DeeGee

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  1. 1. How does the opening of Frenzy differ from the The Lodger. Aside from silent movie versus modern color movie, The Lodger opens with a woman screaming and then dead on the ground. A crowd has gathered by the river because of the murder and police are speaking with people at the scene taking statements. The Lodger portrays the fear and panic of the people upon discovering the murdered woman. Frenzy opens quite peacefully with uplifting music and a beautiful aerial view of London. The camera pans in on a crowd (also by the river) listening to a seemingly long-winded politician with perfect diction. A man at the edge of the crowd, closest to the river's edge draws attention to a body floating in the river. One by one people turn to notice the partially clothed woman's body floating by. The crowd in The Lodgers gathers because of the murder and in Frenzy, the crowd is gathered for something else entirely and oh - by the way, there's a body floating in the river. 2. Common Hitchcock touches in the opening scene. A panoramic view of a public place, famous landmarks in the scene. The cameo appearance of Hitchcock of course, but this time (as in other later movies of his), he is easy to spot and stands out in the crowd - this time as the only man wearing a hat and is stark still in contrast to other people around him all moving in some fashion. With the people standing nearest the river's edge beginning with the man who first notices the woman's body floating in the river - each subsequent person turns around one at a time as if they are noticing this in slow motion. It reminded me of the scene in The Birds where Tippi Hedren is in the restaurant with the others. As she stands there, mouth gaping in horror, the camera cuts from her face then to the destruction caused by the birds then back to her face again. Each time, her face has moved and looking at a different scene but her reaction is captured frame by frame. 3. What did Hitchcock have in mind with his opening scenes? To engage his audience from the start of the film. Some films begin slowly and can be a bit boring until they get going or you figure out what's going on. I don't find Hitchcock films to be that way. Whether it begins with a close-up of a woman's face in a silent film, or a large grand view of a beautiful city or landscape - or even slowly coming upon an open window of someone's apartment as in Rear Window where we feel as though we're eavesdropping - it grabs your attention right away.
  2. 1. What do you feel you already know about Marnie as a character? She appears to have stolen the money that she empties into a suitcase - as she goes to great lengths to assume a new identity and it seems she has done this more than once by the appearance of about three social security cards. She is disposing of an old identity not only with a social security card and name but also buying all new clothes, a new haircolor and hairstyle - even leaving all her old clothes and purse in a suitcase in a locker then disposes of the key. 2. How does Hitchcock use Bernard Hermann's score in this scene? As the scene opens focusing on the yellow purse and up until the time Marnie reveals her face for the first time with her new identify and new hair color, the music remains mysterious, suspenseful - with an edge to it. However, as she lifts her head from the sink, revealing her new look (plus showing her face for the first time), the music softens, which does tend to make one sympathetic to Marnie, as Dr. Edwards mentioned in the lecture. At the time, you don't know why you are feeling this emotion for someone who obviously has something criminal to hide. That feeling stays with you and is enhanced as you watch more of the movie. 3. Any variation in what Hitchcock is doing with his cameo in this film....? I noticed with this movie and with The Birds the cameo is right at the beginning of the film and impossible to miss. As in both films, you are already looking directly at the scene at hand and he just steps into the scene. Most of his other films you have to really concentrate on where he might be in the crowd - or in a newspaper ad that one of the characters is holding in a particular scene, in the background - profiled in a neon light. I really appreciated the easy spot of the cameo - again so I could just enjoy the film and not worry about missing anything.
  3. 1. Opening scene more appropriate to a romantic comedy... Throughout the scene, Mitch and Melanie play a sort of cat and mouse game flirting with each other. When she first sees him, it's obvious she's interested in him and goes along with his mistaking her for an employee of the pet shop. He's on to her rather quickly and tries to trip her up repeatedly. Both Mitch and Melanie are well dressed, attractive young people, intelligent and with style. We also learn a bit about Mitch having a bit of a softer side as he is shopping for his younger sister's birthday - getting her something special for her birthday. As we learn later in the film, Mitch's close-knit family is in stark contrast to Melanie's family support system. 2. Sound design in the opening sequence. The only sound you really hear are birds. The background noises of traffic and the cable car are heard but they are somewhat muted. The bird sounds are louder than you would expect and as Melanie looks up at the sky and sees the birds in the sky, it is a larger of group of birds flying than what you would expect. She had been smiling until she spotted the birds and her concern is conveyed to the pet shop owner/manager. Also as she enters the pet shop, the predominant sound is again-birds. The loud sound of birds outside coupled with the amount of birds in the sky - the sight of which wipes the smile from the face of Melanie, adds a bit of concern to the audience I feel. The viewer knows the film is about 'The Birds' and you're left wondering what all these noisy birds will be up to in the film! 3. Famous Hitchcock cameo I don't think the cameo has any particular meaning in relation to the scene except for that fact that Hitchcock fans and viewers of his films in general have come to expect it. To me it's 'the cherry on top' to his films and I'm always looking for the cameo. The real meaning to me is that upon spotting him in such an easy to spot cameo, I can now concentrate on enjoying the movie!
