Dr. Rich Edwards

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

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I have just watched The Lodger  :wub:  loved it 

and like all the English audience of 1926 I would never forgive Hitchcock if Ivor Novello was not proved to be innocent at the end of the film   :)  :)

 

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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? 

Both films set a tone proximately at the beginning.  The Pleasure Garden opening says to the viewer, sit back and enjoy a frolicking good time.  While The Lodger immediately puts us at the edge of ours seat and on an emotional edge of wonder what might be in store behind the next corner.

 

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? 

What jumped out at me were the camera angle of the screaming woman and the dead body.  The witness seeing the reflection of the man pulling his jacket collar across his face to imitate the witnesses’ description.  I want to say this scene is also where I might see the cameo.  Are those Hitches eyes and nose in the background of the crowd?

 

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? 

I think the close up, camera angle (and music) of the woman screaming allows the viewer to experience the scream along with the emotions of that victim.  Very much like the shower scene in Psycho. 

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​I think both films from the very beginning get you ready for something different. You know when the pleasure garden opens you see a sign telling us "sit back and enjoy" and the to-night golden curls you see a lady screaming for her dear life. I like the way he changed the color of the film from black and white to brown. The guy that was making fun of what the witness was telling the police and then she looks up and sees the murder, but it was the guy making fun of what she said.

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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 opening of The Lodger has a more urgent sense – of course, because a crime has just been committed.

When Hitchcock chooses to get the point of view of the man with the binocular in The Pleasure Garden, we are what author Bill Krohn calls “an audience of one”. In The Lodger, we maybe have this point of view only when we see the truck delivering the newspapers “wet from the press”

 

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 see one moment influenced by the Soviet montage theory: the cutting back and forth from the murder to the neon sign “To-night Golden Curls”. Concerning camera angles, the girl’s body is seen up close – as if the cameraman was kneeling on the floor.

Also, I see the interesting reflection of the man pretending to be the Avenger, with his face covered – reminded me of the murder reflected by glasses in Strangers on a Train.

 

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? 

Hitchcock makes a close-up of the screaming woman’s face, leaving her open mouth in the center of the screen. Some American filmmakers would choose to add an “AAAAAHHH” intertitle, but this is not necessary, because we can perceive that she is screaming.

The first later Hitchcock scream we remember is, of course, Marion’s at the shower in Psycho, and I also remember Doris Day in the climax of The Man who Knew Too Much (from 1956).

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

I also saw The Lodger on YouTube. I had never seen a Hitchcock silent movie before and I thought it was excellent. I haven't seen a lot of silent movies but many of the shots seemed very innovative. You can certainly see the German expressionist influence. It reminded me of Fritz Lang.

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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? One of the similarities was the unusual camera angles. Coming downing the stairs and above the screaming woman. The music was different the dance hall music versus the suspenseful music from The Lodger. Another difference was the use of color  cards which I have never seen in a silent movie.

 

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 uniqueness of the camera angles, having a blonde woman murdered and the building of suspense with the music seem to me to be a Hitchcock style. It is indeed a proven method of powerful storytelling.

 

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 above here and exceedingly close as if it could be the murderer's point of view of the crime. You can see the terror on her face and that tells the audience what the sound must be like. Number one has to be Janet Leigh in Psycho.

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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 opens with a girl screaming and the dead body of a fair-headed girl.  A witness is relaying what she saw as the crowd discusses The Avenger and the newspaperman calls in his story. In addition the words To-Night Golden Curls flashes on the screen many times.

 

The Pleasure Garden begins with many golden-haired ladies running down a spiral staircase in order to get to the stage to perform their number.

 

The similarities include the golden-haired girls on whom Hitchcock focuses at the beginning and throughout the stories. There are also on lookers in both films.  The differences include that there is a murder at the beginning of The Lodger but not in The Pleasure Garden.  In addition, the mood, tone, and music are vastly different in both movies.

 

 

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? 

