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Everything posted by Ppalmer

  1. Another film I thought of is The Fugitive, based on the 1960's television show, we have an innocent man convicted, who is escapes from custody, chased all over and yet he's seeking the one-armed man who is the McGuffin.
  2. Like others, I also thought of Charade with Cary Grant & Audrey Hepburn. Not only do we have an innocent accused, but there is humor & sex like Hitchcock would inject (Grant showering fully clothed.) Another film I thought of is The Fugitive, based on the 1960's television show, we have an innocent man convicted, who is escapes from custody, chased all over and yet he's seeking the one-armed man who is the McGuffin. I heard an interview many years ago with Steven Spielberg about Jaws, he became very frustrated that the mechanical shark would not work the way he wanted. He finally thought back to how Hitchcock never really revealed the source of suspense in his movies, so instead of showing the shark he let the music drive the mood and add to the tension until at the very end you hear the one line, "I think we need a bigger boat."
  3. I heard an interview many years ago with Steven Spielberg about Jaws, he became very frustrated that the mechanical shark would not work the way he wanted. He finally thought back to how Hitchcock never really revealed the source of suspense in his movies, so instead of showing the shark he let the music drive the mood and add to the tension until at the very end you hear the one line, "I think we need a bigger boat." http://mentalfloss.com/article/31105/how-steven-spielbergs-malfunctioning-sharks-transformed-movie-business There is also the great pairing of John Williams score to the film much like the collaboration between Hitchcock and any of the composers for his films.
  4. Like others, I also thought of Charade with Cary Grant & Audrey Hepburn. Not only do we have an innocent accused, but there is humor & sex like Hitchcock would inject (Grant showering fully clothed.) Another film I thought of is The Fugitive, based on the 1960's television show, we have an innocent man convicted, who is escapes from custody, chased all over and yet he's seeking the one-armed man who is the McGuffin. I heard an interview many years ago with Steven Spielberg about Jaws, he became very frustrated that the mechanical shark would not work the way he wanted. He finally thought back to how Hitchcock never really revealed the source of suspense in his movies, so instead of showing the shark he let the music drive the mood and add to the tension until at the very end you hear the one line, "I think we need a bigger boat."
  5. Like others, I also thought of Charade with Cary Grant & Audrey Hepburn. Not only do we have an innocent accused, but there is humor & sex like Hitchcock would inject (Grant showering fully clothed.) This film also includes wonderful locations.
  6. 1. How does the opening of Frenzy differ from the opening of The Lodger? Feel free to rewatch the clip from The Lodger (Daily Dose #2) for comparison. The Lodger starts immediately with a woman screaming after finding a body near the Thames, in Frenzy he takes his time & is even a part of the crowd when the man yells "look!" 2. What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific. Again we see a crowd gathered around invoking the sense of voyeurism. 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's opening scenes where to introduce us to the story not just the characters within the story. His main purpose was to create suspense.
  7. 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. Marnie is a chameleon and we meet her as she's changing her colors blithely throwing away the old and carefully packing up the new. How does Hitchcock use Bernard Herrmann's score in this scene? At first the music is used to pass the time as it builds towards a crescendo of sound and rising pitch as Marnie raises her head from the sink becoming her new character. Did you see any variation in what Hitchcock is doing with his cameo in this film, and what do you think that variation means? We see Mr. Hitchcock exiting a hotel room, looking both ways, observing the passing lady as if to make sure no one has seen him. This is almost a microcosm of Marnie as she is hiding from what's behind her as much as he is trying to escape from what's behind him.
  8. 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? This truly is more like a romantic comedy, Melanie's ignorance of birds becomes comical as she tries to show Mitch around the shop. We also learn that Melanie is impatient but Mitch's patience with her is striking. That's when we learn he's enjoying the banter. 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? Having lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, I too would be worried at seeing that many seagulls in one location. The louder the birds got the more tense the scene became. 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 exiting the store with his two dogs is memorable, it seems as if he's in a hurry to get out of the noisy store.
  9. 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 way the lines cross and break the names is indicative of how Norman Bates own mind is broken. The musical themes contrast each other the high agitated strings and there's staccato pattern against the very nice legato lower strings indicate that there is something more to come. 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? Hitchcock is establishing that it's late on a Friday afternoon which is important when our main character later needs to go to the bank to make a deposit. The overview of the city and entering through the window remind 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. It's interesting that we meet Marion in a cheap hotel room with her lover, when later she is killed in another cheap motel room going to meet her lover.
