callmemadam (callmemadam) wrote,
callmemadam
callmemadam

  • Mood:
  • Music:

Film Noir




Yesterday evening I watched one of the greatest films ever made: Carol Reed’s The Third Man. This was broadcast on television as part of the ‘Orson Welles Christmas Season’ but I don’t see why Welles should get all the credit. Let’s hear it for the director, the cameraman, the actors Joseph Cotten and Trevor Howard; everyone who had a part in making it.

I was trying to imagine the film in colour and it absolutely wouldn’t work. It’s full of unforgettable images: the bombed city, the long road, the Prater, the cat, the sewers; the extraordinary menace of the laughing child, like some demonic infant Peter Lorre. The film recreates marvellously the feeling of a divided post-war city with a floating population of displaced persons. I think this is helped by having so much of the dialogue in untranslated German. It’s about love, loss, betrayal, disillusionment; every shot of the empty streets, the bare trees, the wonderful overcoats and hats they wore in those days, shrieks ‘cold’. Bleak? You bet, yet I could watch it over and over again.

It wouldn’t be the same without the music, the famous zither theme played by Anton Karas.



When I was a child we had the sheet music arranged for the piano, exactly like this



I used to strum the tune, although of course I’d never seen the film. I think I'll have to buy a copy.
Tags: 1940s films
Subscribe
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 10 comments