gtunison

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Posts posted by gtunison


  1. The pace of the music telegraphs that this is a story with some twist and fast turns. The eeriness of the music scares you in the first 3 seconds and yet leaves you wanting more. The visuals are disturbing too with lines of dark and light reflect the tempo of the music and preludes the movies dark side with most shot in deem light.

     

    The day of the week is shown to reference it's the end of the week and nearly the start of the weekend. And the time of day tells us it is late in the afternoon in the sleepy town of Phoenix. The camera moving in from the outside in reminds me of Rear Window except that was from the inside out.

     

    From the brief scene we conclude these two are having a tryst on a weekday and she is more into the relationship than he is and she would marry him right now if he asked. She is torn between doing the right thing and being a bad girl. She may be viewed as a tramp by the 1960's audience but she loves Sam and is holding out hope they marry soon. The fact they are in a seedy hotel and her lunch is still uneaten tells us they were not there for a prayer meeting. If only she had stayed there and not returned to work it would have been more of the same to come in the weeks ahead.


  2. I feel they are being themselves in this scene. Especially Cary Grant. There is a cool and crisp element between them. You can feel the sexual tension they have. She draws him in with the match lighting her cigarette. He pulls back and she pulls him back and blows out the match.

     

    I love the sound of the train though the scene. Its almost like their banter is in rhythm with the train.

     

     

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  3. The opening images gives me a sense that there will be many twist and turns in this film. The music gives me a clue that I will be shocked and frighten at times.

     

    The single most powerful image for me the sequence with the face. There is time spent on the face so it must be important to the film. I know when I first saw Vertigo I thought I must study this face. I will see it again in the body of the movie.

     

    The music and the images work together in conveying the thought of twist and turns in the plot of the movie. Very gripping music throughout the movie. At times it scare the crap out of me.

     

     

     

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  4. This is my favorite Hitchcock movie. He opens the film with a morning view outside Jeff's world since he broke his leg and busted a camera during a car race. He is sleeping in his wheelchair and sweating in the 90 plus heat of the morning. Hitch gives us a look inside that courtyard and we are transformed into the wheelchair for a ride that is surely to get rough.

     

     

    ​Hitchcock has little movie stories within the story of L.B. Jeffers. We are drawn into their stories. It is very cinematic. 

     

     


  5. Hithcock uses the camera angle nearly touching the train tracks as they cross from one to another. Also from the camera angles used with the cabs. One is left to right while the other is right to left.

     

    There is a contrast in the music between the two sets of shoes. The Black and White shoes have a loud section of music and a flamboyant fast walk to them while the set of black shoes is more reserved and at a much slower pace.


  6. ​It has the touch of Hitchcock with the panning of the dirty dishes and the game of solitare  and Carol Lombard tossing and turning in bed. Suddenly a knock on the door and one eye opens. So she is awake. We are told from the camera POV that they have been in the room a few days by the looks of the dirty dishes.

     

    This scene sets up the story. We soon discover they have had a fight and vow not to leave the room till they make up. That is a MacGuffin.

     

    Montgomery and Lombard play Mr and Mrs Smith very well. They love each other but neither wants to be the first to apologize and they play cat and mouse with each other throughout the film.

     


  7. ​We learn that although Uncle Charlie has expensive taste in clothes and cigars and money just laying around he is not a choirboy. He is nice to old ladies and probably dogs but is waiting for something sinister to happen. He says to himself that the men on the corner don't have anything on him and walks right by them in broad daylight. 

     

    There is the dimly led bedroom, the low camera angle with a quick zoom of the steps outside the boarding house and then we see Uncle Charlie laying on the bed. All quickly and with the music, out interest are peaked.
     

    ​The music score serves to built the mood of Uncle Charlie as he awaits a showdown with the two men on the corner. We expect them to crash though the door any minute but Uncle Charlie decides to walk past them and down the street and shows no fear.

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  8. 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? 

     

    I say it is not that different. The house is also a character in the film. As the narrator tells us nature has taken over Manderley. The drive is grown over and though the house still stands, it is burned out and yet still a thing of beauty.

     

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

     

    He uses the camera to take us on a ride to Manderley. It is dark and dreary. Then we see the waves and the high shores of the coast with a man standing on the edge. He slowly move his left foot closer to the edge. Is he going to jump or not. Something happened to bring him to this spot and we are hooked and want to know more.

     

    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? 


  9. 1. In this sequence, describe how Hitchcock uses sound design to put you into the subjective "mind of Alice"? Be specific.

     

    When Alice goes into the phone booth to look up the telephone number you stop hearing the babbling lady. Alice is focused on finding that number when she comes across the number for the Police. She throws the book down and walks out of the booth only to hear the constant babbling of the customer. She is now focused on the previous night.

