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CareRespect

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  1. First of all, I want to say just how BRILLIANT I think this presentation is - using the whole sports breakdown scenario is engaging and entertaining. And of course breaking down the elements of physical comedy works well as one does an analysis of a sports play. Genius!
  2. This is the most basic of comedic gags. Very much like vaudeville where there would be a "straight" man and the guy who tells the joke. The man with the hose is the straight man, and the prankster is the one who releases the water. There's a small set up, A leads to B, joke is done. Over time, as audiences became more sophisticated, so have the jokes. And yet, these basic kind of jokes are the ones we learn when we are young. Almost like reading the Dick and Jane books (for those of you familiar with them). And there are those who will always prefer this simplicity of joke telling over anything more complicated - Dumb and Dumber.
  3. It's funny, but I never think of black and white films noir in terms of day or night, just light and dark. So the scene of Jane Greer walking into the Cantina has never stood out to me as one that strictly speaking may veer from the norms of the usual for Noir. It's obvious that at this point in the film we are to see Greer's character as an angel, and therefore first see her as if descending from heaven into a dark world. We will see her delve deeper into the darkness and the night scenes until she finally makes that transition (visually speaking) into the henchman of the devil that she truly is.
  4. This opening scene is one of the most efficiently written ever, providing immediate information on Humphrey Bogart's character as Philip Marlowe in an entertaining manner that seems perfectly natural and not at all like the expository speeches that they are. Brilliant! Only an actor with the charisma of Bogart can carry that off. And I for one find this Bogart's Marlowe far more immediately likable and friendly than his Spade. He is easy going here as opposed to the high strung, gruffier (I think I just made up a word) Spade. And yet he manages to stay within the parameters of a true Noir leading man. Or is that just Bogart in general?
  5. I am a big fan of the first introduction of any actor that becomes a formative presence in cinema. Omar Sharif is a prime example for how he was introduced in Lawrence of Arabia (what an incredible, drawn out, stunning moment). I think of the introduction of Clifton Webb to film audiences in the same way. We hear his voice before we see him. And it is a voice that will ultimately define him, not only in the character he portrays in the film Laura, but as an on screen persona in general (and by all accounts, off screen as well). His voice is as refined and particular as his personality and physical presence. There is no doubt what we as an audience should expect to see, and we are not disappointed. Clifton Webb is one of those rarities, one who sounds exactly as they appear, an onomatopoeic human.
  6. Since the extensive use of the main character's POV in Dark Passage is not used right away, virgin viewers will not get the concept of the perspective until after the shirt is stuffed into the bushes and the camera swishes back and forth from a view of the prison to a view of the motorcycle cops. It's at this time one would normally expects a reverse angle onto the character doing the watching. This anticipation is completely squashed once "we" climb into the passing car and begin a conversation with the new character who talks straight to the camera. He is talking to us, the viewer. Now we settle in, now we understand - this perspective is a part of the story, and we the audience are required to be a more active participant than is usually expected of us. This is thrilling and full of natural tension created by the viewer's new unexpected role of riding along inside the head of the main character. This is perhaps the strongest example of how Noir aims to get the viewer to do just that - empathize with the main character by getting us to understand, or at the very least, empathize with him. A milestone indeed.
  7. The opening sequence in M is really interesting in the way that it is so very different than the Hollywood films of the same period. Hollywood was hot on musicals being that 1930 was so early in the sound age, and suffered from the concept that everything had to be flashy and loud. M is very much the exact opposite, forcing the viewer to pay close attention because of the quietness of the scene, and the boring every day scenario depicted. I found myself actually leaning in so as not to miss the subtle sounds that were present - a pretty clever device.
  8. Although the opening scene to The Letter is very Noir, I think we're still looking at a sequence that has more influence from, and a stronger tie to German Expressionism than Noir. This is certainly a very strong bridge from one to the other, but for me the rest of the film lacks too many of other required elements to actually classify it as a Noir film. That being said, the combination of the music and the visuals of the moon and the clouds make a terrifically moody setting.
  9. I love Noir, I love Jean Gabin, and I love this gorgeous black and white opening sequence to a movie I have never seen. But, honestly, I don't see anything that marks this as a Noir Film. I know it is because I am told that it is, but out of context there is nothing that specifically resinates. Perhaps that is the point. Most Noir Films, any film actually, needs to be seen as a whole to understand its overall intentions. To answer the questions directly, the realistic depiction certainly grips you and you have an immediate understanding that these men know their jobs. The long shots that carry the audience through the darkness of the tunnel and out again is very much like the trip one takes when watching a Noir film, although more often than not the light at the end is never reached. Finally, I see the contribution to Noir style in the shooting on location, showing the dirty side of a city and the people who are usually hidden behind the scenes - although I think that's a stretch. As a stand alone scene without context I see no immediate contribution. Sorry, but I need context in this particular scenario.
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