PSYCHO

       The initial introduction of this film and the credit was very omnimous with the choice of music and gave a suspensful feel.  Knowing the styles of Alfred Hitchcock, the first scene wasted no time to aware who directed the film. The first scene was Sam  and Marian finishing having sex. The man was shirtless and the woman was in her bra and panties kissing in bed. I found it to be ironic that they was saying how the next time they will see each other it will be respectable. Your learn that Sam is divorced and must send alimony and you could see that Marian was going to be by his side.

      The scene that stood out to me was when secretary Marian was at her job and Tom was there flirting with her. He was speaking to her and her boss about buying a house in cash for his young daughter who recently got married .  This would be a reason for Marian to be jealous because of her situation with Sam. When she went home with the cash instead of depositing it in the bank, I liked the close up shot and the money and the suitcase filled with cloths. With that shot in mind she is getting dressed and there is non diegetic sound which is suspenseful, because you know what shes plotting to do.

      I enjoyed the scenes once Marian began to be on the run with the money.  While driving she ran into her boss George Lawry, the non diegetic sound playing during her chase scenes was such a crucial  part because it was so hard and omnimous with a lot of brass strings. The scene with the officer stood out to me also , because of the close up on his face and theres no eye contact because of the dark shades. I felt the shades and the hat was neccessary to not be able to see who he was , the important thing was what he was which is authority. I thought it was creative how while Marian was driving , the conversations was being played as non diegetic sound between dealership/cop , George Lawry/Tom/receptionist. They are all discussing and discovering that she stole the money, but i found it interesting that Marian’s face starts to become sinister to the convo’s as if it is diegetic sound.

     There then is a shift into the movie where things took a left turn. Marian ends up satying at the Bates motel.  We are introduced to Norman Bates who seems nervous around this woman yet comfortable at the same time , asking her to have dinner with him.  The house in which the “mother” is located is pitch black with a bright luminous light from the window.  The dinner scene is very important because we learn who Norman is as a person . He has a fascination with birds, he tells Marian she eats like a bird, theres birds on the wall, he says he likes to stuff birds as a hobby also. He sheds light on the relationship with his mother also. “boys best friend is his mother”  and “son is a poor substitue for a  lover”.  There is a close up shot of him speaking of hismother, with the birds surrounding in deep focus.

       Other stand out scenes was the killing of Marian which wasnt graphic but effective.The way the camera cut up the shot of the knife and a piece of her body, which never showed contact  and also the shrill “eek eek” music. When “Norman” reached the scene in shock he knocked over the picutre of a bird. Thekilling of the Investegator  was strange but effective. When he was stabbed  the way he fell down the steps in the floating manner was so unrealistic but effective. The movie overall was very interesting with how things played out with the story line.  It was a very interrestingconcept of Norman playing his deceased mother when carrying out murders. It was creative in the ending how we see Norman but his mother is the narrative in his head. The camera then does a trick showing her corpse faded into his face.

Written in the wind

       This 1956 Douglas Sirk film was a very vibrant film in terms of color.  The film was a melo-drama and at times had a cheesy feel to it, especially the intro with the wind blowing the calender pages (hence the title).  The movie had some artificial elements to it such as the driving  in beginning scene and some of the coloring.  The scene in the plane when Kyle was driving & talking to Lucy ,to me the plane  felt like a prop and wasnt authentic. I liked the hotel scene because the colors popped  with pinks, and purples a contrast to the screenings we normally see.

      The was a huge pattern of non diegetic sound & music throughout the film which sometimes was used as a theme or carry out a scenario more. Some examples of this is the hotel scene when Lucy  noticed the very lavish hotel room Kyle provided , there was non diegetic love music. Also the character of Mary Lee, each time she entered a scene she had very seductive theme music.  Another example is the scene when Lucy found Kyles gun , the non diegetic sound was so ominous , over the top and loud.  I have two diegetic  sound examples, the first one was the bar scene when kyle and Mitch faught the man for Mary Lee.  The Jukebox was playing music that some what accompanied the fight scene. THe second example was when Mary lee wasdancing to the fast drum music as her father walked up the steps. It thought it was done well with the reverse shot for this to tie these two scenarios together.

