Jump to content

Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About JVJones

  • Rank
  1. Thanks for the link! My favorite version of Imitation of Life is the grand Douglas Sirk production (1959) with Ms. Juanita Moore and Ms. Mahalia Jackson. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0052918/fullcredits I first saw it as a girl, my mother so admired (and looked like) Ms. Jackson, and my sister was lucky enough to see the movie and Ms. Moore at the 2010 TCM Classic Film Festival in L.A. One of my top 10 classic race movies.
  2. Yes, since the olden golden days when I studied ballet in NYC (late 60s-early 70s@Joffrey Ballet studios on 7th Ave.) I've adored the exciting and innovative dancing of Astaire, and the poetry of Astaire & Rogers' pas de deux. While I "saw" the blackface then (I've been Black all my life, smile), I was awed and blinded by the choreography. I am still and always will be in awe watching it - and after 50 years I know all the steps, hand gestures and facial expressions, up-down-beats, etc. I own that I willfully look past the stereotyping that was ubiquitous in Hollywood and in many of my favorite classic movies (e.g. GWTW, Jezebel). While race/racial issues are ingrained in everyday American life, I'm glad that times and Hollywood has changed in many ways - by choice and by force. Love this thread, comments, and sharing resources for an informed learning discussion. http://dhbasecamp.humanities.ucla.edu/afamfilm/ Thanks Brittany Ashley!
  3. Hmm, I see what you mean that the boxer is seeing "more" than what's actually happening (the frenzied dancing just dancing, champagne in glasses rather than being guzzled from the bottles...) But I thought they could see each other from the way the hall mirror was positioned... Context is everything - I cant wait to see The Ring next week
  4. So, a Hitchcock signature scene - showing the film making art of German Expressionism. A theme of fatalism is suggested as the fighter laments over not taking his wife with him to training camp - but only after the frantic energy of the dance party. Several shots of the fighter viewing the action in the mirror seem to get amplified in his mind - Hitchcock "shows" us the increasingly distorted emotions through his mind's eye - the stretched piano keys, turn turning record, strumming fingers. It's certain that we're seeing his emotional state change and deform when those images are superimposed again over the trainers talking. The lecture notes and video really provided me with new knowledge to even take a stab at writing about or "analyzing" Hitchcock! #practice #moremore
  5. a. The theme of fatalism expressed through anguished and distorted facial expressions is present in the opening scenes of The Pleasure Garden and The Lodger. b. Both scenes tell a story through visual impact with only a few, well placed words as speech (e.g. "that's an exquisite chorus line..." and "...he was tall and his face wrapped up...") or a caption ("no smoking" and "will the next be golden-haired" c. I wonder did Hitchcock have the entire storyboard in place before filming production?
  6. What a challenge - thanks for starting the course this week, developing the course to include the TCM programming, and utilizing a nice variety of teaching & learning tools. I like the Hitch or Hike game component. Can't wait for more reading assignments. #lessonplanning
  7. 1. This sequence suggests the beginning of Hitchcock's ability to effectively use humor and levity in his storytelling (see below). This "touch" developed into the trademark macabre, dry/droll and dark humor associated with Hitchcock the man and the writer/director. 2. The element of unexpected levity showed up when the dancer pulled the curl from her head for the man - she literally gave him what he wanted/asked for which was a surprise. In later films Hitchcock would brilliantly balance heavy drama, tension and suspense with unpredictable moments of light or subtle humor. 3. Lack of spoken dialogue did not limit [this] viewer's ability to interpret the on-screen action. The contextual details and developing story were made visible through the acting, and captured in the camera staging.
  8. Film Noir characteristics, themes, techniques I noticed: Use of the highway/road to convey movement and place – leading to and/or from something. Is Christina running from the title’s deadly kiss? Night time filming; key lighting to contrast Christina, the car and Hammer against the night; below eye-level camera shots of Christina Headlights on the dark road. Straight lines punctuated by car headlights The first character introduced has escaped from an asylum (social issue) Christina was desperate and risked being run over by Hammer’s car. However, in the midst of her terror, panic and desperation (she’s barefoot!). We hear Nat King Cole’s Rather Have the Blues and Christina’s breathless panting while the opening credits roll from the top of the screen down as if it’s the road that Hammer’s car is travelling on – but where the road leads Hammer doesn’t even have to hear the lady speak to “rescue” her - his instinct kicks in. He assumes a romantic encounter gone wrong and notices that she has no clothes under the trench coat. But even after he finds out she’s escaped from and asylum, Hammer is more than willing to cover for her – how easily he agrees to be deceitful - even letting her determine how by following her hand-holding lead to support a “my wife was sleeping” story. Such curiosity has killed many cats and men.
