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jrvillarin

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About jrvillarin

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  1. One hundred and twenty years later, the gag in this clip might be considered trite for purposes of inclusion in a film (although it's still hysterically funny if you can get to see this happening, in real life, and it does), but I have to think that it was an incredibly entertaining thing to see, in 1896, considering that there must have been a rampant fascination with seeing anything moving, in this new invention called "motion pictures." An amazing thing about looking at these films is that they provide a form of time travel-- being able to see images of the world over a hundred years ag
  2. How do you feel the noir influence operates in this scene from Mildred Pierce? This scene is oozing with the noir influence, covering just about every topic that could be a serious taboo at that time: a possible pregnancy outside of marriage, blackmail, defiance of a parent-- -- How does Curtiz arrange these two actresses to heighten the tension of the scene? Pay attention to how they move and how they are framed in the scene, especially the use of close-ups. Curtiz arranges our views of the two in a way that is calculated to allow us to see their facial reactions to their respect
  3. How would you compare the opening of M to the opening of Ministry of Fear? They are similar in the sense that they open with a scene that is not immediately clear, but quickly progresses to a point that one feels either highly disturbed (as in M) or curious (as in Ministry) -- Describe in your own words how Fritz Lang uses the clock in this scene as a major element to set mood and atmosphere. The use of a clock in any scene will introduce the element of anticipation of something that is yet to come. The sudden opening of the door, with seconds yet to go, ob
  4. -- Describe some of the things Marlowe says or does that make him a new kind of private detective? He assumes that anyone coming to see him may not be honest and so he is cynical in his interactions, even if, at the end of the day, his objective is to do the right thing -- Why do you think this kind of private detective fits so well within the film noir context? The private detective, being another human being with flaws, can have as much an interest in the things that motivate the people he is investigating; therefore, he can have a dark side that can overtake
  5. -- What examples do you see that fit with Nino Frank's contention that Laura is a "charming character study of furnishings and faces?" The entire movie is visually lush, with images of affluence contrasted by those of the detective who seems almost like an intruder in this high-end setting, metaphorically illustrated by McPherson's handling the item in the curio, and being admonished for doing so (with a reference, of course, to the value of the item). Having seen this movie many times before, I know that it is rife with images of furnishings and faces (with their own interesting stories)
  6. -- Do you feel this film's use of first person POV in this scene was successful or not successful? The use of POV is definitely successful, and decidedly rare, back in the 1940s, probably the kind of scene that moviegoers talked about a great deal, sparking interest in the movie, itself. The randomness of the barrel's tumble drives home the idea that, for all the bravado of escaping from the prison, it can all end in disaster. if it falls the wrong way. It does not, of course, as this is only the beginning of the story. And so, disaster averted (for the time being), this POV scene with
  7. Clearly, the mood Lang conveyed in this opening scene is one of grim foreboding. The visual of the children is the only benign image and it is quickly "contaminated" by the lyrics of the song being sung. There is an obvious message that the world of the children is not one immune to the harsh realities of the environment in which they live, and subject to invasion by evil from without and, ironically, upon the innocent invitation of a child who unhesitatingly gives the stranger her name. The opening of M has all the classic elements of film noir style: establishing an uneasiness in the amb
  8. Given that it is film noir we are studying, I cannot say I was necessarily surprised by the opening scene in The Letter as I had to presume that something was going to happen to establish a starting point for the story but, looking at it from an analytical perspective, I will say that the way in which the camera slowly panned throughout the grounds, and the peaceful aspect of it being night time, and everyone is at rest, enhanced the dramatic effect of the intrusion of gunshots. The fact that it is clearly Bette Davis' character doing the shooting, and that the act is literally underscored by
  9. -- What does the film's realistic depiction of a train add to this opening? Clearly, this type of opening creates an enormous amount of curiosity, and attracts a very focused attention on the nuances of every action taken by the two men on the train, particularly in the absence of spoken dialogue. For over four minutes, one cannot help but sit there and watch what's happening, and what they're doing. The POV shots of the train making its way to its destination are entertaining, for visual effect alone, and the filmmakers achieve something very important, by the time the train arrives at Le
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