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Everything posted by AstridEWP

  1. -- How Hitchcock's rhythm and purposes are different from other films noir such as Kiss Me Deadly or The Hitch-Hiker: Rather than beginning with a shocking event to throw the senses of the viewer off-kilter (such as a woman throwing herself in front of a car or a madman pulling a gun on a driver), Hitchcock begins SOAT with upbeat music and a routine daytime setting, with familiar, repeated sound patterns (footsteps, train wheels on rails) rather than with foreboding music and jarring noises, making his approach far more subtle than either KMD or THH. Setting the story in a busy train term
  2. --Parallels in the opening scenes of the latest films: I see parallels in all three re: the use of the pre-credits and credits to start the story and establish mood (all start on a road and involve moving vehicles, but this is a less important point). More significant is the perspective and camera movement, showing in this case the back of O’Brien’s head as he moves purposefully through a series of hallways and doorways. The perspective is reminiscent of the scene from the back of the car in The Hitchhiker, and the motion is reminiscent of the vehicle in Caged, in which we move continuousl
  3. -- How the opening is appropriate for a film about females at a women's state prison/How the design of this scene makes the audience as "caged" as these characters: Like in The Hitchhiker, the position of the camera inside the vehicle emphasizes the confined, cramped space from which there is no escape. The effect is even stronger here, because the only window to the outside is barred, and more significantly still, the window is very small—taking up only a tiny portion of the screen. The feeling of confinement is appropriate not only because the women in the police vehicle are confined in
  4. -- Major themes and/or ideas introduced in the opening sequence: Fear, mistrust, bleakness, loss of innocence, betrayal, and paranoia are along for the ride in THH. Today no one picks up hitchhikers anymore for fear of precisely this kind of horrifying situation, but in the 1950s, it was much more common. The underlying idea that someone you may be trying to help out of a bad situation can turn on you in the most ruthless way is deeply unsettling, and for it to happen in a car, a confined space, is even worse. Cars are supposed to help people escape, and here the car is a prison in motion.
  5. Major themes and/or ideas introduced in the opening sequence: The theme of escape is the most prevalent, here, and at first we make the assumption that Hammer does: that Christina has escaped from a person rather than from a place. The two also "escape" from the police blockade. Christina might well be escaping from more than an asylum; she could be attempting to escape the constricting role of womanhood. Wearing nothing underneath her trench coat, she appears at once vulnerable and sexual, poised to reveal herself both physically and symbolically, and underscoring the tension between disc
  6. -- What makes Lime's "entrance" so effective: Where to begin? Is there a more effective entrance in a film noir? I'm tempted to say it's Orson Welles that makes Lime's entrance so effective, so I will. Lime comes out of the shadows literally and figuratively, and the noir elements in this scene come together perfectly: he is framed in an archway and in the shadows of the window pane; his face is illuminated suddenly as the camera pulls in to a closeup; and best of all, we are reminded of the nefarious car accident as Cotten is himself nearly run over in the same spot Lime was supposedly ki
  7. How entrances are staged for Garfield and Turner/What each entrance reveals about their character: Garfield is presented both literally and figuratively as a man in motion; a hitch hiker, he's getting out of a vehicle before he's even finished his latest story, and makes it clear to everyone he's not long for any one place. He's framed in a car window. In glaring contrast is Turner's slow "entrance" framed in a doorway; the only place she's headed for is trouble, which her deliberate dropping of the lipstick and petulant retrieval of it makes plain; her manipulative flirtation hasn't worke
  8. Difference in entrances: Lorre enters at a medium range and the camera follows him from one door (elevator) to another (apartment), and his face is lit continuously from above, whereas Greenstreet appears at long range and in dark silhouette against a light background, framed in a doorway (we also see him framed in the mirror behind him). The effect suggests the difference in each actor's character: neither is morally scrupulous, but Lorre is presented as being more forthright, while Greenstreet is presented as ominous. We are clearly meant to sympathize with Lorre. Changes in the scen
  9. -- How the scene employs noir elements despite daylight: Several film noir elements are apparent: the voice over narration, the cynical perspective of characters, the light placement (overhead spotlighting), the shadows and silhouettes, unsettling music (“jarring” music coming from the theater next door), unpleasant ambient heat that underscores the chemistry between the two characters, and their witty repartee. Visually, it reminds me of a Mexican version Casablanca with everything from the-lone-man-at-a-table shots to the female lead’s hat; most of all, the low camera angles and framed d
  10. Bogart established as Marlowe/What we learn about Marlowe: Bogart is established as Philip Marlowe by his unmistakable voice before we even see him; it can be no one else, and just hearing Bogart utter the words "My name's Marlowe" out of sight from behind the door is enough. He is dressed simply as himself rather than in a stylish light blue suit as the character Marlowe wears in the novel. We learn that Marlowe went to college; he is flirtatious, opinionated, straightforward, cynical, and observant and, most significantly (and unsurprisingly) insubordinate--and not in the least ashamed
  11. Mood/Atmosphere: The diagonal framings of the canal and farms, echoed by the diamond shapes in the chain-link fence, establish a sense of precarious order. The voiceover narration adds credibility, and also a sense of foreboding, in a stern, straightforward style; it sounds like those in a documentary or educational short, a kind of warning. It is very different from the opening credits, but the effect is as suspenseful. Use of documentary realism: The realism sets up a contrast between order and disorder. The effect is unsettling; we want to buy in to and be comforted by the succe
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