite this upbeat ending.”

While Chartier noticed the kiss, he should have been watching the gun. Near the end of the film, the alcoholic – who has swapped the woman’s coat for a gun at a pawnshop – has the gun in the bathroom sink where he was going to blow his brains out. The coat is not a minor item. It symbolizes their relationship. At the end of the film he doesn’t give the gun to the woman to retrieve the coat. He puts the gun in his pocket. And there it stays. And there it will stay because he’s doomed. It’s only a matter of time and he knows it. And if the audience is paying attention, they know it too. There is no redemption here and there is nothing ambiguous about it because he makes the choice to keep the gun and to blow his brains out and find the darkness.

Billy Widler slipped this subtlety past the censors and it would be a long time until another film could deal with the subject matter explicitly. Louis Malle, in 1963, with “The Fire Within,” dealt with same subject far more explicitly than Wilder and it raises the question of whether impending doom is more distressing than the arrival of doom. There would be many alcohol and substance abuse films in the coming decades – “The Man With The Golden Arm” and “A Hatful of Rain” among others – yet it wouldn’t be until Jerry Schatzberg’s 1971 “Panic In Needle Park” that any film would surpass the realism of “The Lost Weekend.”

That “The Lost Weekend” harks back to the film noirs of poetic realism is obvious to anyone familiar with “La Bête Humaine” or “Les Bas-fonds.” Wilder insisted on shooting on location for the exterior shots in New York City, going so far as to build a box to hide the camera from pedestrians. Wilder insisted on the “realism” of the film and Don Burnam’s search for an open pawnshop on Yom Kippur – among other scenes – adds that dimension to the film."

 

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11 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

So do I, what's the problem? Reducing the world to a "cinder" is a pretty dark plot point. When you compare TDTEST to many other 1950s SiFi that are brightly lit it stands out. 

Planet annihilation is pretty depressing, but in a certain way it's a mass phenomenon that people

can't do a lot about. It's not as individually terrifying as having a couple of hit men out to kill

you at any cost. I think it's just that I have a different definition of noir than you do, which is

okay both ways.

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16 minutes ago, Vautrin said:

I think it's just that I have a different definition of noir than you do, which is

okay both ways.

That's exactly right. I call it "tuning." Whether or not a film "tips" noir for you is going to depend on the accumulation of our individual life experiences.. What "tunes" noir for me isn't going to necessarily "tune" noir for you. 

All we can do is share our lists of films to sample. :D 

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I dunno, but I have to say I kind'a agree with CJ on this whole noir thing being more a style in the look of a film than it is in regard the type of storyline or plot of them, vis-a-vis the "genre". 

And so and in keeping with this thought, I'd like to now offer up a favorite "cartoon noir" of mine here, and just to press this point.

And so now and without any further ado, here it is...

See?! THIS one was both "dark" in the "look" of it AND also in its subject matter!

(...well except of course for that part at the beginning where it said "Marv Newland produced by Mr. & Mrs. Newland"...but then again, some of the very BEST noirs have had some "comic relief" moments interspersed throughout 'em, right?!)

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1 hour ago, cigarjoe said:

That's exactly right. I call it "tuning." Whether or not a film "tips" noir for you is going to depend on the accumulation of our individual life experiences.. What "tunes" noir for me isn't going to necessarily "tune" noir for you. 

All we can do is share our lists of films to sample. :D 

True. Though when it comes to my definition of noir most of what I would include doesn't have much

to do with life experience, it's more akin to slumming. 

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12 minutes ago, Vautrin said:

True. Though when it comes to my definition of noir most of what I would include doesn't have much to do with life experience, it's more akin to slumming

So, pretty much what you find yourself doing on election days instead of visiting your local polling place then, right V-Man?!

LOL

(...sorry, couldn't resist) ;)

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1 hour ago, Dargo said:

So, pretty much what you find yourself doing on election days instead visiting your local polling place then, right V-Man?!

LOL

(...sorry, couldn't resist) ;)

It's really the other way around. Going to the local polling place on election day is slumming. :o:)

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37 minutes ago, Vautrin said:

It's really the other way around. Going to the local polling place on election day is slumming. :o:)

LOL

Ya know, I DID have a feeling that this very reply would be comin' back at me here. ;)

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5 hours ago, Dargo said:

LOL

Ya know, I DID have a feeling that this very reply would be comin' back at me here. ;)

All in good fun. Nothing wrong with folks voting. Do it early and often.

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Getting back to the movie, I love the scene where the radio interviewer is moving down the

rope line asking people questions about the man from outer space. When he reaches Klaatu

he says it's a bad idea to substitute fear for reason. Boy it that microphone quickly moved

away.

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15 minutes ago, Vautrin said:

Getting back to the movie, I love the scene where the radio interviewer is moving down the

rope line asking people questions about the man from outer space. When he reaches Klaatu

he says it's a bad idea to substitute fear for reason. Boy it that microphone quickly moved

away.

LOL

Yeah, some things never change, huh!

Funny how this astute observation from our intergalactic traveling friend seems even more pertinent but perhaps even less acknowledged today than it was back in '51, isn't it.

(...sorry...strike the word "perhaps" here) 

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1 hour ago, Dargo said:

LOL

Yeah, some things never change, huh!

