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anasu

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  1. Yikes! That is brutal indeed. Wagner is usually connected to the Nazi regime, which is probably the undertone of this interrogation scene. Having in mind that the film was made in 1947, the "Holocaust connection" becomes even more apparent. However, I want to move away from this obvious analogy and make an observation regarding the stark contrast between the classical music, which is something elevated, refined, cultural; and the aggression, physical force and sociopathic brutality. This situation, where "little man" gains some power, which opens the door for him to express his frustration (and generally feel better about himself) is a well-known story... Looking forward to watching this film.
  2. I absolutely LOVE this scene. The timing of the punch before the lamp starts to frantically swing is just PERFECT. It brings the scene from The Set-Up to my mind, but it's more violent and beautifully chaotic. There is something remarkably mesmerising in watching the light changing, partially revealing the sadistic face of the "big boss" and his "slightly concerned" associate; it almost feels as if the scene lasts forever... The threat is not concealed; it's in "your face", which gets a whole new meaning as we watch the fist and broken bottle menacingly going towards us.
  3. I cannot wait to see this film especially because it's European. It will be interesting to see the similarities and differences in the approach to Noir. As far as the opening song goes, I'm afraid I cannot be very objective when it comes to Miles Davis. When Miles plays, I simply get lost and I don't want to come back... However, I have always connected Cool Jazz with Film Noir, as opposed to other Jazz genres, and this is the perfect example for that statement. How broody, mesmerising, intoxicating, melancholic this tune is, a perfect epitome of barren, barely lit, smoky streets of Noir...
  4. I enjoyed this film immensely. Personally, I thought that this Noir is constructed quite differently than the majority of films we had come across in this course - it is mostly based on a psychological element than anything else. Yes, there is a crime committed in the beginning, but even though we suspect who is responsible for the "dirty deed" we cannot be completely sure just yet. There is simply no need for anyone else to tell a story successfully but this fantastic duo; like someone mentioned it in the post; I also became so respectful of Robert Ryan's talent. Even though the story is set just after the WWI, it clearly indicates the situation, state of mind of the end WWII and the "American fear of the enemy, lurking concealed among the ordinary folks". We are drawn into this nightmare, but we are torn between taking sides with the victim and the "oppressor" (who evidently need professional help). It is a torturing rollercoaster, we are sick by the experience and there is no way out. There is no worse dread than being locked with an unstable person, someone you can't reason with and who is a threat to your very existence... Great, great film.
  5. First of all, I haven't seen the film yet, and it's very hard for me to decide based on a 3 minute opening scene whether it is a "Noir parody" or not. I can say, however, that it is a great opening scene, very Noir; that reminds me of La Bete Humaine because of the "train arriving into the station" sequence, but also of Too Late for Tears, Caged and Kiss Me Deadly for instance, due to the "travelling to somewhere" sequence. There is of course, the darkness, the mystique; the cynical, unsympathetic, phlegmatic characters, and so on... If there are variations to the previous films, I don't think they are done consciously (at least I hope not), and if they are in fact, consciously made decisions, I hope they are simply homages to their precursors. Kansas City Confidential, for instance, reminded me greatly of 2 year earlier Armored Car Robbery, but it was just the “heist scene” - since the overall story is completely different! If the “parody” and “burlesqued conventions” were taking place here, it would mean that real (original) Film Noir ended with WWII or something…
  6. What an interesting scene indeed! It seems that TV-set becomes a "torturing box", at least to our main character, who seems to be reliving the whole match again; even his right eye is twitching, the living memento of the fight... But there is also a "distancing moment", where he becomes nothing more than a spectator, as if he is just about ready to let go of the past and accept his new path. His wife? Not as much. She is still very much consumed by the bitterness, at least in the presence of her husband. One knows from the very beginning that there will be no happy ending for these two. Having watched the entire film, I can't help but seeing the TV boxing match as a metaphor of Ernie's life in general - a man who is destined to continuously endure the punches thrown by life.
