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Daily Dose #9: Last Night I Dreamt (Opening Scene of Rebecca)


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#21 SCGuppy

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 12:07 AM

1) More modern approach to the story--inviting...draws the audience more w/this setting-- a house and a woman reliving her memories... a gradual "pull" for the viewer, nothing that I have seen in previous films' openings.
2) Up to now, all of Hitchcock's films had either an innocent woman or a man who is on a quest or journey and these two types of characters come together and create a thrilling, suspenseful enchantment.To me, "Rebecca" does just that!
3) The cameras approach to the house (Manderley) itself-- it is a character in the story--it plays a part as it is meant to break or keep those who live inside it. The voiceover of Mrs. de Winter recalling her 1st time seeing it, as if it was waiting for her, yet in the flashback--She had a sense of dread, fear, and unhappiness.The camera focusing on the exterior of the house and yet, no one lives there anymore. It is just a mansion...a skeleton of bad experiences and an entanglement of sad and depressing memories...dead and buried.

#22 shamus46

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 10:33 PM

1. Describe how this opening is different from the multiple opening scenes you have seen in the Daily Doses from the British silent and/or sound period? 

The scene is one of location instead of characters. First, the gate. then the drive encroached by nature, twisting and turning. What a great way to approach the scene of one of the main characters...Manderley.

 

2. What are the Hitchcock "touches" in this opening that help you identify this as a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock? 

The scanning of the waves crashing, up the cliff to the figure of a man.  The POV...the close-up of his face and his POV from behind, looking down.

 

3. How does this opening sequence use Manderley--the house itself--as a kind of character in the story? What affect does the flashback structure and the voiceover narration have on your experience of this scene? 

The voiceover sets the eeriness of the story, the twisting drive helps in setting the twisting plot. The narration describes how the house seems alive and forboding...and now unlivable.


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#23 dtmp

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 06:55 PM

Is it just me or does anyone else see the outline of a women's head in the freeze frame of the daily dose video. The rocks and water form a perfect silhouette of a womens head, maybe Rebecca?

#24 karenod1

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 06:26 PM

I was away on vacation all last week so now catching up with all the lectures and daily doses from then. 

1. The opening to Rebecca is different in several ways from the openings we've seen before. There is no public place with lots of noise and freneticism or quick camera movement. We meet our characters right away but don't find out yet anything about them. 

 

2.  The Hitchcock touches are there. The camera angle on the man on the cliff, the dolly shots and the pov as the voice over character is walking down the path to the house, the close ups of the mans shoes at the edge of the cliff and the back of his head. The music which switches and changes when he wants us to feel something else.

 

3.  We see Manderley as a character through the dreamers yes and her description which personify the house...she calls it secretive and silent, she refers to the cloud covering it's face and says it looks like  a shell without a past. 

The flashback structure with the voice over makes me want to see Manderley in the old days and makes me want to see what happened to the dreamer there and why it is in such disrepair now....



#25 Ann56

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 09:52 PM

1.    Describe how this opening is different from the multiple opening scenes you have seen in the Daily Doses from the British silent and/or sound period? It is a voice over describing a scene which is placed in the past, describing a dream but not a dream.

 

2.    What are the Hitchcock "touches" in this opening that help you identify this as a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock?  1. The camera angles from the sea to the figure standing on the cliff.  2. The point of view angle from figure looking down to the sea.  3. The music which goes from haunting to sweet after Olivier meets Fontaine. 

 

3.    How does this opening sequence use Manderley--the house itself--as a kind of character in the story? What affect does the flashback structure and the voiceover narration have on your experience of this scene?  The story is more than just set at Manderly because Manderly plays such an important role in the movie.  It is where Rebecca reigns and Ms. Danvers carries the torch for her, keeping her alive by reminding the new Ms. deWinter what an influence Rebecca had on the house….almost as if the house and Rebecca were one.   

The voice over and the flashback lets you know that both characters will survive whatever happened to and at Manderly and that at one time Manderly was whole and alive.  It piques your interest as to what happened at and to Manderly. 



#26 Tiger1318

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 06:48 PM

1. Describe how this opening is different from the multiple opening scenes you have seen in the Daily Doses from the British silent and/or sound period? 

