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About SilentFilmBuff

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  1. I'm a bit of a newbie when it comes to this stuff, but it was great seeing Dick Powell in a bit of a more...gritty role. (Up until a few seconds ago, I'd only known him through films like GOLD DIGGERS OF 1933, etc.) It seems like Marlowe is potentially one of the suspects, which gives him skin in the game. He seems much less a hard-boiled plot device and more like a driving force of the story. (I've always felt like THE MALTESE FALCON is a good example of a detective-story in which the detective is more a plot device to help the story move along...but no one would ever accuse that detective o
  2. The opening monologue is often-parodied, but not often seen in this type of set-up. I found it a surprising twist that the radio columnist would take a bath in the presence of a detective which he did not know. Seems like he's painting himself as someone who at least appears to be vulnerable. A fabulous bit of business which I can't wait to see how it plays out.
  3. 1. Do you feel this film's use of first person POV in this scene was successful or not successful? Largely, but it probably goes on a little too long for my taste. I'd have ended it maybe right after the viewer sees Bogart's muddy shoes. 2. How do you think the use of a first person POV added to the tension of this scene? It's as if you're the one hitching the ride or steadying yourself against the fence so you don't fall over after the barrel ride. Somehow, the tension is increased by the driver of the car staring at you as the radio reads out the description of the convict. 3. In what wa
  4. 1. Were you surprised by what happens in the opening scene of The Letter? Very much, yes. I didn't expect anyone to die first thing, nor did I expect to see the woman actually holding the gun while people watched her pull the trigger. 2. In what ways can the opening of The Letter be considered an important contribution to the film noir style? First, the woman is definitely femme fatale--she actually shoots the fellow. Second, the world one enters as one watches is one of brutal fact and violence, both of which are contained in this scene. Furthermore, the camera work is smooth, but does not
  5. 1. What does the film's realistic depiction of a train add to this opening? Grit. I know I'm in for earthy characters and worldly cares. 2. What are some of the specific shots, sounds, or techniques that add "darker touches" to this opening scene? The camera shakes with the engine; the camera pulling back is not terribly smooth. The medium shot of the engineer giving the other a cigarette seemed to indicate not only friendship, but that they were both men of the world. They have dirty, blue-collar clothes and faces and communicate wordlessly in the nearly endless wall of sound. 3. In what
  6. Completely agree. You took the words right out of my mouth. Seems like Lang is going for tension. We see it in the laundry lady's comment about telling the kids to stop...and in the silhouette of the man in the hat speaking to Elsie.
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