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madly9

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  1. We learn more about Philip Marlowe in how he act and interacts with others than in what he say's about himself. With Carmen, we see wit and playing with what he's dealt, easily trading one liners, spinning stories, and catching the "fainting" girl without batting an eye. With the general, he easily slips into indulging vices and taking off his jacket, going with the flow that the general sets. Through these interactions, we see a no-nonsense man with wit and adaptability, going with the flow without losing himself.
  2. The documentary style adds a sense of apparent authority and objectivity. The narration and overview of the lands makes us (the viewers) feel like we should trust what the movie is saying; this isn't a dream or inner workings of a person, but an objective overview about migrant workers. But, we must remember that this is film noir, where hidden meanings and innuendos are in every scene, making us question what it is we're really seeing. This combination - objective and subjective views - reminds us that nothing is truly objective; that no more matter how authoritative or realist a view or opinion may seem, there is always an element of subjectivity, a skewed view formed from different, unique experiences.
  3. The scene shifts from realism to formalism when we see Nick jump over the last fence between house. Before, even with music, the scene looked like what'd you see in real life; normal light/dark contrast, eye-level camera angles, and normal speaking voices. When Nick jumps over that last fence, the darkness and mist comes in like a dream, blurring borders and boundaries. The contrast between light and dark is much more pronounced, and the conversation between Nick and the Swede almost feels like a memory, quieted and blurred from time eroding it in the characters' minds.
  4. The musical scene shows how we are fascinated with disaster and death, seeing artistry and something worth remembering in violence and destruction. The entire song is a smooth, upbeat rendition of the violence, death, and destruction of the San Francisco earthquake. This rendition, in turn, symbolize one of the essential elements of film noir; the audience's fascination with the dark world of noir, the style and artistry in which film noir spins tales of doomed souls and violent acts.
  5. Curtiz controls the tension of the scene by the proximity/stance of Veda and Mildred. The scene begins with the two of them somewhat distant, Mildred standing while Veda reclines on the couch. The tension is beginning to simmer, with the two women standing apart and opposing to each other. The tension rises as Veda moves and walks around, turning to and from her mother as she pleases. Veda is (trying) to control the scene by controlling her movement and sidestepping her mother's, challenging Mildred's authority as her mother. Tensions rise as the two move two and from each other, like two predators circling each other, waiting for the other to make the first move. The tension screeches to a boiling point when Veda strikes Mildred, finally released in a moment of violence. The scene is left with a cold, ominously calm tension/dread when Mildred rises and, staring Veda down in the cramped staircase, tells to leave before she [Mildred] kills her [Veda].
  6. By introducing the clock, Lang inspires two emotions in us (the audience). The first mood is confusion. Why is this clock here? What's the importance of the clock? Why is this clock the first thing we're introduced to? Such questions and confusion makes us question ourselves as well; "what am I suppose to think/feel about this clock?"; "is there something I'm not getting?". From this confusion, Lang sets a mood of uncertainty and self doubt, which is quite common with insane asylums. The second emotion is dread. The tick-tock of the clock reminds us of our own mortality, of the limited time we have left on earth. The clock almost seems like a countdown, ticking off every second we've lost, every moment we cannot retrieve. We cannot help but feel dread as our mortality is brought to the forefront, our fear of death and wasting time made apparent.
  7. Film noir is the genre that says "it's not what your say, it's how you say". That's why this private detective, the protagonist (not the machine) fits with film noir. The private detective doesn't look at what's done, but looks at how something is done. Likewise, we (the audience) focus not on what the movie is saying ("who done it?"), but how the movie is saying it ("how does the protagonist act?"). In Murder, My Sweet, Philip Marlowe is the one who catches are attention, not the mysterious figure behind the crime. He plays along until making his own game, smiling innocent one second and smirking the next, always playing a move neither the characters nor audience expect; and we can't get enough of him.
  8. One contribution Laura makes to film noir style is Waldo's voice over. One famous aspect of film noir is that a character (usually one of the main characters) is not only a part of the story, but is the one who tells the story. Waldo is the one telling the story, is the one who controls the narrative and what we (the audience) see and hear. It adds a personal touch, a reminding that what we are seeing is not just a movie; it is part of someone's life, a story that the character feels is worth telling. This is one aspect of film noir that draws in people; we are being invited by a character to hear their story, to be part of their life by witnessing their life.
  9. First Person P.O.V added tension by making the audience an active participant, not a passive onlooker. Throughout the entire scene, we weren't watching Vincent as though there was nothing we could do; instead, we were Vincent. We were the ones hiding cloths, estimating when the police would arrive, "taking chances", and hitting the poor sap who let us in his car. We couldn't easily deny our role in the scene like in third person P.O.V. Instead, we were Vincent, a convicted criminal, apparent murderer, and escapee. Not exactly what we're suppose to aspire to be.
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