This is a very different opening for Hitch.  With most of the other opening scenes we have watched there is some kind of action or immediate introduction to a character or something that has happened to said character. 

2. What are the Hitchcock "touches" in this opening that help you identify this as a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock? 

The POV shot is the major "touch" that will tell you that it is a Hitchcock film.  

3. How does this opening sequence use Manderley--the house itself--as a kind of character in the story? What affect does the flashback structure and the voiceover narration have on your experience of this scene? 

Since you are introduced first to the house and the way the house is described in the off camera dialogue it emphasizes how important the house is to the story and thus makes the house feel like a main character.  



#27 T-Newton

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 08:38 PM

1. There are a few things I've noticed here that were different from the openings we've seen in prior Daily Doses. For one, the movie doesn't open in a public place with a lot of people. It opens with a gate leading to the abandoned house that is Mandalay. The second thing is the narration from the main character, whom we aren't introduced yet until a flashback happens, which is the third thing.

 

2. The POV shot, no question. Hitchcock was a pioneer of the POV, and he utilizes it to its fullest as if we, the audience, are going through the gate to gaze at the house with a tragic history.

 

3. Pretty much all of the movie is revolved around this house, as if the house is really an omnipotent being that somehow manipulates those that reside in it.

 

I should mention that this is my mother's favorite Hitchcock film and one of her favorite films overall.


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#28 snowicki

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 04:08 PM

1. Unlike most of Hitchcock's films, this opening scene starts with a flashback. There is an ominous feel to the house and grounds on which the house is on, heightened by the focus on the moon, gate, fog, and dark sky. I agree with other users who say that the house itself is a character that we are coming to get to know in this film. The opening focus on the house is set up ominously and seems eerily silent, different from the openings in movies like The Man Who Knew Too Much and The Lady Vanishes

 

2. The shots are similar to that of the older Hitchcock movies. There are POV and movement shots that enhance the scene and help bring the audience into the story, making us wonder and care about what is going to happen next -- essentially forcing us to watch the movie to see what happens. There is also information revealed to us from the narrator that the characters probably do not know, as the narrator is retelling the story in retrospect. The sudden change from the quiet house to the rushing waters also reminds me of Hitchcock -- rapidly cut scenes to create some excitement for the audience. And, in France, we meet two characters who look ordinary and who will become the lead characters as the movie progresses. 

 

3. The house is ominously introduced, complete with images of the moon, fog, and gnarly trees. As we move past the gate, the voiceover enhances what we see on the screen, so we see the house as the character would, a place that she never will visit again, except in her dreams. The house is referred to as a very important place, and words are used that show that the house is important in the story about to be shared. The flashback and narration make me want to watch the movie to see what happens.


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#29 TPNOWICKI

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 04:07 PM

Rebecca differs from the majority of Hitchcock openings because it lacks frenetic action and cast of multiple extras we have come accustomed to experiencing in earlier film openings. Instead, it gives is a moody scene of solitude with overgrown foliage that suggests Manderlay is in disrepair and seen better days. It has a quiet gothic feel that we have previously seen.

Hitchcock touches include use of POV tracking shots and an efficiency of storytelling that creates the mood of film along with the introduction of the two costars.

The mansion itself both in its reveal and shadowy darkness in which it is shot provides both personality and establishing mood for the film.
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#30 iceiceblondie

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 12:06 PM

The opening scene differs from some of Hitchcock's earlier films in a couple different ways. The one that stood out to me was the lack of character introduction. You could say that the character of Manderley is being introduced, but in previous films there are many characters you see, a whole lot of activity. This is more solitary and introspective. I think it fits with the mood of the film.

 

I see the Hitchcock film in the shadows and mists, and in the way the camera moves along the drive. It makes you feel as if you are walking along the drive yourself, approaching Manderley. The voiceover adds a spooky touch, as if you know something strange is going to happen here.



#31 dmaxedon

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 12:24 AM

1. The voiceover narration, I don't think we've seen that before, but also there seems to be a grandness to the writing and the imagery of the house, even though it's in disrepair, it's sprawling, and you can tell it was once much more than it is now. The writing and the voice just seem to raise the bar.