 

Hitchcock is a master of storytelling, so the witness provides the information to the policemen slowly at first and then the story builds as the story is repeated to the crowd to the newspaperman relaying the story to his editor.  As this happens, the pace quickens, cutting from one to the other and building the suspense.  When the witness “sees” what she thinks is the killer, but really another man pulling his collar up, she is frightened again; therefore, reliving the nightmare and pulling us into the story again.

 

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 facial feature of the woman and the fear etched in her face helps the audience to “hear” the scream even though the movie is a silent one.  Other screams from Hitchcock’s later work include Janet Leigh’s silent scream, the detective’s inner scream, and the sister’s scream in Psycho.  In addition, it also reminded me of Jimmy Stewart’s inner scream in Rear Window.

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Again, we see fair-haired girls with curls, so we have a pattern here.  I like the use of blue and yellow for outside and inside shots.  We see men in vehicles; which is a staple of many Hitchcock films to count.

 

The close of the screaming woman is powerful again we do not need sound to see and know there is fear.  

 

I loved the use of technology in the police headquarters followed by the giant printing press in the newsroom.

 

Flashing Tonight Golden Curls as if it were a warning and a news headline waiting to be splashed across the front page.  The news seller admits Tuesdays are good days for him.  Which tells us Hitchcock understands our human fascination with the macabre.   The whole idea "if it bleeds it leads."  Even a man mocks the poor, old lady witness by covering his face and she seems his reflection and is frightened.  The other people chastise him, but the idea some people don't understand murder is nothing to joke about.

 

I also wondered if the crowded were gathered at Waterloo Bridge; who was this girl?  Was she a prostitute?  After all, he leaves his calling card "The Avenger."  

 

I've read others speak of Psycho or Rear Window and I can see that with the silent scream.  

 

I have to admit the first thing I thought of was the Tingler. We couldn't hear her scream, so I wondered if any sound could come out of her mouth.  Please don't shoot me.  I'm taking this class to learn about Hitchcock and who influenced him and who he may have influenced.  

 

Again, I see his change of colors as important as his shots from different angles, points of view and from inside the car.  Hitchcock wants to take the viewer on a ride from the first scene to the last.  Each shot not only moved the plot but it implied movement itself, so the film does not slow down or is like a rollercoaster ride.  

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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 opening of the Pleasure Garden is lighter -- literally and figuratively. It's brighter with an emphasis on humor and beauty. The Lodger's subject matter is far darker and so it is shot that way. 


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 images that stand out to me as powerful storytelling are the printing press and the delivery of the paper. There is not much sentiment about the victim. The only excess of emotion is shown by the eyewitness but it seems more for attention than out of genuine feeling. Hitchcock moves quickly into the commercialization of the murder ... you feel the excitement of the masses as much or more than you sense any terror. 


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?


Hitchcock seems to be giving us the perspective/p.o.v. of the murderer. Perhaps he is alluding to a thought that there is darkness inside all of us. The shot works because it is such a tight close-up. It brings the audience to the scene of the crime. As others have mentioned, it reminded me of the screams of Janet Leigh in Psycho.


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Some Similarities between opening of "The Lodger" & "The Pleadure Garden" is that both include a large assortment of people. Also, both show a crime occurring; although, the one in the first film is a small, impersonal crime with the pickpockets. Differences include the immediate stress we feel in The Lodger with an obviously horrible crime, murder, having been committed. The scene is full of mostly excited, worried people; whereas, The Pleasure Garden has a much lighter, more amiable start with the people watching the show.

Elements of the Hitchcock style,I thought, is that it's rather fast-moving; you feel the speed at which the news is spreading. I also noticed how he goes between the images of the dead person with the crowds around her and police to then showing the lighted sign saying "To-night Golden Curls." Also, going from the woman describing what she saw to police to the throng of people around her to [what appears to be] a reporter passing the news to his editor or such.

Hitchcock really conveys the screaming woman with he camera shot being close-up and at an angle. It seems like I have seen something similar in another A.H. movie but can't think which one(s). Not sure if the scene of the screaming Doris Day at Royal Albert Hall (?) in "The Man Who Knew Too Much" was shot at an angle.