      There was a play on female characters which was good girl vs bad girl between Lucy & Marry Lee.  The scene where they first interact  was very catty, Mary lee tells Lucy “condolences for your marriage”.  Also when Lucy was slapped by Kyle she fell to floor as a helpless victim but when he slapped Mary Lee she stood there with shock which turned to  a pleased grin.

      I noticed another pattern which was some mirror reflections. Some examples: Lucy in the hotel in the beginning with Mitch & Kyle, Lucy & Mary Lee talking in the room while Lucy does hair,  Mitch carrying a drunken Kyle,  Mirror showing druken Kyle leave after he attacked Lucy & mirror reflection of Lucy as she layed strucken on the floor.

      Overall the movie was entertaining some things was over dramatic but it’s expected in this genre.  I found it to be funny how fast Kyle and Mitch fell in love with Lucy. Each time they professed their love to her it was followed with a passionate kiss. Also when i found out Lucy had a miscarriage from the slap to the face, i felt it was over the top to make her loose the baby.

EARLY SUMMER MADE FOR A LATE PLOT

       This Yasujuro Ozo film to me was a different approach and kind of pro-longed as the movie continued. I did enjoy how it showed a traditional Japanese family and basically a moment within their lives. I liked the first scene with the family when they was just eating and the camera angle was low to really capture them sitting on the floor at the low table. This is where you get also introduced to the characters. You see that its a traditional japanese home, the low tables, sliding doors,paper like walls, and no shoes in the home.

      The concept and build up of this whole film was about the family trying to get f28 year old family member Noriko a husband. As the film progressed I just felt that the stress of her getting married to some one was not exactly wrapped up the way you would think. Although at the end she married Kenkichi, you seen no type of interaction between them at all, the closest she got to that was the conversations with his mother who gave the proposal. I found it even odd that after his mother gave the proposal and Noriko excepted , she seen Kenkichi outside & said absolutely nothing about it. Once the family found out whom she was finally married they did not approve at all. Kenkichi was moving away to Akita for business and he was also a single father. I like how there was such a dark mood in the home, the family was silent, and had expressionless faces.

        I liked the interaction between Noriko and her friend Aya. You could see the bond they have when they are around people and they beginn to be sarcastic and keep saying “naaay” after each line.  I enjoyed the scene with Noriko & Aya with their friends who are married. You get to see a division amongst once child hood friends and how both groups view each other. I also enjoyed the childrens character which added humor to the film. My favorite scenes was the one with Isamu (younger child) when he had the cookie exchange with his grandfather & also when they was messing around with their hard of hearing uncle.

      I was surprised by the how rude the children was with the adults. I would have thought with such a traditional japanese family they would be very strict but  not the case with these kids. I wasnt expecting the scene when the kids was upset with the father thinking the bread was train tracks  and was kicking the bread at him. The children ended up briefly then running away.  Also the scene with Aya and Noriko’s co worker stood out to me. He was asking questions about why Noriko is single and was alluding to the fact that she may be a lesbian because she had pictures of American actress Audrey hepburn. I felt he was also being suggestive with Aya also when he asked her to sushi and she said yes to the tuna but laughed when she said no to the “nice long spring roll”.

      This film also carried a lot of non-diegetic  sound throughout the film. It was a interesting  film over all to watch but i do wish they gave more insight into the main concept which was Noriko’s marriage. To see some type of interactin between her and Mr. yabe would have been nice or to see a wedding. it would have been nice to see how live was in Akita where its cold and people have country accents. This film just happened to have a different focus.

will the REAL UMBERTO please stand up

     This 1952 Italian film is very different in comparisson to the films that we’ve screened thus far.  Umberto to me although was a film with actors gace a sense of a documentary because of the realness of life brong to the screen.  I liked how the film started with the long take, which made me wait and watch what was going to emerge which happend to be the protest. The shot showed the group of elder men like a army of ants being scattered  but the cops clearing the protest with cars. You can see the little regard for the meaning of the protest even the way the bus effortlessly drove through them.

