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Daily Dose #20: Look! (Opening Scene of Frenzy)


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#1 Rejana Raj

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 10:11 AM

1.) At first, I would like to say the main similarity of "The Lodger" and "Frenzy": They are British films. Moving on, the main differences are that the former begins with a screaming blonde woman whereas the latter shows the city in a travelogue style with a flying shot from helicopter. Nowadays, the aerial shots could be done on small drones.

2.) A gathering of people, Hitchcock cameo, vibrant locality, public speech and a dead body.

3.) The scene was set in London which reminds Hitchcock the early days of his career in British Film Era. The main themes are women and murder. Here, the scene shows the body of a dead woman floating in river. We could assume that the serial killer is on the loose and he is going to prey on his next target.

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#2 Reegstar

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 10:02 PM

1.  How does the opening of Frenzy differ from the opening of The Lodger? Feel free to rewatch the clip from The Lodger (Daily Dose #2) for comparison.  

 

Frenzy opens with long aerial shot of London traveling over the Thames, descending through the Tower Bridge, practically landing on the embankment where people are gathered to listen to a politician talking about cleaning up the river and the air.  It's almost like a travelogue at first, with the swelling music reminiscent of tolling bells and pomp and circumstance.  The Lodger opens with a night time shot of blinking signs advertising a music hall show with chorus girls.  Yes, both movies have a dead woman appear at the beginning, and several curious onlookers/bystanders shouting, but it's different as no witness steps up in Frenzy to describe the killer.

 

2.  What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific.  

 

Crowds, curious bystanders, location aptly displayed, dead body/murder appearing in everyday scene, ironic speech of politician talking about cleaning up the river and air, but a dead body floats in a disgusting miasma of dirty Thames water.

 

3.   Using Frenzy as an example, what thoughts do you have about the various purposes Hitchcock had in mind when he created his opening scenes? In the Daily Doses, we have focused on opening scenes, so there should be patterns or strategies you have noticed over the course of opening scenes spanning Hitchcock's 50 year career.   

 

I think in most all of the opening scenes we have viewed, Hitchcock immediately gives us a sense of locale.  We know where the action is going to take place.  In many of Hitchcock earlier British films, the crime or murder takes place at the start, and so it does with Frenzy.  I kept thinking the murderer was in the crowd looking at the evidence of his own crime.



#3 dsanders

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 07:07 PM

Daily Dose #20: Look! Opening Scene from Frenzy (1972)

 

The long swoop down from the sky over London, down along the center of the Thames to London Bridge, and past and turning toward the huge building, and a public official reciting Wordsworth to a small crowd emphasizes, the size, modernity, history, institutions, and civilization of London and Britain. The official rolls his British r’s with histrionic fervor as he talks about restoring the river to its pre-urban condition. Then the shot of the crowd, a photographer in particular, and a naked woman floating on her belly in the river. The contrast of the heights of human achievement and the depths of human corruption and savagery that co-exist, side by side, even just down this darkened ally, of which there are many in London.


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#4 Bgeorgeteacher

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 04:16 PM

1. How does the opening of Frenzy differ from the opening of The Lodger? Feel free to rewatch the clip from The Lodger (Daily Dose #2) for comparison.

The opening of Frenzy gives us London on an enormous scale through a sweeping aerial shot over the Thames that is matched by the grandeur of the score. The positively regal approach of the camera to the Tower Bridge made me feel as though I were watching the overture to an opera from a position of privilege--enjoying a view of London very few are able to see. The bright light of day, clear colours and travelogue-like imagery was the complete opposite of the dark, foggy close-ups and eerie murkiness of the Thames's embankments from The Lodger. We are still introduced to the murder victim through the staring eyes of a crowd; but the shock comes from the unexpected, full-colour view of the naked body lapping up against the edge of Thames in an otherwise celebratory atmosphere.

2. What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific.

-The long aerial shot of London moving towards and eventually through Tower Bridge shows his technical experimentation;
-We are once again in a seemingly innocuous public setting where one doesn't feel on guard or expect a disturbance;
-Humour: a government official is talking about cleaning up the filth of the Thames just as a dead body washes ashore; the official asks if the murder victim has been strangled by his club tie;
-Colourful chatter from extra characters;
-Voyeuristic atmosphere as the camera and the crowd take lingering looks at the murder victim from the Thames' embankment

3. Using Frenzy as an example, what thoughts do you have about the various purposes Hitchcock had in mind when he created his opening scenes? In the Daily Doses, we have focused on opening scenes, so there should be patterns or strategies you have noticed over the course of opening scenes spanning Hitchcock's 50 year career.

