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Author Topic: Gilda (1946)  (Read 1237 times)
titoli
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« on: December 26, 2015, 03:11:59 PM »

Over here it's Jeel-da, not Guilda, in case you want to go to the most famous nightclub of the city, named after this mess. It is 20-25 minutes too long, it should have ended with MacReady's airplane's explosion and the marriage. The two music numbers which come after could have been inserted in the casino scenes which preceded. Still the story is held with a spit, so many are unexplained questions which come to mind: e.g. what happened between Ford and Hayworth before? Fords wants to revenge himself on Gilda for what? For making him jealous? Then he's much more dumb than what the plot allows. What are the Germans waiting for to come on MacReady? And what the police are waiting for? Still the opening scene is good, until Gilda's arrival. Hayworth plays badly her character, not knowing what the character is about. But her two songs redeem her performance and the blame is put on who wrote the story. 7/10   

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« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2016, 05:40:03 PM »

On the new Criterion Blu Czar Eddie tries to make the case for subtext: not gay, exactly; bi-sexual. There's supposedly a 3-way going between Balin, Johnny, and Gilda. Before Gilda shows up Johnny and Balin are living together, Balin's got that phallic sword cane, there are some weird dialog exchanges, etc. There are some points of interest in this approach.

But there's one thing that counts against it. Half way through the film Balin disappears and . . . nobody cares. Not Johnny, not Gilda, not the audience. Even if the 3-way wasn't made explicit, even if were subterranean the whole time, we would feel Balin's sudden absence. We would have an acute sense of something missing from the relationship. And the characters would necessarily have to fill the void with some kind of surrogate.That isn't what happens.

We're too interested in the Johnny-Gilda dynamic to care about anything else. When the film works--which is often--it's because we're given double barrels of schadenfreude. It's fun to watch the pair tearing each other down. Johnny and Gilda enjoy it too. The film falls apart when the Joseph Calleia character starts explaining everything, especially because he gives explanations for people in another film. And then suddenly Johnny and Gilda are gonna make nice and go back to NY together? What the hell is the basis for that?

The only way the film can end satisfactorily is for one to destroy the other, or for the two to go down together. Anyway, the Balin character is really only a plot device, a way to bring Johnny and Gilda together so they can start tearing into each other, and then to put the brakes on from time to time so that delay will add intensity to the kink. Nobody really cares about Balin beyond that, so, even if there is a suggestion of a ménage à trois, it's irrelevant.

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« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2016, 05:43:13 PM »

fuck the bisexual subtext.

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« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2016, 05:47:43 PM »

Fuck any subtext.

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« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2016, 06:15:24 PM »

My film professor was big on the subtext with this movie, but it didn't seem applicable. If your choice is Rita Hayworth or George Macready, even Harvey Fierstein would choose the former.

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« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2016, 06:21:41 PM »

If your choice is Rita Hayworth or George Macready, even Harvey Fierstein would choose the former.
It's not a choice Johnny has to make. His choice is torture Gilda or leave her alone. Happily for us, he chooses the former.

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« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2016, 12:46:48 PM »

Another issue Eddie briefly raises is whether to classify Gilda as a noir or not. He says he doesn't know and doesn't care (gee, thanks, Mr. Noir) but I think it's a very good thing to talk about.

The usual thing when discussing noir is to talk about genre or style--in other words, the content of the picture. I've come to the conclusion that that's the wrong way to go about it. A better way to determine things is to gauge one's response to a picture: does it produce in you the "noir vibe" you get from other films in the category? This is a subjective approach, but the alternatives aren't any less so.

Again, I think that schadenfreude is the key, the pleasure the viewer takes in observing the destruction of the characters. The best noirs destroy their heroes, and take their time about it, so that viewers can really savor the process. The #1 noir is probably Double Indemnity: it's fun to watch Walter Neff and Phyllis try to outmaneuver each other, and there's a real sense of satisfaction when they both get what's coming to them. Another excellent noir is Criss Cross: what a dope Burt Lancaster plays, and the fun of the film is watching the character fall until he finally hits bottom. Out of the Past really takes off once Kathy and the Mitchum character are reunited; again, the pleasure comes from watching the two try to destroy each other. And if Sunset Blvd. is a noir it's because the story is about a fly caught in a web and the pleasure we can take in watching it being devoured by the spider.

Which brings us back to Gilda. The picture really clicks when the two principals are going after each other. Gilda the character has a line, which she takes from Balin, about how much fun hatred is. We, the audience, can't feel that, of course, we've been denied the backstory that would allow us to experience such emotions vicariously. But we can still enjoy watching the characters tear each other apart. The ending is a cop-out, and not only in terms of story logic. When Johnny and Gilda stop hating each other--and acting on that hate--they become a really uninteresting pair. They lose the ability to transmit the noir vibe.

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« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2016, 03:35:46 PM »

Another issue Eddie briefly raises is whether to classify Gilda as a noir or not. He says he doesn't know and doesn't care (gee, thanks, Mr. Noir) but I think it's a very good thing to talk about.

The usual thing when discussing noir is to talk about genre or style--in other words, the content of the picture. I've come to the conclusion that that's the wrong way to go about it. A better way to determine things is to gauge one's response to a picture: does it produce in you the "noir vibe" you get from other films in the category? This is a subjective approach, but the alternatives aren't any less so.

