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About sebrown2

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  • Birthday 09/20/1956

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    Collecting movies and discussing movies with others, making jewelry, colleting movie posters and action figures
  1. I agree the opening is a documentary style, but it has a different feel, perhaps it is Jeff's delivery. It's nice to see noir in the daylight. It brings a new approach. The bright light when Kathy enters is memorizing, as if she is walking on air. The Cantina has subtle shades of light and dark. Both characters are lonely, that is easily seen, but what is Kathy's secret, 40,000? Why is Jeff looking for her? Both characters have secrets.... This scene leaves us intrigued and eager to see what's next.
  2. How does this opening sequence establish Humphrey Bogart as Philip Marlowe? What do we learn about Marlowe in these first few moments of the film? He is professional, more polished than Sam Spade. He is educated , as he says he attended college. he is honest about being fired from the DA's office. He is more accepting of others and I like his personal more than I like Spade. Marlowe is not phased by the flirtatious daughter. He seems unimpressed. As for his meeting the the General, he is forthright and honest with him. When asked what he knows about the general's family, he rattles it off. he has done his homework. Do you see a difference in Bogart's portrayal of Marlowe compared to his performance as Spade in The Maltese Falcon? I'll say, what a difference. Cleaner, not gritty as Spade is. Forthright and not as secretive as Spade. Marlowe is also more polished than Spade. In what ways can the opening of The Big Sleep be considered an important contribution to the film noir style? I always struggle with this part of the question. It brings something different to the table as detectives go. More up front type of detective. Professional but not as driven as some of the other detectives we have seen. Marlowe is more believable, honest and observant. So I suppose this would seem to be noir evolving. Moving forward in the development of the characters. It is like the film makers have discovered that the character does not have to be gritty to be noir. They can still rely on the shading, lighting and so forth, but the story can be more interesting. Sure there will be secrets, and a femme fatale but the characters as well as the story lines will have more oomph!
  3. What mood or atmosphere—through the visual design and the voiceover narration—is being established in this realistic documentary sequence? The mood that I sense is desolation and a sense of desperation. The land is so vast that it looks like it could easily swallow you up. Large canals that do on forever. And the scene with all the workers pressed up against the fence is extremely powerful. It shows how desperate people are to make a living. The narration is very matter of fact and thus makes the plight of the people very real. What do you think documentary realism adds to the evolution and increased range of the film noir style? I think in this case it adds a sense of powerlessness. The scenes are so matter of fact that it seems dismal. As if the life depicted by the migrant workers is void of any emotion at all. It feels like a life of constant struggle to survive. In what ways can the opening of Border Incident be considered an important contribution to the film noir style? The opening scene sets the stage for a certain lifestyle, one of struggle, fear and desperation. In just a few scenes, we are drawn into the life of the migrant worker. By giving us facts in a documentary style, all kinds of emotion cross your mind when you see the workers pressed against the fence. Their faces seem void of emotion, except their eyes are looking forward as if just beyond the gate must be something better.
  4. I totally missed the aspect of the position of the radio in the scene with the Swede when his friend come to tell him 2 men are looking to kill him. And it is an odd position, but something I have seen in reality. I did notice the sharpness of the cinematography as he burst through the door of the Swede's apartment and the use of the shadow. Realism is when they are in the diner and it changes when he enters the Swede's room to formalism.
  5. What did I notice about Rita Hayworth's performance when watching this scene? She might have been performing in front of a crowd, but the message , song and dance were meant just for Johnny. He hurt her and she wanted to get back at him in public. He thought she was no good, so she played the "Bad Girl!" It was loaded with a raw, smoldering sexuality. What are some of the deeper layers of meaning that are contained in this film noir musical sequence? Besides a woman gone bad, deception, lust, love and hate. In what ways do I think music influenced and contributed to the development of film noir? The music sets the pace of film noir. It also announces mystery,fear, suspense, anticipation and many other emotions. It also evokes in one way or another an emotional response from the viewer.
  6. I have never been a Joan Crawford fan. She has always come off as looking hard even when she plays feminine roles. Therefore, I have never watched Mildred Pierce. In the scene presented, both women are wearing black and their hair styles are similar in style. Both styles I would call severe. Thus setting their character, a mother who tries to look younger and classer than she is and a daughter that wants to appear more or less a woman. I would call her a femme fatale in this instance. Veda has a dark calculating soul. She will do anything to get what she wants, even lie about being pregnant. She enjoys throwing her mother's background in her face and does a good job of showing her mother who she really is. Also with both women in black you notice the height of them significantly on the stairs. Veda thinks she is the one in power, but Mildred is twice as hard and calculating. She like many film noir characters, have some type of moral code. When her daughter violates that code, she throws her out. And I have to say I loved that part of the scene. As for the film's importance to film noir, it does have some of the characteristics, the play with the height, the music that heightens the scene and of course the persona of both characters. Femme fatale and a moral code.
  7. The swing pendulum of the clock leads you to think that what we are about to see will have an ill fate. The music sounds like impending doom. We know we are waiting for something to happen, but what? What doom can further happen to Ray Milland's character as he tries to resume a normal life? Whatever his fate, his time is running out like the sand in an hourglass. When the shot is panned around the room, it looks dismal. As if time has stood still in this room. And perhaps it has. The lighting is cold and stark as if no one has been living in the room at all. As the main character sits in the dark all you see is his shadow....waiting as the clock ticks. How horrible it must be to sit and wait and hope for a better life, when you are also afraid.
