Re: RARA-AVIS: Kiss Me Deadly

From: jacquesdebierue (
Date: 09 Dec 2007

--- In, Patrick King <abrasax93@...> wrote:

> *****************************************************
> Not to be contentious, but when you have mimes miming
> a tennis game at the end of a movie, that is NOT
> subtle. I don't think there's anything subtle about
> Blow-Up.

Well, I do. Let's not beat that one up.

> Again, when a movie is put together back to front, and
> the camera angles are so unusual that you think about
> them as you're watching the film, this is the
> definition of Wellsian "heavy handed" directing. The
> Killing is a brilliant film, but it is far from
> subtle. Polanski, be it Knife in the Water or
> Repulsion or Rosemary's Baby or Chinatown, is very
> overt in the use of his techniques.

Knife in the Water is not Repulson or Rosemary's Baby, nothing like them. Chinatown is subtle.

And I think The Killing uses (mostly, not exclusively) an objective point of view: it is a thrilling but cold film, a subtle film. It conveys the coming failure bit by bit, without dramatizing it too much
(except for Wilmer and his moll, which don't jar too much).

>Tony Richardson's Saturday Night and Sunday
> Morning is a fairly subtle noir, as is his Lonliness
> of a Longdistance Runner. Brilliant use of the black &
> white medium, but it's not set up like a comic book,
> the way most of the noir films we're talking about
> are. Lindsey Anderson's This Sporting Life is fairly
> subtle in its cinematic technique.

I don't think any these are noir films. The angry young men cultivated a social-realistic type of film. The aspiration was to make fiction that looked like a documentary. They were quite successful. But thematically I don't see much noir in them.
> I don't think subtlety is anything to strive for in
> noir fiction.

As I said before, I don't think there are any rules. A theme can be approached in countless ways and yet with success. It can be approached subtly or flamboyantly or even pushed towards the grotesque. The results can be great whatever the approach.



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