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Laurel L Tryforos

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About Laurel L Tryforos

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  1. As Marlowe, Bogart is more relaxed, still cynical but not with a chip on his shoulder, and even polite to the General. I liked that we heard his voice before we saw his face. I wonder if this was done to make us pause a bit before automatically filling in "Sam Spade" in our minds. As for its contribution to film noir: First we have the shift of POV to the audience; second, the sexually aggressive young lady. Also, I'm wondering if there is formalism in the use of the hothouse. It certainly seems that the General is kept in some kind of protective isolation, away from what's going on with
  2. The voiceover narration and mention that this is a true story from the Treasury deparment is the same way that T-Men begins-- one of my favorite noirs, also by Mann and Alton. The scenery is not dark, but the music is, and you could see the desperation on the faces of the men behind the chain link fence. It's surprising now to think that most people may not have been aware of this at the time, but they probably weren't and the narration was necessary for that. This kind of docmentary style, and the subject matter, expands film noir into serious social issues and broadens its importance.
  3. Living in Chicago, I have had the pleasure of seeing Hopper's painting many times. This diner is much smaller and claustrophobic, and makes you feel uneasy. The first camera angle of the diner, from below, is disorienting and suspenseful. The scene in the alley when the camera shifts to Swede's room is remarkable. I think the formalism begins with the view of the courtyard right before the camera enters Swede's window (around 2.24 in the clip). Everything looks prosaic when Nick is running and jumping fences, but when he comes to Swede's courtyard, things look strange. The shadows are da
  4. The beautiful Gilda is desperate. The lyrics say 'Put the blame on Mame,' but perhaps she means that blame has been put on her that is not justified. With her performance, she is saying-- So you think I'm a ****. So I'll show you a ****! She is really bringing her problems with Johnny to a head. And is Johnny furious! She certainly did a great job. She is wearing a great noir dress-- black! She really seems to be enjoying herself in her number, and throwing herself into it. Perhaps she's throwing everything into this exhibition. She has made a very strong statement to Johnny; the bal
  5. If this were pure melodrama, the daughter would not be guilty of lying about a pregnancy and blackmail; she would just want money to buy things, and to present a better 'face,' We have a feeling that Veda is obsessed with money, not that she just wants a better life. Both actresses wear black and have severe hair styles, worthy of noir, but this makes them look harsh. This is especially true of the young Veda; you don't expect a young girl to look so severe. In most of Veda's closeups you also see the side of Mildred's face; this is so until her last closeup on the stairs, where she is h
  6. The swinging pendulum and "tick, tick" help set a tense atmosphere. I don't know why pendulum clocks seem sinister, but they usually do. We look around a darkened room, rather expressionistic-looking with shadows, and then notice that there is a man sitting there, facing the clock, sitting in darkness. This seems sinister, too-- why is he sitting in the room in the dark? The door opens,a man enters, and a shaft of light strikes our protagonist. He is tense, looking at the clock. Is something going to happen that he dreads? Then he jumps up to get his suitcase, and we learn that he is b
  7. When I was a kid, I only knew Dick Powell from his films noir and his TV series in which he presented dramas. I wouldn't believe i when my father told me he was originally a singer. When I saw his Busby Berkeley films, I was amazed that it was the same person! He is great as the hardboiled detective (although he is a little too well-dressed). Here he shows complete cynicism-- he doesn't believe anything the young woman says. You get the impression that he treats everyone the same. He is also one step ahead of her, which he shows by locking he door. He is no gentleman, either-- he speaks
  8. Before we see anything, we hear Lydecker's voice-over narration. His voice and words are self-absorbed and fussy. He is obviously spying on the detective, but how? He is not in the same room! When he see him, he is like Marat in his bath. Also, it is very suspicious that his inaccurate description of the older murder is the same modus operandi that will kill Laura. A very suspicious and dangerous character! The detective should not be smirking at this guy! I think that Nino Frank saw immediately that this was not like the other crime films that he had been watching. It had a lot of st
  9. This really made you feel as if it were happening to you. The inner monologue was realistic-- I imagine you would be talking to yourself in such a situation to keep yourself calm, and on track. The punching scene was realistic and shocking, and I was very uncomfortable, as it felt as if I were responsible for doing it. I wrote once before that I felt that film noir has alwas seemed to me to exist in a space separate from my reality. This opening certainly solved this problem! I haven't seen this Bogart film-- have to make a point of seeing it.
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