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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 editing is fast and both films begin on the hitchcock blond. 

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 editing or cutting of film as hitch would say in this opening is very frantic. We the viewer are getting as much info as the people in the film. We do know something awful has happened to this women but what? So we see people in the news paper printing the paper then we see the word Murder. The editing is fast, to the point. We the audience are traveling with the police to this event.

 

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 film starts out in a dutch angle. The sound of the women screaming can be the the sound of the style of the music and its also the start of the headline of the women being strangled to death....  Now another film Hitch did this in was in the 39 steps where when the women screams he cuts to a train with the whistle blowing..  oh yes another note later on in his life he directed a film called Frenzy (the first R rated hitchcock film) and its almost the same subject...no spoilers incase anyone has not seen this amazing film.

 

 

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Daily Dose #2 (The Lodger):

 

PSYCHO KILLER QU'EST-CE QUE C'EST:

1. While both this and Pleasure Garden jump right into the action this wastes no time telling you what genre you're watching.

2. This style is frenetic where even printed words move, relying heavily on reaction shots.

3. The scream reminded me of Psycho. (Couldn't find Hitchcock, was he the murderer?)

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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 editing is very quick and gives you multiple perspectives. You are processing a lot of info through images at a fast pace.


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? 


We are experiencing what is happening at the same time as the characters. Examples -In The Pleasure Garden its through the eyes of the girls - or main blonde - seeing the line up of old dodgers getting their kicks from watching the scantily clad dancers. Then we see the girls through the eyes of the old men. In The Lodger, its more like we are one of the crowd experiencing the news of the murder as it unravels. The montages of the reporters - printing - distribution of the newspapers is all like visuals laid out on a storyboard.


 


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? 


Close up of golden curls terrified and screaming silently. You know something dreadful and deadly is happening just like the stabbing/shower scene in Psycho. Its all about the visual and what it makes the audience feel. 


 


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Question 1 - Similarities/differences between 'The Lodger' and 'The Pleasure Garden.'  I saw more differences than similarities.  I noticed much more storyboarding in 'The Lodger than 'The Pleasure Garden.'  Almost each image in 'The Lodger' was framed perfectly as if it were a photograph.  I especially liked how the beginning images showing the images of the people framed in what almost looked like spotlights in the background framing the activity in the foreground.  I actually haven't seen this movie yet - I didn't know what I was missing evidently - and I'm anxious to see it now.  I found each image riveting and just wanted to see more. 

 

Question 2 - Elements of the Hitchcock style - to me it's framing each image as he did, the lighting and camera angles.  I also noticed the flashing titles such as 'Murder' and 'Golden Curls.'  it reminded me a little of the opening images of Psycho - the separating lines of the title (forgive me if I'm remembering that incorrectly or saying it badly).  Fast moment of light and dark images - words mostly - flashing across the screen.

 

Question 3 - The close up shot of the woman's face as she is screaming, the fear in her eyes emphasized by the light and shadow draw in the viewer - you don't really notice that you can't hear her.  Her fear comes across instantly and you are glued to the screen waiting to see what happens next.  Its riveting!

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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 main difference a difference of tone. THE PLEASURE GARDEN opens with the almost joyous masked shot of leggy showgirls quickly descending the backstage staircase, a conduit delivering them from dressing rooms to stage. A show is ready to start and backstage chaos is always exhilarating. On the other hand, THE LODGER opens with a tight shot of a woman in a terrified scream. It may be silent, but her face frozen in a scream of horror makes us "hear" it nevertheless. 
​I find the main similarity is that both films open with people bustling about. This approach wastes no time bringing the viewer into the story.
 

