Dr. Rich Edwards

Daily Dose #2: To-night Golden Curls (Opening Scene of The Lodger)

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1. Compare the opening of The Lodger to the opening of The Pleasure Garden - what similarities and differences do you see between the two films? 

The Lodger is more intense with its pace of happenings. The PG is more static.

2. Identify elements of the "Hitchcock style" in this sequence? Please provide specific examples. Even if you are not sure if it is the "Hitchcock style," what images or techniques stand out in your mind as powerful storytelling? Or images that provide an excess of emotion? 

The route of the communication of the murder highlighting technology is reminiscent the steps he takes in shaping the emerging main idea of the mystery in later movies when he uses scene steps.  

3. Even though this is a "silent" film, the opening image is one of a woman screaming. What do you notice in how Hitchcock frames that particular shot that makes it work in a silent film even though no audible scream that can be heard. And what other screams like that come to mind from Hitchcock's later work? 

​The scream in Psycho when she discovers the mother.  You have a split second to wonder what she sees before you do, and is it worth that scream? 

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I appreciate this class so much - including this online board/forum, so I can learn from others!!

 

My reflections:

2) ID elements of Hitchcock's style -- well, taking note that the lecture said his style is an a-la-carte of German Expressionism, Russian Formalist something-or-other, and American something-or-other, I looked for these elements.  I couldn't get a good sense of what Russian Formalist Montag (sounded out -- ?) was, nor the American stuff ------ but the lecture had good explanation of German Expressionism (fatalism, and use of technology over people/actors -- e.g., creating a scene and its effects without the use of actors who act).  So, here goes: Almost half the time of clip[ is spent on technology telling the story: reporter calling in the story; story coming across the dot matrix (1:57 - 2:47 - almost a full minute of a <5 minute clip); newspapers being printed; newspapers being distributed through cars  and vans; ticker-tape reporting of story.  When there are actors, it's mostly in mass crowd scenes - increasing the sense of urgency, anxiety and panic. 

 

Other "Hitchcock style": building & growing sense of anxiety -- demonstrated through people's faces and reactions to the news,also use of music.

 

Use of Actors: the victim - alone.  The Witness - mostly alone.  Everyone else (society at-large) -= in big crowds, with no scenery / placing at end.

 

Also - lighting:  all scenes taking place outside (first, and last) are in blue-hue; and all scenes taking place inside (receiving report/story, printing) are in yellow hue.

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1.    Compare the opening of The Lodger to the opening of The Pleasure Garden - what similarities and differences do you see between the two films? 

 

Hitchcock returns to those blondes again and again—interestingly, he always shows them as victims or potential victims.

 

2.    Identify elements of the "Hitchcock style" in this sequence? Please provide specific examples. Even if you are not sure if it is the "Hitchcock style," what images or techniques stand out in your mind as powerful storytelling? Or images that provide an excess of emotion? 

 

Background music heightens the suspense, as does Hitchcock’s use of the machines to tell the story.  The facial expressions in close-up also provide emotional cues.  I saw the “frames” once again (windows and windshields), referencing perhaps the idea of our voyeurism, seeing “through” a particular line of sight.

 

3.    Even though this is a "silent" film, the opening image is one of a woman screaming. What do you notice in how Hitchcock frames that particular shot that makes it work in a silent film even though no audible scream that can be heard. And what other screams like that come to mind from Hitchcock's later work? 

 

We witness the escalation of her terror by way of background music and her ever-opening eyes.  Also, I noticed the sheen on her teeth—not sure if that’s intentional or not, but the play of light does draw our attention to her mouth.

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The opening of The Lodger went from a closeup of the girl’s screaming face to a body of girl with golden curls. The music builds the tension as does the reactions on the faces in the crowd. This is a dark scene. In The Pleasure Garden, the faces and music take the viewer in a totally different direction. The music is lively and the close ups of the faces in the crowd although voyeuristic which might be sinister, it doesn't leave the viewer fearful.

 

The elements of Hitchcock's style include German Expressionism. We see the emotional state expressed in the faces in both sequences. One is voyeuristic and comidic while the other is of horror. These are emphasizing the visual. He uses sharp and distictive camera angles, both high and low camera shots as well as wide angle shots. And in The Lodger he uses dark shadowy lighting to emphasize horror, anguish and fear. He also uses rhythic cutting.

