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Jerry Witt - Motion City

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Everything posted by Jerry Witt - Motion City

  1. To all the people taking the quiz on the canvas.net site, best of luck! I'm sure it is incredibly gauche to brag about my grade. But I haven't taken a quiz in more than 30 years. I got a perfect score and I am giving myself a gold star.
  2. Although much has been said about the manipulation of time and the importance of time in the opening of Ministry of Fear, I responded to the swinging pendulum slightly differently. I felt it was a hypnotic device. In the 18th and 19th centuries "hypnotism" was practiced more as a "dark art." Franz Mesmer (1734–1815) believed that there is a magnetic force or "fluid" within the universe that influences the health of the human body. He found that he could put people in a trance-like state by passing the hands in front of the subject's body. Hence the word "mesmerize." By the 20th century hypnotism had gained legitimacy in medical and psychological circles and a swinging pendulum was often used to introduce this trance-like state. Further studies in hypnotism led to the discovery of Ideomotor phenomenon is a psychological phenomenon wherein a subject makes motions unconsciously. Although I haven't seen Ministry of Fear, I wonder if Lang is lulling the audience into a hypnotic state or suggesting that Ray Milland's character is under some sort of hypnotic control.
  3. This style of movie is remarkably different than the gangster movies and "police procedurals" that came before it. Crime movies of the 20's and 30's either focused on the step by step methods of cops solving a crime. Alternatively, if the wanted more action, they focused on the gangsters in movies like “Angels With Dirty Faces” and “The Public Enemy.” But in "Murder, My Sweet" we have a protagonist that gets to step outside the bounds of police hierarchy. He's not above rummaging through a woman's purse or locking her in a room. But like the gangsters before him, Philip Marlowe has his own moral code. "I'm just a small businessman in a very messy business. But I like to follow through on a sale." He could have just kept the 100 bucks and moved on. But due to his moral obligation, maybe mixed with his need to understand, he is going to be pulled into this case -- and this adventure.
  4. It is probably worth noting that the glass case filled with fragile glass objects are not just any objects. They are vases, bottles and perfume containers; all empty vessels.
  5. Well, it is the ultimate in objectifying someone isn't it. A painting of a woman ISN'T that woman. A painting allows someone to project their own ideas of the "ideal woman" onto the picture.
  6. Several people have mentioned that Lydecker is writing an article. I should like to point out that he is actually writing Laura's story, as he states in the voice over. Several people have caught Lydecker's "super power" of being able to see what the detective is handling in the next room through the partially opened door. But I don't know if anyone mentioned detective McPherson's "super power." He remembers that Lydecker wrote a column TWO YEARS ago and and the very bottom he switched to talking about a murder and got the murder weapon wrong. Talk about being well-read! Obviously McPherson has an encyclopedic memory or has thoroughly researched Lydecker before their encounter.
  7. I only got to The Letter last night and have a couple thoughts: First, I think the early 40's marked the transition of the broader theatrical style of acting to a more natural and believable style. I felt there were a few times the director should have gone for "less." In the opening, for example, when the moon comes out from the clouds and Davis looks almost bug-eyed into the sky, it broke the "reality" of the moment for me. It sad too because just previously she did such a great job coldly shooting Mr. Hammond. Second, I understand that the (spoiler alert ahead) ending of the film was originally planned to be the moment when Davis tells her husband her true feelings. The Hayes code required her to pay for her crimes. Hence her final meeting with Mrs. Hammond was added in later. I think this actually makes the movie better. I like the cold lack of emotion Mrs. Hammond had throughout. Without speaking a word of English she somehow conveyed the rage she felt about loosing the man she loved.
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