dmaxedon

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About dmaxedon

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  1. I had a few ideas right off, then after reading others' suggestions, thought of a few more, so in no particular order... - the history of animation ( from the beginning to current day ) - the history of horror films ( from the beginning to current day ) - the history of sci-fi films ( from the beginning to current day ) - the history of comedy films ( by the decades ) - the Universal monster films - the spaghetti western - classic films ( what makes a film a classic ) - Abbott and Costello ( just cuz I love'm so much ) I enjoyed 50 Years of Hitchcock, and the online class experience, I'm sure whatever it is will be good.
  2. Ooh, this is fun, another favorite just came to mind, Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte, which happens to star Joseph Cotten and Bruce Dern, there's stars and not stars, a McGuffin in a box, murder, suspense, a person being driven mad, eerie dream sequences, and who can forget the staircase, and it's perfect use in the death of the maid, Agnes Moorehead, in particular her closeup after her death, it's so shower scene! The music also plays an important role in the movie, and is very befitting. There are several comedic moments as well, in particular with the maid and the reporter Harry Willis played by Cecil Kellaway. The location is a once glorious southern mansion, where great cotillions were held, but now it's in complete disrepair, maintained by a sullen, mysterious maid, hmm, Rebecca? At it's heart it's a B horror movie, done in black and white, during the color era, I want to say Psycho? It also runs on TCM from time to time, and is always fun to watch!
  3. I've always felt Wait Until Dark was very much like a Hitchcock film, the star power, the drug-filled doll McGuffin, the (primarily) one room set (Rope), the wronged person with a twist, and the overall psychological / suspense thriller aspect of it. Audrey Hepburn and Alan Arkin are both superb. The sub-level apartment provides great juxtaposition for certain (low-angle) shots, and also adds character to her living situation (Psycho). There are some excellent POV shots with Audrey Hepburn's character, Susie Hendrix, who happens to be blind, and there's the tongue-in-cheek of it. There's a murder victim, who appears and disappears (The Trouble with Harry), and she (the dead woman) happens to be blonde (everything), and there's a precocious brat (The Man Who Knew Too Much, 1934). The director, Terence Young, and his connection to James Bond (and therefore his grasp of the spy thriller genre) is no coincidence either. This is a great film, so if you haven't seen it, look for it, it does run on TCM from time to time. I've always felt, given the chance, he would have done this film, and with very few, if any, changes. Body Double, Charade, and the always fun to watch, High Anxiety, and maybe to a lesser extent, but still worthy of mentioning, Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid, also come to mind.
  4. 1. It's similar, yet different, yes there's a murder, but with Lodger, it's frantic and fresh, we go from a very recent murder and the ensuing panic, to a more sedate focus on a mundane event, that is interrupted by the curious arrival of a murder victim. Before that takes place, the long tracking shot seems like a majestic homecoming for the Director himself, I'm back London, and look what I can do now. It's very grand in gesture, the bridge is welcoming him with open arms, the music is very British and very proper, it all seems like a grand gesture to say I'm rounding the bend, and I haven't forgotten my roots. 2. The tracking shot being the most obvious, but equally so, the cameo. The London pomp and circumstance, even the City of London logo, all harken back to a great beginning (to his career) that he is effortlessly connecting to this great finish. I have always liked Frenzy, it's fresh, maybe not entirely Hitch, but good fun, and kind of a modern culmination of a significantly historic career. 3. He almost always introduces us to a main character, to which we will soon be relating to, if not a specific person, at the very least, the story. He gives us so much information in such a small package, so we can say, I get it, now let me watch it unfold. Similar to the television series Columbo, here's the murder and the murderer up front, so we don't have to spend a lot of time working that out, and now we can sit back and enjoy the process, getting to know the characters, the rest of the story, learning our connection to them, and how we will feel about them as we go along. It's a very simple way of telling a wonderfully complex story that's often overlooked these days. I can't say it enough, so much with so little, yet always enough, much like the perfect meal.