  4. 1. Psycho title design and music by Saul Bass. The score and the title design for this movie are both perfect. The music is edgy with sort of a nervous-sounding pitch to it - the use of string instruments only enhances the effect. The lines going in and out from both sides adds to the edginess. When the title of the film appears on the screen, the word splits on screen and shifts back and forth to suggest psychotic behavior of some kind and the split and shifting title of the film lingers on the screen maybe a second or two longer. The music also works well as Marion is traveling to Fairvale to see Sam Loomis. She's in a hurry, driving in bad weather, the music slows at the point where she gets lost and takes a wrong turn - though that is not in the opening scene. 2. What is Hitchcock seeking to establish From the title sequence, the music becomes quieter and calmer as it shifts to the scene of the city and to the hotel room occupied by John Gavin and Janet Leigh. However, the name of the city and the date appear on the screen and the musical score takes on a slightly foreboding tone and then the date appears on the screen - as if to warn the viewer that something unpleasant may occur. Announcing the place, date and time on a movie screen usually doesn't announce good things. Entering the scene slowly through the open window makes the viewer appear as a Peeping Tom and adds to the fact that the couple in the room are 'sneaking around' having an affair in seedy hotel rooms on a weekday lunch break. This is reminiscent of Rear Window as we become Peeping Toms along with James Stewart. 3.How does the hotel room scene function as a way to establish Marion Crane as a main character. When you first glimpse the couple, you see Marion Crane lying on the bed - the camera faces her, the lights are on her. Everything else in the room is somewhat darker. Marion's slip and bra are white - she stands out.. We see John Gavin from the back for a few seconds, in shadow. When she begins speaking, she is talking about her boss, her frustration with the relationship, her willingness to help the situation to help the relationship, etc. She is talking about things involving her, which all add to establishing her as a main character.
  5. 1. The role is perfect for Cary Grant. He had played the same type of roll throughout his career - but to me it seemed fresh and new each time. I never tired of seeing him in movies. His comedic roles were wonderful. The humor in this movie seems more sophisticated and it works perfectly. I haven't seen a lot of Miss Saint's movies but in the ones I have seen, her characters didn't come across as polished and as classy as her Miss Kendall. Grace Kelly has always come to mind as the epitome of class and glamour, but Eva Marie Saint holds her own in North by Northwest. 2. The way that the camera closed in on the matchbook cover and with the two main characters mention of it in conversation put a red circle around it as it plays an important role later on in the movie. 3. The music in the scene is romantic in tone but it's not a key feature in the scene - the conversation between the main characters is. The noise of the train moving over the tracks is a bit more prominent than the background music, but again is secondary to the music. You hardly notice the music at all but you do notice the background rhythm of the train moving down the tracks.
  6. 1. Describe what you think this film will be about from the opening sequence. The focus on the woman's face in the opening sequence starts to give me the impression she is being examined - especially when she looks to first one side then the other - moving only her eyes. Then her eyes open wide and the music suddenly gets louder. The spiraling Lissajous figures start and the music (that are like musical scales going up and down) become faster and you imagine the music Is spinning with the Lissajous spirals. You get the feeling maybe the woman's is spiraling out of control. Right away there is a mystery about the woman and you want to find out what the mystery is. 2. What is the single most powerful image in the title sequence? For me, it's the woman's eyes becoming wide and frightened and the spiraling within her eyes - exactly when the word 'Vertigo' appears on the screen. - along with the dramatic music. The music gets louder right as her eyes widen - which you don't expect and it gives you a little jolt. You're left wondering why she's scared and the mystery is intriguing. 3. How do the images and musical score work together. The spiraling images together with the music which is a repetitive up and down scale that seems to be spinning around and around, faster and faster - along with the visual spirals go hand and hand. If a different musical score was used, it would simply be music and visual art not an emotional and psychological effect with the two put together. Different music I think would just make the spiraling Lissajous figures just look strange.
