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Geno-Vino

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About Geno-Vino

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  1. M: It starts with a seemingly innocent child’s game (like one potato two potato) being played in the yard. The words are disturbing to the mother who yells at her child to stop but the children continue to sing the words which have no real meaning to them but the mother knows it is about the murderer. The words are a foreshadowing. The mother’ friend says “as long as you can hear them…” It’s when you don’t hear the children that is when you start to worry (I remember my mother saying the same thing: As long as I hear you, I know you are OK, It’s when I don’t hear you that I worry that you are up to something). Everyday life goes on as the women washes the clothes. The mother is preparing the night’s meal. The time passes as indicated by the coo coo clock and the usual sounds of daily life. The day is seemingly normal as the school bell rings and people go about their normal day. There is no music which adds to the mundane feeling of ordinary life. As the children are let out of school, one girl (Elsie) bounces her ball and heads for a information kiosk. She playfully bounces the ball off the kiosk not paying attention or understanding the words on the sign. The information on the post is revealed to us and we realize what the song is really about and the terrible circumstances that have occurred. As we comprehend the meaning of the post (and the children’s song), a shadow appears over the sign and the man begins to talk to the girl. We never see the man’s face but we know that he is the culprit that the police are looking for. The child is completely without fear as she talks to the stranger but we fear for the girl’s life. The ball stops bouncing as he asks her name, she answers … face to black … the end is near. The use of the shadow is very menacing and much more effective then showing the murder’s face. The anonymity of the Murdered and the foreshadowing of the child’s death adds to the to the horror and mystery that peaks our curiosity. The mundane has turned to horrific.
  2. DARK PASSAGE: Another one of my favorite stars: Humphrey Bogart. It stars off with a man in a 55 gallon drum and he is obviously an escaped convict. The barrel has “San Quentin” stenciled on the top and we hear the sirens of the police car attempting to catch up with the truck. The barrel is rocked back and forth till it falls from the truck. It tumble down the hill. We watch from the inside of the barrel as he crawls out and stumbles to a stream that is flowing under a bridge. He takes off his shirt and hides it in the bushes so that his shirt will not give him away as a convict. Again, not a lot of cuts just the amounted needed to move the story along and show the different aspects. He begins to talk to himself (actually to us) and talks about how much time he has till the police return to look for him. He figures that he as 15 minutes to get out of there. We watch as the police on the motor cycles rush down the road and over the bridge. Once gone, he emerges from hiding and takes a chance by flagging down a car to hitch a ride. He figures he can get out of there with no hassle. The driver checks the guy out. He notices his pants and shoes and other identifiable aspects of what the man is wearing. The driver is curious and begins asking too many questions. Way too many questions. Bogey starts to get annoyed and tells him he wants to get out. As the driver is slowing down, the radio begins to talk about a prison break and begins to describe the escapee. The driver stops, behind him is a sing that points to San Quentin and San Fransisco (where he came from and where he is going). The drive now know who the stranger is and Bogey knows that the jig is up. Bogey beats the guy up and steals his car so he can continue his journey to San Francisco. Why is he going back? What happened there? Is he going or revenge or some other reason?
  3. M: It starts with a seemingly innocent child’s game (like one potato two potato) being played in the yard. The words are disturbing to the mother who yells at her child to stop but the children continue to sing the words which have no real meaning to them but the mother knows it is about the murderer. The words are a foreshadowing. The mother’ friend says “as long as you can hear them…” It’s when you don’t hear the children that is when you start to worry (I remember my mother saying the same thing: As long as I hear you, I know you are OK, It’s when I don’t hear you that I worry that you are up to something). Everyday life goes on as the women washes the clothes. The mother is preparing the night’s meal. The time passes as indicated by the coo coo clock and the usual sounds of daily life. The day is seemingly normal as the school bell rings and people go about their normal day. There is no music which adds to the mundane feeling of ordinary life. As the children are let out of school, one girl (Elsie) bounces her ball and heads for a information kiosk. She playfully bounces the ball off the kiosk not paying attention or understanding the words on the sign. The information on the post is revealed to us and we realize what the song is really about and the terrible circumstances that have occurred. As we comprehend the meaning of the post (and the children’s song), a shadow appears over the sign and the man begins to talk to the girl. We never see the man’s face but we know that he is the culprit that the police are looking for. The child is completely without fear as she talks to the stranger but we fear for the girl’s life. The ball stops bouncing as he asks her name, she answers … face to black … the end is near. The use of the shadow is very menacing and much more effective then showing the murder’s face. The anonymity of the Murdered and the foreshadowing of the child’s death adds to the to the horror and mystery that peaks our curiosity. The mundane has turned to horrific.
