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asimplylucia

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  1. Describe the noir elements, in terms of style and substance, in this opening sequence.The noir elements are not as visible as they are sometimes. The 'noir' feeling about this opening sequence is more insidious: it comes with details, like the moment when we see Ryan through the window, looking inside the house and cleaning whatever there is on this window. It's also visible with the hammer he puts away very quickly (what's wrong with this hammer?). The fact he keeps calling the woman he works for although she doesn't answer is strange to say the least... and there's the filthy water inside th
  2. Even the whistling sound of the train seems a bit over the top in this opening scene; there's something very aggressive in the first sequence, especially in the way the title appears after the headlights blinded the audience. As for the rest, it's more difficult for me to answer once the dialogue between Charles McGraw and Don Beddoe begins. Their exchange seems full of irony - and these two are thick as thieves, visibly - but not being a native speaker, I'd need subtitles to understand the dialogue...
  3. Discuss the role of time and timing in this scene.Time is crucial when planning a heist: we see Preston Foster observing the comings and goings of the customers, but in particular the flower delivery truck driver and the two armored car drivers. He keeps looking at his watch and at the second hand, showing us this heist is not a matter of minutes but of seconds. Foster has been observing carefully the armored car drivers and the man who delivers flowers for several days as we understand in the last moments of this sequence and he seems quite happy with himself but this is a film noir, we can g
  4. Compare and contrast how director Karlson shoots and stages the boxing scene as a contrast of styles between cinema and television.Bizarre angles, diagonals, close-ups insisting on Ernie's pain and helplessness... That's how Karlson shoots the boxing match. Television offers a very different vision with the use of slow motion: it seems impersonal in comparison, and even cruel, because the juxtaposition of the past (the boxing match) and the present (Ernie watching TV) insists on what could have been. Discuss the scene's social commentary in the interactions between Ernie (John Payne) and Paul
  5. -- 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? The first pictures of Too Late... (a mysterious car on a deserted road at night) convey a dark atmosphere, like Kiss Me Deadly. The twist comes from the couple arguing in their car about the friends they're about to meet. Their preoccupations and their frustrations contrast with the planned exchange. We first see the details of the exchange, then the couple arguing, is meaningful for
  6. 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?The opening scene takes place during the day, in a crowded train station (then inside a train). We're not in the middle of the night on a deserted road. The opening in Kiss Me Deadly or The Hitch-Hiker is made to create immediate tension whereas it's not as obvious in Strangers... Tension builds up more insidiously, through details like... clothes. Sorry, it might be only me but the costume designer created here a huge contrast with Guy Haines whose style
  7. Threat might be a common trait in the four daily doses of this week - except in Frank Bigelow's case, it's already too late. Another detail struck me: the main character's face is hidden for a while in these four sequences and in D.O.A. the camera follows Franck Bigelow for a long time, even after he's inside the Homicide Division. The ideas of loneliness and helplessness seem another common trait. If we consider only The Hitch Hiker and D.O.A., absurd is a similarity (the two fishing buddies of The Hitch Hiker did nothing wrong and here F. Bigelow reports his own murder). In this opening,
  8. 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?From the very first image, we're inside the police van (or whatever it is), almost blind, only getting a glimpse at the outside through the wire screen. The fact this wire screen is at the center of the image (like the outside world might be the main preoccupation of the women in this situation) is certainly not innocent. The urban landscape we see through the wire screen is only made more stressf
  9. -- What are some of the major themes and/or ideas introduced in the opening sequence of The Hitch-Hiker? In my opinion, the main theme here is the irruption of danger in the life of two ordinary citizens (the detail of the groceries, for instance, is here to remind us Gilbert is an average Joe). -- Discuss the role of lighting and staging in this scene, and how lighting and staging both work to reveal the underlying substance of film noir? The use of close-ups emphasizes emotions and sometimes misleads us (the first image, with the hitch-hiker's legs, makes us think he's alone and needs hel
  10. What are some of the major themes and/or ideas introduced in the opening sequence of Kiss Me Deadly?Threat and danger are among the main themes. There's probably a sense of doom too. As for the deceptive woman (something some people here suggested), I'd need to watch this movie... I also find here an opposition between the police and the private eye (Mike Hammer being the one who protects the supposed victim - Christina - when the police treats her like a fugitive). Speed and sexual subtext could be the (minor) themes I detect here. What do we learn or discern about the characters of Christin
  11. -- What makes Harry Lime's (Orson Welles) "entrance" in this film so effective? Like someone else said, the first moments of this scene immerse us in Holly Martins' POV, so we're more or less looking for Harry Lime before we see it. We first see his shoes, next to the cat, and somewhat we identify him with this cat which seems so indifferent to Martins' words. He's hiding in the dark, like some alley cat, and when the woman turns on the light, thus revealing Harry's face, the camera focuses on his smile and on the mocking gleam in his eyes. -- Discuss how this scene is both deeply realist
  12. -- How are the "entrances" of John Garfield and Lana Turner staged in this sequence? What do their "entrances" reveal about their character? The first part of this opening scene is optimistic: John Garfield is grateful for the ride, he says he might have found a job. Even the driver doesn't get a fine... The scene takes place outside, in the sun, and the landscape (over the policeman's shoulder) is enchanting. Then things start to go south when Cecil Kellaway's character becomes more and more insistent on hiring him. Why being so insistent? Garfield's character seems optimistic and easy-goin
  13. Probably one of my favorites... because of this long flashback in Mexico. How does this scene employ elements of the noir style while most of the scene is shot during daylight? Shadows are very important here, especially when Jane Greer comes in (besides, she's wearing white clothes, like Lana Turner the first time we see her in The Postman Always Rings Twice, a year before - there's definitely something about femme fatales wearing white clothes). Stares create tension - when Jane Greer ignores 'Jose Rodriguez', it also creates tension, because the guide clearly intrudes on their conversa
  14. I never watched the movie but I reread The Big Sleep a few weeks ago: it's very faithful to the book. In my opinion, it proves - if need be - how film noir is inspired by hard-boiled detectives like those Chandler and Dashiel Hammet created. Humphrey Bogart exudes casualness in this opening scene and for me that's what makes establishes him as Philip Marlowe. He doesn't really match the lavish setting of General Sternwood's house, he allows himself some acerbic remarks about the Sternwoods that show he's not fooled by their varnish of respectability. I love the moment when he glances at th
  15. I never watched Gilda (it's on my list of movies to watch, though). It's significative the scene begins and ends with Johnny Farrell, since Gilda is dancing to get his attention. At the beginning of Rita Hayworth's performance, the camera is in the middle of the audience, which means we're among Gilda's audience, we're almost in the situation of voyeurs. The camera follows Gilda as she dances, just like the spectators keep their eyes on her. Apart the provocative dance and the glances to the audience, what I found very daring in this scene is what happens after the music stops. The audie
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