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Everything posted by bazarov

  1. Welles shared direction credit Toland in the film's credits: http://filmsnoir.net/wp-content/uploads/2007/10/ckane_credits.jpg
  2. Regarding the characterisation of the Gloria Graeme character in In a Lonely Pkace as a femme-fatale in the final part of the lecture. In more than a few noirs female protagonists are not femme-fatales but more femmes-noir - women enmeshed as male protagonists are. The Graeme character can in no way be seen as a femme-fatale. You could say that Bogart is the homme-fatale to Graeme. I may be jumping the gun regarding Existentialism, in Fritz Lang's The Big Heat, you have more than one femme-noir - philosophy majors not but they act by their refusal to accept their fate without a fight. As I wrote on elsewhere a few years back, look at Debbie Marsh, the murdered barfly, and the caryard clerk, and you see each takes responsbility and acts. Acts as Sartre talks about in Being and Nothingness: "I am responsible for everything … except for my very responsibility, for I am not the foundation of my being. Therefore everything takes place as if I were compelled to be responsible. I am abandoned in the world … in the sense that I find myself suddenly alone and without help, engaged in a world for which I bear the whole responsibility without being able, whatever I do, to tear myself away from this responsibility for an instant. – Jean Paul Sartre, ‘Being and Nothingness’ (1943)
  3. Perfection. Analysing this scene is like dissecting La Gioconda. Presumptuous and futile.
  4. This scene belongs to the actors. Too much is read into the structure of the scene. It is simply about sex and power. Garfield is trapped from the moment the lipstick hits the floor. Turner's ice cold calculation is in her eyes. For an actress of limited range she nails this scene - big time.
  5. What we have here is the classic Hollywood magic. High production values, elegant and exotic set design, great acting, and dialog that celebrates language. I suspect Neguleso delivered this on not much more than a B budget. Due credit must also be given to Eric Ambler's source novel. It is a typical Ambler conceit to put a banal protagonist in peril - in this case a writer of murder mysteries who has never seen a dead body.
  6. Tournuer revels in contradiction. The femme fatale is introduced as angelic purity. Later at the end she prepares for her last car ride in dark colours that are akin to a nun's habit and again she is framed under an archway. Tournuer's symbolic mis-en-scéne is redolent throughout the movie.
  7. Bogart is Bogart. He brings his charisma with him. Serious hard-boiled and honest. You get what you see. Essentially he is channelling Chandler's Marlowe as Spade except that Marlowe was a loner who never had a partner while Hammett's Spade is not above having an affair with his partner's wife. The irony is that Hawks has Marlowe as a much darker figure at the end - willing to bend the law and kill for a dame. Hawks plays up the amour fou angle while Chandler kept it at a low simmer. Hawks should have used a Bogart voice-over of Chandler's monologue. In the book it immediately establishes that while Marlowe is happy to dress snappy for the occasion he retains a healthy cynicism - and he is too serious to tolerate a dizzy baby sister for too long. Visually while Hawks is faithful to the book here, his mis-en-scene is not really notable.
  8. The irony is that - and the punks at HUAC were oblivious - Mann and Alton subvert in their imagery in key sequences of the film the propaganda that "illegals" are the problem. U.S. agribusiness exploitation of impoverished Latinos was - and still is - the real story. The climactic tractor scene is explicit in its condemnation, and Alton's shooting of the border stakeout sequence is pure poetry. Film noir was the closest Hollywood ever got to subversion.
  9. I think to fully appreciate this scenario you have to include the opening titles sequence of the hitmen shown from the back in silhouette driving into the town. With this opening sequence you have a framing that tends to formalism. Expressionism is the dominant aesthetic and I am hesitant to agree that there is a shift to "formalism". The sequence is set at night so the darkness and deep shadows are more naturalistic than formalistic. Any street or room at night has a "dark" aura. What Siodmak and his DP have done is to harness the reality not formalise it. Tarkovsky’s adaptation - Ubiytsy (‘The Killers’ USSR – 1956) - his Russian film school effort is perhaps a more relevant example of formalism arising as it does from the economic constraints of a film school effort.
  10. This scene is essentially a glamorous showcase for Rita Hayworth, and the allegory is largely ham-fisted and ultimately superfluous
  11. I can't seem to post in the Canvas app as my message gets truncated... So I am using this topic. Hi Richard Today's email re the first quiz says the link to the quiz "will be in the Assignments link in the left hand navigation bar or at the bottom of "Further Investigations of The Heist" Page"? I can't find these locations. I did find the Quizz by going to Grades | My Courses |Course | Quizzes, where details of the quiz are also set out. A good idea would be to add hyperlinks to the content listed as covered by the quiz. I don't recall seeing this content at all: 3. Further Investigations into the Heist Page 4. Eddie Muller's article "Low Company, High Style Thanks Tony
  12. The melodrama threatens to wreck this scene but the two actresses hold it in check, and Max Steiner's brilliant score pulls your emotions to a crescendo halted by that savage slap and with greed ascendant on the stairs.
  13. The long lingering shots don't work that well as they are too obvious. It is the expressionist lighting and the score that drum up the tension.
  14. Dunno about POV working at all well here. I have always felt it gimmicky, and the movie suffers for it. What really works is the legendary taxi scene where Bogie gets the tip on the plastic surgeon. He is in the back seat in silhouette and the scene is filmed from the windscreen with the cabbie in the front seat to the right and Bogie to the left. Brilliant!
  15. Filming this scene in an obvious studio set limits the dramatic impact. The elegance of the tracking shot can't be denied, and the structure of the scene is quite brilliant. While director Wyler can be credited for the mis-en-scene, the writers of the screenplay own the scenario - Somerset Maugham for the story and Howard Koch for the script. Too often in discussions on film and particularly film noir too little attention is paid to those who created the scenario.
  16. Fritz Lang 's 1954 Hollywood adaptation Human Desire also opens with the train. In my review at filmsnoir.net I said of this opening scene - and this word for word can be applied to Renoir... "For the first five minutes of the picture Lang introduces his story using shots of a locomotive-powered inter-urban passenger train barrelling through a flat landscape and one last tunnel before it reaches the ordered tangle of converging and diverging tracks at its destination. From the first frame the evocative musical score of Daniele Amfitheatrof establishes both an echo of the train’s rumbling progress and a dark counterpoint that portends the dark drama that will follow in the diesel’s wake. Lang brilliantly uses the train’s inexorable passage and the determinism of the rails that brook no turning back or detour: fate is laid out in hard steel, and the switches and way-lays are beyond the driver’s control – all he can do is slow or speed his progress along an ineluctable pre-ordained trajectory – and even then he has a schedule to stick to."
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