       This film shows real issues , these men was fighting for pension which is how we are introduced to Umberto. Being introduced to Maria in the film who was the maid, her situation shocked me. To know that this young teen girl was pregnant and unsure of who the baby’s father was completely shocked me. The two men didn’t even want anything to do with the baby, i felt like it was a 1952 Maury segment. There was little aspects that just made the conditions of the movie real and maybe even relatable. For example the kitchen which seemed to be filthy, theres ants in the kitchen and Mario was plucking the dead chickens feathers.  Despite the fact the kitchen was filthy there was a thin venire between that and the rest of the house which was suppose to be more upscale.

       There was some sensitve scenarios in this film that i wasn’t expecting to see in such a time. There was teen pregnancy, and Animal cruelty. The scence when Umberto went to the pound and they showed where the dogs get euthanized can be sensitive for animal lovers. Umberto could not get up the rent money to stay where he lived which in this economy is a reality for some families. The interaction between him and his friends to me was a sad one. You could tell that Umberto was asking for money without asking, and you can tell his friends are saying no without saying no. It was like a unspoken converstion.

        I did notice there was some patterns in the film, and it included hand signals. I  noticed this when Maria was talking to the guys from Umbertos room window and the cafeteria scene with Umberto and his friends. It also captured my eye the certain shots used in the film to show a situation.  For example the hospital scene the beds of the patients lined up in the big open space. This was perfect for a long shot  so you can see all the patients. I also liked the long shot when Umberto was moving out of the building and he was on the bus in which Maria faded off from the window. This was symbollic to me as a goodbye between Umberto and Maria.

      One of the most realistic scenes to me in this film was Maria making coffee . It stood out to me because in acting it is said that the hardest thing to do is the most natural things on camera such as pretending to make coffee. There was such emotion for her in this scene because you realized she is in a routined trapp. You see the scratches on the wall from the many swipes shes made over time, and her looking at the cat outside to me represented freedom.

       This film was showed the dark side of peoples lives , most films show the happy side . It doesnt have a clear ending and leaves the audience wondering what will Umberto next move be. I felt it was appropriate because it ties into the documentary vibe, and life doesnt end like a movie.

Double indemnity

         The setting of this Noir themed film was perfect which was an extreme dark intro which took place in LA , you see cars, men in trench coats and hats. Doing the reading on women in noir made me more aware of the character Phyllis. As the movie progresses I owuld definetly classify Phyllis as a “spider woman” because she uses her charm and sex appeal to trap men into her web.  When Walter first met her in her home, she was wearing a robe. She left to go change and if you notice as she returns she is still buttoning up her shirt in his presence and proceeds to put lipstick on in the mirror. This seemed to show a sexual demeanor giving Walter somehting to work with as far as flirting.  When walter returns to her home the second time there is a camera close up on her  bare legs as she comes down stairs. These scenes display the lead up to the  adultry because she is married. Phyliss is also suggestive in the beginning with lines like “be nice to me like the 1st time you came in my house”.

       There are also some key patterns in this film. During the course of the film pertaining to the scheme of killing Phyllis husband, she would always repeat to walter “straight down the line”. I interpreted the line as her saying we will finish this whole ordeal together and thats her way of keeping Walter hooked in. Another pattern is the shadows casted by the window blinds. A few scene examples was when Walter first met Phyllis and they was in the room, scenes with Walter and Keyes in the office, and when Lola (daughter)spoke with Walter in his office.  The biggest pattern which was in several scenes was that every time Walter and Keyes would depart from each other , Walter would light Keyes  cigar for him and it owuld never fail. Which made the ending pop even more when Keyes lite Walters ciggarette. It was a great ending because it is a symbolic point of their relationship.

      I liked how the story was a narrative explanation to Keyes  and how the beginning basically is the same scene as the end. In the beginning i did notice that Walter was speaking as he was telling the story , but when the movie reaches the end you realize it is because he was shot the whole narrative. A funny moment to me was that while Phyliss and Walter planned this murder and wanted to be discreet and not seen together, they would meet @ the super market. Super markets are very public places , and those shades Phyliss had on for the 2nd meet looked suspicious. Although you dont get to exactly see Walter kill the husband, I thought the shot of Phyliss face the whole time during it was effective. Her face showed a lack of emotion and as it progressed it slowly started to look more cynical in the eyes..

