Seth Metoyer

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About Seth Metoyer

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    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 09/20/1973

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    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4796501/

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    Male
  • Location
    Monterey, CA
  • Interests
    Movies, culinary arts, writing, filmmaking.
  1. It's probably been mentioned but I always think of the final sequence in Se7en where we have dirt roads and empty fields with a high POV shot similar to the bus/crop duster scene in North By Northwest. There are obviously so many more but that one always hits my brain first.
  2. Gone Girl for sure and Se7en most definitely is Hitch influenced. Think of the final sequence on the dirt road in an open field from a high POV shot.
  3. 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. Instead of jumping immediately to the action of a screaming woman like in The Lodger, it takes us a while to get to the scene where the people point out the dead body floating in the river. 2. What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific. Common touches in the opening sequence are the familiar title sequence, score and putting us into the position as viewers who are going to be introduced to some type of crime. On a personal note, although the cinematography is beautiful and I enjoy the long dolly shot over the river, I don't necessarily like the title sequence ( in particular the typface used, although the split of the font was decent) or the score. The score makes it feel like we are going to be taken into Parliament or something. The horns are a bit distracting and it doesn't give me a feel as to where this movie is going or what it's about. I think it goes to show just how important Herrmann and Saul Bass were to the opening scenes of Hitchcock's films. 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. I think it's been fun seeing how important Hitch felt the opening scene was. We typically get some creative graphic designs, title sequences and scores. We are thrust into his world, usually quite rapidly, even if it's a calm beginning vs. an action packed scream. He's taking us on an adventure and we can tell it's going to be a wild ride right from the beginning of every Hitchcock film. He wants to snag the audience right away and over 50 years did just that with his opening scenes.
  4. Based on the opening sequence alone, what do you feel you already know about Marnie as a character? We know that she's in hiding, she's a thief and she has a dark side. She's on the run, has many different social security cards. She's a beautiful lady and you wonder if she does this because she enjoys pulling a fast one on people and deceiving them or if there's a deeper reason for these actions. In what ways does Hitchcock visually reveal her character through her interaction with objects. How does Hitchcock use Bernard Herrmann's score in this scene? We are shown that she is in disguise right off the bat with a purse that has money in it. The score seems to embrace the emotion of this thieving female who has something to hit and is on the run. There's also some sexuality to the score, most pointedly the scene when Tipi flips her hair after rinsing away the dye. The music matches the scene perfectly. Did you see any variation in what Hitchcock is doing with his cameo in this film, and what do you think that variation means? The variation was very distinct in Hitch's cameo. He comes out of the door, looks down the hall, almost right at the camera. I don't really like this approach personally, because it's almost like he broke the 4th wall and it's really distracting. It's also not as fun. When he just walks by with a dog or trying to get on a bus or a train, it's fun to pick him out and the humor is simply missing in Marnie. Perhaps he decided to to this because he wanted to nod at the mental illness factor, like this is a serious film to him. I've heard some people felt this was almost his way of possibly taking a bow after his completion of his 49th film. Maybe he knew his career was winding down and wanted to bow out -- although he did go on to make more films after Marnie.
