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Everything posted by johnseury

  1. The use of Wagner (even a sedate for him selection in this scene) plays up an unmistakeable connection with fascism & brutality. Cutting away from the interrogation and showing closeups of other things was a top ail nor element, given the censorship rules of the time. It makes the scene more effective and terrifying, more so than showing it explicitly like they would today. Of course, I can't think of Wagenr on film without thinking of Apocalypse Now and "Kill the Wabbit!"
  2. The light swings keeping time to the beating, almost like a metronome. I thought that the closeups of Raymond Burr's fist and the brokern bottle were effective in highlighting brutality. The way they jumped out at you reminded me of 3-D. It seems like either Raymond Burr, William Talman (Perry & Hamilton, what happened?) & Harry Morgan were in most of the films noir that I have watched on TCM.
  3. It struck me now deserted and desolate the city looked. You didn't see anyone outside but Sterlig Hayden and the cops. Perhaps "The Asphalt Desert" would have been more appropriate. It was like the city had been wiped out of all life, leaving only bleakness and despair. I'll admit that the police radio playing as the cops were patrolling reminded me of Adam 12,
  4. The score is wistful & haunting, especially as they shot widens out from the closeup to the man. It seems to foreshadow that something is going to happen to this two lovers. Jazz scores has help set the tone to noir and, so early in this film, sets the feeling for what is going on and what will happen.
  5. Another train! I didn't realize how prevalent trains were in films noir. The cheerfulness of the Salvation Army serves as an ironic contrast to what happens next and later. I'm guessing that Robert Ryan probably killed that lady and that's why he hightailed it. I like the sequence how he hops on the train is obscured by the steam. And that montage of scenes superimposed over the closeup on Ryan was effective as well.
  6. I agree with some of the previous posters that some of the dialogue in the cab sounded more like a take-off on noir, cornier, less hardboiled. But it still worked. "60 cent special...poison under the gravy." Those are still great lines, even if the tongue is a little in the cheek. The arrival of the train & overall darkness is well within the noir standard. I thought the use of the train whistle at the beginning (at the shot of the RKO credit) was effective in establishing movement. This is a short, fast-moving film if memory serves me and that helps kick things in motion.
  7. Timing is everything as Tim Foster synchronizes his watch as he records the comings and goings by the back. The music (which during the. crawl sounded a but like Dragnet) had a tick-tock quality to it, as if it was markigm time to. Everything has to go perfectly well for a heist to be successful but as we have seen in this course, something always happens to throw things awry. Murphy's Law rules the noir universe.
  8. I thought that the use of TV was an effective means of presenting a flashback. It allowed John Payne to get beat down twice-first in the prizefight and then by his wife. She seems to be a frustrated social climber who is getting nowhere fast and blames her husband and isn't satisfied with his middle-class desire to own his own business (a gas station). The bickering between them shows that something bad will happen between them or too them. Flashback and foreshadowing in the same scene.
  9. This was awfully bright for a noir scene! The darkness comes in the interplay between the characters. They all seem to know each other from way back but it seems that they didn't know that they knew each other. Kirk Douglas was none too please that Van and Barbara became reacquainted. I haven't seen this film in years so I don't remember the particulars but you can't tell that things are going to end up to well. I loved the light from the blinds reflecting on the door as Van Heflin was leaving-clever shot!
  10. It looks Lisabeth Scott has shook off a tail before! The couple gets roped into this situation almost literally when the satchel gets tossed into their car. He should have listened to her and turned back! As for the 2nd question, I guess that innocent people getting sucked into danger and mystery serves as a metaphor for America's loss innocence, buffered by depression and war. But America has never been innocent in that respect, being made up of human beings. Perhaps the audience gets a sense of catharsis watching innocent people in harm's way.
  11. Hitchcock is his own genre; he combines so many elements in his films. There are several noir elements in this scene: contrasting lighting, unusual shots and angles, realism & formalism, etc. The shot of the train tracks when the train was pulling out reminded me of that French film from the first week of the course.
