johnseury

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Everything posted by johnseury

  1. I have really enjoyed this class and have learned a lot. But one thing that I don't recall seeing mentioned are the books "by" Hitchcock: the anthologies and compilations from his mystery magazine and from popular and classic literature. Those paperbacks from Dell and other publishers were my introduction to Hitchcock in the 70s, before I saw any of his movies and his TV show. They had clever titles (Happy Deathday & Noose Report, for example) and cover art. I was also introduced to Hitchcock through the series of books for young readers with him and the Three Investigators. These whet my appetite for Hitch's mysterious doings until I was old enough to appreciate his movies and TV programs. More than you could ever want to know about Hitchcock books is available here on this page from the Hitchcock Zone website: https://the.hitchcock.zone/wiki/Hitchcock_fiction_anthologies Happy Hitchcock!
  2. I wonder what a Hitchcock/Stephen King collaboration would be like. It would seem like a match made in heaven but I think that it might have ended up like Hitch's collaboration with Raymond Chandler.
  3. Scanning some of the postings, I'm glad that several people have mentioned High Anxiety. It's a funny film, both a homage and parody. It's not as funny as Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstien or the Producers but in the second tier of Brooks' films. I wonder if Hitchcock saw it. I think that Hitch would have enjoyed it.
  4. 1. In the Lodger, the crime is underway while in Frenzy, the crime has already been committed. 2. Among the touches are a sweeping panoramic shot, a crowd scene, a Hitch cameo, a victim of a crime, and violence and disorder infringing upon the ordinary. 3. A common theme I see is how Hitch shows how violence disrupts what is seemingly ordinary way of life and how you try to reorient back to normalcy.
  5. 1. You can tell that she is a crook, has multiple identities, lots of money, and can change her appearance and cover her tracks (by dumping the key). 2. The score seems melodramatic, like it is building up to something as yet to unfold. 3. Hitch looks away, like he has seen something that he shouldn't have.
  6. 1. This scene, especially with the romantic banter, is the calm before the storm. Literally, since the birds are hovering overhead lining up in formation before they attack. Rod and Tippi are flirting and getting to know each other and their relationship will certainly get put out the test. 2. Even thought I've seen bits and pieces of this movie over the years, I've never paid attention to the bird music until after I read the lecture notes & watched the videos. The birds are the real stars and their omnipresent sounds show that they are the main protagonists. 3. I don't know if Hitch's cameo with his dogs has any meaning except as another indication of the calm before the storm and that if you get any pet, get a dog because they are loyal and won't turn on you.
  7. 1. The music and the graphics are violent, jarring, and fast-paced, foreshadowing the violence that is to come. 2. The specificality gives Psycho almost a documentary feel, setting it in a specific time and place, making it concrete and real, that much more terrifying. Coming in through the blinds takes vouyerism up a notch, like Rear Window on steroids. 3. This scene establishes Janet Leigh as a femme fatale, with an emphasis on fatale and fatal to boot.
  8. 1. This scene has the stars at the tops of their games and their flirtation is unsubtle. We know what they will get together but this set-up is clever and doesn't leave much to the imagination. 2. I think that the matchbook indicates that Thronhill's situation is rotten. And it leads up to a very seductive sequence when Eve blows out the match. Again, everything is in plain sight and nothing left to the imagination. 3. The sounds are the ordinary noise on a train that gets toned down for the seductive banter.
  9. 1. From the opening, you gather that the film is about swirling passion over a woman and the tricks that go on inside a person's head. It's a heavy trip, like they would have said 10 years after this film was released. 2. The deep penetration into Kim Novak's eye and the hurricane-looking spiral. Very indicative of stormy passion and destructiveness. 3. The images and score are a perfect combination. It is hard to imagine or appreciate one without the other. And if either element was paired with something else, I don't think that it would work.
  10. 1. This scene is both sweeping (in its panarama of the apartments and all of the action taking place) and claustrophobic (in that both James Stewart and everyone else are trapped in mundane lives crammed into small, hot apartments). I think the vantage point is for the audience getting the scene set up for them. 2. You learn that Jeff is a photographer from the shore of his equipment and photographs. The one of the race car with the tire flying off is how he probably broke his leg. I guess the tire did it! 3. You certainly feel like a casual observer at best. When confined to a small space, you always want to look around for some type of escape, especially if you're in Jeff's situation. Everyone else is confined and trapped by circumstances crammed into those sardine can apartments. 4. I think that North By Nothwest is more cinematic but this one is expansive in its use of small spaces.
