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mmuk2004
post Jul 27 2007, 12:52 PM
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Have always wanted to see a Sergio Leone film. Had to cultivate a taste for Westerns. So started watching them chronologically. Hence have not reached the Spagetti Western genre yet. Among the early Westerns(40s and 50s) check out John Wayne in Howard Hawks' Red River(1948) and Rio Bravo(1959) and John Ford's Searchers(1956). John Huston's The Treasure of Sierra Madre(1948) and John Stevens' Shane(1952).

My favorite is High Noon(1952) a low budget, stark short Western by Fred Zinneman, which is actually different from the usual lavish epic Westerns which foreground male camaraderie and action...Has Gary Cooper looking world weary and the gorgeous Grace Kelly as his quaker wife who are the only two people in the cowardly town to face the villain. Howard Hawks answer to the film was Rio Bravo(1959) where male bonding and aspects of heroism emerge from the unlikeliest quarters. Was very entertaining too...

Will provide the pics later, if someone else can please oblige.


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"This isn't right, this isn't even wrong."
Wolfgang Pauli (1900-1958)

"There are no facts, only interpretations."
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

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mmuk2004
post Jul 30 2007, 09:49 AM
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Film Noir

Here is some info on Film noir, a genre that I love... they were mostly B-grade movies made in Hollywood in the forties and fifties(classic film noir), on shoe-string budgets. They have gained a kind of cult status over the years and have now become a very respectable area of study. Though they cover a wide range of genres and issues, there are some typical stylistic elements of a film noir: It is situated mostly in cities, using the dramatic interplay of dark and light(very effective in black and white films) with plenty of cigarette smoke filling its spaces. It is a morally ambiguous universe inhabited by cynical detectives/cops/private agents, sexy femme fatales, and very often uses voiceovers and flashbacks, that underscore the pervasive sense of fatalism underlying the smart, suggestive, cynical conversation of the characters very often involved in a convoluted games of one upmanship.

A tribute to Film Noir


Wilder made two of the most fascinating films of this genre, Double Indemnity(1944) and Sunset Boulevard (1950). Both movies have stunning opening scenes that set the pace and mood of the films.

Double Indemnity for example begins with a man limping up to his office in the middle of the night and saying into a dictaphone : "Yes, I killed him. I did it for the money. And for a woman. And I didn't get the money. And I didn't get the woman. Pretty, isn't it?"

A trailer of Double Indemnity


In Sunset Boulevard the narrator is already dead, floating face down in a swimming pool when he starts narrating the story about how it all began...

A trailer of Sunset Boulevard


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"This isn't right, this isn't even wrong."
Wolfgang Pauli (1900-1958)

"There are no facts, only interpretations."
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

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Reeth
post Jul 30 2007, 05:02 PM
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QUOTE(mmuk2004 @ Jul 27 2007, 12:52 PM) *

Have always wanted to see a Sergio Leone film. Had to cultivate a taste for Westerns. So started watching them chronologically. Hence have not reached the Spagetti Western genre yet. Among the early Westerns(40s and 50s) check out John Wayne in Howard Hawks' Red River(1948) and Rio Bravo(1959) and John Ford's Searchers(1956). John Huston's The Treasure of Sierra Madre(1948) and John Stevens' Shane(1952).

My favorite is High Noon(1952) a low budget, stark short Western by Fred Zinneman, which is actually different from the usual lavish epic Westerns which foreground male camaraderie and action...Has Gary Cooper looking world weary and the gorgeous Grace Kelly as his quaker wife who are the only two people in the cowardly town to face the villain. Howard Hawks answer to the film was Rio Bravo(1959) where male bonding and aspects of heroism emerge from the unlikeliest quarters. Was very entertaining too...

Will provide the pics later, if someone else can please oblige.



I have seen High noon.....the other westerns that i have seen and liked are Magnificent seven ride,For a few
Dollars more , once upon a time in the wild west and Fistful of Dollars.......
...



The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives
by altering their attitudes of mind

-William James
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Reeth
post Jul 30 2007, 05:09 PM
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QUOTE(mmuk2004 @ Jul 30 2007, 09:49 AM) *

Film Noir

Here is some info on Film noir, a genre that I love... they were mostly B-grade movies made in Hollywood in the forties and fifties(classic film noir), on shoe-string budgets. They have gained a kind of cult status over the years and have now become a very respectable area of study. Though they cover a wide range of genres and issues, there are some typical stylistic elements of a film noir: It is situated mostly in cities, using the dramatic interplay of dark and light(very effective in black and white films) with plenty of cigarette smoke filling its spaces. It is a morally ambiguous universe inhabited by cynical detectives/cops/private agents, sexy femme fatales, and very often uses voiceovers and flashbacks, that underscore the pervasive sense of fatalism underlying the smart, suggestive, cynical conversation of the characters very often involved in a convoluted games of one upmanship.

