IWannaThankTheAcademy

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  1. I'll be more specific.... I tried the game on an iPad Pro AND on a desktop iMac. I got everything to work (i.e., it did not freeze), but it took several "refreshes" for the individual tap sequences to play. The problem I had on BOTH devices was that when I went to check on my choices for the sequence to see if they were correct, I clicked to get the answer, but it looked like the link to the answers was broken. I went nowhere and couldn't see if my answers were correct. I also never saw the other choices beyond "Anything Goes" (a favorite of mine anyway), so I suspect it was because I couldn't get the button to work in which I was to check my answers. I hope that helps the development team narrow in on the difficulties! I got stopped in my tracks! Oh, in both cases, I was using Safari as my browser. Update: I just realized that I had to press pause AGAIN before I hit the "Check Answers" button. When I did that, it worked perfectly, and I was able to move on to all the other song/tap challenges. So, my issues are now fixed. It looks like everyone else is having similar issues, so my suggestion is that the instructions were not clear and need to be far more specific. We're not all dummies!
  2. 1. With the exception of the massing of birds overhead as Melanie is ready to go into the store, you would have no idea this is going to be a dark film. The "meet cute" introduction is very much a romantic comedy staple, and the two characters play along with it. She's intrigued, and we don't yet know why he continues the game (other than her attractiveness) when she clearly doesn't have the knowledge about birds that he has. 2. I noticed the difference between the sound of the birds outside and the birds inside. Outside, while not completely menacing, the sound is a little more harsh. As soon as she walks inside the pet store, the sounds are happy and chirpy. Very subtle, but definitely there. Also, it highlights the difference that we'll see later between the benign lovebirds (i.e., "inside" birds and in a cage) and the outdoor birds who can mass together and cause destruction. 3. The only connection I saw between Hitch's cameo (walking two dogs) and the film is that it might be a nod to the fact that Melanie is going to meet a romantic partner in the store -- i.e., two dogs come out with Hitchcock, and by the time Melanie leaves the store, she's on the road to pairing with Mitch.
  3. 1. Before you see the graphics, you hear the agitated and staccato strings of the orchestra. This is not going to be a smooth, leisurely film! The graphics echo so much of what's in the film -- dark/light lines; vertical/horizontal -- reminiscent of the "criss cross" of Strangers on a Train. The most obvious use of the lines is to foreshadow the split personalities of both Norman Bates and Marion Crane. Norman is clinically split, to the point that he even has full conversations with himself in the guise of his mother (including another voice). For Marion, it's more of a moral conflict -- she's kind of a "good girl" who does bad things -- steals the money, has a "secret" relationship with Sam, so she's shifting from "good" to "bad" for the time she's on the screen. She does have a crisis of conscience, but it's too late, because Norman gets her before she has a chance to return the money. Every bit of this is reflected in the graphic and musical elements of the opening. 2. The date and time clearly show that the opening scene is "illicit." Who can have a leisurely afternoon in bed at lunch time on a weekday in a seedy motel? NOT the "married couples who sometimes sneak off" as Sam refers to. We know right away that this is "forbidden," even though we know nothing of the two characters. The closed blinds and the forward swooping motion of the camera reminded me clearly of Rear Window, but as others have pointed out, there's a nod to Shadow of a Doubt as well. 3. How does the hotel scene establish Marion Crane as a main character? We know she's daring, because "good" women in the 1950s didn't do that sort of thing. She's a liar, because she has her lunch on the bedside table (uneaten). She likely told her boss she was going out to lunch. We hear her say that she has to go back to work, so there's a conflict -- she wants to stay, but also wants to go. This is someone who gets her way once she chooses a path to go down. Sam seems more passive -- sure he'll take the goods as long as she's offering them. I don't get the sense from the opening that he takes the relationship as seriously as she does, but I could be projecting. Even though she's lying down when we see the first shot of the couple, you see her full body, including her face. Sam's body is seen, but his head is cut off. SHE'S the focus of the scene, and as we soon see, the main character (until she's unceremoniously dispatched with in the shower scene).