I think Hitchcock uses his opening scenes as a literal introduction of the viewer to the film, as if to say "Audience, meet camera. Here is what we are going to watch together." We are usually made aware of the presence of the camera immediately and folded into the experience of viewing through various technical and narrative devices. Perhaps it's another part of that intangible Hitchcock "touch", but I am always made to feel as though the director is right there watching alongside me.

No kidding!  The irony of the politician talking about cleaning out the pollution of the rivers just as a woman's dead body is discovered.  True Hitchcock dark comedy there!



#5 Bgeorgeteacher

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 04:15 PM

No kidding!!  The longest dolly shot ever!  I just love that Hitchcock was pushing the envelope, trying to outdo himself with each film.  I'm gathering from all of these opening shots, that Hitch REALLY does want to draw you into the story.  As a master storyteller, he is looking to grab your attention from the very beginning, whether it's the dramatic scream from The Lodger and the, "LOOK!" exclamation of Frenzy to the more subtle hooks that pique our curiosity in films like The Birds with the pet store and the romantic comedy.  



#6 Suj

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 12:48 PM

1. It has a long dolly shot of London which you don't have in The Lodger. it's in technicolour not in black and white, there's no scream, the murder victim is visibly already dead whereas in the Lodger we saw the victim being strangled

 

2. The long dolly shot as in the Psycho opening scene, the crowds listening to a speaker as in The Lodger, man informing the audience and the people in the film about the dead body as the woman does in The Lodger, the people being close to the river. it's an outdoor scene as in The Man Who Knew Too Much and The Lodger.

 

3. He chooses a  setting and informs the audience where it is as he did in Psycho, the crowd listening to a man talking about polluted rivers (in The Man Who Knew Too Much - crowd watching the skier; in the Lodger listening to the lady describing the murderer). Informing the audience about a murder within the first few minutes of the opening as in The Lodger.



#7 SherriW

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 01:36 AM

1. How does the opening of Frenzy differ from the opening of The Lodger? Feel free to rewatch the clip from The Lodger (Daily Dose #2) for comparison. 

 

The opening of Frenzy is a more drawn out, especially with the lengthy aerial scene. It's daytime for this discovery of the body in the water. In The Lodger, it was night and at the train tracks. The crowd was already gathered for the speaker but the murder was the reason the crowd gathered in The Lodger.

 

2. What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific. His cameo in the audience. His long camera shot and use of a tourist destination for a location.

 

3. Using Frenzy as an example, what thoughts do you have about the various purposes Hitchcock had in mind when he created his opening scenes? In the Daily Doses, we have focused on opening scenes, so there should be patterns or strategies you have noticed over the course of opening scenes spanning Hitchcock's 50 year career.

 

The opening scenes are used to introduce us to the characters and their locale.



#8 Jennifer Anne

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 02:04 PM

1. How does the opening of Frenzy differ from the opening of The Lodger? Feel free to rewatch the clip from The Lodger (Daily Dose #2) for comparison.

The opening of Frenzy gives us London on an enormous scale through a sweeping aerial shot over the Thames that is matched by the grandeur of the score. The positively regal approach of the camera to the Tower Bridge made me feel as though I were watching the overture to an opera from a position of privilege--enjoying a view of London very few are able to see. The bright light of day, clear colours and travelogue-like imagery was the complete opposite of the dark, foggy close-ups and eerie murkiness of the Thames's embankments from The Lodger. We are still introduced to the murder victim through the staring eyes of a crowd; but the shock comes from the unexpected, full-colour view of the naked body lapping up against the edge of Thames in an otherwise celebratory atmosphere.

2. What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific.

-The long aerial shot of London moving towards and eventually through Tower Bridge shows his technical experimentation;
-We are once again in a seemingly innocuous public setting where one doesn't feel on guard or expect a disturbance;
-Humour: a government official is talking about cleaning up the filth of the Thames just as a dead body washes ashore; the official asks if the murder victim has been strangled by his club tie;
-Colourful chatter from extra characters;
-Voyeuristic atmosphere as the camera and the crowd take lingering looks at the murder victim from the Thames' embankment

3. Using Frenzy as an example, what thoughts do you have about the various purposes Hitchcock had in mind when he created his opening scenes? In the Daily Doses, we have focused on opening scenes, so there should be patterns or strategies you have noticed over the course of opening scenes spanning Hitchcock's 50 year career.

