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Everything posted by DCRinAZ

  1. The little black book is another icon in film that has been eliminated by modern technology: all you need need is your little black cell phone. And not only can you get phone numbers, but add apps for hook-ups with complete strangers! At least with the little black book, a person knew the other person they were going to call! Hmmm...maybe there's a place in neo-noir for the little black cell phone! DCR
  2. Note, there are some spoilers herein. But a spoiler should not ruin a good story, if you really like a good story! If The Third Man (1949) is my favorite all-time film noir, this one runs a close second. Really, it’s almost an equal. I have to take off some points because of some instances of overacting (which I accept in film noir, to a point), and the whoo-hoo kazoo sound when Frank Bigelow was checking into his room at the St. Francis Hotel, a real hotel that is still standing on Union Square in San Francisco. I understood that this was supposed to represent what Frank Bigelow was
  3. The Third Man (1949) is one of my favorite, all-time films, and my favorite film noir. Every aspect of the film is brilliantly conceived in every way a film should be from the cinematography to the acting. What makes it the best of film noir for me is exactly how disorienting it is and in ways that go beyond the typical film noir techniques of askew angles, low-key lighting, men in fedoras, the femme fatale, and the like. For example, one person on the blog commented that he did not like the music. I think that this is what Carol Reed wanted: to disturb the viewer not just visua
  4. The Third Man (1949) and D.O.A. (1950) (and please, never ever watch the 1988 remake in-title-only of this film. It is like comparing fine Champagne to kool-aid mixed with rubbing alcohol and club soda. Bad club soda.). Of course, then The Maltese Falcon (1941) and The Big Sleep (1946). In about that order.
  5. I was looking at one article (okay, I did not read it all the way throug, as I was looking for other data), but the gist I got from it was that African American films like In The Heat of the Night and Shaft, all in the sixties, were in the noir tradition. Why would they be later than the rest? Because of the discrimination in the Hollywood system, which undoubtedly suppressed the depiction of black protagonists or filmmakers in the 1940s or 1950s unless they were doing the so-called "race films" or making films independently. But things were changing in the 1960s. If this is so, that Afric
  6. Good movie. It was in color. But the color works if it is sort of grainy and washed out. It may have been because it was a bad print used by my TV station. But that's the type of color I like for film noir! I always thought two-strip Technicolor would be perfect for a noir movie in color!
  7. Not Kevin Costner! Argh! I really appreciate your thoughtful analysis. I do want to focus on your comments that I am reproducing below, because I agree with you. What you state is worth reading again: I completely agree with you here--but take especial note that we (and the Production Code itself) refer to the dominant culture's morality. Dominant, in this case, refers more in my opinion to social stature and power than to sheer numbers. I guess that this is my sticking point in this argument. I would argue that when a piece of art is centered on the experiences and moral codes of
  8. This is why I hate making response on my phone, instead of using a real computer. The keyboards are awful (I miss my BlackBerry!) and the letters are so darn small! And my eyesight is not what it used to be. Here is what I meant to say: Takoma1: there IS NO need to apologize, NOT "there us need to apologize". What the heck does that mean? I think your comments are well taken, intelligent, beautifully expressed. The only concern I had was that you had attributed something to me that I did not say, or mean to say. If it was taken in a certain way, perhaps it had to do with my being in
  9. Takoma1, there us need to apologize. Besides noir women never say "I'm sorry!" And your style if talking is great, just like a real film noir protagonists or femme fatale! Besides, you started a great line of discussion. All is cool! Let's have a shot of bourbon and keep up the talk!
  10. I am glad you poinnted this out. I suspected that Juano Hernández was Hispano, and you are correct in stating that Puertorriqueños, as well as most other Hispano-Americanos see culture before color, because within one nuclear family, you can get the whole spectrum of colors. That is not to say that there are not racists in Hispanic culture, there are. But it's more of a social class thing and not considered anything to be proud of, on the contrary. But this does show us that while noir tackled some of the social and personal issues of our country, it did not touch on, for the most part,
  11. Oh yeah: never ever drink vodka, only gin, preferably from a bathtub and only if whiskey/whisky is not available and if you're a girl. But real noir women, the down and out ones, drink whiskey.The only other booze that you can have is champagne, IF you are the femme fatale or la femme de désir sexuel, who usually are broads running in the upper crust. If they have champagne, you drink champagne. But your booze if choice, your go-to is always cheap, blended whiskey/whisky. No fruity, creamy or sweet girly drinks for you! Not even for any real noir woman!