  5. 1. We're meeting a woman who is practiced and polished, she's switching identities as someone might change their shirt. She's comfortable not only with becoming someone else, but leaving the previous person behind, reinforced by the fact she doesn't put the old social security card back in the deck, it's quickly discarded, and we never go back. Although, keeping that life in a suitcase at the train station does give her an out, if she ever needed it, but not too easy of an out, as she has to recover the key from the grate, which wouldn't necessarily be an easy task. She also has certain items in the suitcase as if to say, she's adept at this switch, she's done it before, and can easily do it again. This is not normal human behavior, and even eludes to the sociopathic nature of a kleptomaniac on the run. 2. It's slightly foreboding, but also soothing, perhaps even serene, symbolizing her comfort with the process of becoming someone else, while leaving her old self behind, like a pair of old socks. Even as she dumps a large sum of money in the suitcase, the music gets slightly softer, as if to say, this is normal for her. There's no trepidation or tension surrounding the money, or where it came from, as compared to the focus on the money in Psycho, which immediately puts us on edge, as we worry about what's going to happen to Marion for taking it. 3. Once again it's out of the way quickly, and as someone mentioned, it seemingly breaks the fourth wall, a feature I always like. Otherwise it's brief, and somewhat unassuming. Note: I got the thrill of a lifetime a few years ago, when Ben Mankiewicz and Tippi Hedren came to Albuquerque for a screening of Marnie at the historical KiMo Theater. There was a Q and A session, and she told some wonderful behind the scenes stories, so cool, oh and we got to see Marnie on the big screen, did I say, so cool!!
  6. 1. I should start by admitting this isn't one of my favorite films, although, I remember it better than some because it was still relatively current when I first watched it, and it seems to get more frequent air time than some of his other films. That being said, the opening scene hints at something to come before she enters the pet shop, but quickly becomes disconnected from the goings on outside, and more about the flirting, and possible chemistry between the two main characters. It also establishes the usually peaceful nature of birds, by referencing "love birds", and even including the fact, birds probably make good pets for an 11 year old. 2. At first, outside the shop, the bird sounds almost drown out the usual "city sounds", enough so, that she stops and looks around. The quantity of birds is certainly a factor, but the uneasiness of hearing so many birds gives us pause. Once she enters the pet shop there still seems to be a lot of bird sounds, but they're expected, it's a pet shop, even Melanie and the clerk carry on a normal conversation, with the expected bird sounds in the background. Then, shortly after, our attention is diverted to the interchange between Melanie and the store clerk, and ultimately Mitch, the leading man, and even the benign gift of birds for his 11 year old sister. This ultimately sets up the premiss that birds are a normal part of every day life, that maybe we even take them for granted, seeing them as an insignificant part of our daily lives, and yet important enough to be elevated to the level of pet. 3. Melanie and Hitch cross paths as she enters the pet shop and he is exiting, establishing him as a pet owner, while subtly demonstrating the innocent relationship we have with our pets. A man with two dogs, dogs that happen to reflect his personality, peacefully exiting the pet shop, as if it is a routine stop on an otherwise uneventful day.
  7. 1. The opening credits hit you like a frying pan in the face, with music that sets the pace and the tension, and then the credits come in and are equally fast-paced and tense. There's also a not so subtle frenzied quality, like I suspect the inside of Norman's mind might look like visually. The bisected text is an additional (perfect) touch to let us know there's violence a foot, in particular the last credit "Directed by Alfred Hitchcock", where it jarringly separates, cracking up before our eyes. The two combined, really gets you ready for what's about to come, even if you don't know it yet!! 2. I think it's to hint at the fact that this could be real, since it is (loosely) based on the real story of Ed Gein, it's not just anywhere, anytime. It's like the beginning of the tv crime dramas of the day, e.g., Dragnet, it puts us in a very specific place and time, that we can actually go to, grounding our reality in facts. We go through the blinds to foreshadow the peeping tomfoolery we're about to experience, like in Rear Window, except this time it's dark and puts us in a Norman state of mind. Them being partially clothed only adds to the voyeurism aspect, especially back in the day, wow! 3. Marion Crane isn't your typical demure woman of the period, she's risque, willing to flaunt the rules a little, but she's also still a regular working girl, who doesn't want to meet in seedy hotels, which hints at her strength, and is also reinforced in upcoming scenes. The whole first part of the movie focuses on her, and who she is, and even though she's dispatched relatively quickly, we connect with her, and care about her outcome.
  8. *Does anyone know what Marion (Janet Leigh) says to Sam (John Gavin) at the 3:26, or so, mark in the video clip? Right after she says "When you're married, you can do a lot of things," she then hurriedly whispers something, after which, he says "You sure talk like a girl who's been married." I've listened several times and cannot figure it out! Maybe someone has already asked/answered that question!? "Deliberately" ...in response to Sam saying "I've heard of married couples who deliberately spend a night in a cheap hotel."
