Thief12

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  1. I agree about the lecture delivery and also the conversation videos. One of the things I've enjoyed in these three Canvas courses I've taken with Dr. Edwards is how cleverly he has adjusted the delivery according to the topic. It shows a very deliberate and meticulous approach to the course. For example, "mysterious" conversations from dark rooms for #NoirSummer, "loud", sports-like commentary for #SlapstickFall, and finally, a more serious, biopic/documentary like for #Hitchcock50. As a teacher/professor myself, I can attest to how tough it is not to fall in a routine when offering courses at a regular basis. So this has been a really interesting approach for each course, and I commend Dr. Edwards for the effort he has put in it. Plus this variety spices things up for those of us that have taken them all.
  2. I saw it about a week or two ago and I enjoyed it as well. Very funny and well acted all around.
  3. I was about to mention those books. I read a lot of those when I was in junior high. Pretty solid, if I remember correctly. And BTW, I think those books are yet another example of Hitchcock's genius marketing strategy. Even though I, as a kid, had never seen a Hitchcock film, I knew who he was because of the TV show and this books.
  4. I've been vouching for one on horror films, starting with Nosferatu and Caligari and the sorts, going through the Universal monsters, and all the way through the 80s slashers and so on.
  5. If I were to summarize what I got from this course, I would say that I learned to appreciate and respect Hitchcock, not only for his films and craftsmanship, but for the impact he had in filmmaking and movies in general. If I were to expand, I would do it in three points, most of which have been expressed more ellegantly by Dr. Edwards and Wes Gehring: 1. Hitchcock's ability to balance between being an "artist" and an "entertainer". Like Dr. Edwards and Wes Gehring said repeatedly, it is amazing how well Hitchcock juggled both aspects of his career. Despite the fact that many artists nowadays seem to favor one side over the other, Hitchcock shows that both sides don't have to be mutually exclusive. His films are full of mass appeal, while also being excellent works of art and outstanding achievements in filmmaking. 2. Hitchcock's work ethic and how prolific he was. Hitchcock really worked hard. In a time where many filmmakers seem to take forever to make a film, one has to give kudos to this man, who through all his career kept an unbelievable work pace, releasing an average of 2, sometimes 3 films per year; finishing with 54 films through a 50+ year career. I love that he just went at it. And if a film didn't work, he just went on with the next one, never stopping. 3. Hitchcock's ability to innovate and experiment. Hitchcock wasn't afraid of change. Another of the things that Dr. Edwards and Wes Gehring emphasized was precisely how Hitchcock stood at the front of the pack, in terms of the filmmaking business. When other artists struggled with the silent/sound transition, he just went on and reshaped a film (Blackmail) from silent to sound; when he felt like he had hit a dead end in Britain, he packed his things and moved to Hollywood; when new technologies surfaced, he wasn't afraid of experimenting with them: from VistaVision to color, or 3D; when television seemed to threaten cinemas, he just went and made a TV show. It's amazing the ability he had to adapt to changes and use them to his advantage. I think those are the three things I've learned to respect most of Hitchcock, and are things that I can only hope to instill in my personal and professional life. I'd like to thank Dr. Edwards for yet another terrific course. I started with you on the #NoirSummer course, and I can say that your insight, intelligence, and more importantly, your accesible delivery and approachable attitude have given me greater appreciation for this art I love, films. Just sign me in for the next one, doesn't matter what it is about! Also, thanks to Wes Gehring for his excellent contributions to the lectures. Watching you and listening to you might be enough to make someone enroll in your classes. Your endless knowledge and stories were a perfect accompaniment to Dr. Edwards. Obviously, thanks to the people behind: Ball State, Canvas, and TCM, for putting up this efforts. And finally, thanks to everyone who contributed here and on Twitter. Like Dr. Edwards says repeatedly, the social aspect of the course, is perhaps the best part. To read so many insights from so many people all around the world is amazing. I wish I could've contributed more to the forums or the live-tweets, but as it is, I always enjoyed reading the things this amazing community brought forward. Thanks!