  4. 1. The music starts first, and sets a tone of mystery with a lot of punctuation from dark brass sounds that are dissonant from the hypnotic tone of the rest of the opening of the score. The mood is definitely ominous, but also somewhat relaxing -- so it sets up that there are going to be a lot of conflicts in this film. 2. For me the single most powerful image is when the face is washed over with red, and the spiral begins in her eye. That is one arresting image, and it starts the sequence of all the different types of spirals. I find it interesting that the sequence with the spiral ends the way it began -- with the eye on the screen covered with a red wash. 3. The score and the images are totally in sync. I watched it again with the sound turned down, and I realized you can have a faster score and make it seem a little more "funhouse" than it actually is. Or you can have a more string-based score and just making it a mesmerizing image to watch. The score and images are both consonant and dissonant, which makes it perfect as the opening for Vertigo.
  5. 1. The opening camera shot reminded me a bit of Peter Pan flying through a window. We start from inside the apartment, but since L.B. is asleep, this is an objective viewer's POV, and it moves over the window sill and out into the courtyard. The movement of the camera mimics a person's eye movements when taking it all in. We start with the music studio on the right and then move up and left to reveal all the other apartments and get a sense of who the players in this drama will be. I like how Hitchcock comes back to the apartment and we see Jimmy Stewart, and then he goes outside again. If I didn't know better, I would have thought someone was in the apartment with L.B. Jefferies, and it was their viewpoint. 2. The thermometer shows how hot it is, which justifies why the windows are thrown open and why everyone else's windows are open for us to see in. Stewart is in his pajamas, so we know he's confined (or sick). We see the cast, so that also indicates that he's either been stuck here for a long time or he WILL be stuck here for a long time. We learn about his job by seeing the smashed camera and the action photos (and apparently the photo he took just before the accident), and then we move on to the negative of a woman in a frame (could that mean he's negative on women at this point in his life? Yeah, that's probably a stretch), and finally the magazine with her photo on the cover. Very easy to figure out he's an action photographer who works for the magazine. 3. I did feel a bit like a voyeur, but at the same time, everyone (except for the newlyweds) had their windows open and the blinds up, so what they are doing is out there for all to see. Of course, you're going to watch -- they're practically inviting you in, although they would likely not see it that way. 4. I thought visually the film was the most theatrical of Hitchcock's films (not in an over the top way, but in a way where you're seated in the theatre and watching the show). You see what goes on from a distance, and it's only when L.B. Jefferies picks up that phallic telephoto lens that you get a little closer. If you're sitting in a theatre, you're in a static position, and you have to use binoculars to get closer. The window frame acts as the proscenium. So I differ from this being his most cinematic -- he would have broken with more conventions if it were cinematic. I agree with other posters who though Vertigo was more cinematic. I had never seen Rear Window until a few years ago, and I've watched it several times since. I always have the same feeling about it being like we're in a theater and watching with the director.
  6. 1. The opening camera shot reminded me a bit of Peter Pan flying through a window. We start from inside the apartment, but since L.B. is asleep, this is an objective viewer's POV, and it moves over the window sill and out into the courtyard. The movement of the camera mimics a person's eye movements when taking it all in. We start with the music studio on the right and then move up and left to reveal all the other apartments and get a sense of who the players in this drama will be. I like how Hitchcock comes back to the apartment and we see Jimmy Stewart, and then he goes outside again. If I didn't know better, I would have thought someone was in the apartment with L.B. Jefferies, and it was their viewpoint. 2. The thermometer shows how hot it is, which justifies why the windows are thrown open and why everyone else's windows are open for us to see in. Stewart is in his pajamas, so we know he's confined (or sick). We see the cast, so that also indicates that he's either been stuck here for a long time or he WILL be stuck here for a long time. We learn about his job by seeing the smashed camera and the action photos (and apparently the photo he took just before the accident), and then we move on to the negative of a woman in a frame (could that mean he's negative on women at this point in his life? Yeah, that's probably a stretch), and finally the magazine with her photo on the cover. Very easy to figure out he's an action photographer who works for the magazine. 3. I did feel a bit like a voyeur, but at the same time, everyone (except for the newlyweds) had their windows open and the blinds up, so what they are doing is out there for all to see. Of course, you're going to watch -- they're practically inviting you in, although they would likely not see it that way. 4. I thought visually the film was the most theatrical of Hitchcock's films (not in an over the top way, but in a way where you're seated in the theatre and watching the show). You see what goes on from a distance, and it's only when L.B. Jefferies picks up that phallic telephoto lens that you get a little closer. If you're sitting in a theatre, you're in a static position, and you have to use binoculars to get closer. The window frame acts as the proscenium. So I differ from this being his most cinematic -- he would have broken with more conventions if it were cinematic. I agree with other posters who though Vertigo was more cinematic. I had never seen Rear Window until a few years ago, and I've watched it several times since. I always have the same feeling about it being like we're in a theater and watching with the director.