A tribute to Film Noir


Wilder made two of the most fascinating films of this genre, Double Indemnity(1944) and Sunset Boulevard (1950). Both movies have stunning opening scenes that set the pace and mood of the films.

Double Indemnity for example begins with a man limping up to his office in the middle of the night and saying into a dictaphone : "Yes, I killed him. I did it for the money. And for a woman. And I didn't get the money. And I didn't get the woman. Pretty, isn't it?"

A trailer of Double Indemnity


In Sunset Boulevard the narrator is already dead, floating face down in a swimming pool when he starts narrating the story about how it all began...

A trailer of Sunset Boulevard







Thanks a lot Madhavi....
found this on the net....Film noir is a cinematic term used primarily to describe stylish Hollywood crime dramas, particularly those that emphasize moral ambiguity and sexual motivation. Hollywood's classic film noir period is generally regarded as stretching from the early 1940s to the late 1950s. Film noir of this era is associated with a low-key black-and-white visual style that has roots in German Expressionist cinematography, while many of the prototypical stories and much of the attitude of classic noir derive from the hardboiled school of crime fiction that emerged in the United States during the Depression....


Attached Image
This still from The Big Combo (1955) demonstrates the visual style
of film noir at its most extreme. John Alton, the film's cinematographer,
created many of the iconic images of film noir.





The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives
by altering their attitudes of mind

-William James
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mmuk2004
post Jul 31 2007, 05:01 AM
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QUOTE(Reeth @ Jul 30 2007, 06:39 AM) *


Thanks a lot Madhavi....
found this on the net....Film noir is a cinematic term used primarily to describe stylish Hollywood crime dramas, particularly those that emphasize moral ambiguity and sexual motivation. Hollywood's classic film noir period is generally regarded as stretching from the early 1940s to the late 1950s. Film noir of this era is associated with a low-key black-and-white visual style that has roots in German Expressionist cinematography, while many of the prototypical stories and much of the attitude of classic noir derive from the hardboiled school of crime fiction that emerged in the United States during the Depression....


Attached Image
This still from The Big Combo (1955) demonstrates the visual style
of film noir at its most extreme. John Alton, the film's cinematographer,
created many of the iconic images of film noir.


You are very welcome, Reeth. Love the topic you have initiated. That still from the Big Combo indeed is archetypal film noir. Scene of the crime, the man and the woman somehow implicated in the scene of the crime, shadows and light, smoke ...et al

Btw, how did you miss out on Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid in your Western lineup...? Also check out Midnight Cowboy.



"This isn't right, this isn't even wrong."
Wolfgang Pauli (1900-1958)

"There are no facts, only interpretations."
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

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mmuk2004
post Jul 31 2007, 05:03 AM
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A useful introduction to Film Noir:

Have cut and pasted from the link below:
http://www.imagesjournal.com/issue02/infocus/filmnoir.htm


Film Noir: An Introduction


Dark rooms with light slicing through venetian blinds, alleys cluttered with garbage, abandoned warehouses where dust hangs in the air, rain-slickened streets with water still running in the gutters, dark detective offices overlooking busy streets: this is the stuff of film noir--that most magnificent of film forms--a perfect blend of form and content, where the desperation and hopelessness of the situations is reflected in the visual style, which drenches the world in shadows and only occasional bursts of sunlight. Film noir, occasionally acerbic, usually cynical, and often enthralling, gave us characters trying to elude some mysterious past that continues to haunt them, hunting them down with a fatalism that taunts and teases before delivering the final, definitive blow.

Unlike other forms of cinema, the film noir has no paraphernalia that it can truly call its own. Unlike the western, with cattle drives, lonely towns on the prairie, homesteading farmers, Winchester rifles, and Colt 45s, the film noir borrows its paraphernalia from other forms, usually from the crime and detective genres, but often overlapping into thrillers, horror, and even science fiction (as in the great "what's it" box from Kiss Me Deadly). The visual style echoes German expressionism, painting shafts of light that temporarily illuminate small chunks of an ominous and overbearing universe that limits a person's chances to slim and none. For as Paul Schrader said in his influential "Notes on Film Noir" essay, "No character can speak authoritatively from a space which is continually being cut into ribbons of light."

Out of the Past, for example, is one of the archetypal noirs, giving us a protagonist who has tried to escape his past (he betrayed a partner by running away with his girlfriend), but fate won't let him escape. He inhabits a world that constantly pulls people back into a morass of existence that is bound to suffocate them. Jeff (played by Robert Mitchum) is a seemingly good guy, but one bad turn has made his life a hell that he can never completely escape. Kirk Douglas plays the racketeer who needs to use Jeff and he does so by planting one of the great femmes fatales, Jane Greer, within Jeff's easy reach. And she consumes him.


