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Everything posted by Bridget194

  1. Wow...everyone else said exactly the same things I would have about the clip! As for the Daily Doses on a whole, it was a great way to learn. Not only did they provide you with a clip to watch, it also provided insight from the professor and questions for thought and discussion afterward. They enabled us to learn from the professor as well as each other. I've read some great stuff on the TCM message boards (I liked it a lot better than Twitter) and learned more than I would have simply through the lectures and reading materials assigned. I thought it was a wonderful part of the whole learning experience in this course. Thank you so very much Professor Edwards, Ball State University, the Canvas Network, and TCM. I hope you offer other classes in the future on classic films. This was a great experience that I'm so glad I invested the time in. And thank you to all the other students---I learned an awful lot from you, too. I hope everyone has a wonderful rest of summer, Bridget
  2. Jazz is an expression of our souls....our thoughts and feelings are conveyed in a way words, whether written or spoken, could never do. In this opening you hear longing, yearning, loneliness, despair. Jazz, more than any other type of music, actually makes you feel what you're viewing. It enhances the whole experience since jazz has a way of being able to convey any feelings you can think of.
  3. The Salvation Army sign tells us someone out of the "kindness of their heart" will end up in a "boiling pot" of trouble!
  4. What I thought was interesting was the difference between the two detectives in this scene and how it detracts from our usual noir film beginning experience. Here we have two distinctively different men: one the hard-boiled, tough talking, cynical, and hard/fast driven, the other a more laid back man that doesn't portray the characteristics of the other. If the film started with just the character Charles McGraw portrays, we'd be getting a more noir feel from the beginning. However, with the second character softening the action, we don't get quite the same feeling. I hope that makes sense to someone! McGraw's dialogue throughout the film did appear parody-like. It was if the writer was trying too hard to make him sound hard boiled, so now when people think about those types of characters, a person like McGraw's over the top hard boiled character comes to mind to the general viewer....not to those of us who have taken a much closer look at noir :-)
  5. What the clip shows us about the relationship between these three people is that Walter (who is obviously an alcoholic) is married to Martha and Sam is an old friend of theirs from years ago, probably childhood. It appears Sam and Martha had a close relationship all those years ago indicated by her response to his whistle and her joy in seeing him again. It also appears that Walter is not happy about it and isn't too big a fan of Sam's. You can see Walter isn't a happy man to begin with, in contrast to easy-going Sam. With Walter being the DA and Martha having the last name Ivers (meaning family had something to do with building the town), they're two of the biggest shots in town. Seeing Walter's nervousness and Martha and Sam's happy reunion, you already get a sense of something coming that will affect all three of them.
  6. I can see where Hitchcock's direction might be considered a little different than most noir. His openings don't smack of danger right away; they generally start with ordinary situations that then develop into dangerous ones. He still puts the nuances in, though, that give you some information about what's in store---a lot of crossing in this opening (crossing a concourse, train tracks crossing, legs crossing), showing two men of different style and purpose, and the indication that one's gong to be a liar (Bruno tells Guy he doesn't talk much, but he's already started doing that and is obviously not going to leave Guy alone during the trip).
  7. The openings of both Kiss Me Deadly and The Hitch-Hiker are similar in that they both take place at night on a stretch of mostly deserted roadway with someone trying to get a ride. They both give us a sense of foreboding---something isn't right, but we don't know what it is just yet. The scene from The Hitch-Hiker clues us in a little more since the person picked up brandishes a gun quickly and we know what the immediate threat is. In Kiss Me Deadly, we still don't know where the real danger will be coming from.
  8. This is definitely the opener of a classic detective-based noir story....It's night time, we have an unknown female who appears to be running for her life from something or someone, the flashing of lights and metal as cars go by, the camera angles, the staccato breathing (which slows to a more sensual breathing once she's in the car), and her desperate attempt at stopping the next car no matter what. Hammer invites her into the car for two reasons: first, she inconvenienced him so much he had to stop his car anyway and second, she obviously has a story that's piqued his interest. It's not every night you come across something like that in the road. Then, when he finds out just who he more than likely picked up, he covers for her with the police officer at the roadblock. We definitely learn that the female is a runaway from an asylum of some kind. She's so scared she seems unable to talk, unclothed other than a trench coat, and desperate enough for help to step in front of a moving vehicle. Lucky for her, the car's driven by Hammer, who for some reason decides to help her past the road block. What did he pick up from her that caused him to make this decision? Is it just the detective in him that wants to learn more before he turns her in, or does he have other information we just don't know yet?
  9. Thinking of Fritz Lang in this scene, what stood out was the shadow on the wall of the man who tried to warn the Swede. It reminded me of the swinging pendulum at the beginning of Ministry of Fear. As the pendulum set the mood/tone, the shadow on the wall over the Swede did the same. It added to the lack of seeing any expression in the Swede's face as he was in shadow as well. It was if doom was looming over the Swede and we know it's coming. We just don't know how or why yet. Expressionism is evident.
  10. It's interesting to see Gilda get her unspoken thoughts across while performing this number. She probably wouldn't have had the courage to do it without the help of alcohol, and it took a bit considering how badly she was dancing. She's getting across to those who truly understand (namely Johnny) that she knows she's thought of as a **** and doesn't care. She acts the way she does day to day to get through her very unhappy life. Around men she knows she has a certain amount of power, which she lacks with her husband and his partner (and previous lover). And the way she worked the men in the audience was her way of showing that power. By tossing away her necklace, she says she doesn't care about the expensive gifts she's been given by a husband who more possesses than loves her. They are meaningless to her. She also attempted to show she wasn't afraid of anything. Her choice of song to sing just bolstered her message that she was a shameless user of men and was usually to blame when something bad happened. She wanted to let Johnny know that she knew exactly how he felt about her. The music definitely does a great job of setting up the scene and helping her get her point across. Most musical numbers in noir films tend to do this....they help the character say more than their simple spoken words do, which helps us as viewers gain more insight into them.
  11. The film noir type of detective, as Powell does a great job depicting, is always more gritty, down to earth, and makes no excuses for his social conduct. He has a job to do and doesn't mind using whatever devices necessary to do it. He also walks a fine line between utmost law and order, and the bad guys he investigates. This type of detective fits noir perfectly...you don't see this type of detective in movies from the 30's or very early 40's, where we saw the grumpy but lovable characters helping their amateur sleuth lady friends and the like. The noir detective is the one we always hope would take our case if we needed one. One not constrained by the rules of law like police detectives, but rather able to bend the law if need be and not be afraid to mix with the bad guys to find out what he needs to. He's the type of guy who doesn't appear to have fear, isn't afraid to get his hands dirty, and goes into potentially dangerous situations as easily as buying a newspaper.
  12. The initial introduction to the character of Lydecker spoke volumes. It's obvious he feels quite superior to others and feels the need to fill his home with objects to prove it. He keeps fastidious notes, yet the detective is able to pick up on the fact that Lydecker takes liberties with the way he reports things in order to make them more interesting. So, we see that Lydecker will not be the most honest person in the course of the investigation though he tries to present himself to the detective as someone who has absolutely nothing to hide (hence the whole nudity show). We also pick up on the fact that Lydecker is a creation of his own---what he portrays to others is definitely not the person he really is. He can't simply be himself.
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