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About Egythea_A

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  1. I like how the clips go behind the scenes to reveal the tricks such as the rotating backdrop and the seesaw horse. It says to me that the laughs don't depend on the filmmaking techniques. You can pull back the curtain and reveal the guy turning the crank and it's still funny.
  2. But most theaters had live music, didn't they? At least one musician. And on an interesting side note, Japanese and maybe other east Asian theaters had a live narrator, a "benshi", from the beginning. People creatively filled the void of missing sound in early cinema.
  3. Filmmakers use camera movement and editing to direct our eye, to guide us through the scene. Without it, it's completely up to the actors to make the scene flow. With their perfectly timed choreography the brothers Chaplin carried it off splendidly. I like the little elements of surprise in Syd's unpredictable reaction times - once he spins around in a split-second, next time it's a leisurely turn that allows Charlie to snag two pieces. Charlie uses the magician's technique of diverting Syd's attention, first eying the dog as a possible suspect, and later looking for imaginary mice or ants
  4. I wonder if any comedians today would endure any sort of physical discomfort or even risk to perform funny scenes. Even if they wanted to, studio rules, insurance and liability considerations etc wouldn't allow it, I'm sure. And we have stuntpeople to do the extreme physical acting.
  5. The dog snagged two sausages at the beginning. That started the crime wave. Looks like Charlie made a halfhearted attempt to return the purloined wursts but faliled, and then got the idea to go for the cakes. Nice little intro to the main gag.
  6. 1. Do you agree or disagree with Agee and Youngson's statements that the silent films from 1912 – 1930 constituted "comedy's greatest era" or its "golden age?" Why or why not? Not necessarily "greatest", but "golden age" yes - if we define the "golden age" of any art/entertainment form as the period of its first flowering. 2. Do you agree with the film's narrator that in the silent film era the "gags were completely visual—a form of wit that has all but disappeared from the land, but which experts now agree were among the most imaginative and enduring comedy of all…?” Did this form
  7. Part 1 is on Vimeo. At around 12 minutes starts a fascinating and insightful look at the making of "The Cure". Chaplin tried and rejected a whole host of stagings, even intricate and difficult ones, before he found what worked for his character. He didn't want the film to be just a string of zany gags. Every action should make sense and be right for his character and result in a coherent, flowing whole. That's probably a reason why his shorts are loved worldwide to this day.
  8. Watched both. Noticed the later one by Alice Guy gives us a few seconds of delightful anticipation as the boy comes out from the background and hides behind the bush for an instant before stepping on the hose. While in the original Lumiere one he enters the frame suddenly, right next to the gardener. Each entrance is funny but in a different way. To the original question - yes, I see the seeds of slapstick in this short. Big coconut-sized seeds. One more humorous component I sensed is a streak of anti-authoritarianism. An adult with a job and responsibilities and authority in the garden ge
  9. CRY DANGER and THE PROWLER - Superb recommendations! Let me add a personal fave: PHANTOM LADY (1944, Universal) - another one directed by Robert Siodmak, one of the German emigres in Hollywood, who directed THE KILLERS and CRISS CROSS. Based on a Cornell Woolrich novel, it features Ella Raines as a gutsy female lead who falls neither in the "femme fatale" nor "good girl" category but has elements of both and more, as she descends all alone into dark, dangerous, unladylike places to extract information from inexplicably tight-lipped witnesses to clear her falsely accused employer (and secre
  10. CRISS CROSS opening sequence - we fly over the northern part of downtown LA with iconic City Hall and descend somewhere in what's probaly the former Bunker Hill area, now gone but a lot of noir scenes were set there, often featuring the funicular tram known as Angel's Flight we see in ACT OF VIOLENCE and in KISS ME DEADLY, where, if I remember correctly, the opera fan lives in one of the wooden houses that lined its inclined track. It's night, and underscoring the darkness is another thrilling score by Miklos Rozsa whose noir credits are long: DOUBLE INDEMNITY, THE KILLERS, THE STRANGE LOV
  11. Need to read this board bottom-to-top like KISS ME DEADLY's opening credits - then I would've seen NIGHT AND THE CITY alread mentioned! A must-see!
  12. Great choice. Let me add 2 more directed by Jules Dassin: THIEVES' HIGHWAY, (1949), with Richard Conte, Valentina Cortese, Lee J. Cobb - italian-american California fruit growing family fights a diabolic protection racket - and NIGHT AND THE CITY (1950) - made in London after Dassin was forced to flee US, narrowly escaping Communist witchhunters. Stars Richard Widmark, Gene Tierney and Googie Withers (British). One of the best-ever portraits of the downfall of a small-time street hustler. Fascinating look at London underworld. Both from 20th Cen Fox. Seldom, if at all, on TCM but avail
  13. I"m enjoying the podcasts, they're tremendously informative and bring out a lot of new angles and connections. But in this case I have to agree with Sir David and BrianBlake. I'd like to know: as genius as Orson Welles was, did he put all that meta-stuff in there intentionally? Or are we finding it there after the fact?
  14. A scene just as painfully brutal as yesterday's DDD. And some similar techniques used here - shots from below to make the brute appear more imposing, and a cutaway during the worst blows where we hear only the sound and see the reactions of others. Hume Cronyn may be physically far less imposing than Raymond Burr but his bearing and mannerisms make up for it - the slow, deliberate walk, the condescending way he talks to Louis (Sam Levene), how he's taken off his shirt to keep to keep it from getting stained, and of course how he plays a bit of Wagner to drown out the less pleasant sounds and a
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