The femme fatale would play a crucial role in the film noir, whether in the guise of Jane Greer in Out of the Past, Rita Hayworth in Lady From Shanghai, Veronica Lake in The Blue Dahlia, Joan Bennett in Scarlet Street, Peggy Cummins in Gun Crazy, Gloria Grahame in Human Desire, Lizbeth Scott in Dead Reckoning, Ava Gardner in The Killers, or Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity. These women were black widows who slowly drew in the heroes with come-hither looks and breathless voices. Communicating a danger of sex that is worthy of the '90s AIDS epidemic, the femme fatale knew how to use men to get whatever she wanted, whether it was just a little murder between lovers (as in Double Indemnity) or a wild, on-the-run lifestyle (as in Gun Crazy). The femme fatale was always there to help pull the hero down. And in the case of Mildred Pierce, we even get a femme fatale in the form of a daughter who threatens to destroy her mother's life.

Heroes in the film noir world would forever struggle to survive. Some of the heroes learned to play by the rules of film noir and survived by exposing corruption, such as Humphrey Bogart in The Big Sleep and Dick Powell in Murder, My Sweet. But more often than not, they were the saps destroyed by love (Fred MacMurray in Double Indemnity and Edward G. Robinson in Scarlet Street), a past transgression (Robert Mitchum in Out of the Past), or overly ambitious goals (Richard Widmark in Night and the City and Sterling Hayden in The Killing).


Titles like Pitfall, Nightmare, Kiss of Death, and Edge of Doom describe what you'll find in film noir. And titles like Night and the City, Side Street, Hell's Island and The Asphalt Jungle convey the terrain. But maybe it's titles such as The Big Heat and The Big Sleep that most simply convey the film noir essence--an overpowering force that can't be avoided.

Film noir first appeared in the early '40s in movies such as Stranger on the Third Floor (often cited as the first full-fledged noir) and This Gun For Hire. While soldiers went to war, film noir exposed a darker side of life, balancing the optimism of Hollywood musicals and comedies by supplying seedy, two-bit criminals and doom-laden atmospheres. While Hollywood strove to help keep public morale high, film noir gave us a peek into the alleys and backrooms of a world filled with corruption. And film noir remained an important form in Hollywood until the late '50s. Films such as Touch of Evil (1958) closed out the cycle. By then, the crime and detective genres were playing out their dramas in bright lights, with movies such as The Lineup containing noir elements but not the iconography of darkened streets and chiaroscuro lighting. (Post-'50s noirs such as Farewell, My Lovely and Body Heat are nostalgia first and noirs second.)



"This isn't right, this isn't even wrong."
Wolfgang Pauli (1900-1958)

"There are no facts, only interpretations."
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

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mmuk2004
post Jul 31 2007, 09:55 PM
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Two more noirs from another favorite director, Orson Welles, the enfant terrible of Hollywood. The production stories of each film of Welles are as sensational as the films themselves, and the mystery still continues to intrigue critics and buffs about what those films would be like if Welles had been allowed to make them the way he wanted to...

The Lady from Shanghai(1948): It had Rita Hayworth sporting a short cropped blonde style (Welles had made her crop her famous luxurious red hair for the movie) and Welles himself as the doomed Irish sailor(sporting a bad Irish accent) who falls for her. The plot is a complicated whodunit with many plots and sub plots, some believable some not, but watch the movie for its characters, details, the amazing photography and the superb last scene in the hall of mirrors. The film was as doomed as its theme, the chief of production and Welles could not see eye to eye, Welles and Hayworth filed for divorce before the release of the film, and though the film was complete in 1947, it was not not released till 1948 and that too was hacked by nearly an hour and filled in with explanatory scenes by the producer who insisted the audience would not be able to understand the film otherwise.

This is how the movie starts :
When I start out to make a fool of myself, there's very little can stop me. If I'd known where it would end, I'd never let anything start, if I'd been in my right mind, that is. But once I'd seen her, once I'd seen her, I was not in my right mind for quite some time...me, with plenty of time and nothing to do but get myself in trouble. Some people can smell danger, not me.

Here is just a little bit of the amazing last scene of the movie, it has spoilers though:


And there are stilll the missing forty minutes of the movie hacked by the producers that the fans hope to find some day...


Attached image(s)
Attached Image Attached Image


"This isn't right, this isn't even wrong."
Wolfgang Pauli (1900-1958)

"There are no facts, only interpretations."
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

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mmuk2004
post Jul 31 2007, 10:26 PM
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Ten years after being a pariah in Hollywood, Welles returned to make another sensational noir, A Touch of Evil(1958), at the behest of the hero (Charton Heston) who had the star power to insist that Welles, who was also acting in the movie, be allowed to direct it. This was the last film he made in Hollywood.

