Re: RARA-AVIS: THE BLACK DAHLIA, more heresy--Surreal

Date: 17 Sep 2006

In a message dated 9/17/06 8:41:02 AM, writes:

> I not only liked THE BLACK DAHLIA movie, and
> don't care much how much Elroy was involved in
> it, but as a "movie," it is visually, one of the
> best I've seen in years.
> Seeing the movie sent me back to the book. I have
> reread 150 pages, and some scenes are lifted
> almost verbatim from the book. Some details are
> askew, but, I think, necessarily so.
> For example in the book, the evidence that
> Scarlett Johansson's Kay Lake was tortured
> required quick, visual evidence that Lee
> Blanchard didn't do it.
> The movie is noir, Lee is screwed as are Kay and
> Bucky in the long run. Bucky, in a sense was
> screwed from the beginning when he was in the
> boxing match with Lee.
> What jumps out at me is that the movie is
> surreal, as is the case of the Black Dahlia
> itself. All of the cops act it straight, except
> perhaps for the guy doing the autopsy--and that
> might have been a subtle slap at TV like CSI.
> The other characters: Kay, who comes off as a
> 50s, not 40s, housewife with a tortured past;
> Elizabeth Short, her father, and her movie
> friends; Madeline, the other Linscotts, and most
> of the minor characters are so over the top that
> it is clearly intentional to create the
> atmosphere. (One of the things that directing is
> all about is creating juxtapositions.)
> This juxtaposition of realistic and almost
> Grand-Guignol acting styles, creates a true
> surreal atmosphere, that emphasizes the
> surreality of the crime.
> Although he is not the quintessential tough guy,
> and perhaps even a 2006 Alpha/Beta male, I
> thought that Josh Harnett's chartacter and
> voice-overs, not only helped with the atmosphere,
> but helped greatly with the explanation of the
> story.
> I know how some people feel: the story is
> everything, the images secondary. Paraphrasing
> the last or nearly last line of CHINATOWN, "It's
> a movie, guys."
> All that being said, the one thing that did
> bother me was Madeleine's (Hillary Swank's)
> insistence that she looked like Elizabeth Short.
> Mia Kirchner as the Dahlia turned in a superb
> performance.
> OK, now throw bricks.

your opinion is as valid as anyone else's, Jack. that's why we have a forum. I have high hopes for the film, will be seeing it tonight and will add my comments later

John Lau

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 17 Sep 2006 EDT