  12. All of the daily doses this week involved travlels and movement into the unknown. It's been a while since I've see D.O. A but what made an impression on me was the theme music. It was a march, almost jaunty, which didn't turn ominous until Edmomd O'Brien entered the homicide department. And they weren't surprised to see him, like they were almost expecting him. O'Brien was marching to his doom and they all knew it and were powerless to change it. Very existential.
  13. You really feel caged and claustrophobic in that opening sequence. Very naturalistic in how it uses the siren and other sounds to set ten mood. One thing that struck me was the different styles of clothing the women were wearing as they came out, from furs to bobby socks. Not quite Orange is the New Black but you can be sure that these ladies aren't going to a picnic or a church social.
  14. That was some use of lighting when the hitch-hiker poked out of the darkness, almost like an evil halo. Much more menace, of course, than in the scene from yesterday. The hitch-hiker also had a seedy mustache which you could see in the close ups, which just added to the menace. The use of lighting in this scene exposes further doom over hope and illumination.
  15. I can't recall ever seeing a movie with the opening credits rolling backwards, but it helps set the scene for something disjointed going on. Cloris Leachman's breathing/moaning doesn't leave much to the imagination,it's com is film of fear, desperation and sensuality. Mike Hammer changes his tune from harshness to understanding when he hears the reasons for the roadblock. It's doubtful that he is an old softy but he understands desperate situations when he sees one.
  16. This scene veered from realism to formalism with Joseph Cotten walking around and the sudden appearance end disappearance of Orson Welles. Titled, angular shots and then Welles disappears as if by magic, like he was never there. There is an otherworldly feel to this scene; the zither music adds to the mystique. The dark jerkiness makes it a noir but it seems like something else is going on.
  17. Garfield saunters in almost happy-go-lucky (not something you much in a noir) but Turner announces herself by dropping/rolling something and she feels Garfield in like a fish. I loved the shot that panned the floor to her legs on up. The was it was lit, it looked almost like a ladder climbing up to Turner. It made me want to climb that ladder too!
  18. They both enter by kind of waltzing into the room, even though it is obvious that Greenstreet has been there waiting and has trashed the places searching for something. There is some unusual angles that the film is shot and some jerkiness, used for tension and to show that something is up.
  19. I thought that was a clever use of shadows and lighting as the characters stepped out of ten not sun into dark alleyways, passages and gathering places. Even dressed in white, Jane Greer was a dark and sultry femme fatale. And I liked Robert Mitchum's line about beer and darkness, very appropriate.
  20. Oddly enough, Bogart's Marlowe seems like a nicer guy than Sam Spade. He'll be tough when he has to but he is also professional, prepared and ready for anything, no matter the circumstances and surroudings. He will play along up to a point but is ultimately no nonsense. I agree with an earlier post about how the mansion is like something out of a Universal horror movie. And the General's line about orchids was very noirish.
  21. The narration remained me of those educational films I watched in elementary school, butt I guess it needed to be a bit dead panned to establish context. The wide shots were like a travelogue, but context again. The noir aspect came in with the c.loseups of the braceros behind the fence waiting to go to work (they looked like prisoners) and the shot of the border. Both scenes were dark and shadowy and the music took a ominous turn.
  22. 2 things made an impression on me in this clip. First, the very effective use of music to set the mood and carry the action. Second, the scene in the Swede's room where the most omnipresent image is Nick's shadow. It hovers over Burt Lancaster like a buzzard over carrion. That was probably the point.
  23. I agree with several of the posters that, at least musically, this number wasn't particularly noirish although it was quite sexy. It's undertones of sensuality and violence give it luster. One of the things that attracted me to film noir was its use of jazz. Rhino Records put out a set called Crime Jazz about 20 years ago and I think TCM did as well. Worth searching for.
  24. There is noir all over this scene, from the clipped & tough dialogue to the tight shots and cutting back and forth to the subject matter (blackmail and all that.) The background music stuck me, suspenseful and sinister, until it ends on a melodramatic note at the end of the scene. And based on a novel by James M. Cain ( which I haven't read.) Like I said, noir all over it.
  25. Both films use the clock to show the passage of time and to build suspense, that so something bad is going to happen. I was particularly struck by the darkness and shadows in Milland's room. More like a cell than like a room in a hospital/asylum. But that was probably the point.
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