  5. "Sure The Birds was a fantasy." - Hitchcock "But it had such a tremendous air of reality to it, nevertheless." - Interviewer "Ah, but so do nightmares." - Hitchcock 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? The opening scene is completely a romantic comedy. We have the beautiful girl Melanie crossing the street in high heels. We have a cat call from a passerby, she even stops to turn around and give a smile. Once Mitch comes into the store, Melanie immediately pretends to be a worker and begins to flirt with him. He returns the flirty banter as they talk about love birds and molting. 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? I really like the risk that Hitchcock took here. Coming of so many great opening sequences with the title designs of Saul Bass and the iconic music of Bernard Herrmann, it was a big call to decide not to utilize them. But, it works. Having the sound of the birds outside right off the bat sets the tone for the film. Then the birds inside the store, although initially a bit too loud because it's a bit hard to hear over them, still works well. I don't think a musical score would have ruined the film, but I like how out of the box Hitch was still thinking from a creative standpoint at this point in his career. There's also something subconsciously eerie about only hearing the birds. Watching a film, our minds are typically used to hearing a score. Right off the bat something is awry, something is unsettling and not right. We may not even notice it right away. It's brilliant. 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. To me the meaning aside from his love of "doubles" is that it signifies the duality of the upcoming themes. We have the male and female meet cute coming up. I'm thinking the dogs in the cameo could represent a male and female. Or at least a couple. The duality of the "free" seagulls outside vs. the birds used as pets that are caged inside. Mitch also brings up the question about having these birds in cages. Perhaps a reference of how he views females. Also, an interesting point here in the same vain would be to ask about dogs on leashes. Are they free? Then you think about how eventually the birds begin to attack and terrorize humans for no known reason. Are they tired of being lower on the food chain? Will they continue to attack? Will other animals, pets such as Hitchcock's dogs eventually start to attack also in this apocalyptic scenario?
  6. Everyone needs to watch Psycho at least once before they die.
  7. 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 graphic design plays with the ideas of non uniformity. The credits are split, disjointed and irritated. I also like to think of them being sliced through with a knife. The music adds to the anxiety and ominousness of the opening title sequence. Then once we get to the Hitchcock director credit, the horizontal dismantling of the credits becomes a vertical dismantling of the directors credits. Right as the violins fade into a deep somber end. 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? I think that Hitch was trying to let us know that it was a Friday. We all know Friday's at the office are typically more lax that the rest of the week. It's almost 3pm, and we know Marian has taken an extended lunch and when she returns to the office there will be probably only an hour and a half to two hours left in the work day. She seems to have done this often, and since there doesn't seem to be a lot of disciplinary action, it seems she has done this quite a few times and is probably a very popular employee among management. With it being Friday, it also sets up the rest of the movie, since it will be a weekend. We know she's supposed to deposit some money on Friday, and if anything went awry, it wouldn't be noticed until Monday. Being that it's Arizona and December 11, we know that it's winter time and that's typically the rainy season in that area. We do get a nice rainy sequence in the film that is visually powerful and important to the progression of the film. I really enjoy the beginning scene where we see the semi-closed blinds. It tells us that there is probably something going on in this room that is potentially being done in secret. It also makes me think of the window/blinds opening sequence in Shadow of a Doubt. It also reminds me of Rear Window as we begin right off the bat being voyeurs. 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. The hotel room functions as a way to tell us what kind of person Marion Crane is. She's skipping out on work, taking an extended lunch. She's sleeping with a man who travels, and they do this in secret. It shows that she's open to doing things that break the rules, as long as she thinks she can get away with it. She's sexy and is probably used to getting her way. Even at the office. Her boss most likely trusts her, and she probably has co-workers that are jealous of her. We also see an internal struggle within her from the very first scene on. Even though she's willing to break the rules, there's part of her that knows she shouldn't be doing this, so she voices her concerns stating that this way of meeting up will be the last time. She later goes on to also have an inner struggle when it comes to a certain "financial situation" she's confronted with.
  8. 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 immediately creates an atmosphere of sex, romance and intrigue. Grant of course was seen as a suave Hollywood playboy so it fit right in with the character. 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. Since we are in a closed area, it is interesting to me how the scene works so well. Eve mostly looks directly into Roger's eyes, even when he has his sunglasses on. The sunglasses gives us a hint right away that he might be hiding something. The matches were a great focus because it gave us some humor as to the word "ROT". One thing that also stood out to me in this scene was actually a continuity issue. When Roger holds his drink in his left hand (1:38) we are looking from behind, the next second we cut to the front of him and the glass is on the table and his hands are folded (1:39). This also occurred a few seconds early at 1:33 and 1:34. How is Hitchcock using sound design in this scene? Consider music and other background sounds in your answer. The sound design was very effective in this scene. The music was barely a factor, actually had to listen closely to see if there was any. I could hear soft and faint violins toward the end of the scene which added to the feeling of "romance". The sound of the train, some glasses and plates as well as the match all created an intimate setting which I think worked very well for the scene.
