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Kim S.

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About Kim S.

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  1. As far as the city being unnamed, the first thing i noticed was the streets are deserted. Dix is the only person we see on the streets. The is very little signage on any of the buildings. The diner (noir trademark) is labeled as "American Food". The alleyways have rubble/trash on the sides/gutters. The music in the diner is also trademark noir. There seems to be a slight suspicion of the cops by the diner proprietor. The cops trump up a charge for Dix, showing the police corruption we see in these later films. The lineup is rigged too. Only three men, one of whom obviously isnt tall. As far as the Asphalt Jungle, the first part is easy. There's not a tree in sight. And the jungle alludes to it being a rather wild place. It could also be a reference to it being hard to escape. Darwin's idea of "survival of the fittest" also comes to mind. Until we get to the diner, I must say that this is the most generic and open set I've seen yet.
  2. This one is tricky, but looks fantastic! We have a man doing household work for a womam; nice originality. He crosses things off his list. He is honest. He is familiar with the house but doesn't need to snoop. He takes his money and puts sonething else away. As soon as I saw the mirror, I was on more familiar ground. The music takes a dark and ominous turn. Howard's facial expressions show shock/horrot/revulsion. We don't immediately need to see what is beyond the door;it's obvious. But the reveal as the door opens is classic. Then Howard becomes a man on the run. Why doesn't he just call the police? He has a legitimate reason for being in the house and I am sure that could be easily verified. Is he an ex-con afraid of being blamed? That could make sense. But he seems scared out of his wits. Or perhaps that's one of those "if that didn't happen there wouldn't be a movie" questions.
  3. The train comes right into the viewers' faces. (Could that be a precursor to 3d or do I have my timeline off?) There's a man in a trench coat and hat barking orders at people. When questioned, he fires back retorts quickly. The timing on the dialogue is rapid-fire. Also the way they describe the woman - dame, dish, etc. all point to noir. I can see how this is an attempt to cash in with people already familiar with the genre. They know what to expect and I'm thinking that's exactly what they will get. I also see this kind of thing often in modern film. It explains why people like Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler still have careers. Give the people what they want. I don't mean to sound disrespectful about this particular film; it just reminds me of a mindset that Hollywood seems to have adopted, completely to its detriment.
  4. The introductory music sounds "official". I tried to come up with a better word but couldn't. It is the type of music you would hear if you were watching a show about the FBI. The robber is well-dressed and looks like he would blend in with the other bank patrons. He is wearing a dark colored suit, but the sunshine/lighting shows all the patrons as white. This clearly identifies him as the "bad guy". He seems to have this meticulously planned and organized. He doesn't write anything down at first. The checkmarks detail exactly how long he has been tracking/planning. Even the words themselves are meticulously written. They seem like block characters. It reminds me of how draftsmen have to write their numbers in a standardized way on a blueprint. And that's what that document is. But this is the world of noir. The only perfect crime would be one that didn't happen.
  5. Plenty of resentment and go around here. The key word is in the title of the show - yesterday. The original first person POV makes the boxing all too vivid. As he sits, enrapt in the "big chair", his wife sits in the background. She took a back seat to boxing before and didn't mind, but boy does she mind now. One thing this brought to mind was an argument I've repeatedly heard - TV will replace film. This debate still continues today, as some people (me included) would rather wait and see a film on DVD than theatrically. TVs were also going to split up the family unit - and that is shown here. It is more important to watch the fight than eat. TV and cinema have always been at war, yet theaters still stand. The final shot, with his face full frame, is a low shot. Driscoll does look very menacing - but not enough to hit his wife (which he probably would have if this was a pre-war film).
  6. It seems that these three people used to be friends. Sam and Martha were a couple but Sam left to wander. It seems that Martha preferred security and went with Walter -her "sure thing". Walter is a successful DA, but just seeing Sam is enough to raise insecurities. These insecurities are magnified once Sam reunites with Martha. Walter is NOT happy with this. Martha does stand by her man, but its possible that the reunion could give her second thoughts -or maybe not. I noticed that rather than offer Sam a drink, they compare notes (yes, that's a euphemism) and once Sam has acknowledged Walter did well, he gets "talked into" the drink. Also, Sam has one drink while Walter has three. I get the feeling that Walter is a big fish in a small pond, but Sam's world is much bigger - hence the need of the favor. I can see this story going in several different directions - none of which are good.
  7. I am so glad this film was restored. There can never be enough films. Too many have been lost already. The music is dramatic, but not as frantic as other films. The mile marker looks like something out of a crypt, in my opinion. I notice as the couple is driving they don't seem to be that close. He doesn't have his arm around her and she isn't leaning into him. It is clear to me that if these two are married, the marriage isn't a happy one. He wants to make an impression on someone, and his wife clearly doesn't enjoy the company of these people. He refuses at first to turn the car around, but eventually gives in. The suitcase being thrown into the car shows how random things are in this world. Everything can depend on a turn that is or isn't made. I did find it of particular interest that she is behind the wheel during the chase. I'm sure the proper owners of the suitcase want their property back. I have a feeling this could have been a ransom drop, but i might be wrong. This shows the assertiveness that women were now free to display and ties into the changing role of women we have been discussing.
