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eduardowolbert

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About eduardowolbert

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  1. Hey all, I just wanted to post something I've been thinking of in terms of genre to explain film noir and how it's being influenced by some of the independent reading I've been doing, especially the essay 'Film Noir on the Edge of Doom' by Marc Vernet (1993) which most of this post borrows from. By now, most of us have come across the idea that film noir is a diffuse topic, and that no one really knows whether it is a style, a genre, a mode, a sequence or all of those things. Part of establishing a sense of what noir is is understanding its precursors, which we understand to be German Ex
  2. This discussion on Jazz and film noir is actually fascinating to me because it is bringing out something very important to, if not film noir, then definitely neo-noir. Noir already has a concern with how much we know about certain characters and how much the noir detective story is about a subject trying to literally piece together something out of the past. I think neo-noirs take up this thread in really interesting ways. The kind of sexy arpeggiated jazz and trumpet instrumentals we associate with films noir did in fact come later with neo-noir. I mostly think of Polanski's Chinatown (one
  3. This discussion on Jazz and film noir is actually fascinating to me because it is bringing out something very important to, if not film noir, then definitely neo-noir. Noir already has a concern with how much we know about certain characters and how much the noir detective story is about a subject trying to literally piece together something out of the past. I think neo-noirs take up this thread in really interesting ways. The kind of sexy arpeggiated jazz and trumpet instrumentals we associate with films noir did in fact come later with neo-noir. I mostly think of Polanski's Chinatown (one
  4. Legerdemain As soon as Grayle mentions the jade, Marlowe knows exactly what to do. I didn't notice it until the 2nd viewing, but Marlowe locks her in the room as soon as she gets in. Marlowe tricks not only those who come into his office, but the audience as well. This scene is amazing in terms of non-verbal gesture: what people do with their hands and bodies. Grayle's change of character is materilized in the glasses she wears, Marlowe grabs the phone and twirls the key rather than say to Grayle what the situation is, he furrows his eyebrows, crosses his arms, smiles, hesitates, communic
  5. Laura is one of the best films noir I have yet seen. It might be my favorite next to Out of the Past. The thing that strikes me most about Laura is the beautiful set design. I'm really interested in overly ornate surfaces. This movie, more so than any so far in our Daily Dose, shows the importance of mise-en-scene to frame a narrative. The film begins with the detective surrounded by world of priceless things. The camera slowly pores over the surfaces of precious and fragile objects. He peruses a wall of masks: a cue that people are not what they seem, especially not the person who owns
  6. This movie is interesting in contrast with Lady in the Lake (1947), a movie that tries to so completely identify the protagonist with the audience or the camera. The opening of Dark Passage is wrought with the troubling notion that the audience is identifying directly with something out of its control. It is especially disconcerting knowing that you are identifying with a prison escapee about whom we know nothing. The jarring effect is intended by the fact that it works too well, and that we are hoping for the protagonist's escape, a tenet of the moral ambiguity. I was even hoping he would
  7. I just thought I would take this opportunity to relate this to another of my cinematic passions with which, btw, film noir shares a similarly elusive history of definition: melodrama. As many of us know, film noir was a retroactive term given to American films from the 40's by French critics. People didn't make films noir. That was a term critics and historians adopted to talk about this new sensibility coming out of Hollywood. The Hollywood trade press actually use to refer to films like these as melodramas or 'mellers' for short: crime and gangster movies, what we think of as thrillers an
  8. Three Things: 1. High-contrast chiaroscuro: from the rubber-tree milk, and from the whiteness of Mr. Hammond's pants and the workers' outfits. The moonlight is also a recurrent image. Obstructing clouds dampen the moonlight to hide what has been done in darkness; they move again to reveal the crime at 2:13. 2. The cunning of the long, slow take: the film starts with a long, sleepy and sensual shot (actually really two shots) that takes the time to glide over the surfaces of things. The wipe at 1:07 is gentle, smooth, and langrous. A lot of people have being talking about tension and
  9. All interested parties, I've talked to a TCM administrator and I've been told that this post will indeed be pinned and its suggestions for posting guidelines adopted. For those just seeing this thread and not wanting to go to the beginning: When we do the clip posting (whether for Fritz Lang's 'M,' 'la Bete Humaine' et al.) can we please reply to the initial thread instead of starting a new one on our own. You can identify it by the high number of replies. If each user continues to begin their own thread, it will become extremely disorganized by the end of week one and will discoura
  10. The City and the Train The opening scene of 'la Bete Humaine' is indicative of the way urban modernization and circulation inform early films noir. If early film noir finds its most fitting or plausible setting in the city, that has to have some relation to industry and modernization. To me, this is most relevant as a discussion of the noir protagonist that has to make his (always his) way through a fragmented reality of the city. The city is cut and carved by the rapid and dizzying vectors of modernization. What is the "Bete Humaine" to which the title refers? Human nature, or is it tec
  11. Right, I don't usually mind clutter myself but look at how many threads we already have now, just from today alone. This will be exacerbated exponentially in the upcoming weeks. This is compounded further by the fact that no one is titling their posts with "Response for Week #1: M" or anything uniform, so it's hard to even determine which posts would be about what. I'm not trying to tell anybody what to do. It's just a thoughtful suggestion to keep things organized for the easier understanding of all interested parties.
  12. Right, the initial post was begun by a guest or student. All I meant was for us to reply in one post. If there is already a thread, just reply in that one. Starting another one will just make it harder for people to navigate the other replies. I really like reading other replies and would hate to have to constantly go back into new subject threads. Plus, the weeks that follow will be even harder to find.
  13. Awesome post. I'm also interested in the off-screen in 'M,' in particular that looming anxiety that pervades the urban cityscape materialized in noir by shadow.
  14. Hello Noir Cohort! The noir use of shadow is most prominent when Peter Lorre comes into the scene, or rather, his shadow. The homage to Murnau's 'Nosferatur' (1922) is unmistakable: Fritz Lang would have been familiar with this film and the larger sequence of German Expressionism (Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, the Golem, etc.) Sonically, I'm interested in the element of the voice in this scene from 'M.' We are shown a variety of different voices. Most of the dialogue in the scene pertain to the use of voices. The children sing, the woman with the laundry basket attempts to use her ow
  15. Hey All, It's already getting really cluttered and disorganized with all the posting. When we do the weekly posting (this week it was for Fritz Lang's 'M') can we please reply to the initial thread instead of starting a new one on our own. If we keep opening our own messages, it will become extremely disorganized by the end of week one and will discourage people from viewing anyone else's comments. Please post in one thread. Thanks!
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