devin05

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  1. It would interesting to see Hitchcock work with composers like Danny Elfman Elmer and Hans Zimmer. Two composers with different styles but would fit in a thriller and already have. As far as directors that would be interesting matches with Hitchcock I would pick David Fincher Christopher Nolan and Michael Mann. I think Hitchcock would really appreciate Nolan’s use of time shifting. It's not something Hitchcock did (except as a montage) and he would find introducing something different into a movie intriguing. Could he introduce something into the beginning of movie that was out sequence of events that relevant and changes the perspective of the audience? But Martin Scorsese would also be interesting. This combination of realism and formalism. I think people are avoiding Steven Spielberg because of the mainstream or obvious, but it would be interesting. There are so many examples of suspense in Spielberg movies, and Hitchcock would probably appreciate them. Movie stars. Would he return to A listers? To be honest it would have to be stars that willing to be a part of the story arc and take his direction. I think Tom Hanks, Kevin Spacey, Anthony Hopkins would fit into his roles because of the diversity of roles. Cate Blanchett seems to be a good fit. Would a younger actress like Margot Robbie (the dangerous blonde) work? Really all the above have to perform as dictated by Hitchcock's vision. And I don't know which would fall short. He wouldn't have taken someone like Brando, with all due respect.
  2. The Fugitive, innocent man accused, with a twist on the double chase, the marshall is chasing him, but Kimbel also is chasing his wife's murderers The Twilight Zone Cape Fear, the original and the remake by Scorsese. Really Hitchcock was a big influence on Scorsese, Even a movie like After Hours, dark humor, there is sense of loneliness and isolation in even a busy city like New York. Dr. Edwards of course mentioned, Brian DePalma. Body Double is a variation of Rear Window. The Usual Suspects Heat, Micheal Mann in general. Many of Nolan's movies. Following is film noir ish with voyeurism. Insomnia. The Prestige. Psychological Thrillers with romance and sex as themes, like Basic Instinct. In fact I was going to comment that every movie of this type owes something not only to Hitchcock, but Bernard Herrmann. Herrmann influenced the scores from all these movies. Jaws. The obvious thing is the Zolly of Brody on the beach (from Vertigo) But there are many other things. Personal story. Jaws is one of my favorite movies. My parents took the whole family to see it in a drive in. I'm 48, so I must have been six or so. Anyway, I remember some distinct shots from Jaws. But now it has become a tradition with my daughter to watch Jaws sometime around July Fourth. So I watch Jaws a couple times every year. And it has become something I look for new things in the movie. Through this course, I can see how people can dissect movies like Rear Window and Vertigo, repeated views to find new things. Ok, the point I'm trying to make is the scene in Quint's boathouse, where Brody and Hooper are trying to convince Quint to take Hooper on the boat, The Orca, is very Hitchcockian. One of my favorite scenes. Some dark humor. A low angle as Brody and Hooper look up at Quint. Then Quint looking down on Hooper, literally as criticises Hooper. Even test his merit as a sailor. Physical objects like the rope and the duffle bag. The blocking as characters move through the shot, changing focus from one character to the next. The tension builds as Quint takes Hooper's hands. Almost turning violent. Then Brody framed between the two. A over the shoulder shot from behind Quint that focuses on Hooper then Brody steps changing the focus to him. Brody remains between the two to keep the two from a fight, a foreshadowing of events to come on The Orca. From the course, I see many of these things in movies, like Downhill and Notorious.
  3. 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 begins with a woman scream and the murder, then exposition, and the city in response, the media responding. This begins with a long aerial shot of the river with city framing the shot and then discovery of the body. In short, there isn't any response yet for murder. The music is more regal, a contrast with scores from movies like Psycho, Vertigo. What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific. The crowd watching.
  4. 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. She's changing her identity. The social security cards, the hair. She But perhaps she can't accept her real idenity. She stole the money. She would like to lock the past away like the luggage she puts in the locker and tosses the key. How does Hitchcock use Bernard Herrmann's score in this scene? More great music from Herrmann. The strings are mysterious, mournful. We know she is troubled from the music. Did you see any variation in what Hitchcock is doing with his cameo in this film, and what do you think that variation means? Yeah, Hitchcock broke the fourth wall. It was intentional. I'm not sure what it means. My thought would be that this is fantasy. Maybe her identity is fantasy as well.