  7. In my eyes, the beginning of Too Late For Tears, due to the absence of highlights, always looks darker; as if we are roaming through the cave of total oblivion and ignorance… Only until we see the radiant face of our female protagonist at the sight of a bag full of money we get awaken from our "phlegmatic slumber". Shaken by the radical turn of events we get pulled into their world, and even though our conscience is screaming: 'No, don't do it!' we can't help but stick by to witness the "bitter end" we had already anticipated with our guts.
  8. FINALLY! One of my most favourite films of all times (with possibly the most beloved director of all times!). Hitchcock does deserve a special place in the Noir realm. His films are filled with dread, violence, darkness of the human mind, uncertainty, etc., but I feel that his approach differs to the rest of Noir directors. Taking the opening scene of Strangers on a Train into account, which doesn't necessarily inflict the anxiety or terror on the viewer straight away, unlike the opening of Kiss me Deadly, D.O.A. or Caged for instance. There is some suspense present, but it is slightly alleviated with the daylight or "non-threatening" music, which gives almost a "carefree" tone to the beginning of the film, allowing us to breathe freely for a moment, at least until the real dread comes...
  9. I haven't seen the film yet, but the subject of incarceration (and especially female incarceration) is something that interests me greatly. The cinematography of the opening scene is REMARKABLE; the viewer finds it impossible to escape from the feeling of confinement, paranoia and utter claustrophobic dread, painted brilliantly on the main female protagonist's face... what strikes me as exceptionally odd is how all these women look like proper ladies, walking slowly as if they are on their way to a field trip or a museum visit...
  10. Threat, uncertainty and suspense are all Noir characteristics; the fabulous low-key lighting contributes and enhances the overall sinister tone... The opening scene of The Hitch-Hiker compared to Kiss Me Deadly is less dramatic and explosive; or rather, the "drama" is more psychological than physical, which can produce more lasting effect on the audience.
  11. Wow, what an absolutely breathtakingly dramatic opening scene! I haven't seen this film yet, but it strikes me as remarkably innovative and with an immediate "noir aura", right from the start. The introduction of the protagonists makes one wonder whether they know each other already, since there is a strange distance, disregard and passiveness displayed by the male figure (as if he already knows what the matter is with "lady in distress"); only to be revealed that they are, in fact, complete strangers, and that the "disregard" comes not from the familiarity, but from a kind of... societal alienation. The drama and chaos of the visuals are supported by the thrilling audio "effects". Even the opening credits go in reverse (it would be a normal way of reading when we are in motion however), which exhibits the tendency of moving away from the standard approaches for making a film.
  12. Yes, it is definitely one of the best Noir representatives; however, it's not my personal favourite. There isn't a fluid, continuous flow in a story of this film; it seems complex, and yet the "pieces" don't have a good connection. I agree with many opinions here - the play of shadows is definitely the noir element, femme fatale, voice over and the overall veil of mystery and I'd say melancholy even.
  13. When it comes to Bogart, I cannot be very objective I am afraid... He is one of those actors that are simply natural in what they are doing, they don't need to act. However, that doesn't mean that their interpretations of all different roles are the same. No, there is a difference between private eye Spade and Marlowe. Spade seems to me more "street wise" and “playful” than Marlowe, who is more steady and serious. I suppose that the opening scene is somewhat standard to "detective-mystery" films, except that it doesn't feature the scene of the crime committed before the detective meets his client. Plunging clueless into the story, with no pretext, is the very reason why this scene is simply remarkable. Along with the protagonist, we have no idea what awaits us behind the door of the mansion.
  14. This is definitely not a film I would normally consider as "noir", based on this clip. The opening sequence consists of wonderful shots of nature from the air, something that can be assigned more to the documentary style of National Geographics for instance, and not an "art film". Even the voice over sounds more like a voice from propaganda films, or even announcing some sensation or a disaster, than a narrative of a tortured, troublesome soul...
  15. The similarities to Fritz Lang's visual style are quite apparent in the light treatment and the suggestive audio "effects"; chiaroscuro which culminates in the Swede's room adding the veil of mystery, the unsettling music score which makes our hearts flutter in anticipation of something sinister to happen...
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