Funny how this astute observation from our intergalactic traveling friend seems even more pertinent but perhaps even less acknowledged today, isn't it.

(...sorry...strike the word "perhaps" here) 

Or the more things change....One reheated dish of Cold War paranoia. Even though he's only a

character in a movie, it's hard not to admire Klaatu. 

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21 minutes ago, Vautrin said:

Or the more things change....One reheated dish of Cold War paranoia. Even though he's only a

character in a movie, it's hard not to admire Klaatu

True, BUT as you probably know, Klaatu is basically just Jesus Christ in a spacesuit. YOU know. There IS a reason the plot had him going by the name "Mr. Carpenter", AND how he came back to life after his crucifixion, ahem, I mean after being gunned down in the street. 

(...yep, "Jesus Christ in a spacesuit", alright...BUT of course with one big bad and tough "bodyguard" by his side in HIS case!)

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13 hours ago, Dargo said:

I dunno, but I have to say I kind'a agree with CJ on this whole noir thing being more a style in the look of a film than it is in regard the type of storyline or plot of them, vis-a-vis the "genre". 

And so and in keeping with this thought, I'd like to now offer up a favorite "cartoon noir" of mine here, and just to press this point.

And so now and without any further ado, here it is...

See?! THIS one was both "dark" in the "look" of it AND also in its subject matter!

(...well except of course for that part at the beginning where it said "Marv Newland produced by Mr. & Mrs. Newland"...but then again, some of the very BEST noirs have had some "comic relief" moments interspersed throughout 'em, right?!)

:o

But.....what about SNOW WHITE???

The story of a young girl in a house occupied by seven lonely and h o r n y little diamond miners.  How DO they pass the time in the dark after hours?  And what WAS the role of the one called "Doc"?  :o :huh:

Sepiatone

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16 hours ago, Dargo said:

True, BUT as you probably know, Klaatu is basically just Jesus Christ in a spacesuit. YOU know. There IS a reason the plot had him going by the name "Mr. Carpenter", AND how he came back to life after his crucifixion, ahem, I mean after being gunned down in the street. 

(...yep, "Jesus Christ in a spacesuit", alright...BUT of course with one big bad and tough "bodyguard" by his side in HIS case!)

Yes, if Jesus had Gort around he'd (Jesus) still be alive today. I enjoy seeing the Christ

parallels that some people have put forth, but I don't take them too seriously. Klaatu

didn't change water into wine or bring back another person from the dead. And as he

says, his own resurrection is temporary where Christ's is permanent. I just see him as a

man from another planet with much useful knowledge, a concern for others, and a sly

sense of humor.

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Bear in mind friend, it was never claimed that the movie was a retelling of New Testament scripture, so a lot of that content wouldn't be present or alluded to.  Your taking the suggestion (and examples) of the Christ parallels too literal.  And too, not limited to Christian scripture, as GORT could be seen as representative of a GOLEM (psalms 139:16) created to serve it's creator, which Gort certainly did.  And another allusion usually overlooked...

When Helen asks Klaatu if Gort has the power of life and death, Klaatu replies, "No.  That power is reserved for the Almighty Spirit."  And too, the only sci-fi flick I can think of in which the visiting( or invading) alien(s) refer to any belief in an omnipotent deity. 

Sepiatone

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Live by the Christ parallel, die by the Christ parallel. If people are going to stick to that idea,

they are liable to be criticized by showing that Klaatu differs from Christ as much as he is

similar to Him. No Joseph or Mary, no flight into Jupiter, etc. And not to take it too seriously,

but Klaatu looks to be older than 33. I think either Ben or his guest pointed out that that line

was added so it wouldn't appear that Klaatu had the power of life and death that belonged solely

to God and not some alien in a shiny spacesuit.

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Okay, two things:

I changed my user name to The Keeper, but didn't change my avatar. I didn't have enough characters to have Michael Rennie (The Keeper) as my user name. My connection is to The Keeper, not Michael Rennie's movies. I also know and like Michael Rennie as The Sandman from Batman. I say this only because Tom considered me odd in a different thread.

I had a third conversation with Xfinity/Comcast. Long story. The end result is I am keeping TCM. Good for another year, but the cost increased. Naturally.

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51 minutes ago, The Keeper said:

Okay, two things:

I changed my user name to The Keeper, but didn't change my avatar. I didn't have enough characters to have Michael Rennie (The Keeper) as my user name. My connection is to The Keeper, not Michael Rennie's movies. I also know and like Michael Rennie as The Sandman from Batman. I say this only because Tom considered me odd in a different thread.

I had a third conversation with Xfinity/Comcast. Long story. The end result is I am keeping TCM. Good for another year, but the cost increased. Naturally.

Saw Rennie on Wagon Train last night.    He was cast as a man-out-of-place-in-the-west,  and,  well he was.

 

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8 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Saw Rennie on Wagon Train last night.    He was cast as a man-out-of-place-in-the-west,  and,  well he was.

 

I saw him on The Invaders the week before last. He was certainly evoking his Day the Earth Stood Still role, until the script subverted his "benevolent alien" persona.

29233128056_17a88f205c_b.jpg

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