  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? What starts as a mistaken identity, he thinks he works at the store, becomes a witty flirtatious conversation. She must be intrigued so she plays along, he quickly realizes she is not with store, but continues, but she realizes he knows, but continues anyway. Thus they prolong the conversation. There are sexual innuendos. Love-birds that are affectionate, but not too affection. The mating of birds. Setting us up for something lighter that morphs into horror. It dawns on me, Shakespearean comedy begins with mistaken identity or at least includes it. And ends in marriage. Tragedy however, ends in death. Hitchcock is morphing one genre into another. Perhaps The Birds are elemental in that manner. 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 omnipresent, always there even if we don't see them. They brush it off as the gulls being driven inland by a storm. But perhaps the birds are watching us, judging us. Later they have a God-like perspective on the small town. 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. One of my favorite cameos. It is just comically absurd, but I just learned that were his actual pets. I think he liked the comic nature and the pet store was an opportunity because he knew how it would look. Perhaps there is deeper meaning, man's best friend juxtaposed against what will be man's worst enemy, the birds. But really I think this was just bit of whimsy.
  6. Psycho opens with title design by Saul Bass and music by Bernard Herrmann. This is their third collaboration for Hitchcock, including Vertigo and North by Northwest. How does the graphic design and the score introduce the main themes of this film? The music and visual layer together reinforce a facturing. Norman's mind, Marion's life (hope I didn't spoil anything /s) The lines also foreshadow slashing. Bass' other title sequences were not as fast paced. Simple but the slashing lines are quick. 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? Dec 11, 1959 actually fell on a Friday. With Psycho being released in 1960, Hitchcock is establishing that these are very real, very recent events. As discussed in the video, this is a transition in horror from supernatural to real possibilities. Werewolves and vampires shouldn't scare, but real crazy, that's scary. It also establishes the weekend is coming. Later when Marion steals the money, she has the weekend to getaway. The time tells us she is pushing the boundaries with her job for sake of the affair. The time also establishes that this is an affair that is secretive, reinforced by peeking by the semi-closed blinds. We are invited to be vouyers again, but later it is unsettling when we participate with Norman as peeps on Marion. Are we very close to being pushed over the edge like Norman? Of course this technique is similar to Rear Window and Shadow of a Doubt. But more effective here I think. We creep up on the window, first panning, then intermediate shot, then a shot takes through window actually into the room. Not that Hitch should have done the other movies the same way, just that if he wants to get into Norman's mind we are echoing his actions later. In the remainder of this sequence, we are introduced to Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) and Sam Loomis (John Gavin). The scene pushed the boundaries of censorship, especially considering our last Daily Dose for North by Northwest was edited for a line of risqué dialogue. Since this is the opening scene of Psycho, how does the hotel room scene function as a way to establish Marion Crane as a main character? Defend your answer. I always liked Psycho because it takes it's time on evolving. We aren't immediately introduced to Norman. The focus begins with Marion. Which really amps up the shock in the bathroom scene. It begins very Film Noir ish and morphs into thriller/horror. Although the first voice is Sam, the first person seen is Marion. But she directs the future action. She says it's the last time, like the skier in The Man Who Knew Too Much, foreshadowing, "The last run, the chance, the last day of my life", but she means a ultimatum. No more secrets. She wants a real relationship with Sam, no more sneaking around.
  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. It seems to be putting Cary Grant on his heels. Sunglasses trying to hide, looking around. But put the prospect of sex on the table, she initiates the direction, he returns to good old Cary. He lowers his guard quits hiding. He is willing to change his focus from looking out for people chasing him, to what is literally across the table from him. Eva, to be honest, I didn't know much about, without the interview video. This seems to be against personal type. But I like to imagine Hitchcock's instructions to "lower my voice: don't use my hands: and look directly at Cary Grant" is really all she needed. The dialogue is obvious to what is going here. I do wonder, was the character's name always Eve, so much like Eva. Or was it changed after casting. So she could bring out this part of her personality. 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. Comic relief. R.O.T. This suave man at his core either has a sense of humor and invented the middle initial for the purpose of conversations, or he didn't invent it and is willing to participate in some self-deprecating humor. But also a issue of trust. After she lights her cigarette, he starts to pull his hand back. But she pulls his hand back and she being the more sexually aggressive here holds it for a little bit. Roger must trust her to blow the match out before the flame burns his fingers. How is Hitchcock using sound design in this scene? Consider music and other background sounds in your answer. Slow romantic music. But the rocking rhythmic sound of train tracks is prelude, foreplay, you know what I mean? A train horn sounds as she pulls out a cigarette, the seduction is complete, he knows exactly what she means.
