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Kasia Drzewiecka

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About Kasia Drzewiecka

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  1. Diagonal, aerial view of the city at night, close-ups of Steve and Anna, two-shots of Steve and Anna and the classic scheme – a married woman who, together with her lover, wanted to escape from her obnoxious husband. And, as Burt Lancaster is a typical Hemingway hero, I presume Steve is going to pay the price... The Daily Doses were an extremely helpful part of this course. There are so many wonderful movies to see and the Doses encouraged me to watch them, one by one. Investigating all those underlying meanings, hidden motives and dealing with all the noir emotions and background was a grea
  2. I really don't like seeing Hitler in every appearance of Wagner's music. Wagner is really something more and older than that nazi cook. I agree it is a perfect background for gestapo-like beating here, but it is still a cliche. Well, maybe Captain Mussey is just pretentious. As soon as we see Mussey without a shirt we know there's going to be „a bloody massacre”. All those preparations – closing the roller-blinds, placing a billy club on the desk are supposed to terrify the man that is about to be interrogated. Mussey thinks he is so sophisticated, so exceptional, so powerful. And the truth is
  3. Our hero, Steve Randall, is in a very unpleasant position. A bunch of cold-hearted thugs wants to frame him up for murder. They beat him badly and when he still opposes, the boss – Walt, uses the final argument – Steve's wife. He threatens he will cut her up. This scene is as noir as hell! The room is dark and small, it gives us the feeling of entrapment. The camera angles show Steve sitting while the thugs are standing, showing their obvious advantage. The low, wide-angle close-ups of Walt make him even more dangerous. He is in the shadows, like a dark, brute force of evil. Steve tries to def
  4. The city is empty, deserted or maybe it's just early. The decaying world of concrete, very gritty, unpleasant, uncongenial. We see a man (Dix) who is obviously hiding from the police car, probably a fugitive. He does not panic, it's his world. Dix hides behind the white pillars and then gets to a small diner, the owner of the joint hides his gun in the cash register – he's probably part of the scheme. It looks like he is the man that robbed Hotel de Paris. The police drops in and books Dix for vagrancy, not possesing a gun. The lineup is a joke – the suspects see the witness and it's obvious t
  5. Do you see evidence, even in the film's opening scenes, for Foster Hirsch's assessment that the dialogue in this film sounds like a "parody of the hard-boiled school" or that "noir conventions are being burlesqued"? These men are definetely tired, maybe it's the journey, maybe the case, maybe both. The dialogue is not bad and has some sarcastic moments. It's not Marlowe of course, but not a parody also. What seems strange is that the younger guy (who is supposed to be the tough guy) cares so much about the luggage or his partner's coat. They act like 2 salesmen on a business trip. What are
  6. In what ways does Miles Davis' score (improvised while watching scenes from the movie) work with and contribute additional layers of meaning to Louis Malle's visual design? At first I thought they were talking through a prison phone Florence was so passionately promising Julien that she won't leave him that I thought he is in some real trouble. But it seems that this well-situated pair decided to leave everything behind and escape together. What a passionate romance it is... Davis' music fits perfectly to this atmosphere filled with passion and sexual tension. It slow, steamy and simply sen
  7. Describe the noir elements, in terms of style and substance, in this opening sequence. The man opens the door and sees the woman, lying on the floor, probably dead. He's terrified, shocked. We actually think he will go for help, call the police, but he flees instead and jump into the first train passing by. We are really puzzled, because we know he didn't do it. Maybe he is an escaped convict and is afraid to be involved? Maybe some bad people are chasing him and he realizes they have just found him? The man is not scared, he is really terrified. Hmm, maybe a war veteran with psychosis an
  8. Discuss the role of time and timing in this scene. Perfect timing is always good for robbers and bad for bankers. Sometimes „routine bites hard” - being predictable makes you a great target. The man is preparing a heist and is very precise. He thinks of everything – every piece of this puzzle must be in the same place. He is a perfectionist, probably cold and calculated. No wonder it was a perfect crime, as the introduction said. What are the film noir elements (style or substance) that you notice in the opening of this film? The introduction reminds a documentary – it suggests th
  9. Compare and contrast how director Karlson shoots and stages the boxing scene as a contrast of styles between cinema and television. Karlson is trying to convince us that cinema has richer view, POV and viewer's stronger engagement. TV is no competition, even with slow motion. It can be technically more advanced, but it is cinema that touches our souls. Discuss the scene's social commentary in the interactions between Ernie (John Payne) and Pauline (Peggie Castle). What are some of the noir elements in this scene, either in terms of style or substance? Dissapointment. Pauline is d
  10. Discuss the scene in terms of its acting and staging. In this brief scene, what do you see as the interpersonal relationships between Sam (Heflin), Walter (Douglas), and Martha (Stanwyck)? If you have seen the entire film, avoid larger points about the plot, and focus simply on what you are seeing just in this scene. They have mutual past, that is obvious. Walter is probably in some kind of debt to Sam and that is why Sam is so sure Walter will help him. Sam and Martha must have been in love, there is still a slight tension between them. Martha seems suprised with Sam's arrival sensing incom
  11. Compare the opening of this film with other Daily Doses that began with a similar set-up on a deserted highway at night. How does this film's fateful twist differ from other film scenes we have investigated? Well, our protagonists „did something wrong once” and that „something” will probably have deadly consequences. In this case the opportunity made the thieves and within a few moments decent, middle-class people became involved in a suspicious and dangerous scheme. They had a chance and could throw away the money or simply go to the police, but instead it looks like they want to keep the
  12. How is Hitchcock's rhythm and purposes different in this opening sequence, from other films noir such as Kiss Me Deadly or The Hitch-Hiker? Light, jolly atmosphere, relaxed protagonists, the music is cheerful. Typical Hitch – I am sure something strange is going to happen in a minute. It always starts with a mistake and an innocent man will be involved in an international affair or simple murder. Or someone does something stupid and would have to deal with the consequences. So we wait in anticipation. What are the noir elements that you notice in the opening of this film? Either in t
  13. Compare the opening of this film with the other three Daily Doses this week? Do you see parallels in the opening scenes of these films? Every opening is surprising and attracts our attention. Viewers are dropped into a middle of a strange situation, we are trying to catch up and find out what is really going on. Blind faith affects us all, everyday we can easily face death. The protagonist are on the road and their future is not bright and clear. It's a road to nowhere and death might be or actually is behind every corner. What are some of the noir themes and motifs that are being e
  14. Why is this opening appropriate for a film about females at a women's state prison? In what ways has the design of this scene made the audience as "caged" as these characters in this opening sequence? It is obvious that the woman does not fit there. She might be a simple housewife who „did something wrong once” and was caught, she might as well be an innocent girl who was simply framed. She does not look like a criminal, she differs from the other women and it's not only the way she was dressed. She is scared, like she could not believe her life turned to such a point. Fortunately, she mig
  15. What are some of the major themes and/or ideas introduced in the opening sequence of The Hitch-Hiker? Once again nothing is what it seems and everything happens by chance. Strangers may hurt you. Do not trust anybody. People mock at your generosity, they will use your good will against you. No one is safe, it may happen to everyone. You may be attacked in your own car, which may become a death trap. Your faith is uncertain and there might be death behind every turn. Discuss the role of lighting and staging in this scene, and how lighting and staging both work to reveal the underlying s
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