Ozmite1939

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About Ozmite1939

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  • Birthday 04/16/1961

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  1. Do you agree that the clip exhibits a brighter perspective of life than might be realistic? Why or why not? Absolutely. Things are sleek, clean. We have a beautiful woman in a beautiful dressing room surrounded by beautiful flowers. We don't understand the tawdry side, the side that may be sexual in exchange for a contract. Nor do we understand that she will soon become a woman who lives with Ziegfeld out of wedlock. The Production Code kept things clean and tidy so that we think the highest ideals are being enacted and upheld. What themes or approaches might you anticipate from this clip in other Depression era musicals? Putting on a show is glamorous, and a worthy endeavor. The glamour and fame translates into a beautiful life. Good guys win. Since this is a musical that was made after the motion picture code was enforced, how might you imagine it might have been filmed or scripted differently if it had been pre-code? Give specific examples. We may have seen the advances of Ziegfeld directly, and understood that things may not be "above-board". There may have been more direct conflict between Ziegfeld and Billings. Perhaps we would also see some struggle on the part of Anna Held. The well lit, dressing room may have been seedier and suspect, indicating dark things that may happen.
  2. Hi all. If you live on the Eastern shore of Maryland, or in the greater Delmarva region, let's start a local chapter of the TCM Backlot. I happen to own quite a few 16mm copies of film classics of the 1920s, 30s, 40s, and 50s, and would love to see us actively meet together once a month, eat a meal, watch a movie, and have some fun times together as a group. To make this happen, we need a total of 5 people to create a local chapter. Answer here, and when we have five, I will apply for the charter. Hope we have some classic film fans in beautiful Delmarva.
  3. 1. 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. As mentioned in the lecture video, if one had never seen this before, it would be safe to say that the film seems very abstract and avant garde simply based on the opening credits. Knowing that vertigo is a sensation of dizziness, and seeing the various swirling and circular drawings of the credits, it is safe to say that someone is going to placed into a vortex of emotions from which something sinister, evil, or certainly out of balance would emerge. The mood or atmosphere would be one of apprehension and confusion. 2. In your own estimation, what is the single most powerful image in this title sequence? Defend your answer. I find the first spinning motions that emerge from the eye to be the most powerful image. Hitchcock clearly states through this image that what we see may actually be a distortion of someone else’s reality, and that we cant always trust what we see. Just as one gets dizzy and disoriented when he or she spins around quickly, these characters and their reality may become strangely twisted and out of balance. 3. How do Saul Bass’ images and Bernard Herrmann’s score work together? How different would this sequence be with a different musical score? I wish I could articulate what I am hearing and viewing better, but it seems that Herrman’s score heightens the sense of apprehension and confusion we are already viewing on the screen. I hear in his score certain notes played over and over again in a circular fashion similar to what I am seeing. Accenting this is a constant stroke of horns that blare and interrupt the circular notes, which increases my dread. I think you certainly could change the mood with different music, even making it seem more like an introduction to a fairy tale. It is a masterful marriage of visuals and scores.
  4. 1. In how many ways does Hitchcock play with or visually manifest the metaphor of “criss cross” or “criss-crossing” in this introductory sequence. [For those who haven’t seen the film yet, the idea of “criss cross” is central idea in this film, a theme Hitch sets up from the opening frames of this film] Be specific. The criss-cross introduction sets the action into motion, allowing us to become aware of a continuing pattern which we will see throughout the movie. We see two taxis entering from different directions. We see the foot steps of two characters. We see the tracks leaving the station as they meander, weave, and cross each other. And we see the two sets of feet as one finally inadvertently bumps into the other. Like the tracks from a train station that can lead one many different directions on life's journey. An "accidental" meeting on that path can intertwine two peoples lives forever, both physically and psychologically. 2. 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. Two different types of shoes starts the contrast out. We have a flashier pair of shoes that belong to the flashier, flamboyant Brno. The more reserved, formal shoes belong to Guy, a more quiet, reserved kind of man. Bruno is more talkative, impressed with Guy's celebrity as a tennis pro, and wants to engage Guy in a conversation. Guy would prefer to sit quietly and read, and not interact too much. As their lives begin to intersect and criss-cross, it becomes clear that this chance meeting may go somewhere unforeseen. 3. While the visual design gets the most attention typically, how does the Dimitri Tiomkin score function as part of the mood and atmosphere of this opening sequence? I also thought that the music played as we watched the characters feet accentuated differences between the two characters. Guys music is more stern, halting in manner, while Bruno's seems a bit more whimsical or light in nature. Guy is more inwardly focused, and his music mirrors this tendency. Bruno is more bravado, and his music seems to echo his bravado.
