Auburnrebecca

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  1. What happened to flexibility?

    Life happens, even to Professors. I can't wait for my certificate!! Thanks for doing this class and for all your hard work and effort to organize
  2. Just wanted to say thank you so much to Prof. Edwards and Wes Gehrig. This was my first TCM class and I loved it. The pacing, the activities, the work- all perfect! I really enjoyed learning about Hitchcock. I've learned so much. I view his films so much differently now. Thank you for all your hard work. Rebecca
  3. 1. How does the opening of Frenzy differ from the opening of The Lodger? Frenzy is color, the Lodger is black and white. Frenzy has Saul Bass- like graphic design for the title, and Lodger does not. We see more famous London landmarks in Frenzy than Lodger. Also, Hitchcock's cameo appears early in the opening of Frenzy and not in The Lodger. 2. What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific. The point of view shot, the rich musical score, the bridge angle shot ( as the camera pans through the bridge, it is framed by it), the famous landmark travelogues of London are certainly Hitchcock touches. 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. Hitchcock is noted for introducing us to his main character in the opening scene. He also introduces us to an object or place that also bears significance in the end. His openings parallel his endings. I'm sure Frenzy is no different.
  4. 1.Based on the opening sequence alone, what do you feel you already know about Marnie as a character? In what ways does Hitchcock visually reveal her character through her interaction with objects. We learn Marnie has multiple identity cards, revealing that she is fake. She changes her hair color, which reveals that she is running from something, as she also has several identities to choose from. She rather mysteriously leaves a suitcase of money in a locker and then drops the key in the grate. There is an air of mystery surrounding her. 2.How does Hitchcock use Bernard Herrmann's score in this scene? The music gets higher and higher, adding an element of anticipation. 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? In this clip, he faces the camera, unlike other shots, where his face is seen from the side. He also closes the door only and we don't see him exit. In previous scenes, he crosses the screen, but not this one. I believe he's telling us that this film is going to be different from his others. He faces the audience, as if to say, " I'm not hiding anything in this one", yet in true Hitchcock form, his opening scene introduces us to a very mysterious character. But then again, it could be that he simply got tired of the cat and mouse with the audience and wanted to get his cameo over quickly, as in The Birds, so as not to detract from the film.
  5. 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? It is very romantic and comical in that she is mistaken for a clerk in the store and actually goes along with the facade to flirt with the man. The reference to "love birds" is also funny. At one point she asks, " what are you looking for?", as she casually flirts. We learn that Melanie is classy, probably upper middle class judging by her appearance and dress. We learn she is wanting a particular kind of bird and seems knowledgeable about birds in general. She is very even tempered as she doesn't get visibly upset when she finds out her bird didn't come in. She argues only a little, but in the end, compromises with the owner by giving her address for delivery. We learn that Mitch is also very knowledgeable about birds. I would say even more than she is because he used authentic vocabulary and she just used general terms. He is also upper middle class, judging by his dress and actions. 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? The birds are the only sound you hear on a busy street. It's so eerie. Then she enters a store, where even more chaotic bird noises are heard. It gives you a foreshadowing as to the role the birds will play, since they are so prevalent. There is no music, just bird noises. 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 is seen walking his dogs out of the store. It is odd because who walks dogs into a bird store, so you think it's a pet store on first glance , but then it becomes something else, giving us the illusion that things aren't always as they seem. We assumed a pet store, it wasn't. We assume birds are sweet, but they aren't. We assume birds make beautiful songs, but not always. Even Melanie asks why the birds are so upset, and she is told there is a storm at sea. Is there really? Or are things not as they appear to be because of sinister reasons. At the end of the cameo, one dog appears to look up at the birds, to acknowledge them, or look into the camera, as if to say his master is fooling us, so we had better pay attention.
  6. 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 lines run, as Marion runs from her life, job, and boyfriend. The music is short and quick, foreshadowing the slashing actions that will come later. The shorter , high pitched notes almost sound like her screams. The graphics and music definitely suggest a darker side that we will explore in this film.The dark black lines across the screen give it a scary vibe. The continuous running and linking of the lines could suggest the relationship between Norman and his mother, also, as those characters are continuous and joined too. 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? He was very specific with that in this film, unlike others I have watched. I'm not sure why. Perhaps it was suggesting a report, like one the police might write, where dates and times are incredibly important, so we might get the idea that the upcoming scene is important. It does help to place a great deal of emphasis on that scene as the audience is looking for a reason those specifics were given. I think he enters from the outside to show us that they are doing something forbidden or wrong. It gives it a dark, theme , as if we are watching a crime. It also foreshadows covering, as in the covering up of the events- their affair, her crime, her murder. It is very reminiscent of Rear Window, as both involve watching through blinds. 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. Hitchcock typically introduces his main characters in the opening scene, so that is one reason to suspect she is the main character. Also, she is wearing white under garments. White symbolizes innocence, which she is not innocent in this film, but first time viewers may think that. Also, she makes several demands of her lover, which indicates that she will be expecting his decision throughout the film, therefore, she will play a major role in this film.