  8. Unlike last week's DDs, I see no desperation here. These two men aren't pushed by anything except the clock/departure of the train. Both men initially walk diagonally. The train tracks split, which means to me we are going someplace slightly off course. It is important to notice we don't see faces initially, adding to the idea that everything is based upon chance. In the world of noir, as we well know, one wrong turn/decision changes everything and seals fates. I also notice the absence of shadow. To me this is where Hitch is above the rest. Like all great illusionists, Hitch is the captain of misdirection. We see one thing but it's actually something else. This perfectly fits with noir.
  9. The first thing I see is a tall building which makes the man look extremely small. He enters the building with a purposeful stride, which means his business must be urgent. Nothing new there. The hallways of the Police Department look like a labyrinth. Bigelow could be a rat in a maze. The "man in charge" is illuminated, similar to the way the interrogated people have bright lights shone in their faces. As Bigelow speaks, the captain doesn't hesitate to believe his outlandish tale, which makes no sense. The final image, the water, I take to mean either everything going down the drain or that the viewer is about to go right down the rabbit hole.
  10. At first I had no idea where I was. The credits were actually distracting;I would have rather seen them presented differently. When we see our protagonist, she looks completely out of place and scared to death. As the other women disembark from the paddywagon they faceless - almost irrelevant. Moorehead, however, seems to know the routine inside and out. I can see her possibly takibg our heroine under her wing. The women all turn around in unison to take the one last look. I feel this bonds them together as a unit.
  11. The power here belongs tothe hitch hiker, who is clearly an experienced criminal. The reference to "heroes" means he has done this many times, and he knows what he is doing. That is scary all by itself. His voice is authoritative and monotone. The hitcher has a reason to hitch, and there is no desperation, unlike yesterday's film. Love the fact thay you don't really see him until you need to. The fact that the gun in th e trunk isn't grabbed shows how much these men recognize the power of the criminal. The spotlights on the faces do show a much darker world.
  12. The credits aren't the only thing backward here. There is a shoeless woman in a trench coat. No sound but the slapping of bare feet against the road (sound vs silence and naked vs clothed). It is clear that the woman will sacrifice herself to get away. (Life vs death) The only time there is sound is on Hammer's car radio with the crooning of Nat King Cole. (Smooth voice vs ragged breathing) It is important to note the DJ is female with a sultry voice (covertly erotic) against the trench coated naked woman (overtly erotic) Hammer seems to be different from Spade and Marlowe. I'm not sure how yet (I vaguely recall a Stacy Keach Mike Hammer show as a kid). He is obviously annoyed with this Woman, but instead of his first concern being her, it is his car.%2
  13. This is the only film this week where one character starts out alone and then calls out for someone else. Cotten wanders down the streetcalling for someone who he thinks is following him. We do not know who or why. We see a cut to a pair of shoes and a cat. (I am interpreting this to mean we are playing a game of "cat and mouse". When we finally see Welles' face, it is spotlighted. It is the only thing in the frame that is not dark. There is no pan like with Turner's entrance. It's the complete opposite of Kathi coming in from the sun, as he is shrouded by darkness. He has a smirk on his face, letting me know he already knows Cotten. (Later confirmed by Cotten himself). It is also worth noting this is the only clip this week void of conversation between the two characters but not communication. There is no verbal sparring like we had with Lorre and Greenstreet. But Welles says it all with his face. The game is already afoot -even if Cotten isn't aware he is being played.
  14. We start with a voice over, as always. There's steam in the background. Even though it's daytime, we know there's something seedy about to go down. We know we are in California, a metro for noir. The initial exchange shows Garfield's character to be friendly and likable and talkative. But he is also a traveler and philosopher, someone who doesn't want to stay in one place long (byhis own omission). Garfield's entrance is done externally and brightly lit. It's a logical deduction that he is a good guy, considering the DA picked him up. Then again, this is noir and all is NEVER as it seems. Turner's Entrance (proper noun intentional) is in shadow. The pan starts at her feet and legs, cut to Garfield's perspiring face, then to her whole body, standing provacatively in white. But Garfield is ready to play. She has to come to him. And as she does, his world stops to distraction. That hamburger steam is no accident. There will be much more sizzling to come.
  15. It is Lorre's room because he has the key. Nice internal monologue that he voices (for want of a better word, an aside). He exters with shadows behind him and heightening music. Something isn't right here. The room has been ransacked.There is a pan from one side of the room to another. It reminds me of the "in this corner" boxing entrances. These men are about to do battle -verbally. When Greenstreet enters, it is well lit, framing him almost in the background. The camera plays with Greenstreet's size. Small on the entrance, then eventually going to a low shot later where his body is the only thing in the frame. I think it's supposed to show he has the power -or thinks he does. Lorre doesnt seem intimidated in the least though. He writes Greenstreet off - he is either a thief or drunk. Greenstreet's voice flies through the dialogue. I can almost hear a touch of a brogue accent. Part of the exchange is shot over Lorre's shoulder -in shadows. He is hiding something, even though he declares it wasn't meant to be hidden. Lorre doesn't submit to Greenstreet as he does in Falcon. Lorre is holding his own, almost nonchalant as her lays on the bed smoking. For Greenstreet's part, he doesn't have anyone else with him. He must think he can handle Lorre alone. Probably not his best idea. I am so grateful for this class, so I can see more of these actors. I love Casablanca and now I see how all this chemistry came about. I am learning so much I feel my head will explode!
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