Touch of Evil

Posted by: | March 4, 2009 | Comments Off on Touch of Evil

I had never seen this film before but had heard a lot about it.
The opening crane shot sequence was unbearably tense and beautifully shot.
The unsuspecting car planted with bomb slowly weaving around crowds of people had me holding my breath.
Welles seemed to purposely bait the audience with different bomb exploding possibilities in that scene too.
For example: The car disappearing behind a building, the policeman directing traffic, the happy couples, the cart full of trinkets, the other cars.
He plays a multitude of mind games on the viewer…
The camera pulls away from the bomb car leading the audience to think the explosion will come and then the car pulls uncomfortably close again. The main characters Vargas and Susie are essentially side by side with the car for a few minutes and the music is at all times very joyous and vibrant. The characters and plot were easy to follow with amazingly memorable characters ie: Hank Quinlan! Yikes. Is it just me or does the T.V show House owe a lot to this character? Welles is an absolutely exceptional actor and shows his skill the representation of Quinlan.
The perfect example of film noir.
Almost a ridiculously dated film now though. The constant mention of reefer and reefer stubs was somewhat comical. Unintentional of course but speaks of a time when the fear of marijuana was at its height.
Also the border! How things have changed since this film was made is unbelievable!
It’s even referenced in the film when (Vargas?) mentions the endless miles of uncontrolled border without a single machine gun in place.
Regardless, loved the film, loved the single take tracking shots (Ie: in the apartment where the dynamite was planted), beautiful lighting and shadows, venetian blinds. Unreal.


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