  4. THE LETTER: First, I have to confess that I consider Betty Davis to be the best actress to ever grace the silver screen. William Wyler knew how to use Betty Davis to get the best performance out of her. He was also one of the best director’s ever. The first thing we see is the full moon with some dramatic music which is a premonition of things to come. The music settles down and we see a sign for a rubber plantation and a tree with a collection system for the rubber. This sets the location as a farm in the tropics. The screen slowly pans till we see some of the workers playing the music, all is calm, the rest of the men are getting ready to go to sleep. It appears to be the end of another average day. Nothing unusual until we see the cockatoo and hear the shot from within the house, then watch the bird fly away; there is a pause and briefly see a man and a women emerge from the house. One more shot is fired. Then there are cuts to the dogs being aroused, I really love the fact that from the tree on to the second shot, it is all pan work. This adds to the feeling that everything is normal and as it should be. The cuts add the jarring effect of hearing the shots and watching everyone react. I believe that todays movies rely on using to may cuts. A good pan or a steady shot adds a lot to a movie. Quick cuts add suddenness and a sence quickness. The first shot is a full moon which is glowing and lighting up the night, again all is well. After the man is shot and dies, the moon goes behind a cloud and everything goes dark indicating that he is dead. The moon reemerges after he dies. The ominous music begins and as the moon emerges from the darkness, Betty Davis turns to look at the moon as if in recognition of what she has done. As Betty Davis is shooting the man on the porch, she has a really **** off look on her face. She is mad and does not care that she just shot the man. She come out of her trance as she looks back at the moon. The foreman comes over and identifies the man as Mr. Hammond. He stares at the gun. Betty Davis goes into the house and he follows. She tells him to get Mr. Cosby and to get the authorities. Watch as Betty Davis doe not move a muscle. He hands are tense but do not move. Her body is tense and does not move. Only her lips move, she doesn’t even blink and the look on her face is as cool as ice. What happened? Who is Mr. Hammond? Is it her husband? or some else? What did he do that got her so made that she shot him? What will happen in the future? The jolting beginning reminds me of Sunset Blvd. You know there is a back story to all this but what could it be? It is obviously a shock that this lazy night is so disrupted by the killing. As I mentioned, I believe that this opening set a standard that many film Noir films used.
  5. La Bete Humaine: First impression: This opening sequence is very powerful and dynamic. The cinematography is amazing. I love that we see the movement of the train and it’s path from the engineers perspective. The long front of the engine barreling to it’s destination. You feel the power and movement of the train. The powerful music finally comes in as the train reaches it’s destination and stops. The music adds the excitement of finally arriving to the station. We know that this is going to be some ride! So it opens with the screech of the whistle and a view of the fire, you feel the excitement, the controlled danger (fire is always dangerous even in a controlled setting). The camera pans back so we see the whole cab of the train and the men working. There are shots of the wheels turning, the sound of the engine, the train flying by us, the men working to keep the train moving, going down the tracks, entering a tunnel that goes to black, the men working, the train, going black again, emerging from the black tunnel into the light, the bridge, the train passing, etc. All add to the feeling of movement, that this is something special. 1. The film’s realistic depiction adds excitement, movement, anticipation for what comes next. The feeling that we are destine for an important adventure. 2. Opening with fire could foreshadow danger. The blackout in the tunnel adds a dark feeling that there could be danger ahead. If fact, as I watch the opening, the idea crossed my mind that the train could derail. The empty station is also interesting. Why is the station empty of people? Is there a problem in this town? 3. I would say that the opening is not what I would have considered film noir but I have not seen the rest of the movie. What could be considered is the foreshadowing of things to come … and that does not seem to be good (as designated by the empty station).
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