I think Hitchcock uses his opening scenes as a literal introduction of the viewer to the film, as if to say "Audience, meet camera. Here is what we are going to watch together." We are usually made aware of the presence of the camera immediately and folded into the experience of viewing through various technical and narrative devices. Perhaps it's another part of that intangible Hitchcock "touch", but I am always made to feel as though the director is right there watching alongside me.
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#9 Master Bates

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 07:29 AM

1. How does the opening of FRENZY differ from the opening of THE LODGER? Feel free to rewatch the clip from THE LODGER (Daily Dose #2) for comparison.

 

THE LODGER (1927) OPENS with the (silent) full screen shot of a woman screaming. This gets us right into the action: the body of a woman has been discovered on a London street. Forty-five years later, however, Hitchcock has come a long way--and so has the movie industry: FRENZY (1972) opens with an extended, technically flawless aerial shot above the Thames, following the river, going through the raised gates of Tower Bridge, resolving on a crowd above the river's embankment.
 

As an announcement is being made that pollution of the river will be cleaned up, someone alerts the crowd to the body of a woman floating face-down in the river. (Pollution, indeed!) The juxtaposition of the anti-pollution announcement with the immediate discovery of the floating corpse is a subtle Hitchcockian touch of humor--black humor, but humor nevertheless.
 

 

2. What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific.
 

THE HELICOPTER AERIAL passing through the opened gates of Tower Bridge reminded me of Hitchcock's camera--e.g. in SHADOW OF A DOUBT, and in PSYCHO--going through windows to kick off the story.

There's something theatrical about this. The blinds are slightly pulled up in PSYCHO, as if a curtain is being raised on a play. The same analogy applies to the blinds being raised during the title sequence of REAR WINDOW, like stage curtains rising within a proscenium arch. In FRENZY, the gates of Tower Bridge are partially raised between the bridge towers, which form a proscenium. Hitchcock was apparently influenced by the time he and Alma spent going to the theater.

Another Hitchcock touch is the abrupt sound of an explosion, scream or yell breaking the routine calm:

​--in FRENZY (1972), the startling "Look!" by a man in the crowd as he alerts everyone to the corpse floating in the river

​--the bomb going off in SABOTEUR (1942)

​--Doris Day's scream shattering the civilized calm of Royal Albert Hall in THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH (1956)

​--a pleasurable, soul-cleansing shower suddenly turning into a bloodbath in PSYCHO (1960)

​--the beauty of Nature all of a sudden--with no warning and no explanation--turning on Man, as in THE BIRDS (1963)

In every instance, Hitchcock seems to be showing how Life--everyday, mundane life--can turn on a dime, with absolutely no warning, and we are shocked out of our complacency.
 

As for Hitchcock's signature cameo, this time we discover him in that opening crowd--center screen, jowly, lower lip slightly protruding, wearing a British bowler. That shot made me chuckle.

 

 

3. Using Frenzy as an example, what thoughts do you have about the various purposes Hitchcock had in mind when he created his opening scenes? In the Daily Doses, we have focused on opening scenes, so there should be patterns or strategies you have noticed over the course of opening scenes spanning Hitchcock's 50 year career.

 

IN ADDITION TO WHAT'S included above, full disclosure re FRENZY: the opening at first didn't seem like a Hitchcock picture. I expected--wanted?--the psychological probing of a Bernard Herrmann score a la VERTIGO.
But as the helicopter shot tracked above the Thames, I thought, "Okay. This isn't going to be VERTIGO. VERTIGO has already been done. Hitchcock seems to be moving on. Give this a chance!"

The music is in stark contrast to the agitated--and agitating, in a good way--scores of Bernard Herrmann (e.g. VERTIGO, NORTH BY NORTHWEST, PSYCHO). Ron Goodwin's score, however, fits this grand aerial high above London. It conveys the majesty of British history. It practically has the pomp and cadence of a royal ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
 

But as the shot flies us between the gates of Tower Bridge, it's also a glorious return to where it all began for Hitchcock--his native England. It is significant that the bridge gates are open. Hitchcock seems to be saying he is quite aware that his native country would always welcome him back.  While honoring his roots, he also seems to be celebrating his homecoming.
 

