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danawalas

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About danawalas

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  1. The use of POV added mystery to the main character and kept his appearance unknown (aside from the police radio description of him). In this sense, the POV is successful. However, in terms of editing, I found the POV very awkward and disjointed at times. There were cuts that seemed out of place. Perhaps it was too difficult to achieve at the time, I'm not sure, but I think the scene would have been stronger as one long take.
  2. The shots of coal being shovelling into the engine, combined with different shots of the speeding train and the engineers struggling to time everything perfectly - it all culminates to create tension. The tension builds as the scene goes on until the train arrives at Le Havre. This idea of opening a film with a highly tense scene can be looked at as a contribution to film noir. It's a much darker way of opening a film that's not often seen except for in certain genres (suspense, thriller, etc.).
  3. The children's song establishes that "the man in black" is already a known threat in the neighborhood and world of the film. He has already killed, so as an audience, we're jumping into the middle of what's been happening. The song also gives the audience information about the killer. The song is very foreboding, and even creepier when sung by children. A sense of impending doom is further shown when the public school lets out. The entrance is surrounded by parents waiting for their children, and this is intercut with a mother preparing for her child to come home and her child walking home by herself. It's no surprise when something terrible happens.
  4. I can't say I was surprised by the opening scene, but from the questions asked I was certainly expecting something jarring to happen so I'm sure that's why. However, knowing the film is film noir and having the first few shots be so tranquil definitely put me on edge and made me feel like something bad had to be on the horizon. It is film noir, after all. The mystery of the opening scene helps contribute to the film noir style, because aside from the sign telling us we're in Singapore, the audience knows nothing. There's no introduction of characters, setting, plot background, etc. Instead, the film thrusts its audience straight into action with a murder that disrupts an otherwise peaceful night. The opening can be seen as an important contribution to the film noir style largely in terms of aesthetic, as well. The lighting in the opening scene reflects a lot of what film noir is about. The slow pan shows the darkness of night surrounding the workers, and the full moon going back and forth behind the clouds adds an element of extremity between light and dark (both literally and figuratively). The moon's sudden illumination of the setting parallels with the suddenness of the gunshots and murder. The lighting changing from light to dark can also symbolize the morality of the workers (good) against the morality of Bette Davis's character (bad).
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