      

    2. Describe the different ways that the sound design of this scene operates in counterpoint to the visual track. For example, how does Hitchcock set up the shot where the knife flies out of Alice's hand so that it registers a shock in his audience? Pay attention to both what is happening visually and aurally. Be specific

     

    After Alice sits down for breakfast, her father asks her to cut the bread. In the background the customer continues to run off at the mouth non stop and is taking about the knifing. Alice picks up the knife and zeros in on the word Knife. She is consumed by the knife and throws it to the floor in her mental anguish. She gets up to wait on a customer and he mentions the murder and how no suspects have been named and she barely speaks to him.

    3. Why do you think this particular use of subjective sound is not used frequently in cinema? 

     

    So much of todays cinema is visual with montage and flashbacks.

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  10. 1. How does Hitchcock use montage or expressive editing to add vitality and rhythm to this scene? 

     

    The boxer thinks back to when his wife was only interested in him as seen in the montage. He must be wishing he was in the party room with her by his side.

     

    2. As is the case with a lot of German Expressionist films, in this scene, there are many shots that are very subjective and put us into the psychological mind of a main character. Please note the various techniques Hitchcock uses to create that feeling of subjectivity.

     

    Knowing that his wife is cheating on him right in front of him is agonizing. He is training for his biggest fight but now has the image of her with another man in his mind. As he watches the girls dance they seem to fade into running images in his mind. Hitchcock dissovles the piano keys into the hands of the player as the girls dance lifting their dresses to show their knees.

     

    3. How does Hitchcock stage the action, use set design, and editing techniques to increase the stakes in the rivalry between the two gentlemen?  

     

    ​One is trying to impress a young lady and one is trying to keep cool about it. They are in different rooms but can clearly see the other.

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  11. 1. Compare the opening of The Lodger to the opening of The Pleasure Garden - what similarities and differences do you see between the two films? 

     

    Both get the basis of the movie. In The Lodger it is murder and we know from the start because the first frame is a blonde screaming. In the Pleasure Garden we find girls coming down a spiral staircase and then we see them dancing on the state. Both use Golden Curls which is a Hitchcock trademark.

     

    2. Identify elements of the "Hitchcock style" in this sequence? Please provide specific examples. Even if you are not sure if it is the "Hitchcock style," what images or techniques stand out in your mind as powerful storytelling? Or images that provide an excess of emotion? 

     

    He tells the beginning of the story with first the victim screaming and then an old women telling the police and the press what she saw. He then uses montage with the scenes of machines and newspaper press rolling the headline Murder. The Avenger has struck again.

     

    3. Even though this is a "silent" film, the opening image is one of a woman screaming. What do you notice in how Hitchcock frames that particular shot that makes it work in a silent film even though no audible scream that can be heard. And what other screams like that come to mind from Hitchcock's later work? 

     

    ​She is framed at an angle and we see fear on her face and imagine she is the victim of a horrible murder. We can hear her scream in our minds eye and are drawn into the movie from that point. I think of the scream in Rear Window when the little dog is found strangled in the courtyard. And the scream of Judy as she falls from the bell tower in Veritgo. Nearly the same image is framed in the Birds with Tippi Headron being attacked by the gulls.

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  12. 1. Do you see the beginnings of the "Hitchcock touch" in this sequence? Please provide specific examples. 

     

    Knowing what I know about Hitchcock films if I did not know this was done by him I would thought it was just another silent film. But according to Strauss he does frame the shot so that the world is that staircase of what seems a never ending chorus of girls.

     

    2. Do you agree or disagree with Strauss, Yacowar, and Spoto assessments that this sequence contains elements, themes, or approaches that we will see throughout Hitchcock's 50-year career? 

     

    I can see his use of sexy blondes and men taken with them. He adds a bit of comedy by giving the lovesick man her curl.

     

    3. Since this is a silent film, do you feel there were any limitations on these opening scenes due to the lack of synchronous spoken dialogue? 

     

    ​Yes because at some point he will run out of girls and the audience gets dizzy watching it. It is a setup for a dance number that I suppose was common during early films.


  13. More in the style of ZAZ. Ron is clueless that he is a boob. To that he is a mixture of Nielson and Robert Hays from Airplane in the timing of the lines. Allen's characters are normal everyday people in extraordinary circumstances like a civil war. Brooks pays respect to the genre his is spoofing.

     

    It was a take on West Side Story and they wanted to make sure to include all the local stations in the big fight. Very exaggerated without the fine music from WSS.

     

    I would say Ferrell was a fan of the Three Stooges, Groucho Marx and Woody Allen.

     

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  14. It was like watching an old cop movie or tv show. Very dry dialogue but punched with jokes. The Swiss Army Shoe is an example..

     

    Some what similar but with bigger site gags. Drebins car scene has Frank go into cop mode, shooting at the car and asking did anyone see the driver. Then he realizes it was his car. Not quite over the top humor but very funny.

     

    Drebin is more vocal comedy where as Clouseau is more physical comedy. Both are bumbling but in different ways.

     

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  15. 1. How does this scene successfully parody the old Universal Horror films of the 1930s? Be specific.

