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Everything posted by Kathleen

  1. Spanking was an acceptable form of punishment. The remake was made by a woman, Alice Guy Blache, who remade many Lumiere films in learning the industry for herself. Perhaps she felt retaliation (an eye for an eye - or in this case an eye full of water for an eye full of water) for punishment would be a better ending or may have fit her personality.
  2. I loved this clip (either version) because it was Lumiere showing the lighter side of everyday life.
  3. This golden girl creates trouble right from the start. Like Christina in Kiss Me Deadly, who was also a blonde, Jane almost causes a car crash but then takes over to drive like a bat out of hell. The lighting accentuates the golden tones in Jane's hair unlike the key lighting on Christina. At first I thought the "thing" tossed into the back seat might have been a bomb. Undoubtedly that is exactly what the director wanted the audiences at that time to be thinking to enhance the tension. First scare: possible bomb; second scare: threat from unknown assailants. This is life played out on th
  4. The saying that begins, "Oh what a tangled web we weave," is what I think when I see the train tracks criss cross. When I think of a Hitchcock film, I think suspense - not noir. I believe Hitchcock is a special case because he uses sounds, music, lighting and costume to depict ordinary people as ordinary people in ordinary circumstances and does not create the illusions that we usually see in noir. He does not put the characters in black to show their noir hearts. In this scene we see the two men in different colors than we would expect in a noir film. They board a train but unlike the
  5. This film noir personifies existential despair. A doomed man walking a long, somewhat dimly lit hallway. Although there may be people in the building, we do not see anyone. Like the open roads in the previous clips, this long walk down an empty hallway exemplifies the helplessness of this man's situation. He is alone literally and figuratively. The music sets the tone with the forcefulness and crashing cymbals. The hallways are lit so that the shadows create diagonal lines across the floor. Time is of the essence. We do not see a clock in this scene but we are told that there is ver
  6. Usually we see men in prison. The darkness and enclosed feeling from this opening scene allowing us to see the rest of the world as we are taken away from it through only the small, screened window and hearing the shrieking siren tells us we are in for a horrible experience. The look of anguish, fear, curiosity and helplessness on the woman's face as she looks at the building helps us to understand what we may never (hopefully) feel about her present existence. We expect to see men - rough and tough - scowling at the building and putting up a gruff exterior but now in this changed world we
  7. The mood is set by the background music - somber and perhaps tense. The music stops when the pistol is shown and the real tension begins. We see the antagonist only in shadow even as he ducks into the car keeping his face hidden from us in the darkness. Even after all the faces are shown with diffused key lighting, his face is still moving in and out of the shadows. This is unlike many of the films noir where we see the central character in a spotlight of key lighting to show us exactly who we are up against. The opening of Kiss Me Deadly and this scene are similar because we kn
  8. This is true desperation, madness, and hopefulness. The credits are moving us down the road of noir showing us just enough into the future to see the constant stream of clues. Christina is not the typical asylum escapee. She is naked under a trench coat but modest. She is not disheveled and acting wild and demented. Mike is upset and mildly gruff but a decent person. We are not shown much more than the road, the characters (spotlight on Christina), and the car which is typical for a film noir. The radio is playing a great song for film noir, "I'd rather have the blues," by Nat King Col
  9. Orson Welles standing in the dark only to be seen when a single light is turned on. And then off again. Then he disappears completely. It would drive me insane if I had a friend as fiendish as Lime. And what a name! Orson was right to showcase himself with a spotlight and grin. It isn't that the shots are angled; they didn't need to be since the streets and buildings are. The use of lighting is especially effective because of the contrast of the wall being so well lit but the street above is not. Even the cat is black and white. Shadows are devious. The sound of his feet stamping se
  10. Talk about getting burned! She enters wearing all white like Kathie Moffat. A wolf in sheep's clothing. She stands just inside the doorway somewhat in the shadows. Do I need to mention the tension? His entrance is marked by foreshadowing also. Given a ride by the district attorney and given the farewell greeting, "Maybe I'll be seeing you again."