  9. The clip of The Third Man contains integrated realistic and formalist elements. The night-time Vienna location filming captures a real place for the audience - where people live. As Cotten taunts and seeks out the man who's following him, Krasker uses formalist techniques to depict a sense of mystery and imbalance with tilted camera angles and zither strumming. The plaza is level and empty but diagonals and angles of the streets and surrounding buildings dominate the sequence of shots comprising the scene. Orson Welles' entrance is shrouded in the dark shadows of a doorway with key-light illuminating only his ankles and feet (formalist), while a cat **** and sniffs around at his feet (realistic). The shadowed man's face is shown when a woman turns on a light and opens a window above the doorway - Welles' face is starkly focused and lighted, contrasting with the black background, and accompanied by lively zither music which fits with [his] side-view smirk. Then, the camera pans in to a close-up shot for a few seconds until the woman turns off the light - suddenly his face is in darkness again and he's gone. But we know that Cotten knows this man and a series of shots & cuts follow Cotten as he chases footsteps and running shadows. The scene's action transitions when the station in the empty plaza becomes the focus and, with the opening of the door, a stairway - down - is discovered. The zither music is quick and generates a sense of excitement and mystery. Is this where the man went? Where does this dark stairway lead? And, to what?
  10. We're introduce to Garfield 1st by his voiceover - which gives us clues that he is free, restless, and not worried about the future exclaiming "I've got plenty of time for that!" Things look normal when he goes into the diner but he's still cautious not to make any commitment about staying - he agrees to try it out for a few days. Lana's lipstick rolling on the floor introduces her entrance - to the audience and to Garfield! She is framed by the doorway - back lighting ensures that we all get a good look at her from head to toe. While her outfit is white, we immediately begin to get clues that infer she may not be so clean... Garfield and Turner ignite and compete for power - he picks up the lipstick but when she gives him a "bring-it-here" look, he's confident enough (and not yet crazy-in-love) to show her that he's as tough as he is handsome. She gives in, walks to get her lipstick, then walks away but not before pausing and posing for him. What a perfect metaphor that the hamburger got burned!
  11. In this clip, Lorre makes an entrance by exiting from an elevator door, walking a few yards, then opening a door to enter. The camera captures Lorre exiting the elevator and follows him from the left of the screen to the right of the screen; cutting from when he opens the door to catch him on the other side, in the room. The mise-en-scene is lighted as Lorre gazes for a few seconds surprised and confused by what he sees. Greenstreet is framed as he enters from another room by walking through an open door. As the dialogue progresses, Lorre takes steps towards Greenstreet who stops him with words and gun. Lorre's hands are hlep up and he stops abruptly - the camera mimics this action by following Lorre and stopping when he does! When Lorre sits down - leveling out the visual balance of actors in relation to each other and of the entire scene in view - there is more camera movement: as Lorre sits down, the camera follows down but then focuses over to Greenstreet, and closes in for a close-up of Greenstreet from below (the camera must have been at his feet). Can't wait to see this movie and I'll be noticing how much of the action is the really camera moving about the actors!
  12. Noir style lighting helps make this scene visually active and interesting. It seems to me that high-key lighting was used to convey [to the audience] a normal encounter of a man and woman in a cantina - if it weren't for the voiceover that he's been looking for her but no longer cares about the 40 grand! Kathie's in a white dress, seems reserved but attentive - she seems to be annoyed that he presumed to call her a "difficult girl". But also mischievous and flirtatious when she does/doesn't invite Jeff to meet her sometime "I sometimes go there...". She could be Jeff's femme fatale as he's already smitten with her enough to forget about 40grand. The full mise-en-scene of the cantina lends itself to the light casting shadows all over everything, a little cigarette smoke (only Kathie smokes), and the doorway out into the daylight offers escape? From what or whom? When Kathie gets up to leave, her shadow looms on the wall behind her - symbolic that she has "another self"? The scene is also framed by arched doorways and other objects (tables, chairs, walls) with horizontal and vertical lines. I'm looking forward to this movie!
  13. ...imagine voiceovers with stats to describe how many civil complaints are filed against hard-boiled, bully-ish private detectives... Realism, such as shown in the opening scene fro Border Incident, supports the argument that film noir was a movement - the film's context is a societal issue, is somewhat cynical, and includes sex and murder...
  14. The visual and voiceover establish a mood of realism in which to posit a problem affecting the [whole] U.S. The overhead shots of the beautiful California valley... flourishing with farmlands that are well-run and doing well financially encourage a sense that everything is as it should be and all-is-well. There is no sense of resentment or trouble that "braceros" provide most of the labor - in fact, they were welcomed and sought to legally cross the border. Then the audience's comfort is challenged by showing ground-level, dark filming of people and shadows when the voiceover gives a "but" - there are some bad braceros who cross illegally and create an environment for deception and evil. And that's a fact according to the US Department of Justice! This realism wasn't a characteristic of Hollywood's earlier noir films focused on hard-boiled detectives/stories. Imagine the opening scene of "The Letter" showing plantations in Singapore with voiceover of the number of secret mixed marriages or murders committed by ruthless and adulterous plantation owner's wives...
  15. Sorry - please ignore the identical post by betteD - my sister and I are enjoying this course together and I didn't realize I was posting via her login. I hope she can delete it! Bogart introduces Marlowe - the PI - as a personable (genuine smiles and politeness), direct ("My name is..., I'm here to see..."), and honest (" I was fired for insubordination") individual. He conveys a self-assuredness without being arrogant, unlike Spade who conveys a jaded-ness with his sarcastic and protective airs. But like his Spade character, he notices a beautiful woman and seems wary, cautious and flippant to them ("I try to be [tall].") While this has characteristics of film noir, the opening starts out like many non-noir stories and the audience doesn't yet know what's in store and who it involves.
© 2020 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
  • Create New...