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About nattygann37

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  1. I'm a fan of the "Canteen" movies of the 1940s. Stage Door Canteen, Hollywood Canteen. These have some great musical acts and show celebrities interfacing with everyday people in a way that was not as common after WWII. I hear there's a Cowboy Canteen too - have not seen that one yet.
  2. I really enjoy Lady Be Good (1941), for showing the ups and downs of a married couple who are also a songwriting team, watching the budding acting careers of Ann Sothern and Robert Young (before he was Father Knows Best or Marcus Welby MD), watching the acerbic judge who won't allow their 2nd divorce (Lionel Barrymore), and the delightful songs. But I really DON'T think "The Last Time I Saw Paris" fits well in the film, much lauded though it may be.
  3. I agree, David Letterman is a direct descendent of Groucho Marx, down to the cigar.
  4. I also enjoyed Berlin Express as a new "find" from this course. It got me wondering whether Agatha Christie had ever seen it, vis a vis Murder on the Orient Express. Other new favorites for me include La Bete Humaine, High Wall, The Set-Up, and 99 River Street. Films I had seen before but gained a new appreciation for include Gun Crazy, Out of the Past, and Dark Passage. Bacall said in an interview she considers it the weakest of the films she did with Bogart, with which I used to agree. Now I'm thinking I might put this one above To Have and Have Not, in spite of the hokey plastic surgery gimmick. Films I didn't like all that much but am glad to have had exposure to are Born to Kill, The Stranger, the Hitch-Hiker, Too Late for Tears, and The Long Goodbye. I've never been a big Robert Altman fan, but this may be the film of his I like the best. I enjoyed his and Elliott Gould's take on Marlowe.
  5. Hi thanks for posting. I love noir westerns, especially Pursued (1947). What time on July 24 and 25 will Mr. Meuel be guest at The Silver Screen Oasis? Any special sign up instructions required? I work during the day Friday but will try to join in Saturday if I can. Thanks. Join us in welcoming David Meuel, the author of the new book, The Noir Western: Darkness on the Range 1943-1962 (McFarland, 2015) to The Silver Screen Oasis for a discussion of this intriguing development in film during the mid-20th Century. The dates are Friday July 24 and Saturday July 25
  6. How fortunate you got to see Laura for the first time when you were just 12 years old! I was an adult when I first saw it, but it has since become one of my favorite noirs. I liked how you referenced the Clute and Edwards podcast on Laura. In it, Mr. Edwards says so poignantly that Laura has both "shimmering beauties" and "hideous and ugly truths" which to me is one of the reasons I really like it; not all noir pictures have "shimmering beauties" against which to contrast their darkness. Preminger was interested in the "gimmick" of this film--I regrettably don't have the source at the moment but that is what he said about why he was attracted to the film. He liked the non-traditional plot twist at the center of the film, which I won't state here for those who haven't seen it yet. Another point you might make with your brother is that as we learned in one of our previous units, noir isn't just about visual style. It also has to do with narrative structure and components such as flashbacks and voice-overs. Laura has both of these. I also think the segments with Waldo, especially after Laura has started cancelling her dates with him, and he starts taking in personally, are the most noir-ish in the film visually, more so than those with Detective MacPherson, or Shelby, or the other characters. Consider the scene where Waldo throws his cigarette in the fireplace, and when he goes out for a walk in the snow and spies Laura with someone in her apartment. These scenes have remarkable play of light and shadow. Plus, Joseph LaShelle won the Oscar for cinematography for this film. Yes, the film is classically staged and even static in some respects, a drawing room who-dun-it. But as Clute and Edwards point out it is an important transitional film because it's translating light from Hollywood's Golden Age (just check out those Tierney closeups) toward a more skeptical and even sinister time reflected in later films such as Sunset Blvd. and Out of the Past. LaShelle's cinematography leans more toward the classical than does say Musuraca's in Out of the Past. But Laura has a Black Pony in her cabinet, so she's not all cream cheese and sunshine.
  7. I agree that The Long Goodbye and Marlowe could not be watched together in one sitting. One has to be in a completely different frame of mind to appreciate each film on its own merits. I had not seen The Long Goodbye in its entirety before either, never having been a big Altman fan. Perhaps it's only my cross-over interest in noir films and crime fiction bolstering my opinion here, but this was the best of any Altman film I've seen. It had coherent tethers to plot, action, and a pre-existing literary character in the form of Marlowe that made it watchable, albeit in an "It's okay by me" kind of slo-mo.
  8. Just seeing where this winds up.

  9. Funny how life can upend our expectations. I chose Stranger on the Third Floor as the film in the welcome survey that I was most looking forward to seeing in the June 5 lineup, mostly because someone had mentioned it to me years ago as a seminal noir film, and since it was not readily available at the time, I had never seen it. I had fewer expectations for La Bete Humaine, though I had also never seen that one. Sufficice it to say I was bowled over by La Bete Humaine, and with the exception of Peter Lorre's scary expressions on the stairs, less impressed by Stranger on the Third Floor. I found the trope of the almost-married couple at the center of the story and the attempts via their characterization to inject humor or normalcy into the narrative to fall flat. The film was a bit campy. But I respect its place in the noir history. La Bete Humaine, on the other hand, had muscle and energy and powerful cinematography, mise-en-scene, and a surprising plot twist at the end. It felt performed fully, whereas Stranger on the Third Floor felt merely staged. The presentation of the day-to-day lives of the couples in La Bete Humaine makes no awkward attempt at humor, though there are small moments of delight. I would come back to that one again and again.
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