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Everything posted by deepnoirjazz

  1. Army of Shadows is a truly great film, and Melville a great director. Please post if there is a "meet up" !! Thanks.
  2. Thanks to CJ and the other posters !! Maybe TCM should do a Neo-Noir Festival ???
  3. It's interesting to me that Anthony Mann is one of those directors who always seems to share credit for his films with the DP and other members of the production team. There's a lot of people who believe that he did his best work with John Alton, and why not? We know Alton is a genius. But in the case of Desperate, the DP is Diskant, and they do a great job, as evidenced in this terrific scene. The common link in the Mann films is Mann, even though he worked with different DPs. Most of us go from knowing the actors and actresses, to knowing the directors, and if you've taken this cours
  4. This is a great idea. I'm told that people would jeer and throw things at the screen when the Columbia logo came up in the theater. Still, they did have Rita Hayworth !!!
  5. I think this is just a chronology goof. The cut back to the guards leaving the bank ought to have occurred before he checks it off. The observer is "correct" in that they only stay for that period of time, so I don't think it could play a role in the story. I'll bet you enjoy this film. It's got a really interesting plot. This goof wasn't anywhere near as bad as the goof with the corpse blinking in the handyman scene. That was a jump up and down screamer !!!
  6. It really bothers me that the "observer" checks off the line about "Stays 2-4 Minutes BEFORE the armed guards come out of the bank". If this is all about precision planning, didn't the film makers notice this goof? This is a good movie, in my opinion, and a nice example of what Director Phil Karlson could do. Although I've seen this film more than once, this was the first time that I noticed what appears to me to be a chronology goof.
  7. She blinks. The corpse I mean. She blinks !!! To be fair, my wife caught this before I did. Check it out. What on earth were they doing when they edited this movie? Could it be that RKO under Hughes was so cheap that they would have prevented a re-shoot? The other alternative, that she just fainted, would mean that both the handy man and we are over reacting :-)
  8. Many thanks to PH for the FN lighting video. Excellent description of the 3 point lighting, as well as Cookies, GOBOs and Barn Doors - Terrific !!
  9. Maybe it's worth a word about the influence of psychology, in addition to philosophy. Shadow on the Wall was an excellent film that showed a major influence from psychology, including several sessions of "play therapy" between the young girl character and the psychiatrist (played by Nancy Davis). It's worth noting that all the major characters; victim, murderer, would be victim, and doctor are all female characters. The made character (played by Zach Scott) is in control of nothing, but is hostage to the actions of the females in his life. It's also a great story, where the fear and suspen
  10. Robert Wise's "The Set Up" is an interesting case. It's a terrific film noir without much of the narrative iconography; no detective, no femme fatale, no murder, no real plot "twists" (in my opinion), etc. On CJ's list, it does have B&W photography, an unhappy(?) ending, and corruption. Towards PH's list, it does have extreme violence. I don't believe that it nihilistic. It may be the only noir based (however loosely) on a poem. It certainly reveals a claustrophobic world of flea bag motels, cheap amusements and third rate filthy arenas, in which the "sport" appeals to the basest o
  11. How much of that is her over the top performance, and how much is the stilted dialogue? Agreed, it's over the top, and borderline laughable. I've always argued to the skeptics (and there are many) that it's the visuals that save this film.
  12. And if you think playing Charlie Parker is dangerous, try Ornette Coleman sometime !! P.S. - I'm married as well. That's a big reason there's multiple Duke Ellington CDs on the machine now. We just got back from the Montreal Jazz Festival and I played it safe' first indoor show? Steve Miller Band !!!
  13. Surely, be-bop is the artistic peak, no? Be-bop is very contemporary to post war noir, just as swing is for wartime noir. Now, I'll admit listening to a lot of 50s jazz too, and while cool and west coast are easier listening and more approachable, I'd find it difficult to say that they represent an artistic peak. The peak in popularity really belongs to swing. Chet Baker and Gerry Mulligan are great, but the artistic equivalent to JJ Johnson? I could understand an argument for Coltrane, but not for cool or west coast. Then again, you play the stuff, I just listen to it !!
  14. I'd agree that most noir films are not extremely violent. There is violence, but there's also a lot of tension from the "violence withheld" or at least delayed. My opinion is that fantasy is not always present either, although there are usually some pretty wacky schemes floating around. You can write books about whether it's just "misogyny", or in some way men dealing with the changes in society and the power of women during and post war. "Deadlier than the Male" could be a sub-title for many, many films noir. Is that misogyny or something more? I've shared this quote before, and I t
  15. The definition of terms comes in handy if you read some of the other (admittedly academic) articles on film noir. I thought that thinking about the "point of view" does add an interesting element to thinking about how the story of a film is told. Having said that, the article is a "slog".
  16. It's interesting that Tom Neal came to a bad end in real life. Someone could probably make a really good neo-noir based on his life's story. The romance/infatuation with Barbara Payton, the fistfight where he put Franchot Tone in the hospital, his subsequent shunning by the Industry, Payton marrying Tone, but then going back to Neal, Payton's descent into drug addiction and prostitution, Neal ultimately killing his estranged wife (not Payton) and going to jail for murder, it's a dark, lurid tale. The stills posted by Thief12, fit with this story as well. Despite a plot that is borde
  17. Another note on reference books. I picked up the Taschen book at the National Gallery of Art, and it's a nice combination of movie stills from their "Top 100" (including new-noir) along with some notes about the movies. There's a couple of interesting essays in the opening, including a reprint of the famous one by Paul Schrader. It has lot's of visual style examples. http://www.taschen.com/pages/en/catalogue/film_music/all/43402/facts.film_noir_100_all_time_favorites.htm Now, back to the novels and movies. How about this quote from Raymond Chandler about James M. Cain? It's a good
  18. OK, "Street of No Return" goes on the book purchase list as well !! I enjoy reading noir as much as watching. Sometimes the "movie in your head" can be better !!
  19. Thanks to CJ for reminding us about all the films noir based on Cornell Woolrich. There's still a lot of Woolrich has written that has never been made into films (yet), but my guess is that readers of this board would create the film in their heads when they read him. The whole subject of authors and their work being turned into film noir is an interesting one. There's always a lot of discussion of Chandler and Hammett, and rightly so, but Cain, Woolrich, McCoy and the others also deserve our attention. Their fiction does not depend on the "detective" novel, but goes further in taking
  20. Terrific film. Thanks for the Goodis tip. I'll have a look and add him to the James M Cain and Cornell Woolrich reading list. Now, I'm interested in how Madge dies, too !! Agnes Moorehead is just so terrific in Dark Passage. One of Orson Welles' great discoveries. The Mercury Theater group also did radio, as well as stage. Are there aspects of radio that could have had an influence on noir?
  21. It seems like the documentary opening let's us know that the film intends to address a social problem or issue. It may do so through a fictional story, but it's letting us know that the issues in the story are real. Many otter noir films also deal with social issues, but they do so in the course of the story and it's characters. In this opening, the announcement that we're dealing with real issues is loud and clear. There seems to be some historical development within noir as it went from the hard-boiled detectives and melodramas, to more over themes around social justice.
  22. The music also seems to me to signal a change from realism to formalism, since the music is obviously not part of the actual sounds in the story (non-diegetic sound). The music does a great job of raising the tension of the boy running, and then the tension stops when we arrive at the prone body of the Swede cloaked in shadow.
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