Once again the fascination of the film lies in the characters, the 300 pound Hank Quinlan (played by Welles in a self parodic mode), the settings (Welles takes the audience into seedy strip clubs and the dark alleys and brothels of the border town) and the show-stealing cameo of Marlene Dietrich as Han Quinlan's ex lover, now brothel madame, who gets some superb lines:

You're a mess, honey. You ought to lay off those candy bars.

Come on, read my future for me.
You haven't got any.
What do you mean?
Your future is all used up.

He was some kind of a man. What does it matter what you say about people.



The 93 mt. version of the movie that was released in 1958 had been badly hacked again by Universal, and Welles disowned the movie shooting off a 58 page memo to the producer about his vision of the movie. It is on the basis of this memo that recent attempts (I believe 4) have been made to reconstruct the movie in accordance with the director's original vision.

Here is an excerpt from a review of the movie:

Completely ignored by the Oscars, it was regarded as a rebellious, unorthodox, bizarre, and outrageously exaggerated film, affronting respectable 1950's sensibilities, with controversial themes including racism, betrayal of friends, sexual ambiguity, frameups, drugs, and police corruption of power. Its central character is an obsessed, driven, and bloated police captain ("a lousy cop") - a basically tragic figure who has a "touch of evil" in his enforcement of the law. Its other unusual and seedy characters include a nervous and sex-crazed motel manager, a blind shopkeeper, a drug smuggler, a sweaty drug dealer with a poorly-fitting wig, a terrorizing gang of juvenile delinquents, and an intense good cop - an international narcotics officer who is honeymooning (but ignores his wife), all in a sleazy border town (and a number of dark hotel rooms) within a twenty-four hour period.

The film opens with its most famous sequence. It's an audacious, incredible, breathtaking, three-minute, uninterrupted crane tracking shot under the credits (appearing superimposed on the left of the screen). The entire tracking shot covers four blocks from start to finish. In a close-up, hands set an explosive, timed device. A shadowy figure runs and places it in the trunk of a parked convertible. The pounding of bongo drums and blare of brass instruments are heard (Henry Mancini's score), accompanied by the ticking-tocking of the mechanism on the soundtrack. The camera pulls away sharply, identifying the car's location - it is parked on a street in a seedy Mexican border town. An unsuspecting, wealthy American man - Rudi Linnekar (the boss of the town) and his giggling, blonde floozy, mistress/girlfriend [later, we learn she is a striptease dancer named Zita] emerge out of the background darkness and get into the car, driving off through the streets toward the US-Mexican border about four blocks away.

From high above, the camera tracks the movement of the doomed pair in the shiny car through the squalid-looking town. It is a dark night as they drive through the town, the setting for the rest of the film. In the border town, there are flashing neon and electric signs, tawdry hotels and stripjoint nightclubs ("The Paradise"), crumbling arches, dark roofs, winding streets and twisting alleys with peeling posters on sides of walls and houses, heaps of trash, and vendors pushing carts. The black-and-white visuals emphasize the seedy atmosphere and the moral decadence, decay, and nightmarish dirtiness of the scene.



And here's that brilliant opening sequence of the movie


Attached image(s)
Attached Image Attached Image Attached Image


"This isn't right, this isn't even wrong."
Wolfgang Pauli (1900-1958)

"There are no facts, only interpretations."
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

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Reeth
post Aug 1 2007, 02:51 PM
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QUOTE(mmuk2004 @ Jul 31 2007, 05:01 AM) *

QUOTE(Reeth @ Jul 30 2007, 06:39 AM) *


Thanks a lot Madhavi....
found this on the net....Film noir is a cinematic term used primarily to describe stylish Hollywood crime dramas, particularly those that emphasize moral ambiguity and sexual motivation. Hollywood's classic film noir period is generally regarded as stretching from the early 1940s to the late 1950s. Film noir of this era is associated with a low-key black-and-white visual style that has roots in German Expressionist cinematography, while many of the prototypical stories and much of the attitude of classic noir derive from the hardboiled school of crime fiction that emerged in the United States during the Depression....


Attached Image
This still from The Big Combo (1955) demonstrates the visual style
of film noir at its most extreme. John Alton, the film's cinematographer,
created many of the iconic images of film noir.


You are very welcome, Reeth. Love the topic you have initiated. That still from the Big Combo indeed is archetypal film noir. Scene of the crime, the man and the woman somehow implicated in the scene of the crime, shadows and light, smoke ...et al

Btw, how did you miss out on Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid in your Western lineup...? Also check out Midnight Cowboy.