  7. Even at the level of the dialogue, this film is playing with the idea that two Hollywood stars are flirting with each other (e.g. the line, "I look vaguely familiar.") How does our pre-existing knowledge of these stars function to create meaning in this scene. I think they are making fun of their stardom with lines like " it's something about my face" and " it's a nice face". Then there is the jab at acting in general, " you're not honest with them". Cary Grant has obviously met his prowess match in Kendall. She makes the advances here. Very funny, romantic, and clever all in one scene. There is minimal action in this scene, so any deviation from the overall pattern of focusing on the faces of the two leads will have increased significance. In that sense, discuss how Hitchcock uses the R.O.T. matchbook as an important piece of acting business (or as a prop) in this scene. Without the matchbook, he couldn't light her cigarette and she couldn't touch his hands so lovingly and sexily blow out the flame. Is she teasing him, or leading him on, the viewer wonders. Also, the initials are ROT. Rot, meaning to decay. Significant? I think so. I don't think he was just given any 3 letters. How is Hitchcock using sound design in this scene? Consider music and other background sounds in your answer. The music is very romantic, like at a nice restaurant where people in love would dine. Hitch has the lulling train sounds of it going over the tracks, and the occasional whistle, but it is not over powering. The sounds are kept minimal here as you must concentrate on the dialogue, since there is no action in this scene. I think he did that on purpose, so as not to drown out the dialogue.
  8. 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. I have seen the film, but a viewer just exposed to this opening scene would get the impression that this film is about a mysterious woman. The music is trance like, almost like a snake charmer's tune. The viewer is taken deep into the woman's soul as we enter her eye and then the red is transposed over her eyes, which symbolizes passion. The music is very effective in the clip. In your own estimation, what is the single most powerful image in this title sequence? Defend your answer. For me, the most powerful image is that first green spiral that appears, and almost looks like a staircase spiraling down.Viewers were not expecting that image,as it begins the computer generated part, so I think it catches them off guard and begins the trance like spell that she will cast overJames Stewart. Plus, it is the color green, which symbolizes jealousy and plays well into that article's theory from yesterday's additional notes. As Hitchcock is so well known for tying the opening and closing images of his films together, the green spiraling staircase will become a key element in this film and play a pivotal part in the ending. Knowing the ending of this film gives this choice some validity. How do Saul Bass’ images and Bernard Herrmann’s score work together? How different would this sequence be with a different musical score? This music is pure brilliance. It captivates the audience and is very mysterious. It is the perfect balance of mystery and trance like spell. The images are wonderfully transposed and spinning, which when you recall, we entered her eye to get to them, so we are looking inside her soul. We see her as if she is casting a spell and very complicated, not one dimensional. The music and images help create an unforgettable opening to this film.
  9. 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 shot clearly is meant to show all the apartments and lives Jeff can spy on. I think it is showing Jeff's view point, even though his back is to the camera. It is interesting in that the camera pans across his face, as if we are in his apartment looking out, so it could be there to show the audience's vantage point. The opening shot is typical Hitchcock in that it is busy, with lots of average characters. He very subtly gives us clues about the temperature, relationships, and Jeff's career. I think he is, as he does in all his films, introducing us to his characters. 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 Jeff has a broken leg and that he is middle class, based on his apartment. The photos and equipment make us believe he is a photographer, one that makes great action photos. We learn he has a stack of fashion magazines also, so he either has a shot in those or has a girlfriend that is very intrested in fashion. Hitchcock clearly placed the clues for us to read, without a word. Pure genius! Does this opening scene make you feel like a voyeur or, at a minimum, remind you of being an immobile spectator? What feelings does Hitchcock elicit from you as his camera peers into these other people’s apartments? I don't really feel like a voyeur. These people clearly left their windows/blinds open. If they wanted privacy, they would have closed them. Just because they are open though, you aren't necessarily a voyeur. When he uses the lense to look thorough, then I think he steps into the voyeur role. I think Hitchcock is trying to make to see what Jeff is exposed to everyday, not make us spy. He uses this opening scene to introduce us to the characters, so he has to make us met them some how, so this is a very clever way to do that. I get the feeling of curiousity- who are these people, what are they doing and why are they doing that. I also think it makes you see how lonely Jeff has become sitting in that apartment with nothing to do, but look out and live via his neighbors. Bonus question: if you have seen the entire film before, do you agree with Hitchcock that this film is his most cinematic? Oh my, it would be close with Vertigo. The rich sets and costumes appear in both, although Vertigo happens in many sets and Rear Window takes place in that apartment. I guess,if you take that in mind, then possibly it could be. Since he is the creator, I'll defer to his opinion.
  10. 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. We see the train tracks criss cross and we see the paths of the two travelers criss cross. The cabs also criss cross paths. Even their legs criss cross as they sit down. Great foreshadowing technique by Hitchcock. 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. The characters are contrasted to suggest Guy as a well to do gentleman and Bruno as a " want to be". Guy is dressed in a beautiful coordinating 3 piece suit and Bruno has a pin striped suit with saddle shoes. I'm not sure if this was stylish at the time, but it sure does stand out in my mind. Guy's tie is a very conservative check pattern, but Bruno's has lobsters on it, again calling attention to himself. Bruno even wears that tacky tie pin with his name. Bruno talks way to much, suggesting his false sense of confidence. He obviously lies as he says, " go ahead and read, I don't talk too much", after he just introduced himself and talked uncontrollably about Guy and his tie pin. 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 first the music is light and lively, as if you were preparing for a fun trip. Then it changes as the shoes appear.Guy's shies are walking with an airy light score, one of goodness. Bruno's shoes are walking to a faster score, one of intrigue and mystery.
