Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by TheGirlCan'tHelpIt

  1. It's striking to me, against what we know of the plight of migrant workers today, that the narrator initially presents the agricultural industry and it's workers in such a wholesome, positive light. The braceros are spoken so highly of, though I am sure they were treated like rubbish, and had to face constant prejudice. It's funny then that the migrant workers would be separated into the good and the bad. Any population can be divided in such a basic subjective category. 


    I am no expert on migrant worker history in America, but if what is presented here is true, or realistic, then I would consider this work to be an important contribution to film noir - and film at all. It's presenting a slice of life from our nation's history, but also injecting it with some of that seedy underbelly that gets swept under the rug more often than not. I am just concerned, having not seen the whole piece yet, that the actual workers, whether legal or illegal, will be the "seedy" factor. I tend to take the side of the oppressed. I doubt that all illegal workers are just after money. Most of them are struggling to survive and support other family members in difficult living conditions. 


    • Like 1
  2. It's not often that the bits of film included in the Dose of Darkness capture my attention in quite the way that this bit of The Killers has. It probably has to do with being partially set in a diner - I love a glimpse into a diner in it's heyday… though of course I'm wondering if that was a real diner or one created for the film (realistic or formalistic!?). Having also read the Edward Hopper connection, I definitely approached this brief viewing with great enthusiasm. 


    I have to mention that I was heartened to see the kindly old diner man untie the man of color first, and even give him a drink of water, before untying the other guy in the kitchen, who was white. I found this super surprising given the time period, and given the demeaning and small roles relegated to people of color in films of the time (heck, arguably even today). It immediately put me on the side of the diner man, and his crew, pitted against the bad guys who tied them up, even if they are looking for their friend and colleague, the Swede. 


    As for the shift in visual design, I think starting in a diner, and moving to a person's bedroom, is a visual representation of going from public to private life. The coworkers of the Swede are starting to learn new things about him… perhaps not so pleasant things. Imagine how much we don't know about a person, even someone we work with daily? For this reason I am sure the diner is well lit and the bedroom is so dark that we cannot even discern the Swede's face. His body language - barely stirring to the young man's entrance and announcement, matches the lifelessness in his words. He's a man who's given up and given in, just waiting on his inevitable punishment for a mysterious crime. 



    • Like 1
  3. If it were any other actor portraying an escaped prisoner, I doubt I would feel so eager for him to succeed. Knowing it's Bogie, even before the transition from first person back to third person point of view, makes me root for him even as he's punching the innocent driver of the car he's trying to hitch a ride in. That guy was pretty annoying, but it's not like he deserved to be attacked. And yet, because I'm on Bogie's side, I condone that violence and actually derive some joy out of it. Some of which may be a direct result of how fake the hitting is. That's good for a laugh. 


    I also like how we are able to see parts of the car that aren't often shown - the floorboards, the radio. It really helps to give a deeper sense of how people lived in that time. People with the luxury of automobiles of course.

    • Like 1
  4. Having such a powerful female lead, even holding a gun in 1941 is a bold statement. Of course, I'm sure it was done for the shock factor, because guns in the hands of men can only surprise so much anymore, even at that time. Even if it was for novelty, Bette Davis slays. She is the person in control in the opening scene, and even has an army of workers to call upon.


    That I'm torn about however, because while it's attractive in terms of showing her power it's also disturbing in terms of the obvious colonialism and essentially indentured servitude if not slavery. The contrast of the house compared to the living quarters of the workers is supposed to strike us, however I'd like to point out that we as Westerners are predisposed to view dwellings like those as "dirty" or "unsafe"when in fact they can be perfectly reasonable in certain climates. In fact, if people are able to live in dwellings like those, in a much simpler fashion, than really the sight of the elaborate overdone house should be the one that brings unease. Imagine all of the resources that went into it, all of the energy spent and for what? Far less sustainable than a  shelter made of wood, cloth, rope, a thatched roof, etc. I will be curious to see in more films if this notion of what is "exotic" to Westerners is used to add an element of mystery or discomfort. I understand why it was used, and how it can be effective, but I find it insulting. There is so much  more to this world than the American or European way. 

    • Like 3
  5. Could it be that beginning with engineers on a train is in a sense a metaphor for all of those behind the film getting the film's journey under way as well? Or the idea of a train journey, which was much more laborious then for all involved, just stands as a metaphor for the journey the characters will face? Just as with the two engineers and their work, there is danger in the lives of the main characters, there is communication, not always in words, and the goal of synchronicity. Just as timing could be everything in operating a locomotive, it seemed timing mattered a great deal in the messy relationships that unfold in this story. There are many risks that none of them really need to take, but choose to - working on trains, getting into a relationship with someone else who is already in a relationship to an unstable person (which in this case they all seem to be). 

© 2022 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
  • Create New...