  6. Love this quote that Dr. Edwards brought from Hitch's Lifetime Achievement Award: "I beg permission to mention by name only four people who have given me the most affection, appreciation, and encouragement, and constant collaboration. The first of the four is a film editor, the second is a scriptwriter, the third is the mother of my daughter Pat, and the fourth is as fine a cook as ever performed miracles in a domestic kitchen. And their names are Alma Reville..." Reading up about Alma's collaboration with Hitchcock makes me wonder, she had already earned her reputation as a scriptwriter and assistant director before meeting Hitchcock... What would've been of her career, if she had continued working on her own? Why did she choose to focus on her "silent" collaboration with Hitchcock instead? Was there space for a woman in Hollywood to be successful as a screenwriter, director, etc.?
  7. I'm not stressed, so there's no need to "lighten up". Just trying to engage in a discussion about the film. Cheers.
  8. I haven't read all the replies here, but I don't think I've read any "wrath-filled" post from Vertigo fans Anyway, I'm a Vertigo fan, it is my favorite Hitchcock, but I don't think it is the best film out there and I don't think it is "perfect". So I might be an exception to your "rather large sampling", or it might just be not ALL Vertigo fans are "obsessed", "wrath-filled", or "zealous"
  9. Oh, and speaking of Psycho remakes, I give my endorsement to A&E's recent TV show Bates Motel. It is not perfect, but it's anchored in two excellent performances from Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore as Norma and Norman Bates. Seriously, if any of you decide to give it a chance, be patient, give it time. The first 2-3 seasons are fun, but messy. Some supporting actors are pretty bad/mediocre and the pieces of the story take some time to fall in place, but the last two seasons were pretty great.
  10. I find A Perfect Murder to be a pretty solid reimagining of Hitchcock's classic. Michael Douglas goes toe to toe with Ray Milland, and the twists add complexity to everything. If anything, the last half botches the end result, but I still like it. As for the Psycho remake, if you can see it for what it is (a mere experiment, a curiosity) then there's no harm in it. The acting feels a bit stiff (a result of doing a shot-by-shot, line-by-line remake) but I don't think it merits the vitriol it gets. It's inoffensive.
  11. But I think the issue is with the interpretation people give to the film. See, I never felt that Vertigo romanticized Scottie. If anything, Hitchcock does the complete opposite. As we've seen in the course, Hitchcock liked to cast big stars and use their fame to his advantage (see Cary Grant). In Vertigo, he casts a well-known "everyman" in Jimmy Stewart, and then proceeds to strip him of morale and redeemable qualities to flip the table on the audience, who would expect him to be the "good guy". Yet another reason why I love the film. Nothing is what it seems; because even the "lead actor" who was "supposed" to be the "good guy" ends up being, in your words, a "flawed and truly disturbed character". The other issue I have with your post is your dismissal of "Vertigo defenders" as "obsessive", because it defuses any interest I might have for further discussion. If anything I bring to the table will be brushed aside by just saying I'm being "obsessive", then why bother? And if I weren't to stand up for a film I'm passionate about, then what are we doing here? Frankly, it is a dismissal of the mere nature of film discussion and forums as a whole.
