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Everything posted by milart

  1. The dress and the dialogue are the hint of film noir. The blocking of who is talking down to the other is a fine concept. This clip alone, despite the black dresses and the vitriolic dialogue does not make this a film noir - maybe when I have seen the entire film will I understand why it is on this course, but not on this clip alone.
  2. I think that Fritz Lang has a checklist for his film openings. The evidence: the children's chant in M and the clock ticking in MOF, Shooting from above the characters - in M it is the policeman and the child, in MOF it is the two men as the gate is opened, the shadow work from Caligari, the foreshadowing dialogue: "I wish the children would stop" and "Don't get entangled with police". Great use of the noir tradition of movement toward an unknown destination - and what motivates the movement. Film Noir is a well calculated, well spun spider web awaiting ......... you.
  3. MMS is important to film noir with its emphasis on dialogue that is terse, often banter, sarcastic, rude, and often humorous. None of the other opening scenes of our first 5 feature this great noir feature. This film lacks the dark shadows opening and the unknown destination feature of the others. MMS sets the mood as well as the character of the characters. Great stuff!
  4. This noir opening attempts to lull you into complicity. Film Noir loves off-putting. The long pan around the room full of antiques establishes WL as a collector. Preminger is setting us up for what is to follow - but the clues are subtle. We are watching WL turn Tierney into :Laura" who, in the beginning, does not exist. You are watching Pygmalion. WL is so self assured that he knows that he can manufacture Laura but he proves as the plot continues to prove that Laura was unworthy of his creation and he "broke" the statue". Great stuff!
  5. Just read the post on like/dislike voice over in film noir. I greatly enjoy and appreciate voice over particularly in opening scenes of films noir. Commercially: They save time, film, camera work and, mostly, money for the studio. Story-wise: An opening sequence voice over (often during movement toward an undisclosed destination) becomes a Prologue to the coming action. It can set the mood of the piece by being a particular type of voice (languid, menacing, etc.) and best of all, it does away with todays answer to an opening voice over -- the flash back, one of most confusing devices in
  6. I am not a fan of this film's opening. It is to "pat", too contrived. But, the film noir mechanism that I do like is the use of "moving to an unknown destination or fate". Undisclosed destination is a great film noir contribution to motion picture story telling. The viewer is not going to go to the candy stand or to his frig for a beer until his curiosity is satisfied.
  7. Setting the tone in a few seconds! A moonlit evening under an ever changing sky, you watch the workers of the plantation rest after their daily labors while listening to their native music - you know you are being set up and BANG - the set up begins. What follows is action without explanation - a film noir staple. The viewer has no foreshadowing of what is to come - just the changes of the moonlight as a precursor as to what follows. Is there any doubt that the viewer has been "roped in"? Is there any doubt as to why film noir was/is so popular. And I think we are seeing a new writing
  8. The opening is long enough to give me the feeling that I am on board. The element of noir comes from not knowing where I/we are going. Noir gives one a somewhat fearful sense of delayed destination, where am I going but at this speed it must be important. The sounds of the train envelope one, the speed drives your curiosity as to why we are in such a hurry to get there - what awaits us? The arrival of the grandioso music is the raising of The Grand Curtain on our drama. We have arrived at something as yet unknown.
  9. Dreadful foreboding begins with shadows, even in the semi darkness of the opening shot. The changing camera angles are disquieting. Shooting down on the singing children is ominous, while flat and straight is the normal. The sharp sound of the clock is meant to startle the observer - and forecast more of the same to come. Lang is a master of telling an entire prologue in 5 minutes.
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