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dave jenkins
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« #4560 : October 15, 2008, 01:19:13 PM »

If they were specific to an era and a production system they couldn't be "duplicated". They could be adapted, imitated and what else but noir they weren't and couldn't be by your own definition. Otherwise you'll have to concede that the noir exceeded those two boundaries. And your whole theory crumbles. It's as simple as that.
So, then . . . Leone was making American Westerns after all? You're a nut.



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« #4561 : October 15, 2008, 02:11:09 PM »

So, then . . . Leone was making American Westerns after all? You're a nut.

Well, I did read some idiot... er, I mean knowledgable film expert on IMDB refer to FOD as a "Hollywood remake of a Japanese film" today. :D



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« #4562 : October 15, 2008, 03:23:28 PM »

So, then . . . Leone was making American Westerns after all? You're a nut.

Your logic eludes me.


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« #4563 : October 16, 2008, 04:39:23 AM »

Your logic eludes me. You have excluded the possibility that Leone was making SWs (those earlier 30 films count for nothing); he obviously wasn't making Karl May style German films; what then is left except American Westerns?

Oh, I see, he created something entirely new without reference to anything that came before.

But of course, what really happened is that he took a genre that was specific to an era and a production system and adapted it to his market (which turned out to be much bigger than anticipated). Similarly, Melville took a genre that blah blah and adapted it to his market (which turned out to be no bigger than anticipated). Lo and behold, it turned out that Westerns weren't specific to an era after all, they continued on, although it wasn't obvious at the time that that would be the case. Lo and behold, it turned out that film noir was specific to an era, and disappeared, although it wasn't obvious at the time that that would be the case. Given the fact that Westerns were around after Leone, it was therefore possible for Leone to influence them in turn. Given the fact that film noir was not around after Melville, it was therefore impossible for Melville to influence them in turn.

You insist on using the word "duplicate" which I never used. Of course Melville adapted his influences  . . . who does not? I never suggested otherwise, your efforts to misrepresent my words to the contrary. Leone adapted his influences as well. But both filmmakers wear their influences on their sleeves. The fact that one was more commercially successful than the other is merely the luck of the draw.



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« #4564 : October 16, 2008, 09:55:18 AM »

What amazes me is that this is coming from one who, self-admittedly, didn't watch a single SW  in his life or almost, apart from Leone. The fact is that you keep repeating that Melville was churning out noires when he was simply making crime movies. He couldn't have made anything different because he was making them in France, with french actors and sets. Did his crime movies bear any resemblance to the noir genre? probably. But that means little even if they did because other movies were made in the late 50's and subsequently where one could find resemblances to this or that noir movie. Many crime movies adopted and adapted some of the noir conventions like the cinematography or the anti-hero and what else (for example the two movies made in the 50's in England by Losey with Stanley Baker). But Melville wasn't so decisive as Leone because he was acting within a well-alive genre, which gave many opportunities for renewing as it was based in everyday life while Leone was only taking advantage of some unexploited opportunities the conventions of american western gave which, once shown to nausea, gave little chance for more of same. In facts Leone gave up doing westerns, Melville didn't stop making crime movies. And crime movies are still made by tons while westerns are rare.

 



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« #4565 : October 16, 2008, 10:36:19 AM »

Actually I've seen about 10 (non-Leone) SWs.

Melville stands apart from his contemporaries. I think it is disingenuous to call his movies crime films, because that lumps them in with a whole host of others. When I watch a Melville I don't see a straight crime film, I see a film that references other films; it may be that he mixes noir tropes with more general crime elements. Howsoever that may be , a sense of pastiche pervades Melville's genre pictures, and it is that sense that I think he shares, at least to a certain degree, with Leone.



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« #4566 : October 16, 2008, 01:55:19 PM »

Moontide (1942) - 4/10
Road House (1948) - 5/10

An Ida Lupino double feature, courtesy of the Fox Noir line. A shame that neither of these pictures is very good, and it's not really Ida's fault: they just aren't that well written. The first is about hard living west coast beach denizens, with Jean Gabin in the lead. On the DVD supplements much speculation is given as to why Gabin never became a star in Hollywood, but a quick glance at any scene here makes the reason plain: he couldn't speak English. A picture can be pretty hard going when you can't understand what the leading man is saying half the time. The project was begun by Fritz Lang, but after two weeks he left the production--whether for personal or professional reasons, or a combination of the two, still remains unclear. Anyway, Archie Mayo came on to finish, and he preserved some of the Lang look (lots of night and fog). It's all done on sets. Claude Rains and Thomas Mitchell get to do some good work, but mostly the film is predictable and a snooze.

Road House is a better set-bound production, and with better casting. This time Ida is joined by Cornell Wilde and Richard Widmark in a tense love triangle, except it takes more than half the film to set the triangle up. Once in place, matters take their natural course: Widmark turns out to be a psychopath, intent on destroying his rival and enslaving the object of his desire. Sounds good on paper, but it doesn't really come off in execution. Widmark isn't sufficiently built up (he's frequently out of the picture), and it's forever before the sparks start flying between Wilde and Lupino. The climax, on a set meant to represent a forest retreat, is in fact anti-climatic. Maybe it's because Celeste Holm is along: her character is a drag on every scene she's in, and here her presence dissolves what little tension the director (Jean Negulesco) could manage. Ida is good, and Widmark falls back on his Tommy Udo performance, but neither is enough to save the picture. Road House is located in the very heart of Dullsville.

How I wish we'd get some better noirs on DVD, like for example, The Prowler . . .



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« #4567 : October 16, 2008, 08:49:27 PM »

Stella Dallas - 8/10



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« #4568 : October 16, 2008, 10:00:22 PM »

Actually I've seen about 10 (non-Leone) SWs.

Melville stands apart from his contemporaries. I think it is disingenuous to call his movies crime films, because that lumps them in with a whole host of others. When I watch a Melville I don't see a straight crime film, I see a film that references other films; it may be that he mixes noir tropes with more general crime elements. Howsoever that may be , a sense of pastiche pervades Melville's genre pictures, and it is that sense that I think he shares, at least to a certain degree, with Leone.


I think that if you don't want to dub them crime then you shouldn't dub them noires either. In fact what I think makes a difference between him and other french practitioners of the genre (like Verneuil, for ex.) is it's high plastic sense, most apparent in a movie like Les enfants terribles. Melville in short is a great director while others arent'.


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« #4569 : October 17, 2008, 04:08:53 AM »

Hmmm, please explain "high plastic sense."



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« #4570 : October 17, 2008, 05:18:10 AM »

His images (fixed or in movement) are always well constructed: as to composition, decoration, clothing, make up, movement. Direction, in a word. There's nothing left to chance.
Now explain please your "Hmmm". 


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« #4571 : October 17, 2008, 09:27:41 AM »

"Hmmm" means hmmm . . .



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« #4572 : October 17, 2008, 12:24:22 PM »

Why don't you two get a room? ;D

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« #4573 : October 17, 2008, 02:44:32 PM »

"Hmmm" means hmmm . . .

So it was you who wrote this:

http://baetzler.de/humor/things_hmmm.html


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« #4574 : October 17, 2008, 03:08:52 PM »

No, but I wish I had. I particularly like this one:

Quote
If you're in a vehicle going the speed of light, what happens when you turn on the headlights?

This is the question I want to ask every moron who is impressed by Star Trek.



That's what you get, Drink, for not appreciating the genius of When You Read This Letter.
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