Thanks Madhavi.......seen both Butch cassidy and Midnight cowboy......great movies.....
By the way i liked Jon Voight in The Odessa file........



The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives
by altering their attitudes of mind

-William James
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Reeth
post Aug 1 2007, 02:55 PM
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QUOTE(mmuk2004 @ Jul 31 2007, 09:55 PM) *

Two more noirs from another favorite director, Orson Welles, the enfant terrible of Hollywood. The production stories of each film of Welles is as sensational as the films themselves, and the mystery still continues to intrigue critics and buffs about what those films would be like if Welles has been allowed to make them the way he wanted to...

The Lady from Shanghai(1948): It had Rita Hayworth sporting a short cropped blonde style (Welles had made her crop her famous luxurious red hair for the movie) and Welles himself as the doomed Irish sailor(sporting a bad Irish accent) who falls for her. The plot is a complicated whodunit with many plots and sub plots, some believable some not, but watch the movie for its characters, details, the amazing photography and the superb last scene in the hall of mirrors. The film was as doomed as its theme, the chief of production and Welles could not see eye to eye, Welles and Hayworth filed for divorce before the release of the film, and though the film was complete in 1947, it was not not released till 1948 and that too was hacked by nearly an hour and filled in with explanatory scenes by the producer who insisted the audience would not be able to understand the film otherwise.

This is how the movie starts :
When I start out to make a fool of myself, there's very little can stop me. If I'd known where it would end, I'd never let anything start, if I'd been in my right mind, that is. But once I'd seen her, once I'd seen her, I was not in my right mind for quite some time...me, with plenty of time and nothing to do but get myself in trouble. Some people can smell danger, not me.

Here is just a little bit of the amazing last scene of the movie, it has spoilers though:


And there are stilll the missing forty minutes of the movie hacked by the producers that the fans hope to find some day...



QUOTE(mmuk2004 @ Jul 31 2007, 10:26 PM) *

Ten years after being a pariah in Hollywood, Welles returned to make another sensational noir,[b] A Touch of Evil(1958), at the behest of the hero (Charton Heston) who had the star power to insist that Welles, who was also acting in the movie, be allowed to direct it. This was the last film he made in Hollywood.

Once again the fascination of the film lies in the characters, the 300 pound Hank Quinlan (played by Welles in a self parodic mode), the settings (Welles takes the audience into seedy strip clubs and the dark alleys and brothels of the border town) and the show-stealing cameo of Marlene Dietrich as Han Quinlan's ex lover, now brothel madame, who gets some superb lines:

You're a mess, honey. You ought to lay off those candy bars. [/b] Come on, read my future for me.
You haven't got any.
What do you mean?
Your future is all used up.

He was some kind of a man. What does it matter what you say about people.



The 93 mt. version of the movie that was released in 1958 had been badly hacked again by Universal, and Welles disowned the movie shooting off a 58 page memo to the producer about his vision of the movie. It is on the basis of this memo that recent attempts (I believe 4) have been made to reconstruct the movie in accordance with the director's original vision.

Here is an excerpt from a review of the movie:

Completely ignored by the Oscars, it was regarded as a rebellious, unorthodox, bizarre, and outrageously exaggerated film, affronting respectable 1950's sensibilities, with controversial themes including racism, betrayal of friends, sexual ambiguity, frameups, drugs, and police corruption of power. Its central character is an obsessed, driven, and bloated police captain ("a lousy cop") - a basically tragic figure who has a "touch of evil" in his enforcement of the law. Its other unusual and seedy characters include a nervous and sex-crazed motel manager, a blind shopkeeper, a drug smuggler, a sweaty drug dealer with a poorly-fitting wig, a terrorizing gang of juvenile delinquents, and an intense good cop - an international narcotics officer who is honeymooning (but ignores his wife), all in a sleazy border town (and a number of dark hotel rooms) within a twenty-four hour period.

The film opens with its most famous sequence. It's an audacious, incredible, breathtaking, three-minute, uninterrupted crane tracking shot under the credits (appearing superimposed on the left of the screen). The entire tracking shot covers four blocks from start to finish. In a close-up, hands set an explosive, timed device. A shadowy figure runs and places it in the trunk of a parked convertible. The pounding of bongo drums and blare of brass instruments are heard (Henry Mancini's score), accompanied by the ticking-tocking of the mechanism on the soundtrack. The camera pulls away sharply, identifying the car's location - it is parked on a street in a seedy Mexican border town. An unsuspecting, wealthy American man - Rudi Linnekar (the boss of the town) and his giggling, blonde floozy, mistress/girlfriend [later, we learn she is a striptease dancer named Zita] emerge out of the background darkness and get into the car, driving off through the streets toward the US-Mexican border about four blocks away.