  9. 1. I don't know if they had a relationship off camera, but their chemistry on camera is very obvious, he's Cary Grant, you don't get more suave or manly, he's the perfect hollywood leading man, and a natural, we believe he's Roger O. Thornhill, it's like putting on an old suit, he just fits. Eva Marie Saint is also perfect in her roll (not sure I believe she's 26, but still). I don't know much about her hollywood life, but between her voice and those eyes, she is Eve Kendall. The banter just flows between them, as if they already know what the other is going to say, which maybe isn't real life, but it's why we watch movies, they can meet, fall in love, and become Mr. and Mrs. Thornhill in a few short days, and we're rooting for it to happen. 2. The matchbook becomes important later on, so it had to be introduced, as not only a matchbook, but specifically his matchbook. The fact that his initials are R.O.T. is a bonus, his trademark (now we all wish we had something that cool). It also brings them together physically, something that might otherwise be awkward, hollywood is fast, but they can't just start holding hands. It also allows them to insinuate some things without just coming out and saying them. I've seen this movie dozens of times, and until I started writing this, I don't think I fully grasped the importance of the matchbook's role, clever! 3. Train noises are soothing and they keep a certain rhythm, as does the scenery passing by, and there is definitely a glamour to train travel on the 20th Century Limited, I want to be on that train! The colors (via vistaVision) are stunning, it helps date the film (along with the costumes), not that it's "dated", but you know when it occurs because everything is at it's peak, the green lenses in Cary Grant's sun glasses for example, so chic and modern. Even the food, the brook trout, could you still order that on a train today?, probably not, but it's the perfect meal for their first dinner together (even if it's a little trouty). My favorite part is when she immediately corrects him and tells him who he really is (oops), it's done with confidence and so matter of factly, and I believe that gives her the upper hand right away, as if being a seductive woman isn't enough. I absolutely love this movie, and this is one of my favorite scenes!!
  10. 1. I think it's difficult not to be influenced by having seen the movie, but the close up of the woman's face really feels like obsession, combined with the swirling graphics, it also evokes mystery, and delusional and disruptive imagery, you certainly feel the taut psychological influence. The color shifts add another layer of juxtaposition to the images. 2. Right at the beginning, the close up of the woman's face with Jimmy Stewarts name just above her lips. As a graphic designer, It just seems like the perfect image. 3. The imagery is unsettling by itself, but you add Bernard Hermann's score, the dreamy high notes, offset by the deeper notes of the horns, again juxtaposition, that keeps you off balance. It all comes together perfectly, and sets the tone for an unsettling film. Bernard Hermann is so distinctive, and just right, it's hard to imagine a Hitchcock classic without his "touch".
  11. 1. It's our vantage point, as later seen by Jeff of course, so we know what he has and will be seeing. It's also an introduction to Jeff's world for the past few months, letting us know what all he's been living with. Yes, there's a lot to see, but it's only a small area for someone like Jeff, a globetrotting photographer. It helps us to understand how confining it really is, and that we might do the same, if we were in the same situation. It's a visual oxymoron, a large confined space, where your imagination can run wild. 2. Through the furnishings and images in his apartment, we get that he is a photographer, who likes danger and adventure, he's most likely single, but he's also carefree, usually not cooped up in a wheelchair in his apartment, he travels and experiences life on the edge, and to it's fullest. The single photo of the woman (and magazine cover) suggests he likes her, but maybe they're not officially a couple. 3. I've seen this movie several times, I don't know if I don't like the word voyeur, or I just don't feel the negative connotation that usually comes with it. I like to "people watch" myself, wondering about all the stories the people in a public place (like the airport) could tell, where are they from, why are they here, where are they going, who are they, who is meeting them, the list is endless, and it's fun to guess what the answers to some of those questions might be, something I would imagine, seems very appealing to Jeff too. 4. Yes, it's the color palette, there's just something about the colors, combine that with the music, and the setting of a hot tenement building in a big city, and Raymond Burr, he is the quintessential murder!
