Daily Dose of Darkness
Anyway we had some fun and took a side trip to Canton, to the 1st Monday Trade Days, which is rather large flea market affair. It was still rainy then, but we chanced it and really it was pretty perfect weather for it. We also met my niece and her daughter over there. Once everyone had gotten together we gave the flea market a look. It never rained much at all, and we just looked around. The niece bought a few things. Some of it was under a roof just in case a downpour happened. We ate a lunch of sandwiches over there, and later headed back home.
Once we got back we rested a bit and the nephew had some computer stuff he needed to do, I took a nap, and my sister ran by my aunt's to say hello. We later convened and went to grab another bite to eat at a tasty Mexican restaurant. When we got back we decided to watch The Imitation Game.
TCM is presenting a free summer course on film noir online in conjunction with their movies this month. I went ahead and signed up for it, just to see what the thing was about, and maybe to get a better perspective on noir. It is evidently pretty self-paced and open. You can do as little or as much as you like. There's no test or paperwork or whatever. It's mostly for grins. But if you sign up as I did they'll send you emails on what's showing and what to look out for within the film, which you would not get if you don't sign up. Plus they'll alert you as to what noir films are showing that week, that's the draw for me.
The first email has been sent out along with what movie to watch this Friday, which is Fritz Lang's M. Luckily for me I have it also on VHS, but have never watched it. It's showing here too early around 5am, and that's a bit early for my routine. At any rate, you don't have to watch everything, and you can do as you like, but the emails are informative as well. Within the first email they have:
Welcome to your Daily Dose of Darkness.
This is a course feature that runs Mondays through Thursdays. There will be four Daily Doses of Darkness each week. The Daily Dose is designed with your busy schedules in mind. Each Daily Dose provides you with a short, five-minute observation or insight into film noir to keep you engaged in the course. Each Daily Dose is self-contained and focuses on a single film clip from a movie in TCM's Summer of Darkness lineup.
The theme of the first week of Daily Doses is "Dynamic Openings." The first four Doses feature the opening scenes from films airing on June 5.
Daily Dose #1: The Nasty Man in Black (The Opening Scene of Fritz Lang's M)
Watch M on TCM: June 5, 2015 at 6:00am EDT
Curator's Note: Watch the opening scene from Fritz Lang's 1931 film, M. What do you notice in these early moments from M as you watch the action unfold in the context of film noir? How is director Fritz Lang staging his characters, moving his camera, and controlling the lighting to establish a seemingly ordinary working class city neighborhood, albeit with an underpinning of dread and unease? What seems wrong about this place? Do we have any warning signs of trouble to come? What are some of the aspects of this scene that you feel are related to the film noir style? In particular, while film noir is considered a very visual cinematic style, pay attention to M's sound design. Listen to how Lang is building up the film's increasingly tense and unsettling mood and atmosphere by skillfully incorporating sounds originating from inside the film's world (such as children's voices, cuckoo clocks, church bells, and car horns). Curated by Richard EdwardsWatch Film Clip:
Further Reflections: After watching the clip, please go to Twitter (#NoirSummer) or the TCM Summer of Darkness Message Board to continue your reflections on this clip. Here are a few discussion starters (though feel free to come up with your own):
-- What word or combination of words best conveys the mood that Fritz Lang is trying to create in this opening scene?
-- In what ways can the opening of M be considered as an important contribution to the film noir style?