Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by ColeCorri

  1. From the moment Criss Cross begins we are pulled into the world of noir. In the first aerial shot of the city, we see the city at a slight angle, telling us that something is wrong. Eventually, we zoom into a dark corner of the city, almost literally entering the shadows. Our lovers were hiding in the shadows, but are suddenly brightly illuminated by the headlights of a car. They break apart, and the dialogue soon informs us of why: they are secret lovers, hiding from Anna’s husband. In traditional noir style, we are dropped into the story with the plot already in motion. There is clearl
  2. As many others have pointed out, the music lays a key role in this scene. For me, it actually makes the violence all the more jarring to hear this classical music playing during such a brutal beating. Often classical music is used to indicate a cultured, intellectual individual, but that is obviously not the case here. The beating actually ebbs and flows to the music, almost as if it is some kind of strange dance. Just a few slaps by the captain are shown, but it’s enough to plant the image into the viewer’s head. As he goes around the room the dread builds as he closes the shades and
  3. This scene reminded me of The Set-Up as well. Beatings are always far worse when they are left to your imagination. Great point about the sadistic pleasure on Burr's face as well. He stood and watched with almost a black face, but there did seem to be a hint of pleasure there as well.
  4. The cinematography in this clip carries a great deal of meaning in it. The entire scene takes place in a very dark, claustrophobic space. It’s clear who has the power in this scene without a word being spoken. Even though there is a large doorway behind the crooks, they are always between Steve and the door. They are also always filmed from below, making them large and imposing, while Steve is always shot from above, making him seem smaller and more helpless. He also spends most of the scene in a physically lower position than the others, emphasizing how much power they have over him.
  5. The opening moments of The Asphalt Jungle set up the conflict of a single man versus the police. The location appears to be in the seedy side of town, since the buildings are rather shabby and non-descript. The streets are deserted except for a single man and a police car. The music and police radio suggest that the policemen in the car are looking for someone. Finally, we see a lone figure walking the streets. As we watch this him travel the streets, the buildings around him dwarf him. He seems to be nothing more than a tiny speck. All this makes him seem rather insignificant and power
  6. This scene from Kansas City Confidential does place a great deal of emphasis on time. There are many shots of the face of a clock or the face of a watch. There is even a clock above the door to the bank. There are people (the delivery man, the armed guards) who are clearly running on a schedule. There is also a crowd of people gathering at the door of the bank, reminding the audience difference just a minute can make. They must wait until the door is opened at exactly 10:00. The purpose of this is made clear when the viewer is shown a schedule of the coming and goings around the bank j
  7. There is a definite change in energy between the opening scene of the fight and the part we see on television. The first part of the scene puts the viewer in the middle of the action. At times the viewer feels like he or she is in the ring with the fighters, and other times, like he or she has a front row seat to the fight. The camera work is dynamic and the cheering crowd almost drowns out the announcer. Once we cut to the fight on the television, everything becomes very static; the camera doesn’t move as much. Gone are the close-ups as well; we view the fighters in a long shot. The act
  8. In our “Summer of Darkness” we’ve come across several films noir that are set in non-urban areas. Some, like On Dangerous Ground, send our lead character away from the “dangerous ground” of the city to find redemption. Others, however, focus on the idea of danger invading a small town, like The Stranger or The Killers. The Strange Love of Martha Ivers appears to fall into the latter category, as it is the arrival of a Sam that is clearly going to bring out the darker sides the characters are hiding beneath a façade of respectability. The scene makes it clear that Walter and Sam have a pr
  9. Too Late for Tears is a bit unusual from the other films noir we’ve watched in that it features a married couple. Although the scene opens with one of the noir staples, that of the lone man in the shadows, we soon change our focus to a married couple. They are not criminals, just a regular married couple having a disagreement. Soon, however, we are going to see the birth of a femme fatale, right before our eyes. It’s clear from the discussion in the car that Jane would like to improve their social status. Her husband is completely unaware that they are lacking in anything, but she fee
  10. I have to admit that to me, the films of Alfred Hitchcock are almost a genre in and of themselves. While I do think that some can be considered noirs, he had such a distinctive style, both visually and thematically, that his films are just identifiably his. The opening of Strangers on a Train has what could be a very noir opening. As others have stated, there is a focus on the feet and legs of our two main characters, much like the opening of Kiss Me Deadly and The Hitch-Hiker. It could also be seen as similar to the opening of D.O.A., where we follow a man who is nothing more than an
  11. All four of the opening scenes that we saw this week thrust the viewer into the middle of the action. While Kiss Me Deadly is probably the most disorienting, we begin each with someone on a journey, with no idea of his or her destination. Each creates a sense of danger or dread right from the start, as well. In D.O.A. in particular, all through the credits we follow an outline of a man who is headed towards a very specific destination. The viewer is left to wonder where this man is going and what he will do when he gets there. The music contributes to a sense of anxiety and amplifies
  12. I really enjoyed The Big Clock, but, like you, I didn't fell like it was really noir. To steal Foster Hirsch's term, I felt that it was more noir-stained than actual noir. It had elements of it, but it was a bit too light-hearted for me to consider it true noir. You are right in saying that George Stroud seemed to be having too much fun; he wasn't your typical tormented noir hero. The film was definitely a comment on the corruption of big business, which seems to fit very well into the world of noir, but tonally, it just didn't seem in line with other films noir. On a random note, did
  13. Having just watched the opening scene from Kiss Me Deadly immediately before watching this scene from The Hitch-Hiker, I was struck by how different the two scenes are, despite the similarities between them. On the surface, they have many things in common. Both scenes involve picking up a hitchhiker from a darkened street, both of who are trying to make an escape and harboring a dark secret. Both scenes also set a menacing atmosphere for the film to follow, but it is here that I feel they begin to diverge in an important way. Kiss Me Deadly’s opening scene is all about confusion and not
