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Everything posted by bclarke18

  1. Each POV shot puts the viewer in middle of the story. When the boys walk into the room, I can feel their eyes trying to convey every thought and feeling they are having as they take the long walk of foreboding towards the headmaster (me). The shot itself is interesting too because I just watched Hitchcock talk about the counterpoint of a performance. A girl who is sobbing and saying not to laugh. So it is that when we have to take a bitter medicine we want to get it over with fast, but that walk of the boys is so long and slow. I also liked the way the girl shares her memory with the superimpo
  2. 1. What stands out in both films is the ability to manipulate the audience with "the shot." Whether Hitchcock is narrowing the view to focus on something small or the large open-mouthed scream, we are forced into what he wants us to see. It's not unlike a magician with slight of hand tricks. We are looking left when all the while the manipulation is happening to the right. Then wham! We are blind-sided with what seems impossible to the human eye. Then we think him clever, as I was not looking in that direction. Of course not, he didn't want you to look there yet. That's his ability to have cli
  3. Hitchcock pulls us into his voyeuristic style through his camera. What does he want us to see? Beautiful legs, ogling men, women wise to the ways of a man, thieves. I can see his first attempts at his art manifested in his later films. His use of silent objects or scenery to make a subtle statement, but only if you are astute. He was a very sharp director telling a story for the keen observer.
  4. Are you still looking for a cabinmate? My mom would like to attend the cruise. She is 65 and is excited to attend her first TCM experience. I attend the cruise every year and the film festivals. I think she'd love it. Thank you!!
  5. 1. Using the amusement park as his set up is genius. It's a common thread for most people. Comedy doesn't work unless we can relate to the situation and most everyone has had the pleasure of going to the park. Lloyd's success at the park is due to the unwitting situations. He's not normally a winner, right? He's like the rest of us, at least that's what we think. No one wins except by freak accident at an amusement park. They're rigged, true? He wins the spinning contest? Well, there's a crab in his pocket. He wins the doll for his girl? Of course the angry guy knocks down the cans. And which
  6. As a set designer/builder for community theater, I give a big hurrah for the all the props and set build for this clip! It's the set-up before the set-up, the perfect storm. We are, for the most part, the little guy. Something is always too heavy, too long, too high and we never have the proper equipment. What makes this gag work as a visual comedy comes from the positioning of the large or heavy piano and the little guy. If he was a big guy like the delivery man there would have not been any humor in getting the piano in the house. I love the rope that was long and bound up in knots. How ofte
  7. Comedy has been around since ancient Greece and the stories of gods and heroes. Humor is intelligence and it is clever. We feel smart when we can "pull one over" on someone. And who doesn't like to laugh? It feels good and gives us a sense of well-being. It makes perfect sense that Lumiere would want to capture this feeling. Especially when trying to promote film as an art form. Nothing can be so engaging and inclusive to an audience as laughter. It is the shared experience that brings us together. What I love most about these types of comedic gags is the disposition of the protagonist. D
  8. I don't feel like the dialog in this film is being parodied or burlesqued as much as it has become ordinary. What was once unique and interesting has become standard. I found myself thinking about the hook. Where is it? What is going to make this noir film interesting. Is there a gimmick or a twist that is going to put this film on its head? For me the hook didn't come in the opening or the dialog. I wonder if it lurks around the bend?
  9. Time. It's one of those things that we wish we could control, but, inevitably, can only count on. Clocks, and watches move at a predetermined pace. We set our lives by them as does the man watching the bank. This is counterbalanced by the erratic pacing feet of the people doing daily errands, people rubber-necking to see into the bank, like chickens for the feed, the rhythmic heartbeat of the music that slows and builds as the scene progresses. We know that timing is everything for this man and that his intentions are dark and nefarious. This is a heist, a gamble where all factors need to be p
  10. This film is iconic in all of the elements of noir that we've been discussing...contrasting light and shadow, diagonal lines, the realism of a worn out European city... However, my favorite part of the scene is the Harry smile. Love it. These noir figures don't smile. They sulk, estrange and evade. He was three seconds of that scene. To come right out and smile, that was different and, yet, so in character. It's the hook to the scene along with the cat. What also makes that smile so engaging and germane is that it is accompanied by the ever-increasing zither music. It's a pointer. The cat, the
  11. Fate. The thing we all hope for, but are never ready for. I think Garfield is guy who has "itchy feet" because he's always on the take. Looking for the next best thing or to take advantage of a situation. He's never content. He's offered food and a job, obviously not having one, and doesn't know if he's ready to commit. That is until Lana enters. Lana owns it, the cafe, the scene and the beauty. It's a peep show. The anticipation builds...something falls, a rolling lipstick, bare legs and then her. She's gorgeous. He's sold. But wait, is she game? He tests her by not giving the lipstick ba
  12. I think the entrances of the two characters are in direct contrast. Lorre's entrance begins as a relaxed, slight man in a large doorway, peering low to get the key into the hole while Greenstreet, a large man enters confidently through a small archway, broadening his appearance. As the banter continues, Lorre is standing and Greenstreet, with gun in hand, takes a seat, submissive and relaxed. Lorre says he has nothing to hide and then lies down and has a smoke, also submissive and relaxed. Both characters underplaying the anxiety set in this scene of a room in disarray, a drawn gun and hidden
  13. While a generous part of the scene is shot outdoors with all the bright sunlight that is so contrary to film noir, I think the elements of noir are still present. The dark lines that trace the buildings and diagonal shadows cast upon them is stock noir. The smoke from cigars and cigarettes obscure the the sharpness of the scene and provide another color and element. There is that feeling in the shot as Kathie enters the bar that she is some type of heavenly vision. The use of bright lighting and her light colored clothing gives a celestial sort of feel. She is a vision as the dark, contrasted
