BrendaRay

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  1. i just replied for over two hours of writing on this topic and it all got erased, said to go back and do it again. But I am washed out, and it is late and so not doing it all over again. What a shame. But in a capsule,I think the opening of Frenzy doesn't differ much from the Lodger; both have crowds in the street, both reacting to murder, except Frenzy has body wash up. Some of the common Hitchcock touches are the opening crowds, a murder at the opening, screams. The thoughts I have about the various purposes Hitchcock had in mind when he created the openings were to shock, intrigue and excite the audience. The patterns and strategies I've noticed over the course of these opening scenes is Hitchcock believed in arousing the audience from the start, he held true to, "You must let the audience have the information," and was brilliant at it.
  2. Based on the opening sequence alone I feel what I already know about the character is that she had one suitcase and now she has two. She is comfortably dumping her old clothes into the old suitcase and opening up brand new stuff dumping it all into the new pretty pink suitcase including all that cash from the yellow purse. So what has she done and what is she up to? I think Hitchcock reveals her character through her interaction of throwing away the old and stockpiling the new; by having all those different social security card identities, by the cash she dumps out and into the new suitcase, by her washing the black hair out and coming up with the blond hair, changing her look, and then by putting her old suitcase with her old identity into a locker and making sure the key is gone. Forever. I think Hitchcock uses Bernard Hermann's score in this scene by opening with the soft music then the brilliant crescendo as Marnie comes up from the sink after washing the black out of her hair then coming up in her new blond do. I think it is the great pivotal music moment that also tells us this woman has done something that warrants her changing identity, like did she steal that money and is now off to who knows where. I really didn't see much variation in what Hitchcock is doing with his cameo in this film. I guess I see this cameo as another one of his ham moments that he just likes his cameo appearances. And I think they're all cute, and humorous. But if anything can be related to this opening maybe it's that his coming out of the room just as she passes and him looking both ways is signifying someone is always watching when we think we're free as 'a bird'.
  3. "Love Birds". You know, after studying these Hitchcock film years I have come to the conclusion that Alfred Hitchcock loved making movies with sexuality. And so, in this THE BIRDS -- twosomes. Though horror, how could he have his signature horror without his signature romance, or sex. All his films in some way deal with sex or sexuality, either underlying or not so underlying. And it seems Hitchcock was pretty riske in that regard with his filmmaking, especially for that time period. He ventured where many dared not go, and he got away with it, and it worked, and he kept on going, he was genius in the way he put it all together. This opening scene may seem more appropriate to a romantic comedy than a horror in that right from the start the minute Melanie looks up and sets eyes on Mitch she decides to play with him letting him think she works there; she's enjoying it. So what we learn about Melanie and Mitch through their interaction in this scene is (1) they look good together, (2) Melanie likes him, (3) Melanie is flirting with him, and (4) he begins to recognize Melanie, and he likes her, and that (5) they will be a romantic focus in the story, the substory to The Birds story. I think Hitchcock uses sound design in this opening sequence to put us the audience at the edge of our seats with the sounds of birds -- and the set of birds. Yes, the sounds of birds are used to create the mood and atmosphere of a bird horror story we are about to see. They sound like something we all never wish to hear from the birds that surround us each and every day -- that ferocious sound and who knows what they will do. Hitchcock's cameo in this opening scene is cute. His two dogs, I guess male and female. And so it probably does have particular meaning in relation to the scene as we then see Mitch asking for love birds -- "two" birds, and then we see Melanie and Mitch and we just know from that encounter that a romantic storm is about to brew between them.