  12. Here's a good drink for film noir fans and characters alike. You'll need the following ingredients: 1 crumpled, brown paper bag 1 bottle of rotgut, cheap, blended Scotch, Bourbon, or rye. If you're slightly high class, choose the scotch. If you're a loser in the dregs, get the rye. Insert the bottle in the bag. Open the bottle. Enjoy! And don't worry about that hangover in the morning.
  13. I think you have a great point, but I don't know if we have to see it as a noir painting. There are some articles that note the influence of German Expressionism on Edward Hopper, and one I've seen that also looks at the surrealist aspect of Hopper's work, including Nighthawks (see "Edward Hopper's "Nighthawks", Surrealism, and the War Gail Levin and Edward Hopper Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies 22.2, Mary Reynolds and the Spirit of Surrealism (1996), pp. 180-195+200, which brings me to another idea: surrealism in film noir. The link between German Expressionism and film noir h
  14. To be honest, as much as I like Bogart as Philip Marlowe, I prefer Dick Powell's interpretation better. I wish I could say that Robert Montgomery's take is quite good in The Lady in the Lake (1947), but I can't, because he ends up being more of a voice-over narrator than an actor with that overused 1st person point-of-view camera. At least he reads his lines really well.
  15. Takoma1, thanks for responding and clarifying. This is what good dialogue is all about. And you do bring up very important issues for our society. But remember that I had referred to the morality of the "dominant" culture, without personal value judgments as to whether or not they were good or bad. We do hae to remember that part of what drove film noir, though, was the Production Code. We can't forget how much it reflected the majority belief system of the dominant society in the United States at that time. It set up a standard of human behavior for U.S-American society as the official
  16. If you are going to attribute something to someone, make sure you get it right. I did not say that the United States was a more moral country. I said it had a moral code and belief system that was absolutist. And much of the United States was hypocritical in its moral stance, racism being one of the most obvious, evil and grievous. As a matter of fact, that evil is still with us in this country, as recent events have shown. That moral code not only oppressed minorities, but women. We certainly did not live the "all men are created equal" morality of our own Declaration of Independence.
  17. It is fun to discuss all this. But is knowing who murdered whom really the most important thing about watching this film? Isn't it really about seeing if Marlowe (Bogart) and Vivian (Bacall) end up together?
  18. I first saw these films when I was a kid. My mother was an old movie buff–her grandfather and his family owned some independent theatres in southern Arizona, so she grew up with films from the Golden Age–and there wasn’t much to do in Phoenix Arizona in the 1960s and 70s. So film on TV was big entertainment in our house. My problem was that as a kid I got Bogart as Sam Spade mixed up with Bogart as Philip Marlowe. It took me a while to sort them out. But I did eventually. Interestingly enough, although there has to be similarities in the two interpretations of the two different cha
  19. Wow, what an excellent suggestion! Pennies from Heaven does have many elements of Noir. I have to see it again now and look at it in the noir context. Thanks for the idea!
  20. When I first started gettting into films noirs, I would see a film with Dick Powell in the starring role, and skip it. Really? The 1930s song and dance man? He's a film noir protagonist? Yeah, right. My disbelief was incredible, and incredibly unfair. Then I started going to the TCM classic film festival and saw him in Cry Danger (1951). My bad. And I should have known better. I know not to judge anyone, but did anyway. My bad. He is wonderful in films noirs. Really, one of the best. And you are right. His interpretation of Philip Marlowe is classic.
  21. Could film noir save cinema again? Okay, here's my short, to-the-point answer: probably not and I don't think so, not at this time. So if you just want my opinion nice and easy, there it is. However, if you'd like to read why I believe this, please continue! I hope my comments give you food for thought. And at least spark an interesting discussion! So here are my reasons for not believing film noir can save cinema today: Before we can answer that, we need to consider some aspects of films noirs. And the interesting tthing about noir was this: while it showed the darkness of life, the d
  22. From Merriam-Webster.com: cynical beliefs : beliefs that people are generally selfish and dishonest pessimism: a feeling or belief that bad things will happen in the future : a feeling or belief that what you hope for will not happen. So they are not interchangeable.
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