  14. I think Bogart is the well-dressed man of Chandler's writing. Well-dressed to play a part as he was calling on a wealthy individual. It's hard to gain the confidence of someone affluent without the demeanor, competence and vestments that lend an air of familiarity, sophistication and sociability to Sternwood's standing. But you get the feeling that this is not how he always dresses or behaves. It's a game and he knows it. From the moment Carmen eyes him and begins her equivocating, Marlowe is the very picture of calm, cool and collected. But under the harsh scrutiny of Sternwood, in his pressu
  15. I agree that the credits at the opening of the film seem to lead us to the feeling that this is a noir film. Stark contrasts of the lettering against the background shots and the foreboding musical direction by Andre Previn. Then there's a break from that to the mood and atmosphere that is represented by the documentary style filming with long shots and an authoritative narrator. The words that come to mind are fact, truth, law, order, organization. Each geometrical shape of the land and the lines form borders and parameters. Trees like a pegboard giving us orderly content. Everything in its p
  16. I think what stands out to me is the crisp appearance of each of the first characters we see in the scene. Clean, tight colors. Stark whites and deep blacks. The colors pull your eyes from person to person, to the bright lights on the walls and then to the long black curved countertop set in the diner of sharp angles. Then there's perspective. Watching the thugs leave the diner and continuing to peer through the window at them as they run to the gas station. Then peering through the window of the Swede's room. Watching the kid make his way to the Swede. Long shots of small running movements I
  17. I think that I could not expound on the subject any better than the thousands of posts that have been made by incredibly thoughtful people. My only thought: Her hair. Sexual and used to draw you in. Like a stripper's feather boa. Flipped, tossed and pulled. If watched only for the musical number, I don't think the layers are as obvious. The scene plays as a drunken, lustful performance. However, knowing what has happened before, the scene becomes a conflict over power and control. Gilda is devilish, but smart, using what she has, her sexuality, to fight back. It's the only thing that
  18. Noir is felt from the onset of the scene, both women, dressed in black standing opposite each other. The daughter with her blossomed flower at her shoulder tells us that she is not a little girl. It is a showdown of the power struggle between a hardworking mother and her arrogant and entitled daughter. Not the typical All-American family. At first, as Veda is seated and then kneeling below her mother, the daughter is haughty and manipulative, playfully so. But when tension escalates, Veda assumes the dominant position on the stairs, setting up for the ultimate show of power between women, the
  19. Both the opening to M and the Ministry of Fear use clocks. The measured tick tock that can bring calm can also be monotonous torture for someone whose only interaction is that sound. I get the idea of its use, but it can be overused and lose its effectiveness if one is not careful. In M, the sounds that are juxtaposed are the warnings of clock and horns, to the pleasant sound, but creepy words of a children's song. Here we have no sound versus the continued click click click. Each click, as it approaches release time, seems to linger longer and longer. It's maddening how long it is to wait for
  20. What did former detectives act like? Were they the upstanding police type? If so, then the new type would be the guy who worked outside the law. He got his hands dirty doing his work and played his role in the gray areas. The kind of guy who grabs a lady's wrist and locks the door and will use her to get what he needs. He is not fooled by her glasses and measured demeanor. His thinking is agile and aggressive. He fits noir because you can sense the shadow that follows him from his past. The well dressed man meshed with the street thug attitude. The guy who is supposed to solve problems is the
  21. It is a study in furnishings and faces as the affluent room is panned and we get a feel for the person who lives here. He lives a cold and structured life with his varied collections. I also like that one never assumes in a film that the bad guy is the narrator. We are taught to trust the narrators in movies and in life. What a great technique to use the bad guy to lead us down the dark path.
  22. I think the use of the first person POV was successful. It's a hook. It is an intentional choice to draw you in and keep you interested as well as make the movie stand out and be different. It was also necessary due to the plot of the movie. I'm glad, however, that I am only in the first person for a short period, as opposed to Lady in the Lake. It takes a marathon runner to stay that engaged in a movie for so long. As a viewer, I need a break. I need time to turn around, read the body language of my character and assess the situation from a different POV. ...like any good detective.
  23. I think what stands out to me the most is the calm of the night and the blasts from the gun, the way Bette looks as she shoots, removed and unfeeling, and then the moon, hidden, appearing and then hiding again. The mystery laid out before us, giving us the answer before the question, the ending before the beginning. It's twisted. Dark. And draws us in. Noir at its best.
  24. Definitely a key in film noir is the ability of the film to make you feel uncomfortable. I think what strikes me most about this opening is that there is a feeling of being out of control. Where are we going? With limited communication between the men it is hard to tell if we are in danger or simply on a frenetic train ride. The fast-paced chugging of the engine increases my own breathing and I begin to wonder about the fate of the ride as I pass rapidly through each tunnel. Putting me on the front of the train as it heads into a furious turn does nothing to quell my fear. Until, at last, the
  25. The looming dread that the opening of M is able to provoke is due to the set up so aptly done by Lang. It is a child's song that is filled with dark words. We hear warnings from multiple sources that call out that something is about to happen, church bells, clocks, car horns, etc... It's the lightness of the child's face and the dark shadow of a man who leans in, almost too close. While the common daily activities of the of the unknowing parent smiles that their child will be home soon, or will she?
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