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JordanBlossey

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  1. The most prominent noir elements in this clip were those of forbidden love between Lancaster and De Carlo. For some reason, I've always been fascinated by movies, tv shows, and books that have infidelity as one of the main plot points. Kind of messed-up, but the fascination is there nonetheless. I think the Daily Doses have made me more perceptive of movies as a whole, and has made me notice more details that would have slipped under my radar.
  2. As many other uses have pointed out, the use of Wagner's music, the methods of the cop's interrogation, and even his official portrait all point towards Nazi Germany and Fascism in general. Thinly-veiled political commentary here. Both this scene and the one in Desperate can be seen as very influential in neo-noir and the films of Tarentino.
  3. Incredible use of light and shadow in this scene. As user Liz VK pointed out, the chiaroscuro lighting makes the scene very ominous, even before the beating. When Burr delivers the first punch, we see his fist at the end of the shot, making it feel like the violence is hitting too close to home and literally in your face. The same thing happens when the broken beer bottle gets into the shot near the end of the clip. Most of the beating takes place in darkness, playing on the idea that what you don't see is more terrifying. Of course, the high-angle shots of Raymond Burr symbolizes his power in the scene, and the hard light on the initial shot of the victim symbolizes the victim's helplessness.
  4. Hello, I'm posting my responses later than usual due to a very busy week. The term "Asphalt Jungle", to me, describes just how wild and predictable urban life (or a city in a film noir) is. One particular shot of Sterling Hayden going down the street reminded me of Bicycle Thieves. So far, this noir has crooked cops, a hard-boiled protagonist (Sterling Hayden), and potentially mistaken identity. I recorded this on TCM when it played before the Summer of Darkness, so I will have to give this a watch.
  5. Yes, I love the films of Louis Malle and recorded his films when they were featured on TCM a few months ago. I have this movie in my DVR but haven't gotten around to watching it yet. I may do so after submitting this post. Miles Davis's score perfectly captures the sexual passion between these two lovers and captures their inner lives in ways that their amorous talk can't. When the camera pulled back from the office building, I was reminded of a jailhouse (and possibly the character's fates).
  6. A few things came to mind when watching the clip: when the man picks up the money and he puts the hammer in the drawer, I was thinking: why is that hammer out? And when I saw the bucket with the dirty water, I was thinking it might be blood or otherwise evidence of the crime. I can see why someone may think that this shows a decline in noir. For instance, the fast close-up of the body and the music that accompanies it reminded me of an exploitation or some schlock horror film from the 1960s, like George Romero's Night of the Living Dead. It starts to seem ridiculous, cliche, and not the innovative genre or style or movement or what-you-call-it that it was in the 1940s. Don't get me wrong, I love a good exploitation or camp flick (one of my favorite movies is Beyond the Valley of the Dolls), but i'm not sure a campy film noir is the best idea.
  7. As another user, goingtopluto, said: there is a fine line between formula and parody. I didn't really get a parody impression while watching the clip, though a lot of noir trademarks are present: trenchcoats, cigarettes, trains, tough guy with a relatively nicer friend (or so it seems...), and a fascination with a dame who sounds like a femme fatale (or is she?).
  8. I think the heist is a good subject for film noir to tackle, because the planning and execution of a heist is perfect for a character study and gets into the psychology of the perpetrators. The motivations for the heist, the group dynamics, and even their individual styles in carrying out crime make for a great noir. Even in more contemporary films like Reservoir Dogs and The Town, you can see the influence of noir storytelling.
  9. Hmm, noticing some reoccurring themes in this week's Daily Doses: love on the rocks, greed, conformity, and corruption (even Strangers on a Train contains these themes, though they aren't so prominent in the clip we watched). The ex-showgirl's reluctance to start a gas station reminds me of Lana Turner's character in The Postman Always Rings Twice. She wants to BE somebody, dammit! I think this scene illustrates the themes of evolving gender roles in film noir than any of the clips we've seen. The man feels a little stiffed that he's no longer the big boxer he once was, and his wife feels empowered by the increasing societal status of women and is ashamed of the man's fallen status.
