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skootie116

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  1. Entrances: Lorre strolls out the elevator playing with his hat and talking to himself. He moves to the door, finds his keys, fits a key to the lock. CUT to other side of door. Lorre’s second entrance: he’s stopped in his tracks. Greenstreet is already in situ, master of the place. He appears in a doorframe at the other end of the room blocking out Lorre’s reflection in the bathroom mirror behind him and continues toward Lorre at a steady pace, pistol held lightly (with serious intent?). Lighting: The lighting is motivated by set prop lighting fixtures to the side and somewhat behind each actor. Lorre also has an additional bit of back light motivated by a lamp reflected in a mirror behind him. In deep focus over-the-shoulder shots the “practical” lights behind the actors make them stand out in greater relief. The grayscale is beautifully manipulated. Did I read somewhere that the cinematography here is a study in black and silver? Set ups: The blocking and camera work bring Lorre and Greenstreet closer gradually. One move, where Lorre takes a few steps toward Greenstreet, and not until he is still does the camera, behind him at shoulder level, follow, then stop. It made me feel like Lorre was being trapped into moving closer to the center of a web, that the camera might have a gun. Greenstreet is growing inexorably larger. In one shot, from behind Greenstreet’s shoulder, Lorre looks child size. In the reverse shot Greenstreet takes up more than half the frame, leaving Lorre scrunched up in what’s left of the space. The camera drops lower in stages and is finally at Greenstreet’s feet. The camera moves up his body until only his head is in the shot. He says threatening things to Lorre and narrows his eyes.. I’m chuckling because I know that Lorre won’t be frightened by it and, indeed, he isn’t. The threat is toothless. I hope Negulesco intended to amuse. Acting: One last thing: these masters are giving a lesson in relaxation for actors. They work in such complete release that they can play off each other with lightness and finesse and with no apparent effort, both vocally and physically. Hey, watch and learn!
  2. We know he is Philip Marlowe because he introduces himself as such at the door, and the butler then addresses him as Mr. Marlowe. He is not overawed by the obvious luxury of the house, despite the fact that the high-soaring vertical lines dwarf his body. The ceiling is too tall to be included in the shot, but a very large, probably priceless, crystal chandelier dips in at the top of the frame. Nor is he thrown off by the lubricious taunts of the girl, but willing to play along up to a point. He keeps his balance and doesn’t humiliate her. In sum: Marlowe does not lose his cool easily. As to the contrast between Marlowe and Spade as portrayed by Bogart, they are two entirely different people, and proof that Bogart was a very skilled actor, not a type. His technique is so good we don’t see it, a characteristic of all master artists in all fields of art. Marlowe appears externally relaxed. He is urbane, polite, respectful and dignified, even capable of smiling. His eyes express empathy as he listens to the General. He seems unflappable. Marlowe doesn’t get down in the muck. Bogart controls his facial muscles, no tics. Spade on the other hand wears almost everything on the surface. He is dark in atmosphere, cynical, moody, embittered. There is nothing smooth or urbane or upbeat about him. He is clever, knowing and unyielding. He expects the worst. Yet he has that core of innate honor that Chandler pointed out as an absolute requirement for a noir anti-hero. His facial tics are ever present, and even used to intimidate. The two carry their bodies differently. Marlowe moves through space easily, his body has plasticity. Spade is wound up so tight that you can feel his joints struggling to articulate. Their shoulder carriage is very different. So, different bodies, different psyches, different histories. If they served, Marlowe was an officer (he feels like a captain), despite his egalitarian ways, and Spade was a grunt, or more likely a tough noncom. I’d like to say something about the musical score because it is programmatic and matches motifs with character and action. In the scene with Marlowe and the girl, she is sexy woodwinds, he counters as a flute, and, as she approaches, a light warning. She drops into his arms with a harp arpeggio, she is supported there by violins tutti. Earlier as Marlowe enters the mansion, the tympani’s slow, admonitory figure warns us that we must be alert. Again, when Marlowe enters the hothouse, the full orchestra suggests danger, then, as Marlowe moves into the hot spider’s nest under a low glass ceiling, the music fades under dialogue without resolving.. As to noir representation: this is a place that is black and white with shadowy corners. It is not real. It goes beneath reality to present to us its undercarriage. This is a story in which anything can happen and no one is automatically trustworthy. Most of what is going on is under the surface, where one must dive but try not to drown.
  3. Hi. Dialogue isn't always a good indicator in revealing character. People lie, to each other and to themselves. Better to watch what they do or say when they're off guard, perhaps in the heat of the moment. Look for motivation: what do they want, how do they go about getting it? The fact that they lie tells us something useful.
  4. I can't just click "Like"and leave. I want to say that I was moved by the clarity and humanity of your vision and your ability to write it. Thank you very much.