From high above, the camera tracks the movement of the doomed pair in the shiny car through the squalid-looking town. It is a dark night as they drive through the town, the setting for the rest of the film. In the border town, there are flashing neon and electric signs, tawdry hotels and stripjoint nightclubs ("The Paradise"), crumbling arches, dark roofs, winding streets and twisting alleys with peeling posters on sides of walls and houses, heaps of trash, and vendors pushing carts. The black-and-white visuals emphasize the seedy atmosphere and the moral decadence, decay, and nightmarish dirtiness of the scene.



And here's that brilliant opening sequence of the movie



Thanks a lot Madhavi.... bow.gif i simply love the way you write, you have a way with words.....i am able to visualise the scene as i read ......



The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives
by altering their attitudes of mind

-William James
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mmuk2004
post Aug 4 2007, 09:48 AM
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Sorry Reeth, about the slightly out of context post. A brief reminder about Ingmar Bergman. Not Hollywood certainly, but enough of Hollywood (to its credit) has been influenced by him.

Finally the grand old man died...and that too on the same day as Antonioni. Had been dreading the day it would happen, having watched a number of his films, I have always been amazed at how personally a number of his films touched me, considering how distinctly different his lived experience was from mine.

One cannot help but mention his Seventh Seal in an occasion such as this. Heavily and ostentatiously symbolic, it is about a knight who comes back from the crusades and finds that his country has been ravaged by the plague. Death comes for him too, and in his desperation he challenges him to a game of chess. He knows the outcome but plays for time...

Here is the famous scene:


And Here is the trailer:


A film about faith and belief, Ingmar's knight opts for a wry, wavering, disappointing, and constantly questioned belief rather than accept the bleak alternative that there is no meaning in life. And that, btw is a terribly reductive reading of Bergman's richly layered film. And this is not even my favorite Bergman film (if you like Bergman, you will always have your treasured favorites among his repetoire of about fifty films...). For me, his most stunning films were Wild Strawberries and Persona, and a cherished light one is Smiles of a Summer Night.



"This isn't right, this isn't even wrong."
Wolfgang Pauli (1900-1958)

"There are no facts, only interpretations."
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

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mmuk2004
post Aug 6 2007, 02:23 AM
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And what can film noir be without Bogey...I promise not to impose any more noirs after these two:

The Maltese Falcon (1941)

Don't worry about the plot in The Maltese Falcon (actually that is true of most Noirs), note the style, the tough talking hero and the mood. The film made a legend out of Bogart. Consider this dialogue with which the hero sends the woman to the gallows after she pleads with him not to give her over to the law:

''I hope they don't hang you, precious, by that sweet neck. . . . The chances are you'll get off with life. That means if you're a good girl, you'll be out in 20 years. I'll be waiting for you. If they hang you, I'll always remember you.''

Here's an excerpt from Ebert:

Some film histories consider ''The Maltese Falcon'' the first film noir. It put down the foundations for that native American genre of mean streets, knife-edged heroes, dark shadows and tough dames.

Of course film noir was waiting to be born. It was already there in the novels of Dashiell Hammett, who wrote The Maltese Falcon, and the work of Raymond Chandler, James M. Cain, John O'Hara and the other boys in the back room. ''Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean,'' wrote Chandler, and that was true of his hero Philip Marlowe (another Bogart character). But it wasn't true of Hammett's Sam Spade, who was mean, and who set the stage for a decade in which unsentimental heroes talked tough and cracked wise.

Cold. Spade is cold and hard, like his name. When he gets the news that his partner has been murdered, he doesn't blink an eye. Didn't like the guy. Kisses his widow the moment they're alone together. Beats up Joel Cairo (Lorre) not just because he has to, but because he carries a perfumed handkerchief, and you know what that meant in a 1941 movie. Turns the rough stuff on and off. Loses patience with Greenstreet, throws his cigar into the fire, smashes his glass, barks out a threat, slams the door and then grins to himself in the hallway, amused by his own act.

If he didn't like his partner, Spade nevertheless observes a sort of code involving his death. ''When a man's partner is killed,'' he tells Brigid, ''he's supposed to do something about it.'' He doesn't like the cops, either; the only person he really seems to like is his secretary, Effie (Lee Patrick), who sits on his desk, lights his cigarettes, knows his sins and accepts them. How do Bogart and Huston get away with making such a dark guy the hero of a film? Because he does his job according to the rules he lives by, and because we sense (as we always would with Bogart after this role) that the toughness conceals old wounds and broken dreams.


Alas, the mood and the mode won't work today wink2.gif...but the darkness inherent in human motivations tainting all and possibilities of desperate heroism still might find echoes in this age.

