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msbella

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About msbella

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  1. I agree with the assessment that mavfan presents ...it was silent so visual comedy was a necessity and slapstick has evolved but it's still valid...ever hear of Chevy chase pratfalls...or what about Steve Martin and his silly arrows thru his head...love it. It's slapstick with a cerebral edge. So it's a golden age but not comedy's greatest age, necessarily. And why is it that Chaplin, Langdon, Keaton, and Lloyd are named as greats...but no max sennet and he was featured throughout the entire clip. If it wasn't for him....
  2. Perhaps this is obvious, but for slapstick to be funny and for this particular gag to succeed, both the protagonist and the antagonist have to be somewhat oblivious, yes, we have to suspend our belief in realism and let ourselves embrace the exaggeration in the edition of the gag. Even the term violent comedy infers this type of detachment.
  3. Yes, I can see the parody, and how formulaic it is, if you can say a true film noir can ever be formulaic. But this entire first clip is emblematic of all things noir. How many times do they have to light up? The focus on the smoking is clearly over the top...everything is overdone, but very smoothly. How many names can you have for a dame...poison under the gravy? Really...what Chandler or Hammett detective ever spoke like that? Yet, there is such precision in the way the film follows noir elements, it works. The director pulled it off.
  4. 99 River Street clip has layer upon layer of metaphors within in a few minutes...first- the boxing match on TV, then the boxing match that Payne is reliving while watching the boxing match on TV, the slow mo repeat of the boxing match, and finally the boxing match between husband and wife, and in each scene, it's Payne who is taking the blows. Still he is surviving. Still he is hopeful. Throughout it all, Payne is "really against the ropes, he's holding on now" but he takes it to the eye. The match affects his eyesight -- he's still optimistic, still holding on to the view of the American Dream. The fake almost looks real, he remarks about the bracelet. Idealism about the American Dream is almost real -- a gas station provides hope but his wife tells him just the way it is...you're just a servant. She's a blamer -- blaming him for her lack of success as a showgirl. But she believes she could have been a star...no you were just a showgirl, he reminds her. But in her worldview, she could have been a star and he could have been a champion. It's a hope that have been fed by society, but the table is empty -- there's no food that they are feasting on at the dinner table, just some swill of coffee to wash it all down....their dreams were "clouds in their coffee", as Carly Simon once wrote.
  5. Hammer exhibits an extreme lack of empathy when seeing Bailey barefoot, panting and clearly in distress. It's curious she is wearing a man's trench coat ...to imply a side of masculinity or toughness? but she's naked underneath..is it a veneer..showing how the traditional female role was changing? His lack of caring indicates the despair that was the subtext of the times. He says that he is willing to throw her off a clif and yet she doesn't react, she s a deer caught in headlights...vulnerable but a survivor, quick to come up with the idea of pretending they are a couple....Mike goes along with it, because he's corrupt ..perhaps crooked and Morally corrupt, as well. And while he is different from previous protagonist..in that he is attractive, not the worried, world weary tough guy...but even though he is physically attractive, his character is not appealing
  6. A thought also crossed my mind as to the motive behind Hammer's pretense with the cops. Distrust, disillusionment with authorities could be a current societal theme...that perhaps he'll play along with the escaped "looney" rather than help police. Also, perhaps, by this point, he may have seen enough to think she's not so crazy, even if society deems her so..and yet I also believe there may be alterior motives on Hammer's part...perhaps sexual, perhaps entertainment for the here and now. Curtis, though, he had to open the door for her...I wasn't sure she couldn't get in because there wasn't a handle or if she was insisting that he act like a gentleman, even if he's not talking like one...?
  7. And I like the way Lana Turner expects Garfield to bring her the lipstick...he thinks better of it, if you want it, he slinks back, come and get it here. So she sashays over to him, but she walks away, knowing she is in full control. The set up here with Turner is much more obvious, then the set up with Kathy Moffett..you couldn't tell when and how Moffett was siding with at any one point, except in the end. She was "like a leaf" going with whomever could help her at the time.
