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Liz VK

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  1. -- Discuss how the opening of this film exemplifies the noir style and substance. We start with a city in the dark – classic noir. Passion, and sudden bright light on a closeup of the lovers. The score crashes and marches forward relentlessly, until the lovers appear. A long, diagonal shot of the parking lot as the camera closes in is unsettling. We don’t really know where we are or where we are going. The dialog suggests a crime is about to be committed and both lovers are involved. Once we see the husband, we know we have been looking at another femme fatale! -- Now that you have seen al
  2. I agree - I love that film! And the character played by Gene Tierney is definitely an evil woman - but very different from the ones we have seen in the films this summer.
  3. -- What role does music (especially the record playing Wagner) play in the intensity of this scene? The music is building to a climax as the beating approaches – just before the worst of the beating, the Hume Cronyn character turns up the music, presumably to cover some of the sounds that others are hearing, outside the room. The music seems like an essential part of the scene. -- Based on what you've learned in this class, how does this scene fit in with your understanding of early postwar film noir (films released in 1946 and 1947) and the development of the noir style and substance? Wag
  4. -- Describe how this scene uses cinematography to accentuate the brutal beating of Steve Randall (Steve Brodie). The use of light and shadow is ominous, even before the beating. That first punch feels like a punch to the gut for the audience – its speed and viciousness is unexpected, even though we know what’s coming and all you can see is the fist at the end of that shot. When Brodie gets up and starts to walk out, the speed and force of the punch that sends him back down is, again, surprising. The swinging light, and the complete darkness outside of the light, forces us to look even harder f
  5. -- Discuss how this film depicts and utilizes this "unnamed city." The scene with a number of pillars and a train in the background has tracks that end, and so go nowhere. Additionally, why do you think the film is entitled "The Asphalt Jungle?" The shots are of a tough part of a city, especially the street with broken asphalt that looks like it was bombed, and a lone figure walking through it. The wires overhead remind you of vines in a jungle. A jungle is a place where new dangers may lurk, and that’s how this clip feels. The score at the beginning of the clip makes you feel like the man is
  6. -- In what ways does Miles Davis' score (improvised while watching scenes from the movie) work with and contribute additional layers of meaning to Louis Malle's visual design? The smooth, suggestive, sexy score fits perfectly with the closeups and the love-making over the phone – it gives a new layer of intimacy. It’s even more effective after the lack of a score in the beginning of the clip – we only hear whispered lines and sighs. -- Going back to our original discussions of jazz on the film noir style, what is it about the "idioms of jazz" that resonate so well with the style and substa
  7. -- Describe the noir elements, in terms of style and substance, in this opening sequence. We home in on a character through a window – and one with a black mark on it that is not identifiable – it looks like it is on his face - this creates an uncomfortable feeling about his future. He tries to remove the blot, but is only partly successful. The shadows in the house, even though it is broad daylight outside are classic noir. And the fact that the woman who hired him does not respond to his calling out her name sets us on edge. We see the protagonist only as a reflection in the mirror as he ope
  8. - Do you see evidence, even in the film's opening scenes, for Foster Hirsch's assessment that the dialogue in this film sounds like a "parody of the hard-boiled school" or that "noir conventions are being burlesqued"? Both passengers in the taxi poked their heads in the window in the same way – it looked a little silly - and were using the clipped speech of the noir style. One of the men dusting off the front of the other after lighting his cigar – again, it’s amusing in this context and I don't think we would have seen that in earlier noir films. The way the woman is mentioned seems to be a j
  9. -- Discuss the role of time and timing in this scene. Time and timing is everything, since the protagonist is planning a robbery and must watch his victim every day and keep notes to get the time when events happen just right. -- What are the film noir elements (style or substance) that you notice in the opening of this film? The score during the introduction is very aggressive with its loud volume and marching rhythm blasting the listener with brass – reminds me of the beginning of D.O.A. when the protagonist is marching down endless hallways to report a murder. The substance of the notes
  10. Compare and contrast how director Karlson shoots and stages the boxing scene as a contrast of styles between cinema and television. Closeups in the beginning, indicating what cinema can do; as soon as the knockdown happens, the pain shows on Ernie’s face. The slow motion as the camera pulls out and shows the scene on TV makes the shot even more painful. As spectators, we are pulled out from the reality of the match, but at the same time, we identify with Ernie and his pain, as we see him watching himself on TV. As the commentator mentions that the referee is examining Ernie’s right eye, he tou
  11. -- Discuss the scene in terms of its acting and staging. In this brief scene, what do you see as the interpersonal relationships between Sam (Heflin), Walter (Douglas), and Martha (Stanwyck)? If you have seen the entire film, avoid larger points about the plot, and focus simply on what you are seeing just in this scene. Walter seems to be the one with the least power in this situation, even though he is the one with the most power in the community. Earlier, during the conversation between Walter and Sam, Sam says life is a gamble and that some lose, some don’t. Oddly, Walter responds, some
  12. -- Compare the opening of this film with other Daily Doses that began with a similar set-up on a deserted highway at night. How does this film's fateful twist differ from other film scenes we have investigated? In this film, we also have the darkness of a deserted highway. We know the car that stops at the 3.5 mile marker is there to complete some transaction with another person, as he looks at his watch to check the time of the meeting. The score is menacing, suggesting something bad is coming. We saw a deserted highway in Kiss Me Deadly and the Hitch-hiker and in both cases there was a sens
  13. -- How is Hitchcock's rhythm and purposes different in this opening sequence, from other films noir such as Kiss Me Deadly or The Hitch-Hiker? In Kiss Me Deadly and The Hitch-Hiker, we also saw only feet or legs at the beginning, but with much more of a feeling of dread. In both of those cases, the first person we saw was desperate in some way, and the sound track added to that feeling, but the feeling in this clip is much lighter because of the music – and the story so far. The music emphasizes the deliberate way the protagonists approach their goal, much like we see in D.O.A. but, again, muc
  14. -- Compare the opening of this film with the other three Daily Doses this week? Do you see parallels in the opening scenes of these films? The opening scene begins in the dark, with the protagonist moving alone toward a goal – the extensive hallway brings to mind the highway in the Hitchhiker and Kiss Me Deadly, where other protagonists are alone, moving toward an unknown future, along an endless highway, suggesting hopelessness – we also felt hopelessness in the opening scene of Caged. All of the protagonists move in and out of the light, setting up a situation where they seem to make progres
  15. --Why is this opening appropriate for a film about females at a women's state prison? The image is constricted, down to a small square, as the view from a cell in a prison. --In what ways has the design of this scene made the audience as "caged" as these characters in this opening sequence? We can’t see much. Most around the little bit of view is unseeable and unknowable. The closeup of the first character shows she doesn’t seem to know why she is there – and neither do we. -- What about this opening reminds you of the Warner Bros. house style? And why is that appropriate for this subject
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