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Mark Hazel

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About Mark Hazel

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  1. While this scene is not as distinctly set apart as most in classical Hollywood films, it is still a distinct enough set-piece that, while not separate from the plot of the rest of the movie, it positions us in a slightly different viewing context from the rest of the film. It calls attention to its separate nature in a way by bringing the ongoing discussion at the beginning of the clip to a halt, giving the performance segment a self-aware feeling of being a new scene in the film. As Johnny hears the song start, he has an almost visceral response, as if he is a viewer of the film and recogni
  2. Veda begins in a submissive sort of position, reclining on a sofa, in a pose that in another context could read as slightly seductive, in a manner typical of films noir. Giggling, and with her mother standing above her, Veda is almost infantilized here, instead, presented as the foolish girl in comparison. She rises from the couch and comes closer to the same level as her mother as the truth of the situation and the extent to which she has manipulated it is revealed, with her stature in the frame growing along with our realization of the amount of agency she has exerted. "Oh, grow up," she
  3. Lang emphasizes the importance of the clock by not only making it the focal point for the audience but for Neale as well. A spike on the bottom of pendulum adds to the menace it signifies, as does the sheer size of the pendulum, as revealed when the camera pulls back. Even though we learn that the clock's ticking is presumably portentous in a positive sense, it more calls to mind the sword of Damocles, ready to fall at any moment. As the door opens into Neale's room, the light from the hallway creates a sharp contrast, opening up a beckoning lighted tunnel, with the light cast on the floor
  4. Marlowe is portrayed as living by a certain code of sorts, one dictated more by proficiency at his job and completing his cases than by any set of morals; indeed, his behavior suggests that he is quite willing to take an end-justifies-the-means type of position, if he thinks much about justifying the means at all. He has the self-awareness to admit that he's not always as sharp at his job as he might like be, which may well foreshadow later scenes where he doesn't rise to an awareness of a situation as quickly as he does here. This type of detective fits neatly into the film noir tradition b
  5. We see many artifacts and objets d'art before we ever see Lydecker, and we suspect that they are in their own way just as representative of him, and that he's happy to have that be one's first introduction to him. Each object has an implicit story that goes along with it, and we get the idea that Lydecker collects stories as much as he collects art. Lydecker seems to like to observe people, and to keep them off balance, two pursuits which each make the other more enjoyable. He presents himself as unconcerned with facts, which puts him at a stark contrast with the detective he's interacting
  6. The use of first-person POV is quite effective in some cases, such as its recasting what is a familiar driving scene in a tenser light simply by contrasting the confinement of being in the vehicle to the comparative openness and freedom of the surrounding countryside, but overall the images that are most striking to me in their visuals and meaning are non-POV shots intermingled in, such as the gradual expansion of the image displayed in the frame, from the (POV) shot of the smaller circle as we see the landscape bouncing around outside, to the larger circle we see in a (non-POV) shot of Bogart
  7. We are given a brief opening shot of a full moon, omnisciently contrasted against the night sky like an all-seeing eye from above. An insistent dripping foreshadows dripping blood and also calls to mind the ticking of a clock or bomb; the score almost seems to build from this, keeping time as its own complexity, and insistence, increases as it segues into a lilting, Asian-inflected melody. We see a dog pawing around aimlessly, and then we see many people sleeping or moving in that direction, as if lulled to sleep by the ordinariness and quietness of the night, just as the audience is to be l
  8. The barrelling train conveys the sense of inevitability that is so intertwined with film noir, the sense that there can only be one destination the tracks lead to. That said, the camera angles utilized also instill a certain amount of concern that said fate might not even be reached unharmed; the oncoming trains on the opposite tracks that form a visual collision of sorts onscreen as one passes behind the other, and the plunges into darkness make you eager to come out the other end of the tunnel, as the light at its end grows brighter and brighter, providing temporary hope that is destined to
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