  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. Psychological Thriller. The music with the strings creates a dizzyingly atmosphere, really a prototype for movies that have been more recent. (ok, looking up the title opening for Scorsese's Cape Fear for reference, I learn it was designed by.....Saul Bass, music by....Bernard Herrmann in the original with Robert Mitchum) Visually move away from realism to an abstract montage of images. In your own estimation, what is the single most powerful image in this title sequence? Defend your answer. The close up of the woman. So extreme that you can't see the whole face. As the camera pans across the face, you see all the details, but not the face as whole, the expression "can't see the forest for the trees" comes to mind. You can't get the whole picture as you look too closely at the details, like obsession, Scottie's obsession. How do Saul Bass’ images and Bernard Herrmann’s score work together? How different would this sequence be with a different musical score? Layering of sight and sound. I have noticed that some of Hitch's earlier opening music over the credits, like in Shadow of Doubt, have been lighter than one would think, considering the music to Vertigo, Psycho, North by Northwest. The spiraling graphics (a visual reference to vertigo) foreshadow the staircase used later in the movie, which compliment the dizzying music.
  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? Exploration. That we are constrained to this one area, we haven't ventured outside of Jeff's room. We are the audience. In other movies, Hitchcock sometimes will establish that we are looking through the character's eyes, like in The Pleasure Garden or The Ring. In this manner, we are willing participants in Jeff's voyeurism later. Right now, it is innocent. By inviting to be voyuers with Jeff, we are more willing to excuse his behavior later. 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 know he has a broken leg. We know that he is a action/sports photographer. Can we conclude he broke his leg while doing his job. We also know he has a personal relationship with Lisa, because he has access to the negative of her picture that is on the magazine. He took the picture. And uses the negative as a personal photograph. Does this opening scene make you feel like a voyeur or, at a minimum, remind you of being a an immobile spectator? What feelings does Hitchcock elicit from you as his camera peers into these other people’s apartments? Yes, the perspective is constrained to the apartment, so we are watching the other characters with Jeff, not just through his eyes, we are just as "guilty" as Jeff. Bonus question: if you have seen the entire film before, do you agree with Hitchcock that this film is his most cinematic? I guess saying Rear Window is his most cinematic would require seeing all of Hitch's movies. But how is it cinematic? The question makes me think of Hamlet Advice to Players. But also Reservior Dogs. The scene where Tim Roth's partner explains how to tell a story. How you have to know all the details. Tarantino is telling how to write. In Rear Window is Hitchcock telling how to watch a movie? We are the voyeurs. He purposefully puts as in that position. What is the audience watching a movie but voyeurs. And Hitch controls all details on a set. Take the cat that walks across the patio. That was on purpose. So we are examining these layers as willing participants. Also by switching Jeff's (and our) focus from acceptable voyeurism (his job as photographer) to not exactly innocent to obsession, where does voyeurism cross the line? After all Jeff's obsession that many would say cross the line, ends up catching a murderer. Edit: Yesterday I answered this but now need to add something. The reason for the negative not only establishes Jeff's relationship with Lisa, but is also about the the inversion and the prelude and frailty. Just the as the negative is a inversion of the print, their relationship is inverted, Jeff cooped up and Lisa coming to him. The subject matter of his usual work is inverted. Usually the subject is in motion. In this case it is a static portrait. Is Jeff afraid (yes as we will learn) of a static relationship. Also Jeff is inverted. He had exercised his voyeurism through his work. Now he looks at his neighbors, sometimes in an intrusive way. Also a negative is prelude. This is a prelude to this story. We haven't seen the final picture yet, but we already have some of the elements. Finally, frailty. A negative before exposed to the right chemicals is fragile to light. As he fixed the negative it is no longer fragile. But later light will be a danger to Thorwald.
  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. The two sets of feet are walking toward each Bruno's cab comes from the left to right, Bruno gets out and walks to the left, Guy gets out and walks to right. Always toward each other. There is a sense of destiny that the two will meet. A low angle following the tracks as the train cross from set of tracks to the other. As they walk toward each other many of the passengers have crossed legs as they sit. Finally as they sit, feet pointed toward each other, Guy crosses his legs and their paths ultimately cross. It is actually Guy who initiates the contact, intersting that perhaps he actually wants the intrusion. 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. Bruno, saddle shoes, pinstripe, more flashy than Guy's solid colors of shoes and pants. Guy is more casual attire, but still sophisticated. Bruno, while in a suit, seems tacky. In the only shot they are both in before on the train, as they enter the gate, Bruno walks with a cocky hand in one pocket swagger, Guy a more casual walk both hands free. Bruno, when they do bump feet, is more talky and pushy and intrusive. Guy only says three brief lines during the whole scene. He wants to just read, but is polite with the intrusion. 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? During the opening credits, the mood is light, there is common thread of the score, but both Bruno and Guy have a unique theme as they leave their respective cabs. Bruno's theme is more energetic more man on the move. Guy's theme is more light and relaxed. As they move toward each other the common theme becomes more slow and the final note when their feet touch.