2. The shot of his feet shuffling stood out to me, not just that they were the focus, but the notion, is he going to jump, or is he just shuffling his feet, enough so that even the woman called out to him, already sewing seeds of doubt and trepidation.

3. The house is how it is as the narrator is telling the story, but how did it get this way, what might explain it's current condition, what was it like before, lots of unanswered questions that make us want to stick around and find out. I also think people assign personalities to houses, sometimes because of their history, and sometimes their appearance or surroundings evoke an emotional response, creepy, quaint, depressed, e.g., Amityville Horror, oh and Psycho.



#32 Ihopetheresice

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 12:19 AM

I know this is a shot in the dark, but is there anyone on here that would be willing to give me access to the class. I missed the enrollment date and didn't even know this was being offered until now. I just want to audit the class, if you will, and see all the class has to offer. I thoroughly enjoyed the slapstick course and would love to take part in this class. Again, I know it's a long shot.
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#33 cynthiag

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 10:58 PM

Often Hitch opens in public places and with multiple characters to give us the illusion that things are safe...we only become aware of any menace or anything that's off as the action unfolds.  Here we know right away something is very wrong, with the moody music, and the narrator's description of how nature has overtaken what we soon discover is only the shell of a house.  The end of Manderley, and the characters' lives there, is already foreshadowed. We do still have the POV shot, the creative use of shadows right from the first transition where they seem to lift like a curtain rising, the camera seeming to dolly right through the bars of the gate as though they suddenly lost their substance...then the playing with POV as he dissolves from the narrator's POV to what could be Maxim's, then apparently the narrator's again, then the shot from above and the close-up on Maxim, before the narrator cries out, which clearly can be the POV of neither. 

The flashback foreshadows the coming destruction of Manderley, which we know is a deep loss from the love and longing in Joan Fontaine's voice as she narrates. She speaks of it as an entity, as though it were a living creature who has died but seems for a moment to have come to life again.  By the time the narrator is introduced visually, we already have begun to get to know her and are invested in finding out how she lost Manderley.



#34 aoohara

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 08:19 PM

I think the biggest difference between this and other Hitchcock openers is the fact that we hear the voice of our narrator played by Fontaine. Her voice has such a dream like tone and coupled with the POV shot of the drive, the fog and the burned shell of a manor home we begin to feel that familiar sense of dread and suspense. I think this opening also serves to introduce us to the house as a main character....we see it before other humans. There is love in the second Mrs. de Winter's voice, but also sadness, regret and perhaps a resolution that things are as they should be even though something sinister has happened....maybe that is relief. It's an incredibly powerful opening.



#35 Robinv

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 04:43 PM

1. It doesn't open in a public place. It is a POV shot. We are being introduced to our main character Mandalay. We are walking along with our narrator seeing what she sees. The music, the darkness, the mood and the fog are setting the scene for something dark. We know there is something sinister associated with this house, but what.

2. The POV shot. The narrative is giving us mood and information of how this person is feeling as she walks through the gates, around the winding walkway until she sees it. The house. The characters we are being introduced to are a house and a woman telling the story. This seems totally different. He usually opens up in a public place, introduce us to the characters and a lot of action. This is opening up with a dark and gloomy feeling.

3. It's putting me in a frame of mind. There is something about this house. We don't know what it is but it will be important later. This reminds me of a film noir. The character is getting us in a certain frame of mind. We are going to see this story from theiR point of view, through their eyes and understanding. We know something has happened and now we want to know what happened.

#36 julesbutterfly18

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 02:31 PM

This movie really surprised me. I really didn't like the first half at all, I thought it was just everybody against this poor second wife and the husband turned out to be a big jerk. The twist at the end made me like it a lot, I was not expecting that.



#37 Thief12

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 09:03 AM

 

2. What are the Hitchcock "touches" in this opening that help you identify this as a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock

 

To be honest, I can't think of a single thing in it that identifies it as a Hitchcock film.

 

 

Giving this a bit more thought, one could say that there is some "Hitchcock" in the "subjective" point of view of the narrator as she enters Manderlay in her dream. Another thing that is frequent in Hitchcock is the bookend with the opening and finish. The film starts with Manderlay in ruins and ends with Manderlay burning.



