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Everything posted by bertrick

  1. The children’s “murder victim game” immediately put me on edge, telling me in a most economical way the essence of M. The lady screaming at the children to stop singing “that horrible song” reinforced the sense of threat, as did both the pronounced shadows in the shot of the stairway and the woman’s heavy breathing. By contrast, what made the ticking clock have an ominous quality were the pronounced shadows created by the strong lateral light from the left and the music suggesting a tolling bell. But, for me, the sense of ominousness is much less intense in the opening scene of Ministry of F
  2. -- Describe some of the things Marlowe says or does that make him a new kind of private detective? Lie, threaten, kidnap and reveal that he’s vain….and venal. “Oh, well, it was another case. I was just hoping…” “Now, we’re not going to get any place at all answering questions with more questions.” “I’m interested in the jade, now that I know about it, because I’d like to know who, besides me, might have killed Marriot.” “I’m just a small business man in a very messy business, but I like to follow through on a sale.” -- Why do you think this kind of private detective fits so well w
  3. -- What examples do you see that fit with Nino Frank's contention that Laura is a "charming character study of furnishings and faces?" The camera is like a hidden pair of eyes (those of Waldo Lydecker’s) observing the actions of the detective (Lt. Mark McPherson). Because we see what he sees, an emotional bond between the narrator and us is created. This technique harkens back to the first film in this series, Fritz Lang’s M, in which the camera “spied on” the children as they played their game of elimination, or simulated murder. However, Lydecker’s oriental art collection also arrests our
  4. I was struck by the very first image: a gaping inferno and deafening noise. It's not until the camera begins to move back that we see it's a boiler in a steam locomotive. That suggests to me that this open craw is going to devour someone eventually. The title, "The Human Beast", reinforces this message through the actions and image of the two engineers: they look dehumanized in their grimy outfits, communicate through a "language" of gestures, whistles and pokes, and seem to exist only to serve/service the real protagonist of this scene, the speeding locomotive. This open gullet image is r
  5. The children’s game presents the essence of the threat that awaits them in the larger world just outside this protected courtyard. It is a game that both fascinates and frightens them because at heart, it is a game of elimination (whoever is “it,” the “victim” of chance, is ousted). Furthermore, as the lyrics indicate, it is a man in black with a cleaver who is the threat, both details foreshadowing Hans Beckert’s (Peter Lorre’s) clothing and knife. Thanks to the overhead camera shot, the innocent children are unaware of us “spying” on them as they play (as will be the case with Beckert obse
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