  9. 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 such a fascination with the title sequence from Saul Bass because of my history in Graphic Design and Art Direction. The first image, a close up of a women's face hits stride with the eerie sounds that begin the segment. There's tension in the face, and as the girls eyes move from left to right, almost frantic-like. The music melds with the sequence, and sounds diabolically haunting. The added red overlay filter also tells the audience that there's potential danger, violence and maybe even death ahead. Once the spinning graphic come toward us, we are being shown something mesmerizing. It continues to feel dizzying, hypnotic and almost like a dream state. The music only adds to wonderfully to this effect. In your own estimation, what is the single most powerful image in this title sequence? Defend your answer. I think it's when the female's face/eye becomes overlay with red. It immediately tells the audience that we should start to worry about either this female or something soon to come. It's a very powerful use of color and sound in order to create a feeling of danger within the audience. I also like in the lecture notes how it was mentioned that Bass was fascinated with Lissajous Curves. The curves definitely make an impact in the opening sequence as well. Lissajous curves are the family of curves described by the parametric equations. How do Saul Bass’ images and Bernard Herrmann’s score work together? How different would this sequence be with a different musical score? The designs of Saul and the score work together like two skating couples performing their act to a classical piece of music. They go hand and hand, and with a different score, we'd most likely feel differently about the title sequence. Perhaps it wouldn't have been as powerful. We honestly don't know for sure.
  10. 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 shot opens with a viewer POV shot. The audience is being shown the layout of the room. We also know that this is Jeff's vantage point since it appears to be his apartment. So we are essentially Jeff. 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 that Jeff is recovering in an apartment. We see on the walls that he's a photographer and most likely broke his leg in action considering the broken camera and show of a wrecking race car. We assume he has a girlfriend because we see a photograph of her, which actually looks like a negative or altered photograph. This tells me that the relationship might be strained. We also see that either Jeff really likes collecting magazines with the girl on the cover or, most likely, his girlfriend is a model and brought several copies over. That also says a lot about this girl right off the bat. 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? I'm OK with the term "voyeur". I'm a curious person and always know what my neighbors are up to. I know when they walk their dogs, take their trashes out, come and go from home. I don't even have to be peering out my window to know. I can hear when cars pull up, certain dogs barking when neighbors get home from work, when the UPS vs USPS is outside because of the sound of the vehicles and times they arrive. I know when the kid across the street is on his half-pipe because it's loud. So on and so forth. Maybe I'm a bit nosy but I also leave people alone and don't involve myself directly in their business. So, I think I felt nothing but curiosity, really, when we initially start seeing what's going on out in the other apartments. Their windows are open and I think the way people go about their lives is fascinating. I also want to go to the bar across the street in the scene and have a beer. I bet there are some interesting characters in there, but I'd most likely observe and keep to myself as I'm a writer and an introvert. So many good character traits and story-lines to be found by watching. Bonus question: if you have seen the entire film before, do you agree with Hitchcock that this film is his most cinematic? I think his most cinematic film is either Rear Window or Vertigo, which is very cinematic.
  11. 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. From the first exits out of the cabs. One from one direction the other from another direction. One wearing white top shoes and a lighter suit and another wearing dark shoes and dark suit. Train tracks criss crossing, converging. 2 people entering the train seats on different sides finally converging. 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. Same points as in the previous point but I'll also add that Guy was rather introverted and Bruno was a talkative extrovert. 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? The score opens with some almost fun movements, even playful. It takes us straight into the meeting of the two men and the criss cross.
  12. Good observation here: "scenes where their character is "out of sorts" to one degree or another -- like Janet Leigh lying on the bathroom floor as a corpse in Psycho or Carole Lombard lying in bed under the blankets in the beginning of Mr. and Mrs. Smith."