  5. 1. What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this early scene from the movie? The obvious one was mentioned in the lecture video. Hitchcock uses the same cantered shot that he used in "Downhill", which gives a great POV shot for Bergman's character. In addition, we see him framed in the doorway, again a POV shot. Lighting seems darker, foreboding, suggesting a hint of mystery to the Cary Grant character. Hitchcock uses sound as well, with music, and using the recording to back up Grant's accusations. Masterful scene by the Master! 2. How does Hitchcock choose to light, frame, and photograph his two stars in this scene?What are some of the contrasts that Hitchcock trying to set up between these two characters through art direction, costume, and cinematography? ​Again, he his using shadows and light in a muted way to help set the foreboding tone of the scene. It makes Grant look hard, and not a nice guy like we normally see him play. He's tough, and he's calling the Bergman character out. She is disheveled, and obviously coming out of a drunken bender. She looks haggard, spent. He is dressed neatly. This contrasts their differences. He is in charge. She is going to be his subordinate. It seems that she is going to need him in some way. It's been a while since I've seen this movie, so I am drawing on muted memories. 3. Based on this scene (or the entire film if you have seen it already), reflect on the casting of Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman. Does this scene conform to or challenge their well-known star personas? ​They were both extremely well known and well like stars. They were guaranteed box office. But I think both films are a bit of a departure from their normal film roles. They are more dark, sinister, and certainly more real. Their characters are round, dynamic characters that definitely reveal much about them as "real" people. Of course, Bergman's public persona was changed after the Rosellini affair, but this is before. It's a great film that I will be watching again later this weekend.
  6. 1. 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 see Hitchcock using the camera again to start to communicate without words information about the occupants of the room. I know they are locked in the room for some reason because of the many dishes. It is obvious that they have taken quite a few meals in the room. I believe they are a couple of some means. They are able to stay locked in the room, and the room, despite its lack of attention to cleanliness, nonetheless seems to have the suggestion of elegance and money. The lighting is bright, which suggests a light hearted tone. I also am unsure why they are locked in, and wonder if some underlying sinister work is afoot (Hichcockian touch!). 2. 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? I believe the opening is Hitchcockian in the way the camera moves and gives us a sense of character, plot and setting without hearing any initial dialogue. However, the feel is different to me, which keeps me from feeling the same sense of mystery that I felt in the opening of ​Shadow of A Doubt or Rebecca​. I guess because the tone is so different, it doesn't feel the same to me. 3. 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? ​Although I feel it's a little hasty without seeing more of the movie to comment on the chemistry and casting of the two leads, I will give my initial reaction. Although Montgomery seems a little old for Lombard, they seem to have a spark that is somewhat interesting. He seems a little bland to me, but in the same breath, I find him a bit charming in an off way. She seems sexy, and has a connection that makes you interested in where they are headed. I buy it. I would like to see more of the movie to make a final call.
  7. As mentioned in the curator's note, this scene operates as a prelude to the main story. What do learn about the character of Uncle Charlie in this prelude? Be specific. ​In the opening scene, we see Uncle Charlie lying in the bed. The camera pans left, and we see money on the nightstand and the floor. He seems brooding, contemplative. The landlady enters, and we find out that two men have been at the house asking for him. He seems very poised, but it seems a bit odd that he feels comfortable lying down in the company of the woman. When she leaves, his poise is gone. He becomes agitated, as if he is indeed hiding something. Something that may be connected with the money. He throws the glass across the room, and then seems determined to dare these men to follow him. He is almost foolhardy at this point. When he leaves the house he walks right up to the men, almost daring them to follow him which they do. So we have learned that this man is brash, determined, has money, and is full of secrets. Here is a man of mystery. A man with a past. 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) We are in the city in the opening scene, as we are so often in film noir. We see grit, dirt, broken sidewalks and city children playing in the street. We are thrown into a secretive situation, seemingly in the middle of the action. We've missed something, and we have to find out what it is. We aren't seeing sweet, wholesome America. We are seeing a more realistic portrayal of the world that has secrets, and maybe even tears. As we move into Hitchcock's Hollywood years, his scores will take on more importance than they did during the British years. Music will play a big role in Shadow of a Doubt. The film's score is by Dimitri Tiomkin, the first of four film scores that the composer will create for Hitchcock. What effect does the Tiomkin score have on the mood, atmosphere, and even the pace of this opening scene? ​The Merry Widow theme blends into a more sinister sounding musical motif as the scene opens. The music seems a bit mournful, almost haunting. Tiomkin masterfully creates an ominous feel with his score. Whenever we hear the Merry Widow theme again, the chords are minor rather Tham major. It allows us to start to feel the inner thoughts and situation in which Uncle Charlie finds himself.