  10. 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. The flirting is emphasized by the role reversal and that she's picking him up. By this time, we know that Cary Grant is a ladies man and from the interview I love Eva Marie Saint's description of the sexy spy lady. 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. The matchbook this adds to the sexual tension as she blows out the match. How is Hitchcock using sound design in this scene? Consider music and other background sounds in your answer. Music is at a minimum, the main sounds that we hear are the conversation with the background noise of dishes clinking against the sound of the train.
  11. 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 Vertigo and it is my favorite of Hitchcock's films, but I think the title sequence elicits the dizziness of vertigo (something I have experienced). I also think that paired with the images the musical pattern that develops with the repetitive scale played by the strings and the trepidation caused by the base of the trombones causes tension for the audience as suspense builds. In your own estimation, what is the single most powerful image in this title sequence? Defend your answer. The single most powerful image in this sequence is the straightforward placing directed by Alfred Hitchcock. I find this to be very powerful as it brings us back out into reality and tells this that Mr. Hitchcock is leading us down his chosen path. How do Saul Bass’ images and Bernard Herrmann’s score work together? How different would this sequence be with a different musical score? The images and score together work very strongly I watch this again without the sound and actually became very bored very quickly.
  12. 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 think that Hitchcock is trying to establish that the entire Courtyard is a character in the film much like Manderlay was a character in Rebecca. The vantage point is the audience's, Hitchcock is showing us the forest before we get to see each tree 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 learned that Jeff is a world-renowned photographer who was in an accident, most likely the car wreck photograph is why he's in a wheelchair. We also learned that Jeff has been present during history making events, the picture of the atomic bomb test. 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 really feel the voyeurism in this film. There's a bit of discomfort and intrusion while watching the people begin their day. Bonus question: if you have seen the entire film before, do you agree with Hitchcock that this film is his most cinematic? I do agree that this may be his most cinematic film but it's only rival is North by Northwest.
  13. 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. Two instances of a criss cross in this opening scene are the way the taxis come in and the men come out at different angles seeming to cross. Then once the train is moving the crossing of the rails is very obvious. 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 contrast between Bruno and Guy begins with them exiting the taxis Bruno is wearing two-tone wingtips and Guy more sedate Oxfords. The men's suits are also different Bruno is wearing a more formal pinstripe and guy is wearing a sport coat a sport coat over a sweater and different color slacks. I think it's funny that he points out the tie clip from his mother over the garish hand-painted Lobster tie. The other contrast between the men is how talkative Bruno is compared to Guy's interest in his book. 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? Tompkin's score has two main motives in this beginning we hear the rising trombones as the porters retrieve the luggage, then we hear the Jazz elements when the characters exit the taxis. The difference in these two motives give aural evidence of the differences between the characters
  14. What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this early scene from the movie? There two major things that I see in this scene: first, the use of light and dark as Cary Grant emerges from the darkness and then secondly, the camera angle as Grant crosses the room and Ingrid Bergman's point of view changes. 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? The lighting of the scene casts Cary Grant into a dark shadow which does convey the idea of a spy. Ingrid Bergman is held in brighter light yet her character becomes the spy, the one who really is hiding in the shadows. I love the way she nearly spits the word patriot yet Grant shows her that she truly does love the country and hated what her father stood for. 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 don't think these rules challenge their well-known personas as stars. It's true that though G.rant was comedy star in the 30s he became more during the 40s I remember him as the submarine captain who wasa hard leader. And I always think of Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca in this film she still portrays the same young vulnerable heroine.
  15. 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? One of the Hitchcock touches I see is that he's trying to tell the beginning of the story without any words: he pans the room and shows us the mess that it looks like they've been there for a while, he shows us that the husband is sleeping on the couch; therefore, there has been some argument, the fact that there are days worth of dishes tells us that they've been there for sometime. 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? Like other openings he gives us a lot of information in the beginning. 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? I love the leads in this movie I think they were paired very well. He is described as being henpecked which to me is very funny thinking of Robert Montgomery as being henpecked, knowing that after this movie he commanded PT boats in the Pacific. And Carole Lombard was already known for being the queen of screwball comedy. Together they just made this movie more fun.
