pumatamer

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  1. 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.
  2. Based on the opening sequence alone, what do you feel you already know about Marnie as a character? In what ways does Hitchcock visually reveal her character through her interaction with objects. She doesn't care about her objects. Her objects are just trophies for her success as a thief. She doesn't particularly care for the objects as she packs them. She throws them into her case. Did you see any variation in what Hitchcock is doing with his cameo in this film, and what do you think that variation means? He looks right at the camera and then it cuts off. I found this cameo strange and a little distracting, to be honest. Maybe this variation is his subconscious effort to change up how he works?
  3. In what ways does this opening scene seem more appropriate to a romantic comedy than a “horror of the apocalypse” film? What do we learn about Melanie (Tippi Hedren) and Mitch (Rod Taylor) in this scene? There is the subtle but cheesy flirtation between Hedren and Taylor. The improbable and also absurd way in which they meet and which Hedren's character decides to bring him loves birds...just adds to the romantic comedy feel of this scene. How does Hitchcock use sound design in this opening sequence? For example, how are the sounds of birds used to create a particular mood and atmosphere? The excessive amount of bird noise that almost drown out the traffic and bustling city, gives you a sense of foreboding that the birds are panicked and we are about to get a glimpse of this. The opening scene contains a famous Hitchcock cameo. Describe the cameo and if you think it has any particular meaning in relation to this scene. I just love him with the two dogs. I don't know what it really means but it is so random and yet funny.
  4. Psycho opens with title design by Saul Bass and music by Bernard Herrmann. This is their third collaboration for Hitchcock, including Vertigoand North by Northwest. How does the graphic design and the score introduce the main themes of this film? I think the distortion of the actor's names and even the title demonstrates the theme of dual personalities or a distortion of people present themselves to be. The music and the lines running through the screen show a frantic and hurried rhythm that maybe these people are experiencing on the inside, but not showing to the outside world. As the titles end, we have three shots of Phoenix, Arizona, and a very specific day, date, and time: “FRIDAY, DECEMBER THE ELEVENTH” and “TWO FORTY-THREE P.M.” What is Hitchcock seeking to establish with such specificity? Also, why do you think Hitchcock elects to enter the hotel room through the semi-closed blinds from the outside? Does this shot remind of any other Daily Doses we have watched? I think the specificity of the day, time, place, and location show that these are average people having this dangerous, and illicit affair in "Anywhere, America". It isn't some glamorous place or exotic people, but every day people that are having this scandalous (for the time) experience.
  5. There is minimal action in this scene, so any deviation from the overall pattern of focusing on the faces of the two leads will have increased significance. In that sense, discuss how Hitchcock uses the R.O.T. matchbook as an important piece of acting business (or as a prop) in this scene. The ROT matchbook has several purposes, to draw the attention back on himself, to gauge her interest in HIM, and to just connect to her physically possibly.
  6. Describe what you think this film will be about simply from the sounds and images in these opening credits. Even if you have seen the film, try to focus on these sounds and images themselves and “the story” (or if not "the story," the mood and atmosphere they are establishing) that this sequence is communicating to the audience. I automatically feel that the film will be a darker themed film. That there will be danger, suspense, confusion, and I can't wait to dive right in. In your own estimation, what is the single most powerful image in this title sequence? Defend your answer. I think the woven, green figure eight image is the most powerful because at first I can't tell if it is a yin and yang symbol, or a circle, if it is a solid green image, until it gets closer to the screen. As it gets closer, we see that it is in fact a woven figure eight image that at times can look like sickle curved blades and this just adds to the confusion. We aren't sure what we are seeing, as the image gets closer then the view gets clearer but also scarier. How do Saul Bass’ images and Bernard Herrmann’s score work together? How different would this sequence be with a different musical score? I can't even imagine this film with Herrmann's score. It is at times very creepy and other times very moving and tear-jerking good. The music and it's sinister quality just add to these confusing and powerful images in the opening sequence.