  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? Rebecca happens to be one of my favorite movies, and having read the novel by Daphne DuMaurier as well, I love this opening. It is very faithful to the opening of the novel. In so many of the other openings we have seen thus far, we are introduced to the characters, and often times even the premise of the plot we are about to watch unfold. In Rebecca, we see setting, and listen to narration. We feel the remoteness of the location, the other-wordly feel as we wind our way along the path. We have a sense that we are being removed from the familiar, and entering into a different time, Instead of being in a public place, we are removed from the common, everyday world and placed into a world of castles and ghosts, someplace that doesnt exist for most of us. Thus, it is very different than the openings we have seen in the other movies. 2. What are the Hitchcock "touches" in this opening that help you identify this as a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock? One of the first "touches" that I see is the fluid movement of the camera. Just as we saw in Downhill as the young college boys are approaching the dean of students, the camera tracks and assumes a POV quality. As the camera winds its way through the densely overgrown driveway of Manderley, we too become a part of the story, and find ourselves swept into the dream itself. Another Hitchcock touch is seen when the camera focuses on the cliff, tracks upward to Maxim on the cliff, and then we see a high angle shot looking over Maxim's head and seeing the precipice he is standing on. By then seeing his feet, we become as involved as "I", and think that he is going to jump. By seeing this, we gain insight into Maxim's tortured character, and believe something is unstable about him. The camera moves throughout these first three minutes to capture us into the action of the story. 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? Manderley, the sprawling castle we see in the beginning of the film, is indeed very much a character of this film. Hitchcock's opening reinforces the idea that Mandarley is as much a character in this film as Tara in Gone With the Wind. While Tara represents Scarlet's stubborn nature to hang on to that which is most important her and all that is lost, Manderley represents to "I", the second Mrs. deWinter's inability to escape Rebecca's presence, or her ability to only establish herself as Maxim's wife when Manderley is nothing but a memory. By focusing on this in the opening scene, we have a sense of that which haunt's the second Mrs. deWinter, and understand almost immediately the importance the castle has to Maxim and all those touched by the spirit of Rebecca. Manderley is the last remaining physical vestige of Rebecca. Between the narration and the flashback, I feel certain that I am in a ghost story, and that evil and sinister forces are at work. It establishes the sinister tone of the film. Rebecca is reaching out to us from the very grave, and we expect that tone to continue throughout the film because we are immediately placed into a flashback structure.
  9. 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. The tone of the film is much lighter, thanks to the folksy music we hear. We are introduced to a great deal of characters quickly, and even see Miss From, albeit briefly. It seems as if we are looking in on a mythical, far away place that is exempt from anything but lighthearted interactions. The music does really help establish this tone. 2. Discuss the characters of Caldicott and Charters in this scene. What do the performances of Caldicott and Charters add to this scene. The characters are definitely here to reinforce the lighthearted tone of the established scene. They are comedic, and seem very much to be self absorbed, speaking of cricket and the importance of getting home. It is apparent they will continue to add this element throughout the movie. 3. From their doorway entrance to their staircase exit, describe how Hitchcock uses dialogue, camera movement, and the placement of characters in the frame to establish Iris (Margaret Lock wood) as the star of this scene. We quickly see these three as important to the plot. The characters are already known by the hotel innkeeper, and he detaches himself from the others to establish that they are important and should be recognized. Margaret Lockwood is the apparent leader of the group, with the most lines. The camera follows them all the way across the lobby, while the other guests watch. These are important people for us, the audience of the movie.
  10. 1. Now that you have seen multiple openings to Hitchcock's British films, how does this opening both fit a pattern you have seen previously as well as deviate from other opening scenes? Hitchcock takes us into a rather ordinary and unassuming place to begin the movie, thus allowing us to see an ordinary man become the eventual focus of the series of events about to happen. The flashing lights announcing "Music Hall" reminds me of the flashing lights of The Lodger, reminding us constantly of "To-night Golden Curls". As a deviation, I believe that the camera angles differ slightly. I find it interesting that the main character is photographed in a tilted angle as he is buying the ticket. Is Hitch asking us to think the character is crooked? Is he subliminally suggesting something about the character? I don't remember this use of camera angles in his openings, but I don't remember if he did. I think the girl screaming in The Lodger may have been tilted, but this shows her duress, her victimization as the murder victim. 2. Do you agree or disagree with Rothman's assessment that Hitchcock in this film is focused on introducing a more innocent character than in previous opening sequences of his films? ​I don't agree completely. We see this normal guy walk into a public space, but we don't see his face until after he is seated (in the center, suggesting his importance to the plot). Then he looks affable and friendly. His good looks contrast the air of mystery that Hitchcock has suggested by keeping him hidden for almost two minutes into the film. His reaction to the boy when his question is interrupted further allows us to believe he is a good guy. He allows the boy's question to take precedence over his own. If I could remember my first viewing of this film, I think I would have believed the character is not innocent, but will be the antagonist in actuality. I feel conflicted on agreeing that he is more innocent. 3. 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? A music hall, a public exhibition at a ski jumping, an amusement part... all are public spaces where we can see how our characters react and interact with those around him or her. By seeing those interactions, we begin to understand the normalcy of the character. These people in this opening are not the gentility of society. They are the ones who buy tickets to movies because they cant afford the theater, or the opera hall. They are the common folk, and the ones who, in reality, make up the majority of the world. By establishing this, we are able to believe that Robert Donat may be one of them. That the amazing events about to be thrust upon him could happen to you and I. Perhaps because he kindly yields to the question of the boy who interrupted him, we begin to like this guy despite his ominous, faceless introduction.
