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TommyGirl711

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  1. This clip from Brute Force reminds me of a scene from The Boys from Brazil (1978) in which Joseph Mengele (Gregory Peck) is listening to classical music (don't remember whether it was Wagner or not) before checking up on the progress of the assassins he's sent out to help put his 'master plan' into action. Both films demonstrate an interesting juxtaposition between those who perceive themselves to be cultured and brutality.
  2. Everything in the opening two minutes of Caged reinforces the idea of imprisonment: the barred window in the police van; the frightened look of desperation on Eleanor Parker's face as the van doors are opened; the condescending command of the guard: "Pile out, you tramps. It's the end of the line." (in more ways than one...); the prison wall/building; the bars under the "Women's State Prison" sign; the huddled group* of women looking towards the prison gate after Parker has been told to "Grab your last look at free side, kid." All of these images are IN. YOUR. FACE. However, there are more subtle images/sounds at play. The opposite of being 'caged' is, well, being free. The idea of freedom is reinforced through the following images/sounds: the song of the birds** once the van has stopped; the low wail of a train whistle as the van doors open and the women get out; and, finally, the sight and sound of the cars racing merrily along on the other side of the prison gates. As Willy Wonka (Gene Wilder) would say: "It's all there, black and white, clear as crystal!" *The group of huddled women also reinforce the idea of the loss of freedom/individuality in that they appear to act as one when they all turn their gazes toward the gate at the same time.... **The song "Goodbye Little Yellow Bird" from The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945) flashed through my mind. Just sayin'.
  3. I agree with your statement that the lonely figure in Kiss Me Deadly is a victim and that Talman's character in The Hitch-Hiker victimizes others. When making the comparison/contrast, I found it interesting that Leachman's legs are bare and running (vulnerable) while Talman's feet are covered and standing strong (strength). Also, the incessant--some say ****--breathing/whimpering of Leachman's character reinforces her desperation; whereas, Talman's hitchhiker is calm, cool, and collected. Finally, why do the first two cars pass by the girl (arms up in the air to show that she's not a threat) while the guy (who seems to be thumbing a ride with his fist) appears to stop the first car that comes his way?
  4. On a more basic level, the cat can also represent the many lives of Harry Lime--not only does he 'come back from the dead', but he also appears to take on another life/persona depending on who he is around (and what he wants). Also, the 'carnival mood' of the zither music reinforces (for me) the idea that this is a game that Harry enjoys playing... Thanks for letting me add to your thoughts, Osfan!
  5. 1) I enjoyed the continuous panning of the camera regardless of the image on the screen. It seems to emphasize that everything is connected (reliant upon one another)--the land, the workers, society in general. 2) The documentary style brings this story closer to home. Many films noir are set in a world the audience views as fantasy--gangsters, molls, private eyes; whereas, the documentary style allows the audience to believe this really could happen (really is happening). It also gives the audience something to think about/discuss after the film ends because it is more relatable. 3) Final thought re. the last image of the opening scene: The "crossing prohibited sign" backlit by the sun resembles an actual cross, which begs the question, "Who/what is going to be crucified/sacrificed in this film?"
  6. I've never seen GILDA (actually, nothing with Rita Hayworth--I'll be remedying that this summer), so thank you for pointing out that she was stoned/drunk/whatever. I thought she appeared stiff/clumsy but didn't know if she was supposed to come across that way or if Hayworth just wasn't much of dancer. It also reinforces my initial impression that this was a "show within a show"--one show for the audience and another show for Johnny. Thanks again for the clarification!
  7. Yet another way the main character in noir can be betrayed--in this case, by her own daughter....
  8. Adding to your last thought: Not only does Mildred get up, she 'straightens' up--and as she does so, Veda straightens/stiffens her back. One gets the impression that the two ladies are on equal ground (if only for a few seconds...).
  9. Maybe it's nothing more than a coincidence, but I found it interesting that both clips (M and Ministry of Fear) end with a sign of sorts--the notice on the telephone pole of the child killer and the name of the asylum on the brick wall--that is overshadowed with the silhouette of each movie's leading male character....
  10. I was wondering about the film's opening score myself. Do you know if it's an original composition or if it was created specifically to work with the swinging of the pendulum? Also, I, too, was struck by the sudden stillness after the music stops. I like your interpretation of its meaning.
  11. Powell's background in musical comedy is demonstrated in the way he moves gracefully throughout the scene (check out the locking of the door) and in the way that the audience does not need 'light-hearted' music to cue us in on funny moments (like several scenes in THE MALTESE FALCON). For example, the way Powell absent-mindedly puts the pencil back in the elevator operator's pocket (as if this is a normal part of their relationship) made me smile... However, this laid-back appearance is a facade for Marlowe's cynicism/suspicion--he's not 'taken in by the dame' the way Bogart's Spade was...
  12. People appear to be split down the middle as to whether or not they feel the 1st person POV approach in the opening sequence is successful. Like Ipetiti, I, too, believe Daves did a bang-up job on the opening scene. Not only do we get to experience Bogart's thought processes, but we are also eased into them: the establishing shot of the San Quentin barrel -> the barrel rolling down the hill -> quick 1st person POV -> the barrel stops in the stream -> looking out of the barrel from behind Bogart -> full-on Bogart POV as he looks around -> Bogart's voice over -> actual dialogue. I don't know enough about Delmer Daves to determine whether or not this was his first attempt using this technique. However, I do believe he accomplished the goal of immediately connecting the audience with Bogart's character and, subsequently, creating the sense that, whether good or bad, we want Bogart's character to be successful.
  13. While several people have stated that the opening scene of La Bete Humaine does not demonstrate elements of film noir, I would like to point out the visual of the "wet streets" (or, in this case, the "wet train tracks") that appears to be a staple in most films noir. There's also the sense that the two workers believe themselves to be in complete control, yet one also feels the lack of control through the speed of the train as well as through the way in which the camera is quickly jumping from one image to the next. I believe this to be another characteristic of noir: Things just happen--no one is ever truly in control....
  14. The only thing I have to add is how quickly the audience is "let in on" what's going on: (1) the children's song, (2) the conversation between the two women, and (3) the notice--all are very direct. It feels rather clipped--muched like the dialogue one finds in hard-boiled detective stories OR the just-the-facts approach of newspaper articles.
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