        The film was enjoyable and I enjoyed how it shows the details of what had to be done to plan this murder sufficiently. The way the story unfolded went well to me and was easy enough to follow and keep the attention of the audience. The actress who played lady eve did a great job as the spider woman role in this film, lady eve had spider woman tendencies aswell now that I think of it. Oh and FYI indemnity means “protection, as by insurance, from liabilities or penalties incurred by one’s actions.” which makes sense for the film which deals with insurance fraud.

 

THE INFAMOUS: CITIZEN KANE

      Reading the back ground of this movie sparked my interest because of how unconvential i heard about how this movie was for its time in hollywood for the 1940s. What stands out that makes this movie stand out was its cinematopraphy, the innovation with technology such as the cameras and their low angles,lighting, framing and scales. Also the fact that not only was Orsen Welle’s one of the great minds behind making the movie but he also was the lead role in the movie.

      There are a lot of patterns that i have noticed in the film that reoccur.  There was a pattern of reflections in mirrors or glass . When Kane died he dropped the snow globe which showed the reflection of the nurse through the glass. Another scene was when there was a celebration and there was the female dancers, you could see their reflection in the window. Also inside of Susans apt scene when she had her tooth ache there was mirror reflections there aswell. Since i mentioned the female dancers, in one scene when the women in line was dancing the 1st girl on the righ seemed very unsure.There also was patterns of large portraits , large ,furniture such as chairs, statues, and utilization of big open spaces inside of most of the buildings.

      People  wasn’t ready for a film like this in hollywood during that area also probably because of the lighting, and angles. In some scenes i noticed lots of center lighting but the characters arn’t necessarily centered in the light. In the beginning scene after Kane’s death with the group of men you could barely see them. The light would shoot from the frame of the window but it wasnt hitting character which made me feel like I was in the dark room too. There was a lot of emphasis on shadows in the film for example there are two scenes with Susan , 1st when she was complaining about singing and the negative press from the paper and also when she was slapped by kane. In both scenes Susan was sitting and kane was standing over her and she would be covered by his shadow which shows the masculine power over her.

       The most unconventional thing in this film had to be the  deep focus.  Most of the scenes people would be spaced aprt in such distances but the camera still showinng everything. It was such a dramatic distance in the scene of Kane’s mansion when he was talking to Susan because you could barely see Kane. The was so much long shots that when close ups & extreme close ups was done it would feel weird and be emphasized especially with Mr leemans character. One scene i did like was the reverse shot with Kane and his first wife because it showed how years passed within one scene of having a meal.

     Other patterns in the film  I noticed was with the effect of closing doors. You felt like the door was literally being slammed in your face, both examples was with Kane & Susan. When Kane first  met Susan when he went into her apartment and closed her door , & when Susan was leaving him and he closed the door when entering her room. Also layering of characters in scenes for example the scene with Mrs Kane close to the camera, the man behind her , and Mr Kane behind him , then you have child Kane in the distance framed in the window. Another example is when Susan was interviewed it was a deep focus scene there dark shadowed man on the phone, the man listening by the door and Susan mourning in the background. There also is emphasis on words in the film Like in the beginning CITIZEN KANE, the posters with his name during the election , and NO TRESPASSING in the end which I felt meant giving his life privacy since he was in the public eye. The only private thing he had was rosebud (sled from child hood) which no one figured out.

    The movie overall was enjoyable to me but there was the weird scene with the white bird which was very random. You could see the scene behind the bird’s eye but it just was odd especially with the shrilled scream. There was also a scream inthe distance when susan was slapped but it wasnt by Susan.

The Blueprint: Gangster Films

        Watching William Wellman’s 1931 film “The public enemy” made me realize that no matter the time frame that these gangster films follow the same Blueprint for their movies. It starts off with a young guy whom is exposed to the gangster lifestyle and then rises to the top. Once the rise to the top you see how they ruine relationships with loved ones and loose them selves to drugs and alcohol and then of course later on the demise. Incorporated through that line up of course is guns,death and women.

     Probably like many others watching this film probably reminded you of SCAR FACE, they both basically followed the exact same format to me except that one was colored and one was black and white . Of course SCAR FACE is more graphic due to the times. Many guys love the movie SCAR FACE and would consider it to be a classic movie. Maybe theres a specific blueprint for these films simply because it works, it reminds me of the phrase if it aint broke dont fix it. People enjoy these films because its considered  probably a cool life style to live but some realistically cant.

