dizzy.miss.lizzy

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About dizzy.miss.lizzy

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    Classic movies and actors, classic rock and roll, writing, books, and playing guitar.

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  1. Dreaming of chasing monsters with Christopher Lee/chasing Christopher Lee *heart eyes*

  2. Dreaming of dancing with Gene Kelly #SummerUnderTheStars

  3. I agree with everyone about Steven Spielberg, John Williams, and Tom Hanks. I love that they seem to be a popular occurrence on this topic. They're all so amazing at what they do. I just want to add that I recently watched Sully​ and admire Tom Hanks so much. He does seem like a James Stewart type with the lovable characters that he plays, comedic or dramatic. As for John Williams, it's only fitting that we see him as a collaborator with Hitchcock since he actually did work with him. I'm a fan of his music, and there are similarities between him and Bernard Herrmann that are iconic. And Steven Spielberg is one of my favorite directors. It would be amazing to see his collaboration with Hitchcock, and the same goes for John Williams and Tom Hanks--if only that was possible! I'd just like to add a few potential collaborators. They may or may not seem like a good match with Hitchcock's touch and style of storytelling, but I thought I'd just mention them anyway. J.J. Abrams came to mind as I went through everyone's posts so far. To me, he seems to be associated with the same genre as Steven Spielberg and could possibly be a good collaboration with Hitchcock. Michael Giacchino is another composer that I could see collaborate with Hitchcock. He's composed music for a few movies directed by Abrams, where, at least one, Steven Spielberg is a producer (​Super 8​). As for actors, I thought I'd mention Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hiddleston. I'm not sure if these two would be in a Hitchcock film, but they both have that star quality that he seemed to like. They're also British and have that same sharply-dressed Cary Grant demeanor. They've played varying roles, but I can see them in movies like ​North by Northwest or ​Notorious​. Also, Tom Hiddleston has been in a couple Gothic horrors, which I thought was close to the horror elements of Psycho.
  4. Your question makes me think of Hitchcock's cameo in ​​Blackmail​, where he is being bothered by the boy on the Underground. Not a water pistol, but very similar and could have been the inspiration for Charade. Great analysis, by the way!
  5. Your question makes me think of Hitchcock's cameo in ​​Blackmail​, where he is being bothered by the boy on the Underground. Not a water pistol, but very similar and could have been the inspiration for Charade. Great analysis, by the way!
  6. ​The opening scene of Frenzy is different from The Lodger​ in that it starts out calmly and light-hearted. In ​The Lodger​, the terror on the girl's face immediately sets off the tension, which continues to escalate as the opening scene goes on and the public starts to learn about the murder. However, in today's daily dose, there's no terror anywhere to be seen. Instead, we see a really long dolly shot of magnificent London. What could happen? If you didn't know this was Hitchcock, you would be surprised when the woman's body is seen floating in the water. As I already mentioned, we see him using a dolly shot (I suppose you could call it that) of London, which is similar to the opening of Psycho​, even though it is done differently. We see that he is returning to his same techniques but in a different way, since now he is capable of doing so with better technology. I also noticed the discovery of the body to be a Hitchcock touch. The one man shouts "Look!" and one by one, the people next to him turn around to look. I'm not sure if this is similar to anything in Hitchcock's other movies (it probably is), but the precision and choreography stood out to me as something that Hitchcock would do. And finally, we have another public scene, where regular people discover a dead body, which is also similar to ​The Lodger​. I've noticed throughout this course that Hitchcock gets right into the plot of his movies. Whether they be light-hearted and comedic, or dark and suspenseful, all his openings seemed to get right to the point. In regards to ​Frenzy​, I think Hitchcock wanted to open with a brighter scene to showcase London with the hype that it usually gets--creating a contrast in atmosphere in comparison to when the body is found and the darkness begins. When we reach this point in the clip, we realize that London has a darker side than is shown or typically thought of. This technique is also used in The Birds​. As I discussed in my post for the daily dose of that movie, Hitchcock introduces what life should be like before the darkness, whether it be dead bodies or attacking birds, comes in. He made sure to introduce his characters just enough to the audience before getting into the thick of the plot.
