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huttwigley

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About huttwigley

  • Rank
    Member
  • Birthday 03/15/1969

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Boise, Idaho
  • Interests
    I make stop-motion animated films.
  1. When I think of "jungles" I think of wild, untamed places teeming with life, and generally inhospitable to men and women. Sure, men and women could probably carve out an existence in the jungle, but it would be tenuous at best. From the title, I garner a wild, untamed, inhospitable place for men and women, but for instead of wilderness, it is an urban environment. We have the suit and fedora-clad man, presumably "on the lam". We have the covert "gun hand-off" with the clerk at the coffee shop. We have the victim of a robbery at the police line-up being strong-armed into "fingering" a particular guy by a police detective. Wix obviously has some kind of history with the coffee shop proprietor, as the proprietor hid Wix' gun for him. Also, as the police "crier" is listing off Wix' criminal history, we realize he's done time, escaped, been re-captured, served out his sentence, then was released. Having not yet seen the movie in it's entirety, I'm going to surmise that Wix knows some people from his time in the "the joint" or has partners from previous capers. We will likely be introduced to them and backstabbing and double-crossing will be hard and heavy!
  2. Snippet of conversation between the two characters in trench coats and fedoras: -“What about this dame, Mr. Crytsal Ball?” -“A dish.” -“What Kind of a dish?” -“Sixty-cent Special. Cheap. Flashy. Strictly poison under the gravy.” -“Amazing. How do you know all this?” -“Well, she was married to a hoodlum, wasn’t she?” Oh, man! TOTAL convention of the "Hard-Boiled School" of dialog!!! But... I don't care, I still LOVE it! The slang may be dated, but you can totally pick the meanings out from the context.
  3. We see the mastermind of a heist planning the timetable for the caper... I love the camera angles: The wide shot from above showing the people gathered for the bank's opening. The cut to the plans with the events' timetable listed as the mastermind ticks off the events. I would've liked an OTS shot of the mastermind looking out the window at the bank entrance below to establish just that much more continuity... But Technical limitations were what they were back when this film was shot. Capers and heists always make good fodder for Films Noir! Generally speaking, characters of questionable moral fortitude are brought together and greed eventually gets the better of the more fiendish members of the groups. Drama, intrigue, deceit and violence inevitably follow.
  4. First, Ernie watches himself take a physical beating on the TV. Then we watch as Ernie takes a verbal beating from Pauline. The verbal beating can be as bad, if not worse, to a proud person. The camera views early in the boxing sequence have a lot of close ups and reaction shots of the boxers. Then, once we establish that Ernie is watching on TV, the shots are wider showing overall views of the action as you would expect to see it on TV. The interactions between Pauline and Ernie are, initially, wider shots, but as their discussion heats up, there are close ups and reaction shots similar to the opening shots of the boxing sequence.
  5. I love the sequence of Nick running to The Swede's apartment. The view from The Swede's window of Nick approaching, then panning the apartment to cover Nick's entry was genius. It really built suspense and was fantastic from a technical standpoint!
  6. In the opening scene of "The Big Sleep", we see that Marlowe is witty, brutally honest and sarcastic. He also doesn't care who knows it. I have yet to see "The Maltese Falcon" in it's entirety, so I can't really comment on Bogart's portrayal of Sam Spade Vs. Phillip Marlowe. I enjoy Raymond Chandler's "Marlowe" novels a great deal and have read them all (Including "Poodle Springs") several times. I really enjoyed the 1946 theatrical version of "The Big Sleep" even though it deviated slightly from the novel. I've read Hammett's "The Maltese Falcon" (And I'm currently in the process of reading it a second time!) and, while the Spade character and the Marlowe character are definitely cut from the same cloth, they are most assuredly unique characters. Having read both "The Maltese Falcon" and "The Big Sleep" novelizations, I am definitely more of a "Marlowe" fan than a "Spade" fan.
  7. The thing that strikes me most is how the scene degenerates so quickly from "Light-hearted, fun musical number" to "semi-violent drama". Throughout her musical number, I caught myself repeatedly trying to ascertain what was keeping Rita Hayworth's gown in place, so I had to watch this scene a couple times for all the other nuances to sink in. A particular theme I notice in a number of Films Noir are the inclusion of a nightclub setting that serves as a cover for the nefarious business of the criminal element. I would also maintain that if a poll was taken of the clientele, that there would be law enforcement officials, judges and politicians among them (as has been established by other films where a criminal-owned nightclub is the norm!) These nightclubs often feature musical numbers and have nearly become cliche.
  8. I've also noticed the "documentary-style opening" in a bunch of Police Procedural and heist films of this era. To me, the purpose is to establish location and add another level of plausiblity to the story. Now, I'm not sure of the chronology of this technique, but if it is one of the first opening film sequences using it, then it sets the style for all the Police Procedurals and Heist movies I've watched that have similar openings.