 

In the opening, the woman is screaming but you feel and almost hear the scream because of the close up with her face showing her fear.  It reminds me of the screams in The 1956 The Man Who Knew Too Much when Doris Day screams as well as Psycho when Janet Leigh screams. In The 39 Steps he also used the screaming woman with the train noise. Hitchcock repeats his use of screamming attached to another sound or no sound at all but they all convey terror. We see visually so well in the silent version that no actual scream is needed. He used asynchronous sound, crosscutting to create that sequence and it is perfect with the train to heighten the suspense.   

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just watched The Lodger in full on You Tube.  It's 90 minutes.  It is a Hitchcock masterpiece.  I did think it was a bit long and moved somewhat slowly at times, but then I'm judging it from 2017 movies.  I enjoy films from 30s because they are fast moving and keeps one fully engaged the whole way through.  Still The Lodger is a remarkable story.  Also, when I first saw the landlady/mother of Daisy, I thought it was Mary Gordon until I saw a close up.  Now on to others.

Judy B

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1. What I notice most are the colors in the opening scene of each film. In The Pleasure Garden, you see beige/brown hues.  Beige is bright, light, ordinary, vanilla.  In The Lodger, it's blue hues.  Blue to depict the night, being outdoors, but also to add a cold, eerie, foreboding tone.  You see the contrast in The Lodger when the scenes jump between the reporter in the phone booth (blue hue) calling the news office (beige hue) to report the story.

 

2. The shot of the crowd peering at something – and the viewer does not initially see what the crowd sees – adds anxiety.

The woman’s wide, white eyes as she sees and later reports the crime.

The telegraph machine typing builds suspense for the viewer, as the typewritten details unfold.  All the viewer knows at this point is what the woman has told the police, displayed on title cards.

The music of course adds another dimension to building the tension.  I watched the clip by turning off the music and was amazed at how the scenes were still gripping just from the visuals.

 

3. The woman's head and eyes don’t move, and the mouth stays wide open, which seems to slow time and heighten the intensity of the scream without hearing it.  Similar screams that I recall are Vera Miles in Psycho, and Doris Day in The Man Who Knew Too Much – both were very wide-open mouths, culminating in long, drawn out screams.

 

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The scream that opens the film immediately puts the audience on alert for highly dramatic events to follow.  The close up of the woman with her mouth fully open leaves no doubt about the sound she is making, even if the audience cannot hear it.  The theater organist would have provided an appropriate sound to accompany the image.  The montage that follows the scream introduces the situation and provides several themes that the film will pick up: the appearance of the murderer, the sensationalism of the newspaper reports, and the hysteria of the crowd.

 

Compared to the opening sequence of Pleasure Garden, the opening of the Lodger is more complex in images and ideas.  The theme of the fascination of men with women is the same, but the male responses are quite different.  In Pleasure Garden, the older men look on appreciatively and hope for some pleasant company, in Lodger, the man is psychotic and his pleasure is in murder.  The recurrent theater marque sign of "golden curls" accentuates the mind of the murderer, who is obviously obsessed with "golden" women (as was Hitchcock himself and some other movie males, for instance           King Kong.) 

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The Lodger where the woman is screaming...I read somewhere (wiki)? maybe ...the woman is moving her jaw though her scream is silent her jaw moves  to provide the sound effect...that is a good way to imply sound & I like it...I would use it ...the signs saying MURDER ...love that & the machine is reporting the news instead of the cards...the info provided in the modules say that the actor (Ivor Novello) had to be innocent b/c he is a star & the star cannot be a bad guy or gal...that used to be true but not in the films of today...actors can be bad today & pick up fans & retain their fan base

 

The Pleasure Garden has the man smoking beneath the NO Smoking sign ...I like that humor of Hitchcock...this indicated to me that people in the film will be rule breakers ... a few are materialistic & apparently a bit of fame & fortune goes to Patsy's head ...the humor is the hair curl that is handed to the man who is trying to get attention from the blond...she hands him her (fake) hair

 

The Pleasure Garden...this is outside of the opening scene...the bob-tailed dog Cuddles is a good judge of character...he is so funny when he licks Patsy's feet while she prays

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1. Compare the opening of The Lodger to the opening of The Pleasure Garden - what similarities and differences do you see between the two films? 

