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deckard

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  1. The minute Lana Turner makes her entry into the scene Garfield is caught as a fly on a spider's web. Turner is the ultimate femme fatale that will take Garfield down the abyss. Upon seeing Turner, Garfield can think of nothing else to the extend that he burns the burger and throws it out. His hunger now is not for food but for Turner and for this desire his fate is sealed. It is ironic how the sign reads MAN WANTED; Turner is looking for a man and soon after the crime is committed he is a MAN WANTED. Great film that plays on the sexual tension and manipulation of the man by the femme fatale.
  2. This film, The Third Man, has Welles' finger prints all over. Carol Reed may be the director but Welles must have had some input on this film. The formalist technique is so reminiscent of Citizen Kane that if Reed's name did not appear in the director's credit one would say it was directed by Welles. Anyhow, the scene in question is well shot. The use of the lighting from the apartment to reveal Welles in the entry way was a clever way of introducing a light source to reveal the mysterious figure of Harry Lime. The shadow of Lime running down the street was another clever use of natural light in the evening. This film is truly a piece of art and it is for this reason that it is so highly regarded. This film is no different than a work by Van Gogh or Picasso; film making at its finest using the tools we credit to what we call "film noir".
  3. Great scene; reminiscent of the Maltese Falcon interactions between Bogart and Greenstreet at his hotel the first time they meet and at his apartment when Greenstreet and company are waiting for Bogart. -- The scene contains two dramatic entrances, one for each actor. How is each entrance different? Obviously, Lorre is coming into the room and is surprised to see it disheveled; Greenstreet enters with gun in hand and takes Mr. Lorre by surprise. -- What changes in the scene as they continue to interact after their entrances? As they move closer they become more comfortable with eachother; Greenstreet sits with gun in hand and Lorre sits and lays back as they discuss their common interest in Dimitrios. The fact that Greenstreet appears to be higher in the frame as they sit (as well as when they were standing) it shows you that Greenstreet has the upper hand in the situation; not to mention he is holding the gun. Their dialogue is impeccable and that says alot for the writers. The wit exhibited in their talk is comparable to two expert fencers working out. -- What elements of the noir style did you notice in this scene, for example, in terms of camera movement or lighting? The lighting is as expected in the film noir style; the camera movement again reminiscent of the way Bogart and Greenstreet interacted in their hotel room scene. The camera goes close up on Greenstreet as he tells his tidbits then moves to Lorre and then we have both in frame. -- Compare this scene in The Mask of Dimitrios with scenes from The Maltese Falcon or Nobody Lives Forever. What are the similarities? What are the differences? The lighting of this scene is similar to that used in the Maltese Falcon when Greenstreet and company were at Bogart's apartment as it was a night scene. The one element that I consider the most important in film noir films is the intelligent dialogue between the characters as mentioned above: comparable to two expert fencers working out.
  4. This film is another example of the film noir style of film making. The use of lighting and an understanding of how it will show on the big screen is evident in this scene. You must give great credit to both Musuraca and Tourneur for their work with the light or lack of it. When you deal with film noir, you are working with black and white film predominantly and you must have a feel for how the black, white and gray will appear on film. It must have been a challenge to go through a scene and realize how good or bad it would be once you looked at the dailies. If it was not properly shot the cost to retake would hamper the budget; so you had to get it right the first time or times (retakes) on that day.
  5. Just as the art of painting and sculpting were changing in the first half of the 20th century so was the art of film making. Evolution is a strong force to which the art forms are not immune. The US film makers needed to evolve in the 40’s as the world was changing and had changed. Hollywood needed a new formula to draw the audience closer into the story and at the same time allow the film makers a tool to circumvent the film code. Film noir was an evolutionary process developed as if a gene were spliced from European film industry and added to our US film making DNA. In this writer’s opinion, German film making style and techniques had a defining impact on the creation of what we call film noir. One can even argue that Fritz Lang was the genetic father of film noir and that his Metropolis and M are earlier film noirs. Q.E.D.
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