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jyfwan

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  1. Lloyd's humor is just as significant as Chaplin's and Keaton's in the silents and the visual gags. Although, I think his voice became another element for his character, "The Boy", and did not detract from it, when he transferred into the 'talkies'. Chaplin did not give a "speaking" voice to his "Tramp" but instead, only uttered symbolic "sounds" (i.e. "Modern Times"). While Keaton's talking characters seemed very different (i.e. not as "stony-faced" and less memorable) from his silent one.
  2. Keaton's humor relied on 'stony-faced' reaction and deadly stunts. His liability insurance's costs for doing his own stunts must have been astronomical. Keaton's humor is very different from Chaplin's but just as important, and overwhelmingly funny. I enjoy both comics for their differences in visual humor.
  3. Chaplin's ability to add pathos to his "Tramp" character gave a dimension that immortalized him. I always found watching Chaplin's "Tramp" complete enjoyable hilarity and profound enthusiasm.
  4. In Lloyd's "Speedy",1928, several back to back scenes of Lloyd and his girlfriend eating cotton candy and drinking soda, downing large pieces of cake with cocoa and devouring several corn on the cobs concluded with Lloyd (with his back to us) which has him appearing to be convulsing and throwing up his food with his girlfriend patting his back in comfort. But, in actuality, the visual gag is that he is blowing into a 'Test Your Lungs' attraction instead. At another attraction to 'hit the cans' to win a doll for his girlfriend, Lloyd accidentally pushes a passerby's food into the passerby's f
  5. For Buster Keaton's "One Week", 1920, all the elements (set design, costume, prop, camera placement, acting) helped to make this gag effective as visual comedy. Set design showed the ill-designed self-built home for Keaton and his wife as over powering and unpredictable. The costume and props showed ordinary people using items in daily situations that lead to endless accidents. Keaton's non-reaction (i.e. "stone-faced") to the accidents that beset his character heightens the visual antics. Camera placement in "full-figure framing" captured the entire visual humor without distraction. Also
  6. Canby is right about something missing in today's visual comedies compared to that of the silent classics. In the silent classics, the "full-figure framing" increases the comic tension (as to what will happen next), and elicits one's complete focus or concentration on the gag(s). Whereas, today's comic visuals have many distractions such as cutaways that may dissipate the focus from the build up to the gag(s). In Chaplin's "A Dog's Life", 1918, everything (i.e. set design, costume, props, etc.) counted in the visual comedy. The set design of the 'home' of the Chaplin's "Tramp" helped hi
  7. I do positively agree with Agee and Youngson's statements that the silent films from 1912 to 1930 constituted "comedy's greatest era" or its "golden age". This is mainly because the visual treatments of gags without sound and in "full-figure framing" view (with no cut away or very few) tends to elicit and encourage solely true personal (i.e. 'unspoiled') reaction from the viewer(s). With the advent of sound and close-ups or special effects, the viewer(s) may be led to a gag's meaning or influenced by. The film's narrator was correct as well that the "gags were completely visual" in the s
  8. The opening scene of Criss Cross (1949) exemplifies the noir style via documentary realism ((the aerial night view of the city), night shooting, the dramatic and stirring music, and the angled and skewed compositions) and substance via the lovers' (Steve/Burt Lancaster and Anna/Yvonne De Carlo) formalistic discussion with each other in the parking lot which is desperate, and highlights their troubled pass with each other. While the argument between the husband/Dan Duryea and his wife, Anna is grounded in realism with suppressed anger and hatred. The husband distrusts his wife and takes his j
  9. In Brute Force (1947), when the Wagner music is at its dramatic peak, or, turned up in volume, Captain Munsey (Hume Cronyn) increases his severe beatings of prison newspaper reporter Louis (Sam Levene). As the Wagner music is turned up in volume, we also see pictures of objects (i.e. plants and photo of Captian Munsey) in the room as Captain Munsey with the rubber pipe in hand goes toward the prisoner. These objects in the room are the only other witnesses to the horrific beating of prison newspaper reporter Louis by the hands (and rubber pipe) of the cruel and sadistic Captain Munsey. A
  10. In Anthony Mann's Desperate (1947), the savage beating of the unwilling driver Steve (Steve Brodie) by the thugs of boss Walt (Raymond Burr) was accentuated by the swinging ceiling light bulb. The faster it swung, the beating was more savage and intense. As the ceiling light bulb slowed down, the beating slowed and stopped as boss Walt commenced verbal threats against Steve's newly married Bride. The beating also felt claustrophobic from the overwhelming darkness and shadows to the glancing beams of light emanating from the swinging ceiling light bulb. The scene's tension is heightened
  11. The "unnamed city" in this film noir, The Asphalt Jungle (1950) is a 'character' which encourages crimes to be committed. Its stark and bleak setting with deserted ruins invites doom and desolation. The film is aptly named to imply uncivilized, unlawfulness and a violent struggle for survival such as in a jungle but made of brick and mortar instead of trees and plants. Documentary realism is evident in the beginning of the scene as the patrol car drives through the empty district while a lone man is sighted walking among the ruins or buildings in the early morning hours. Music is an ele
  12. The Miles Davis' score in the film noir, Elevator To The Gallows (1958) via the wailing and crying of the horn to add tension and an intensity or 'heightened' passion to the already passionate scene between the lovers Florence (Jeanne Moreau) and Julien (Maurice Ronet) who are emoting to each other on the telephone. Louis Malle's stark and bleak visual design consisting mostly of grays with some black and white is made starker and bleaker by Miles Davis' wailing horn and adds a feeling of loneliness bordering on despair. The "idioms of jazz" resonate very well with the style and substance
  13. The opening scene in Beware, My Lovely (1952) shows noir elements such as documentary realism in the on location shot of the Salvation Army playing in public and when the handyman Howard (Robert Ryan) is running through the train stock yard to catch a train; use of music only as an emphasis to heighten the suspense or tension when things go wrong—until Howard finds the body, one hears only the usual sounds of the Salvation Army music playing, doors opening and closing (i.e. regular sounds of objects used or moved; the 'silence' also makes it suspenseful); Howard, the handyman, is careful about
  14. There is evidence of lampooning in the opening scene in The Narrow Margin (1952), such as when the two detectives just got off of the train from Los Angeles and is now taking a train returning to Los Angeles in one hour; the dialogue between the two detectives are too tongue in cheek, sarcastic and glib (i.e. Your cigar is "dead", or, What kind of a dame would marry a hood?); and, one of the detectives keeps on trying to light his cigar and after its third lighting, he glibly says, "I'm think of changing brands, somethin' with a self starter on it.". This reminds me of the Bugs Bunny and Daff
  15. In Kansas City Confidential (1952), time is an element of suspense and used in the planning of the bank robbery. Also, time seemed to speed up the pacing of the scene. Some film noir elements used in this opening scene are: documentary realism (style) with the preface and location shot of Kansas City which makes it official and real; music (style) used to emphasize time and timing which also adds suspense; and, the 'silence' (i.e. no dialogue) has us focus closely on the man observing the bank and we see how methodical, detailed and calm he is in the planning of the bank robbery. He mus
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