  8. From the outset, the scene sets the stage very tantalizingly...as mentioned in a previous post, the line clues us in: want to know how hot it gets in Mexico, go to Acapulco. Elements of film noir style: lots of diagonal lines in the composition in this clip's opening shots. The lighting clearly a signature of film noir style...darkness and light. Usually though most of the film noir tends to happen at night..so here we are seeing some new things that the Hollywood system is producing..on location and daylight shooting but still much play with lighting, nonetheless. The two characters are out of place..they are Americans in Mexico. Another theme in film noir: alienation. And of course, we have the sultry female character, very cool exterior, with a smoldering sexual undertone. Robert Mitchum drops his coin, I'm not sure what that accomplishes in establishing his character: her beauty distracts him to the point he can lose his only? Or he's willing to lose money for her? I'm not sure, any other thoughts on that? And finally, I always find that film noir are stories of paradox..the good guy can be bad sometimes, the femme fatale is really a good girl at heart and so on. Acts of betrayal and double twists. In the darkness of night, we see the light of truth.
  9. The big sleep is the kind of film noir that I am right at home with. The shiny, ggold sign showing Sternwood suggests we are visiting a wealthy household, the POV shot of the door bell,ringing is a nice film noir touch as well. The voice of the protagonist is first heard off camera, not a voiceover, not a narrative, more like something you would see onstage. Being introduced to the main character this way is intriguing and suggestive of something mysterious. This beginning sequence is very theater-ish...again film noir borrowing from other artistic endeavors. Bogart enters stage left, butler leaves stage right, Carmen enters stage center ... And then we have the playfulness in the music, clueing us into Carmen's character and preparing us for what is about to transpire between these two characters. And the terse, snarky dialogue gives us insight into their personalities. Marlowe is serious and playful...he shows that he knows how to play and calls himself Doghouse Reilly (who is that ? A reference to something popular at the time?) and he refers to himself as a shamus..I love it, he then follows up by saying a private detective, in case you didn't know what a shamus was. It's amazing how Marlowe arrives impeccable dressed and by the end of the clip, he is a stinking mess! All accomplished very plausibly in mere minutes. Just can't get enough of this stuff!
  10. Film noir movies were not afraid to tackle social issues of the time, Border Incident being a prime example. In a way, you could call it a docudrama, both realistic and cinematic at the same time. Realism is a hallmark of the noir style, and it would make sense that a documentarian opening could be incorporated into a noir movie. film noir pushed the boundaries of film making and story telling. So not so surprising to see a movie like Border Incident pushing boundaries and crossing the borders of conventional film making. I think what makes film noir continue to resonate with viewers is that all the contextual influences of the time...art, music, literature, style...created the most exquisite form of expression. Each element was at its finest...it wasn't that the story was so-so, but the acting was superb, or that the direction was fantastic but the music failed to match it...it was that all aspects were superlative and blended into the noir form, each aspect on an equivalent, heightened level.
  11. The darkness in Swede's room is in extreme contrast to the well lit diner...a diner that offers sustenance, food to live! Then we run, with the character, hurdling, jumping, opening gates , almost a kind of figurative, fast-forward through the many obstacles we go through in life. Then up to the swede's room where his face is obscured completely in shadow. He's on his deathbed, he made it this far, but here he is, at the end of the line. Even the messenger is in shadow, now, a kind of implication that they are in the netherworld. Swede is not making it out alive. In mere minutes, we have been transported from life to near death. I particularly like the shot in a kind of POV, at the diner, when we are looking through the screen door at bad guys at the gas station, with back of the characters head toward the right side of the shot. And I love when the messenger, who is going to get to the Swede, actually leaves the shot, comes around the counter and re-enters the shot in real time! How fascinating is that...I don't think we would ever see that happen in films today, would we?
  12. I have to agree. I don't believe is an amoral,woman, rather she is a woman experiencing unrequited love. She is inlove with Johnny and attempting to bring out his true emotions. they both have their moral codes...it might not be traditional but they do have a code of honor..that is part of film noir, as well, I would think. you can still be mirderous, but murderous with honor. As far as the music goes, it doesn't appear distinctly jazz, but I can see where the non-conventional syncopated rhythms of jazz would blend with and support the diagonal lines and angry compositional shooting style of film noir, along with the staccato dialogue, and the underbelly of the human condition.
  13. To comment further on that unreliability of the protagonist -- the concerned attitude of the doctor indicates, to me, that he believes he will see the protagonist again. The doctor suggests a different approach than Ray Milland is willing to take, he warns him to stay away from the police, reminds him of the perils of "a second charge", so we learn that Ray Milland is a criminal. But we also notice, that as Ray Milland, who supposedly would have spent a great deal of time with the doctor during his "cure", is willing to cut the ties almost immediately as he walks away as a free man, not giving the dr's recommendations any consideration, suggesting he's headstrong, stubborn, combined with the potential of a being a recividist, we have the fine makings a film noir protagonist.
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