  7. Does this opening scene make you feel like a voyeur or, at a minimum, remind you of being a an immobile spectator? What feelings does Hitchcock elicit from you as his camera peers into these other people’s apartments? I think Hitchcock is addressing the fact that we are all voyeurs. It is fascinating to watch others go about their daily lives. We the spectator feel that we shouldn't be spying or watching others but we can't help ourselves. Bonus question: if you have seen the entire film before, do you agree with Hitchcock that this film is his most cinematic? Visually there aren't any landscapes and I think people tend to associate cinematic with sweeping landscape shots. This film for me, is a visual feast. The colors, the attention to detail, the shots within a shot (binoculars) all just add to how awesome this film is. I do believe it is his most cinematic.
  8. Even in this brief scene, how does Hitchcock create a sense of contrast between Guy (Farley Granger) and Bruno (Robert Walker)? Consider everything from camera work, to clothing and shoes, to dialogue and speech, for example. Before we actually see the faces of the characters, we are meeting them. Their shoes, their walking, their luggage are all things that differentiate them and prepare us to meet them.
  9. What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this early scene from the movie? Two things stand out to me. The shadowy view of Grant as he enters the room and the extreme close up on Bergman as she comes to.
  10. What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this opening sequence? Moreover, what do we learn about or know about the couple through the scene's visual design: the props, the set design or dressing, the decor, the camera angles, the lighting, etc? I'd say the lack of dialogue, the closeup on the eyes of the female character, and the disarray or "organized chaos" of the scene. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: the opening sequence of Mr. and Mrs. Smith is a typical "Hitchcock opening" based on openings you have seen so far in the other Daily Doses? Why or why not? Yes, please see my answer above. What do think about the casting of and chemistry between Carole Lombard and Robert Montgomery? Do you think both are well cast for this "comedy of remarriage?" Why or why not? I love the chemistry between Lombard and Montgomery! It makes me want to watch the entire film! (which I will do)
  11. In what ways does this opening remind you of watching a film noir? If it doesn't remind you of a film noir, what makes the opening here different from the opening of a noir film like Siodmak's The Killers? (Note: If you haven't seen The Killers, it is fine to answer this question in general terms about your own personal expectations) The shadows coming across Charlie in the bed and as his land lady enters the room. The men in fadoras eyeing him up as he passes by. The impending doom of it all just screams noir.
  12. What are the Hitchcock "touches" in this opening that help you identify this as a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock? The thing I notice is the angle in which Hitchcock shoots his scenes. Olivier overlooking the rocks...the shots from behind at a steep angle and the steep angle from below him. All these increase your anxiety and the suspense of the scene.
  13. 1. Using specific examples, describe how Hitchcock opens The Lady Vanishes. What tone, mood, or atmosphere is Hitchcock establishing for the audience very early on in this picture? Pay particular attention to the music. There is a lot going on. It is organized chaos! We have a lot of chattering, the scene is chaotic but also jovial, which is probably meant to confuse the viewer. Hitchcock often confuses the viewer and then directs the viewer by the use of heavily cast scenes and often a lot of dialogue or happenings going on. This way we are distracted until he sets up what he wants use to see.
  14. Reflect on the role of yet another public space opening a Hitchcock film--this time a music hall--the prominence of a performer (Mr. Memory), and the reactions of the audience in the film to Mr. Memory's act. How does these on-screen elements play into the Hitchcock touch as described by Gene Phillips? We see off-color humor, suspicion, and a closeup on specific characters that help the viewer get to know the characters better.
  15. 1. Based on these opening scene, what do you anticipate is going to be more important in this film--the characters or the plot? (It is fine to make an informed guess about the 2nd question if you haven't seen the film yet) I think the characters will be more important. Even in that opening scene, Hitchcock is giving us little tidbits that inform the characters. He gives us insights into their personalities with gesture and the things they say.

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