Power Dynamic in “Double Indemnity” | jadamsnoir
Phyllis Dietrichson, Walter Neff, and Barton Keyes: Double Indemnity of writer- director Billy Wilder's film noir Double Indemnity, the. That's the question asked by Walter Neff, the anti-hero of Double Indemnity. the necessary hook on which the devious couple could hang all their problems. Keyes and Neff performed the Venus-Mars-Neptune relationship where they had . Norman Holland on Billy Wilder's Double Indemnity. More trouble comes when Neff tries to talk Dietrichson's daughter Lola (Jean Heather) Half of this film rests on Walter Neff's relationship to Keyes, half on his affair and plot with Phyllis.
Their heart-to heart talks 7 don't take--Neff prefers glad-handing and meeting women like Phyllis Dietrichson. Keyes pretends he's giving up on Walter, after offering him a job as his assistant. Keyes shakes his head, "You're not smarter, Walter, you're just a little taller. Keyes takes out a cigarette or a cigar and then searches for a match. Walter always obliges by striking a match with a fingernail and handing it to Keyes 8 This bit of trifling has its payoff in the movie's final scene when Walter has come to his end and gets out a cigarette, only this time it's Keyes who supplies the light Whenever there's an insurance claim that could spell trouble Keyes confides in Walter, tells him what he's thinking, alerts him when things don't seem just right.
He has this "little man" in his chest 9 who ties knots in his stomach. He pretends to hide his clear affection for Walter behind gruffness and put downs. They both know it's a facade. In the voice-over that follows this admission, he adds, "I really did too Robinsonvia Dictaphone, a last-gasp effort at washing some of the literal and metaphorical blood from his hands. In each of these instances, confession serves to clear the way for understanding, clarity of identity, forgiveness, and a hope for the future for decent characters whose most covetous trait may be an ability to navigate a world increasingly enveloped by moral decay with kindness and thoughtfulness intact.
Their emerging trust of one another — something imminently missing from their lives prior where sex was not — may prove more valuable and lasting. Despite a lifetime spent creating cinematic artifice, and inexorably stung by the deadly lies of the World War II fascism that claimed his family and homeland, Wilder wielded frankness and truth-telling in his scripts like the sword of Damocles. His directorial presence reflects, too, that same unsparing avoidance of sentiment: So, when the director juxtaposes these shots, sparingly, with close-up two-shots of Baxter and Fran, the audience feels the buzz of real human connection.
More vital evidence that Wilder favors the warmth and security attached to satisfying unions is what he tags the audience with as they leave the movie theater: Baxter declares his love and adoration for Fran at the close of The Apartment; Fran, stung and exhausted by a recently terminated but soul-sucking affair yet, in spite of this, most probably falling for Baxter, tootakes a more cautious approach.
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Wilder also suggests, as he will throughout his cinematic career, that the male of the species is somehow inherently imperfect and in need of acceptance. For one thing, those who use their bodies in the tenuous pursuit of personal liberty often find their souls untethered.
Joe Gillis and Norma Desmond: Facing the retributive wave of his sociopathic overtures to desire, Neff mercifully gives the young couple the chance to reclaim their own relationship. Sex can spell disaster if its promise is followed through on: A fraud investigator is spying on them, and revealing the truth is tantamount to blowing a fortune.
Harry may get momentarily mired in nostalgic reverie for a vibrant relationship that never really was, but Wilder has already drawn a portrait of Sandy for us to chew on: Sandy echoes an anonymous, alienating sex that feels more functional and invokes either a somnambulant state or need for cleansing than an expression of love.
The Fortune Cookie A note about suicide: When it finally seeps into Fran that her illicit affair with Sheldrake will never result in them actually being together, she looks to suicide to purge her pain. The characters — good-hearted, essentially decent folks — are cosmically positioned to find a healthier, more inspiring connection down the road.
Wilder rewards the ardently hapless, allowing for the intervention of fate to trigger subsequent emotional clarity. The karmic resolutions that Wilder spins are satisfying enough — the audience knows the couples are fated to be together long before the characters do — to dispel the notion that sexual consummation is a required part of the process, for the characters or for us.
Sex remains an afterthought, a low priority need. During stridulation, the male hump-winged grig, a cricket-like insect, rubs its forewings together to create a siren mating call in hopes of attracting a female.
My favourite film: Double Indemnity
After dazzling his eyes and loins, Phyllis lures Walter Neff through interconnected train cars of passion-fueled machinations, inciting him bit by bit to sacrifice his humanity in the name of her freedom. Here, the camera pans to the smirking Phyllis, remaining resolutely focused on her throughout the offscreen murder.
He has finished serving his purpose for Phyllis, another mantis for the pile. Nestor is fired within the harsh, geometric angularity of the Paris precinct, and while the chief barks and demoralizes him, his once-intransigent baton flops flaccidly in his fist. The function and meaning of the hotel room, a home away from home for Irma where she and Lord X will forge a sincere bond, transfigures over the course of the film — it percolates with manipulation, converging identities, and then genuine, actual feeing — but the Lord X persona is adamant about avoiding sex there, citing an old war injury for his current impotence; so, in an effort to continue the impotence act in these domains, Nestor has become impotent.
And not unlike the hump-winged grig, Wilder chomped at the bit to bend the architecture and poetry of his production design to reveal essential truths about his characters. Boyle, as in Irma, for forced perspective sets that utilized background layering and miniaturesroutinely seek to emasculate Baxter. As he moves up the executive ladder, he moves off the floor and ever closer to the icily immoral center of the corporate web where, incidentally, the higher-ups play fast and loose in their relationships with women.
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Each new office finds Baxter blitzed by an unexpected, disconcerting layer of truth regarding Fran and his own desires. Although Wilder would be the first to say he abhorred camera pyrotechnics or anything that would call attention to the director outside of an elegant setup, he was apt to design compositions that were quite technically complex and psychologically illuminating.
The scene plays out in the living room and Wilder lets the camera rest on Harry rather than intercutting between him and Sandy, illuminating only his increasingly enraptured countenance at being in her company. Boom Boom and Harry Boom Boom, visually and emotionally, is never far from his thoughts, his true kindred spirit in a way the sultry, wan Sandy never could be. Willie telephones Harry to dissuade him from getting frisky with Sandy, while behind him his home is clamorous and chaotic.
Willie has long ago lost touch with the tones and rhythms, however off-kilter, of his family.Double Indemnity (4/9) Movie CLIP - A Claims Man (1944) HD
Baxter rents out his Manhattan apartment to the executives above him looking to carry on secret affairs. For these dubious men — portrayed as weaselly, giggling frat boys, never seemingly engaged in actual crucial work or positions of integrity, domestic or otherwise — extramarital sex on the way up the corporate ladder is akin to a casual tennis lunch.
Joe Dobisch Ray Walstontoo, is in an existential, not to mention physical, hurry: Dobisch, like the others, acquiesces to a kind of clipped sexuality, accepting of an unspoken edict that suggests that this all comes with the territory.
The notion of children hanging around, a natural extension of family, is met with a threat, however feigned, of violence, as it was with the kitchen collision in Fortune Cookie.
Some Like It Hot Wilder drops hints that the strictly domestic life is a distant second-place booby prize to freewheeling or fatalistic pursuits of personal discovery, even if both paths frequently hold the promise of frustration.
Again, Harvey crystallizes the connections: Why so down on relationships, Billy?