     

    Being shot in black and white, Gene Wilder over acts the role of the mad scienceist. It is parody with the lines like "give him an extra dollar" and in response to the student's question with "the worm or the spaghetti."

     

    He is subtle as he moves thru the scene. Having made his point he becomes aggravated with the student and stabs his own leg.

     

    It would have lost the 30's horror feel in color.

     

     

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  16. The fact that Allen is involved with revolutionaries trying to figure out how to get some food and decide by drawing sticks. Allen draws the short stick and goes to the cafe and orders a ridiculous amount of sandwiches and drinks with a straight face as a matter of fact. It is verbal slapstick in the way it is done.

     

    It was not as over the top as The Great Race was. With it's cartoon feel The Great Race was more classic slapstick than Bananas. Bananas is more like watching a docudrama than a slapstick. I suppose that is the parody of it. Very dry humor with straight lines..

     

     

     

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  17. When something is funny, it's funny the 100th time you see it as it was the first time. The Three Stooges are funny. I still laugh at them even though it is stupid, I feel like I was I could get away with some of the antics they get away with. We all know people that could use a hammer to the head on a regular basics.

     

    A pie in the face is funny too. And what fun it would be to be in a pie fight with your friends. Don't laugh at someone that gets a pie in the face because as we see from this clip, you are next.

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  18. It has the feel of a cartoon because the music, the bright colors and the moving bush.

     

    It gives homage to earlier slapstick with the exaggerated way they tied the rope on Tony Curtis and the huge arrow launcher and the costumes of Professor Fate and Peter Faulk.

     

    The Great Leslie is depicted as the definitive hero with his twinkling smile and he is dressed in all white. Whereas Professor Fate is dressed in all black with a cape and a mustache associated with villians.

     

     


  19. The gag that stands out in this clip is when Clouseau attempts to put the pool cue back. It quickly turns into a wrestling match withe cue caddie winning. All the while George Sanders looks and simply says to him not to bother that the butler will take care of it. The Clouseau makes his exit on the wrong side of the door and says that Sanders should have his architect investagated too.

    Both are great examples of visual (wrestling with the pool caddie and losing) and verbal (redirecting the situation back to Sanders because he walked out of the room behind the door).

     

     

    Clouseau appears physically to be a top notch policeman. Well dressed, neat in appearance but then he speaks and it is obvious he is a bumbling boob.

     

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  20. It didn't add to the gags if looked at from today's eyes. But in the fifties, people knew Lucy and Desi as little black and white specks inside a box. So to that audience it was probably fun to see it in color and on a giant movie screen.

     

    The fact that the trailer was stuck in the mud at an angle provides some laughs. The camera is level but the shot is on an angle and it put the viewer in the scene.

     

    Lucy is funny trying to get into bed. She manages it if she stays stiff but when she relaxes, she falls out of bed. Then she gets up and the jack falls and so does the trailer and Lucy right out the door into a huge puddle of mud. Lucy is funny doing the simple everyday things of life. She knows how to exaggerate every muscle in here body in every situation, and she is the queen of make believe. She could make reading the telephone book funny.
     

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  21. The Marx Brothers verbal slapstick is faster and more twisted. Where as Abbott and Costello are slower and straight forward. Abbott is always the straight man with down to earth advice where Lou is more in a panic at times.

     

    Gehring's is right about today's comedians.They tend to have bathroom routines and potty mouths. They lack the art of verbal slapstick. We have relaxed the standard of comedy to an all time low. You can be funny and not be vulgar.

     

    I think the biggest contribution of Abbott and Costello is the gag is Lou panics and Bud has to reassure that whatever he thinks is happening is not happening.

     


  22. I think Fields says what we are thinking and could say sometimes.

     

    Fields tends to talk to himself more and is bombastic with what he is saying. When he walks into the bar and starts to walk between the booth and the post he says to himself referring to Joe the bartender that he needs to vasoline the place or move the post over. Then he orders a drink. Joe puts the bottle down in front of him and a glass of water. I always expect Fields to chase the shot withe the water but he washes his hands in it instead.

     

     

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  23. It is hard to tell which came first, the definition or the act. The Marx Brothers hit each of Dale's definition on the head. It is almost impossible to keep up with the gag because Chico and Groucho move at breakneck speed and each inputs their sarcastic remakes. They are masters of verbal slapstick.

     

    They include all of the characteristic gags. The sarcastic remarks about the party of the first part being the party of the first part and so on. Chico quickly turns the first party around and asked why the party of the first part be known ast the party of the second party. Groucho tells him he should have come to the first party and that he was blind for 3 days. All the gags for the pay off being a play on words. "there ain't no sanity clause.:"

     

    Amazingly they include all five conditions. Not seen in the clip was the singer getting hit on the head with a sandbag (painful/violent), the reading of the contract with the one liners and turning of words and tearing out each clause (exaggerated, physical, repetitive/ritualistic, and make believe).

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