  7. 1. Opening Camera Shot The beginning of the movie is sort of introduction. An introduction to the world of L. B. Jeffries as he is confined to a wheelchair to convalesce while a broken leg mends. It's the world as seen by L. B. Jeffries who seemingly doesn't have much to do but look out his window However, as Mr. Jeffries is asleep in the opening shot with his back to the window, we as viewers are peeping in on the Peeping Tom. 2. What do we learn about Jeff The beginning of the movie - without any sound other than music - introduces us to the neighborhood of L. B. Jeffries as the camera moves from one apartment to another showing us a snippet of the occupant(s) and their daily lives. Then in a very short time frame, the camera moves on to Mr. Jeffries himself and lets us know that the weather is very hot by the sweat on his face and that he is confined to a wheelchair due to a broken leg he acquired as an acclaimed photographer (as noted by a framed negative of a picture that adorns what looks like a very popular magazine) on a dangerous photo shoot that also broke his camera. That's a lot to learn in two in less than a half minutes! 3. Does the opening of the film make you feel like a voyeur or an immobile spectator. I think it does both. I certainly felt like somewhat of a voyeur as we come upon L. B. Jeffries asleep in his wheelchair 'spying' on him in his apartment, but as you look out his window to see what he sees - confined to that room and that view, you feel more like a spectator. The occupants in the apartments across the way provide enough information that you can guess their occupation (for some), their daily routines (turning off the alarm - time for work, uncovering the bird cage in the morning, etc.). All of this creates curiosity. I think most of us are naturally voyeuristic to a certain degree - although most of us wouldn't use a telescopic lens to spy on our neighbors! 4. Is this film Hitchcock's most cinematic? I would have to agree with that statement. With all the goings-on in the apartments across from Mr. Jeffries, it's like watching mini movies within a larger movie. You want to find out if Mr. Composer's song will be finished, will Miss Lonely Hearts find love, will The Newlyweds be happy, will Jeff & Lisa be happy - and where is Thornwold's wife?! It's a great movie!
  8. 1. Criss-Cross First you notice the crossed railroad tracks - crossing over and over. On the train the two men cross their legs and bump into each other. 2. Contrast in appearance The first contrast to me, of course, is in their appearance. Bruno is dressed 'to the nines' and is more flashy - especially with the spectator shoes and the lobster tie. Guy, on the other hand, is casual and more conservative in his clothing as well as his manner. Bruno chatters away and shares too much information and Guy only confirms information that Bruno already knows - and does that rather reluctantly. Bruno comes across as very self-assured and more charismatic but also maybe a little 'off' somehow. Guy is friendly and somewhat private. 3. Dimitri Tiomkin score I thought the score was somewhat dramatic in nature but certainly not 'doom and gloom.' Cutting to the men exiting the cars the music changed and the music was a bit different for each man. That part of the music seemed to suggest the business of traveling, hustle and bustle, etc.
  9. 1. Hitchcock 'touches' in early scene from Notorious. What jumps out especially is the P.O.V. shot of Ingrid Bergman lying in bed, hungover, and seeing Cary Grant (in shadow), standing in the doorway, and the angle of the camera as he enters the room, the rolling image of him walking towards her makes me feel the pain of her hangover! How Hitchcock frames each scene always seems to stand out - the way he uses light and shadow; as I mentioned, Cary Grant standing in the doorway in shadow - the only light coming from the room behind him. In the first scene, how Cary Grant is not shown or heard from - again in shadow. 2. How does Hitchcock choose to light, frame, and photograph his two stars in this scene? What ae some of the contrasts. . . .to set up the two characters. . . As mentioned in my response to question #1, Cary Grant appears twice in shadow - saying nothing, which forms a sort of mystique about him. Whereas Ingrid Bergman is sort of 'all over the place' with showing emotions - anger, vulnerability, mistrustful - maybe a little scared as well. Cary Grant keeps his emotions under wraps, which becomes sort of aggravating as the movie progresses; both Grant and Bergman constantly misreading each other. I felt that their costumes worked well against the backdrops of the scenes - light against dark. Each scene seemed to stand out more. 3. Reflect on the casting of Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman. Does this scene conform to or challenge their well-known star personas? I think the casting was perfect throughout this movie. Grant and Bergman especially - their chemistry was believable to me. I've always loved Claude Rains. Although he stood only about 5' 7", when he appeared in a scene - he owned it. While watching him in a scene, you never noticed his height.! Leopoldine Konstantin as Alexander's mother was downright scary and utterly perfect in the movie. When she walked downstairs and into the entry hall to first meet Alicia - all pale and severe in her appearance, you could almost feel the iciness emanating from her. I loved the scene in the movie where Alexander reveals to his mother Alicia's betrayal and out comes the cigarette and she's transformed from a cold yet proper woman into a hardened, street-wise woman whose evilness has just surfaced. Great casting throughout!
