cynthiag

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  1. For music, Hitchcock certainly could have continued to work with John Williams, and I can also see Danny Elfman or Alexandre Desplat. For costume design, Catherine Martin does wonderful work but I can't imagine Hitch wanting to share her with Baz Lurhmann. I'm thinking Tom Ford, who's also a director and would clearly relate to Hitchcock's love of elegance and his experimentation with color to portray a psychological state. For DP, I think Hitchcock would love the technical mastery of Emmanuel Lubezki as well as his willingness to experiment, but he might not like the high profile he's developed. He might be happier with Roger Deakins, a fellow Brit who has been consistently overlooked by the Academy while doing consistently brilliant work. For writer, maybe Lawrence Kasdan, who already wrote a Hitchcock film in Body Heat and writes both highly commercial and prestige projects.
  2. Several people mentioned Ghost Writer, and I absolutely agree, but I think Polanski was influenced by Hitchcock across his body of work. Rosemary's Baby...the much-discussed shot where Ruth Gordon is on the phone in the bedroom and audiences leaned to try to see around the door is very Hitchcock...and The Tenant, with its echoes of Psycho and other Hitchcock doubles, a neglected but very creepy horror film. Body Heat's (Kasdan) Hitchcockian plot has been mentioned, but there are so many Hitchcock images throughout that movie, and music (and the chimes) are extremely important as well. Looking at spoofs, let's not forget Get Smart...that show offered numerous tips of the hat to Hitchcock, including "Greer Window," where Max has been shot in the rear and observes skullduggery through his window.
  3. Hitchcock immediately brings us into the film as voyeurs with the opening sequence. We're in Jeff's apartment, and what we see would be his POV, were he looking...but while we initially assume we're seeing what some main character is seeing, we soon find out Jeff's asleep, and in a sense we're seeing for him. This happens at other points in the film as well, when we see things he isn't. It's also similar to the opening of Rebecca, when the POV switches around from one character to another on the cliff, playing with our assumptions after initially being clearly the POV of the narrator. Hitchcock pretty much tells us all the exposition we need in the opening...there's a heat wave, we're in a city, Jeff's incapacitated, he appears to be a professional action photographer who clearly has nine lives. At first, I'm led innocently by the cat to just check out my surroundings, but soon, in another Hitchcock twist using public places, I realize I'm seeing many intimate moments...a couple waking up from bed, albeit on the fire escape, a woman getting dressed...and I'm a voyeur. I'm even watching Jeff sleep, utterly vulnerable. I find it difficult to choose a most cinematic Hitchcock, because to me he is one of the most cinematic of filmmakers, but this certainly has to be a top candidate.
  4. The Dutched angle on Devlin in the doorway is reminiscent of the houses in Shadow of a Doubt, followed by the spinning-upside-down camera work giving us a POV of Alicia's literal view as well as her hungover state. Keeping Devlin initially in silhouette carries through the ominous introductory shot of him in the party scene. We're initially seeing close-ups of Alicia and longer shots of Devlin...we're getting to know Alicia, while Devlin remains more of a cypher, and of course we can appreciate her beauty. Hitchcock uses the star quality of both actors and twists their personas to help tell his story. Bergman usually played "nice girls," and here she keeps her typical warmth and vulnerability while playing a girl who hasn't been living a very nice life...her persona helps keep the audience on her side until we get to know her character better and appreciate her underlying honesty and patriotism, and we believe in her change even though Devlin doesn't. Grant is playing a character much darker, crueler, and more humorless than his usual persona, but that persona helps us understand why Alicia is drawn to him and falls for him so hard, and draws us in to pull for their relationship.
  5. Often Hitch opens in public places and with multiple characters to give us the illusion that things are safe...we only become aware of any menace or anything that's off as the action unfolds. Here we know right away something is very wrong, with the moody music, and the narrator's description of how nature has overtaken what we soon discover is only the shell of a house. The end of Manderley, and the characters' lives there, is already foreshadowed. We do still have the POV shot, the creative use of shadows right from the first transition where they seem to lift like a curtain rising, the camera seeming to dolly right through the bars of the gate as though they suddenly lost their substance...then the playing with POV as he dissolves from the narrator's POV to what could be Maxim's, then apparently the narrator's again, then the shot from above and the close-up on Maxim, before the narrator cries out, which clearly can be the POV of neither. The flashback foreshadows the coming destruction of Manderley, which we know is a deep loss from the love and longing in Joan Fontaine's voice as she narrates. She speaks of it as an entity, as though it were a living creature who has died but seems for a moment to have come to life again. By the time the narrator is introduced visually, we already have begun to get to know her and are invested in finding out how she lost Manderley.

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