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Everything posted by DCRinAZ

  1. I have seen Eddie Muller speak and open films at the TCM Classic Film Festivals. He is excellent in that venue, too. And he is the one who made me think that perhaps some of Hitchcock's films are noir as he included one in some films noirs he was listing.
  2. You make a good point, but here is my problem: in terms of the standard social morality of the 1940s (and 50s and somewhat in the 60s), is the mother any more moral than the daughter? The mother slaps the daughter for a transgression, the daughter later slaps the mother. The daughter seems to ape what the mother does, to be an exagerrated version of the mother. The mother is concerned about money, the daughter is obsessed with it. The mother want her daughters to be high class, Veda is ardent in her desire to of the privileged class. The daughter mother has an affair, while still married,
  3. My definition of a femme fatale is not broad. And my definitions are not mine per se. I looked up the words, I know what they mean in French and how they are applied in English. She if a woman of fate, who brings about a person's fate, and fate usually has a negative connotation, One can infer that from the definitions I gave. So you have a definition that is not mine, according to what you say. This poses a question: what is your definition and on what do you base it? It also poses a problem, if we cannot agree on terms, we are speaking two different languages. If up to you means down
  4. I have to agree: the 1st Person POV worked sometimes. The barrel scene was good. Just doing half the film in it got to be annoying, after a while.
  5. If one has SiriuxXM, one can listen to Radio Classics, which oftentimes plays those Noir-type radio broadcasts. They are a hoot. And just as entertaining as film. As a matter of fact, many films, noir and others, were reproduced for radio back then. I encourage everyone who can to check this out. It's great fun! And perhaps your mind will be able to visualize these stories in a way that no film director could!
  6. In Jungian psychology, there is a concept called "enantiadromia" which he explains as: "In the philosophy of Heraclitus it [enantiodromia] is used to designate the play of opposites in the course of events—the view that everything that exists turns into its opposite." (see: He bases in on a ancient concept in Greek philosophy, as noted, and it also features importantly in Confucian thought, as the I Ching, the ancient Chinese oracle and philosophical text, is largely based on a similar concept. So while the ticking of the clock adds tension, anticipation, and even apprehension, dread
  7. You have to remember that Veda, while she is an awful human being, was made that way. Her desire for money is a value she obviously learned from her mother. In any case, Veda's story is largely told in flashback by Mildred, so it is not objective. Why would Veda want to get away? Why would Veda be such a snob? Who taught her these things?
  8. Well, I finally did it: I watched Mildred Pierce (1945) again after years and and years of not seeing it, at least all the way through. It is an example of the excellent visual story telling that Hollywood did in its heyday, something I think has been lost to most directors today. But since this class is about film noir, I have to insist that although Mildred Pierce is a fine, classic Hollywood melodrama, it is not film noir. It uses film noir visuals (scenes that are more darkness and dark shadows and less light, strange and askew angles, the shot looking up the center of the spiral stairc
  9. Many women in non-noir Production Code films were also treated as property to be kept and displayed as prizes. But merely being a woman who refused to be these things does not make a woman in a film a femme fatale. For instance, I think we can argue that many of Kathryn Hepburn's roles (she wore pants) showed a woman's character that refused to be merely chattel or a trophy. But her roles certainly were not noir, nor were here films. So it is important to give a clear definition of what it means to not just be a femme (woman or wife in French), but fatale, of fate, of a preordained an
  10. Who is the femme fatale in Mildred Pierce? Is there one? For us to answer that, we do have get a grip on what the term “femme fatale,” literally, “woman of fate” or "fatal woman" means and give it some kind of historical context. George Ross Ridge, in his article “The ‘Femme Fatale’ in French Decadence” (The French Review, Vol. 34, No. 4 (Feb., 1961), pp. 352-360), states: In "Les Metamorphoses du Vampire," from Les Fleurs du mal, Charles Baudelaire casts modern man and woman in a graphic scene which is to obsess writers of the French decadence. Man is a we
  11. Be Thank you! This is an excellent analysis! I still think it's a melodrama flavored with noir style. But your comments about the boundaries of noir are right on the button. This film helps us explore and understand what is film noir and what is not.