 

​I see the similarity with reaction shots that reminds me of the Pleasure Garden. 

 

 

2. Identify elements of the "Hitchcock style" in this sequence? Please provide specific examples. Even if you are not sure if it is the "Hitchcock style," what images or techniques stand out in your mind as powerful storytelling? Or images that provide an excess of emotion? 

 

​I noticed the eerie music that helps to build the terror and fear in the opening scene.

 

3. Even though this is a "silent" film, the opening image is one of a woman screaming. What do you notice in how Hitchcock frames that particular shot that makes it work in a silent film even though no audible scream that can be heard. And what other screams like that come to mind from Hitchcock's later work? 

 

​It allows you to see the fear and feel like you can hear the silent scream.  Reminds me of one of my favorite films Psycho.

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So, what are your thoughts on the headlines written in the sky? To me...that was peculiar - in good way.  I now see what the commentators mean about "Avant-Garde".  

 

I look forward to watching the rest of the film. This film is true art.  Like watching a masterpiece. Hitchcock is the only filmmaker who could get me to watch a silent film from start to finish. The suspense and mystery is thrilling!  

And Golden Curls, is that name of the girl who got killed?  Was Golden Curls a performer and that was her stage name? If so, that is neat.  What a way to tell a story without telling a story.  I see how this silent film (if they're a genius in filmmaking) works. 

 

Oh I also wanted to comment on how I compare The Pleasure Garden to the The Lodger, based on the 2 clips I've seen, my answer is a simple one - 'Pleasure' had a light-hearted feel and some mystery w/ the lady w/ the purse (which drew me in, I wanna know more of her story), and 'Lodger', obviously was dark, full of suspense, a great whodunit movie.   So, Light vs. Dark... 

 

Don't know how my thoughts contribute to this conversation, but they're just thoughts.  :rolleyes:

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1. Compare the opening of The Lodger to the opening of The Pleasure Garden - what similarities and differences do you see between the two films? 


The Lodger opening has a very different feel to me than The Pleasure Garden.  But as per usual, there is a blonde!


 


2. Identify elements of the "Hitchcock style" in this sequence? Please provide specific examples. Even if you are not sure if it is the "Hitchcock style," what images or techniques stand out in your mind as powerful storytelling? Or images that provide an excess of emotion? 


I love the Murder sign!  It immediately said Hitchcock to me.  I was reminded of the Bates Hotel sign.  Also the flash bulb scene in Rear Window, especially right before he starts flashing the bulbs and the shot flips back and forth between L.B. and Thorwald (who's in the dark).


 


3. Even though this is a "silent" film, the opening image is one of a woman screaming. What do you notice in how Hitchcock frames that particular shot that makes it work in a silent film even though no audible scream that can be heard. And what other screams like that come to mind from Hitchcock's later work? 


The fact that it is so close up makes it work really well.  Obviously the shower scene in Psycho.  We wouldn't have to hear her scream to know what's going on.


 


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2. Identify elements of the "Hitchcock style" in this sequence? Please provide specific examples. Even if you are not sure if it is the "Hitchcock style," what images or techniques stand out in your mind as powerful storytelling? Or images that provide an excess of emotion? 

 

It is a well-known fact that Hitchcock was invested in emotional storytelling. I often think of his greatest achievements (PSYCHO and REAR WINDOW always come to mind) as being filled with emotion rather than excessive dialogue. In the absence of sound during this early period, I can see where Hitchcock may have gotten his inspiration to continue relying so much on feeling rather than words.

 

The opening scream is a definite example of Hitchcock's powerful storytelling and the style of horror that would so often correspond with the emotions his characters evoked on screen. That, coupled with the reactions from the pedestrians as they hear of this murder, closely mirrors much of what you see with Hitchcock, even in his later years. The opening sequence of VERTIGO, for example (a Saul Bass collaboration I believe) shows facial expressions of Jimmy Stewart and nothing more. From that opening, the audience can see that the forthcoming picture, one of Hitchcock's films with the least amount of dialogue, will be laden with psychological thrill.

