Archive for April 20th, 2011

Director: John Huston

Producer: Hal B. Willis

Screenwriter: John Huston

Cinematographer: Arthur Edeson

Music: Adolph Deutsch

Studio: Warner Bros 1941

Main Acting: Humphrey Bogart and Mary Astor

How did the universe begin? All these years of human evolution and we are still not sure of our specific origins and how life began. Theories and speculation abound, but a clear concrete answer is still beyond us. Perhaps there will never be an explanation that will please or even satisfy anyone. Our origins are like any great mystery, full of clues but maddening when trying to find the proper resolution. Seems like some poetic justice that film noir has similar questions when it comes to a source. Where does it all begin? Is there one movie that can truly hold the key to how the whole movement formed? Does it come neatly packaged in one big bang explosion named The Stranger On The Third Floor or The Maltese Falcon, or has it gestated for many year in many little progressions? Does the answer lie in Germany, where Lang created M and The Testament Of Dr. Mabuse? Perhaps when we look at France and their poetic realism scene, we see a glimmer of the form taking hold? How about looking at our own horror films of the thirties? Maybe even to some silent films that lay immersed in German expressionism that gloriously offer a similar stylized palette? The bottom line is that I don’t believe we can easily find the great clue that will solve our little genre equation. I am as befuddled as the next person in trying to erect that proper piece of the puzzle to completely illuminate the whole. (more…)

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