  16. 1. 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. Specifically we learn that Uncle Charlie wants to be taken care of. He allows his landlady to intercede for him with the visitors, he allows her in to close the blinds, he even allows her to pick the money up off of the floor. He's also careless he doesn't seem to worry about where he puts his money. Also, he may be violent the way he threw the cup was violent at heart. 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) This opening scene does remind me of film noir in that I always think of the male characters in film noir as being men who brood & though he may be taking a nap it seems more like he is deep in thought. 3. 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 Tiomkin score adds greatly to the mood of this scene there are striking differences at play one minute we're hearing the downward moving chords which increase the sense of dread, then we hear the rising in the strings and as the tempo gets faster and pitch goes higher the tension increases until Charlie throws the cup. After Charlie emerges from his home, I find it interesting that when the police begin to follow him a lone piano in a very deliberate pace focuses all attention on the fact that the chase is on.
  17. 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? The opening scene of this film starts with a much slower pace then the frenetic and frantic pace of his earlier films. There seems to be a deliberate setting of pace to increase the feeling of suspense. 2. What are the Hitchcock "touches" in this opening that help you identify this as a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock? The main Hitchcock touch at the beginning of this film is to introduce the characters. Even the ruin of the house Manderlay is a character. 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? When we first see the house all we see is the shadow, then we see in full moonlight the ruin it is through the narration that we understand that the house is a part of the whole story. Once we are introduced to our two main characters we wonder how we get from a high cliff to the ruin of a mansion.
  18. 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. Hitchcock Oakman's the film with a light-hearted mood, the music is very light and folksy. I particularly enjoyed the cuckoo clock, the trumpet reminded me of the opening at a racehorse "and they're off!" There is a lot going on in the lobby, the lady checking out at the desk, the people waiting for news of the train, the desk clerk on the phone, the two gentlemen entering, baggage coming from the train; all of this to help the audience connect with the hustle and bustle of travel. 2. Discuss the characters of Caldicott and Charters in this scene. What do the performances of Caldicott and Charters add to this scene. Caldicott & Charters introduce the audience of the film to the fact that they are not in England. They are traveling in a foreign country where everything is unfamiliar. The performance shows the characters complete self-absorption and lack of concern for the world at large. 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. Iris is established as the star of the scene because all attention is placed on her and what she wants.
  19. 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? Like the other films we see the pattern of opening into a Music Hall where there is an audience and those on the stage; however, in this film we see the interaction from both levels. 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 don't know. We don't know anything about the character other than he's gone for an evening of fun at the Music Hall. 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 think this plays into Hitchcock leading us one way when in a moment everything's going to change and what we thought we knew isn't what we thought.
  20. 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) Based on this opening scene I think that the characters are what drives the plot. 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? What I learned about Abbott in the first scene is that English is a relatively new language to him based on the fact that he did not know the idiom "knocking him cold." I also learned that Abbott was rather unperturbed by the accident until he saw the skiers face, then he had a brief moment of recognition and anger directed toward Louis. 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. The similarity between the films is the use of the crowd to convey that we the audience are voyeurs and to draw the audience into the story. Also similar is the immediate use of an intimate conversation between characters. The main difference that I see is it this takes place outside in the bright light of day before the story becomes dark, whereas the earlier films started out in the dark with only small instances of light were present.
  21. 1. In this sequence, describe how Hitchcock uses sound design to put you into the subjective "mind of Alice"? Be specific. Hitchcock uses the sound design to let us see just how disturbed Alice is over the murder. When she first comes into the room the discussion is about murder as she goes to look up a phone number she sees the police listing. It's silent in the phone booth, as she emerges the discussion is still about the murder and the knife. Though Alice wants to forget about the murder that's all there is to talk about that morning and she becomes increasingly nervous. 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. The main counterpoint in this scene is during the gibberish dialogue with the word knife becoming louder with each instance as the visual focuses on Alice being asked to cut a piece of bread down to her shaking hand holding the knife until the word knife is seemingly shouted and the knife is flung across the room. 3. Why do you think this particular use of subjective sound is not used frequently in cinema? I think this type of subjective sound is not used very frequently because if it were it would become the norm and we would watch for it in every film we see; therefore, those who use it use it sparingly.