  12. Common characteristics do not make different things the same things. We have arms, hands, feet and binocular vision. So do chimpanzees. And greed, jealousy, murder, bullying are not unique to Film Noir, if so, a number of Akira Kurosawa's films would be film noir (hey, now that's an idea: Japanese noir!), to give an example. I think we have to interpret professor Edwards observation about film noir as genre, style, and movement (linked to a particular historical period) as being an intersect of all these classifications. When a film shows elements of noir genre, noir style and is in the n
  13. You are probably right, I should view it again. And since it is on this Friday, I'll see it again. But I see it is a story of a mother and daughter, and their struggles. Frankly, I have seen it a long time ago, because of its classic status, but I really can't stand Joan Crawford. So I have avoided it. In any case, I would have never thought of it as noir
  14. I have a real problem with classifying Mildred Pierce (1945) as film noir. To me, it's just a story of a long suffering, self-sacrificing mother and her bitterly ungrateful daughter. It's a tragic chick flick. Okay, there's a murder. But so what? There are murders in lots of movies that aren't noir. Heck, I'd say that Mommie Dearest (1981) is more noir, as two innocent children are sent on a fatalistic life trajectory of darkness and terror with little hope of escape. It's even more noir when you consider that it subverts the public image that Joan Crawford and the studiosh had tried so
  15. Interestingly enough, when we looked at the opening of Fritz Lang’s M (1931), it also starts with a voice-over (a child chanting a verse) in blackness. So does Laura (1944). It introduces “noir” (black, blackness, thus darkness) right away. It’s an interesting strategy for starting a film. It is almost as if the filmmaker is, like God, creating a world from nothing. “All was darkness and the void” and then God said, “let there be light”: there is darkness, nothing, then a voice speaks, which brings about light and starts the story of mankind. In the little world of these motion pictures,
  16. Shakespearegirl, your observation about how Lydecker looks, in comparison to his apartment, is crucial to understanding his psyche. He is small, skinny, ratty looking. We all know how children and men who are slight and homely are treated by many in society. Right or wrong, that is the way most of the world is. But he has two gifts: a tremendous intellect and the ability to communicate, which he uses as his tools and weapons to compete in the world. His first, sarcastic remarks to the detective Mark McPherson show his precision with words and how he uses them as a fencer uses a foi. The
  17. C'est vrai. But who serves whom? Does the machine serving man better mankind? Or does mankind end up being a slave to the machine? That is why I believe that the scene showing a momentary contrast and respite from the city and railyard is crucial in understanding Jacques's disassociation and illness. So does modern society and industrialization cause humans to devolve to a lower state? We have to remember one of the main ideas behind civilization, and found rooted in religion and philosophy, is that humans are not animals. We come from animals, but aspire to heaven. So, ironically, doe
  18. Well, although we live in an age of film in which it is not uncommon for filmmakers to try to surprise the audience, this still is a surprising opening for a film, even 75 cynical and inured years later. The opening shot of Indonesian working men on what is obviously a rubber plantation getting ready for sleep in their dormitory, the calming effect of seeing this is completely blown away by the sound of a gunshot, then seeing the man who was shot stumbling out of the door of the main house and down the stairs of the porch--the house that has to be of the European imperialists--then being foll
  19. Frankly, I am very glad that this course has started with European antecedents to to American Film Noir. Like everything else in the Americas, Film Noir started off as an immigrant and was modified by the peculiarities of the American environment. Thanks for this!
  20. Winonaww, your relating the train to the “Age of industry,” as you put it, is quite insightful, as are your associations of the locomotive with “figurative as well as literal motion,” and “mechanized factories” with “keeping people at home, working.” Yet, at the same time, both the factory, (which really is a metaphor for the modern industrial city) and the train do the exact opposite of what they are ostensibly supposed to do: the train in fact concentrates and isolates people; the city makes them move, if not literally, figuratively or emotionally. To really capture this in this film,
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