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Everything posted by ciro_barbaro

  1. OK. Re: "Macao" Here's an update: Has anyone seen the promo for AHS "Hotel" with Lady Gaga's hand tapping the bell? Consider the closeup of Gloria Grahame's hand at the gambling table doing a similar tap with claws and glove looking eerily similar. Hmmm. Considering AHS is the hippest of the hip, that would be quite an homage to "Macao!" if that indeed was the inspiration for it. Any thoughts?
  2. Thanks so much for your comment, and thanks for mentioning Jean Hagen. She was so versatile. From Doll to Lina Lamont! What a dame!
  3. I agree. I reacted so strongly because it's a pet peeve of mine with most older movies, not just film noir, but anytime anybody gets shot! I was harder on this one than I should've been.
  4. The Big Heat I have seen this a bunch of times and appreciate this crisp new print. I like this movie. Always have. It's not great, but it's a solid piece of entertainment. My following comments are just what I saw, and perhaps made me like the movie even more because I liked it in spite of its cheapness! It's amusing how fake everything looks. The Manhattan backdrop outside of the "penthouse" apartment looked like cardboard with cutouts populated by Christmas Tree lights, the apartment itself looked like it was borrowed from the Perry Mason TV show, the fake wainscoting on the st
  5. July 31st Discussion for all 13 films. I watched the four primetime entries consecutively. Criss Cross was a film noir primer of sorts. It crystallized every element of film noir up to that point in history: lighting, angles, music, story content, type of actors, even music. Unfortunately, I didn’t see the passion in their relationship (except maybe in the parking lot.) The scene in the malt shop he was completely adversarial with her and vice versa, and there was nothing to indicate that they each got off on it, a la George and Martha in “….Virginia Woolf.” And since that should
  6. I saw "Dark Corner" a few years ago. It's compelling. I don't know if you know "Storm Warning", from 1951, with Steve Cochran, Doris Day and Ginger Rogers. Don't let the lightweight content resumes of these leading ladies fool you (this pre-dates "Julie" and "Midnight Lace" ). This film taps into a different type of paranoia, that of a town under the thumb of the ****. Very Creepy. Lots of night-for-night scenes. Low rent interiors. Low rent people. Also, if you're looking for something international, there's an English film "Peeping Tom," from 1960, in color, but more like Ea
  7. Wk 9 Criss Cross -- Discuss how the opening of this film exemplifies the noir style and substance. Ominous music at the gate. Credits over the panorama of the city at night. Jarring font for the title “Criss Cross” which in look and feel has the edginess that we figure will abound in this flick. Overview gradually zeroes in on the individual story that will take place within this city. We see two people seeking cover between the vehicles of a crowded parking lot. They seem insignificant specks in relation to the opening shot. They barely escape discovery by ducking away from the headlight
  8. Wk 9 Brute Force -- What role does music (especially the record playing Wagner) play in the intensity of this scene? As has been the case with other noir films, classical music, and jazz, have been used to heighten the violence or cover it up, as when someone is getting a beating. There was another film in this series whose title escapes me where the antagonist used classical music to get him in the mood to be violent. In Brute Force, it’s mostly used to cover up any noise Sam Levene or the rubber hose with which Hume Cronyn beat him might make. He turns it up after he goes to get the h
  9. Very deep comments. Especially the drainpipe analogy. I think that maybe there's a third reason he might be washing his hands: to destroy evidence, separating himself from his crime of prisoner abuse. Even though he knows no one will accuse him (consider the "paralyzed" guards in an adjoining room, appalled at what's going on, and yet, even though they have him outnumbered, do nothing to stop it), better be safe than sorry.
