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Author Topic: Film-Noir Discussion/DVD Review Thread  (Read 381501 times)
Noodles_SlowStir
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« Reply #210 on: July 06, 2007, 11:24:39 AM »

This weekend is the start of Seattle's first film noir festival, featuring several rare films that have never been released on home video. Details here: http://www.seattlefilm.org/events/detail.aspx?FID=55
I hope I can go to some of these....

Wow Dave.  Hope you get a chance too.  Looks great.  I was reading about the John Payne film, 99 River Street.  Sounded real good.   I didn't know it was not available on tape or DVD.   They all sound quite interesting.  Seattle seems quite outstanding as far as cinema festivals and culture.  Have you ever seen any of the Luminous Psyche series films?

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« Reply #211 on: July 06, 2007, 11:44:50 AM »

Nope. What are those?

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« Reply #212 on: July 06, 2007, 12:23:27 PM »

I read an article after the fact on a retrospective on Bertolucci.  Apparently they showed around seven of his films as part of the Luminous Psyche series a couple of years back.  I believe the Seattle Art Museum was involved.  I thought it was an annual event.  In the past I saw they had a showing of films by Max Ophuls.  The films and directors are chosen and there's discussion panels and speakers to discuss the films.  There seemed to be quite a few groups involved besides the Seattle Art Museum.  It seemed that a lot of the discussion was analysis of the characters and films from a psychological and behavioral viewpoint.  I guess that's why the series name chosen was Luminous Psyche.  It seemed that a lot of the analysis would be from a psychoanalytic slant.  I somehow came across the article on the Bertolucci series a year or so ago and after it had happened.   I remember thinking how much I would of liked to have been in the Seattle area to have seen it.   I've been wanting to check out Ophuls films as well.  I'll look to see if I can find some of the things I had read a while back on it.  

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« Reply #213 on: July 06, 2007, 01:05:22 PM »

I can't find what I had read back a while.  There used to be a website, luminouspsyche.org.  No longer available.  I remember there was quite a bit of information on the Seattle Art Museum site.  I was quite impressed with what I read.  Even if one were not a proponent of psychoanalytic interpretation, it seemed like a very worthwhile series.  To be able to just see some of the films on the big screen, and then to have an opportunity to participate in a community like discussion afterward.

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« Reply #214 on: July 06, 2007, 10:05:04 PM »



Title: The Set Up
Actors: Robert Ryan, Audrey Totter
Director: Robert Wise

Plot Outline: Over-the-hill boxer Bill 'Stoker' Thompson insists he can still win, though his sexy wife Julie pleads with him to quit. But his manager Tiny is so confident he will lose, he takes money for a "dive" from tough gambler Little Boy...without bothering to tell Stoker. Tension builds as Stoker hopes to "take" Tiger Nelson, unaware of what will happen to him if he does. -IMDb

My Thoughts: I'll start by saying I'm a very ametuer (someone must tell me how to spell this word correctly!) reviewer, so I'm going to keep it simple. I just watched it five minutes ago, and just about everything about the movie is perfect aside from some major pacing problems. The acting, direction, characters, and noir style are superb. By superb, I mean superb. Nothing much else for me to say there. Now onto the pacing. First of all, the movie is far too short at a 72 minute running time. I have no problem with the pacing of the first act in which Stoker is waiting for the fight to begin, wondering if his wife will show - the tension builds perfectly. What I do have a problem with this first part is the scenes of his wife wandering the streets, trying to decide whether or not to go to the fight. I realize that highlighting her indecision is a pretty major aspect of the movie, but I feel just cutting all of these scenes would be better for the movie. It did a good enough job continuously showing her empty seat during the fight.

Now - onto the fight itself. Being a big boxing fan, I found this fight to be very well filmed and exciting. I enjoyed watching it. That being said, I felt it dragged on far too long. The point was to see if Stoker had the willpower to go on, not taking the dive. The fight could have been cut quite a bit to still get this point across.

As for the last 10 minutes of the movie, it simply shows the consequences of not taking the drop. It maybe could have been expanded a little bit as it seems even shorter in contrast to the lengthy fight scene, but I have no real problem.

It may seem as if I hate it due to the amount of complaining I did about the pacing, but I actually happen to love it as previously mentioned. Even if the movie was cut to under an hour by getting rid of the scenes of Stoker's wife and shortening the fight a little, I believe it would be a stronger film. Maybe a masterpiece.

My final verdict: 9/10. One of the better noirs I've seen.


Continued reviews here: http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=1822.msg135673#msg135673

« Last Edit: September 19, 2011, 09:00:49 PM by cigar joe » Logged
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« Reply #215 on: July 07, 2007, 06:00:41 AM »

Thanks for the review rrpower. I love The Set Up. Great Wise film and the ending is so brutal but yet has to happen for one of the protagonist's dreams to come true. Marty has gone on record to say he based the look of his fight scenes in Raging Bull on this great film.