 

I think of Norma Desmond in SUNSET BOULEVARD saying, "We didn't need dialogue, we had faces!" as I watch this opening to THE LODGER. The excess of emotion is crucial to silent film storytelling but it became crucial for Hitch as he navigated ways to display themes of suspense such as psychological thrill, horror, and terror. He didn't need words, he had music and actors with great expressions!

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The comparison of opening shots of PLEASURE PALACE & LODGER contrast an overwhelming focus of intention. PLEASURES is shot from a low angle and is somewhat static, with a parade of dancers framed by a masked lens. LODGER begins with such focus and intensity it strikes of German Existentialism and packs an emotional wallop. Music makes up for the silent scream.

The elements of style include foggy lights, smokey alley ways, and blue filters (inside shots withstanding). The faces are highlighted - but include atmosphere from the lighting details. Emphasis is reached by the crowd's silhouette, using a juxtoposition in a very sophistiagated and subtle way. The lighting elements foreshadow NOIR.

The jolting music accompanies the silent scream, jarring our sensibilities, emoting pure fear; not unlike the future film PSYCHO.

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1. The main difference between Pleasure Palace and The Lodger seems to be that of mood: PP is at times jovial, very silly and almost farcical. Lodger is menace, terror and dread, if as in the lecture video Hitchcock's style is described as "German Expressionism mutated" this opening sequence is encapsulates that idea. If the Germans were obsessed with fate life "behind the eightball" this scene takes that notion and tweaks it slightly to a more nihilistic turn. 

 

2. Two things come to me as I watch this: (1) the frenetic energy, there is a lot of activity in the scenes, and they are composed in such a way as to communicate almost all of it. I found it like following a maze, my eyes would from left to right taking in everything. This energy is something I've noticed in many of his later films, particularly in the opening sequence for Vertigo. That rooftop chase is still one of my favorite sequences in a film. (2) Hitchcock's obsession with blondes in terror, which is very well known, comes up here with the victim. Its a weird thing and this is probably the first time the fetish has been used. 

 

3. The close up on the victim's face helps communicate the terror she feels when there is no sound available. The menacing score helps with that too. Its a trope that Hitchcock uses often in his later films with sound as well: the extreme terror of his protagonists and their situation.  

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1. Compare the opening of The Lodger to the opening of The Pleasure Garden - what similarities and differences do you see between the two films?  Interesting to see "Hitchcock Blondes" at the center of both of these these early films. I see a similarity in the emphasis on facial expression and facial close-ups to tell the story. There is a lot of light and dark play in the lighting that is similar as well. On the other hand, the feel is different in them, owing partly to the fact that the shots are less creative and fairly static for the most-part in TPG. There is also less montage use in TPG and the scenes are longer in general. 


2. Identify elements of the "Hitchcock style" in this sequence? Please provide specific examples. Even if you are not sure if it is the "Hitchcock style," what images or techniques stand out in your mind as powerful storytelling? Or images that provide an excess of emotion? There is a lot of creative shooting in this one. In particular, those great shots of the body at ground level with the street lights aligned behind are definitely Hitchcock and remind me a bit of his eyeglasses shot in Strangers on a Train in that it captures the scene, but isn't exactly crystal clear - more of a silhouette and lets you imagine the detail. The lighting is him as well - he manages to convey a misty, damp, late night despite the constraints of black and white perfectly.  And his quick photoplay during the newspaper production conveys speed and frenzy and generally uses people as props, which is sort of signature I feel for him as well. 


3. Even though this is a "silent" film, the opening image is one of a woman screaming. What do you notice in how Hitchcock frames that particular shot that makes it work in a silent film even though no audible scream that can be heard. And what other screams like that come to mind from Hitchcock's later work? Of course it brings to mind the Psycho scream and in large part to me because it is such a close-up... nothing extraneous - just the face with those wide eyes that seem to be a focus as well.


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Daily Dose #2: To-Night Golden Curls (The Lodger)

 

1.Compare the opening of The Lodger to the opening of The Pleasure Garden - what similarities and differences do you see between the two films? 