Another tip of his hat to his fellow Brits in FRENZY? He isn't depending on the star power of a Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart or Grace Kelly to lure people to his movie. He's using British actors--not a famed Laurence Olivier, as in REBECCA (1940), or a Ronald Donat as in THE 39 STEPS (1935)--but, rather, British actors virtually unknown by American audiences.
 

Was he trying to prove--to audiences? to himself?--that he could make a movie that didn't depend on the wizardry of Hollywood? That he didn't require Hollywood stars to produce a hit? That he didn't need American landmarks--the Statue of Liberty, Mt. Rushmore, the United Nations building--as bait to attract international audiences?
 

Was he feeling guilty that he had perhaps "abandoned" his native England during his three decades in Hollywood? Did he feel he "owed" his native country for having given him his start in motion pictures?
 

Would it be easier for him to separate himself from--and compete with--the Hollywood of the 70s, when the young turks and recent film school graduates--Coppola, Scorsese, Lucas, Friedkin, Bogdanovich--were overtaking Hollywood and running with the ball in new directions, making radical changes to the established order?
 

Or was it simply that Hitchcock, now in his 70s, needed a change of pace--and place?
 

Whatever his reasons, Hitchcock now has new freedoms--the Production Code having given way to a rating system categorized by age. The director is now free to depict nudity, sex and graphic violence, in which Seventies movies will be awash.



#10 karenod1

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 09:14 AM

I find it interesting that the opening scene of "Frenzy" is anything but frenetic......

 

1.  The opening of Frenzy differs from The Lodger in many ways. The Lodger opens with a close up of a woman screaming and a dead body and the view of the crowd from the body...the scene is dark and scary right away with people staring in shock, the quick camera cuts to police, and newspapers etc make us feel disoriented and nervous. In Frenzy where one would expect that we start with a long aerial view of London.....which eventually brings us into the scene....the music accompanying the aerial shot is almost like that of a travelogue....we are sightseers. Once we are in the scene, it is a common area with a politician making a speech, a very positive speech about the waters and how they are going to be clean now (comedy, once we know what is in the water), while speaking a man spies a woman's body in the water. In comparison to the Lodger, this scene does not give us a feeling of apprehension until the body is discovered....it is well lit, the crowd is happy, all seems well with the world.

 

2.  The panning camera, moving in from far away is a common Hitchcock touch...remember the use of camera panning in Rear Window, and Psycho. The closeups of people in the crowd, faces. The black smoke coming from the little boat sweeping  across the screen as we get closer to the actual scene. The common area where people congregate but bad things can happen. 

 

3.  I believe that Hitchcocks usual purpose in opening scenes was to set the tone of the story, establish a mood, inform the audience, introduce the main character,  and to create an apprehension in the viewer. 

 



#11 pumatamer

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 08:08 PM

What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific. Touches would be the chaos of the scene. There are a lot of people, a lot to focus on, so much in fact that we do not know what we should pay attention to the most. It reminds me of the beginning of The 39 Steps. 

 



#12 dan_quiterio

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 05:48 PM

There are certainly similarities between the opening of Frenzy and The Lodger--the establishing of place, the public crowds, and the finding of a female corpse. However, there are also differences. Whereas The Lodger took a more serious tone in its opening scene, there's a hint of cheekiness in Frenzy's, which is clear in the juxtaposition of the man pontificating about how London's waters will be cleaned and the body floating in the very same waters. Also, whereas The Lodger leveraged quick cuts, there are few in Frenzy. The camerawork in the latter is more slowly paced and less frenetic. In both films, however, Hitchcock's touches are clear, as previously stated--the establishing of place, the public crowds, the dead body (typically a woman), and a bit of dark humor are commonly found in many of Hitch's works.

 

After watching and analyzing several of Hitchcock's opening scenes, it seems to me that he placed a premium on establishing setting (London in Frenzy, Phoenix in Psycho, the apartment building and Jeff's apartment in Rear Window, train tracks in Strangers on a Train) and diving right into the action. There's no point in dragging your feet when there's a story to tell.


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#13 melissasimock

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 01:59 PM

1. How does the opening of Frenzy differ from the opening of The Lodger? Feel free to rewatch the clip from The Lodger (Daily Dose #2) for comparison. 

The Lodger starts with a face close up, and then goes to the dead body.  Frenzy starts with a far away view of the city, slowly getting closer tot he people, and eventually gets to the dead body.

The Lodger starts with the killing, where Frenzy lets you get comfortable first.  We don't immediately know what we're in for.