  10. 1. Hitchcock 'touches' in Mr. & Mrs. Smith opening scene - It was a little hard for me to find the 'Hitchcock touch' in the opening scene of this movie - being such a departure from most of his other films. I admit I don't care much for this movie - I hope I don't flunk this class for saying that! I'm not much on screwball comedies anymore - too cynical in my old age perhaps. I did feel that the opening scene with the camera panning the disarray of their bedroom was something he would do - giving the audience a lot of information up front but, of course, it just left you wondering why it looked like that - why the two of them were behaving that way. Also some of the camera angles again reminding me of storyboarding - setting up the images just right. For example, the elder housekeeper (I'm assuming) walking towards the kitchen with the younger maid and the telephone rings. The scene shows the two women in the kitchen - a long camera angle - and they are perfectly framed in doorway, flanked by two glass partitions upon entering the kitchen. 2. Do you agree that the opening scene is a typical 'Hitchcock opening.' No - not at all. I have to say that it seemed typical for a screwball comedy from that era. That's not to say that the film wasn't well made. Hitchcock being a master at his craft experimented with different genres and to me that shows someone who continues to grow and push themselves. 3. I felt that the chemistry between Carole Lombard and Robert Montgomery was very good. They were believable as a couple and they seemed comfortable and in tune with each other. I thought they were well cast in the film - I just don't care for screwball comedies as I once did. The comedic moments were good, however. I especially liked Robert Montgomery's reaction to the cat not eating the soup at the restaurant funny and a little unexpected.
  11. 1. Uncle Charlie's character: Upon first glance, you see a very well dressed man, very neat in appearance although it seems a bit strange that he's lying, fully dressed on the bed staring straight up at the ceiling - money carelessly tossed on a nightstand spilling onto the floor as though it was unimportant. Upon the entrance of his landlady, he doesn't turn towards her, doesn't move a muscle and speaks in a quiet monotone voice throughout their conversation and only once speaks directly to her when discussing the two men looking for him. He shows no emotion until she leaves, and in a darkened room, throws a glass across the room in a sudden rage. His quiet monotone voice alone I found sinister and scary. To me the scene showed that there was something evil lurking beneath the surface of 'Uncle Charlie.' 2. In what ways did the opening remind me of a film noir? At first, watching children play in the neighborhood, although not an upscale side of town by any means, the neighborhood didn't seem run-down or seedy, not affluent but better than a lot of boarding houses you typically would see in a film noir. Uncle Charlie's appearance doesn't typically evoke a feeling of noir - at first, but his stone-face, quiet monotone voice and sinister overtones surely does. Upon rising from the bed in a darkened room and going to the window having a narrative in his mind about the two men outside having 'nothing on him' - the feeling of noir comes alive and continues as he opens the door to leave his room and you watch his shadow going down the hall - and as he nonchalantly passes by the two detectives down the street. 3. What effect does the Tiomkin score have on the scene. Upon the opening of the scene, the children playing in the street, the camera panning on the building - the music is somewhat lighthearted and continues that tone until the scene showing Uncle Charlie lying on the bed and then the music changes to a quiet somewhat suspenseful tone. The music becomes a bit more suspenseful as he rises from the bed and goes to the window and then a bit of The Merry Widow tune drifts by and is gone - and you're wondering what that means. As he leaves the room the music turns ominous as you see his shadow moving down the hall assuming he is going to address the two men waiting and watching the boarding house from across the street. Viewing this, you're waiting and watching what will happen - with the tension building from the music, you're expecting a confrontation of some kind which doesn't occur. Then the music becomes sort of like a heartbeat as the two men start following Uncle Charlie down the street. The music builds up the tension beautifully and by then I'm totally hooked into the movie!