  10. Roadblock Saturday morning movietime local TV in the fifties. Some good visuals. Loved the moving camera following the car along the Los Angeles River. Great chase scene. McGraw good to a point. He's great in other films. He couldn't carry this one. It needed an actor with greater range to pull off this unlikely personality scenario. Also, it's kind of a cheap way out to talk about a heist and not show it. I know, it was more about the story than the heist, but since he came off as a maladroit, we needed something to hold our interest, especially since you'd think he'd have some s
  11. Wk 9 Desperate -- Describe how this scene uses cinematography to accentuate the brutal beating of Steve Randall (Steve Brodie). When the light swings away, you try to focus more. This effect helps pull you in by making you try to see what you can’t when the light swings away, and pushes you out when the light comes back. First you’re struggling to see and then you’re hiding your eyes! It makes it seem worse than it is because what you imagine is happening in the dark is probably worse than what is actually happening. This swinging light effect was used previously to lesser effect in “The Gla
  12. Macao It was nice to see Von Sternberg's name in the credits. I didn't see too many of his touches until midway through. The shot's near the piano. Mitchum shows Grahame the diamond. She leaves through the curtain-strips. The camera pulls back through it with her and shoots a little longer through the curtain. Also, just before Dexter and Mitchum were to leave for Hong Kong, at the dock there was a shot of their reflections in the dark water. It was upside down and off-putting. Great effect. Von Sternberg's eye led some visual class. Stylistically, visually, you felt like you were
  13. I think either the witness would be intimidated to identify the suspect by the detective, possibly fingering an innocent man, or the witness would be intimidated to keep quiet by the perp, who was able to see them clearly a few feet away, possibly letting a guilty party go free. All around, not a good outcome with this system.
  14. Wk 9 The Asphalt Jungle -- Discuss how this film depicts and utilizes this "unnamed city." Additionally, why do you think the film is entitled "The Asphalt Jungle?" This “unnamed city” appears to be in its early morning hour just after dawn. There’s a deserted feel here, as if everyone has left town, is still sleeping, or afraid to go out of doors. It could be anywhere, and if this were a twilight zone episode, it could even be on another planet. It looks like a breeding ground for desolation. It needs to be “any city, USA” because that way you won’t put your ideas of what anyone from that
  15. His Kind of Woman - a Comedy...of errors! The print of this film is by far the best I've seen of this series. It looks to have been struck from the original camera negative or at the very least a pristine fine-grain positive. It's lit scrumptiously, blacks that are like velvet, consider the night for night sky in the yacht scene, and whites that had amazing resolution: bright without burnout in the highlights--in the scene where Mitchum comes out of his hotel room and has the envelope with his additional money in hand--he's in peripheral light, semi-darkness even, and that piece of white
  16. Great comments. Your second to last paragraph: Now that Jerry is no longer a "simple" man, was he really acting so magnanimously "allowing" Mae to go get Gloria as a selfless, forgiving gesture, or has he now spawned his own agenda. From his point of view, trust or no trust, Mae can take care of little Gloria, and so that burden has been lifted from Jerry. He's getting something whether he forgives Mae or not. So the question is, will he from this day forward use the child as emotional blackmail to "keep the wife in line?" In essence, will he now become one of those "other" guys who abuse
  17. The Locket A great piece of entertainment. Casting Laraine Day was actually brilliant. She had to have that butter wouldn't melt in her mouth quality so that all these people would believe her. Even though there were multiple flashbacks it was very easy to follow if you see it from the beginning. Of course, years ago we just went to the movies, never finding out about start times, and generally we came in on the middle of one of the two features usually shown and left when it came to the part of the first movie we already saw-"This is where I came in." So I guess at the time this migh
  18. Sorry, I was looking for a light moment in this otherwise dreary enterprise. Not there, was it? I went a little soft-hearted for a second. It was a threat, or at the very least a warning, and now that my head is clear I see that! So that informs her response of a pause and then hugging him. Again, when I had my sappy pants on, I thought she was warmed by that. But looking at it more realistically, perhaps in that pause she accessed the response that would get her optimum results, the way a battered woman might choose the response that's the least likely to set the abuser off. Sadly, thi
  19. I agree. Miss Windsor's part was complex. She was playing an "idea" of what her escorts (and the movie going public at large) thought the wife of a gangster might be like. I loved her first moment. She had her head kinda down. Was she looking in a mirror, or at the record player? Her hair was over one eye a la Veronica Lake. I'll bet it was set up that way before the scene was shot. The director yelled "Action," and with a flick of her head, the hair came out of her eyes and she was off and running. It's all about entrances and exits! Speaking of our "conventions," I'll take this a s
  20. Thanks for your comments. Yes, misogyny abounds in this one! Add a little more whiskey and a little lower rent and this could be a remake of "Anna Christie!" One thing that was a little refreshing was a moment Keith Andes' character had. Earlier in the film he said something really hateful to his "fiancee" as he appeared to be strangling her with a towel, but later he said something to her that was a-characteristic of a male at the time, in fact, it may have been something that a female character might've said: He said something like "if you're just marrying me until something better comes
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