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About wedge8679

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  1. Pickup on South Street also made a Fuller fan out of me (which, I think, his rarely-seen Dead Pigeons on Beethoven Street also has some noirish elements to it). Fuller tiptoed on the conventions during that time (the staircase pugilism scene asserts to that) as well as casting Richard Widmark (Dassin broke the ground to this sort of character with Night and the City a few years back) as a kind-of antihero whose demeanor you would have had qualms about putting sympathies to.
  2. I have often wondered the relationship of jazz on Film Noir. Whether it has a specific quality that contributes to (and perhaps, establish) a certain atmosphere on the film, or is it simply a musical choice? I think the best example would be Miles Davis' wonderful accompaniment on Louis Malle's Ascenseur Pour L'Echafaud. The scene wherein Jeanne Moreau's character walks barefoot along the Champs Elysees while the rhythmic syncopation (albeit melancholy) of Miles' trumpet bellowing in the background--the desperation of the character is apparent, yielding to futlity.
  3. For me it was Fuller's Pickup on South Street that got me really interested on Film Noir. I've seen quite a few but never got to being entirely that hooked into it until after watching the aforementioned film. My wife and I loved Sunset Boulevard (and seen it several times already), however I never considered it a noir (maybe a dark melodrama and Wilder's scathing indictment of the system).
  4. It is not just the French who uses the arrival of trains as a prelude to their films, especially on noirs. Allen Baron utilizes a similar technique in his low-budgeted botched-hit noir film Blast of Silence, though the "arrival" somewhat brings a kind of foreboding to the main character.
  5. The arrival of the train in La Bete Humaine is reminiscent of the Lumiere Brothers' Arrival of the Train at La Ciotat made 40 years earlier. Somehow, Renoir made a sort of homage, notwithstanding Jean Gabin's wilingness to make a film about locomotives, and the impeccable vehicle came from Zola's novel, of course, but truncating all its political overtones and focusing more on the social struggles of the workingman. The opening scene is a perfect example of the film's poetic realism, as Peter Bogdanovich would assert, realism--due to grittiness of the task, and poetic--of Renoir's filmmaki
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