  4. I think these title design and score for PSYCHO introduce the main themes of the film in that both are fast pace, poignant, sharp-seeing title design matching the psychotic rousing sounding score, like a shocker, horror movie about to happen. I think it is seeking to establish and make sure we the audience know it is holiday season approaching, it is lunch time on a work day, and we enter the room with closed blinds letting us know something is going on in there but they still need a little bit of air; I think the scene sets us up for the Bates Motel because from the outside they look similar and edgy. I think the hotel room scene functions as a way to establish Marion Crane (hmm, her name is spelled with an "O", that's usually the way it was spelled for a male, and with an A (Marian) for a female) as a main character by it being a similar set up for what's to come -- the hotel/motel setting, and by her ending the dallying, rising and getting dressed to go back to work.
  5. I think our pre-existing knowledge of these two stars function to create meaning in this scene by us knowing we will have a definite story and performance to look forward to. As we listen to their dialogue it lets us know it is the stepping stone to their heightened relationship in this film. I absolutely love that piece of dialogue exchange -- "What does the O stand for?". And as he lights her cigarette, "Nothing.". Great stuff. I think Hitchcock uses the ROT matchbook as an important piece of acting or prop in this scene because perhaps it will unfold later on or maybe it is a McGuffin. In either case, it carries the film forward with Hitchcock's masterful signature intrigue, suspense and entertainment. The sound design -- the clacking of the train against the tracks as it moves along and the very soft background music and the cup hitting the saucer is all the music we hear but we do not hear because of listening to their dialogue and watching their faces; but the sound design it is there and if it were not perhaps it would be noticeable but this subdued music background, the conversation, the landscape rolling by, is like a nice light dessert after dinner -- not too heavy but just right and satisfying.
  6. From the sounds and images in this opening credits I would tend to think the film would be about intrigue and suspense, here on earth. Maybe. I think it a superb title design and sound for this film. The mood and atmosphere I think they are establishing that this sequence is communicating to the audience is that there's a whirlwind time ahead, like fasten your seat belts, it's gonna be a dizzy ride. In my own estimation I think the most powerful image is the eye close up, the red, then going inside the eye and the pupil swirling effects coming on out as the swirls and spins continue. I think it is a fierce title opening, and making you want to stay there and keep watching. I think the score is awesome, appropriate: suspenseful, bold, sharp, edgy, powerful and welcoming. Mystery awaits. I think any great masters in their trade would create the perfect score for the sequence they are working on, as Bass and Hermann did. So I think the sequence would definitely be different according to who did the score, their own creation, and so then it would be fit for that sequence or scene.
  7. I would describe the opening camera shot of this film as it's a sizzling hot day in the city and doesn't anyone have a fan? Not even a hand fan? And no flies coming in and out? I think Hitchcock is seeking to establish the flavor of his cinema -- the story -- summer time apartment dwellers minding their own businesses and who cares, except for the wheelchair bound Jeff who has nothing else to do but be bored and nosy. The bored nosy neighbor who also happens to be a photographer. I think the residents' vantage points are being expressed in this opening shot. I think what we learn about Jeff in this scene without any pertinent lines of dialogue is that he is bored and itchy and wants out of that cast, that he had an accident of some sort and that he is either the photographer of those action photos or someone else took them. It gives us Jeff's back story simply through visual design by the photos and camera and his confinement to the wheelchair, that something happened. No, this scene does not make me feel like a voyeur or an immobile spectator, I guess because since the residents don't care that their lives on these scorching summer days are an open book by shades all the way up and windows wide open, and life as usual, then I don't think anything of it either. I find it entertaining. And the way that Hitchcock set it up, it's like we are watching from a far distance everybody at the same time and not going right into their complete privacies. The feelings Hitchcock elicits from me as his camera peers into these other people's apartments -- is frankly, to me, a feeling of Westside Story -- the setting; I'm waiting for Maria to slip out onto the fire escape any minute and begin to sing Tonight. But o.k., in terms of Rear Window, the feelings I get here from the very onset opening is that with so much goings on, I am looking for something to happen within someone or something in this group. And we are not really 'into these other people's apartments' as much as we are observing into these other people's apartments -- like Jeff. I don't remember the entire film to the end but since I have not seen every one of Hitchcock's films and to the very end, I cannot say if this is his most cinematic. But since this is his film, his direction, and that is what he says about it -- that this film is his most cinematic -- then I am not going to disagree; after all, he was Director, and of them all. I will say I think and thought his The Birds was highly cinematic.
