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Bruno Anthony

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About Bruno Anthony

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  • Birthday 11/09/1953

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  1. Oh, to be young! The chorus girls spiraling down the backstage staircase to perform are filled with life, with energy, and with joy. The Hitchcock touch? It's certainly there. The blonde singer is the center of every man's fantasy and longing (and those fantasies are not so wholesome, as we take it from the men's expressions while in the audience). When the gentleman in the audience takes the initiative and meets the blonde star, the ever present Hitchcock theme of the woman's hair is in the forefront, but it's a subject of humor here, with darker implications reserved for much later in H
  2. Where was film clip # 13 for Monday, 6/22? Not delivered to my e-mail. Plus, having trouble finding the second quiz.

  3. I watched the clip from The Big Sleep after reading for the first time that it was one of the principal examples of noir. It seemed the epitome of the detective story before that, and the meandering plot was a challenge. But, yes, despite my failure to see the noir elements here, this film is a prime example. Marlowe enters the stentorially overstated entry to the Sternwood mansion and the soundtrack gives him a Warner Brothers musical "laugh" at the pretension present in the foyer, particularly the ridiculous coat of arms on the wall. Things here are not what they seem. The detective
  4. Served up to the audience on a silver platter (the opening tells us that this is a MGM Silver Anniversary Film), the mood turns gritty and grim right away. The musical theme echoes the diagonal lines that distinguish the opening. And, there is also the shadow against the desert mountain in the opening credits underneath the second to last title that looks just like an angry migrant worker with his fist raised threateningly. If I had begun to watch this film after the opening credits were completed, I would have thought that I was viewing one of the many black and white educational films s
  5. German Expressionism is evident here in the use of shadows and shapes. In the first scene in the diner the action is framed by the square shape of the ceiling, implying a static, immovable situation with, of course, no escape. Separating the right and left half of the frame is the lunch counter, presenting the viewer with an slightly elliptical shape, donating motion. Like Lang in "M", Siodmak uses basic elements of life (food!) as a background for his story. As in a moment the Swede will portray a kind of bondage, the men in the kitchen are freed from their bonds. The action begins.
  6. The three questions about Gilda: What did you notice when watching Rita Hayworth? Her "little black dress" was exceptionally sophisticated. It told the audience that she was a woman of the world, with something to hide (the gloves, the slit in the dress way up the front, the low bodice), and something to convey, both to her audience in general and to Johnny. Three things were happening as she sang. First, she used her body in a distinctive way to gain intimacy with the audience in a slightly different way at each of the nightclub's tables. The second was that she continually cr
  7. There's a murder in Mildred Pierce, thus qualifying it in a way as noir, but we're not there yet. The murder hasn't happened. I've always seen the staircase scene as pivotal in this film. The criss-crossing of the banisters, the crazy design of the lampshade, and the clashing musical score are counterpointed by the simple, expensive, well-tailored and almost matching black daytime dresses that each actress wears. The dialogue goes from one shocking revelation to yet a wider one: no baby, but look here at the sizable check as extortion from her husband's family, now Veda can get awa
  8. There are visual elements of Ministry of Fear that I should know more about. Here they are posed as questions. What does time mean to the author, Graham Greene? Having read his grim "whiskey priest" novels in college is not much help here, but from them we know that Greene's world view is that life is empty, in need of redemption. Characters live solitary, lonely lives. The question about time remains unanswered. But perhaps we know something about Greene's characters and world view. It's just a guess. Next: In the movie, time is of the utmost importance. I related Lang's use
  9. Several things here. Waldo's apartment is decorated with attention to frills and finery (check out the lampshades) that are echoed in the decoration of Laura's apartment, which is somehow darker, and with an improbable curtain treatment that looks like a theater's proscenium arch. But, I digress. In the opening, Lydecker asks McPherson for a washcloth, then his robe while naked in his bath. At a certain key moment in the dialogue, Waldo shoves his typewriter aside, thus exposing his midsection in the bathtub. The smile of recognition from McPherson is about his knowledge that he may be being
  10. The first thing you see in Laura is a statue of a Chinese Guanyin, a female Buddha which represents compassion. While you're thinking about that, the camera pans right, past a glass case filled with antique glass vessels,, then across the living room of an exquisite New York apartment (the voice over tells you it's New York), to the detective. Now the camera reverses, pausing as the detective looks at a wall of masks, back to the glass case (where he makes the mistake of touching and examining one of the vessels (an antique perfume jar) and then we see the man giving us the voice over, Waldo
  11. This is a great list. The point about noir as an expression of obsession, is right on. Thanks!
  12. Bogart has come a long way from the romantic lead in Casablanca. It seems to me that he would go on to play other quirky leads until his death a decade later. The POV from Bogart outward contributes to the noir movement, which was well underway at this point. As in yesterday's clip from The Letter, in which characters struggled with confinement, the protagonist in Dark Passage finds himself in prison, thenby turns in a barrel, under a bridge, behind a fence, in the visual vortex of a country stream, and in a car in which his identity is uncomfortably revealed. In addition, though, Vin
  13. The presence of the moon as watchful, even judgmental eye is clearly in evidence in the first scene from William Wyler's The Letter, the great Bette Davis vehicle from the novel by Somerset Maugham. It has justly been called the greatest study in female sexual hypocrisy ever placed on film. The opening scene shows us why. The unrelenting drip of the rubber tree harvest is matched by the monotonous relaxation of the plantation workers, all forced into restrictive spaces by various grids that the camera photographs through. When shots ring out, it is Davis who vigorously but dispassionately
  14. "The Train Must Be Fed" is a song title from another "train movie," The Harvey Girls. Don't look for simple romance or cheerful songs in La Bete Humaine, though. The noir aspects of the film present themselves from the first frame, where we see the firebox of the train engine being fed coal, like a hungry mouth. The train must be fed, and so must the protagonist. Hunger and desire move the train and the action forward. From that first image we see the train, the engineers, and then the camera, strategically placed, tells us where the train is going, revealing the countryside that it is tra
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