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Author Topic: Noir-vember Group Marathon 2011  (Read 35734 times)

PeacefulAnarchy

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Re: Noir-vember Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #280 on: November 28, 2011, 08:40:52 PM »



The Woman on the Beach (1947) - 8/10 When I first started watching movies it was a common feeling to wish they were longer. Either because I wanted to spend more time with the characters or know more about the story or just continue the experience. For better or worse that feeling seems to have all but disappeared. I mention this because this is the first time in a long while where I've felt that way.  As it stands it's a nice story with some good use of noir atmosphere, intense performances from Bickford and Bennett and a very well executed resolution. It all goes a little too fast, though. I want to know more about Robert Ryan's character whose inner conflicts drive the film yet we never get any kind of insight into, I want to know more about this bizarre island outpost they're all on, I want to know where these characters plan to go from that ending because its open-endedness doesn't seem appropriate to me, and mostly I want the film to take a little more time getting from the start to the ending. The film is barely 70 minutes long, so it's not like including all this would turn it into a bloated epic. I'm not sure if my having these feelings is a strength or weakness of the film, probably a bit of both. An experience I enjoyed but left me not fully satisfied.

edgar00

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Re: Noir-vember Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #281 on: November 28, 2011, 09:29:55 PM »
The running time for a lot of these film noirs is something I noticed on DVD covers. A lot of these films were really short by today's standards.
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sdedalus

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Re: Noir-vember Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #282 on: November 28, 2011, 09:56:21 PM »
It's curious why that is.  I don't really have an explanation for it.  Well, they were shorter then because most of them were on double bills with shorts in-between, so shorter movies meant more shows.  The industrial pressure then was for economy in storytelling and characterization (typecasting helped with that as well, if you recognized an actor, you probably knew the type of character they were playing).

But as to why movies are so much longer now, I have no idea.

I like the theory that faster cut movies tend to be longer than slower cut ones, despite the obvious exceptions.  I'm not sure why that would be either, though.
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Beavermoose

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Re: Noir-vember Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #283 on: November 28, 2011, 10:04:21 PM »
Rough month. This week is finals week, so gonna be a week off getting in my last reviews.
Then school's out! Ready for Doc-ember!

MartinTeller

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Re: Noir-vember Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #284 on: November 28, 2011, 10:25:45 PM »
A Woman's Secret - A popular young radio singer (Gloria Grahame) is shot, and her mentor (Maureen O'Hara) confesses to the deed... but did she really do it, and if so, why?  A little bit Mildred Pierce and a little bit All About Eve and not nearly as memorable as either.  Oh, it's not a bad film, but it's too low-key to work up much excitement for (and only the tiniest bit noir).  Grahame, although blatantly overdubbed in her singing parts, is a joy to watch as always... but the role really doesn't give her much room to shine (as a sidenote, this was the film where she met future spouse Nicholas Ray).  O'Hara again doesn't do much for me, but co-star Melvyn Douglas is mildly enjoyable.  The real treat is Jay C. Flippen and Mary Philips as the inspector and his crafty wife, who get the lion's share of the script's funniest and most clever moments.  As would you expect from Ray, the direction is well done, although lacking the moody atmosphere of his superior They Live By Night from the previous year.  Overall the movie is enjoyable but too lightweight to be worth a second look.  Rating: Good

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PeacefulAnarchy

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Re: Noir-vember Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #285 on: November 28, 2011, 11:25:16 PM »
But as to why movies are so much longer now, I have no idea.
I would guess what happened in between is a big factor. The advent of TV pushed cinema to distinguish itself, and along with widescreen and colour movies had to be longer to be worth going out to the cinema for. Look at all the epics in the late 50s and 60s. I wouldn't be surprised if the average length of films has actually receded a bit from the 60s and 70s.

1SO

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Re: Noir-vember Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #286 on: November 28, 2011, 11:33:10 PM »
It's curious why that is.  I don't really have an explanation for it.  Well, they were shorter then because most of them were on double bills with shorts in-between, so shorter movies meant more shows.  The industrial pressure then was for economy in storytelling and characterization (typecasting helped with that as well, if you recognized an actor, you probably knew the type of character they were playing).

But as to why movies are so much longer now, I have no idea.

This for me was one of the big mistakes of the Grindhouse experience. While I loved my night at the movies, I couldn't fathom why the decision wasn't mandated to keep both films well under 90 minutes. It would have been a much more successful double feature if the entire package was closer to 2 1/2 hours instead of 3+ hours.
(The other big mistake was the large budgets given to both directors. To be true Grindhouse, they should have worked with some semblance of a shoestring budget.)
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MartinTeller

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Re: Noir-vember Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #287 on: November 28, 2011, 11:40:24 PM »
My wife feels cheated if a movie is less than 2 hours.

My wife has a lot of dumb ideas about movies.
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sdedalus

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Re: Noir-vember Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #288 on: November 29, 2011, 12:32:39 AM »
But as to why movies are so much longer now, I have no idea.
I would guess what happened in between is a big factor. The advent of TV pushed cinema to distinguish itself, and along with widescreen and colour movies had to be longer to be worth going out to the cinema for. Look at all the epics in the late 50s and 60s. I wouldn't be surprised if the average length of films has actually receded a bit from the 60s and 70s.

I don't know.  It seems to me that movies are longer now than when I started working in a theatre (13+ years ago).  But I have no idea if that's true.

The epics are the exception (they didn't follow the normal double feature distribution pattern, for one thing, but were instead given fancy single shows, more like Broadway productions than movies).  But the 60s is when the double feature, "this is where we came in" model broke down, along with the studio system itself, so it makes sense that if it was the industrial imperative that kept them short, then absent that the creative types could just run wild.  Maybe filmmakers' natural desire is to make 2 1/2 hour movies, and they will do so unless otherwise constrained.
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Jared

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Re: Noir-vember Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #289 on: November 29, 2011, 10:24:17 AM »
Summer movies certainley seem a lot longer over that time frame. I wonder if it has much to do with the fact that so many are made as part of larger planned franchises. Dont know why that would matter, but they are trends that feel like they have been occuring approximately the same amount of time.

It seems to me youd want the exact opposite so another show or two could be squeezed in a night.

 

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