  10. I haven't seen this movie, but I'm already interested! Barbara Stanwyck is one of my favorite Old Hollywood actresses. Just like in Too Late For Tears, we see glimpses into the life of an unhappy couple, played by Kirk Douglas and Stanwyck. Kirk Douglas is great in these sinister roles, as he was in Out of the Past. The couple's misery is most evident in the wife's interaction with her old childhood friend, and from what I feel, possibly past lovers. I don't know if I'm just perverted, but I sensed a double meaning in Stanwyck's "you were always big for your age." And of course, Douglas is none too pleased by this interaction, as his smile starts to fade and he tries to interrupt the camaraderie. The slamming of the door shut after the childhood friend leaves is very ominous and symbolizes the unhappy marriage between Douglas and Stanwyck, giving you a sense that you never know what happens behind closed doors and makes me wonder if Douglas is going to be physically or verbally abusive to his wife (and seeing his character, I may already know the answer to that question).
  11. We are lured into this Noir universe by a portrait of an unhappy married couple. The wife doesn't want to go to a party because she feels like she'll be looked down upon by their friend's "diamond-studded wife." Just as the husband gives in and turns the car around, a suitcase is thrown into their car--and it's full of money. The look of greed on Lisbeth Scott's is unmistakable and we already see that is planning to take the money and run (literally). I also thought of No Country for Old Men and I gather this is going in the same direction? Fine by me! I like Sir David's observation that this tale seems to be about conformity in the 1950s consumer culture. It shows a darker side of how this need to fit in but to also stand out in terms of superiority can lead us to do desperate, even dangerous, things.
  12. Yes, I LOVE Strangers on a Train! I always thought that Bruno Anthony was the scariest Hitchcock villain, even scarier than Norman Bates. While, yes, Norman Bates did creepier things than Anthony, Bates was relatively easy to catch once the events in Psycho started snowballing. Unlike Bates, Anthony is smart, sophisticated, witty, and charming--and also a ruthless murderer, making him a textbook case for a sociopath. He comes from a rich family and can do whatever the hell he wants, and the only way the good guys can catch Anthony is when he's dead. I love the contrast of Haynes's and Anthony's shoes, and how it reveals their characters. Anthony's shoes are more stylish and ostentatious, while Haynes's is more simple and understated like the everyday man. The idea of opposites meeting, whether you call it protagonist vs. antagonist or pride vs. modesty, aligns well with the idea of a criss-cross, symbolized by the train tracks. I believe that Hitchcock should be treated as a "special case" in film noir because he is a tour de force of his own. While he borrowed many elements from noir, he has his own creative universe of rules and tropes, such as the Hitchcock Blonde (which is not in Strangers on a Train, ironically and I don't believe you really see until his films in the mid-to-late 1950s), the Hitchcock Villain (Bates, Anthony, and the titular but unseen Rebecca), overbearing if not evil mothers, and the Hitchcock cameo. The details and nuances of Hitchcock and his films could be a course of its own, if not an online course.
  13. As Frank Bigelow walks down the long, shadowy corridors of the police station, there is a feeling of aimlessness and absurdity of the bureaucratic system that our lead character is trying to navigate. When Frank says that someone murdered him, we are perplexed and drawn into the plot even more. I haven't seen this movie, but I'm guessing that this is a case of mistaken identity and/or identity theft in a similar vein as Laura.
  14. Already in the opening scene of Caged, there is a feeling of claustrophobia established by the shot of the little window in the van escorting the ladies to the prison. Save for the view from the little window and the light on the ceiling, the whole screen is black as the credits roll, giving this film a very sinister feel. The lack of music in the scene adds to the gritty realism that was a staple of Warner Bros. in the Old Hollywood system. Even when the van opens up to let the women out, the audience knows that we've only just moved to a bigger cage, which is the Women's Prison.
  15. I haven't seen this movie, but this intro is classic! The shadows of the hitchhiker and his black clothing highlight his mysterious and sinister qualities. His face isn't revealed until he pulls the gun! Already, fear and paranoia has struck the heart of the audience, as we watch in suspense to see if the two guys are going to get out of this jam. This opening reminded me of the 1986 movie The Hitcher, which uses similar techniques and wastes no time to become a tale of suspense.
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