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About BSquirrel

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  1. How would you compare the opening of M to the opening of Ministry of Fear? Both films withhold context for several minutes. In the opening of M, you begin with the creepy song from the kids, the conversation that is suggestive but not entirely clear, and then the revelation of the warning poster, almost as a side note, makes the main crux of the scene clear. Ministry of Fear has a similar structure in its opening. The pendulum (it's hard to avoid a Poe reference) is slow and foreboding, followed by a semi-cryptic conversation, and ending with the revelation that the setting was an asyl
  2. What makes him a new kind of detective? His suaveness is put on, and the viewer knows it right away. Protagonists can be falsely charming, but they usually maintain it throughout the story. He makes the viewer think he's a ladies' man - the way his assistant introduces Grayle, the way the look on his face when he locks the door - but all that falls away when he dumps out her purse and calls her out. And she's just as false and complex as he is. She lies to get what she wants just as much as he does. When that segment is over, we don't know which one is the "good guy," if either at al
  3. The thing that makes Lydecker's introduction so funny is his deadpan delivery. He's in an absurd setting, but he behaves as if it's business as usual. It speaks volumes about his character with just the visual alone. It's unexpected, but at the same time it's quite easy for me to accept as a viewer because of the character's "normal" tone. The fact that he is naked is also a juxtaposition to his lavish surroundings, making him more than he seems. As I've said before in this course, Noir gives the viewer credit for making connections.
  4. One of my biggest storytelling pet peeves - both in film and in books - is overtelling. This opening sequence, while it gives two very brief shots outside of the main character's direct POV (the barrel on the truck and Bogie crawling out of it and into the bushes) gives the viewer credit for being able to follow what's happening. The subtlety of Film Noir in general appeals to me for that reason, overall. Like Bette Davis' expressions in The Letter, this opening conveys so much without treating me as though I need everything explained.
  5. Not only is Wyler pushing the emerging film noir's equilibrium boundaries, but he's paving the way for strong female characters. A genre that is paving its own way can also give itself license to push in more ways than one. It's great to see a complex and engaging female character that claims the screen so early on. She doesn't say much, but what she says is commanding and obeyed. She is unwavering, in control, fierce, and unapologetic. Film noir seems to have more license to push the boundaries between social groups, which is impressive in the time period. She is menacing, and those around h
  6. This opening is gritty, fast, and uncomfortable. There's no romance that's usually associated with train travel in film. Noir always has a sense of unease, and the lack of smoothness in this section fits the bill. It also sets the film up with an allegory of ambition and strength.
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