  5. Yes, leaving the class might serve you well. We're happy here and are not impressed by naysayers. Bye-bye.
  6. It was my impression that "Border Incident" was among the films that contributed to the classic noir, but not shot in that style.
  7. DDD #10 The Killers First section, in diner, plays subtle games with perspective. Angles keep one slightly off balance. High contrast. Deep blacks. Verticals sometimes aligned with frame, sometimes not. This is Expressionism gone subtle and noir. Front section of diner - Coffered ceiling included in shot and curved counter make the composition dynamic, unsettling. Hot down lights part of set design. Two eyelines against one -threatening. Only after baddies leave and door shuts is there music: a short, percussive phrase repeated progressively louder and faster. Backroom/kitchen of diner. Up-from-floor shot. Ceiling in the shot, shelves angle back toward unseen vanishing point. Harsh down light from ceiling. Low contrast lighting. Nick goes to tell the Swede that men are after him. The score becomes faster and increasingly louder with more complex melodies and rhythm. There is a long parallel traveling shot as Nick races through the wooded shadows and over uniformly picket fences towards the Swede’s place. Cut to high crane shot looking back and down at Nick coming towards us out of the mist and jumping more fences. We see him running down a concrete path below us and then the camera pans up the building Nick is approaching, into the Swede’s room and stops with the full back of the door in the frame. . Nick enters. leaving the door open. Great sequence! The Swede is lying on his back on the bed, his head made invisible by a table lamp and deep shadow. A headless man, doomed. Nick stands over him, his back to the light streaming in from the hall. He casts a high, deep black, clear-cut silhouette on the wall beside the Swede. As Nick weakly gestures, begging the Swede to let him help, his shadow looks like a black ministering angel preparing the Swede for death. The Swede refuses help, Nick sadly turns away and leaves closing the door. The Swede has never moved, hardly seems to be breathing. From the beginning of the crane shot until Nick’s exit there have been no edits. Is the latter section, after Nick exits the kitchen, formalistic because entirely cinematic techniques are used to advance the narrative and convey meaning?
  8. Posted Today, 08:58 AM celmaib Posted a photo of the the Diner EXT. NIGHT I think you'll see that this is not shot on location, but in a sound stage where everything could be fully designed and controlled. It's realism but not real.
  9. Interesting how everything changes with only editing and sound. Of course you're aware that Vidor had other objectives in mind when he made the choices he did.
  10. DDD #9 Gilda Comparison of (1) “Amado Mio” and (2) "Put the Blame…”: (1) Romantic, not sexy, music. It is pleasant, rhythmic. Liight-colored beautifully designed dress, beautiful rather than glamorous. The midriff is exposed, but not the breasts; the skirt is split up the calf and thigh, but never used to titillate. Gilda seems to take pleasure in performing, sharing her physical, dancing and vocal gifts with the audience. She remains in her own sphere keeps the audience at an aesthetic distance, except when she glances at her fiancé. They are free to enjoy, not pressed to participate. In its expositional context, this sequence tells us that Gilda has relocated successfully, has fallen on her feet, perhaps found some balance.. (2) As the number opens, we see Gilda blow onto the stage with long strides and immediately strip off her cape and throw it to the ground behind her. She is bold, determined. One gets the feeling there will be no future after this. Her eyes are laughing but there is a hint of hard resolve underneath. Her gown is glamorous, I imagine it to be deep red or scarlet (like Davis’s in “Jezebel”). It half-exposes her breasts, and the skirt is split up the middle, which to the libidinous unconscious might indicate easy accessibility. The music is hot, suggestive of burlesque, with a heavily accented bass beat and a syncopated, sexy rhythm. The words are about the capabilities of women's sexual power. Her dance is teasing, suggestive, her objective clear. The number seeks to stimulate excitement rather than to simply entertain. Men are approached tauntingly, a woman high-hatted, scorned. We know from the first moment we see her that she is here to take revenge on Johnny. After the number proper is over, she extends the strip-tease. heating up the room until it feels dangerous, too full of testosterone. Two men, apparently in rut, are seriously fighting over who gets to unzip her. She is stopped on Johnny’s order and roughly pushed off the stage, albeit still in a follow-spot. By this time we are disturbed, perhaps repulsed - sympathetic? Every technical tool is brought into play to achieve this contrast. -Amado: Wide shots, a couple MCU’s. No “film noir” camera angles. Lighting gentle, textured, soft planes, edges. Low contrast, soft focus. -Mame: Higher contrast; hard dark surfaces, faceted rather than softly arranged fabric. Many more CU’s, MCU’s. The spotlight strips her bare. She becomes, blowsy, seems to lose control under the glare.
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