Trishy1

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  1. If this film had been made pre-code, the lead actress would have been more scantily costumed. Also, when she returned to her dressing room after her performance, she probably would have been shown taking her costume off. Her song would have been more risque - maybe the lyrics would have been more explicit than “I want you to play with me”. One theme I might expect from other musicals made during the depression would be that everyone in show business is rich! The musical numbers within these types of films are lavishly produced and the audience is dressed to the nines. These types of movies were made for escapism and no one wants to escape their depression era life to see a depressing film, so yes this clip does show a brighter perspective of life than might be realistic. The movie wouldn’t make any money unless they put something on screen that people wouldn’t normally see or experience in their every day life.
  2. Based on the opening sequence alone, what do you feel you already know about Marnie as a character? I feel that I know that Marnie is many different people, none of whom seem to have the name Marnie. First she's got dark hair, then she's blond. She's got two suitcases, one is neatly packed while the other just has clothing and personal effects thrown into it. She has several social security cards with several different names. She's an imposter, we don't really know who she is from the opening sequence. In what ways does Hitchcock visually reveal her character through her interaction with objects. How does Hitchcock use Bernard Herrmann's score in this scene? Through objects, I would say her character is someone who enjoys the finer things in life. The music is sinister sounding, adding to the notion that she is not what she seems. Did you see any variation in what Hitchcock is doing with his cameo in this film, and what do you think that variation means? In previous cameos, Hitchcock either has his back to the camera or he passes through the scene. In a couple of films, he appears in a photograph. In this cameo, Hitchcock looks directly at the camera. I think he's letting viewers know that he knows they are looking for him in his films.
  3. 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? The scene seems more appropriate to a romantic comedy because Mitch initially mistakes Melanie for a salesperson and she decides to play along because he's a handsome man. People making assumptions about other people are a hallmark of romantic comedies. We learn that she doesn't know that much about birds but he does. I don't he realizes how flirty his remarks are. 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? Melanie is walking down a busy city street and we hear birds and footsteps. There is no way this would happen in real life; the noises from the cars should have drowned out the other noises. But, in order for Melanie to notice the birds overhead, she had to be able to hear them, so Hitchcock removed most of the city street noise (you hear the motorcycle but not much else related to the traffic). He also threw in a whistle from a boy on a bike. Inside the pet shop, there are dozens of birds, so bird sounds are mostly heard. There's a few squawks, but mostly the birds are pleasant sounding. I think he used the sounds to create a calm, unsuspecting atmosphere. 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. Hitchcock walks out of a pet store with two dogs on a leash. I don't think it has any particular meaning to the scene; I think he just wanted to get his cameo out of the way early in the film.
  4. 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? The music is a lot of sharp, "cut off" or urgent notes; the lines move from side to side - together, I am immediately thinking of stabbing. However, as the music and lines continue moving from side to side, the lines look to me as if they are running away, which is what Marion Crane does at the beginning of this film. Also, some of the titles, such as Alfred Hitchcock's name, seem to fragment, rather than just move off screen, which suggests to me that something or someone is going to come apart. 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 think he is trying to establish it's almost time for the weekend to begin. I believe he enters through the window because he is again watching someone without their knowledge and the window is the best way to do that. This opening shot reminds me of Rebecca and Rear Window. It reminds me of Rebecca as we move toward the hotel room window and going through the window reminds me of Rear Window. 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 a main character? Defend your answer. I think this scene helps to show that Marion is not the most honest, or honorable person. The conversation with Sam shows that she is really not happy with the way her life is going, so she might be about to make a change.
  5. 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. From the sounds and images, I would think this film would be about hypnosis. The music seems to go in circles, getting faster as the credits progress, and the images are spinning around in circles. This all seems hypnotic to me. In your own estimation, what is the single most powerful image in this title sequence? Defend your answer. How do Saul Bass’ images and Bernard Herrmann’s score work together? How different would this sequence be with a different musical score The single most powerful image in the sequence is the closeup on the right eye, the screen turns red and the eye opens widely. The music is soft and lilting and then all the instruments strike a jarring note. The images and the music make me think of danger. I don't think I would think of danger without this music, so this sequence, for me, could be quite different with a different musical score. I can't seem to get my IPad to cooperate, so that's it for me.
