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Kasia Drzewiecka

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Everything posted by Kasia Drzewiecka

  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
  16. What are some of the major themes and/or ideas introduced in the opening sequence of Kiss Me Deadly? Themes: Nothing is what it seems. Everything happens by chance. Giving a lift to strangers may bring trouble. When you are desperate you are capable of anything. It is very hard to stay normal when you were locked up in an asylum. Ideas: backward credits, sensual/mad gasping and breathing that makes the viewer feel uneasy, but intrigued What do we learn or discern about the characters of Christina Bailey (Cloris Leachman) and private eye Mike Hammer (Ralph Meeker) in this brief introdu
  17. This movie was a pure pleasure to watch. Lorre and Greenstreet are perfect together and their acting is brilliant. Lorre's entrance is rather peaceful, while entering the room, Leyden is still stunned with the story of Dimitrios' wickedness, he is also tired and wants to go straight to bed. And what he sees inside? A terrible mess! And out of the shadows appears him, the guy from the train! Mr. Peters holds a gun and is obviously surprised with Leyden's presence. Now he is improvising – he wants to know how much Leyden knows about Dimitrios. Leyden is not affraid of nor Peters nor his gun, he
  18. Frank Chambers is a good guy, he is a happy fella, a restless soul that keeps wandering the world and never stays longer in one place, because of that itchy in his feet. We meet Frank when his hitchhiking, as usual, and is dropped by the DA at „Twin Oaks”, the roadhouse cafe. He sees the sign „Man wanted” and decides to try his luck here. He is warmly welcomed by the owner, Nick Smith, who wants to hire him right away and offers him a hamburger. So Frank enters the diner and sits by the bar. Nick has to leave him because of the client. Suddenly, Frank sees a lipstick rolling towards him on the
  19. Holly Martins believes Harry Lime is dead. What's more he thinks he was murdered. While investigating his death, Holly involved himself in a serious crime affair and suspects he's being watched. He's nervous. A minute ago he had a conversation with Anna and heard about the cat. Now he hears the cat's meowing. The cat revealed somebody's actual presence – it sat between two polished shoes. Holly saw the shoes and started to shout at the villain to step out which woke a lady living in the building. The lady started to nag and switched on the light. And the ray of light revealed Harry Lime's face
  20. The sequence with the aerial view reminds me "Border Incident", but the voice-over narration is more like "Dark Passage" or "Maltese Falcon". We meet a private detective, searching for a girl, who probably took somebody else's money and flew to Mexico. We also have flashbacks and the play of shadows - when Kathie Moffat comes into the cafe, out of the sun, we can see a shadow behind her - maybe a dark alter ego? "She walks in beauty", with grace, her silhouette is beautifully exposed and her white clothes make her look like she was a kind of an angel. It contrasts with her behaviour - smoking
  21. When Marlowe showed up in Sternwood's mansion he already had some reputation. But little Carmen Sternwood did not know the man and treated him like every other handsome bloke visiting the house. She came down the stairs, looked at the guest and started to bite her thumb like a kid. She tried to mock Marlowe's height, but that surely did not impress him. Marlowe is not a type of a man who would be worried about his looks or bothered with some girlish talk. And from this very moment he started to treat Carmen like a kid, not a woman. He even made fun of her telling his name was Doghouse Reilly.
  22. -- What mood or atmosphere—through the visual design and the voiceover narration—is being established in this realistic documentary sequence? In the beginning the music is really dramatic, loud and even aggressive, just like the open credits which almost „shout”. The viewer is expecting to experience something serious, maybe not pleasant. The voiceover narration itself is rather pompous, just like in regular documentaries from these days. We are strong, we are great, yes, we experience some difficulties, but surely can overcome this! It is something we can be really proud of. But not every
  23. -- What are some of the influences you see in this sequence from other cinemas (such as German expressionism) or other art forms? For example, consider this scene in relation to the work of Fritz Lang (who also worked at UFA). The first thing that comes to my mind is the shadow. In M the shadow was dreadful, here – it tries to be helpful. We also do not see the faces of Swede nor Hans in the sequences we were talking about. Our protagonists are anonymous for the moment. Both Lang and Siodmak are creating tension in a realistic world, a world of a mother waiting for her kid to come home,
  24. - What did you notice about Rita Hayworth's performance when you were watching this scene? -- What are some of the deeper layers of meaning that are contained in this film noir musical sequence? Gilda walked into this little stage nonchalantly, all smiles, carelessly. She acts like she was a bit drunk and having lots of fun. She came here to do a show. Gilda is confident, knows exactly how to make men crazy with those sensual moves and shameless glances. The thing she's doing with her hair – the ultimate fetish, she shows her neck and men go bananas. Does she care about it? I don't think s
  25. Ha! The access to this message board can be really exclusive sometimes But I can finally share some thoughts on this memorable scene from Mildred Pierce: This scene is really emotional. We start with Veda lying on the sofa, smiling and Mildred "still standing", a worried mother. She thinks Veda is pregnant and really worries about her future. And Veda? She is more considered with the look on her boyfriend's face then her own situation. What's more the whole thing seems to be really funny to her. She sees Mildred is worried and she laughs ever more. Veda mocks Mildred can't wait to sta
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