Some of the differences between The Lodger and The Pleasure Garden are easily recognizable in the first few seconds. For example, The Pleasure Garden starts out a little bit more upbeat with the dancing girls and a lot of shots of them coming down a spiral staircase to an audience full of men who are definitely giving the "male gaze" to the women. The Lodger starts out way differently with a man laying on the floor, a woman who is in panic, and a police officer who is trying to help them out. You can very clearly see the German Expressionism influence in the first few minutes of The Lodger. These two are quite similar in the way that they both pack quite the punch when trying to get their point across. Even though the storylines may be different, you can see they were both made by the same filmmaker who loves to use a dark twist.

 

2. Identify elements of the "Hitchcock style" in this sequence? Please provide specific examples. Even if you are not sure if it is the "Hitchcock style," what images or techniques stand out in your mind as powerful storytelling? Or images that provide an excess of emotion? 

You can see the dark aesthetic that Hitchcock usually goes for in all of his films. It is very evident that there is heavy German Expressionism involved because this clip reminded me a lot of various German foreigns films i've watched or have seen clips of in other film classes. The amount activity from scene to scene really reminded me of Vertigo in the sense that there is a lot happening from scene to scene without it having to be consistently explained, like many of the current era films evoke. 

 

3. Even though this is a "silent" film, the opening image is one of a woman screaming. What do you notice in how Hitchcock frames that particular shot that makes it work in a silent film even though no audible scream that can be heard. And what other screams like that come to mind from Hitchcock's later work? 

The really amazing thing about this film is that you can feel so much emotion coming from the woman in the beginning even though you can't hear her. The scream she does in the beginning is one that you can feel even though you can't audibly hear her. It reminds me a lot of the scream from Psycho (even though that one is audible) because you can sense so much emotion coming from the character's expressions before it happens. It gets you to feel that danger is near or has happened and immerses you more into the scene. 

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1. Compare the opening of The Lodger to the opening of The Pleasure Garden - what similarities and differences do you see between the two films? 

 

A lot of people were rushing around a scene, whether it be dancers going downs stairs or people rubber-necking and walking around a crime scene. Both openings showed Hitchcock's interest in blondes playing a particular role in each film. 

 

2. Identify elements of the "Hitchcock style" in this sequence? Please provide specific examples. Even if you are not sure if it is the "Hitchcock style," what images or techniques stand out in your mind as powerful storytelling? Or images that provide an excess of emotion? 

 

I think the music that he chose is one of his styles, it just gives the feeling to the viewer that something terrible is or will be happening. Watching the details of the murder as they are typed on the typewriter gives a suspenseful feeling that Hitchcock is known for. 

 

3. Even though this is a "silent" film, the opening image is one of a woman screaming. What do you notice in how Hitchcock frames that particular shot that makes it work in a silent film even though no audible scream that can be heard. And what other screams like that come to mind from Hitchcock's later work? 

 

The shot is tight on her face, so you can really see the terror and fear on her face, especially her eyes. The shot works so well because you can really tell what she is feeling. The scream in the shower scene of "Psycho" is the one that comes to mind. It's quite similar, although in Psycho, it's more of a wide shot than the up-close shot of the girl in The Lodger. 

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2. Identify elements of the "Hitchcock style" in this sequence? Please provide specific examples. Even if you are not sure if it is the "Hitchcock style," what images or techniques stand out in your mind as powerful storytelling? Or images that provide an excess of emotion? 

 

It is a well-known fact that Hitchcock was invested in emotional storytelling. I often think of his greatest achievements (PSYCHO and REAR WINDOW always come to mind) as being filled with emotion rather than excessive dialogue. In the absence of sound during this early period, I can see where Hitchcock may have gotten his inspiration to continue relying so much on feeling rather than words.

 

The opening scream is a definite example of Hitchcock's powerful storytelling and the style of horror that would so often correspond with the emotions his characters evoked on screen. That, coupled with the reactions from the pedestrians as they hear of this murder, closely mirrors much of what you see with Hitchcock, even in his later years. The opening sequence of VERTIGO, for example (a Saul Bass collaboration I believe) shows facial expressions of Jimmy Stewart and nothing more. From that opening, the audience can see that the forthcoming picture, one of Hitchcock's films with the least amount of dialogue, will be laden with psychological thrill.

