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Ms.Anderson67

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  1. Here are a few discussion starters (though feel free to come up with your own): -- Discuss how the opening of this film exemplifies the noir style and substance. You start off by hearing the dread, doom, and ultimate destruction of someone. The two do not belong together yet they do. What disaster awaits them. This is film noir at its pinnacle. -- Now that you have seen all 32 Daily Doses, what did you take away from the Daily Doses assignment? Did it contribute to your learning about film noir? The daily doses gave me a view into what film noir, was, is and the contribution of this classic style. In addition, reading other classmates' post gave different and varying perspectives about each daily dose. I answered each dose during this class and now that we are at the end, I feel a sadness because the class has been extremely enjoyable and educational.
  2. Brute Force Here are a few discussion starters (though feel free to come up with your own): -- What role does music (especially the record playing Wagner) play in the intensity of this scene? The music helps the audience follow along with the intensity and anticipation of the action. The faster the beat indicates that the guy will come to great harm. In addition, when music gets louder, we know greater harm is going to come to the man in the chair. Most importantly, the music is used to cover the beating that is going on. -- Based on what you've learned in this class, how does this scene fit in with your understanding of early postwar film noir (films released in 1946 and 1947) and the development of the noir style and substance? Because America was coming out of the war, a significant amount of film noir was turning toward the realities of violence and many men came back wounded, especially, emotionally. This allowed them in turn to act in a way not seen prior to the war.
  3. Here are a few discussion starters (though feel free to come up with your own): -- Describe how this scene uses cinematography to accentuate the brutal beating of Steve Randall (Steve Brodie). The use of the swinging light brings and takes each character out of darkness. This technique, in turn, makes what is happening more sinister and dastardly. Furthermore, you have no idea what they are doing to Steve I'm the dark. It heightens the situation. -- How do Mann and Diskant utilize different points of view to heighten the tension in this scene? Steve is definitely in a submissive role in comparison to Raymond Burr. With Burr being a big man only adds to the advantage that he has over Steve. All of the crooks are standing whereas Steve stands only briefly but it quickly put back in an inferior position.
  4. Here are a few discussion starters (though feel free to come up with your own): -- Discuss how this film depicts and utilizes this "unnamed city." Additionally, why do you think the film is entitled "The Asphalt Jungle?" Looking at the city, in many respects, it looks dilapidated, somewhat deserted and unkept. A jungle is in its natural state and left to its own to survive. The city looks as if it has reverted back to its previous state. -- Describe the film noir characteristics, in both style and substance, of these opening scenes. A man in a desperate situation. You see this because he has eluded the police. Something bad is going to happen or has happened. The look of the buildings, the angles made. The lighting in the streets that look like the ruins of a war torn area. The lighting in the police station and how the characters are captured. -- Why are these opening scenes an interesting choice for a "heist film?" What are we learning about one of its major characters (Dix) that might be important for later in the film (and I'm not asking for any spoilers, just character insight)? The sense of urgency is seen by Dix trying to get to a safe place away from the police. Has he committed some crime or is he in the wrong place at the wrong time. Dix seems to be cool under pressure and intelligent.
  5. Here are a few discussion starters (though feel free to come up with your own): -- In what ways does Miles Davis' score (improvised while watching scenes from the movie) work with and contribute additional layers of meaning to Louis Malle's visual design? Unlike classical music, which never deviates, jazz is best when improvised and this improvisation adds or creates more depth within scenes in the movie. This means that it is ever changing and lends itself to interpretation and a sense of unknowing. -- Going back to our original discussions of jazz on the film noir style, what is it about the "idioms of jazz" that resonate so well with the style and substance of film noir? As stated, it does not follow traditional patterns just like film noir. They go hand in hand and in many ways, jazz add the depth that made film noir successful.
  6. Here are a few discussion starters (though feel free to come up with your own): -- Describe the noir elements, in terms of style and substance, in this opening sequence. The random event that has doomed him to life on the run. The dead body in the closet, he sees no other response but to run. He not believing in the system to give him a fair deal. -- What do you make of the film opening with the Salvation Army band playing and the prominent Salvation Army sign in that first shot? I am not sure of the band playing other than to demonstrate everyday life in a town. The role the Salvation Army plays I'm helping people down on their luck and maybe he is someone that received help from them in the past. -- Even though it is set in 1918, how does this scene reveal some of the typical noir themes of the 1950s? Murder has happened since the beginning of time. Despair, random events, murder, sense of hopelessness
  7. Here are a few discussion starters (though feel free to come up with your own): -- Do you see evidence, even in the film's opening scenes, for Foster Hirsch's assessment that the dialogue in this film sounds like a "parody of the hard-boiled school" or that "noir conventions are being burlesqued"? The back and forth banter between the 2 detectives with words like dame and dish describing the female they are going to escort. The overall quick dialog between them is reminiscent of the beginnings of film noir -- What are some of the major noir elements in this film's opening, and do they seem to be variations on similar elements we have encountered in other noir films from the mid to late 1940s? I am not sure about a specific film but the closeness and tight shots of scenes, particularly with the cab scene. The low light and shadow use along with several night scenes.
