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About RHannay

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  1. The first time I've seen Hollow Triumph and I enjoyed it immensely. Despite some flaws, it's a fascinating tale and has a tight plot.
  2. What I find striking in this opening scene is that we're in a lavish apartment carefully decorated with King Louis furnishings and curios, certainly a departure from the typical noir locations of alleys, diners, bars, skid row, etc. No the person that lives here is no down and outer. He's successful, educated, cultured, if not a bit eccentric. Our intuition is confirmed when we're invited in the bathroom to meet him. He's vainly sitting naked in the tub with a custom shelf on which to place his typewriter, which describes a man consumed with story-telling and fantasy. His complete lack of reserve is disarming, yet the supremely confident air of his character takes you aback. The oddness of it all makes you ask "what's up with this guy?"
  3. I'm not a fan of the POV. Agree with others that it's hokey. I just find it annoying. it's difficult to get completely into the scene with the narrow focus. However a lot of info gets packed into this opening. Having the escapee get into the car and having the driver quiz him is a great technique, however the driver is seemingly suspicious from the start which makes little sense, because he just picked up this strange man in an undershirt. When the radio tips off the driver, it confirms his suspicion. It could have been better if the actor playing the driver could have been convincing that he really was trying to be friendly and was innocently helping a stranger and then the mood gradually shifts to suspicion with the mounting evidence that the hitch-hiker is an escaped murderer.
  4. This film wastes no time getting started. The violent murder is thrust right at the viewer set up beautifully against the background of the sleepy quiet tropical night, only interrupted by the slow cadence of sap dripping from the rubber tree, just before the shattering sounds of gunshots. The violence is emphasized by the dove frightened from its perch an the stunned looks of the awakened workers. Dramatic devices are used to further highlight the act, the porch becomes a stage and the steps heighten the fall of the dying man, and of course, the timely appearance of the full moon spotlight on the body and the face of the murderer. So many contrasts draw a picture that something has gone terribly wrong in the otherwise peaceful workaday existence on this plantation. This is one of my favorite movies. I still marvel at Ms. Davis' brilliant performance and Maugham's gorgeous dark tale. Wyler hits all the right spots in this cinema masterpiece.
  5. I'm a railroad buff so this scene makes me happy. It's hard for me to think about anything other than the train and it's movement down the tracks, but that may be Renoir's intention. The scene's characters are the 2 engineers and the locomotive. There's no dialogue, just the roar of the engine, the whistle and gestures for communication. The surrounding scenery whizzes by without getting even a glance from the engineers, they're just focused on the task of running the machine and moving speedily, powerfully onward down the tracks, detached from the world through which they hurtle. The main break in the sequence prior to arrival at Le Havre is when the train enters a tunnel and the screen goes black for an uncomfortably long time. As the light at the end of the tunnel begins to appear, the reassurance of being able to see the scene slowly returns.
  6. Light and dark being used sharply with the shadow of evil on the light background of the poster informing the public of danger. The alert does no good for the little girl as she simply uses it as a place to bounce her ball ignoring the presence of evil. Evil makes its appearance through both ominous silhouette and harmless voice. Sounds throughout the scene often contrast with what is going on visually and can be plainly seen... the cheerfulness of the girl singing of murder for example, which serves to heighten the sense that something is not right in this otherwise "normal" world.
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