  7. We learn many things about Marnie in this clip. She's clearly an expert, or at least very experienced, at what she does. She carefully plans things out by changing her identity, placing the suitcase in the locker and dropping the key in the grate. I also noticed that she's very calm and composed while carrying all this out, which suggests that she's done this many times before. The suitcases show us the different personalities she gives to each of her identities (or perhaps, she naturally has these different identities in herself). One suitcase is neat and tidy, while the other is full of clothes just thrown about. If I remember correctly, I think she takes the tidy one with her under her identity of Marnie. This says, if she is now playing her true self, that she is a tidy and proper lady, even if she may have a dark side. The score is suspenseful but also beautiful, and I think Hitchcock used it to fit with the darkness but also the beautifully calm and perfect way she movies about. Also, it's leading up to the climax of the clip, where we finally see Marnie's face, as if it's telling us to look and pay attention and observe this beautiful star. Hitchcock's cameos seem to be getting bolder as his career goes on. For example, his cameos in his earlier British films were elusive and difficult to spot (until you have noticed him and you realize he's actually more obvious than the extras on screen). But in his later movies, he's not hidden in plain sight. As in Marnie​, he's the only person in the foreground and turns his head to the camera, while other times he doesn't. I think this difference says that he's getting a lot bolder in his later years, not only in his cameos but also in his works. He's obviously reached stardom (or is it director-dom?) by now, has become a recognizable face, and his movies have been very successful in the recent decade or so. As he's continuing to be experimental in his movies, the same goes for his cameos.
  8. ​I never thought of this opening scene as a romantic comedy before. Now this makes me wonder what turn this story would take if the birds didn't start attacking. But then again, many horror movies, especially apocalyptic ones, start with a happy scene. I think this is important for movies in this genre. We are supposed to see the happy and normal lives of the characters before the terror and doom begins. If we were thrown into the story with the start of the apocalypse (in this case, the birds), we wouldn't know any different, aside from what we know to be normal in real life. But starting the movie in a happy way introduces to us what these characters' lives should be like. So when everything starts going haywire, we sympathize with them. As for this scene, this is done by the happy demeanor of Melanie, as she walks into the store and talks with the lady, then by her reaction to Mitch entering the scene. He's interested in love birds, and she's interested in love. We learn about Melanie that she is quick to show interest in a man and is willing to do whatever it takes to talk to him, such as pretending she works at the store. As the scene opens, the sound of birds is loud and clear, making it seem like the focal point of the introduction. Melanie briefly pays attention to them, telling the audience that it's unusual and that we should pay attention as well. Then, she asks the lady at the desk about it, which just confirms this suspicion. However, we aren't supposed to think too much about it yet--just enough to put it in our minds and set the atmosphere. The Hitchcock cameo shows Hitchcock quickly exiting the store with two little dogs, and I love the fact that they were actually his. I agree with everyone's observation that he (and the dogs) seem to be in a hurry to get out of the store, suggesting a fore gleam of what people will be doing later in the movie--that is, running for their lives. I'm not sure if it has any meaning in this particular scene, but I notice as well the "doubles" he seems so fond of. There were a lot of doubles in Shadow of a Doubt​ and in this movie, where Mitch is interested in a pair of love birds. This makes me wonder if Hitchcock had some fascination with doubles of things and liked to purposely place these in his movies, just like his cameos.
  9. I'm beginning to love the collaboration of Saul Bass and Bernard Hermann. Not only are they iconic, but it's that recognizable thing that you geek out about (or at least I do). They are fantastic at setting the stage for the movie--whatever genre it may be. Vertigo was suspenseful, while North by Northwest was exciting and adventurous. Now, Psycho is a horror and the music very easily makes that known. The constantly moving lines make the opening credits feel claustrophobic, but in a good way. That's something usually avoided in graphic design, but in this case, we want that tight feeling and the fear that goes along with it. Plus, the letters moving side to side fit with the title--it's like the letter version of being unhinged. As I watched this opening shot of the city, the specificity of the day and time felt like we are watching a documentary--something that is going to tell us about an event that has passed and that knowing these details is important. Just as in solving a murder, you want to know the specific time certain events happened. Also, entering the hotel room from the window reminds me of ​Rebecca​, and as with other shots, Hitchcock keeps returning to these experimental shots throughout his career (and creating his "touch" at the same time). I think he wanted to shoot this scene this way because it's like we are intruding on them and it brings attention to the closed blinds, telling us through visuals that this is a secret that they are there. This scene also shows us the kind of woman Janet Leigh's character is. Unlike other leading actresses in Hitchcock movies, where they are proper ladies and that's mostly all we see, Marion has a different side. We catch a glimpse of this in Eve in North by Northwest​, but as the Code is loosening, we see it more. Since they are in this hotel room secretively, they know they should not be there but are anyway. As for camera shots, the first person we see is Marion, so we know she's the main character right away. Then, as it continues, we watch from behind her, as if we are supposed to see things from her point of view.
