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About Cachirula

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  1. This opening scene must have knocked the critics' socks off at the time. Extremely original rendering of a first person POV. What if the very first image had been the sky seen from the wobbly barrel?
  2. This opening scene is amazingly efficient in that, in less than four minutes, it perfectly sets a tone with the plantation workers resting at night, and then smashes it with one shot that startles everyone, the characters in the film and the audience. Then another five shots are fired and the victim is in full view at on the ground. Bette Davis's character is almost indignant at the moon for suddenly shedding so much light on what she has done. Wonderful. Dying to see more! This is the first time I've stopped to smell the flowers as far as film noir ir concerned, and I can say that I am totally hooked to the genre so far...
  3. The furnace in the opening scene is like a great eager mouth into which coal is fed in order to keep the formidable creature thundering along. An atmosphere of a certain intimacy is created in the small working place, a camaraderie of soot, sweat and shared duty. The engineers go about their specific tasks earnestly, with ease and human-eye precision. All this is perceived in a dynamic, almost coreographic way through the men's movements and actions. These engaging technical details are soon eclipsed by the beauty of an almost moon-like apparition in the dark, when this great animal dashes out of the black end of a long tunnel into open air. Power and speed, as well as a sense of beauty and grandiosity are efficiently conveyed by the camera's position. Beautiful use of triumphant, almost epic symphonic music when the train is punctually reaching its destination.
  4. The children's song immediately reminds us of every infant's instinctive fear of being torn away from the safety of their homes. "The nasty man in black" is first introduced to us by this group of joyless children who stand stiffly in a circle, seen from above, each casting a long shadow that is characteristic of the film noir genre. The camera moves away from the children and then upwards, showing us a tired, irritated woman who demands that the singing be stopped, as though the weight she is carrying were increased insupportably by the horror ellicited by the song. A second woman opens the door and we see the expression of fatigue and preoccupation on her face. Through the dialogue with the other woman we learn that there is a murderer, confirming what was insinuated earlier. But when she is alone in the room, doing the laundry, her face lights up with anticipation. The camera is now at eye level with the woman in the room and there is light coming in through the window in a natural way. The sounds we hear from the neighbourhood contribute to a feeling of normalcy that was absent before. Meanwhile, a girl almost gets run over by a car and the tension increases. It is heightened by the text we read in the advertisement against which she is bouncing a ball insistantly. And the scene reaches its climax when the large shadow of a man looming over the child is visible on the advertisement. Fritz Lang's M (1931). Opening scene
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