  12. 1. How does the opening of Frenzy differ from the opening of The Lodger? Feel free to rewatch the clip from The Lodger (Daily Dose #2) for comparison. I see more similarities than I see differences, but anyway, The Lodger opens with the screaming girl, and then opens up to the crowd, and then wider into the city and the media. Frenzy opens up with the city, the crowd, and then closes up on the already murdered girl. The similarities, I think Dr. Edwards and W.G. discussed. The murder of a blonde girl at the River Thames in London, crowd finds the body, and discover the killer's trademark (the "Avenger" note, the necktie). 2. What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific. Combines the opening of an "aerial" pan of a place (like Rebecca, The Lady Vanishes, Rear Window, Psycho, etc.) and then closes in on a crowd, like most of the opening scenes we've discussed. His cameo, as part of the crowd, is another noticeable touch. A murder occurring, and the murdered girl is a blonde. The man who spots the body yells "Look!", prompting the crowd to look (the voyeuristic side), and everybody looks at the naked corpse without nobody really jumping to see if she's indeed dead. 3. Using Frenzy as an example, what thoughts do you have about the various purposes Hitchcock had in mind when he created his opening scenes? In the Daily Doses, we have focused on opening scenes, so there should be patterns or strategies you have noticed over the course of opening scenes spanning Hitchcock's 50 year career. I think Hitchcock's usual intention is to put is right there in the action, in the middle of the crowd or the scene. In The Lodger, we were right there at the riverbanks with the crowd; in The 39 Steps, we are in the crowd watching Mr. Memory; in Rear Window, we are inside Jeff's apartment; in Vertigo, we are right in the middle of the chase. Here in Frenzy, we are with the crowd when the body is discovered. He also tends to put us in a subjective point of view from the beginning. As the crowd focuses on the necktie, the scene cuts to Blaney putting on a tie. So even though Hitchcock let us know pretty soon that Bob Rusk is the killer, he still dares to put us in the subjective point of view that the people on the city will have, thinking that Blaney is the killer. In similar ways, he had us inside Mrs. De Winter's mind as Rebecca started, or watching that cop fall from Scottie's POV in Vertigo, etc. because he wants us to experience what the characters are experiencing.
  13. 1. Based on the opening sequence alone, what do you feel you already know about Marnie as a character? In what ways does Hitchock visually reveal her character through her interaction with objects? The most obvious is that she is either a con artist or a thief. There is a mystery to her walk as we first see her walk down the hallway. The fact that we don't immediately see her face also adds to the mystery and allure. There is also a dual way in which she packs: the suitcase to the right, the one she takes with her, is carefully packed with clothes neatly arranged. Only the money is thrown, and even still, the money is carefully packed. The suitcase to the left, the one she leaves at the train station, is all messy. She doesn't care about how things are packed and just throws clothes, underwear, and the yellow purse. The way she opens the ID thingy shows a certain tact and meticulousness, and lets us know that she has done this before. When she finally leaves one suitcase at the station, there is a certain hesitation it seems, as she holds the key in her hand, but not much. From the opening, Hitchcock is already presenting us with the duplicity of this character. 2. How does Hitchcock use Bernard Herrmann's score in this scene? The score is glamorous and mostly subtle. There are some slight, dark tints as she reveals her IDs. But the most obvious use of the score is how Herrmann and Hitchcock go in crescendo until the reveal of Marnie's face. After that, the score feels fuller. 3. Did you see any variation in what Hitchcock is doing with his cameo in this film, and what do you think that variation means? Maybe that he looked at the camera. I don't remember any other of his cameos where he did that.
  14. If I read about a real person who was behaving as Scottie, I would indeed probably label him as a "psychotic, obsessive stalker", because on the surface, that's what he is. But I'm sure in many cases, if I were to read about that person's story and what lead him to behave that way, I would feel sorry about the tragedy of his life, which BTW, doesn't mean I'm condoning the behavior. The same happens here. Like I said in my posts, I'm not trying to justify Scottie's behavior and I do think he has to be held accountable, but he is a tragic character. The things that are happening to him, like I exposed on a previous post, are tragic and traumatic. To me, that's enough to draw me into a film. I don't need to "like" the character's actions, but I do need to be drawn to his/her predicament and the events surrounding him/her. As for one of your last comments, I don't think that Vertigo is Hitchcock's concept of a "normal male-female relationship", or at least not from what is presented on-screen. If anything, is quite the contrary. He is presenting us with a dysfunctional relationship and the consequences it has on the two persons involved. I don't see why one would think this is a behavior that Hitchcock endorses.
  15. One simple question that I've had in mind for Dr. Edwards and Wes Gehring during the course would be their favorite and least favorite Hitchcock films. So that would be a simple question that can also be extended to Mr. Philippe.

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