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About WilliamsonEM6

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  • Birthday 10/27/1995

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  1. In this scene from The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, the most prevalent theme I can sense is that well-recognizable tension of the past coming back and the fear of its taint on the present or future. There is definitely a story to go with the relationship between Martha and Sam, with the initial Freudian slips and sexual innuendo. As for staging, the most important shots are between Sam and Walter. First they are relatively close as Walter lights his cigarette as his past and present meet, then the tension becomes more invisible, leading Walter to go across the room for a drink. They are
  2. Like many other scenes featured on a deserted highway, the audience finds themselves right in the middle of something. In this case, it is spousal quarrel, and the status quo is established. Alan and Jane are an "average" upper-middle class couple, the man is driving and the woman is complaining about the perceived judgments from a fellow female member of the class. It isn't a P.I. and his secretary pursuing their vaguely-labeled relationship or two criminals or working class folk. However, like Mike Hammer meeting Christina or Emmett Myers stalking the highways, it involves the upheaval of an
  3. In the opening scenes of Kiss Me, Deadly and The Hitch-Hiker, even before the credits have rolled, something visually interesting and unconventional is being shown: a woman running down a dark road and reversed credits, and a sole and predator hitchhiker thumbing a ride on a deserted highway before murdering a woman in cold blood. In contrast, Strangers on a Train has a more conventional stationary opening as the credits scroll forward, then we have the more visually interesting shots of two lives colliding via shoes on a train. Also, the music is typical and there is a humor to it, sort
  4. The Window (1949): Like The Set-Up, The Window is another tight 73-minute noir with a simple story but compelling characters and interesting setting that lends itself to the noir style. I definitely recommend it. Basic Plot: Tommy, a little boy living in a New York tenement who is also known for spinning tales, witnesses a murder one hot summer night. But will anyone believe him – his parents, the cops – or will the murderers silence him forever? Noir Elements: Literary precursor, documentary realism (aerial shots, on-location shooting of New York), chiaroscuro lighting (cramped NY
  5. Just a general note on films made in the 1970s: you will see breasts, you will see 'staches of varying quaity, and you will not feel happy after it's all over.
  6. The Long Goodbye (1973) [CONTINUED]: The film is visual comfortable with its warm tones and Altman's signature mobile style is evident – the camera is never static. The score of mainstream jazz at a time when fusion jazz was all the rage adds to the noir atmosphere. It has a signature song repeated throughout the score (provided by a young John Williams with contributions from one of the most popular songwriters from the 1930s to 50s, Johnny Mercer). It's sad and romantic but also foreboding. Much can be said about themes and supporting performance(i.e. Rydell's Augustine, Gibson's Verri
  7. The Long Goodbye (1973): In the 1970s, a new period of cynicism and experimentation emerged in American cinema, and it is evidenced in the appearance of many now-famous neo-noirs. The similarities to the origins of noir are uncanny, a time post-war in which even more mistrust and cynicism are justified, after Watergate, after Vietnam, after Civil Rights, amidst new social movements and countercultures. However, this time, these independent filmmakers work outside the confines of the studio system (United Artists, well-known even during the studio era as more independent); they have swearin
  8. The Big Clock (1948): The Big Clock inspired mixed feelings, for me at least. Some may like it, it has some decent performances and good cinematography, but I found it dull, due to its writing and pacing. It was only an hour and thirty-five minutes but it felt so stretched out, and not even Milland, Laughton, MacReady, Sullivan, Johnson, or Morgan, great noir leads and supporters one and all, could not save it. Basic Plot: The strained editor of a crime magazine finds himself in a frame-up for murder on the night he misses his wife's train and goes bar-hopping with the boss's former mi
  9. The Threat (1949) [CINEMATOGRAPHY] The natural crackle of the film print adds a certain texture to the scenes of violence. The cinematographer (see note) knew when to show the violence in full like during the death scenes (we even see a bullet hole in the final death) but also when to convey the violence through the looks of terror on other's face (like during the interrogation of the D.A.). Note: Cinematographer Harry J. Wild also shot Murder, My Sweet (1944), Cornered (1945) Johnny Angel (1945), Nocturne (1946), The Woman on the Beach (1947), They Won't Believe Me (1947), and Macao (
  10. The Threat (1949): The Threat is a tight, violent cop drama with the noir tone and style that thrives in B-pictures. Basic Plot: An escaped convict aims to get revenge against the District Attorney, detective, and female associate he thinks are responsible for his arrest. Noir Elements: Literary precursor, on-location shooting (realistic, gritty appearance), B-film (and noir) character actors and director, some interesting camera angles and chiaroscuro lighting, femme fatale (in the sense of a female in an unsavory line of work who attempt to manipulate a man and then kills him),
  11. White Heat (1949): White Heat would be James Cagney's first gangster picture in ten years (his last being The Roaring Twenties, also starring fledgling Humphrey Bogart). It's slow and steady pace with lightning flashes of cruelty and chaos are rewarded with an explosive ending. Basic Plot: A ruthless and homicidal gangster, with an unusual relationship with his mother, spirals further down as he descends into chaos, revenge, and murder. Noir Elements: Literary precursor, on-location shooting, chiaroscuro lighting, urban settings, femme fatale, violence paired with sympathetically-
  12. They Live by Night (1948): They Live By Night is a very fine noir, somewhere in between High Sierra and Gun Crazy. If at times sentimental and melodramatic, the film's simple story, tense pacing, reasonably sophisticated cinematography, and compelling characters make it just as formidable a noir as the aforementioned. Basic Plot: An unjustly imprisoned young convict crashes out with two other older, hardened criminals in order to prove his innocence. However, the world that his two cohorts drag him into may make it impossible to escape, and when he goes on the run with a girl he meets
  13. Scene of the Crime (1949) [CONTINUED – CYNICISM] As a transition between gangster films and cop shows, Scene speaks successfully to cynicism, this time not among criminals but cops. The cops, doing the the grunt work (similar to Mystery Street), have their own secret rules not found in the books of rules and regulations. They work the system, using fear and stool pigeons, which is how the LAPD is often portrayed as doing. Even the film's only private detective mentions the fantasy of Bogart's film roles; he is beaten up but admits his own weakness and drawbacks in being a private dick in t
  14. Scene of the Crime (1949): In Scene of the Crime, MGM is trying ever so hard to be Warner Bros, the master of fast-talking, rough, action-packed gritty urban melodramas. For the most part it fails, but it's an entertaining enough attempt. Basic Plot: A tough LAPD cop investigates the mysterious murder of a former partner. Noir Elements: Literary precursor, open at night with a murder, urban setting (Los Angeles), attempt at realism (Schary), some cinematography flourishes (wide-angle lens, close-ups, reflective surfaces), chiaroscuro lighting, post-war cynicism, femme fatale, and h
  15. I'll probably rewatch it in a few years. It's like a French fillm, you are a bit baffled by it but it's so stylistic that you're wondering if as a viewer, if you're slow to understand or if it's the most brilliant film ever made or is it just a mass of confusion driven by director and expertly-done visuals. Believe it or not, but the University of Minnesota has a mimeography of Welles' 152-page script (http://special.lib.umn.edu/findaid/xml/mss004.xml) so if I'm ever in Minnesota for whatever reason, I know the first thing I'll go looking for is this.
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