  10. This scene has a lot of meaning, considering the popularity of Cary Grant. Everyone knows and loves Cary Grant. It should just be a given! He is often associated with being a ladies' man and at least played a lot of characters like that. Roger Thornhill is clearly liking the attention from Eve, who understandably is showing interest in him. I think her character's role is relatable, while he almost seems to be playing himself. His character is very natural and very Cary Grant (A+ casting), while she does a fantastic job of playing the "sexy spy lady." I also like how everyone pointed out that he's wearing sunglasses for a good amount of time in this clip. That's another example for why this is so similar to a celebrity's life. Hitchcock had to have been aware of these similarities, because their conversation in the very beginning is an allusion to this. "I look vaguely familiar" and "It's a nice face" is something I can imagine happening in real life. At first, the matchbook doesn't seem to have any significance other than a means of directing the conversation and creating actions where there is obvious chemistry. But of course as the story continues, it has an important play in the plot. Another Hitchcock touch where everything has to have a role in the plot, whether it be the setting and location or a prop. The sound in this clip is used tastefully--not overbearing the scene but also not nonexistent. We can hear the train vaguely in the background, as well as the music. When the music finally comes into the foreground, the conversation has stopped and she's lighting a cigarette. This shows to the audience, again, that there is obvious chemistry between these characters and, if we hadn't already, we get the idea that there's going to be a romance.
  11. These opening credits create a mysterious mood and does feel much like you're going into a trance. It also says to me that this movie is going to be a psychological thriller and deal with a lot in the minds and thoughts of characters. Unlike the opening credits for North by Northwest​, it's a subjective introduction and the plot will be heavily involved with the characters' minds. I think the most powerful image to me would be the girl's eye. The screen turns red, which can mean to symbolize murder or at least some darkness later in the movie. Also, as the saying goes, "the eyes are the window to the soul," and that may be the case in this shot. Jimmy Stewart's character has vertigo (and thus, fear of heights), Kim Novak's character has secrets and is not the person she appears to be, and a lot of mind games seem to be played throughout the movie. I think this shot of the eye is an allusion to all this, especially Kim Novak's character, because there are a lot of secrets and fears behind the eyes. Bernard Herrmann's music fits perfectly with the opening credits, and I don't think I could imagine any other score. It fits with the dark atmosphere and the mystery and suspense of Saul Bass' images. If the music was faster, for example, it definitely wouldn't match. Instead, it needs to be slow but powerful--like it is--to create the effect of going into a trance. Overall, they both compliment each other and combine to create an already tense introduction to the movie.
  12. I think the opening shot is establishing the stories of all these minor characters. We're being introduced to the setting and a little but informative glimpse into their lives. I think the vantage point right now is simply the audience. No one from Jeff's room is watching except us. Plus, as storytellers, it's always important to make sure your audience has been introduced to your characters and their lives enough to feel comfortable in the story and to allow it to continue into the plot. I know when a story jumps into the action of the plot and I don't really know the characters yet, I don't feel like I can get involved in the story. I need to understand at least a little backstory about the main characters and I think Hitchcock does this really well in a simple and brief way. In accord with the above, we learn that Jeff is a photographer and broke his leg from an accident at a racetrack. Telling by his camera, he must have been involved somehow. Then, as the camera pans to the photo of the lady and the magazines, we learn that photography is his living. Plus, he may also have a dry sense of humor (or something!) by having a negative picture of her, that if I may say so, is a tad creepy looking haha! Personally, I don't think watching this opening scene makes me feel like a voyeur or an immobile spectator so much. Watching "Miss Torso" would be the closest to this, since she's being very obvious in front of her window! But it makes me feel more like a snoopy neighbor more than anything--which is probably about the same thing. Whatever you may call it, Hitchcock does know how to make you feel like you are intruding on these people's lives and shouldn't be watching.
