The first film I watched from the list of films was The Third Man directed by Carol Reed. Carol Reed is an English Director, predominantly active in the mid thirties just up to three years before his death in 1976. He is famous for directing movies such as the 1968 version of Charles Dickens novel Oliver, The Fallen Idol (1948) and The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965). Called one of his best known films by IMDB, The Third Man is based on a Graham Greene novella and takes place in Vienna, Austria. The story is centered around Harry Lime although Lime is barely present in the film other than through the words. At the beginning of the story the protagonist, novelist Holly Martins, travels to Vienna after being offered a job by Lime, upon arrival he finds Lime dead. The story could be considered of the crime and mystery genre. Martins aim throughout is to find out the mystery behind Lime’s death and its causes. Meeting throughout a number of other characters such as Lime’s lover Anna Schmidt, he tries to piece together the puzzle of the death of his old friend.
It took me a while to actually get in to the genre of Film Noir, I have not seen many films of this genre before and it was a really interesting experience and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. What caught my eye throughout was the clarity of the images and the effect they had on me, I thought some shots were fantastic and have really inspired me for my project. The shadows and shapes that had been chosen for the scenes really enhanced the overall experience of this film. You could tell the scenes had been extremely well thought through, each image captured had a lot of thought behind it, this was apparent in the sewer scene which had a clear visual richness.
After watching this film, I highlighted three scenes which caught my eye and could be a possibility for my project.
1. The Stairs scene (4.26 -4.56)
The shadows cast on the wall at the beginning of the scene really captured my interest. Although in an interior environment the lighting and the way the scene is shot, really enhances the decor of the building. I liked how the director has used dutch angle to show what Martins is seeing as he looks up the stairs at the porter. This is a first interaction between these two characters, both of which play key parts in the puzzle. This is also the first interaction between Martins which someone who does not speak the same language as him, therefore the theme of identity is really strong.
Key words I have pulled out : Interior, Shadows, Identity, architecture, buildings
2. The Fairground Scene. ( 1.16.29 – 1.16.59)
This scene has an incredibly strong shot at the end of it, looking up into the fairground wheel. This immediately got my brain thinking about structure and line. The way the camera looks right through it shows us a symmetrical view and also puts into perspective the height of the wheel without showing the entirety of it from the ground. Before this end shot, we are waiting impatiently for the arrival of Lime. The fairground adds a child-like factor to this scene along with a feeling of eeriness as it is still and deserted before Harry arrives. I really like the idea of working with these two feelings, I am curious to how I could perceive these purely through a spacial 3D creation.
Key words I have pulled out : Fairground, eerie, fear, height, childhood, structure, line
3. The Sewer Scene (1.34.40 – 1.35.10)
The different shapes and forms depicted in the sewer scene, along with the running water enhance all our senses throughout the scene. I love how Lime is shown as a shadow and that we can hear his footprints more than we can see him. Again the structure and lines are something that really stand out for me, also the reoccurring theme of fear. Although for me I did not enjoy this scene as much as the others, it does spark many ideas for me, again I think of the effects of shadow in an interior space.
Key Words I have pulled out: Interior, shadow, senses, light, shape, form, structure.