  8. This is extremely important because when planning a heist, patterns are necessary. There are events that go on daily and in order to address all moving parts. Each detail must be planned down to the smallest detail. This planning cuts down on the mistakes and possible unforeseen variables (people getting in the way, the guards having time to react, etc.) The florist arrives at 9:58 and leaves at 10:01, the armored car always arrive at 10:00 sharp and is in the bank from 2-4 minutes. Without planning out all of these details, for example the florist’s truck could block the get away car and prevent them from leaving -- What are the film noir elements (style or substance) that you notice in the opening of this film? Tragic or bleak conclusion based on the situations, shot angles, Black and white filming, realistic topics. Having never seen the movie, I am not sure of other elements that would be present. -- Why is a heist a good subject for a film noir to tackle? Put another way, how or why might a film that involves a heist affect or change what we think about criminals and/or criminal behavior on screen? What better scenario for something to go wrong than a bank heist. Film noir presents characters that are doomed from the start and random situations bring about your downfall. Those are the random situations that will present the robbers from being successful and bringing about their deaths or capture.
  9. Here are a few discussion starters (though feel free to come up with your own): -- Compare and contrast how director Karlson shoots and stages the boxing scene as a contrast of styles between cinema and television. Television is shot tight to show the seriousness of the boxing action. The movie shows space and a sense of largeness. I believe this is purposely done to show how much more powerful and large movies are compared to television. -- Discuss the scene's social commentary in the interactions between Ernie (John Payne) and Pauline (Peggie Castle). This is no longer pre WWII where all was seemingly well in homes. This scene show the disappoint, alienation by the wife, longing for what was, and the hopelessness. -- What are some of the noir elements in this scene, either in terms of style or substance? Close ups, angles of the shots, Black and white filming, pessimism due to situations that characters are in.
  10. -- Discuss the scene in terms of its acting and staging. In this brief scene, what do you see as the interpersonal relationships between Sam (Heflin), Walter (Douglas), and Martha (Stanwyck)? If you have seen the entire film, avoid larger points about the plot, and focus simply on what you are seeing just in this scene. I sense some type of tension between Heflin's and Douglas' character. It's seems that Heflin has something over Douglas. This is demonstrated when he tells him that he will help his friend with the criminal charges and it seems that Douglas does not have a choice. Barbara's seems to have a genuine fondness for Heflin. I have never seen the movie but I can't wait to see the movie -- From this early scene, what are some of the noir themes that you expect will play out in this film? Hate, greed, the typical love triangle, contempt, jealousy which always lead to one of many of the major character's demise. -- What other films or settings in the Summer of Darkness lineup remind you of Griel Marcus' observation that "the most emblematic noir location is a small, vaguely Midwestern city?" All of the movies I have seen, especially the earlier films took place in San Fran, LA or New York like Detour, Dark Passage, etc. The more recent films took place on highways.
  11. Here are a few discussion starters (though feel free to come up with your own): -- Compare the opening of this film with other Daily Doses that began with a similar set-up on a deserted highway at night. How does this film's fateful twist differ from other film scenes we have investigated? With the other films. We see something ominous coming with the other movies but with this one, there is just a couple going about their business having a disagreement about something. We do notice the car that has stopped and know all is not well when the man throws something in the backseat of the couple's car. This was not expected compared with the other Daily Doses. -- Why do you think unexpected incidents involving innocent people (such as today's couple) was such a popular postwar theme? What was changing in society and history that made this a popular film story for audiences at the time? Distrust and cynicism was growing in society and this was most definitely demonstrated by the couple seeing what was in the bag and deciding to keep the money instead of returning it to its rightful owner. This possibly appealed to many of the audiences viewing the picture in theaters in the country. When first seeing this scene. You think the female is timid but once she sees the money, another side is exposed. With this, the director could have been implying all is not as it seems and people can put up pretenses or facades. -- Discuss this scene in terms of the style and substance of film noir. What do you see in this opening scene that confirms Eddie Muller's observation that this film is "'the best unknown American film noir of the classic era." Noir always usually involves some random event that usually places the protagonist in some type of peril. Night scenes were extremely prevalent in films, along with tight shots of scenes to name a few. Times were a changing and what we saw in these movies changed from the early 1940's to the late 40's and into the 50's.
  12. Here are a few discussion starters (though feel free to come up with your own): -- How is Hitchcock's rhythm and purposes different in this opening sequence, from other films noir such as Kiss Me Deadly or The Hitch-Hiker? SOAT is very different from the other 2 films in the fact that the music is more livelier. The two characters seem to be a contrast of each other. This is demonstrated in their choice of shoes and ties. This, in turn, makes the scene non threatening to the viewer. I believe that the purpose is different because he is introducing 2 characters to us that will play instrumental roles in each other's lives. In addition, this scene includes a multitude of people going about their everyday lives, daylight, the city. The others were on open stretches of the highway at night with only those characters involved. -- What are the noir elements that you notice in the opening of this film? Either in terms of style or substance? The Black and white filming, the director and/or cinematographer low angle of filming, the tight shots of the scene and most importantly the lighting of the scenes. -- Do you agree or disagree that Alfred Hitchcock should be considered a "special case" in discussion of film noir? Why or why not? I have never considered Hitchcock as film noir because when I watched these films in the past, they all seem to have a particular "look and feel" about them. This includes how they are shot, angles, the use of light and shadows. I think he make draw upon sone of the elements but not noir specifically.
