Week 9 Discussion Guide: Friday
In class, we will continue our discussion of Greene's view of the plot and characters vs. Reed's, and what kind of papers might take advantage of the striking differences in the way the film handles characterization, and specific scenes like Harrys' death and Anna's reaction to Holly/Rollo's role in that event. We also can talk about Walkers description of film noir characterization, plots, and film making techniques as we see them in The Third Man, especially the "victim hero," the moral ambiguity, the use of mazes and other metaphors for loss of moral focus, shot framing, shot angle, subjective camera point-of-view, "expressionist" lighting, jump cuts. We'll also talk about Greenes characters and the way the film's characters were revised for nationality (Cold War politics) and loyalties (film noir style).
These concepts may give you a new way to see Casablanca, a film that no critic ever called film noir, but that stars many of the same characters from America's first film noir production. The previous year's The Maltese Falcon, directed by John Huston, starred Bogart, Greenstreet, and Lorre in a film which turns on the search for a stolen object in a setting in which criminals appear to run the world (sound familiar)? It also was Bogart's first movie in which he did not play a criminal, though "Sam Spade" was a detective many characters in the movie suspected of criminal behavior.