Again, I think that schadenfreude is the key, the pleasure the viewer takes in observing the destruction of the characters. The best noirs destroy their heroes, and take their time about it, so that viewers can really savor the process. The #1 noir is probably Double Indemnity: it's fun to watch Walter Neff and Phyllis try to outmaneuver each other, and there's a real sense of satisfaction when they both get what's coming to them. Another excellent noir is Criss Cross: what a dope Burt Lancaster plays, and the fun of the film is watching the character fall until he finally hits bottom. Out of the Past really takes off once Kathy and the Mitchum character are reunited; again, the pleasure comes from watching the two try to destroy each other. And if Sunset Blvd. is a noir it's because the story is about a fly caught in a web and the pleasure we can take in watching it being devoured by the spider.

Which brings us back to Gilda. The picture really clicks when the two principals are going after each other. Gilda the character has a line, which she takes from Balin, about how much fun hatred is. We, the audience, can't feel that, of course, we've been denied the backstory that would allow us to experience such emotions vicariously. But we can still enjoy watching the characters tear each other apart. The ending is a cop-out, and not only in terms of story logic. When Johnny and Gilda stop hating each other--and acting on that hate--they become a really uninteresting pair. They lose the ability to transmit the noir vibe.

Sounds like you've been reading my TCM board posts  Azn


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Posted 26 August 2015 - 11:19 AM
cigarjoe, on 25 Aug 2015 - 4:55 PM, said:
 
I'm starting to believe that what makes Neo Noirs authentic Neo Noirs for me,  is not only a heavy dose of Noir stylistic cinematography along with a simple Noir storyline, but also a bit of cinematic memory, when you can picture the stars in these Neos as inheritors of Classic Noir star parts, or see a nod to Classic Noir type locations combined with an old school, without bells & whistles, low budget, "B" film artistry you reach the tipping point into full blown Noirsville.
 
Another thought to throw into the equation of what makes a Neo Noir is an individual internal factor. It's subjectivity. Noir is in all of us. Think of us all as having an internal tuning fork these tuning forks are forged by our life experiences which are all unique. When we watch these films their Noir-ness resonates with us differently, so we either tune to them or we don't. The amount of "tuning" (lol, watch sifi Neo Noir Dark City (1998) will vary between us also.

ThePaintedLady and HEYMOE like this  Like This


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« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2017, 09:36:14 PM »

I saw this movie once and remember very little of it. Watching it a second time now, on TCM. I am about 30 minutes  into it. If you are into gay subtexts, this one jumps right out at you. If you want to get technical, you can say bi-sexual not gay. (But really, "gay subtext" doesn't usually mean 100% gay; it usually means bi-sexual).


There is very little hidden about the gay stuff here. "The three of us." Macready desperately wanting Ford and Hayworth to get along. Ford congratulating Hayworth on her marriage, rather than congratulating Macready. Both Ford and Hayworth saying that Macready had picked them up out of the gutter. Hayworth noting that Macready's employees are ugly women and good-looking men. The bathroom attendant comparing the guy Hayworth is dancing with ("good-looking")  with the little guy up in Macready's office ("not so good-looking.")

You want gay subtext? There's very little "sub" about it. In a movie with one of the hottest girls the world have ever known, Ford and Macready are pitching and catching ............

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« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2017, 10:11:30 PM »

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...and remember very little of it.

You don't remember Put the Blame on Mame?? Dude, that's ...disappointing.

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« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2017, 10:21:46 PM »

You don't remember Put the Blame on Mame?? Dude, that's ...disappointing.

Yes, I remember Rita Hayworth and her two songs .... That shit gets burned into a feller's brain  Smiley

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« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2017, 06:50:15 AM »

I saw this movie once and remember very little of it. Watching it a second time now, on TCM. I am about 30 minutes  into it. If you are into gay subtexts, this one jumps right out at you. If you want to get technical, you can say bi-sexual not gay. (But really, "gay subtext" doesn't usually mean 100% gay; it usually means bi-sexual).


There is very little hidden about the gay stuff here. "The three of us." Macready desperately wanting Ford and Hayworth to get along. Ford congratulating Hayworth on her marriage, rather than congratulating Macready. Both Ford and Hayworth saying that Macready had picked them up out of the gutter. Hayworth noting that Macready's employees are ugly women and good-looking men. The bathroom attendant comparing the guy Hayworth is dancing with ("good-looking")  with the little guy up in Macready's office ("not so good-looking.")

You want gay subtext? There's very little "sub" about it. In a movie with one of the hottest girls the world have ever known, Ford and Macready are pitching and catching ............
Except, once Macready is out of the picture . . . no one misses him! It's all about Ford and Hayworth from there on in. Why doesn't Ford pine for his long-lost love? Oh, here's an idea: he wasn't (a lost love, that is). Maybe Macready was thinking of Ford that way, but Ford wasn't reciprocating. And if the film isn't about the relationship between Ford and Hayworth, then what exactly is it about? The gay-not-so-subtext idea is either wrong or irrelevant.

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« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2017, 07:00:37 AM »

Yes, I remember Rita Hayworth and her two songs .... That shit gets burned into a feller's brain  Smiley

My dad sure remembered that !!!

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« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2017, 07:23:39 AM »

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Maybe Macready was thinking of Ford that way, but Ford wasn't reciprocating.
YES. That's what I always thought. So much is made out of the supposedly gay subtext, but Ford to me never seemed anything other than straight. Macready on the other hand could be anything, or nothing.

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« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2017, 11:22:29 PM »

I watched the first half the other night, and the second half tonight.
Definitely gay gay gay ......
Not a very good movie.
The narration was terrible.

It had one good thing: Rita Hayworth. Smoking hot. Rita Hayworth here is about as as sexy and sexed-up and memorable a character as there is in the 40's

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