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About gabrielv

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    Boston, MA
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    Food, Fitness, Film and Literature.
  1. The movie opens with WHY, denies us WHO by refusing us the reverse angle, though we know who the shooter is, and then cuts to a moment of despair. I also have a problem with classifying this as noir because the mood is there, cinematic techniques, but the 'noir mistake' is that MIldred focuses all her attention on her monster of a daughter, Veda, out of guilt. I see the film as a critique of motherhood.
  2. Incredible opening. What was interesting to me is that current films would use a second hand ticking away to create the sense of countdown to something disastrous. The pendulum here makes time slower, more omnious because the inevitability is unstoppable. I'm still thinking about Ray Milland's hands; they grip, lift and release the arms of the chair. Not sure if that is relief, mild rapture, but it did make me think of both horror (monster unleashed, came to life) or criminal glee (revenge is mine). The score was, like others said, fantastic, but I do think it could work either way in horror o
  3. Marlowe uses words just like he would use his fists: to pummel and corner his opponent. The exchanges are fast, and I detect a few instances where Marlowe is taken aback by her answers; uncertain whether she is telling bald lies or half-truths. He is committed to his client's assignment. I do think that Marlowe was much more hand happy with women and thought twice with men. Although Raymond Chandler was pleased with Bogart as Marlowe, he wrote in his letters that he Powell, an actor known for musicals at Warner, best conveyed Marlowe on the screen.
  4. I, too, have heard of noir as a mood. Having seen some German Expressionism, I can see what directors did with lighting and play of shadows. Many of the comments here address the historical underpinning of noir. I'm divided on that. People needed to laugh during the Depression because poverty was grinding and prospects for employment, bleak; yet, the Twenties were pretty lawless. I realize that the outlaws in the 30s films do often die, but there is a sense (in my opinion) that moviegoers were rooting for them. Vicarious wish? I imagine people were just as mad at financial institutions in the
  5. Many of the comments here identify the artistic points well. The image that stood out to me was just before the moonlight fades: you see one of the works peek through the bamboo, as if it were a jail cell. A statement on colonialism? The opening scene draws you into the mystery because it is in medias res. I wanted to know why she not only shot him, but felt the need to empty the gun into him. That's a lot of HATE and determination. This is one of the better opening scenes that I've seen for any period.
  6. That was some opening. I admired the work ethic that the two railmen demonstrated. Talk about working conditions. The speed and claustrophobic tunnels made me think that something could go wrong at any moment, with little time to react or avoid a disaster. I agree with the comments on the music: didn't seem to match the scene.
  7. Word: Disturbing Disturbing because it takes "Don't talk to strangers" to a whole other level. The shot upward to the laundry woman is an excursion into the adult world. The modest but neat apartment shows that people in this neighborhood are poor but with dignity. The empty plate, the empty attic room, the stairs foreshadow the imminent loss of life. Shot of the cuckoo clock induces anxiety. The murderer is a shadow (in black), a balloon-like figure juxtaposed to the ball. How he establishes a relationship with Elsie is just creepy. The song that the little girl is singing at the begi
  8. I did like the opening, but felt that it could have been edited down some after Parry emerges from the tunnel. The dialogue with the driver was a little unrealistic for me in that nobody peppers someone with that many questions after just meeting them. Dark Passage is based on a novel by David Goodis, who used 3rd POV for narrative strategy in the novel. The film was also considered the precursor to The Fugitive, which led to a lawsuit between the Goodis Estate and the studio. While I like the Bogie and Bacall chemistry, the real star for me in this movie is Agnes Moorehead.
  9. You probably know this site, but you can find Marlowe radio episodes and a ton of other detective broadcasts, such as Boston **** and Johnny Dollar. Here is the Marlowe link https://archive.org/details/OTRR_Philip_Marlowe_Singles
  10. JP Thank you for this list. I had not heard of some of the films. FYI: the Criterion Edition of Friends of Eddie Coyle has a couple of fine essays, including an interview-based one with Robert Mitchum. You might enjoy it. Gabriel
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