  13. Here are a few discussion starters (though feel free to come up with your own): -- Compare the opening of this film with the other three Daily Doses this week? Do you see parallels in the opening scenes of these films? This movie’s opening credit is totally different from the other movies from this week is that you are over 2 minutes into the opening without any dialogue or seeing the character’s face. In addition, the other movies opening scenes took place on desolate locations or vehicles. -- What are some of the noir themes and motifs that are being explored in this film's opening scene? This is also a good film through which to discuss Robert Porfirio's article on Existential motifs, since he references the film D.O.A. several times in his essay. As mentioned in our module this week, this is an example of many types of noir themes and motifs. This movie consists of criminality, dread, trauma, despair and definitely the inability to separate truth from lies. This is the one movie, from this week, that I have seen and luckily I have forgotten the killer. -- How does the style and substance of this film's opening reinforce a feeling of pessimism or hopelessness in the character of Frank Bigelow? It was very ingenious of the director to have Frank walking away from the camera. There was such a sense of urgency on his part walking through the halls of the police station. The music was another indicator of danger or impending danger to come. The speed and tempo made me, as a viewer, especially pay attention as what will happen next. Most importantly, when he announces that there has been a murder and the victim is him creates one of the most amazing openings ever in a movie.
  14. -- Why is this opening appropriate for a film about females at a women's state prison? In what ways has the design of this scene made the audience as "caged" as these characters in this opening sequence? I felt, as a viewer, as caged as the women because I only had the little square as a light source and the scene made me feel claustrophobic. It was dark and grim and the women were all crammed in the back of the van. I felt trapped and not able to escape. The director did an excellent of warping our sense of view and therefore making it more real for the viewer. -- What about this opening reminds you of the Warner Bros. house style? And why is that appropriate for this subject matter? Based on the previous module, we learned that Warner Bros. tended to make movies that had more of a social conscience and dealt in toughness and realism. In addition, their movies were generally dark than other studios’ movies and gave their audience a working example of what was going on in society, in general. In previous decades, movies often presented females as mothers, daughters or characters in a more positive light. They never delved into the reality that women committed serious crimes and went to prison. Warner Brothers gave audiences a true dose of what was going on. They tended to not deal with fantasy and happy endings that other Hollywood studios produced. -- Just based on this opening, how do you think film noir will influence this film's realism about life behind bars? In other words, why is the "substance of noir" appropriate for a story set inside a women's prison? Because film noir movies’ cinematography, directing and lighting lends itself to bleakness and a sense of despair by the characters in the films, this is a perfect subject or topic for them to tackle. The black and white film gives the movie a sense of realism and the hopelessness of the women in prison. Unable to be in control of their surroundings and the walls closing in around them due to the fact they are in a setting that prevents them from making their own decisions, going and doing what they desire, etc.
  15. Here are a few discussion starters (though feel free to come up with your own): -- What are some of the major themes and/or ideas introduced in the opening sequence of The Hitch-Hiker? Most importantly is the visual style that the cinematographer employs. Of course, the black and white film gives that particular mood that only film noir can give a viewer. Immediately, there is a sense of some impending danger. -- Discuss the role of lighting and staging in this scene, and how lighting and staging both work to reveal the underlying substance of film noir? Lighting in any movie will set the mood of what is to come. We first only see a pair of legs and the only light is provided by the headlights from the car as the car is blurry then comes into focus. Then when the hitchhiker is introduced, you only see the back of his head and once in the car, his face is not shown. It is about a minute before we see it is Hamilton Burger (Perry Mason's arch rival). The director's choice of lighting sends the viewers' pulse racing as to what is about to happen. Darkness, to me means impending danger. -- Compare and contrast the opening scenes of Kiss Me Deadly and The Hitch-Hiker? What is similar between the two? What is different? Why do these openings both work as excellent examples of how to open a film noir? Both movies open at night on a desolate road with some hitchhiker needing a ride. The night scene intensifies the mood of the movie. The differences are that in KMD, she is running looking for a ride, in the HH, his car has broken down/ran out of gas and the hitchhiker needs a ride. We only get a bottom view of the male and a full view with facial features in KMD. In KMD, the driver seems unconcerned with the circumstances or needs of the hitchhiker while in the other movie, there is immediate dialogue and concern for the person. Most importantly whereas in THH, he is a criminal on the run, in KMD, we have no idea of the circumstances surrounding her running. The scenes are excellent examples of film noir because of how the director and cinematographer sets up the lighting and composition of the scenes. This include close ups, lights and shadow, along with dynamics of the characters and the situation.
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