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zkirkland24

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About zkirkland24

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  1. Throughout most of the sequences we've watched during the course, we've mainly focused on the hopelessness of a protagonist or women in general in noir. There's a feeling of being trapped and being pulled towards your own inevitable demise. There's loneliness, as most of the protagonists are on their own searching for meaning and direction. Jazz, to me, ultimately encompasses sadness and loneliness musically. When you listen to jazz, you are both energized and demoralized almost simultaneously as the pieces hit their climax and then mellow out. You reach every possible emotional high there is. I feel like this has to do with how improvised jazz can feel. The musicians and composer are trying to hit every emotion there is in one piece. It's essentially manipulation, in my opinion. Film noir tries to do that.
  2. The inclusion of The Salvation Army was interesting, to say the least. At first, I didn't think anything of it. However, as the sequence went on and got progressively more darker, I took it as a very deliberate choice. We all associate The Salvation Army with goodness and purity. The charitable organization does great things for people. We don't ever associate it with anything negative. In this sequence, I feel like showing The Salvation Army is a way to juxtapose good with evil. We cut from something good like charity to something awful and inhumane like a murder scene. The juxtaposition of the two images provides a powerful effect.
  3. This feels like the director and everyone involved set out to make a full blown noir. They tailored every detail to fit the noir genre. It probably didn't take long to film. The whole sequence felt like almost a wink to an audience. They know this is what they want to see. They know this is what people like. Because of that, they decide to amp everything up and make it almost a farce. There is little subtlety, little mystery. It's all been there, done that.
  4. Let me be the first to say I have never robbed a bank nor do I ever plan to rob one. However, should you choose to do one and hope to get away with it, timing would have to play a key part. For example, in essentially every film we see a bank robbery in, the robbers keep a timer in order to gauge police response time. A plan so meticulous as robbing a bank has to be carefully planned and orchestrated to a tee. It's almost like a very elaborate Broadway dance number. Every role is pivotal if you want things to be a success. It's basically a matter of staging and timing is always key.
  5. Ernie yearns for the days when he was a boxer, not necessarily because of the actual boxing but because of the money that came along with it. His wife is obviously dissatisfied with their living arrangements and basically sees her husband as a bum. Ernie feels desperate because he cares for his wife but sees that she is at the end of her rope. He wants to own a legitimate business, but as we see in film noir, things are never too good to be true. There's this idea of nostalgia being explored in this scene. When movies became a thing, it took the world by storm. It provided people with a cheap form of entertainment and the technicality of the productions blew audiences away. Some were even terrified. Then, television came along and that became the new thing. A battle began between the tow mediums, something we will always see as each try to outdo one another. In the end, Ernie is stuck in the past and his wife wants to move on to the next, big thing.
  6. "The most respectable citizen is always the most criminal." Not having already seen this movie, I feel like this film will explore good people slowly becoming bad people. It'll probably be over Barbara Stanwyck. Most of the scenes we have seen have depicted either just bad people or good people being mixed din with bad people. Here, I think we'll just get good people slowly becoming corrupted and as a result, relationships get fractured forever. I think the mundane aspects of the location depicted contributes to the characterizations because you feel like these people are naive and innocent just like their surroundings. We don't have the harsh grittiness of an inner city. The photography of this scene doesn't make these characters appear unflattering. It's very clean, just like the characters when we first meet them. I expect things to become more and more dark as the film goes on.
  7. Stylistically, I feel like this may be the most sophisticated opening we have seen yet to any film noir. I say that because as I watched it, I couldn't help but admire how modern it felt. The orchestral score is prevalent, adding another layer of thrills and suspense to the early car chase. It was like a modern action film. There was also a couple of shots that looked as if they were actually crane shots on location as opposed to obvious rear projection shots done at a studio. Of course, there are rear projection shots but the mixing of real and fakery felt modern. Maybe that is why it is seen as the best unknown noir by many. You tend to admire studio system films that seem like they could have been made today and not lose anything.
  8. Having seen Strangers on a Train numerous times, it never really crossed my mind that this could be considered an example of film noir. You always get a preconceived notion of what film noir is and this film seemed to defy those tropes. Anyways, in this sequence, Hitchcock focuses on the shoes of Robert Walker's character as he is on his way to boarding a train. His shoes are well shined, very bold and easily stand out amongst a crowd. We can already get a sense of the kind of character we will see being portrayed. Bruno is a very slick, manipulative character who ends up mistaking an innocent conversation for a gateway into killing Farley Granger's wife. We follow both characters as they make their way towards their interaction. This approach by Hitchcock allows us to know these characters without the spoken word.