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 eyes, I guess, were always important in telegraphing emotion in silent films. In both of these Hitchcock films, that is certainly the case. The elderly woman who discovers the body of the Avenger's latest victim swoons, rubs her hands on her face as if she's trying to wipe the memory of what she's just seen from her mind--but it's her eyes that convey the shock, the terror of finding a corpse on the street. Similarly, in THE PLEASURE GARDEN, the blonde showgirl with her eyes seems to say to the lecher in the audience, "Not on your life, brother!" And the eyes of the men on the front row reveal their various stages of lust as they ogle the bare legs of the showgirls who are almost within reach.

​In quick, clean fashion Hitchcock gives the audience a step-by-step education as to how news was disseminated in those days: reporters on the crime scene quickly scribbling notes; reporters telephoning the story from the scene to the news desk; the story going out over the teletype machine; the mammoth presses printing the story; the stacked papers coming off the press, then being hawked on street corners. (I loved the words "Wet Off the Press" coming up on screen, conveying how fresh, how "breaking" the latest murder is.) All this is accomplished in a matter of minutes, each shot clearly conveying information. Dialogue would add nothing to this sequence.


 

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? 

​I seem to remember an (audible) tight-shot scream in FRENZY. And, of course, as the cymbals finally crash in the remake of THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH, Doris Day's throaty scream pierces the air of the Royal Albert Hall. If I remember correctly, Janet Leigh's face during the PSYCHO shower sequence looks like it is screaming, but I don't think the sound of a scream is actually on the soundtrack. I've never realized this before. I guess those shrieking violins are more than enough to take the place of any human scream. But now that I've seen THE LODGER, the opening shot scream seems to foreshadow the PSYCHO shot as well. 

​The scream in THE LODGER "works" without sound because the woman's face is distorted in terror. Her face fills the frame. There's nothing to see (hear) in that shot BUT the scream. 

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Daily Dose Questions:

 

 

Q1: Similarities/Differences: 

 

Similarities: Dramatic and bold gestures for emphasis indicating unease and/or intensity,  written/paper info, reflections and barred windows, signs.

 

Differences: Speech intensity increased in The Lodger, far more dramatic music in T.L., dark haired Jill and Patsy in T.P.G., fair haired victims in The Lodger

 

Q2:1. Creative Exposition-Use of visual yet written information, ex. The Avenger small piece of paper and the Telex or printing words that gave us time to read them in full (just like the letter in The Pleasure Garden).

2. People crossing the view from left to right and right to left frequently.

3. Windows with bars

4. Reflections

5. Long sequences or shots, ex. Newspaper delivery van driving down the street.

6. "Fair haired girl" on news crawl (foreshadowing of future Kelly, Novak, et al.)

 

Q3: The view is askew/Dutch tilt. Our p.o.v. of the woman is tilted to knock us emotionally off balance.

 

Marion Crane, shower scene in Psycho. Will definitely think of others while watching films for this course. 

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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? 

 

You can clearly see a difference in pace and in action between both films. On the other hand, it's visible that in matters of detail editing, again the outsider looking in its very similar in between both movies.

 

 

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 could identify the Hitchcock Style in his attention to detail with close up shots to give out information, as with the typography machine. The image of the woman screaming provided an excess of emotion.

 

 

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? 

 

I noticed that it was a shot taken from above as to give the impression that the attacker was kind of acting from the top. Psycho, The Birds and probably Vertigo have noticeable screaming shots that reminds you of this kid of 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? 


The striking similarity is that in both films we, as spectators, are watching spectators. In The Pleasure Garden we are watching an audience watching a show; however in The Lodger we're watching an audience witness the aftermath of a murder. It's hard not to think of the chorus girl's fake "golden curl" in the earlier movie when one sees  the "To-Night Golden Curls" legend come up on the screen at the beginning of The Lodger (and later in the film, of course, chorus girls will be disguising their blond hair with fake dark curls). In The Lodger there is a far greater use of cross-cutting in the early sequences as compared to The Pleasure Garden; but then, the need to establish excitement and fear is greater at the beginning of the later movie.