  13. What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this early scene from the movie? I love the "touch" right from the start where we are seeing so much detail to the set design. We see Alicia laying in bed, room is a disaster, it's obvious she's had a long night of drinking. We get the close up on her beautiful face. Then we get a brilliant upside down camera angle and movement, as we saw in an earlier shot sequence in Downhill (as the professor pointed out in today's lecture). 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? I think as always Hitchcock does a good job using shadows and light. He will leave a more unsavory person in the shadows, like a corner or somewhere low light. He shows Devlin as a towering sort of creature, darker setting, we see him from a low camera shot. Alicia is in bed, she's vulnerable and the lighting almost paints her as an angel. An evil vs good dynamic. 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? From what I've read, Grant is known as a ladies man, smooth, very kind and likable Star in Hollywood. His character as Devlin seems to be in opposition to that, although he did play a bit more of a creepy character in Suspicion. Bergman was known as being elegant, and was very popular in Hollywood at the time so I think this was a challenge for her too. Playing a bit more of a drunk, a "party girl". That being said I feel they have amazing chemistry and these roles are a good challenge for any actor to take on as even a stretch role.
  14. 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 slow panning of the room and then the eventual up close focus on Carol Lombard's face are Hitch "touches". The visuals and set design show us the couple has been in the room for at least a few days, shutting themselves away. Dirty dishes and alcohol bottles on the floor. 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? I think it opens differently than most of his films. It's not hectic, it's slow. The pacing of this opening is slower but it can be compared a bit to Rebecca's opening, except for the complete difference in mood. They both open with slower pacing. 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? Initially I didn't feel the chemistry between the two. He seemed bafoonish and she was hiding under the covers. He was awake playing cards by himself and she was "resting". Then when he played his closed door prank she lit up and they seemed to click. When they laid in bed together talking they seemed to have chemistry and click. I like the dynamic. I haven't seen the entire film but part of me would have loved to have seen Clark Gable play the lead role with Carol Lombard as his wife. Years later Gable showed off his comedic acting chops in Teacher's Pet. I have not seen the film they did together 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 slow panning of the room and then the eventual up close focus on Carol Lombard's face are Hitch "touches". The visuals and set design show us the couple has been in the room for at least a few days, shutting themselves away. Dirty dishes and alcohol bottles on the floor. 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? I think it opens differently than most of his films. It's not hectic, it's slow. The pacing of this opening is slower but it can be compared a bit to Rebecca's opening, except for the complete difference in mood. They both open with slower pacing. 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? Initially I didn't feel the chemistry between the two. He seemed bafoonish and she was hiding under the covers. He was awake playing cards by himself and she was "resting". Then when he played his closed door prank she lit up and they seemed to click. When they laid in bed together talking they seemed to have chemistry and click. I like the dynamic. I haven't seen the entire film but part of me would have loved to have seen Clark Gable play the lead role with Carol Lombard as his wife. Years later Gable showed off his comedic acting chops in Teacher's Pet. I have not seen the film they did together No Man of Her Own.
  15. 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. We learn that Uncle Charlie is hiding out/on the lamb (presumably). He's rich, has a nice suit and cigar. Laying in his bead he doesn't seem to care much about the current place he is in life. Resigned to dying. Waiting for death. His demeanor is nonchalant, like he's mentally checked out. Money is on the floor. He's been drinking. We find out people are looking for him, left, but are standing on the corner. Then all of a sudden he has to decide whether to wait for the killers, the strangers, to come back and kill him. Or he can face them head on and go confront them to see what they do. See if they are bluffing. He takes a drink, smashes his glass and decides to go with plan B. 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) I am not that familiar with film noir so I can't really compare to anything. However after reading about film noir, I do see the style presented here. The depressed atmosphere, the dark personal situation of a person waiting to die. The solemness of the character. I'm looking forward to learning more about film noir. 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 music in the opening sequence of Shadow of a Doubt is one of my favorite parts of the opening. It's beautifully written and timed. It adds the the roller coaster of the opening. The pacing starts of upbeat while we enter the housing complex on the outside then slows down and we get soft and slow violins when we see Uncle Charlie for the first time. It tells us that the mood is somber and the atmosphere is heavy and weak. Fast forward to when he sits up and throws the glass, the music picks up and becomes even more hectic as the character approaches the door and finally exits while the music accompanies him through the door.

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