 

2. What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific.

We're in a location that is seemingly harmless.

There is a crowd of people.  

Are we already seeing the MacGuffin?  The ecological agenda?  The dead body?

 

3. Using Frenzy as an example, what thoughts do you have about the various purposes Hitchcock had in mind when he created his opening scenes? In the Daily Doses, we have focused on opening scenes, so there should be patterns or strategies you have noticed over the course of opening scenes spanning Hitchcock's 50 year career.

He establishes the location.  Sets the tone.  Introduces us to a main character.  He dives right into the story.

 

 


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#14 filmcat

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 11:06 AM

​Frenzy​ starts on a sunny day with a long (rather regal) view of London, traveling down the river toward the bridge and, then, through the bridge (like we went through the window in ​Shadow of a Doubt, Rear Window, and Psycho​).  The music also has a bright, rather regal, and definitely British sound.  In The Lodger,​ it is very dark at night and we see a terrified woman screaming.  Then, there is a crowd discussing the murder from the night before.  In ​Frenzy, ​there is also a crowd, but they are listening to a politician until someone yells "Look!" and everyone turns to see the naked body of a dead woman floating face-down in the river with a tie around her neck.

 

Common Hitchcock touches include the long, traveling shot at the very beginning (like Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Rear Window, and Psycho), ​the Hitchcock cameo, the crowd scene (like many openings), and the crowd discussing a murder (like The Lodger and ​ Blackmail​).

 

I think Hitchcock wanted to let the audience know where they were with the long, traveling shot of London.  Then, he liked to start with a crowd discussing what is going on or anticipated.  In Frenzy​, he lets the crowd discover the body, not just discuss the murder.


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#15 brooke.fenton

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 10:16 PM

1. How does the opening of Frenzy differ from the opening of The Lodger? Feel free to rewatch the clip from The Lodger (Daily Dose #2) for comparison. "The Lodger" was definitely more action-packed from the beginning. The murder had already taken place. Here in "Frenzy", Hitchcock sets up the scene and then we find that a murder has occurred. 

2. What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific. The camera work definitely has the Hitchcock touch. There is a long tracking shot at the beginning as well as quick cuts back and forth from the man giving the speech to the reporters. He also puts us right in the action as though we are there discovering the dead body in the river. 

3. Using Frenzy as an example, what thoughts do you have about the various purposes Hitchcock had in mind when he created his opening scenes? In the Daily Doses, we have focused on opening scenes, so there should be patterns or strategies you have noticed over the course of opening scenes spanning Hitchcock's 50 year career. I think he used different techniques in opening scenes to set tones or also to throw the audience off. In this opening scene, it is a very pleasant opening with wonderful swelling music followed by a nice speech. The camera shots are long and fluid. Leading up to the discovery of the dead body, the camera angles become more choppy with quick cuts. 


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#16 startspreading

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 03:46 PM

1. How does the opening of Frenzy differ from the opening of The Lodger? Feel free to rewatch the clip from The Lodger (Daily Dose #2) for comparison. 

The opening of “The Lodger” is more straightforward. The murder is the first thing we see, and the score is suspenseful since the beginning. In “Frenzy” we have a nice score, that makes us feel welcome to London – it’s a very English-like score – and a speech. The dead body is something that breaks the pace of the speech – after all, the man was talking proudly of how the river was going to be clean, and suddenly a dead body appears floating. The curiosity that arises when the body is discovered is the same, though.

 

2. What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific.

I can see the ordinary setting: a street, right by the Thames river. But the touch that I see better is the villain who commits his crime in a common place, where the viewer can find himself in. Like in other, earlier films, we see the dead body in a public place – even though it was probably left far by the river and the waters brought it there. Also, the credits roll over a tracking shot, and I believe the footage was taken from a plane or even a boat.

 

3. Using Frenzy as an example, what thoughts do you have about the various purposes Hitchcock had in mind when he created his opening scenes? In the Daily Doses, we have focused on opening scenes, so there should be patterns or strategies you have noticed over the course of opening scenes spanning Hitchcock's 50 year career.

He sets the tone of the film early on, by making the public a confident of the characters. He also gives the public “the best seat in the house”, as Bill Krohn says, by making them see the danger first-hand. Here, for instance, the man is the first one who sees the dead body, followed by two women and us – the important people with medals and the man giving the speech see the dead body after us.