And then there is The Big Sleep(1946) which is credited with having one of the most confusing storylines in Hollywood film history. Based on the popular novel by Raymond Chandler that was published in 1939, it introduced the the first of the series of the Philip Marlowe novels. The plot, again, is the "McGuffin", to borrow Hitchcock's phrase, it does not matter. What matters is the on and off screen chemistry of the Bacall-Bogart pair, the double-edged dialogues and the atmosphere. And there is plenty of it in the film.

You're not very tall are you?
I try to be...
says Bogie.... thumbs-up.gif

Check out this compilation by a buff who has titled it "The Babes of the Big Sleep" with the following comment: The biggest mystery in Howard Hawks's THE BIG SLEEP is why almost every beautiful woman finds Bogie irresistible tongue1.gif



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"This isn't right, this isn't even wrong."
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"There are no facts, only interpretations."
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Reeth
post Aug 13 2007, 04:50 PM
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QUOTE(mmuk2004 @ Aug 4 2007, 09:48 AM) *

Sorry Reeth, about the slightly out of context post. A brief reminder about Ingmar Bergman. Not Hollywood certainly, but enough of Hollywood (to its credit) has been influenced by him.

Madhavi just add evrything here, dont worry about method and order, this is more fun smile1.gif

Finally the grand old man died...and that too on the same day as Antonioni. Had been dreading the day it would happen, having watched a number of his films, I have always been amazed at how personally a number of his films touched me, considering how distinctly different his lived experience was from mine.

One cannot help but mention his Seventh Seal in an occasion such as this. Heavily and ostentatiously symbolic, it is about a knight who comes back from the crusades and finds that his country has been ravaged by the plague. Death comes for him too, and in his desperation he challenges him to a game of chess. He knows the outcome but plays for time...

Here is the famous scene:


And Here is the trailer:


A film about faith and belief, Ingmar's knight opts for a wry, wavering, disappointing, and constantly questioned belief rather than accept the bleak alternative that there is no meaning in life. And that, btw is a terribly reductive reading of Bergman's richly layered film. And this is not even my favorite Bergman film (if you like Bergman, you will always have your treasured favorites among his repetoire of about fifty films...). For me, his most stunning films were Wild Strawberries and Persona, and a cherished light one is Smiles of a Summer Night.



QUOTE(mmuk2004 @ Aug 6 2007, 02:23 AM) *

And what can film noir be without Bogey...I promise not to impose any more noirs after these two:

The Maltese Falcon (1941)

Don't worry about the plot in The Maltese Falcon (actually that is true of most Noirs), note the style, the tough talking hero and the mood. The film made a legend out of Bogart. Consider this dialogue with which the hero sends the woman to the gallows after she pleads with him not to give her over to the law:

''I hope they don't hang you, precious, by that sweet neck. . . . The chances are you'll get off with life. That means if you're a good girl, you'll be out in 20 years. I'll be waiting for you. If they hang you, I'll always remember you.''

Here's an excerpt from Ebert:

Some film histories consider ''The Maltese Falcon'' the first film noir. It put down the foundations for that native American genre of mean streets, knife-edged heroes, dark shadows and tough dames.

Of course film noir was waiting to be born. It was already there in the novels of Dashiell Hammett, who wrote The Maltese Falcon, and the work of Raymond Chandler, James M. Cain, John O'Hara and the other boys in the back room. ''Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean,'' wrote Chandler, and that was true of his hero Philip Marlowe (another Bogart character). But it wasn't true of Hammett's Sam Spade, who was mean, and who set the stage for a decade in which unsentimental heroes talked tough and cracked wise.

Cold. Spade is cold and hard, like his name. When he gets the news that his partner has been murdered, he doesn't blink an eye. Didn't like the guy. Kisses his widow the moment they're alone together. Beats up Joel Cairo (Lorre) not just because he has to, but because he carries a perfumed handkerchief, and you know what that meant in a 1941 movie. Turns the rough stuff on and off. Loses patience with Greenstreet, throws his cigar into the fire, smashes his glass, barks out a threat, slams the door and then grins to himself in the hallway, amused by his own act.

If he didn't like his partner, Spade nevertheless observes a sort of code involving his death. ''When a man's partner is killed,'' he tells Brigid, ''he's supposed to do something about it.'' He doesn't like the cops, either; the only person he really seems to like is his secretary, Effie (Lee Patrick), who sits on his desk, lights his cigarettes, knows his sins and accepts them. How do Bogart and Huston get away with making such a dark guy the hero of a film? Because he does his job according to the rules he lives by, and because we sense (as we always would with Bogart after this role) that the toughness conceals old wounds and broken dreams.


Alas, the mood and the mode won't work today wink2.gif...but the darkness inherent in human motivations tainting all and possibilities of desperate heroism still might find echoes in this age.