  22. 1. In your own words, please describe the effect of wattching the POV dolly shots / POV tracking shots in this scene? The POV dolly shots and tracking shots put me into the scene. I could feel the trepidation as the young men walked towards the dean's desk. While the track shot made me wonder what's going on(?) as it went from the young lady back to the dean's face. 2. Why do you think Hitchcock uses the technique of a POV tracking shot? What does it add to his visual storytelling? I think Hitchcock uses the technique of a tracking shot to convey confusion in this scene. He wants those watching it to understand the confusion of the character. 3. What connections (visual techniques, images, motifs, themes) do you notice between films that came before this (The Pleasure Garden, The Lodger) and a film that came after it (The Ring)? Please cite specific examples. Hitchcock used the montage in the Pleasure Garden and this film I noticed the spinning recording to convey the speed of how quickly life can take a turn. I thought the use of the wronged man theme here is a better plot twist than in The Lodger, but one which he uses effectively throughout his career.
  23. 1. How does Hitchcock use montage or expressive editing to add vitality and rhythm to this scene? Hitchcock's use of montage adds vitality and rhythm to the scene using the elongated piano and then adding additional instruments. First, one strumming like a guitar, a second beating drums, and third another guitar, then finally the spinning record, as if the whole thing is spinning out of control. 2. As is the case with a lot of German Expressionist films, in this scene, there are many shots that are very subjective and put us into the psychological mind of a main character. Please note the various techniques Hitchcock uses to create that feeling of subjectivity. As noted earlier by other students, Hitchcock's use of the mirror creates tension between the two rooms and husband and wife. 3. How does Hitchcock stage the action, use set design, and editing techniques to increase the stakes in the rivalry between the two gentlemen? Hitchcock shows that the young lady, the wife, is interested in living life so much so that she's flirting with the other boxer. Her husband is in the other room taking care of business. The way this is staged Hitchcock places the young lady as a part of the rivalry between the two men not just the boxing ring, Hitchcock liked to use romantic triangle as can be seen in Rebecca, North by Northwest, and The Birds for example.
  24. 1. Compare the opening of The Lodger to the opening of The Pleasure Garden - what similarities and differences do you see between the two films? What I notice between the two films "The Lodger" and "The Pleasure Garden" is the use of quick shots between the crowd, who the are the voyeurs, and the two individual women: the witness (The Lodger) & the dancer(The Pleasure Garden). The woman who is giving testimony to what she found is juxtaposed to the crowd who is eagerly listening and hungry for information. 2. Identify elements of the "Hitchcock style" in this sequence? Please provide specific examples. Even if you are not sure if it is the "Hitchcock style," what images or techniques stand out in your mind as powerful storytelling? Or images that provide an excess of emotion? Again, the use of a crowd as voyeurs, the use of tight shots, the use of quick shots to tell the story are all Hitchcock. The use of light against darkness; he used the newspaper man reporting to his office as the light came on in the telephone booth shedding light in the darkness. His use of out of place humor as the man in the crowd tries to scare the old woman by putting his coat over his face. There's always a little bit of humor in Hitchcock films. 3. Even though this is a "silent" film, the opening image is one of a woman screaming. What do you notice in how Hitchcock frames that particular shot that makes it work in a silent film even though no audible scream that can be heard. And what other screams like that come to mind from Hitchcock's later work? Even without sound, my mind inserted a voice screaming. When I think of a Hitchcock scream I always think of Psycho and Janet Leigh's voiceless scream in the shower because the screams were coming from the violins in the music.
  25. 1. Do you see the beginnings of the "Hitchcock touch" in this sequence? Please provide specific examples. Yes, I see beginnings of the Hitchcock style in this clip that was provided. As noted by others the use of voyeurism, the use of overhead shots, the scanning of the young lady from her legs and then to include her whole body. Something else I noticed, which can be related to North by Northwest, is the strong female character in her approach to the older gentleman catching him completely off guard; Hitchcock gave us strong female characters. 2. Do you agree or disagree with Strauss, Yacowar, and Spoto assessments that this sequence contains elements, themes, or approaches that we will see throughout Hitchcock's 50-year career? Yes, I agree that there were elements that we will see develop in his 50-year career. 3. Since this is a silent film, do you feel there were any limitations on these opening scenes due to the lack of synchronous spoken dialogue? No I did not think there were any limitations due to the lack of synchronous spoken dialogue. Hitchcock used good screen shots to tell the story.

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