Sue BBq

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  1. 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? I love this film. Of all the Hitchcock films, this is the one that is most familiar to me next to Pscho. It is hilarious watching the parlay between Tippi and Rod in the opening scene. She is trying so hard to answer his questions and he is totally on to her. And how about that? Mitch is looking for love birds and he knows more about birds than Melanie for sure. I believe further in this segment he actually knows who she is based on her family history and a photo in the newspaper. There's nothing horrific about this, yet the question about the sea birds inland seems a bit forbearing of things to come. 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? Funny how you watch a film and the background music becomes just that - background. In The Birds, the noise of the birds has made a subliminal impression on me. I didn't realize there was no music, but the sound of the birds was so fitting with the film's story you don't notice the lack of music. It seems perfectly normal that you hear the sound of the birds. On a side note, I can hear a few birds tweeting and a pheasant squawking in the brush with the wind in the cottonwood tree. Sometimes I can hear the wind under their wings. So bird backgrounds are quite pleasant and my morning is not complete without a few moments at dawn. There is a storm somewhere in the distance and so the birds are rather quiet -- at the moment ... 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. Seems like a perfectly normal thing, a man walking out of a pet shop with his two birds, but you know ... that famous Hitchcock silhouette is quite easy to see in this shot. It conveys normalcy. So what really could possibly happen to upset the apple cart?
  2. 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? It' pretty obvious, someone is fractured in this film based on the title coming in in vertical stripes. But the music is really amazing. I have viewed this film many many times, but have missed that wide panoramic shot of the city and the deliberate time and place titles. We are in a city, someone is having an affair and we are the peeping Toms observing through a tiny opening in a hotel window. I was pretty shocked by the underwear scene. I did not think that films were that risque. Not to mention the affair. 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'm not sure about the date and time. The time, of course, an extended lunch hour for Janet Leigh, who obviously tells her boss what to do... or doesn't care what he thinks. She took a long lunch to take advantage of the check out time at 3 p.m. giving them limited time, a sense of urgency to get out of that room. Of course the POV shot through the window, Rear Window material. In the remainder of this sequence, we are introduced to Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) and Sam Loomis (John Gavin). The scene pushed the boundaries of censorship, especially considering our last Daily Dose for North by Northwest was edited for a line of risqué dialogue. Since this is the opening scene of Psycho, how does the hotel room scene function as a way to establish Marion Crane as the main character? Defend your answer. Again, I was very surprised the film opened with an affair and bras... perhaps a clue as to more sexy scenes coming up. Norman Bates was a voyeur and we are in the opening scene. Marion Crane moves from her boss to the affair and how she wants it to stop. Again we see a marriage potential between two characters, one that is not quite ready to commit. Janet Leigh is exercising her "power" over men a wee bit in that opening scene. Also, between her demands and the fact that her co-star wasn't such a Hollywood star would be indicative of her role as leading character. I love this movie and The Birds, the two most watched Hitchcock films in my life. I do now have a greater appreciation of the ties that bind all Hitchock films together.
  3. How would you describe the opening camera shot of this film? What is Hitchcock seeking to establish in this single shot that opens the film? Whose vantage point is being expressed in this shot, given that Jeff has his back to the window?The opening scene of this film is a trip around the courtyard that has become Jeff's life. The detail is amazing and the shot is amazing. I have watched this movie many times and did not take note of how the camera scans just as I would observing the cat, the birds on the roof, flowers, etc. in addition to the daily routines of the occupants of each apartment. Not only does this shot show us the apartment, but also glimpse into the busy city life of cars rushing by on the street and brilliantly there is enough room to peer into the coffee shop across the street. Hitchcock set an elaborate scene for a story. Jeff is resting, but we are provided a tour of his world. What do we learn about Jeff in this scene without any pertinent lines of dialogue (other than what is written on Jeff’s leg cast)? How does Hitchcock gives us Jeff’s backstory simply through visual design? It's quite simple to see that Jeff has been in some dangerous places with his camera and can deduce that the cast and the broken camera are obviously his last photo shoot. The accident, of course, caused by some dangerous situation. I'm thinking the "negative" of his girlfriend who ends up as a cover girl on a major fashion magazine makes a statement about how he feels about his relationship. 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?It's totally a spectator shot. We don't have to move a muscle, not even our eyeballs to see an entire world. Bonus question: if you have seen the entire film before, do you agree with Hitchcock that this film is his most cinematic?I love this film and have watched it many times without thought to how creative and masterful it has been executed.d
  4. Boy, I don't think I have seen a better hangover shot ever in a film. There is Hitchcock's point of view shots, the shadowy figure at the door and the camera angle of the first scene that screams Hitchcock. Once again we have refined well-dressed man in charge of the situation and Ingrid is dressed for the party on the beach. The hairpiece she finds in the bed was hilarious and I had never noticed that before. I love Casa Blanca and Ingrid Bergman and the focus is totally on them, and they are great together.
  5. 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. Uncle Charlie is a sharp dressed man that has some money, although he does not seem to be overly concerned about it. It doesn't appear he is drinking alcohol. Twirling an unlit cigar and thinking, really thinking about his next move -- contemplative, cool, calm? What has he done? His landlady seems to have taken a liking to him and is concerned about his health, so he must have made a good impression on her. Uncle Charlie appears to be fearless as he contemplates facing the two strangers head on. 2. 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) I have not had the privilege of seeing the killers in its entirely, but somehow I recall that scene where the man in the hotel is waiting for his killers. This film does not open in a dark shadowy hallway; with a murder or with a chase scene. It opens rather sunny and relaxing until ... the music. 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 music is amazing... I could feel the tension building as Uncle Charlie strode across the street, the point of view switching from the chased to the chasers. It was noticeable how much the music added to the film.
  6. These first two silent films have been so eye-opening as to technique and sheer talent necessary to convey the moods of the charactors and the storyline... I have a new appreciation of silent film and am in awe of Alfred's ability. The way Hitchcock used the mirror and the glances to convey a growing jealousy and then the impetus to prove himself to a woman was amazing....

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