  9. The opening sequence reinforces the helplessness of Frank Bigelow through the actor's mannerisms and overall demeanor. He recites his lines as if he is out of breath. The look on his face says that he is exhausted and tired of whatever he is involved in. You get the sense that the murder he is reporting in this scene is the straw that broke the camel's back. Like the sequences this week, we open up solely focused don one character who is in danger or is dangerous themselves. In this sequence, we follow Bigelow as he is walking through the department in order to eventually report the murder. Naturally, you'd assume that if someone had witnessed a murder and wanted to report it, they'd be more hurried and frantic. Not Frank Bigelow. He is tired and exhausted and senses the end.
  10. I feel like the opening of the film is appropriate in regards to female prisons because the film focuses on the fear and panicked look on Marie's face. We wouldn't expect men on the way to prison to look scared or express any fear they could be feeling because it is seen as emasculating. We operate under the impression that a man showing fear in a place like prison makes them a target. We would expect women to be scared because we assume women are easily scared. These are the kind of gender roles that run rampant in society and are expressed through film.
  11. If you hadn't read anything about this film prior to viewing, the lighting of the opening sequence would let you know that the hitch hiker in question is completely bad news. The hitch hiker is completely in the shadows whether it is the thumb sticking out as the sequence begins or him in the back seat of the car. The focus of the lighting is on the two men who pick up the hitch hiker. They are innocent and oblivious to the fact they made a mistake. The hitch hiker is clouded in darkness, a choice that completely telegraphs what his intentions end up being. It is an example of using lighting to set mood and reveal details about your characters.
  12. Mike Hammer is your typical no nonsense, man's man, film noir detective. He completely objectifies women. IN this opening sequence, Cloris Leachman's character is clearly running away from someone or something, wearing nothing but a trench coat. The first thing we hear is panic. Hammer begrudgingly picks her up but it is clear he doesn't really care about her troubles. He doesn't even seem like they are important. The only thing he can do is assume she was acting and dressing like a **** and ran into the wrong man. He only picks her up because he feel like it is what you are supposed to. You can tell by the opening minutes that Hammer is our clear-cut example of the objectification of women in film noir.
  13. The Third Man is a surreal take on noir and it comes down to choices by Carol Reed, the film's director. We have canted angle shots, reminding me of something you'd see in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. There is carnival music playing in the background. The music juxtaposes the realism of Vienna during this time. The streets are empty, probably because there is a sense of fear by citizens and there is probably a curfew of some type. Joseph Cotton's character, who appears to be drunk, stumbles down these empty streets until he spots his once presumed dead friend, played by Orson Welles. Pure darkness immediately becomes a spotlight on Welles's face. Welles then flees and Cotton gives chase. You can see Welles' shadow on the wall as Cotton is chasing him. Welles's shadow is very bizarre because it looks as if he is running and running, not gaining any ground. It's like he is running on a treadmill. The unconventional choices by Carol Reed only heightens the suspense of the film and the twisty nature of it.
  14. John Garfield's character arrives at a roadhouse cafe seeing work. You get the sense upon his arrival that bad things will ultimately happen. There's narration that spells out a potential demise. His arrival is met with a little hostility from a passing motorcycle cop. He is met by the cafe owner, an older man, who, of course, has a smoking hot bombshell of a wife. The bombshell, in particular, is lit like every gorgeous female is in a noir. Very soft lighting gives way to an angelic glow that surrounds her. You can see shadows from the blinds on Garfield's clothing. You can see traditional noir tropes from the opening scene.
  15. I couldn't help but think of your prototypical Western standoff when viewing this clip. Staging helps a play a part in that feeling. Peter Lorre's character enters the room from the front of the frame and is soon confronted by Sidney Greenstreet's character who enters from the back of the frame. Greenstreet is holding a gun and forces a standoff with Lorre. Lorre is obviously outmatched as Greenstreet is carrying a gun. Lorre is forced to use his words as his only defense. I think this might be the first clip we've seen where one character has had to use dialogue to get out of a potentially deadly encounter. You can also get a sense of the two characters in this scene. One prefers to let the gun do the talking while the other lets his talking do the talking.
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