  13. There are several "criss-crosses" that I noticed and I think analyzing them increases my appreciation for Hitchcock's genius. The train tracks are the obvious "criss-crosses" in this clip, and as it has been brought out, they're going different ways, which is symbolic for the characters in the story. I also noticed the back and forth shots of the characters getting out of the cars and walking to the train. The camera shots show Bruno walking in one direction, while Guy is walking in the other direction. Together, this can be a criss-cross, as well as the back and forth shots between characters. Then, of course, Hitchcock takes this criss-crossing even further as they both cross their legs, which is an interesting, unconventional, and brilliant way of introducing them to each other. I already touched on camera shots between characters a little, but clothes are another obvious contrast. Bruno is dressed in bright spectator shoes, a tie with lobsters on it (which I found amusing), and a tie clip that makes him look a little egotistical (even if he says he has to wear it because it's from his mother, which I can completely relate to!). Guy is dressed in plain shoes, suit and tie, and seems more reserved and quiet through his speech. Bruno is more outgoing, as he starts the conversation, takes a seat next to Guy, and uses both hands to shake Guy's hand. Tiomkin's score during the opening credits creates a dramatic atmosphere and then continues to add personality to the characters, especially Bruno. It has a comedic mood to it, as if to introduce this flamboyant character. Also, the music is in sync with their actions, such as Guy bumping into Bruno's foot--another aspect from silent movies of using sound to convey feelings or emphasize actions. Overall, the score is light-hearted and doesn't give me any reason to suspect something dark yet.
  14. ​The most obvious Hitchcock touch is the angled shot of Cary Grant. I absolutely love this shot, and it was a nice surprise to see this used in Downhill as well​. However, instead of the vulnerability of Ivor Novello's character, this shot in Notorious​ displays Cary Grant's character as being a little intimidating. It also puts you into the mind of Ingrid Bergman's character, which reminds me of the dolly shots in Downhill​. Another part of this clip that stood out to me as a potential Hitchcock touch was the shot looking into the bedroom. As the record is playing, Ingrid Bergman slowly comes into view, worry on her face. I don't know the exact reason, but I just really liked this shot. It's almost suspenseful in a way, because the record is playing something that could be used against her and we are waiting for her reaction. The lighting in the opening scene contrasts between characters in a meaningful way. As he stands in the doorway, the light is behind him, casting his shadow and making his face difficult to see. However, the lighting on Ingrid Bergman is brighter. I think this (even if not intended) signifies the kind of people they are, and plays along with the intimidating feeling from the angled shot of Cary Grant. Additionally, as has been brought out already, Cary Grant is dressed very sharp, while Ingrid Bergman is dressed simpler--very tastefully done. This shows us that he is someone important (an agent), while she is a more common person. I think this scene definitely challenges the personas of these two stars. Cary Grant usually plays a lovable character, sometimes comedic. But in ​Notorious​, his character seems dark, a little cold, and demanding, as well as intimidating as I have already brought out. Ingrid Bergman also usually played lovable characters, the good girls (which is interesting, because I remember hearing that she wanted to switch roles with Lana Turner and play the bad girl in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, because she was tired of playing the same good roles). In this movie, Ingrid Bergman's character doesn't seem perfect and is mixed up in some dark business. For both actors, I think these changes are great, because I love to see my favorite actors playing different characters.
  15. The Hitchcock touch that I noticed, as well as everyone else, is the attention to detail. Instead of being introduced to the characters themselves, we're introduced to their surroundings. We learn about them through the clutter in their room, the cards in his hands, and the costume design. Obviously, there's dishes and things everywhere, the bed is a mess (probably mostly from her tossing and turning) as well as the couch, and he's dressed in a robe. All these things tell me that they had a late night, and since they seem irritated with each other, I imagine they got into an argument and she possibly made him sleep on the couch. As the camera focuses on his hands with the cards, we see that he's waiting for her to make the first move, which speaks to me about their irritation for each other. Overall, this scene shows the Hitchcock touch in that he uses visuals, once again, to tell the story. No dialogue or narration is needed. I actually wouldn't agree with the statement. This screams screwball comedy to me, which doesn't seem like a typical Hitchcock opening. There's a lot of silly things going on, such as her tossing and turning dramatically and him stepping over the couch like it doesn't even exist. However, Hitchcock always had bits of comedy in his movies, as we know. I just think this is a huge leap into a different genre than usual for him. As discussed in the lecture videos, though, marriage (especially unhappy ones) is often used by Hitchcock and this is definitely the focus in this opening. So I see similarities in this opening compared to others, but I also think it's dramatically different. I think the casting is great. Of course, Carole Lombard is right in her environment being the leading lady of screwball comedy, but Robert Montgomery also had a knack for comedy. I've enjoyed many of their movies separately, and I think they fit together perfectly.

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