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• View topic - Film Noir

Film Noir

Sladists are media maniacs...I mean lovers. Movies, Books, Music & Sports are all here.

Postby Hydebound » Sat Mar 21, 2009 6:04 am

I have seen it, and it's a gem. And I just picked up THINK FAST, MR. MOTO, the first of the Peter Lorre series.
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Postby Slade » Sat Dec 19, 2009 7:31 pm

Hydebound, MM, Judy, Brad, and other Noirists,

I've got one for you.

In the 1950s, the label "Made in Japan" was a joke. In North America, it stood for "shoddy workmanship." In the 1958 version of THE FLY, a bowl is sent through the transporter as an experiment. That things aren't right is conveyed by the bowl that emerges at the other end. The label "Made in Japan" on the bottom is printed backwards.

That got a big laugh in the theater.

Within two decades, Westerners were no longer laughing. They were in a fight to keep their countries from being bought up by powerful Japan. So when Deep Purple called their live album MADE IN JAPAN, that was a not-so-subtle joke on Western ears.

So, how did Japan do it? We're talking Film Noir. The year is 1963. Can you guess the movie?

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Postby MarylandManson » Sun Dec 20, 2009 2:09 am

Slade, is this what you had in mind?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_and_Low

"One faction wants to make the company a modern mass market low quality manufacturer while the founder of the company tries to keep it conservative with good quality."

Never saw the movie, but it looks quite intriguing. Well, how could it be otherwise if it has anything to do with McBain?

Cheers! MM
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Postby Slade » Sun Dec 20, 2009 3:11 am

Indeed it is, MM.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/st ... a0ad69.htm

http://archive.sensesofcinema.com/conte ... d_low.html

The movie is three hours long, and a telling look at what propelled Japan out of defeat. It used to be that our movie heroes were...well, heroes. At some point, we fell in love with the anti-hero, a protagonist who lacks the attributes that would make him a heroic figure, such as nobility of mind and spirit, a life or attitude marked by action or purpose. In SE7EN, we have a throwback in Morgan Freeman, a cop who spends the time it takes in a library, and Brad Pitt, a cop who wings it.

In HIGH AND LOW, the cops are sent out in teams with a task, and must report with bows and such in front of the squad. Loss of face here means a social knife in the gut, so two by two, they wow us with how they've tackled the problem.

The single-line tram, the phone booth in the sun, the puddle by the fish market...damn, if there's a murder in my home town, these are the cops I want on the case!

Japanese Film Noir, by Japan's foremost director, and Toshiro Mifune, the commandant in BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI. "Be happy in your work." I certainly was.

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Postby MarylandManson » Sun Dec 20, 2009 8:41 am

Slade, your last post has interesting connections to Homicide: Life on the Street, as well as Swastika and Kamikaze.

Fun! MM
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Postby Slade » Sun Dec 20, 2009 8:12 pm

MM,

A year before he died of throat cancer, Ed McBain did an interview with The Reader's Room:

Before we wrap this up, I'd like to know if any of your books have been made into movies adapted by other people and, if so, how they turned out.

Ed McBain: Kurosawa did HIGH AND LOW, a wonderful movie based on KING'S RANSOM.


Watch this sequence in Dope Alley. Is it a zombie film or what? Note how the light plays off the killer's sunglasses, and listen to the soundtrack. The setup is the killer needs to snuff an accomplice with a "hot cap," so he's looking for a guinea pig on which to test its strength:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SbiO2ryIiU

And here's the classic Bullet Train sequence. Trivia: Detective Inspector Kim Rossmo (BURNT BONES, DEATH'S DOOR, and SWASTIKA) was riding the Bullet Train in real life when he got inspiration for the mathematical formula behind Geographic Profiling:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iy7G5zUTWyU

And here's the trailer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ketb1jdU ... re=related

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Postby Hydebound » Sun Dec 20, 2009 9:52 pm

How could I have failed to include HIGH AND LOW among the favorites I have listed on this forum? A great film on every level- crime drama, political thriller, police procedural- with one of the most abrupt, devastating endings of any film.
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Postby Slade » Mon Dec 21, 2009 1:43 am

More than any other Japanese film I've seen, HIGH AND LOW goes a long way to helping me understand that country. McBain's setup is terrific for a an American thriller, but add Japan's obsession with honor - you used to have to gut yourself through harakiri if you were shamed - and the plot takes on volatile meaning.

The motive is pure McBain:

Kingo Gondo: Why should you and I hate each other?
Ginjirô Takeuchi, medical intern: I don't know. I'm not interested in self-analysis. I do know my room was so cold in winter and so hot in summer I couldn't sleep. Your house looked like heaven, high up there. That's how I began to hate you.


"Mansion on the Hill":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPABXtozgS0

"Now go get him. Be bloodhounds."

Slade
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Postby MarylandManson » Mon Dec 21, 2009 9:02 am

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Postby Slade » Mon Dec 21, 2009 7:09 pm

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Postby Hydebound » Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:05 pm

Here's a slightly off-thread McBain tie-in: THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF BEST CRIME COMICS features a truly bizarre 87th precinct story for completists only.
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Postby Slade » Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:25 pm

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Postby MarylandManson » Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:56 pm

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Postby Slade » Thu Dec 24, 2009 12:46 am

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Postby MarylandManson » Thu Dec 24, 2009 1:14 am

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