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RFM

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About RFM

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    http://www.feliciamitchell.net

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    Female
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    Virginia
  1. The opening that focuses on the scene framed within the TV screen is just that, focused: there is no context, save the announcer who lets us know that this is TV via his commentary. As the camera pulls back and the scene opens up, with first the man and then his wife in view, we see the TV within a social context, that of the home of the boxer who has been injured. The camera of the film sees more layers than does the camera of the TV here. The couple's interaction portrays the conflict between breadwinner and person who assumes the man should be the provider, with the guilt being dished out, no sympathy for what happened in the ring. (That the boxer needs to watch it again is psychologically intriguing.) The wife's behavior resonates with the character of hard woman of the Film Noir, perhaps, and the rhinestone watchband serves as a sort of foreshadowing, I imagine, or at least a symbol of her need for more wealth than she thinks she will get--though the boxer's dream of a gas station is a realistic (and "American") one). The exchange is a little painful to watch.
  2. The interplay of characters introduces tensions with a back story. We can see the children all of the adults were as they interact in the office. Walter appears insecure, pale on purpose within the scene, and Sam appears not to be weighted by the past (though Walter and Martha don't know that yet and assume that he must be complicit in some way). Martha does not fear being frank in front of her husband Walter. I am fortunate to have watched the whole film this week online and consider it one of my favorites thus far. It is so dark and tormented. This scene seems to illustrate what it means to gamble (in a broader, more symbolic sense).
  3. The hitch-hiker in "Kiss Me Deadly" draws more sympathy or empathy from me, with the fear residing in her (not the driver). In "The Hitch-Hiker," the fear will reside in the driver and his companion, with the stranger pushing them around. I don't feel for any of these characters yet, whereas with "Kiss" I bonded with both, which is interesting.
  4. I thought I would try an existentialist reading. Hammer seems detached, of course, as if he is watching it all go by, this life, this absurd life (with the sound track from Cole's "I'd Rather Have the Blues" layering in). Christina in her trench coat and nothing else is symbolic of the chaos outside him, which he takes in (literally and figuratively) when he opens the door. Christina's gutteral noises are primal, fear incarnate, her lack of speech juxtaposed with the relative silence of Hammer and the words from the radio. Christina's figure reminds me of Munch's "The Scream." There is this cry against what life has given her, and here she is also free of it, having made some sort of choice to escape. The interesting tension of the scene perhaps derives from how these characters are making sense of something that cannot have sense. I have not seen the film and look forward to seeing it soon.
  5. I might say that Leyden appears more realistic, Peters more formalized (especially in the shot from below that gives a perspective that is not Leyden's, which creates a dissonance that balances with the gentlemanly dialogue). The exchanges feels a little like a ballet. It is interesting to listen to the exchange and to think of what is not being said except on a different level (one assisted by the filming).
  6. The objective narration superimposed on the images of the vast (and realistic) landscape, and shots of people waiting or running (I looked at them and imagined actors at these points, actors against a real landscape, although I don't know for sure yet if they photographed real people or made these scenes up), makes me focus very much on "word choice," the creation of a documentary voice inside a fictional film. Listen to the language that helps to frame the objective sense of realism in this film. (It sounds like the language I used to hear in documentaries in school and on TV in the Sixties.) Towards the end of the clip, the word "composite" coming from the narration helps us to shift from the opening documentary tone to one that will take us into a fiction (albeit one based on reality). That word calls to mind some pieces of contemporary creative nonfiction that I have read, pieces that tell stories truthfully yet with the techniques of fiction (composite characters as opposed to "real" characters, for example). I sense that inside the fiction of the film there is a moral truth that the story upholds. It makes me curious about the empathy that is offered, one that makes be curious to see the whole film.
  7. People have shared great comments so I will focus on the man in the bed, whose resignation is there from the first when we find him lying down (wondering if he is, in fact, already dead, the man talking to him talking to a corpse). That seems studied, more formal, in contrast with the scenes in the diner. The monotone of the voice adds to the sense of resignation. I don't get the sense that he is lying there waiting to be killed, though, just that he is somehow deflated, the figurative wind knocked out of him. He is almost motionless. And his comment that he did something wrong once also reinforces the idea that what is going to happen is inevitable, almost a moral choice.
  8. -- What did you notice about Rita Hayworth's performance when you were watching this scene? Her hair, for one. Her hair was a prop as much as the low-cut dress was. Notice how she plays with it and swings it and at one point it is askew, as if she has mussed it up in bed playing out the seduction that is simply artifice here, an invitation to prove in what appears a somewhat hyperbolic way that she is a "sl..." as she says to Johnny. But is she? She exaggerates in this performance, with her unnatural stance on the heels almost uncomfortable to watch, as if she is doubled over a bit. I wondered if she were drunk; perhaps she was drunk on her need to strip. -- What are some of the deeper layers of meaning that are contained in this film noir musical sequence? You can see the various layers of meaning with the song especially, its lyrics, adding to the back story of how a woman is responsible for something awful (the earthquake, some unhappiness). The tempo of the music is sensual as well. -- In what ways do you think music influenced and contributed to the development of film noir? I am still learning but sense that it added to the mood as well as to the story line. In this case. the music is what first draws Johnny to turn his attention to the stage, so we move from that pinpoint perspective to the larger scene on the stage, which is an exaggerated dance with a song that is more controlled than the emotions are.
  9. I noticed how the opening emphasis on the clock drew me into the line of vision of Milland's character initially, with space opening up to shift my perspective to that of observer. There is something about these noir films, at least in my early study, that seems to draw the viewer into a scene at the same time a perspective with boundaries is set.
  10. Marlowe in the scene shared appears to use words and body language to establish his facility with that sixth sense a good noir detective uses and to invite us into that process. I can see his brain working, though, so it may just be good insight and an ability to size up a situation more quickly than most. Along with that, he seems intent I sharing his moral code for not just his visitor but also us. The need to do the right thing seems to go with the few FN examples I have seen, though I am new to all that.
  11. The perspective drew my attention not just to what was in front but more to the periphery, especially the people standing by. Their body language reinforced the tone of the clip and also made me feel more "present."
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