  12. 1. Criss-cross is seen throughout the scene, some may not be intentional, but who knows. To start, the cars at the far end of the train station are crossing in front of each other, one from the left, then one from the right. This one may be a bit of a stretch, but the cab company is Diamond, something about diamonds makes me think of criss-cross (cuts). Bruno's pant leg is mysteriously askew, but not so mysterious when you realize we can see the criss-cross pattern of his shoelaces. Then Guy gets out of the cab, tennis rackets and all, which also connote a criss-cross pattern. They appear to come from different sides of the station, criss-crossing paths, then as they go through the gate there's a criss-cross pattern on the wall (to the left of the turnstile). The train tracks and their legs under the table are the two obvious ones, and also the woman's legs as Bruno sits down. Next is Guy's tie, that's definitely a criss-cross pattern (similar to the one on the floor of the train station), and the pattern in Bruno's suit. Based on their dress and appearance, they are most certainly from disparate backgrounds. Okay, while not all these may be intentional, I think it's okay to think they might be. 2. They are dressed as if they come from two different sides of the tracks, Bruno, much more well dressed than working class Guy. But also in their general appearance, whether it's age, mannerisms or whatever, they're just different, Bruno more confident, and willing to reach across the aisle, while Guy is less cordial and more focused on what he's reading than getting to know someone new. 3. The music is grand, positive and upbeat, signifying the excitement of train travel and the hustle and bustle of a train station. Everything seems okay, then it builds, a little sinister for a moment, then it quietly fades, for the chance meeting about to occur.
  13. 1. He starts with a great rotating POV shot (I can watch it over and over), Cary Grant is Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman is Ingrid Bergman, they're two of my favorites, and they're perfect together. The light and dark contrasts are very Hitch / noir. He sets up the story early, letting you know they're spies, rough around the edges, but experienced and capable. There will be intrigue, and most certainly romance. 2. As briefly mentioned above, the lighting, shadows and contrast are just great, it's very noir and very rich, there's a depth to the scene, I mean how is it just black and white? They're dressed for their parts too, she's rough, but looks incredible, and he's sharply dressed, he's good at what he does, spying, getting (reluctant) people to do what he needs them to do, he's intelligent, and larger than life (really they both are). When we think spies and secret government missions, we think of them, they are the mold for where I mind goes when constructing these characters in our imaginations. 3. Most certainly, they are who they are, Cary and Ingrid, and they bring every bit of it to the screen, they're just so good at what they do, they truly become they're characters, and take us with them on this very believable and exciting journey.
  14. 1. Hmm, I see a room full of clues as to who these people are, well to do, spoiled, a staff of people waiting on them, i certainly wouldn't call them average. They do seem to be going through something, and we're about to find out what it is. It's probably going to be fun, and being a Hitch-pic, we are thinking it might be adventurous. There are some tracking shots that are reminiscent of Hitchcock, but if I didn't know it was his work, I don't know that I would have picked up on it, especially based on the subject matter, even though there are some familiar thematic elements, the couple in love, adventure, the camera work, etc. 2. Not really, it feels typical for the period and genre, but to say it is definitive Hitchcock, I'm not so sure. Is it good, yes, could only Hitchcock have done it, I'm not so sure. 3. They seem okay together, but he's not particularly likable, although, she isn't either, so maybe they're suited for each other. I decided to watch the movie, which I guess I hadn't ever done before, at least I don't have a memory of ever having done so, it was very difficult to get into, some funny spots, but it just felt like other movies from that period, good, but nothing special. Her quick change to be willing to be rid of him, even becoming engaged, was uncomfortable to watch, like the whole thing could have ended there, but of course they really do love each other, at least that's what the script says.
  15. 1. He's in a boarding house, that provides some insight as to who he might be right there, he's well dressed, surrounded by cash, smoking a cigar, relaxed about what's to come, and even what may have happened the night before. In his reaction to the landlady telling him about the two men who visited, he seems well spoken, opinionated, but also mysterious, cutting and on edge. Surprisingly, we learn a lot about his true nature in just a few moments. I like how others pointed out the landlady is willing to protect him, as a nod to his ability to charm women, women who might not otherwise garner attention, something I missed on multiple watchings. 2. It's gritty, and while there's no inner dialogue, we're introduced to a potentially dark character, who is both intelligent and calculating, and also about to go through an ordeal. The two gentlemen on the corner are no doubt detectives, and they begin to follow him, the chase is on. 3. There's an urgency, and also a rhythm, that sort of sets the pace, something is foreboding, and he's rushed / pressured to make the next move. It also fits the backdrop of big city, and possibly crime.

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