  14. The opening scene of Kiss Me Deadly sets up many of the themes common to film noir. The opening is disorienting; the first thing the viewer sees is a pair of legs running down a dark street. To make things even more intriguing, we notice that this woman is barefoot. The film plunges the viewer into the middle of the action, placing them in a world that is confusing and difficult to understand. The woman appears to be frightened and running away from something, but we don’t know what. The audience begins to dread whatever is lurking out there in the darkness as well, even though we don’t k
  15. The Third Man is one of my favorite films, and this scene is a prime example of why. The film itself, like this scene, is an interesting mix of realism and formalism. It begins like the viewer is about to watch a documentary, before transitioning into the narrative of the film itself. Much of the film is shot on location, capturing the look and feel of post-World War II Vienna, yet Reed chose to film in a very formalistic way, with much of the story being told through directorial choices such as camera angles and lighting. Reed even had to have the streets sprayed with water to capture the
  16. The entrances of these two characters set up a marked difference between them. The Peter Lorre character enters the frame in a nonchalant manner. The camera moves with him as he exits the elevator and crosses to his room. He talks to himself and plays with his hat until he reaches his door. He becomes quite small as he bends down (further than would be natural) to unlock his door. Even when he sees that his room has been ransacked, he reacts with surprise, but not fear. Sidney Greenstreet, however, enters as a shadowy figure; he is only seen clearly when he has completely entered the
  17. The introductions of the two main characters in this clip from The Postman Always Rings Twice reveal quite a bit about each character. We hear Frank narrating about hitching a ride before we see him. However, his entrance is quite different from what we would expect from a noir lead. He steps from a car into the bright sunlight, which seems to match his rather sunny disposition. He is not in some dark corner of a city, but out among nature; we can hear birds chirping and even see the breeze moving the branches on the trees. Instead of a world-weary, cynical individual, we meet a man who c
  18. The clip opens with a scene that shows the influence of realism on film noir. As some others have pointed out, the scenes would not be out of place in a travelogue about Mexico. However, the narration reminds us that we are still in noir territory, as does where we end up. After aerial views, we gradually zoom in closer and end up meeting Jeff in a shaded alley. Even in the bright sunlight, he exists as a shadowy outline. He is in the sunlight for a few moments before passing through the shadows again, this time as he crosses the threshold of the cafe, signifying that we have left the rea
  19. I wondered if the emphasis on the "Stern" in Sternwood might be to point out the fact that we are going to meet members of the family who are not stern at all. Carmen is just about as far from stern as one could get, and Mr. Sternwood, well, if he had been a stern father, perhaps his children wouldn't have turned out so wild.
  20. As several others have pointed out, a wealth of information is provided to the viewer about Phillip Marlowe in the opening of The Big Sleep. Overall, his introduction provides the viewer with the sense that he is a levelheaded man who is not easily fazed. When he enters the house, his posture and movements suggest that he is not terribly familiar with his surroundings, but yet not intimidated by them. He carefully takes everything in as he enters the house. When he meets Carmen, the viewer can see him looking her up and down appreciatively, so we know that he finds her attractive. He seem
  21. This clip from The Killers does feature two distinct sections. In the diner scene, the lighting is far more realistic and the danger is the scene is only revealed by what is said by the two men in the diner. The first shot is reminiscent of Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks, in the way it looks through the windows of the diner, but everything feels much more natural. After the two men leave, the dramatic music starts, that heightens our sense of anxiety. It isn’t until Nick leaves the diner, however, that we see the shadowy world of noir take hold. The scene in Swede’s room reminded me a grea
  22. The "Put the Blame on Mame" number in Gilda is a bit unusual in that it does not stop the plot, as the notes in the Daily Dose mention, but actually conveys quite a bit about the characters and their current situation. The fact that the sound of the music stops Johnny in mid-sentence lets the audience know that something important is happening. When he opens the blinds and we first see the performance, we are looking down on her, as Johnny is. However, the next shot places us on Gilda’s level, where we remain for the rest of the scene. The camera starts out at a bit more of a distance,
  23. Great analysis of the film! You make me want to watch it again to see how her hair changes. As to the Lawrence Tierney character, I was thinking along the same lines. In this film, it felt very much like he was an homme fatale (Is that a thing? If not, it really should be). He was the dangerous one, driving the woman into risky situations. He also seemed to cross gender lines, like many a femme fatale. As you stated, he seemed to get by on his sexuality, and even ends up living off of his wife's money, which was definitely a blow to his manhood in those days. I'd never seen Born to Kill
  24. Revealingly, the scene opens with Veda showing affection to the only thing she loves: money. The affection she shows the check stands in stark contrast to the coldness and cruelty she demonstrates towards her mother as the scene continues. The positioning of the two actresses in this scene is very deliberate. At the start of the scene, they are on opposite ends of the frame or with objects serving as a barrier between them. As Mildred tries to get Veda to confess the truth to her, she tries to get Veda to face her, but Veda keeps turning away. While Mildred is talking about how she nev
  25. Although I could be swayed by persuasive arguments that film noir is a genre or a style, at the moment I think I lean towards categorizing it as a movement as well. Really, I've always considered true noir to be only the films of the 1940's and 50's and everything after, I've always called neo-noir. But, it's the neo-noirs that trouble me now. If film noir is a movement, then what do we consider the films like Chinatown or Brick that very clearly belong to the noir family? Or films like Blade Runner or Who Framed Roger Rabbit, that use noir conventions in other genres? This brings me back a
© 2020 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
  • Create New...