And then there is [b]The Big Sleep(1946) which is credited with having one of the most confusing storylines in Hollywood film history. Based on the popular novel by Raymond Chandler that was published in 1939, it introduced the the first of the series of the Philip Marlowe novels. The plot, again, is the "McGuffin", to borrow Hitchcock's phrase, it does not matter. What matters is the on and off screen chemistry of the Bacall-Bogart pair, the double-edged dialogues and the atmosphere. And there is plenty of it in the film.
[/b]
You're not very tall are you?
I try to be...
says Bogie.... thumbs-up.gif

Check out this compilation by a buff who has titled it "The Babes of the Big Sleep" with the following comment: The biggest mystery in Howard Hawks's THE BIG SLEEP is why almost every beautiful woman finds Bogie irresistible tongue1.gif





Great stuff Madhavi.....Thanks a lot, keep adding... smile.gif





The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives
by altering their attitudes of mind

-William James
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post Sep 5 2007, 03:42 PM
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Quo Vadis - (1951)

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STARRING: Robert Taylor, Deborah Kerr, Leo Genn, Peter Ustinov, Patricia Laffan
DIRECTOR: Mervyn LeRoy
STUDIO: MGM Studios
RATING: NR
GENRE: Drama
RELEASE DATE: February 23, 1951


Quo vadis is Latin for "Where are you going?"..........

Quo Vadis tells of a love that develops between a young Christian woman, Ligia (or Lygia), and Marcus Vinicius, a Roman patrician. It takes place in the city of Rome under the rule of emperor Nero around AD 64.....

It's the story of the growing pains of Christianity in a decadent Rome subject to the whims of the mad emperor Nero. The story concerns a Roman general who falls for a Christian slave girl and, later, for her religion, but even though that's what provides the film its focus, the real attraction is the spectacle.

The biggest part of that spectacle is Peter Ustinov, who cemented the public's conception of the madman who "fiddled while Rome burned" (actually, in this film it's a lyre, as the fiddle hadn't been invented yet, but no matter) with his over-the-top scenery chewing. He preens and screeches like a spoiled rock star, alternately begging and ordering his subordinates to confess their adoration of him and his god-awful songs. I don't think it necessarily counts as good acting, but it's unforgettable. And miraculously, he's paired onscreen with Leo Genn, who plays court poet Petronius (who wrote Satyricon, which Fellini made into a movie of the same name). Petronius is Nero's opposite in every way: he's quiet while Nero bellows, he's austere while Nero dresses like a clown, and he's subtle while Nero is... not. His job is to manipulate his boss into second-guessing his most obnoxious and horrifying instincts, and he does this with an understated charm. Both actors were nominated for Best Supporting Actor, and while one can't really say they deserved the award more than Karl Malden did, one can only wish they could have made a special award for Ustinov and Genn to share.

It's too bad the leads aren't nearly up to the standards those two set. Robert Taylor stumbles his way through the film as Marcus Vinicius, a Roman general who returns from three years on the battlefield to find his home city teetering on the brink of self-destruction, although it takes him a while to realize that. He's helped along his journey to understanding by Lygia (a particularly reptilian-looking Deborah Kerr), a slave who's been adopted into the family of a former general who secretly converted to Christianity, then just a marginal religious cult. At first Marcus tries to bully Lygia into giving in to him, calling in favors from his palace connections (Petronius is his uncle) to get her transferred to his custody. However, he relents when he realizes that she loves her savior, Jesus Christ, more than she does him. There aren't any sparks between Taylor and Kerr, likely because Taylor seems to lack any spark of his own. It makes his gradual conversion from savage soldier to proto-Christian difficult to accept, because he's incapable of showing us the grace that's supposed to be slowly suffusing him. Kerr is easier to accept, but she's weighed down by the banal script (it's no mistake that Writing wasn't among the film's Oscar nominations).

Meanwhile, we come to what attracted audiences in the first place....The Spectacle...

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The water Quo Vadis dives into are excellent for any historical epic: you have persecutions and martyrdoms, the glory of ancient Rome reaching its apex, and a mad emperor who murdered his own mother. As with most historical movies of the time, the acting is geared less toward realism and more toward a hightened feel of D-R-A-M-A and ostentatious monologues, but, compared to many of the historical 'epics' of today, it has a strong emotional core and a passion for its subject. ....












The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives
by altering their attitudes of mind

-William James
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mmuk2004
post Sep 11 2007, 10:52 PM
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Thank you Reeth, I remember being entranced by the drama, the spectacle and the sheer lavishness of the movie. Btw, it has another claim to fame... both Sophia Loren and Liz Taylor were in the movie as extras biggrin.gif ...okay Liz had a cameo...



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