Last Wednesday, Emory University screened Double Indemnity (1944) as part of its Billy Wilder Cinematheque series. I had never seen Double Indemnity before and neither had the friend I went with. I had also never seen a Billy Wilder film before, unless you count the beginning of Ace in the Hole (1951) in my Intro to Film course. My friend and I arrived at 7:25, right before the speaker, Dr. Bernstein, was going to take the stage. I wanted to sit in the front (yes, front row, I know it’s close, but it’s the best) and it was open so that was a score. Once we sat down, I took a look around the theater and I can confirm it was a great turnout. It was a good mixture of students, alums, and elderly people (who would have watched it as a child in theaters).
The clock hit 7:30 and Dr. Bernstein began speaking about Billy Wilder’s accomplishments and other films as well as Double Indemnity itself. I remember hearing something about the movie being the “epitome of film noir” so I went into the screening with high expectations. Not only were my expectations met, but they were exceeded in some points. It was a fantastic movie that I really enjoyed. It was funny; it was stressful; it was entertaining; it was everything a good movie should be.
My favorite character had to be Mr. Keyes, played by Edward G. Robinson. He was witty, quick, and humorous sometimes without even trying. He said he had this “little man” living inside him, who determines if a claim for a case was fake or not. The idea of this “little man” and his quips made his character enjoyable to watch and the rest of the audience thought so as well.
Overall, Double Indemnity was a total win in my book. It might be one of my favorite movies from the era of black and white film. The characters were relatable and the plot was intriguing. Additionally, the soundtrack was phenomenal because it added depth, questioning, stress, and other emotions that I have only ever experienced in an MCU movie, The Shining, or Speed Racer (my favorite movie of all time). Double Indemnity is a fantastic film and I will definitely be watching it again and I hope you will watch it sometime.
Last Tuesday I was able to watch the majority of Olympic Pride, American Prejudice sponsored by the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival. I say “majority” because my first screening (we watched Desk Set from 1957) ended at 5:45 whereas the AJFF film started at 5:30. When I arrived, the AJFF people scanned me in and opened the theater doors for me – super nice. The documentary had already started and the theater room was mostly full, the majority of people there either students or middle-aged. Olympic Pride, American Prejudice was about the 18 African Americans who went to the 1936 Olympic games in Nazi Berlin, Germany. The 16 men and 2 women in the group stood up for African Americans not only across the United States, but across the world. They faced discrimination at home and were considered second class citizens but were given the welcome wagon when they arrived in Germany, especially the men. The Nazi Party’s beliefs of a superior Aryan race and antisemitism made it all the more interesting how the African Americans were more welcomed and “accepted” in Nazi Germany than they were in their own country.
The best and worst part of this documented history, in my opinion, was the actual competition of countries. Earlier I said that 18 African Americans “went” to the 1936 Olympic games because not all of them participated. I loved watching old footage of the games and getting to see the African Americans kick ass, take names, and show the world who they really are by taking home 8 gold medals between the 18 of them. However, it was extremely frustrating and heartbreaking because some of the African American athletes who trained all their life (or at least the last 4 years) for this moment were pulled from their event and replaced by a white athlete simply because of the color of their skin. I vividly remember watching and almost crying I was so upset, even though this is old news and it happened in the 1930’s, it’s still just so wrong. I mean, working that hard just to see it all slip between your fingers, just because you were a different race? They couldn’t even say how they felt about it because it might get them in trouble, or worse. Totally infuriating.
On another note, I highly recommend watching this documentary because it gives you the facts along with feelings you didn’t think you could get from watching a simple documentary about the Olympics. If you would like more information on the film, click here. I would also check out the song used for the end of the documentary: “Find My Victory” by Tony Highwater (super moving and emotional and feel-good).
I have never made a website before, so this is a first for me. I really like how my layout turned out with the background picture I wanted as well as the color scheme. The reason I went for a red-and-black based color scheme was because it reminds me of the movie theater, and that is my home away from home. I was thinking of something sci-fi, such as neon blues and greens, but I wanted to encompass all forms of entertainment and what better way to encapsulate different genres than a plain red and black movie “theater-esque” site. The reason I chose the “Singl” template for my website was because I enjoy using IMDB for movie facts and other information as well as I wanted a constant photo as a background instead of a simple addition to the page.
However, with each website and each post comes its own problems, and I am having a hard time figuring out how to add more pages than just my home page. It is frustrating having only one page for my website for now, but with exploring WordPress and using Google and YouTube, I will be able to better navigate and edit my site in the near future. For this upcoming semester, my goals for my website is to attract my friends and family from home as well as peers (outside of this class) to it in hopes that they will comment and/or contribute in some way. Some further changes I would like to make would be to add appropriate, yet entertaining, gifs to my home page as well as potentially add another page my site just for me and my movie/fandom thoughts for myself and others to add their opinions on.
I’m Murphy, but you can call me Murph (or just keep it at Murphy – really it’s up to you). I’m 20 and from Lexington, KY, the bluegrass and horse capital of the world. I enjoy long walks up a mountain and hate the beach. I absolutely love the Golden Girls and my favorite movie of all time is Speed Racer (2008).
Movie-going (especially for MCU films)
Listening to any music except country
Creating short commemorative/hype videos for friends and family (here is one I made for my 2019 Kings Island trip with some high school friends)
Watching PewDiePie play scary games
Eating specifically Private Selection’s Black Raspberry Dark Chocolate Chunk ice cream