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Lindsey Burns

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About Lindsey Burns

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  1. "Cats don't know anything about electricity..." Maybe not, but while old Tabby was shorting out the Twin Oaks Cafe, I wish he/she had been able to send a little voltage into the two co-stars. I've never been able to understand the star status that John Garfield and Lana Turner enjoyed. Both are awkwardly mannered and wooden, and have facial expressions as limited as those two Greek masks. True, Turner did tolerably well in The Bad and The Beautiful, but Kirk Douglas has enough charisma to make any fellow actor seem animated. Even with a vehicle (pardon the pun) like "Postman...", the
  2. Beautiful. You've nailed it. Out of The Past is "not a road map for Noir; it's a destination." This film that I've loved for so long is lightning in a bottle, capturing in one dark and thrilling film the cream of Hollywood magic. Right time, right talent, right script, and a pairing of actors, in Mitchum and Greer, who inhabit their characters so completely and with such intense chemistry that the viewer is seduced as well. We know it's all too hot not to cool down, and of course, it does. With a vengence. This is, after all, a story of obsession. And yet, as you so rightly intuit, there is a
  3. The High School Production of Lady In The Lake Miscasting: Robert Montgomery is a decent actor when he's not completely out of his element, which he is in this film. True, he is filling some big shoes as yet another Philip Marlowe, but in trying to be convincing as a hard-boiled detective, his efforts are pitiable. The phony, deeper-than-normal voice he uses and its harsh, monotone bark at everyone is both distracting and laughable. Also, Audrey Totter (of the Evil Eyebrow) is equally unconvincing. Her emotional range appeared to be 1)Annoyed 2)Angry to 3) Annoyed and Angry. The only cast m
  4. I've also been through that also with movie goers too young or too clueless to understand the importance of having that "willing suspension of disbelief" when confronted with anything foreign to their experience. I was once part of a film group, and we were thrilled to have Dennis Hopper come and introduce a showing of "Easy Rider" and take questions after. A few grotesquely immature people in the audience snickered at some of the dialogue and situations, not realizing (or caring) that they were in the presence of a living legend and watching a watershed moment in American cinema. True to his
  5. Re: the "low-level push-in on Greenstreet." Is that the shot when the camera is nearly floor-level and shooting upward toward Greenstreet's...er...largish "bay window"? I laughed when I saw it. Imagine the cinematographer discussing that idea with Greenstreet. The fact that it's in the film shows he was a real trooper.
  6. They are great fun to watch as they interact, aren't they? "Slithery" certainly, when Peter Lorre appears. For me, he also brings to mind "reptilian." I wonder how the poor man felt about the effect he had on fans. I'd like to think he would laugh, but I can't imagine a Lorre laugh without that sneer. And yet...there lurks a kind of vulnerability about him. Nah! What am I saying? He's an actor!!!!
  7. Hoping For The Best: Noir's Great Unknowns The more I binge-watch TCM’s Summer of Darkness films, the more I feel the need to acknowledge film noir’s great character actors. This was brought home last weekend when I watched The People vs. O’Hara. There was such an abundance of familiar faces that I wondered what had drawn them to the project—Spencer Tracy’s star power, John Alton’s artistry, or simply a paycheck. For whatever reason, a partial list of go-to character actors in this film included: Veterans J. C. Flippen (doing a horrible Swedish accent): 108 film & TV credits; Ann
  8. THANK YOU for devoting some "ink" to chiaroscuro's favorite son, Caravaggio, whose influence Rembrandt utilizes to such magnificent advantage. To expand on your insights: Post-Impressionist and Expressionist painters also contributed greatly to the evolution of film noir sensibilities, particularly in the film maker's compositions and camera angles. Paul Cezanne and Vincent Van Gogh seriously messed with the conventional understanding of perspective, horizon lines, vanishing points, etc., essentially doing what iconoclasts do.In Van Gogh's case, his mature work was also imbued with an emotiona
  9. Please don't cheat yourself out of watching this film. There's nothing second-rate about it, and it is derivative only to the extent that it masterfully employs the juiciest aspects of film noir. Out of The Past stands alone as a classic, and it stands apart from anything run-of-the-mill. Give it a try.
  10. Excellent cross reference! I never really knew the words to that contagious Al Stewart song--just "la, la,la,la" along with it after the first few words, but the lyrics are very apt. "Jeff's Theme"! I love it.
  11. Out of the Past and Its Wayward Cousin, Body Heat It’s one of classic noir’s most intriguing entrances, and I’ve seen it countless times, but thanks to this excellent course, when I viewed the clip of Out of the Past, I didn’t focus on Kathie (Jane Greer). Instead, as she steps from blazing sunlight into the darkened cantina, I noticed how cinematographer Nicholas Musuraca skillfully made the transition, backlighting Kathie and turning her to a deeply shadowed silhouette—and portent of things to come from this enigmatic femme fatale. Our POV is that of the as-yet-unseen Jeff (Robert Mitc
  12. There's also a difference between having book smarts and street smarts. Not slamming higher education; it's a beautiful thing, but Marlowe's back story would probably include a "satori" moment when he realized that upward mobility was not for him. He's a free-range guy, not a team player. As for psychoanalysis, that whole crew should be "put on the couch"--and I don't mean the casting couch.
  13. Great observation about Bogie's signature quirks, which comics incorporate in their impersonations of him. One other Bogie-ism: that clinched-teeth grimace he does after a tough turn of events or when he's ended up on the wrong end of a "knuckle sandwich."
  14. Regarding the tall thing, it didn't appear to bother Bogart or anyone else. He had, as they say, a tall personality and lots of confidence. Yet I've read that Alan Ladd was about 5' 7" and extremely self-conscious about it--to the point of having to stand on a higher step, etc. so he wouldn't be dwarfed by other actors. Height was one reason Ladd made so many movies with Veronica Lake--she was only about 4'11". Luckily, they had chemistry, if a rather chilly sort. Apparently, Ladd had a very deprived childhood and even had malnutrition, which likely affected his growth. I doubt either Bogart o
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