  8. he paid me to do a job and protect him and I didn't." This tells me he does abide by some sort of moral code. He says he believes in following through on a job. That indicated that he tried to be as honest as he can depending on a set of circumstances. Marlowe certainly is no Paul Drake (Perry Mason.) He is more harsh and gritty. His clients are not always the cream of the crop, so he has learned to be leery of people. He really does not seem to trust anyone. A film noir detective has to be dark and a little seedy. Otherwise the character would not be interesting. He has to be worldly and know how to deal with unsavory people. Marlowe's office does not seem to be in the best part of town. The room is almost void of light. So plenty of shadows.
  9. In this instance I like the POV effect. The barrel was an interesting effect and got my attention instantly! Even though I knew whose voice it was, I was anxious to see his face.
  10. I love watching Bette Davis, especially films she made earlier in her career. I've had The Letter in my collection for some time, but have never found the time to watch it until today. I was riveted to my seat from the beginning to the end of the movie! Somehow I knew Bette would die by the hands of the widow. It was the way she looked at her with steel cold icy eyes. As if to say, I am not going to let you get away with this! Great way to spend the afternoon!
  11. I have really enjoyed the viewpoints that many of you have offered. However, my background leans more toward the psychology of the movie. I always what to know why and what makes people tick. La Bete Humaine leaves so many questions unanswered about the main characters. Some of you have mentioned for the time period of the film, Jacques Lantier would have had some social standing to obtain the job of running the train. That I had not considered! What strikes me is that he contributes his illness to being from a family of alcoholics and that they have poisoned his blood. That alludes to the possibility that others in his family suffered from the same illness. He also says he does not drink because he knows what would happen if he did. I think he means that if he drinks he would not be in control and more likely to give into his desire to kill. What is not known is if the members of his family drank to self-medicate to drown out those feelings. Also, for that time period, there probably was no cure for the illness that struck his family. As for Séverine Roubaud, also is a victim, but of a different sort. She was well educated by her godfather, but she was also from all implied comments, sexually molested and abused by Grandmorin. Her behavior with men seems to be seductive, which for her draws men to her (as well as her beauty.) She doles out her affection in small doses. It is almost child-like, as if her emotional development ceased to develop at some point. She married her husband for security, not love as she herself has come to understand, that she is not capable of really loving anyone. She has left one trap with Grandmorin and entered another trap for herself with Roubaud. Once he discovers the truth about Séverine, is determined to bind her to him, so she will never leave him. He plans to kill the man who abused his wife, not out of love, but to control her. In this aspect, Roubaud is terribly naive about relationships between men and women. He does not understand that by killing Grandmorin and telling her why, he will drive her further away. The look on her face when he says this is one of “fright and flight.” She now knows she must do anything to escape. When she meets Lantier, she is drawn to him because he represents escape. He on the other hand as he states has loved her for some time. He is looking for love and he does know he is putting her in danger of his illness. However, I think he truly loves her. But for Séverine, begins her own dangerous game. She wants Lantier to kill her husband so she can be free. He thinks to be with her, but she wants total freedom. She is so intent on her desire for freedom, she does not recognize the “red flag” that Lantier exhibits. He asks her how it felt when she watched her husband kill Grandmorin. He wanted to hear every gory detail. That is not normal! He wants to hear about it because he thinks about his desire to kill all the time. He is tormented about his desire. But by hearing about it, he can relive those feelings. However, when he cannot kill Roubaud, she withdraws from him. She takes from him the one thing that he has always wanted, to be close to someone and to be loved. In the end, he knows he as he describes, “a foggy feeling with a desire he cannot control” is descending upon him. He has felt it often and now it is unleashed and he kills her. Now I have more questions! Does he only want to kill women? If so who does he kill in his mind over and over? Since he comes from a family who suffer from mental illness, what did he suffer and see as a child? And what about Séverine? Was she really Grandmorin’s daughter as her husband implied? Why did she do the favor of speaking with her godfather, when she knew what he would want as payment? Was she suffering as victims do when they are held hostage? And if the man they arrested for Grandmorin’s murder knew about his reputation for young girls, why didn’t her husband know. There is no doubt in my mind that both Séverine and Lantier are victims of their past! Were they destined to end tragically? In Noir, of course. Darkness followed them both and it was bound to engulf them at some point. Lantier cannot understand why they have not come to arrest him, so he kills himself for the terrible act he has committed. I can only surmise that since her husband found her, probably with her godfather’s watch and wallet in his hand, he was arrested for her murder.
  12. I too think his wife recognized him. And he knew that she did as well. Her look seemed to be saying, I know who you are and I am not going to suffer any more humiliation! It is what he wanted his wife to do, as he has such guilt. He wants his children to remember him as a good man and father. I found the ending strange and interesting. He recedes into the abyss, as if he has never existed. As Ann Sheridan leaves the courthouse, Robert Alda is waiting in the wings for her, as his character has always done. She leaves and he simply follows her. The End.
  13. I am no expert either, but i did notice the change in the clothes. She wanted to look respectable. I hope you get to watch M, I found it interesting. Dark yes, but excellent acting by Peter Lorre. Always thought it was such a shame that his greatest acting role was his first role.
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