Re The Seattle Noir fest: I would be there if I could, in a heart beat. I'm hoping to catch the one in NY next year. i missed this years  Cry

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« Reply #216 on: July 08, 2007, 08:32:31 PM »



Creepy tail based on real life "Lonely Hearts Killers". Shirley Stoller and Ray Lo Bianco, great

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« Reply #217 on: July 08, 2007, 09:24:24 PM »

Just saw Desert Fury (1947) at the Seattle Noir Festival. It's actually in Technicolor, so there will be those who argue against it being a true noir (not me, life is too short). What a cast: Lizabeth Scott, Mary Astor, Burt Lancaster, John Hodiak, and Wendell Corey. Hodiak is a gambler, Corey his muscle: they've been together so long they're like a married couple. So, tension mounts when it seems Scott will come between them. Then there are problems between Scott and her mother (Astor); and why won't Scott give nice-guy sheriff Lancaster the time of day? This is actually one of those films that is better now than when it was made because there is so much in it that is unintentionally funny. One of those so-bad-it's-good experiences. Wendell Corey, with his deadpan delivery, steals the show. I laughed a lot.  Afro Afro Afro

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« Reply #218 on: July 10, 2007, 12:59:43 AM »

The "czar of noir" was on hand to introduce tonight's double feature: 99 River Street and Framed. Eddie Muller has great affection for the first, a film about an ex-boxer (John Payne) who gets mixed up with gangsters. Evelyn Keyes is the girl who falls in with (and for) him, and Muller told us to watch for a couple set pieces which feature her. In one she re-enacts a crime in an hysterical monologue, pitched directly at the camera. In another, she vamps to one of the heavies in a pick-up attempt, and she's just hilarious. Muller compared the director (Phil Karlson) to Don Siegel, and I can see similarities with his no-nonsense approach to action and plot development. The film literally begins with a punch, and the fisticuffs just keep swinging throughout. The print we were shown was immaculate, the contrasts a delight to behold. Too bad this has never been available on VHS/DVD.

Muller also had a few opening comments for Framed. Essentially, he feels that James M. Cain was due royalties for the film, although he actually had nothing to do with it. Glenn Ford plays a drifter who comes to a small town and catches the eye of a dangerous blonde working in a restaurant/ bar. She quickly gets her hooks in and drags him into a murder/embezzlement scheme. Yes, there's a backseat driver with a heavy wrench and a car that goes over a cliff. Hmmm, where have we seen it before? This print didn't look quite as good as 99 River Street, but almost. This is another film you suckers may never be able to see except in a theater.

99 River Stree
t:  Afro Afro Afro Afro
Framed:              Afro Afro Afro

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« Reply #219 on: July 11, 2007, 07:17:18 PM »



Title: Detour
Actors: Tom Neal, Anne Savage
Director: Edgar G. Ulmer

Plot Outline: In flashback, New York nightclub pianist Al Roberts hitchhikes to Hollywood to join his girl Sue. On a rainy night, the sleazy gambler he's riding with mysteriously dies; afraid of the police, Roberts takes the man's identity. But thanks to a blackmailing dame, Roberts' every move plunges him deeper into trouble. - IMDb

My thoughts: To start, I saw this a  few hours ago on a cheap Public Domain movie set that I bought for $12. Obviously, the quality wasn't too good which most likely took a lot away from the experience. As for the movie itself, I enjoyed it, but the flaws were noticeable. The narration, which is essentially a part of your average noir, is quite well done. The lead performance is great, and the plot is intriguing. Outside of the lead performance, I find just about the rest of the acting to be sub-par while the film runs far too short at 67 minutes. There are some faults in editing here and there, and while comparing it to other noirs, it doesn't have the 'style' down. Overall, it's worth a viewing - just don't set any special time aside.

Final verdict: 6/10, though it could be a 7/10 if I had watched a better quality version. It took away from the experience.


Continued here....... : http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=1822.msg145243#msg145243

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« Reply #220 on: July 14, 2007, 10:31:05 PM »

Huh? Who censored the second word of the plot outline?

Anyway, I just watched The Asphalt Jungle. Thought it was great - 8/10.


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« Reply #221 on: July 15, 2007, 07:42:22 PM »

Dave, thanks for your reviews and sharing your experiences at the Noir Festival.   Sounds like you really enjoyed the double feature with 99 River Street. Since they have such great prints on 99 River Street, maybe they'll consider a DVD release someday.  

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dave jenkins
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« Reply #222 on: July 15, 2007, 08:36:10 PM »

You never know. It's up to the studios, and they don't always cooperate.

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« Reply #223 on: July 17, 2007, 10:54:49 AM »

Here's an interesting resource I've just learned about: http://noiroftheweek.blogspot.com/2005/01/noir-of-week-list.html

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« Reply #224 on: July 17, 2007, 03:10:35 PM »

I just watched The Big Heat.

Pretty DAMN GOOD.

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