  8. I think Hitchcock plays with or visually manifests the metaphor of criss-crossing in this opening by first showing the criss-crossing of the criss-crosssing automobile traffic in the background as that cab enters the train station arriving; then cutting to Bruno's lower body exiting the cab with close on his shoes all the way, then cutting to the other cab as Guy exits and close on his shoes, a contrast from Bruno's for sure; then cutting to the criss-cross train tracks as the train travels and back to the two gentlemen again as they sit, camera focusing on those shoes again, and then those shoes hitting each other. I think Hitchcock created a sense of contrast between Guy and Bruno first in their apparel -- the difference in the suits, Bruno high end, flashy, expensive shoes, expensive suit, and funny tie; and Guy subtle, reserved, looking like a Harvard grad in sweater vest and tie; the camera being sure to stay on their shoes; and the talkative Bruno stepping into the reserved Guy's world who seems he just wants to read his book and here comes motor mouth Bruno who even must show and tell Guy his name on the tie and that his mother gave it to him, as he ups and plops himself next to Guy. I think the robust and great sounding score functions as part of the mood in that when the men arrive and travel, the music crescendos with sharp violin and then trombones with change as the men exit their cabs and their feet, their shoes, 'march' to the train and when they enter and sit, the music becomes soft then stops as Bruno begins his observations of Guy and begins his chatter.
  9. The Hitchcock touches I see in this early scene are his signature close-ups and camera angles -- every which way -- great Hitchcock stuff -- like close-up on the juice glass, on Ingrid Bergman's face as she's zonked under covers across the bed, on Cary Grant from every angle and as he approaches her. But I think the Hitchcock touch too that comes across in this scene is his male domineering tone and character towards their women, like in Rebecca's Laurence Olivier's character pre-matrimony. I think Hitchcock chose to light, frame and photograph his two stars in this scene by the very close-ups and the slow timing, pacing of the scene, in the black and white of it all. I've always loved Cary Grant in his films but I also sometimes thought he could come across as too strong a persona in some of his films; like here against Bergman, I think he comes across as somewhat stuffy or pompous, but I do think the casting of Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman based on this scene (I have not seen the entire film) is spot on, that it does conform to or challenge their well-known star personas, even if they both are such strong star personas in their own right. So I therefore wonder if it may not be like a nonstop pour of Karo syrup on your pancake. But again, I have not seen the entire film so this is my reflect from just this short scene and my experience with the Cary Grant films.
  10. I haven't seen the entire film, just the opening here. Yes, the Hitchcock touch -- the immediate opening close on the food, someone's been eating and eating again and again without the dishes being picked up and without the room being cleaned. What we learn or know about the couple through the scene's visual design -- the props, is the room is a mess, I guess a hotel room, maybe they've chosen to just hole up in the room for a while and have room service morning noon and night with no one bothering them and we'll find out why. I do agree the opening sequence is typical Hitchcock because of the immediate close up opening of the messy table of food piled up that's been there a while, and so starting the story in the middle somewhere -- Hitchcock. Only seeing this opening I don't know if the entire film is well cast for this comedy of remarriage. But I didn't see the comedy in this opening; I do not see these two as being comedic, they didn't make me laugh. I suppose we will see the comedy soon or perhaps that's why it s called "screwball comedy", I don't know. But based on that opening I do not think it was funny or comedy. It was telling us something. In fact, based on that opening it could have also been the opening to a Hitchcock suspense film or murder film or film noir film, especially since Hitchcock added elements of humor in his films, so seeing these two and the visuals surrounding them I think it could have gone in any direction..
