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booksandbosox

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  1. I like the use of shadows across the floor leading up to the first shot of Cora - it definitely heightens the impact of her all-white outfit and seductive stance.
  2. Whether it is the character or the actor, Bogart as Spade seemed to be having more fun, looser and more playful, than Bogart as Marlowe. Immediately, Marlowe strikes me as a bit more serious, though, of course, not without his witty repartee. At first glance here (haven't watched The Big Sleep in full yet), the character of Marlowe seems more suited to my vision of Bogart - brooding, smart, serious.
  3. Personally, I find this opening a bit alienating. It is very documentary-like, not suggestive of film noir to me at all. It doesn't put me in the right frame of mind for watching a film noir; the fact-laden voiceover introduction actually made me zone out. Is it supposed to heighten the sensationalism by suggesting that the film that follows is based on true incidents? That seems the most likely scenario, but for me, it just doesn't work.
  4. My favorite thing about this clip is the way the scenes are shot. I loved the entire sequence from when the boy from the diner runs through yards, hopping fences (the framing of that shot is excellent), to when he enters the Swede's room, enshrined in darkness. The Swede is so still that I wondered at first if he was actually dead, if the two men had somehow managed to find him before he could be warned. It's very chilling - what kind of man lies in the darkness like that, remaining completely still, even when someone bursts into his room unannounced? Probably not a man you want to mess with.
  5. I've actually never seen this scene before, nor the movie from which it's pulled. I'm normally a big fan of musical numbers, but I have a hard time reconciling them with film noir. I thought Rita's performance in this scene was a bit awkward, though that may have had more to do with the dress she was wearing than anything else. I get that she was using her seduction skills to assume a role and make her audience believe her to be one thing, but I'm unclear on her motivations for doing so. I'll have to watch the rest of the film to understand the bigger picture here. I think the style of music in this scene works well for film noir, though. The big beats and the sassy tune - they're like gunshots and witty banter in a film noir. Very interesting and a connection I wouldn't have made without this course.
  6. Yet another film I've never seen and I'm not sure what the story is here, so I have a hard time classifying it as film noir or not. However, I do see elements in this scene - the strong female characters who aren't afraid to manipulate others in order to get what they want, the shadowy framing. I think Curtiz did something interesting with the two actresses here and the way they move around each other in the film. It's quite clearly showing the progression of Veda stepping out from childhood and into womanhood on her own, as she begins the scene sitting under her mother's watchful eye and ends it storming up and away from that mother, who now looks more afraid than anything.
  7. I think this opening scene is very similar to the opening of M. Both have a strong focus on audio, though here it is the very ominous opening music rather than the cryptic everyday cacophony of the earlier film. Additionally, both leave you intrigued by the impending menace - both opening scenes end with a pan to a very ominous sign: the notice about the missing children in M and the name of the asylum here. Both have me immediately engaged with the film and eager to find out what will happen next.
  8. One of the things I think most separates a film noir detective from a regular cop (and I think it's very much on display here) is quick thinking and a willingness to jump to conclusions without evidence. He is suspicious of her almost immediately, so he is not afraid to jump to the conclusion that she's lying; ergo, he locks her in his office and forces the truth out of her. A regular cop likely would not behave the same way. Cops have been trained to find the evidence; a film noir detective will look for the motives and the lies and then find the evidence along the way.
  9. Though it's been a long time since I've seen it, the opening of this movie reminded me a bit of Citizen Kane. I think the panning of the furnishings sets the tone of the movie well - what dark secrets are lurking behind all these lovely things? Lydecker certainly seems like an unlikely hero for this story, so how does he really figure into it? I love that we are seeing him for the first time in a bathtub - a place that should make him seem supremely vulnerable, but he's so in control of the conversation that it really doesn't feel that way.
  10. While I liked the use of POV shots, some of them were less successful than others. At times, the views and angles taken by the camera seemed like they would be unnatural for a person to actually be executing. But, this once again has the action-packed and inviting opening that I expect. Did he really kill his wife? How did he manage to escape? Why? Where will be go now? I could listen to Bogie's voice all day.
  11. With this opening, I am back to fully engaged. I was thrilled to see Bette Davis blast that man and can't wait to find out why! I wasn't at all surprised by this opening sequence - an action-packed opening that invites curiosity is what I expect from film noir. I'm eager to watch the rest of this film and find out where that opening will take us. Also, how awesome is Bette?!?
  12. Fascinating! As much as I loved the opening to M, I really didn't enjoy this one at all! It's tremendously noisy - in a very obnoxious way. I get that it's realistic, but it actually hurt my ears watching this clip. Additionally, unlike the scene from the day before, this one doesn't really give me any indication of what this movie is about or where it's going to go. It's mysterious in that I don't know why we're watching this train - where's it going? Will someone get on or off? I have no idea. But, for me, there's just not enough information. I don't feel compelled to keep watching - in fact, over the span of this short clip, I found my attention already wandering.
  13. Really excited for this noir summer, particularly after watching this first clip. I have seen very few classic films and even fewer films noir but I'm a movie lover, so I'm looking forward to exploring this genre. As others have mentioned, this opening very much reminded me of horror - and made me wonder if there will be lots of moments of overlap between the two genres as the course progesses. Horror is my favorite genre of film, so I loved this deliciously creepy opening. It really hooks you - I've never seen the film and these first few minutes really made me want to immediately keep watching. I did notice the sound in this clip. It starts out simply enough but, as more sounds are introduced, they become more jarring and disorienting. They definitely help set the ominous mood of what I imagine to be a very dark movie.
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