  11. 1. Everything in this opening sequence builds up to Bruno & Guy crossing paths. The cars in the opening credits, the close-ups of the legs of the two protagonists walking to the train, the criss-cross of the tracks, and then the shoes bumping together as Bruno crosses his legs-it might have been enough of a bump to give notice but it had explosive force and set the wheels in motion. 2. Bruno is flashy, brash and domineering in appearance and personality: the two-toned spats, the suit, and his namepin. Guy is quieter, reserved in dress and manner. 3. Tiomkin's music is peppy at the outset with the strings but the brass takes over and gets louder and their paths cross and collide.
  12. 1. The main Hitchcock touches in this scene are the varieties of shots, angles, and framing sequences. The personalities of the characters come out in this little bit. 2. Cary is framed and shot in darkness and shadows, which indicate his hardness and the tasks he has at hand. Ingrid is disjointed and troubled, indicating her vulnerablity and her steeliness. 3. They both are playing to and expanding their archetypes. Cary especially comes off as tough. It would have been interesting to see him play in more noir films. He could have pulled it off!
  13. 1. This is a much lighter Hitch touch than in other films. What impresses me is the ordinariness of the couple and how much in love they are. Even though the bedroom is a mess and reality keeps trying to intervene (the servants and the lawyers), they war against it by striving to stay together. 2. It is certainly a less lethal and foreboding opening. You still have the panoramic opening of the messy bedroom and the unusual but seductive closeup of Carole Lombard's eye under the sheet. 3. Montgomery seems a little off in this scene while Lombard is fine. You can see some sparks and that they are in love but nothing that combustible yet.
  14. 1. We learn that it looks like Uncle Charlie is laying low and as something to hide. He seems bored and frustrated and ready for some action. He walks outside the draws the tow strangers after him. I haven't seen the opening for this in a while so I don"t remember what happens to those two guys but it looks like it won't be good. 2. In the Killers, you get the sense of doom and that Burt Lancaster knows that his time is up and he is awaiting his fate. Here, Jospeh Cotton embraces it and dives into it. I think that Shadow of a Doubt is very noirish. 3. Tiomkim sets the mood perfectly with his changing score: cherry with the kids playing at the outset, more atmospheric inside the room, and then sinister and discordant when Uncle Charlie walks outside drawing the two guys after him. I especially like the use of the piano towards the end of the scene.
  15. 1. There are more visual effects highlighting the eerieness of Manderley than in some of the earlier films. Instead of having various characters set up the theme in the setting, there are 2 characters: Manderely and the 2nd Mrs. deWinter. 2. Joan Fontaine is an ordinary character sucked into very extraordinary circumstances. She has to stand up for herself. Things unfold in a leisurely but creepy manner. Manderely certainly isn't an ordinary place but perhaps Manderely is the MacGuffin. 3. The opening, the voiceover narration & the flashback sequence sets up an unfolding sense of doom, foreboding, horror and overall creepiness.
  16. 1. The peppy music sets a light tone that subsides into the chatter and chaos of many languages. I detected a slight change and darkening of mood, more anxiousness as everyone tries to get on the train. 2. Caldecott and Chartes throw some humorous asides out, displaying chatty superficiality admist the clamor of the crowd scene. They really didn't do much for me in this snippet. 3. Iris is a combination diva and fast talker, like many feminine roles in the 30s. She takes over and livens up the scene. Hitchcock frames her entrance and how she comes to dominate the action.
  17. 1. While some of the other openings set up a sense of danger and peril and introduce the protagonists, this scene shows just the main character in an ordinary setting with little hint or foreshadowing of what is to come. 2. I agree. The ordinariness of the situation with an average Joe/Everyman will some be run through the ringer and put to the test. While it is a rowdy music hall, it is idyllic and pastoral in an urban setting, innocence admist roughness. 3. Elements 1, 2 & 3 of Phillips' checklist of the Hitchcock Touch are really at play in this scene. Perhaps #4 too, although there isn't any foreboding in this locale. Maybe that's the MacGuffin (and #6)!
