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Every Orson Welles film demonstrates the great director's ability to work with and against filmic tradition. "The Lady from Shanghai" is a compendium of noir conventions: it tells a tale of post-war greed, of Americans willing to tear each other asunder for a dollar; it is the story of an irresistible dame and the smart guy who becomes a chump the second he lays eyes on her; it uses A-stars against type so as to bring out their blemishes and inner demons (even daring to cut and dye Hayworth's famous hair!). It is thus a classic noir tale, but it is executed with such self-consciousness that the viewer is left to wonder if it isn't the beginning of the end for noir--an elaborate staging of the demolition, the shattering, of the film noir universe. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir" at outofthepast.libsyn.com.
Direct download: OOTP_2006_01_15_TLFS.mp3
Category:Movies -- posted at: 5:01 AM
Comments[2]

The question of whether Hitchcock is a noir director remains open. What is certain is that by 1946 noir aesthetics began to inflect every genre from the Holiday picture ("It's a Wonderful Life") to the espionage/thriller film. Like "The Third Man," "Notorious" is best described as the latter, for its political and geographical scope exceed what is typical of noir, and justice is defined and done in unambiguous terms. Nevertheless, at crucial moments a noir camera vision is manifest. More importantly, Hitchcock has his stars play their darkest roles: Bergman is the alcoholic tramp daughter of a convicted Nazi; Grant plays the cold-hearted and sadistic spy who is her only hope. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir" at outofthepast.libsyn.com.
Direct download: OOTP_2006_01_01_N.mp3
Category:Movies -- posted at: 5:01 AM
Comments[2]