  11. Peter Lorre walks in by himself, talking to himself, in a rather jovial mood. He portrays a lot of movement by tossing his hat up and down. He is well lit in a rather dim hallway. Our focus is strictly on Lorre. On the other hand, Sydney Greenstreet enters in a somber, straightforward walk with a bit of haste. The noir influence is seen in the upward angle as Greenstreet is speaking. And there is a light casting a prism of smaller lights like the flash of gunfire on the wall behind Lorre as his speech pattern is heightened to show intensity amidst the calm of Greenstreet's voice. The
  12. I noticed how everything we saw had straight lines: the road below and the tree and building. But then, as Jeff is on the bus everything starts to become angled and closed in. We can see everything in focus inside the cantina while Jeff is sitting alone. However, after the shooting closes in on Jeff and Kathie, everything else is out of focus. When Kathie enters she is all lightness like a virtuous girl, sweetness and innocence. Similar to westerns wherein the good wear white. She even seems to have a halo as she walks beneath the light fixture as she enters. This effect is not seen
  13. Anthony Mann uses the same (or similar) typography for this film as he uses in the western The Man From Laramie. It resembles wood with its jagged edges and is slanted forward to show momentum. The documentary style has the same powerful voiceover that commands us to understand the importance of what we are about to witness. The quick pacing of the shots of the land below mirror the urgency of the narration as we hear words and phrases such as: runs through the desert, life-giving artery, wasteland, great, important, manpower, army of workers. No, this is not a bleak urban jungle; i
  14. This scene depicts the switch back and forth between realism and formalism as we are drawn into the diner and into the action within. First we are outside the diner, looking in just as the customer is outside looking in. However, we find ourselves seated at the end of the counter observing the killers conversing with the server. Then we become the server watching the killers leave but become observers when the server releases the hostages in the back room. As observer our sense of terror is enhanced by the music as the music becomes louder and increases tempo in unison with the friend run
  15. Rita Hayworth is a talented actress playing Gilda as an untalented performer. Gilda is acting as the talent and putting on a show for Johnny. She wants to hurt him with her "act;" Gilda's ****-coo is designed to slew Johnny. And putting the "blame on Mame" seems to mirror her relationship with Johnny. I'm not sure I am clear yet about how music, or at least as it is used in this film, has influence on noir. Perhaps it contributes to the fact that these people are trying to hurt each other through music. Gilda certainly wants to use her style of dance and teasing the men in the audience t
  16. Noir influence is seen in how the tension builds. First we see the daughter laid back and relaxed; she is happy with her greedy self. Mother walks in and the realization (then confrontation) slowly builds. Mildred tries to get closer to her daughter but Veda keeps moving away. As the argument escalates the camera closes in. Curtiz uses close-ups so we can see the "cheap and horrible" hatred in Veda's eyes. The camera then shows Mildred in close-up to see her horrified reaction. The movements and speech quicken as the tension rises. Daughter moves up (the stairs) and away from her mothe
  17. The pendulum is slow and constant until the hour (of death) strikes. It is mesmerizing. The face of the clock was like the moon in The Letter watching the protagonist. This clock is large and impressive like a grandfather clock, yet open with no cabinet holding it in. This allows the pendulum to be the focal point. Time may move slowly but it is always moving forward into the future. You must keep going and stay on time. Time can also set you free. In comparison to the opening of M, the Ministry of Fear also focuses on the clock striking the hour. They both feature only two adul
  18. Marlowe is clever and wily. He speaks like an everyday man who is not particularly interested in his work and is more than particularly interested in the opposite sex. His speech pattern and body language show he has a relaxed attitude and astute mind. He is intelligent but not overtly self-assured. Marlowe fits well within the film noir context because like other detectives he has the hard boiled edge; he just doesn't show it unless it is absolutely necessary. As an important contribution, this scene depicts Marlowe as an approachable fellow who gets along with others. He has an a
  19. Lydecker describes his apartment as lavish and I would agree. Unlike the dark, foreboding, and sometimes minimalist beginnings that many films noir depict, this film begins by showing opulence. The characters and surroundings are appealing. If this was shot in color, would it have made a difference to the overall "noir" effect? This film reminds me of American Beauty. I was startled that Lydecker would allow a stranger to enter when he is naked in the tub. It was just as attention-grabbing as the sound of gunshots or screech of a train to shock me to attention. It made me wonder what ty
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