  12. 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 of 'Rebecca' was slower, obviously, than the previous opening scenes we have seen in the last couple of weeks, but it was also the first opening that was narrated by one of the characters. It was also different in that the childhood home of Maxim De Winter is a main character in the movie . 2. What are the Hitchcock 'touches' in this opening that help you identify this as a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock? The 'Point of View' shot of Manderley as Joan Fontaine as the second Mrs. De Winter narrates is typical of Hitchcock. It draws you into the story quickly as does the narration itself. The music playing and the long shot of the ocean leading up to Laurence Olivier standing at the edge of the cliff. The music playing as the camera panned out over the ocean reminded me of some of the music in Vertigo - with an ominous tone. 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 on this scene? The narration on Manderley itself together with the moving camera starting with going through the gate, following the path, the affect of lights and shadows on the darkened remains of the house that once stood - you imagine what might have been and are instantly interested in the unfolding story of Manderley and the people who lived there.
  13. 1. The music is uplifting and has a lighthearted feel to it - almost peaceful. Then the wind carries the door back and the two men come in carrying luggage of various sorts and the clerk on the phone in a sort frenzied conversation gives the scene a sort of zany comedic feel. 2. Caldicott and Charters also add a comedic feel to the scene and throughout the movie as sort of a stand-up routine banter between them - and also, not unlike an old married couple. At times they seem to be in their own little world - wrapped up in the cricket game they are fearful of missing - sort of oblivious to some of the things going on around them. 3. As Miss Froy enters the room from the staircase, the other characters in the room are all on the other side of the room - all eyes on Miss Froy who comes striding into the room, smile on her face, briskly walking up to the counter to speak to the hotel clerk. The passengers on the other side of the room sit quietly - and quite unhappily as it seems. Not much movement from the characters, aside from Miss Froy. The passengers seem to be sitting in one big mass - Miss Froy occupies the other side of the room alone - except for the hotel clerk behind the counter. The camera angle points directly to Miss Froy as she comes down the staircase - whereas the other characters of the scene are slightly to the left of the camera. All of this emphasize on Miss Froy coming into the room establishes her as the main character of the scene.
  14. 1. Both The 39 Steps and The Man Who Knew Too Much open in very public settings and seemingly pleasant and jovial circumstances - except for the look Peter Lorre exchanges with the skier in The Man Who Knew Too Much. In that instance, you immediately get a sense of that something somewhat sinister is lurking beneath the surface. The 39 Steps is anything but that. The Ring starts out innocent enough but early on you see that the main female character is Jack's girl but is flirting with the rival boxes - trouble ahead is sense from that. 2. Yes, for the most part. In both The 39 Steps and The Man Who Knew Too Much as well as in The Lady Vanishes, the main characters are innocent and upstanding people getting caught up in extraordinary circumstances. In The Lodger, although the lodger himself was innocent, you didn't realize it for most of the film and it was very misleading until the end - quite different from the British sound films for week 2 of this class. 3. Primarily that the setting of the film is a public place - people having fun, seemingly a fun and safe environment - nothing to fear. All of this lulls a viewer into a false sense of security - then all the evil starts unfolding and you're at the edge of your seat enjoying every minute of it.
  15. 1. From the opening scene, you really can't tell what the plot may be, but the characters are interesting from the start. The recognition between Peter Lorre's character and the skier is palpable and you get the sense there are less than favorable feelings in that recognition. Peter Lorre (Abbott) seems nice enough with the brief interchange, but it does not seem genuine. There is something beneath the surface and the characters immediately become important before a plot becomes apparent. 2. Again, Peter Lorre's jovial character does not seem genuine and it makes you wonder what is beneath the surface, especially after he looks at the skier with apparent and unpleasant recognition. He leaves you with the sense he can't be trusted. 3. As with The Pleasure Garden and The Lodger, all three films begin with action, but with The Man Who Knew Too Much, aside from the downhill ski shot, the interchange with the characters is subtle and seems like simple pleasant conversation, until Peter Lorre and the skier look at each other and the scene is totally changed - it grabs your attention and leaves you with nothing but questions about what it means, what will happen, etc.

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