#17 ChristyKelly

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 11:35 AM

How does the opening of Frenzy differ from the opening of The Lodger? Feel free to rewatch the clip from The Lodger (Daily Dose #2) for comparison. 

In The Lodger, the murder and woman's agony is immediate and in your face. The flashing marquee sign, the woman's screaming face. In Frenzy, in direct opposite to the title, here is serene, pompous and proper London and Londoners, being supremely happy about cleaning up the river, when a body floats down the current to wrest people from their artificial platitudes. 

2. What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific. This was an immediate cameo of Hitch in a bowler hat indicating very proper dress; there's the long tracking shot of the Thames and the city of London, complete with signage for those who have never seen London Bridge. The ceremonial music depicting the glamour and splendour of Hitch's fair city, only to contrast with the grisly scene in the water. 

3. Using Frenzy as an example, what thoughts do you have about the various purposes Hitchcock had in mind when he created his opening scenes? In the Daily Doses, we have focused on opening scenes, so there should be patterns or strategies you have noticed over the course of opening scenes spanning Hitchcock's 50 year career.

Frenzy indicated to me that Hitch still enjoyed creating the silent film, and the opening scenes almost always indicate that it's still possible to create such a film, if only people were willing to view it. Nothing in this opening scene needed dialogue - even the speaker talking about the cleansing of the polluted Thames could have indicated with gestures that the waters would be sparkling once more using various methods of cleanup. Also, there is always contrast with what the viewer's POV shows (the beautiful city of London) and what is really there - like the two men's legs in Strangers On A Train, and the glamorous show marquee and the woman being strangled.



#18 FilmFan39

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 10:14 PM

1. The opening of The Lodger starts with the murder actually taking place while the opening of Frenzy starts at the opposite point with the murder already taking place and the body being discovered in the river.

 

2. The opening shots of London that establish the city in which the story will take place and the crowd scene surrounding the politician.

 

3. Hitchcock sets us right in the middle of the action as usual jumping right in and keeping the viewer with the main character throughout the film. 



#19 devin05

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 07:56 PM

How does the opening of Frenzy differ from the opening of The Lodger? Feel free to rewatch the clip from The Lodger (Daily Dose #2) for comparison. 

The Lodger begins with a woman scream and the murder, then exposition, and the city in response, the media responding.  This begins with a long aerial shot of the river with city framing the shot and then discovery of the body.  In short, there isn't any response yet for murder.  The music is more regal, a contrast with scores from movies like Psycho, Vertigo.

 

What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific.

The crowd watching.  



#20 Mrs. Archie Leach

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 03:44 PM

How does the opening of Frenzy differ from the opening of The Lodger? Feel free to rewatch the clip from The Lodger (Daily Dose #2) for comparison. 

In the Lodger, the very first image is of the woman screaming and being strangled. We get to the action immediately there and in this scene from Frenzy, it takes us a few minutes to get to it. Hitchcock takes more time to set the scene here. In the Lodger, the typewriter serves as a way to convey the information that there is a serial killer on the loose. This opening scene clip doesn't give us any information about the woman in the river.

What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific.

Use of landmarks/famous places -- London Bridge in this case. The way the drawbridge is raised for the camera to pass through reminds me of going through the window into the courtyard in Rear Window and perhaps even through the hotel window into the room in Psycho. The music feels like more of a return to earlier scores. It's not the edgy Bernard Herrmann-type score. The dark Hitchcock humor is there ... the politician is making a speech about how soon the water is going to be clear of industrial waste and then a moment later a dead body is found floating face down in the water. When everyone started to turn their attention away from the politician, it reminded me a bit of the tennis match that everyone except Robert Walker/Bruno Antony is watching in Strangers on a Train. The cameo, of course.

Using Frenzy as an example, what thoughts do you have about the various purposes Hitchcock had in mind when he created his opening scenes? In the Daily Doses, we have focused on opening scenes, so there should be patterns or strategies you have noticed over the course of opening scenes spanning Hitchcock's 50 year career.

As a visual artist, Hitchcock was able to give us images that were often more informative and more moving that any dialogue might have been. Sometimes the most important purpose to Hitchcock was introducing a character (Rear Window, Marnie, Vertigo) and other times it seems it was more vital for him to set the scene. In Frenzy, I think he's setting the scene. The music is very traditional, the postcard-type opening shot. We enter the action through the drawbridge and we see a gathering around a politician. The sight of the woman in the water is a direct contradiction of the politician's words. That seems meaningful. 






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