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JGiesbrecht

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About JGiesbrecht

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    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  1. The combination of open road and cars provides a clash of polarized symbols: the open road the very metaphor of freedom and the car an enclosed and confining space. And, of course, the symbolism of the road leading to somewhere, or as we've also seen, leaving somewhere behind. The road is freedom, but once you're in a car, you're trapped, no matter where that car goes. The tone between The Hitch-hiker and Kiss me Deadly are completely different. The latter is confusion and chaos, where the pervading tone is set by Christina's fear and panic. The former is menace and the breakdown of socie
  2. I found many changes from the films noir of the '40s that we'd been studying. As has been mentioned, there is no voiceover introducing us to the scene. Instead, we're thrown right into the thick of it, sharing Christina's desperations and confusion. While so many films have given us the protagonist's POV, this one is completely third-person. We're not privy to the thoughts of either character. Unlike other film noir women (fatales et al) Christina is not elegant or in control. There is no witty banter between her and Hammer. The glib remarks and rapport are replaced by a lack of conve
  3. Seriously? You censored the first half of the word striptease? People are going to think I was being vulgar.
  4. What did you notice about Rita Hayworth's performance when you were watching this scene? Anger. A whole lot of anger on behalf of Gilda. Her movements seemed clumsy, and having read through the thread and discovered that she was an accomplished dancer made this number all the more intriguing. She's supposed to be doing a striptease, something that is usually very fluid and sensual. Yet, I never got that feeling from this segment. Her dancing wasn't sensual, her stripping wasn't evocative and teasing. She was a woman with a purpose, and her anger and dedication to this purpose overrode the
  5. Throughout film noir movies we recognize that characters were much more nuanced, filled with more contradictions, than the ones from the 30's. For example, you rather sympathize with Roy Earle (Humphrey Bogart) in High Sierra than with Tony Camonte (Paul Muni) in Scarface. Noir filmmakers tried to avoid one dimension characters, although Scarface is a magnificent movie. It seems that even the evilest villain displayed humanity at certain point. No wonder why some of us identify more with the obscure captain Hank Quinlan rather than with Mike Vargas in Touch of Evil. That's one of the thing
  6. In the podcast regarding the Maltese Falcon, the moderators discussed the shifting loyalties of Sam Spade: how he would defend Bridgid to the end until he found she lied to him, and then he gave her up without a second thought. Marlowe, the bookend to Spade for "hard-boiled" detectives, also exhibits this type of behaviour, which, as already pointed out, is ungentlemanly and certainly a change from the standard social behaviour of a man towards a lady. I believe it was Eddie Muller who pointed out that there's a degree of misogyny in film noir, which is not surprising considering the prev
  7. I wouldn't say the Nazis, but definitely the Germans. German Expressionism came from the disillusionment prevalent in Germany after WWI (where the Treaty of Versailles basically brought the country to its knees), similar to the disillusionment found in the United States after the Depression. The whole world was in chaos: one world war hot on the heels of another one, revolutions, economic depression, struggles everywhere ... who wouldn't feel like the world was imploding around them? I think people were just too cynical to enjoy the screwball escapism of comedies that they'd been seeing, and
  8. I think the reason we begin with Lydecker providing the voiceover is because he is the controlling figure in this movie, and so he wants the viewer to believe his version of events. He even pulls out a written transcript of what he told the police detectives. The tone of the opening voiceover is also melodramatic, "I, Walter Lydecker, was the only one who knew her." It's the stuff of the written word, not someone speaking from the heart (as well as once again showing his arrogance and need to be the alpha in every situation).
  9. Eddie Muller said for him, film noir was about "what people wanted and how far they were willing to go to get it." The introduction to Lydecker shows that he has no boundaries. He obviously has no shame, which is evident in both his conspicuous display of affluence as well as his own personal lack of decorum, greeting people in the bath and challenging them by standing up to display himself. This is a man who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. Even in his voiceover, he shows that he doesn't share the same boundaries and morals of the masses, as he lightly moves from talking abo
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