  18. 1. The main characters are introduced in this scene with the exception of the mother, who is referred to and described. I didn't pick up any foreshadowing of doom in this scene, so I think that the characters will be more predominant than the plot. 2. In this scene, Peter Lorre was both cheerful and creepy, which he was in many of his films. 3. This film had more in common with the introduction to the Pleasure Gadren in that the main characters are introduced admist what is seemingly an inauspicious and innocuous beginning. Of course, The Lodger started off with mayhem while these other films didn't.
  19. 1. The use of sound in the jarring repitition of "knife" serves as a constant reminder to Alice of what happened and makes her relive the experience over and over again. I thought that the brief scene when she was in the phone booth, cut off from any sound, left her alone in her thoughts, and was very effective. 2. The constant repitition of "knife", which is much louder than any other word (and like they mentioned in the lecture video, I had a time understanding the gossipy lady), just reinforces the horror. And the second bell for the customer near the end of the snippet is loud and prolonged, like the bell ringing in a boxing match. Alice's dropping of the knife when she hears the word "knife" extra loud, is almost like a spit take. 3. Modern cinema is constant, blaring sound, with little subjectivity about it. Things are more explicit and less subtle nowadays.
  20. 1. The POV shots of the boys walking into the office and of the headmaster and the girl create the feeling of going downhill, of lives tumbling down and crashing. 2. The POVs and the closeups heighten the tensions, suspense, drama and tragedy of the scene. 3. The montages, superimposition of images and scenes, and the creative use of editing in these films discussed so far show the growing development, sophistication and maturity of Hitchcock as a filmmaker and storyteller.
  21. 1. The use of montage and editing raises the stakes and tensions between the boxers and builds up to almost a crescendo when one screams and then shuts the door. It's then when he realizes that he is fighting for his wife and for the championship. 2. The back and forth with the reflection on the mirrors,, the funhouse-looking distribution of the revelers and the piano, and the superimposition of images indicates intense subjectivity. 3. The boxes are in two rooms adjacent to each other and Hitch sets this scene where it is almost like the boxers are squaring off in the ring the way the scenes go back and forth.
  22. 1. Both films featured fast-paced opening sequences, a prominent but short-lived scene with a blonde (in this film, literally short-lived), & rapid shots of people and their reactions. The main difference in these two films was that the Pleasure Garden seemed more static and the Lodger was much more dynamic and dramatic, probably owing to the subject matter & Hitch's development as a film maker. 2. The rapid pace, a blonde screaming and in danger, different characters carrying on, action and tension heightened by the flashing marque and the teletype. I was also struck by the differing tints of the scenes: blue for the crime scene and a grayish tint at the newspaper. 3. The scream was shot at an angle and with a tight closeup. That indicated terror & no sound was needed. Of course, Psycho comes to mind.
  23. 1. I do see "Baby Hitchcock" in this scene. The rapid pan of the audience (where in later movies Hitch would probably do a cameo), the closeups of the women's legs, something bad happening to an ordinary person where the brunette loses her papers and those two wise guy-looking guys come to talk to her. 2. There's something to each point but I think that Spoto's observation was closest to the truth. 3. With no sound, the actors had to speak with their expressions and movements. You could see the characters of the old lecher, the blond dancer and the brunette were portrayed. Hitch used the limitations of the silent film to great effect.
  24. 1. F& M's style isn't as manic as Woody Allen or as zany as Mel Brooks. It is close to ZAZ's in that everything is thrown in, including the kitchen sink. I liked the bit where Tim Robbins snuffs out his pipe before the fight. Not only is it a parody of 70s style, but also urban gangs (Wesr Side Story?) and a million other things as well. 2. I kept on trying to identify everyone and could swear that Tony Dow was on Vince Vaughn's team. The cameos just enhance the madness. 3. There's a lot of Peter Sellers in Ferrell but this clip and some of his other works look like a fusion of ZAZ and the slapstick spectacles of the )0s.
  25. 1. ZAZ throws everything and the kitchen sink in their gags and this scene is a great example of their approach. My favorite bit is as they walk into the lab, Ted and Ed walk through the door while Frank breaks the fourth wall and walks through the open space. 2. ZAZ's approach is similar to Brooks and Wilder but perhaps a bit more manic and self-referential. In the progression of slapstick through the ages, you see how the performers and filmmakers try to out too each other. 3. Clouseau was a more believable character than Frank Drebin, especially in the 60s films. The 70s Pink Panther films were still very funny but more gag machines than the earlier, more organic comedies. Drebin shooting at (and not recognizing) his own car was very Clouseau-like.

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