 

I think of Norma Desmond in SUNSET BOULEVARD saying, "We didn't need dialogue, we had faces!" as I watch this opening to THE LODGER. The excess of emotion is crucial to silent film storytelling but it became crucial for Hitch as he navigated ways to display themes of suspense such as psychological thrill, horror, and terror. He didn't need words, he had music and actors with great expressions!

 

I agree a lot with you about the Norma Desmond quote because in those days the character's an actor's really needed to show emotion in their faces to get their point across due to lack of sound. I wish this was more prevalent in today's cinema because I feel there is a constant lack of emotion. 

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1. Compare the opening of The Lodger to the opening of The Pleasure Garden - what similarities and differences do you see between the two films?

 

Similarities include bad men who do bad things and women as either victims of man or attempted victims of man.

 

Differences include storyline inside (The Pleasure Garden) versus outside shots (The Lodger) and using machinery to move forward the story such as with the printing press the conveyor belt and the delivery vans (The Lodger) versus nonmechanical as with the curl and the purse.

 

2. Identify elements of the "Hitchcock style" in this sequence? Please provide specific examples. Even if you are not sure if it is the "Hitchcock style," what images or techniques stand out in your mind as powerful storytelling? Or images that provide an excess of emotion?

 

Possible elements of the Hitchcock style include The quick touches of humor as evidence by the man who as he listened to the witnesses description of the murder, gave a slight smirk and mimicked the description by half covering his face. And also the watching motif as the shot of the rear windows of the delivery van that looked almost like binoculars with the silhouetted images of the driver and passenger in those windows.

 

3. Even though this is a "silent" film, the opening image is one of a woman screaming. What do you notice in how Hitchcock frames that particular shot that makes it work in a silent film even though no audible scream that can be heard. And what other screams like that come to mind from Hitchcock's later work?

 

So not only is the mouth showing the scream expressive, but also the whites of the eyes and the hands are very expressive. And for my the limited viewing, it seems that a that the shot went on and on and on. It wasn't a quick scream but several long ones strewn together - much like the shower scene that also goes on and on but for other reasons of course. (Note, I've yet to watch a Hitchcock film - only just the clips from this class and the occasional time I've come across clips in popular culture.)

 

 

My additional comment is my still surprised at revelation that silent movies are not silent but are accompanied by scores which just as in modern movies, do much to instruct the audience on how to interpret the action in the film and how to respond emotionally to what they're viewing.

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Similar is that you don´t know where you are by seeing the first pictures. And just after that you can realize the place around. 

The music is very important for carrying emotions. 

 

I like the scene with the car very much, where we can look through the front window -like a point of view. And before, the scene of the two man sitting in the car, which looks like spectacles. 

The end of the clip was interesting, too. Because it looks like a nearly modern digital type. 

 

The scream is filmed diagonally, and as near as possible, so you can see the mouth and the frightened eyes. I don´t know so much Hitchcock films well, but i think it is often in that way -birds, vertigo, psycho..? 

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1: The Pleasure Palace begins with a happy setting. One of entertainment and frivolity.

The Lodger opens with a woman screaming and the setting is in a darker backdrop. The similarities include the camera angles . In the beginning of the film they are placed to capture the essence of the film, enjoyment, entertainment to the darker seriousness of what was occurring. The camera angles, the setting along with the music sets our minds to take in the clips without needing words.

2: I believe as mentioned above I believe the positioning of the camera angles; the close up of the woman screaming, the witness acting hysterical. The. Add panning the crowd a famous thing that Hitchcock does in his movies which is where he usually inserts himself into the film.

3: the frame of the woman screaming. The close up gives us pause in our minds that we can hear it although there is no sound. As the witness woman talks again without saying a word the angles of the camera draw pictures in our mind to draw the conclusion as to what she is saying much as sign language and body language.

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1. Pleasure Garden was slow in its start, whereas The Lodger opened with excitement. Both films utilized a crowd scene along with individual character expressions. However, The Lodger was clearly going to be more about suspense than Pleasure Garden.

2. There was clearly no need for dialogue. I only recall one or so screens of just dialogue on a black screen. The use of neon-like wording and flashing words familiar to movie theater advertising were very attention grabbing. Also "wet off the presses" was awesome...murder/blood= wet, as does the the ink on the page. Both are wet, and then dry. Both leave their mark. Dual meaning. Very Hitchcockian, I thought. Plus, the screaming "blonde" woman became a trademark of Hitchcock movies throughout his career. The looks of horror, and also morbid curiosity on the faces in the crowd were striking. Too bad I missed the 6 sec of the Hitch cameo, which became a staple of all his movies. I always had a hard time finding him.