  9. There is often something monotonous going on in the backgrounds of Films' Noir opening credit sequences. From the moment the camera fades in to the shot of the clock's pendulum, to the point where Neale says, "You know, it's interesting to watch the last minute crawl by..." is actually a little OVER a minute. This makes the Doctor's quip of "I've always meant to have that thing speeded up." just that much more ironic. (Although, I doubt film makers in those days anticipated online viewers with time counters!) In the opening to "M" there are fairly monotonous visages into lower-middleclass Urban German life. The opening to "Ministry of Fear" on the other hand gives us a clock that is obviously counting down to the anticipation of some event that is time-sensitive. However, the church bells in "M" siginifying that school is out for children can be paralleled to the clock in "Ministry of Fear" striking six and signifying the release of Stephen Neale from his captivity. Film Noir often has a morally abiguous, or otherwise-flawed heroes. In the opening scene of "Ministry of Fear", nothing is explained. However, our protagonist is institutionalized in an asylum, but the reason(s) are not known to us. He obviously had some "trouble with the police" which led to him being there, but outside that, we don't know what flaws our protagonist has. Having not-yet watched the entire film, I can assume that Neale's past will be revealed to us through flash back sequences or other glimpses into events leading up to his stay in the asylum.
  10. I am a bonafide "Chandlerphile"! That is to say, I love anything pertaining to Raymond Chandler's work, especially his Phillip Marlowe character! I always liked the resourceful way Marlowe (in novels or movies) always manages to get into hotwater with both The Law and The Criminal Element in his cases. And, just as deftly, manages to get himself OUT of that same trouble. As a private eye, he isn't bound by the same rules as the police, and yet he is still out to do the right thing, serve justice and get the "bad guys". He sort of plays both sides of the fence so-to-speak and is equally loathed by cops and gangsters. As a character, Marlowe isn't generally quick to preempt violence on women, so I thought the way he grabbed Ann Grayle's wrist while he rifled through her purse in this scene was a bit uncharacteristic of him. Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammet basically main-streamed the "hard-boiled, pulp private eye" genre for US audiences. It only stands to reason that Chandler's Phillip Marlowe character be adapted to film and that such adaptations would fall into the genre of FIlm Noir we know today: Dark subject matter, a flawed protagonist and gritty resolutions to the stories seem to be standard film noir fare.
  11. Based on the introduction of Waldo Lydecker; His narrative, the panning view of his apartment, the exotic souveniers decorating the place and the fact that he recieves his guest while still seated in the bathtub, I easily draw the conclusion that Lydecker is a bit eccentric. The director took pains to illustrate that Lydecker had a fine collection of exotic stuff. The panning view of the appartment along the shelves of artifacts and memorabillia and finally settling on the wall of masks that detective was standing in front of showed the viewer the scope of Lydecker's decor. In Douglas Adams book, "LIfe, The Universe And Everything", The protagonists are introduced to the captain of a spaceship who never leaves his bathtub. Waldo Lydecker immediately reminded me of Captain character in Adams' book. In this scene, I didn't really notice many facial studies as much as accentuation of the decor and props. The character of McPherson bears the look of a Noir detective: Suit, fedora, chain smoking cigarettes. Once Lydecker recognizes McPherson's name, the audience is treated to a brief tale of McPherson's "daring do" which spells him out as a bit of a "tough guy" to the audience. Having never seen "Laura", I am envisioning McPherson to be the protagonist.
  12. I never was a big fan of the first-person POV in cinema. I prefer to be a spectator when watching a movie, not a participant. However, it served as good vehicle for not immediately revealing the identity of the protagonist to the audience. The convention of "The Jailbreak" in film noir: The distant wailing sirens; The desperate escapee fording rivers or streams; The shedding of the prison uniform... This has been done to death where it is almost a joke. The "barrel roll" was a nice variation though! No matter how many times I see it, I am still amazed that people in movies actually stop to pick up hitchhikers along the highway who turn out to be escaped convicts!
  13. I love the imagery! The workers at the rubber plantation seem to be winding down. The panning camera is used effectively to illustrate these guys' place, purpose and state of mind when the sound of gunfire interrupts their evening routine. I love the reaction of Bette Davis' character when the moon emerges from behind the clouds and shines like a spotlight on the violence she just committed! The convention of "routine" or "trivial" events being disrupted by the unanticipated eruption of violence can be noted in various movies by Quentin Tarantino (scenes from "Inglorious Basterds", "Pulp Fiction" and "Django Unchained" spring into mind) It's become a cinematic convention that lulls the audience into complacency only to have them become as shocked and excited as if they were also characters in the film!
  14. The opening scene illustrates the intricate ballet between the engineer and brakeman required to bring the speeding passenger train into a busy station in a timely and accurate way. The engineer and brakeman work in a loud environment and their communication is all visual or tactile. It is obvious the station is a busy place when the shots cut to external views of the train navigating into the train depot. We come to appreciate the skill of the train's operators and their coordination. It is obvious these guys are pros at what they do and have worked together for a long time. While I have not watched the rest of the film, I am assuming that the engineer and brakeman are not the protagonists of the story, but players in a vignette. I was reminded of the opening sequence of the film "Once Upon a Time In The West" where we are given small glimpses into the lives of three different gunfighters who are milling about a train station, waiting for the protagonist to show up so they can kill him. We get a brief glimpse of each of these men who bide their time with unique activities in individual silence, only to be gunned down by the protagonist when he finally arrives on the train.
  15. I've seen multiple instances of children as victims of foul play in contemporary films. As a parent, this always frightens or shocks me. This opening sequence sets up yet another instance of this convention in the thriller genre of cinema seems. However, this film is probably the Historic predecessor of movies like "Silence of the Lambs" or "Seven" and probably lays the groundwork of other films that tackle that particular subject matter.
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