Books and Movies Reviews

Double Indemnity

In 1944, the Billy Wilder directed film, Double Indemnity, was released.It is now regarded as a landmark in film noir.
This film exemplifies all the characteristics that are usually associated with the genre of film noir.First off, the entire film takes place in the city of Los Angeles.We follow the characters around the streets and into apartment buildings.The camera barely ventures outside during the daytime.If the action is during the day, we are inside and the lighting isn't overblown by the daylight.Thefirst encounter of Walter and Phyllis takes place during the day, yet the living room is extremely dark and the blinds look like cell bars against the characters.This leads us to the darkness that populates most of the movie.Low-key lighting shows us pools of light, surrounded by borders of darkness.When Walter enters his office at the beginning of the film to confess, there is no light in the entire room until Walter clicks on a small desk lamp and a explosion of light illuminates just sections of the desk and Walter. He is surrounded by the color of black.Lots of close ups are also used in the film.A great use of the darkness to illustrate a point is on the train.Walter keeps his head down while on the train and this blocks any light from leaking onto his face.He doesn't want to be seen and even the viewer has a hard time seeing him clearly.Close ups and low-key lighting are used simultaneously in a scene where Walter and Phyllis are discussing the murder of Phyllis' husband.A close up is used for their kisses as well.
The plot, like the lighting, is a trip to the dark side.Walter and Phyllis conspire to murder her husband and cash in on his life insurance.But Keyes is the man that sorts through the distractions and stays on their shoes all the way to the end.It's a dirty plan by characters to match it, but there are some people out there that are still good.Wal…

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