  11. 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 my opinion from just watching the opening that the characters are going to drive the plot. We are already being given insight into the young girl, her feelings regarding others, and her ways of trying to manipulate her father. We see people on a trip, something many middle and lower class people were unable to do during this time, so we start to gain insight into the various characters in the protagonists circle of acquaintances. The plot will be important, but seeing the people as they interact with the events of the situation will be more important I believe. What do you learn about Abbott (Peter Lorre) in his brief scene? How might this introduction affect your view of the character Abbott later in the film? He is somehow someone that may be known to the main characters. He seems fairly at ease, until he takes a good look at the skier. At that point, it seems that he is a bit concerned. Because of this, it may be hard to see his true intentions, as he seems like he is just one of the crowd. Why would he want t kidnap anyone? We saw two opening scenes from Hitchcock's silent films in the Daily Doses last week (The Pleasure Garden and The Lodger). How is this opening both similar and different from those two films' opening scenes. Like the two previous films, we are introduced to characters as they interact with one another. We start to learn a bit about them through these interactions. We are even able to start to get some of their preferred likes and dislikes. In The Lodger, we are introduced to the problem, or conflict right away. We see a crime that has been committed, and hear the reactions of the characters. It is different in TMWKTM, because we just see a family on vacation, and are not sure what kind of problem is going to transpire. The only conflict seems to be in the recognition between Lorre's character and the skier. In The Pleasure Garden, we just see the chorus hall, and the lechery of the men watching the nubile young women, again appealing to more base desires, like in The Lodger, when we see the screams of a murder victim. Where is the base desires in the opening sequence of TMWKTM? It isn't there. We just have a family on holiday. There is a subtle normalcy to the whole scene.
  12. In this sequence, describe how Hitchcock uses sound design to put you into the subjective "mind of Alice"? Be specific. By first following Alice from the room of the store, and then back to the table, the camera makes it clear that her guilt is the focus of the scene. Then, by the words all being muddled except for the word "knife", we clearly understand her character motivations. I found it interesting that when she went into the phone booth, we heard no sound at all. This truly clarifies her character for us. 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. The camera is focused completely on the business at the table. Alice picking up the knife, and then trying to use the knife, and then, as the word "knife" is almost screamed by the gossipy woman, we see the knife leave the frame. Somehow, perhaps Alfred Hitchcock is tapping into Alice's desire for the knife and all its implications to be gone, as it flies out of the scene. Why do you think this particular use of subjective sound is not used frequently in cinema? I think it is too artificial for todays audiences. It doesn't allow for the realism people expect today. Perhaps they would buy some facial reaction whenever the gossip would say "knife" in todays motion pictures. I have to stay, since sound was so new, I think it is an ingenious use of sound in a new developing form of moviemaking!
  13. The private detective seems to fit well into the seedy world of film noir because he doesn't play by the rules. He's rough, coarse, and willing to break some laws himself in order to find out the answers to the question he is asking. He needs money, is somewhat at arms length, yet still manages to get sucked into the story, as the viewer does. You feel what the private detective is feeling, and as he discovers clues, so do we, the viewers.
  14. Waldo Lydecker... snobbish, aloof, ostentatious, and interestingly suspicious. He is quite a curious character, and I have to wonder just what does he have to do with the "murder of Laura". Again, we are introduced to a crime, the seedier side of life, despite obviously finding ourselves in an expensive apartment. Things are not what they seem.
  15. Interesting to watch this, know its Bogey, but never actually see him. The POV allows the viewer to immerse himself into the action. As I watched the driver of the car get hit over and over, I had the unsettling sense that I was an eyewitness, and needed to do something about it or stop it. This kind of opening creates the same sense of chaos and uneasiness that the character himself is feeling. Masterful!

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