San Diego Classic Film Calendar

Friday, June 5, 2015

µBlog – Opening Fritz Lang's M

µBlog – Too long to tweet, too short to call a real post

I'm taking the TCM/Ball State University course, Into the Darkness: Investigating Film Noir. The first assignment other than reading the syllabus etc. was to look at the following video, of the opening four or so minutes of Fritz Lang's M. We were supposed to look at what contribution it makes to film noir style.


What I am most struck by here is not the way this relates to film noir, but just how well crafted the story-telling is. Basically the entire sequence is exposition, setting up the situation and elaborating on every aspect of it. From the innocence of the children, making a game out of the threat to them, to the adult's paranoia, the one woman appalled by the children making light of the situation, while the other woman is comforted by just knowing they are still there. The adults waiting outside the school, when normally they would probably let the children walk. By the time, you get to the poster at the end, you don't even need to know the details. You already know everything that counts. Yes, there is some film noir imagery, the ominous shadows of the cuckoo clock and the man at the end. What really stands out to me is just damn good story-telling. People aren't explaining the situation. They're reacting to it. Brilliant. I love this movie.

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