  7. Wow -- some of the responses posted here are just great. I may not have as many new things to add, but here I go: 1. The most obvious image that manifests "criss cross" is the crossed rails. But there are also crossed legs when they sit on the train, and the clear criss cross of them arriving and walking from screen left to right or screen right to left. Everyone else has already mentioned a lot of other ways this theme is visually represented. 2. Shoes are the most obvious difference. Bruno's unusual choice in shoes hits a wrong note -- something is "off" -- these shoes don't go with the outfit. Bruno also wears a hat; Guy does not. Bruno's tie clip and lobster tie also throw his "look" off, in addition to the shoes. It all clashes. Also, when he introduces himself on the train, he immediately comes over to Guy and sits too closely to him, then says he's not much of a talker and that Guy should read. But Bruno doesn't move. He hovers over Guy, and despite his smile and friendly demeanor, you just know this guy is creepy from the start. Guy, on the other hand, is more put together -- dark colored outfit, vest, nice tie -- he looks far more put together. Also, he carries tennis rackets, so you know right from the start who he is. Guy speaks more deliberately; Bruno speaks with a never ending patter and chatter, despite the fact that he says he's not much of a talker -- that's ALL he does! 3. Under the credits, the music has an intensity to it -- a sense of urgency. When the men arrive at the station in their respective cabs, the music is somewhat jaunty, and not terribly distinguishable (in terms of different themes for each man). But then the jaunty music gets darker as the scene shifts to the rails. And when they sit down, I believe the music just stops. Yet, we know immediately that something is not right with this, and Dimitri Tiomkin's music supports that.
  8. 1. Uncle Charlie (or "Mr. Spencer") is a slew of contradictions in the opening. He's in a seedy rooming house, but he's dressed up in a suit and tie, smoking what one assumes is a quality cigar. He's enormously peaceful and lowkey, but when he gets up, he smashes the water glass,so there's an underlying rage at something or someone. He seems unconcerned when the landlady tells him about the two men looking for him, but we find out he IS concerned when he looks through the window and says "You've got nothing on me." And he's careless about the money on the bedside table and on the floor. So it seems that Uncle Charlie on the outside (serene, well-dressed) is NOT the Uncle Charlie on the inside (someone with a secret and a temper). 2. While it's not the hardboiled nightime, rainsoaked cityscape of most film noir, the film opens in an urban environment, in a rundown location. Shadows abound, and there are definitely the crossed "bars" invoking someone who is trapped or about to be trapped. And it gets even darker when the landlady pulls down the blind. But something isn't "right" about this -- it's as though it has only a few elements of film noir, at least in the opening. But it does lead one to believe that Uncle Charlie has come afoul of the law...or of some criminal element. 3. Tiomkin's score totally sets the tone of the opening. It's a quick-paced but dark moody segment that immediately raises the tension level before we move off the street and into the rooming house itself. When the landlady pulls down the shade, the music is even more ominous, so we KNOW Uncle Charlie is hiding something or wants to be in hiding. And when he gets up to go out, the music literally screeches, as though he's going to go out to something terrible, but all he does is pass the men on the street, and then they follow him. We'll have to wait to see what happens next. And that's what the score does -- sets you up so you are eager to see what comes next.
