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micelwulf

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  1. As Kim S notes, the opening shots are intense: Being 'thrown in the ring' using 'cinematic' techniques bought to mind the perspective forced on the viewer in "Dark Passage" - although the shift to the tv footage distances the viewer fairly quickly. The fact that this is the fighter reliving his own experience is clear in action (the man watching touching his scarred eye is perfectly timed with the image & physical memory is highlighted). Thinking of film as a cultural artifact refelcting the time and palce where it was made, comments on the relationship to TV and film are interesti
  2. Gambling is a respectable profession, at least to the point that you are open about it? A world out of balance. Moral boundaries are unclear. Layers of meaning - carefully constructed and revealed - gambling & implications of 'fixing' the odds are juxtaposed against the 'great democratic institutions' the justice system and the political system. The foundations of society can't be trusted. A marriage that appears to be a heavily 'negotiated' - who has the power & where is the push for status & sucess coming from - gender relationships are thrown into question. Possibly an a
  3. How does this film's fateful twist differ from other film scenes we have investigated? The scene starts with a 'domestic' concern, someting private between the couple - they are encapsulated or insulated from the rest of the world physically by the confines of their car. And, from the substance of their conversation, a degree of social or economic insulation also exists, albeit uncomfortably. Then something sinister and hinting at much larger, 'more serious' concerns is, literally, thrown into their world, the public impinges on the private. Thinking of other films scenes investiga
  4. Not much to add to the thughts of others, although I noted that in "Strangers", unlike the other two film openings under consideration, the two characters introduced through careful mise-en-scene begin 'on equal footing' - they both arrive and move purposefully but, as others note without the urgency or tension of either "Kiss" or "Hitch-hiker" - also in both of those other films the individuals introduced are apparently at a disadvantage or in some state of needing help or rescue - so the viewer's knowledge of them begins with an emotionally heightened awareness of being 'on the back foot' so
  5. The sound design certainly achieves a blunt double entendre, desperation, a moment of intensity, emotionally charged. "The night is mighty chilly" begin the lyrics, much like the reception by the driver "you nearly wrecked my car" and certainly "conversation..(is) rather thin". But the annoyed toughness of the driver belies his apparent compassion and basic 'goodness' in that he stops when others didn't, and his agile intelligent mind trying to puzzle the situation as he then swiftly supplies a cover for her to enable passing the road block, characteristics we have come to expect of the male n
  6. A strong & deliberate contrast, not only between Frank & Cora but Cora and her environment (N.B. another 'Nighthawks-like' diner, a place of poterntial danger & intrigue, despite full daylight!) Rather than 'nothing', I'd say we learn Cora is dangerous, manipulative, and not as ernest or open as Frank or her husband seem to be. Certainly not the same 'biographical' information delivered through voiceover and dialogue but plently using film language and drawing heavily on emerging noir conventions, as many others have noted. The over cooked hamburger could be read as being
  7. I noticed also that the lighting & cinematography treatment differed for the two, heightening the unexpected juxtaposition of appearance & character Miss Daniels' mentions here - Vera, particularly near the end of the scene, is beautifully lit with slightly soft focus, evoking the heroine/beauty classical Hollywood "soft style" convention which almost confuses by producing a pang of sympathy desipte the manipulative cruel shallowness revealed.
  8. Additionally, the stairs are used to enable staging that shows a shifting and pulling in the power relationship between the two - Veda stands from sitting and attempts to dominate, however Mildred is taller than Veda and 'stands above her (physically & morally) in when they are both in the living area "seeing you for the first time". Then the stairs are used effectviely to elevate Veda as she appears to 'get the upper hand' in the confrontation, however Mildred climbs the stairs and the two are shown at equal height briefly, right before the climactic slap and final expulsion when Mildred
  9. New kind of detective - not certain - but it strikes me that there's a tension between uncovering 'the truth' and 'making a living' that's new, gritty and un-romantic and also an element of investigations being personal because, as was noted, the detective is the protagonist, more than the vehicle for a story. The fit of this particular type of detective to noir? Well, it's someone who is conflicted, flawed and driven seeking a truth, but knowing that that truth is in a darkness that 'ordinary folk' don't like to know of.
  10. What struck me was the difference in Lydecker's voice over narration, which seems oddly poetic but dark, and his almost 'bright', but similarly intellectual, emotionally detached tone when 'met' as a character. That detached, emotionless stance (very matter-of-fact) when confronting, matter of factly, something dark & sinister seems to me to be a hallmark of noir. As others have noted, the camera exploring setting props & furnishings works very effectively to establish more about the voice we are hearing before we see & meet the man. Carefully choreographed with objects appear
  11. Disappointed to not be able to find the "Summer of Darkness" programming on TCM MENA/Europe via OSN. Please TCM can you do something about this?
  12. Sucessful? to evaluate requires criteria.... I think the POV is engaging by virtue of being novel. Intellectually it's interesting from a behind the scenes 'how did they acheive this on location' curiosity. It's effective in creating an uncomfortable tension through being put in the escapee's position, but also it somehow created much more tension than other possible treatments of the scene when the driver of the vehicle keeps asking questions before the radio announcement and the escapee is revealed to be a murderer! Once the physical description of the escapee is given I'm unsettled by the
  13. Having not seen the film, but coming to it in the context of this noir course I'd expected something...... unexpected! So, my first thought prompted by the dripping rubber tree sap was anticipation of dripping blood, but the graceful unfolding of the scene - the camera gliding, the careful sound mix and introduction and swell of sound music and the workers at rest was lulling. In addition to the detachment of the character portrayal by Davis, the use of chiaroscuro lighting once the shooting had occured, was as others observed, notable and for me where the dark fingerprints of noir begin to re
  14. The first shot of fire filled maw with the 'scream' of the train (whistle?) is dark and disturbing (imagine that on the big screen rather than t.v. or computer screen - it would seem to engulf the viewer) , but it quickly becomes quite banal with the two men going about their business, lighting a cigarette calmly coordinating the control of the engine. However the duration of the sequence seems unrelenting, the train doesn't stop at any stations until the last. And the sound remains harsh, putting you on edge. Who are these people, why is the train not stopping, what's the urgency.... what is
  15. Juxtaposition of innocence and menace, the camera hangs over the children playing as the shadow thrown against the poster does at the end of the sequence. The connotation of play and games shifting from a rhyme whose words are sung without apparent understanding to a simple ball - all absorbing and an opportunity for words that hold more menace but seem less dangerous.
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