3. Of course Psycho comes to mind, both in Janet Leigh's part, and at the end when her sister finds the remains of Norman's mother in the basement. A scream is a scream, whether you hear it or not. It's all in the facial expression and/or body language. It's one of those things that Hitch just did better than most.

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1)  The opening sequences are starkly different in setting.  Pleasure Garden's opening is upbeat and frivolous.  Dancing, merriment, spectators enjoying the experience.  The Lodger opens with a tight shot of a woman screaming and then the dark, outdoor anguished explanation of a female witness.  They are similar in a few respects.  They are both open to a highly controlled view of the opening scene which very effectively sets an immediate tone. We are sustained in that tone for the first few moments of each film with subsequent story development.  In both films Hitchcock also makes us an insider to a part of the story the general population isn't aware of.  In The Pleasure Garden it is the irreverence of the blond dancer for her suitor and the upper hand she immediately takes with the situation.  In the lodger it's that we know how the information traveled from the witness to the general public.  We are made somehow more invested in the events than others. 

 

2) In addition to the above his style is revealed in other ways. I once heard a commentator on Hitchock say he shot love scenes like murders and murders like love scenes.  That bears up here.  The opening scream is a tight shot of the woman's face in mid scream.  It is soft, she is beautiful, she might be swooning for a kiss with a slightly different expression.  It pulls us in emotionally, and she is his signature blond.  His central figures at the beginning of the film are female, the victim and the witness.  Besides the murderer, men are peripheral initially.  The montage of the witnesses statements being delivered to the masses via the press is well engineered.  We understand what each shot means without knowing what is actually happening in each step of the news delivery. 

His odd use of perspective and angles is at play here as well.  The shot of the back of the paper delivery truck with the light shining through the rear windows, each passenger perfectly withing the center of each window.  It mimics the eyes of the viewer, pulling the viewier from an external bystander to an insider with the delivery men.  The next shot pulls you exactly that way.  It is an internal shot from the cab looking through the window - the effect is complete.  we are now invested and part of the machine work that delivers the story.

 

3) The silent scream is highly effective!  You immediately imagine the high pitched sound and cringe. It is as if you have simply placed your hand over your ears to shut out the sound.  But you can't look away.  You know it is no ordinary scream because the shot continues just a bit too long to be anything other than agony.    My immediate connection after viewing it was the strangulation scene in Dial M for Murder. The shower scene from Psycho uses the music to sub for the scream, but it is silent. The death scene in Strangers on a Train.  Just to name a few. 

 

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just watched The Lodger in full on You Tube.  It's 90 minutes.  It is a Hitchcock masterpiece.  I did think it was a bit long and moved somewhat slowly at times, but then I'm judging it from 2017 movies.  I enjoy films from 30s because they are fast moving and keeps one fully engaged the whole way through.  Still The Lodger is a remarkable story.  Also, when I first saw the landlady/mother of Daisy, I thought it was Mary Gordon until I saw a close up.  Now on to others.

Judy B

I saw it as well on YouTube and was impressed with how well the film looked. Well preserved. I enjoyed it and recommend it.

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1. Compare the opening of The Lodger to the opening of The Pleasure Garden - what similarities and differences do you see between the two films? -- The first have a happy beginning, even the camera shots are more open not closed up. The Lodger have a more intense beginning all the time something happen on the screen.--


2. Identify elements of the "Hitchcock style" in this sequence? Please provide specific examples. Even if you are not sure if it is the "Hitchcock style," what images or techniques stand out in your mind as powerful storytelling? Or images that provide an excess of emotion? 


The music... I think its part of the beginning of that style.


3. Even though this is a "silent" film, the opening image is one of a woman screaming. What do you notice in how Hitchcock frames that particular shot that makes it work in a silent film even though no audible scream that can be heard. And what other screams like that come to mind from Hitchcock's later work? 


The expression of her face... and other screams like that, I'm thinking on Psycho.


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