  9. 1. The tone of the opening of Rebecca is very different from Hitchcock films of the British period. Even though The 39 Steps has a brief moment of ominousness when Hannay buys a ticket and we don't see anything but his shoes until a few minutes later, Rebecca is far more moody, with a specific dreamy quality, AND it has a voiceover narration. It's also a very private, secluded space that is being shown, when Hitchcock prior to this film usually used open public spaces in the beginnings of his films. And when you see Manderley, it immediately tells you there's a real story to this home -- it not only has a name, but it's in ruins. What happened here? And it becomes another character in the story. 2. Several Hitchcock "touches" in the opening. The Expressionistic lighting, the introduction of an innocent character who we assume will be thrown into extraordinary circumstances. Also, there's misdirection -- you are led to believe that Maxim DeWinter is going to throw himself off of the cliff, and perhaps he would have, if Joan Fontaine hadn't arrived. Yet once he sees her, he becomes snappish and downright rude. Maybe he wasn't going to jump after all. Also, the tension is there right from the beginning -- there's foreboding in the introduction of Manderley, and while at this point, you don't know what will become of the young woman and Mr. DeWinter, it doesn't look positive at this point. 3. Manderley is a character in several ways -- it's not just a house, because it has a name, and that name implies some kind of grandiosity. When you see it in ruins, and then as a functional house with the lights on, you know something sinister happened here. I couldn't help but see the introduction of Manderley as a precursor to the Bates HOUSE (not the motel) in Psycho. Both appear to have deep and dark secrets attached to them.
  10. 1. The most obvious pattern is the shot of theater lights -- "Music Hall" in 39 Steps and "To Night Golden Curls" in The Lodger. Also, a theatrical setting occurs in The Pleasure Garden as well as 39 Steps. But other than the very brief purchase of a ticket (at a canted ticket booth) and the lack of seeing a face, there's no real sense of doom here. It's certainly not the scream of The Lodger or even the foreboding of Downhill. This LOOKS like an ordinary scene during a night out at the theater. 2. Not yet having watched the film, I can't tell if Hannay is an innocent character or not. He certainly looks charming and friendly, and he seems to go along with the the laughter happening around him, but he's also persistent in asking his question about distances between Canadian cities. There is no sense of villainy here at all. 3. The use of public space continues to show that unusual things can occur in "usual" places. In 39 Steps, it's a much more plebeian place -- an English music hall comprised of many working class people. The Pleasure Garden may be open to everyone, but Hitchcock focuses on the elegantly-clad men in the first row who look rich. In The Man Who Knew Too Much, we're at an expensive European location -- not a place that most ordinary folks would be able to visit.
  11. 1. I definitely think the characters will be more important. I actually "tuned out" the dialogue as the skier, the man and the girl were walking along, because I just felt that whatever they were saying wasn't that important. It was all about the establishment of relationships. 2. The introduction of Abbott is quite genial, considering he's going to be the villain of the piece. But the man "doth protest too much" methinks, because he's just been hit hard, and he's completely brushing it off. I would have expected more hesitancy, so it felt like he was trying to take away attention from himself. Of course, when his whole demeanor changed upon seeing the skier, that just made his introduction far more intriguing. Something is afoot, but at this point we know nothing. 3. All the opening scenes from the three movies take place in a public setting -- a theater in Pleasure Garden, outdoors at a murder scene in Lodger, and at a sporting event in TMWKTM. There are lots of people around (although in this movie there are a lot more people who aren't delineated), and he focuses quickly on four key players -- the bystander (Peter Lorre) and the skier and his brother and niece. I haven't seen this film in a long time, so I've forgotten everything except the scene in the Royal Albert Hall. Can't wait to watch it again after such a long time.
  12. I watched Blackmail several years ago, and while I've forgotten most of the film and look forward to seeing it again, I definitely remembered the "knife" scene, seen in the Daily Dose clip. I'm a big fan of silent film and am especially interested in early talkies, because so many of them got worse as directors and writers and creative team members focused almost exclusively on the sound (like putting microphones in vases conveniently placed in the middle of tables where actors just "happened" to be), and forgot about the rest of the story. Since Hitchcock at this (and even later stages) was primarily a silent director (with a focus on the visuals), he used sound in a completely different way. Sound didn't take over his films -- it punctuated the story, and that's exactly what happens in this bread knife scene. As others have said, the obvious ways sound design puts you into Alice's state of mind is that you hear what she hears -- a low-level conversation from the chattering customer, complete silence when she goes into the phone booth, and then the rhythmic (and escalating) sound of the word "knife" as the gossipy woman continues nattering on. No wonder the knife flew out of Alice's hand! Even the louder sound of the bell jingling as a second customer walks in comes soon on the heels of the escalated sound of the word "knife," and appropriately jangles our nerves as viewers. We are right there with Alice, feeling what she's feeling. I wish subjective sound WERE used more today. We seem to use sound to enhance explosions and over-the-top visuals to please the young movie-going popcorn crowd. Hitchcock (while not always subtle) used subjective sound in a completely creative way. Every time I see a clip of an interview with Hitchcock, I'm always amazed at how he has an answer for every detailed question -- he thought about everything, and there was never a wasted moment. I just don't think films are created with that in mind anymore, and certainly, most directors don't think in the same terms Hitchcock did.