  11. Wow, Joseph Cotton. Hitchcock really stepped up his game, just like he wanted to, like he envisioned, in coming to Hollywood -- great move. What a difference. I am not a fan of his first works so much -- his British works. But in coming to Hollywood he had fallen right into his element like a duck takes to water, and these films after 1939 show it, He got his top acting talent he always wanted, coupled with more freedom for his continued artistic directorial expression. So what I learned about this opening and the character of Uncle Charlie is first, why is his name Uncle Charlie, whose Uncle is he and why is Uncle Charlie lying there on the bed fully clothed holding a cigar? The money? Was he waiting for these men? Whatever it is, he isn't concerned about the money but wants to see just what these 2 men will do when he says here I am. And he sees they do nothing, and his walk says he succeeded in doing what he wanted to do. I don't know much about the film noir, and Professors lenghthy notes on the subject still didn't really solidify for me what a film noir actually is, but I guess if one of the elements of a film noir is dark and suspenseful then this opening qualifies, I believe what makes the opening scene here different (I have not seen "The Killers") is the regular ordinary neighborhood of kids at play (Well, children. I don't think they were called "kids" then.). The signature Hitchcock putting "ordinary people in extraordinary situations". The effect the Tiomkin score has on the mood, atmosphere, and pace of the opening is of extremely heightened suspense letting us know something indeed has been going on and it will unravel, just keep watching what Hitchcock does next.
  12. I think this opening is different than the multiple openings in that there is no crowd or obvious turmoil at opening. The Hitchcock touches in this film opening that help me identify it as a film directed by Hitchcock is the taking us through the woodsy driveway then the waters crashing against the rocks and then BOOM the long shot of way up there the man, alone, standing, contemplating-- to jump? The opening uses Manderley -- the house -- as a kind of character in the story by making it prominent, a standout, a mysterious back drop, not background, but we immediately know this house is or will be a character in this film. The affect the voice over narration and flashback structure have on my experience of this scene is I am not too sure other than that there will be great story and cinematography ahead.
  13. 1. Though a somewhat grave situation for the travelers, being stranded and all, the tone the mood, becomes rather uplifting and lighthearted by the music and these select characters, and that clock. 2. The characters of Caldicott and Charters are the comedic relief here. They're like dipping heavy cream into black coffee, it immediately lightens the load. And this is how these two add to this scene; they're like that "teaspoon of sugar that makes the medicine go down", to this situation, this scene. 3. I think in this scene Hitchcock uses dialogue, camera movement and the placement of the characters in the frame by (a) the innkeeper brushing the two men off and running to them, establishing the girls have been there before through the star's dialogue, the star leading the way, all throughout the moving along while in conversation with the innkeeper, and always in front of the other two women and as they exit the staircase.
  14. It fits Hitchcock's pattern of the close-up -- MUSIC HALL, the man buying ticket, then the crowd; and deviates from other opening scenes in that this one is serene, kind of, not in the chaotic or fast moving. So far, yes, I wondered what (expecting) was going to happen with the 'normality' of the scene and as we watched the ticket buyer enter the hall, follow him take his seat and then -- partake in the questioning. I think these screen elements play into the Hitchcock touch by the "roar" amidst the calm -- meaning, we know something will explode in a sense but what will that be? And in this case, the ticket buyer and all the others in this short piece are just having a good time in the MUSIC HALL with Mr.Memory. Or did I miss something?
  15. 1. Based on the opening scene I think the characters are going to be more important. 2. What I learn about Peter Lorre in this brief scene is that he will have a deliberate humorous character trait, making light of what he knows is not light at all. This introduction might affect my view of the character Abbott later because as he tries to unveil whatever truth it appears he will do so with this his humoristic side to him. 3. The opening scene of this film is similar to THE PLEASURE GARDEN and THE LODGER to me in the way Hitchcock uses his CLOSEUP faces and then the crowds clamoring,

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