       The main character in this film Tom, was an authentic actor to me especially for this time period. The way he would incorporate his body made his character more realistic to me and it stood out to me even more during arguement scenes with his brother because it showed me different levels of acting. As the film progresses Tom’s character beginns to peal shedding light in how he operates. He has social issues with woman (like most men with power do), hes loyal to his fellow man, he’s street smart, and he shows emotions in his own form. Tom isn’t doesnt like to show emotion so when he wold tap peoples chin with his fist (particularly his mother) , to me it was a form of a hard exterior person showing they care. Him tapping his moms chin and her tapping it back to me was “I love you & I love you too”. Scenes that stood out to me was his interaction with women. He was very controlling with women and even abusive in some scenes which i found surpising because of the time of this film. He was a man in power and it was known.

       Since I touched on the women of the film, the blonde love interest of Tom whos name I was Gwen i believe landed the cover of the film with Tom. Initially i wasnt sure why because he role wasnt major but she did remind me of Marilyn Monroe because of the whole blonde bomb shell look. They probably used her on the cover because of the publicity she would bring. Although her character may have came off as a easy woman, (because most women in the film was) she proved other wise that she didnt sleep with Tom at all.

       THE PUBLIC ENEMY in the beginning and ending of the film had brief memos to the audience.  To sum it up the memos basically was saying that this film wasn’t to sensationalize the lifestyle but to show how it does exist and that the death of Tom represents a end to hoodlums in the community. I beg to differ because film  this barely shows any law enforcement. Tom’s death was due to opposing Gangsters, and it gave the impression that his brother would seek revenge, which shows a cycle of violence. If the police had put an end to this and maybe had some arrests which would lead to Tom’s demise then it would’ve been different.

        Overall i did enjoy what the film had to offer , probably also because it felt so familiar to me. Despite that Tom was the bad guy ou learned to like him, and understand him. The film also teaches some facts with the showing of the 18th amendment of prohibition, and how alcohol played its role in Tom’s business. The film was probably controversial because of the on air killings and abuse , it stunned me to knwo that the most controversial scene was the tailoring scene. I found it to be comedic but non the less i guess homosexuality was too much of a taboo factor. If  You enjoyed  SCARE FACE, GODFATHER or any modern day gangster film then you would probably enjoy this one aswell.

 

 

“M” directed by Fritz Lang, 1931

    This 1931 German black and white film was better than I anticipated. I found it to be interesting to give a inside detail look into the efforts that are used in referrence to crimes and its effect  on the community. Some scenes may have been drawn out and over emphasised , but it did get the message across.

    It was very interesting to see how the Police and the Gangsters had their ways of finding the child murderer. The police was going to extremes to find the killer because of the lack of evidence. THE town people started to become affected by this and the film shows that for 8 months, communites had to deal with raids and lack of privacy which started  to become an annuisance.  When businesses started to loose revenue due to the excessive police work thats when gangsters took things into their own hands.

     The film shows a race between the gangsters whom are criminals themselves  and the police. Within all this i would like to mention one in particular scene which was when one of the young girls was murdered . Instead of showing the gruesome scence which is more like our modern times ,it showed a balloon caught in wire and a rolling ball. I thought it was so affective in getting that scenerio across to the audience. Also when the mother was calling Elsies’s name and it just echoed.

    The Gangsters beat the police to the punch when it came to catching the murderer. there was reoccuring whistling throughtout the film for communicatio. Police whitled , gangsters whistled and the murderer whistled which got him discovered by a blind man. when the murderer was captured i would have assumed the gangsters would tear him apart or kill him but it became a ironic scene. The gangsters  started to use the law and rules in order to handle the situation which was the same reason they didn’t want to hand him to the police.  The plea that the murderer gave was a powerful scene and also how he showed the true colors of the gangsters. Once the police go to the scene and took the murder away you are left wondering what was the end result.

    I loved the ending because it tied with the beginning . In the beginning the mother said its good to hear the children sing because you know they are safe. In the end the same mother said  that we must keep better watch of our children. I thought the same thing because the murderer had easy access to these girls because they wandered the streets alone, or mothers would not notice their daughters arn’t with them.