Sunday, October 27, 2013

Women in LA 1990's edition vs Women in LA 1940s edition

In L.A. Confidential and Double Indemnity, we see a male figure fall in love with a women basically at first site. In L.A Confidential, Bud White walks into the liquor store he begins to eye this person in a full robe, who seems nunish. Yet, when he finally sees the beautiful women, he immediately is attracted to her and the romance begins. Which is much the same in Double Indemnity, Walter Neff drives to Mr. Dietrichson's house to sell them on resigning their insurance contract, yet when Mr. Dietrichson is not home his wife, Phyllis, is there barely dressed and clearly attracted to Walter as he is to her. So in both the movies, the main character "falls in love" at first sight, however its what the two women are wearing that is interesting to me.

Lynn Bracken in this shot looks stunningly beautiful and yet she is completely covered head to toe in this black and white robe. I find it almost ironic how a prostitute would want to cover up her whole body, and look completely unattractive until you see her face. I would guess Pierce told her too, but in the 90s where all guys want to do is see pretty girls with little clothes, we see the main girl covered up and looking simply like a nun. However in this exact shot very much like Double Indemnity this is the first moment when we and the main character get to catch a glimpse of the main women. Nowadays movies and us as people are more willing to allow women to expose more parts of their bodies, where as back in the 40s everything had to be covered up, it was scandalous when a movie showed skin basically

Phyllis walked out to greet Walter Neff, wearing only a towel to cover up herself, actually showing off her shoulders! Normally people do not greet visitors and guests with only a towel on, but clearly this a women that does not care and is egging Walter on, and obviously he gets cooked. He clearly falls in love with the first glimpse at her body, and again ironically for the time period for a women and especially a house wife like Phyllis to come out and greet someone exposed is so opposite of what we would think a women would do back then.

It seems like the two women in each movie should be switched in these shots. It would make more sense for Bud White to see Phyllis with little clothes and for Walter to see Lynn completely covered up. Also, the angle of the two shots interests me because in L.A. Bud and Lynn are eye level showing an even playing field, which is rare because most people in this movie abuse and disgrace women. Yet Bud is the only one who shows any respect for women and this shot shows that he thinks Lynn and he are equal. However in Double Indemnity Phyllis is the one towering over Walter as she stands on almost a pedestal, which truly shows that in this relationship she has the power, she controls what happens.


1 comment:

  1. Bri, generally good work here, but make sure you label the shots before analyzing them. CU vs. MS, right? The angle discussion is good and so is the clothing point here. P's towel is especially risque in the 1940s. That may be part of why W is a "cooked egg."