#38 LThorwald

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 08:06 PM

1.  Hitchcock opens many of his British films by bringing us quickly into the story through the actions of the characters.  We often get a group of people, setting the scene, then a closer look at our leading characters.  Hitchcock likes to establish the setting quickly, economically and visually through characterization and action.  This opening brings the viewer to the story through mood established with cinematography, voice-over and music.  It opens at a much more languorous pace; rather than cuing us in to what is going on, it raises questions  that we can only hope the movie will answer.

 

2.  The opening shot, which moves through the gate, down the overgrown path to the house is shot in a dreamy POV, and the model of the house is longingly lingered on.  While the camerawork is expert here, this strikes me as a Selznick opening, not a Hitchcock opening.  When we cut to Olivier on the cliff, there we get our first Hitchcock touch.    First of all the jarring juxtaposition of visuals, cutting from the dark, Gothic house to the waves crashing on the rocks.  Then to understand that the view of the waves is POV, as a man contemplates suicide.  The movie first seems to show us Olivier's perspective, but will later shift, as most of the movie is from Joan Fontaine's perspective.  This is also a Hitchcock touch.

 

3.  We understand that Manderley is important because it is referenced at the very beginning of the voice over.  The way the house is first seen strikes the viewer with wonder and perhaps a little fear.  Manderlay is a metaphor for the past, perhaps the parts of the past that we don't wish to visit.  The narrative ends with the reflection that "we can't go back to Manderley."

The flashback structure is very American to me, rather than a straightforward beginning of the story, which implies action, an embedded narrative structure implies reflection;  the pacing is different.  The flashback and voice over are techniques that would be used frequently in film noir.



#39 Jennifer Anne

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 06:38 PM

1. Describe how this opening is different from the multiple opening scenes you have seen in the Daily Doses from the British silent and/or sound period?

It is comprised of longer, sweeping shots that are not lively or cutting rapidly from one to the other; it does not take place in a public location but in private the mind of the narrator (even in the dream it's a private and gated residential space); when cutting to the south of France the crashing of the waves and the isolated image of Olivier atop the cliff continue this dreamlike, ethereal state and increase the suspense. There are also no crowds of people, no use of text or signage.

2. What are the Hitchcock "touches" in this opening that help you identify this as a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock?

-Focus is on the interior life of the characters--Joan Fontaine is narrating a dream; when we meet Olivier he appears suicidal and preoccupied with inner demons
-Technique: the POV dolly tracking shot closes in on the gate and the camera passes through it like a ghost, illustrating the narration. The entire sequence feels like you are flying through your memory or floating over the water watching the events unfold. We are seemingly occupying the mind of the faceless narrator.
-Incorporation of Expressionist lighting techniques--playing with light and shadow to create an ethereal atmosphere and haunting tone

3. How does this opening sequence use Manderley--the house itself--as a kind of character in the story? What affect does the flashback structure and the voiceover narration have on your experience of this scene?

The sequence involving Manderley is part character sketch setting up the house as an adversary for Fontaine, but one that appears to have been vanquished. The house has "staring walls" and appears to be a weary shell of its former self that nature is slowly bringing back to life. The entire sequence is at once ominous and haunting but also recuperative and offering a promise of positive change. The flashback structure emphasizes a story of survival: Manderley is simultaneously the end of the story and the beginning of a new one.

#40 hussardo

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 05:52 PM

1. Describe how this opening is different from the multiple opening scenes you have seen in the Daily Doses from the British silent and/or sound period? 
The opening is much more melodic and moody than the previous British films which gave you a fast approach to action.

2. What are the Hitchcock "touches" in this opening that help you identify this as a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock? 
You can instantly see the close up and profile shots which composes any film directed by Hitchcock.

3. How does this opening sequence use Manderley--the house itself--as a kind of character in the story? What affect does the flashback structure and the voiceover narration have on your experience of this scene? 
Again, the use of the house and the voice over gives you a more mature, melodic feeling without taking away the suspenseful moody feeling of what's about to happen.




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