  13. I thought the POV dolly shots were actually very subtle. These were not long, drawn out shots -- but they had an impact nonetheless. I too (like others) got this sense of dread as the young woman moved toward the two boys. She was in the center and everything else just dropped away. You can't help but be anxious when watching this. As for why Hitchcock uses the technique of a POV tracking shot, it's clear that he is working with film in a new way. Cameras were so static at this time -- people came into the scene and left it, and there were cuts from wide shots to medium shots. Hitchcock is taking some of the NEW vocabulary of film and incorporating it, even though there are limitations. By using a POV shot, he really CAN get inside the head of the characters, and you see and feel what they are experiencing on an emotional level. It's a powerful technique even in this primitive form. I don't know why we see yet another spinning turntable (I'd never noticed that little item before) except to suggest there was music involved in the recounting of her story. We see a clumsy dancer stepping on her feet, but they move over the rug to another room and one's imagination takes hold. The montage is used in several films as a form of flashback, and Hitchcock used it very effectively. We get extreme closeups in all the clips we've watched so far, and a lot of cutting back and forth for reaction shots. By using these techniques, Hitchcock makes you see what he wants you to see (even if it's a ruse).
  14. I love the way Hitchcock used so many elements to build up the intensity of the jealousy brewing in the husband's mind about his wife with the champion boxer. It starts with just some minor revelry -- falling into laps, a few energetic female dancers and then within seconds the scene speeds up -- more revelers partake, the dancing is faster (as is the music, but I'm not really including the music as it could be different depending on where you were watching a film), the cuts are shorter. Then he starts using montage as distortion -- from the keys to the generally blurred scene, and finally we see the champion and his wife superimposed over the conversation with his manager. My stomach was getting in knots as this short scene progressed. Most of the scene is subjective -- in fact, you don't really know that it's subjective for sure until the lead character bursts into the other room and sees nothing of what he was "seeing" from afar. Hitchcock used short cuts, montage, distortion, superimposition and worked mirrors into the buildup of the tension -- all of these are evident in German expressionist films of that era. As far as set design goes, we see the tranquil "parlor" or office -- stark with a poster on the wall -- as a very businesslike, staid setting juxtaposed with the party atmosphere of the living room with the picture window and the fluffy sofas and piano -- all items that just scream "relax" and "let loose." There are also more wide shots in the party scene, whereas the room with the boxer and his manager is more cropped, with medium close ups and two shots -- a narrower viewpoint, with the manager focused on a single item -- getting this guy to be a champion.
  15. I am a big fan of Hitchcock, and have actually seen many of the silent films mentioned in the opening segments of the course....EXCEPT for "The Pleasure Garden." Thanks to whoever posted the link to the full film on YouTube! I notice many people on this forum are either completely unfamiliar with Hitchcock (welcome to a master) or only know his American movies from the late 40s and early 50s. You'll want to read (or watch the documentary) Francois Truffaut's lengthy interview with him -- it's a classic book and a must have if you're really serious about appreciating Hitchcock on multiple levels. I'm really looking forward to yet another take on the Master of Suspense in this course. From the opening of "The Pleasure Garden," however, you can see that so many of his signature touches are already there, albeit in a more primitive form. The humor that just flickers by (e.g., the "No Smoking" sign next to someone puffing away furiously), the quick cuts, the moody lighting and the point of view shots are here in the first few minutes. I think the "blonde" element is pushing it a bit, as he really didn't get into that obsessively until much later in his career, but perhaps there is something to be said for the fact that his first "heroine" is, indeed, a "bottle blonde." As for the lack of sound, Hitchcock was a spectacular visual storyteller, and you really see that in play in the rest of the silent films from his British period. He didn't NEED sound to tell the story, and so many silents from that era (with several major exceptions) didn't get deep into the emotional heart of a story like Hitchcock did. I love ALL the eras of his work, and am happy to be reviewing them with so many longtime fans like me and brand new ones too.

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