  6. 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? I would describe this camera shot as "Jeff's world". I think with this opening shot, Hitchcock is just showing us what Jeff's life is - he's a photographer who can't work at the moment due to the broken leg and being confined to a wheelchair, so his life right now is what he sees outside of his window (even though his back is to the window in this shot, he is positioned near the window so we know that's where he's going to spend his time). Jeff's vantage point is being expressed in this shot - even though the shot shows his back to the window, we are seeing what he would see if he were to turn around and look through his window. Also, we are seeing the contents of his apartment, which tells us what his profession is. Looking through the windows would be equivalent to looking through the lens of a camera. 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? We learn that he is a photographer and it appears that he is either a sports photographer or a photojournalist, based on the photographs we see, and that Jeff may have been injured on the job while taking those types of photographs. However, there is also a negative of a fashion magazine cover, so we can assume he shot that photo too, which then makes it difficult to categorize what type of photography he does, or perhaps his career is evolving. 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? I imagine that the opening shot is supposed to make me feel like a voyeur, but it does not. For every film I watch, I'm an immobile spectator, this film doesn't make me feel more or less of one. Bonus question: if you have seen the entire film before, do you agree with Hitchcock that this film is his most cinematic? Since he said it was his most cinematic, I'll agree with him.
  7. 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. There are several ways that Hitchcock portrays the "criss cross" in the opening scene: the taxis that deliver the men to the station approach from different directions (one taxi is coming towards the camera, one taxi is travelling away from the camera); one man walks from right to left across the screen to approach the gate, the other man walks from left to right; they enter the gate from opposite sides of the screen, the train tracks cross; the men approach their seats from opposite sides of the screen and sit across from each other; after their feet bump, Bruno crosses over to Guy's side of the train and sits beside him. 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. Some contrasts I noticed: Bruno's shoes are white, Guy's are a dark color; Bruno walks ahead of the porter who carries his suitcase while Guy either walks behind or next to his porter; when Bruno sits down, he stretches out his legs, but when Guy sits down, his legs are pretty much in his own space; Bruno has a tie clip with his name on it while Guy is a famous tennis player and doesn't need to "announce" who he is; Bruno is doing all the talking while saying "I don't talk much", and Guy is very quiet. 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? At times, the music seems playful and seems to go along with Bruno's demeanor. At other times, the music seems foreboding.
  8. What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this early scene from the movie? The close ups, the POV shot that starts tilted left, following Devlin as he approaches the bed, titling right and then turning the shot upside down. 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? Cary Grant is back lit and canted left in his first shot, Ingrid Bergman is in extreme close up, with much of her face hidden by messy hair, bedding and a glass of hangover cure. Grant is well groomed, in a suit; Berman is hung over, she slept in the clothes she was wearing the night before. Hitchcock is showing how together Devlin is and what a mess Alicia is. 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? This particular scene conforms to Grant's star persona, but not to Bergman's.
  9. 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'm not sure I see any Hitchcock touches and if I didn't know it was directed by Hitchcock, I wouldn't recognize that it was from this opening. Regarding the couple, we learn that they are wealthy, they've been holed up in their room for awhile because there are remnants from many meals strewn about the place and the man hasn't shaved for some time. He's playing solitaire and she's still in bed, so we know they are not getting along at this point. However, when he slams the door and she believes he has left the room, she is sad, and then relieved to find out he's still with her, and then he climbs in bed to cuddle with her, so we know they care about each other. 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? In the sense that this opening shows a conflict has occurred or is about to occur, it's a typical Hitchcock opening. But visually, it's unlike any other opening we've seen in the daily doses. 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? They seem extremely at ease with each other. She even brushes his nose with her finger for no apparent reason. I think they have tremendous chemistry and I look forward to viewing this film.
  10. 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 doesn't show any emotion to other characters. When the landlady tells him two men are looking for him, he realizes they are detectives, but if he's worried, he doesn't let her see it. He shows his anger at the situation after she leaves the room. He knows the men don't know what the man they are after looks like, so Uncle Charlie fearlessly walks right past them, again not showing any emotion. We also see that money doesn't really seem to matter to Uncle Charlie, as money is on the floor of the room as well as laying on top of his wallet which is open on the nightstand. 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) A couple of things that remind me of a film noir would be the rented room in what appears to be a not great part of town, the two detectives on a stakeout on a street corner, the shadowy cinematography, the canted angles and of course the score. 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 follows the mood of the film perfectly and dictates the pace of the scene as it changes. We hear the waltz as we view the street scene, but the music fades away once we are inside the room with Uncle Charlie and the landlady. Sinister sounding music begins when the landlady pulls the blind down and the room darkens. The score has a somewhat lighter tone as he realizes the men have "nothing" on him and are "bluffing", then it becomes quite thrilling as he decides to go outside and walk past the men. Once Uncle Charlie steps outdoors, the music is subdued, sinister and dark, and then suspenseful as he walks past the men, then fades for a moment and fades back in as discordant piano chords that mirror his footsteps. The score really reels you in as the scene unfolds.
