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About lisasteinhaven

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    Zanesville, OH
  1. The panning shots of Lydecker's apartment--really a first-person POV of Lydecker himself from the tub in the adjoining room, gives us a lot of information about him. The objects in his apartment that he focuses on as he talks then stand out as ultra-important in allowing us to understand him. If you've seen the film before and know the importance of the clock, then you understand that Lydecker's focus on McPherson's interest in it is foreshadowing. Also, you can hear David Raksin's incredible "Laura" theme best at this point, which helps us connect the clock with her, as Lydecker tells us that the only other one in existence is in her apartment--stands in the very room in which she was murdered. Connecting objects with personalities--allowing objects to provide some "silent" exposition of characters is a modernist move--James Joyce did it, Virginia Woolf did it, as did others. Preminger effectively adopts this strategy in this film, because it works so well in adding to the menacing undertone of the film and its characterization of Lydecker himself.
  2. I was struck immediately by the tree (rubber tree?) that had been intricately carved out to function as its own sort of pitcher, pouring its treasure into the man-made vessel at its base (drip, drip, drip)--a stark instance of man's attempt to modify the natural to his own benefit. The camera pans around to the men in hammocks, the plantation's answer to civilization in a sense. What comes next--the shots, Davis's detachment from her action, then the tumult of the men leaving their beds and vocalizing their interpretations of the events is incredibly effective, not to mention the use of the moon and shadows. The peaceful scene, the jungle tamed, is instantly moved into chaos with the murder.
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