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Reel Name

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  1. Our vision of jazz in film noir comes from the 1970s, where we have a couple of great scores for neo-noir featuring solo instruments--sax in Taxi Driver and trumpet in Chinatown. The sound of a cutting melody played by one of these instruments doesn't begin to appear in earlier noir until 1950, and even then it is modified. The description of the music for Elevator to the Gallows is good, but this is NOT an example of bop. That was an earlier style for Davis. This blends qualities of Modal jazz and Cool jazz, and it is perfectly suited to the European preference for mood rather than action
  2. The decade of the 1920s is called the "Jazz" age, and this is not intended to be a compliment about the music, but it refers to the decadence of the time. Jazz, alcohol, and sex were the three pillars of sin, just as rock, drugs, and sex were in the 60s. In the 1930s, jazz generally became more sophisticated and even played in Carnegie Hall. Hence jazz in film noir can call on either connotation. Gilda's song clearly ties in with the former, but I agree with an earlier commentator that this is not jazz, just jazz inspired. I haven't seen the reference yet in other comments to the showing o
  3. This comparison is good for showing one of the differences between films from Europe and Hollywood--music. The lack of music in M creates a strong sense of realism, while Young's prelude for The Ministry of Fear establishes an opening mood that mixes in some positive sounds, a subtle indication to audiences that there will be a happy ending. Most striking is the orchestral clock sound. When it ends, we initially hear nothing, as if our ears are adjusting to a quieter setting. Then the ticking of the clock picks up with the same pulse as the music. But now it sound some barren, boring, and mono
  4. Laura has always seemed to me to be on the outer edges of film noir. Its happy ending (or is it just a dream?), charm and humor, and relative lack of darkness run counter to qualities that we associate with noir. The mixture of noir and non-noir can be observed in the first scene. Like noir, we have the voiceover narration, and we are introduced to a tough detective, as evidenced by Waldo's recounting his history and even Mark's smirk when he looks at Waldo's naked body. Yet the opulence of the room, the warmth of Raksin's Laura theme, and Waldo's wit are not typical noir characteristics. A tr
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