  11. Well, let's try this again: 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? This opening is slower paced and for the first two minutes, there are no people on screen. The previous openings we've seen featured many people in chaotic, public places. 2. What are the Hitchcock "touches" in this opening that help you identify this as a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock? The narration and the house finally emerging from the fog and being illuminated by moonlight after the journey down the long, winding, overgrown driveway identify this as a Hitchcock film. Suspense and secrets abounding! 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? The narration specifically tells the viewer that Manderley is a character, "secretive and silent as it had always been". The drive to the house shows us that we're going on a meandering, dark journey to find out Manderley's secret.
  12. 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 music at the beginning sounds like something you would hear in a Walt Disney cartoon from that era. But the music ends when the two men enter the room complaining. Then the music takes up again as the bugler in the cuckoo clock plays what sounds like a call to an army to charge, which is sort of what the passengers do when the hotel manager explains to them that the train is delayed due to the avalanche and they will need to register to spend the night at the hotel. The music starts off the film in a lighthearted way and then portrays frustration. 2. Discuss the characters of Caldicott and Charters in this scene. What do the performances of Caldicott and Charters add to this scene. Their performances add comedy relief to the unfortunate situation that the train passengers find themselves in. They explain why everyone has to stand around and wait before they can register for a room. First they comment about the country they are in and then make a remark about Americans and money. Then they describe what caused them to be in the position they are in right now. Their banter is humorous. 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 Lockwood) as the star of this scene. The hotel manager is about to register guests for the hotel when Iris and her friends walk in. The hotel manager turns his attention to the ladies and walks past everyone else as if the girls are the only ones in the room. He then escorts the ladies upstairs and leaves everyone else standing at the hotel desk. The camera follows Iris, the girls and the manager from the door until they disappear upstairs. The girls acknowledge that there are other people in the room, but when they are informed it's because of an avalanche and that the train might be delayed, they are only concerned about eating and making sure they can leave the next day. They continue to walk upstairs and the camera briefly shows the other people standing there, looking at each other wonderingly, as the hotel manager abandons them for the girls. All of this shows that Iris is the star of the scene.
  13. 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? It fits the pattern of opening in a public setting. 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 agree. When the character asks a question of Mr. Memory, he asks very softly, as opposed to most of the others in the room who shout their questions. Plus, he is immediately interrupted by the boy behind him who leans in and shouts a question over him. This character allows that to happen and then waits a while before he again asks his question. He seems like a very polite, mannered gentleman in a room full of people who are anything but polite and mannered. 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? I don't know
  14. 1. 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 fine to make an informed guess about the 2nd question if you haven't seen the film yet) The characters. 2. 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 seems like a good natured person who doesn't let things bother him, but he does pause when he looks up and recognizes Louie, so there is something going on between the two of them, but we don't have enough info to determine what that is yet. The pause makes me suspicious of Abbott. 3. 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? Similar to the Pleasure Garden in that the openings are people being entertained in some way, and there is humor in both openings. Different from the Lodger because the Lodger starts off with something tragic. Similar to both films with the pacing and close ups.
  15. 1. In this sequence, describe how Hitchcock uses sound design to put you into the subjective "mind of Alice"? Be specific. Alice is preoccupied with the murder that was committed by knife, so she is overly focused on the word knife, it's all she really hears as the woman is speaking. Hitchcock's sound design is to lower the volume as the woman is speaking but he turns the volume up every time she says the word knife - in that way, knife is the only word the viewer hears and we can now feel what Alice feels. 2. 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. My answer would be the same as my answer to question #1. Other than that, the woman pretty much screamed "knife" at the time Alice threw the knife and her shriek was jarring or shocking. 3. Why do you think this particular use of subjective sound is not used frequently in cinema? Nowadays, films use music in the soundtrack to evoke emotion, even when an actor or actress is saying something emotionally, there would still be music underneath the words, so this kind of subjective sound isn't used that often.

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