  11. What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this early scene from the movie? The use of objects, the glass (the "hangover" cure) in the foreground, a subtle foreshadowing of what really is happening to Alicia. Delvin emerging from the shadow to reveal his intention, seen from as angle, Alicia's perspective. More use of objects, the album that contradicts Alicia's contradiction of patriotism. As Alicia enters the shot in the door way, the frame surrounds her, our focus is clearly Alicia as the truth that she is patriotic even to oppose her father. The Delvin enters the shot and the focus shared as Alicia reacts to the recording. Reminds of a scene from Downhill where characters enter frame and the focus is changed. 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? Alicia hair a mess, clothes a mess, Delvin's hair neat clothes perfect (But it's Cary Grant, I bet he woke up like that/) Alicia laying the bet vulnerable, hurt, Devlin upright dominate. 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 think it part of casting is to bring in star power to sell tickets. I also think it the in this case, the contrast was also complimentary.
  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? The first 1:30 or so is very silent film like. The story is told in the first 1:30 without dialogue. The completely messy room, the dishes everywhere, he's playing solataire, is he waiting for her to get up? She is faking sleep. The music is used only in the Smith's room. 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? Although, I agree that Hitchcock has a sense of humor seen in the dark humor in some of the suspense movies and later in Hitchcock presents. That while dark humor is well married to screwball comedy of this type, which is a bit of dark humor itself, marriage on the rocks, this opening doesn't seem as Hitchcock as other movies. Many times the shots are quicker, the music is more seriously, the theme of watching other people. There is minimal use of shadow. And I think that is to be expected. This a comedy and shots to linger for the joke, the music needs to be more light and we are watching the characters. 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? Seemed good. There was a comfort and believability when they finally together in bed. She seems happy and that the fight is over, he is satisfied and needs to hold her. The playful way she pokes his nose. Good 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. He is waiting or thinking, he probably has done some illegal things, the amount of money on the nightstand some carelessly on the floor. Cold calculating. Although not openly disrespectful, he is dismissive of Mrs. Martin. As we saw in the lecture, Uncle Charlie has a strong streak of misogyny. He can be quick to violent behavior. But when calm rational and confident. So confident he can make it a point walk past the men looking for him. Or so confident that that he can be brazen and careless. 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) Shadow of a Doubt already has some thematic elements of film noir. A dark violent character. A level of misogyny. Visually black and white, use of shadow, particularly as Mrs. Martin pulls down the shades and shadow comes across Charlie's face, with a bit of foreshadowing, is he in a casket? 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? ​At first the score is almost light, before we entered Charlie's realm. But as soon as we enter Charlie's room it transition to something although slower and peaceful but perhaps ominous. As soon as the shadow passes over Charlie when Mrs. Martin pulls down the shades the score returns and is very ominous, as he throws the glass it turns violent, his inner monologue, and the score builds, and tension is building, will he act against the men waiting for him, and no he passes by, but the piano follows him in cadence with the stride of the two men.
  14. 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? In the opening for Rebecca, instead of using graphics or signage for exposition, we are immediately introduced to the character of the estate through narrative. While, as explained in the notes, this is probably due Selznick's demand to remain faithful to the novel, it is a difference that Hitchcock accommodates through realism. The camera has more movement and the exploration of the space between the gate and the house. Hitchcock has always used lighting but there is more use of lighting that creates more texture and emphasizes the dilapidated building. There are no people, so the sense is loneliness, our loneliness or the narrator's loneliness. What are the Hitchcock "touches" in this opening that help you identify this as a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock? The location of the cliff and the lone figure is reminiscent of some the scenes from The 39 steps. The character approaches the edge of the cliff only showing his feet. We know from the juxtaposition of his feet and edge inches away he would have fell if she hadn't intervened. We are introduced to information the other character isn't fully aware of. 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? Because the remarks of the narrative we know that this was once a beautiful estate. But now it is in bad shape. It has evolved. The estate itself will have it's own story arc in conjunction with the characters.
  15. 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? Hitchcock begins with a return to using signage or print for exposition (The Lodger. The Ring). We also begin as part of the audience viewing a show or being entertained (The Pleasure Garden, The Ring) What has changed from other openings, Hitchcock is in no hurry to introduce information. By the end of the clip, we have some information, he is visiting from Canada, he is a average common man, but we don't even know his name, nothing on a definite plot. There is a more subtle and deliberate dissemination of the story arc. 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? Yes the character introduced while sparse to this point seems to indicate that he is somewhat a common person, perhaps a little more sophisticated than the other members of the audience still a common man visiting from Canada. 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? The audience is common, most of the accents are common and questions are many times humorous. Hitchcock establishes the tone of character of everyone in the audience. The setting of the music hall public space.

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