  11. What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this early scene from the movie? The upside shot of Grant is a touch. There is another POV shot as he plays the record for her. The set is elaborate- she is wearing her beautiful earrings and the saucer where the glass rests is exquisite. The shadows and lighting are all touches. Flashbacks occur as he plays conversations from the past. 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? She is shot while well lit, perhaps to show her vulnability, while his cast in shadows, as if to ask " who is he and what does he want?" . It casts suspicion or doubt over his character, but not hers. Her room is well lit, but when he comes in, it appears to darken. He is in a standard suit, she is in last night's clothes, very wrinkled and upset, as if to suggest he has something on her that she isn't aware of. Her shots show a weakness in her character, but those of him are very strong and powerful, almost as if he's in control of this situation. 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? I can't believe I haven't seen this film!! Ugh!! But it is Grant at his finest. He is always dressed impeccably and seems unemotional. It is a perfect role for him. I am not familiar with Bergman, so I can't speak so well in this question. She does seem to play this role beautifully and her shots show her incredible talent, so I think it suits her, as well.
  12. 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? It is classic Hitchcock in the panning around, her point of view and his, the meticulous set with lavish china and decor in the room. The sun is coming in the room as seen by the camera and the camera continues to pan on her tossing in bed. His introduction of characters through implications and music that matches every movement is a touch as well. 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? It is a little different in that there are no large crowds or recognizable setting, but it is quite busy in that house and room. They appear to be ordinary people. Ordinary couples fight, so that is typical. The music helps to project a light hearted atmosphere, almost comical as it matches his card playing. The characters are introduced via other characters and we start to feel empathy for them. The panning camera of her in the bed tossing and the China close ups are typical shots he makes. I would say it is more typical Hitchcock than not so I would agree with the statement. Plus, she qualifies as a Hitchcock blonde. 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 fine together, but he appears to be older than she is. They both appear to care for each other as evidenced by their facial expressions towards each other and their cuddling in bed. He tries to keep quiet so she can sleep,but she is quietly watching him instead. Their diagolue seems genuine and their interactions seem believable, so I think they have chemistry.
  13. 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 appears cold and calculating. He is very calm as he learns he is being followed and he walks with confidence towards the policemen. He appears to be very manipulating. In what ways does this opening remind you of watching a film noir? It's classic noir!! There is a sense of mystery- why does he have that much money? How did he get it? Why are the men after him? Who are they? The blind closes to represent hidden things, then he opens it to reveal or shed light on the situation as he leaves. Lots of unanswered questions to draw you . What effect does the Tiomkin score have on the mood, atmosphere, and even the pace of this opening scene? The score is great. At the beginning it is lively, almost a dancing melody, as we meet Uncle Charlie. Then, in the apartment it becomes suspenseful as we try to gather info to questions. At the end, it becomes angry as he walks by the men, as if to show his indignation towards them.
  14. 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? We do see the main characters introduced, but there is no large gathering of people. The other beginnings have included busy scenes with lots of people, something missing here. We do see ordinary characters, but we see wealth and opulence implied, that the characters have- something missing from the previous main ordinary characters introduced. 2. What are the Hitchcock "touches" in this opening that help you identify this as a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock? It is very dark and suspenseful as the camera pans over the burned out house and the crashing waves. It also begins with the end in mind, like the dialogue from Man who knew too Much and 39 steps. 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 house seems to be a character as Mrs. De Winter fondly recalls its beauty and her majestic days in the house. Her voice is describing something beautiful, but the camera pans to show a burned out she'll of a house. It helps to create suspense and an unknown element.
  15. 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 is very light hearted and gives an easy going atmosphere to the scene. Even though there is an avalanche, people don't seem upset or worried. The girls are not worried at all, after they are leaving tomorrow without any problems in their eyes. The gentlemen seem a little concerned , as they remark on whose fault it was that they are not stranded, but the other people waiting around seem unbothered. The music is light and carefree, so the characters appear that way too. 2. Discuss the characters of Caldicott and Charters in this scene. What do the performances of Caldicott and Charters add to this scene. They are the only ones who seem concerned a little with the situation, but then they make light of the situation by discussing a national anthem and whether or not they should have stood. The music sets the tone to one of carefreeness and their discussion goes right along with it. 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. Dialogue- She is clearly blowing off the seriousness of the situation with her witty banter with the clerk. She teases him and he teases back, while everyone else stares at them. All the other patrons are told to register with him for a room, but they already have a room and are whisked away to it, as if to show their superiority over others. Camera movement- The camera stays on them the whole scene. There is no close up of anyone else, just them. Placement- they come in the center of the room, as if the center of attention.

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