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crimewave

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About crimewave

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  1. 1. No question the moving or tracking POV shots in Downhill put me in the position of both characters especially because the shots are from each character’s POV. In this scene of accusation, it not only drew me into the drama but also heightened, in this case, the dread and anger of the characters. I agree with others who state that the moving POV is Hitchcock’s signature piece of camera work. Think Scotty following Madeleine/Judy in Vertigo. 2. Hitchcock uses the moving POV shot because it’s not static and is so effective at creating additional screen time to allow the character’s em
  2. 1. A montage begins at the 3:05 mark where the party dissolves into the extended piano keys, the musical instruments, and the spinning 78 LP, ending with the kiss. It’s used to show the source and impact of the music as well as the dark jealous imaginations of the boxer. The super imposed shot at the 2:30 mark of the champ and the boxer’s girlfriend that pans and drifts across the shot of the promoter is an example of both creative cinematography and editing. 2. Both POV shot and shot/ reaction shot create a look into the mind and psychological state of the character. Hitchcock uses v
  3. 1. In terms of the similarities and differences between The Pleasure Garden and The Lodger, the films are different in their dramatic styles. The opening of The Pleasure Garden is comical while the opening of The Lodger is frightening. Despite these genre differences both films open with visually arresting images that instantly grab the viewer’s attention. Both films use a large group of people as a reaction shot to what is occurring (the men watching the dancing review and the group of onlookers to the murdered woman). However, The Lodger uses a beautiful blue toned night scenes and s
  4. I’m just getting going on the class and I’m focused on catching up. If I mention something that others have already said, please excuse me, I haven’t read through all the TCM posts yet. 1. In The Pleasure Garden, the “Hitchcock Touch” is evident in the opening staircase shot and we’ll see it again in Vertigo, Psycho, and Foreign Correspondent. Also, the general pace of the storytelling is an approach Hitchcock is very adept at. He knows when to speed the film along and when, to heighten tension, slow the film down. 2. As for themes and approaches, the theater stands out as a recur
  5. 1. Hitchcock uses sound design, specifically by breaking with the literal recording of all the sounds that one could possible hear in the scene, to establish more of what the character Alice is thinking and feeling. For example, for the first two minutes or so of the clip the sound design pretty much records what we see and hear on the screen. No, it’s not as developed or extensive as films today, but we hear what we see. However, at the 2:07 mark in the clip, the sound design changes from literal to subjective. The voice of the friend/customer turns unintelligible with the exception of t
  6. Great lists above as well as the noir tropes. In terms of settings, I wholeheartedly agree that nighttime urban settings are the default noir location, but would it be fair to add desolate or rural landscapes, the kind found in: Nightfall 1956, Jacques Tourneur; ​They Live By Night 1948, Nicolas Ray; On Dangerous Ground 1951, Nicolas Ray; High Sierra 1941, Raoul Walsh; The Hitchhiker 1953, Ida Lupino and the more modern Fargo 1996, Coen Bros., film and TV series? Modern or Neo-Noir also include suburban locations: Blue Velvet 1986, David Lynch; Brick 2005, Rian Johnson. There a
  7. +1 on the idea that Batman Begins has noirish elements but at its core is still a comic book hero crime fighting vehicle. It has the past/future mix of art direction like Blade Runner, and of course a lot of the pre-Robin style found in Detective Comics 27-37. In these issues, Batman is human, vulnerable, capable of being wounded type superhero. He's a wealthy vigilante of sorts, carries a gun and isn't put in the position of having to save Robin. In some respects, similar to The Shadow pulps. Noir's roots are more with detective pulps than detective superhero comics. In terms of the Clu
  8. Marianne, I completely agree on the likability of Sterling Hayden's character Dix in The Asphalt Jungle. In Rififi I see Tony's (Jean Servais) rescue of Tonio (Dominique Maurin) as being out of character in a good way. Yes, for most of the film Tony is a no-nonsense type of figure, but his gruff and merciless behavior adds a seriousness and danger to the film that I find compelling. Tony's character design seems intentionally opposite the unfocused, more romantic, even sometimes goofy behavior of Mario (Robert Manuel) and Cesar (Jules Dassin). At the end of each film both Dix and
  9. Marianne - thanks for your post on excellent French noir film Rififi. The "silent film" aspect of the Mappin & Webb jewelry store break in gets a lot of attention, however I see your point in terms of the boredom side of the heist. I wonder if audiences today will accept a lengthy rehearsal of the heist and then watch the actual heist without feeling like they've seen it all before and thus the boredom. My guess is the rehearsal was included to show the ingenuity of the robbers as well as set a point for something significantly different to occur between the rehearsal and the actual
  10. Jamesjazzguitar, Thanks for reading my post and your thoughtful reply. Your tabulation of the percentage of noir films with positive or negative endings got me thinking. Off the top of my head I would have guessed that the percentage would skew heavily towards negative endings, as that would seemingly fit into the noir sensibility. However, the more I consider your point, you’re right, a film can be very dark and still have a “happy ending” a la Kiss Me Deadly. I also like your example of The Sweet Smell of Success to make the case for ambiguous endings. However, your bringing up H
  11. After The Summer of Darkness course I re-watched Out of the Past, Criss Cross, and The Killers, three of my favorite noir films, with two of my favorite noir protagonists, Robert Mitchum and Burt Lancaster as well as the stunning and talented femmes fatales played by Ava Gardner, Jane Greer and Yvonne De Carlo. Prior to The Summer of Darkness course I had seen a fair number of films noir, some many times, and I consciously associated film noir with a twisty plot driven narrative that in part defined the film noir style. While I still believe that is true, one of my takeaways from the cour
  12. I did receive my certificate of completion in an e-mail from TCM. However, when I try to open the document it comes up as a scrambled pattern of black and white and turquoise horizontal lines. Any ideas? -Mark
  13. I'll definitely keep checking in on the Summer of Darkness board. As well as new posts, there are a lot of posts I haven't read. Also, I expect to have some further thoughts about many of the films we watched. -Mark
  14. I just finished watching Criss Cross again, only this time my viewing is at the end of our course. One thing that struck me is how self-aware Burt Lancaster’s character Steve Dundee is of his own descent. Below at the 22:00 minute mark of the film: Steve: Anna. We were married. About two years ago. It lasted seven months. A man eats an apple. Gets a piece of the core stuck between his teeth. You know. He tries to work it out with some cellophane off a cigarette pack. What happens? The cellophane gets stuck in there too. Anna. What’s the use? I knew one way or the other,
  15. Professor Edwards, Thank you so much for creating the Into The Darkness: Investigating Film Noir course that was available to everyone for free. How generous of you. The course was so good, so informational, that I have spent way too much time and had way too much fun furthering my love for film noir. Additionally, integrating TCM and Eddie Muller really added an enormous extra dimension and made the course truly something special. As I wrote to one of the students earlier today, I hope enjoy the rest of your summer (of darkness)! Regards, Mark Penberthy “crimewave”
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