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 scream, as discussed in the third question, is definitely a hallmark of Hitchcock's style; as is the extensive use of crosscutting. The use of the news teletype, the headline marquees, and the newspapers are doubly effective by providing the movie audience with key information as well as showing the process of dissemination. Probably the most haunting image in the opening sequence is the look on the woman's face as she peers from the crowd at the crime scene and sees the corpse. Also effective was the distorted image of the bystander who mimics "The Avenger's" wrapped up lower face.


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 camera angle of the shot gives the visual impression of the scream being carried out into the audience (both the film spectators and the residents of London within the fiction of the movie). Murnau achieved similar effects in both The Last Laugh and Sunrise. In the former when the neighbors are gossiping from their windows into the courtyard, the camera seems to follow the sound; and in the latter when the man is calling out for his wife after the storm near the end of the movie. The scream in The Lodger reminds me most of the mother's scream at Albert Hall in both the 1934 and 1956 versions of The Man Who Knew Too Much. The landlady's scream turned into a train whistle in The 39 Steps also comes to mind.


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In contrast to The Pleasure Garden that opens with dancers descending a spiral staircase, The Lodger opens with a close-up of a woman's face, mouth open and eyes stretched wide, a visual scream. What these openings share, though is an emphasis on visual spectacle. The camera's tight focus on the staircase combines a downward movement with a vertical element. Both openings use shadows and light to focus the camera on the object. In The Lodger, for instance,the woman's screaming face is seen from the same point-of-view as her assailant.

 

The images that most stand out to me as Hitchcock elements in The Lodger's opener are the close-up of the silent scream and the use of print to convey necessary information for the story, such as the scene with the printer. The newspaper really conveys the fear that the public feels about the murder.

 

The close-up of the woman's face, mouth open and eyes stretched wide communicates the scream. Although I am far from a Hitchcock expert, I can also think of the close-ups of the woman screaming in Psycho's shower scene.

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1. Similarities: blond woman is preyed upon, we observe the observers, the horror of witness describing the corpse she found contrasts with the passionless recording of the murder by a policeman, puckish humor of the man who covers his face like the murderer to mock the old woman, the different points of view, and the lust for tittilation by observing sexy women (Garden) or reading newspaper accpunts of a grisly murder (Lodger).

Differences: Lodger is much darker in both tone & color, its German expressionism highlights the technology of phones, teletypes, & printing presses to spread word of the murder, a violent crime begins the film vs petty pickpocketing of purse in Pleasure Garden, and the setting changes from the staged world of glamor to the real world of fear & violence.

 

2.Hitchcock style: a disturbing environment, blonde women, juxtaposed points of view in first scene of of murder victim & murderer, innovative camera angles....low, high, slanted; quick editing cuts to move story forward and to engage audience with all characters, and one brief moment of puckish humor by the man covering his face to inappropriately mock the old wonan as she describes the murderer.

 

3. Although silent, the scream here seems as loud & intense as Doris Day's scream at the climatic moment in The Man Who Knew Too Much.

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Again theopening scene is about women, this time a woman is being murdered in front of our eyes, that is we have a full picture of the scene of the crime. The close-ups and the juxtaposed images and ideas escalte the mystery and I would say that the openning scene is way ahaed of its time. It is so Hitchcockian that kept mefrom the start. Hitchcock was the man from the crowd that was trying to see what happened? Wow!!!

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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? 


Never saw THE PLEASURE GARDEN - Cannot respond


 


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? 


 - terror stricken characters sharing their experience with a "cool" & un-sympathetic crowd.


- Ghoulish antagonists


- Creates a feeling of terror in observer


- juxtaposition of BLACK / WHITE lighting effect to create impact on actions being carried out on screen


- exposes vulnerabilities of townspeople


 


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? 


I recall that the woman was being shot from a camera angle in front and slightly beneath her.


Additionally, she appears very disturbed & uncomfortable, as if she is being physically abused.


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Question #1: The most striking similarity to me is the use of montage and the importance of the image to tell the story.  Obviously, both are silent movies, so the image is supreme, but where other filmmakers may have used titles to cover exposition, Hitchcock lets the pictures tell the story (the openings of both "Rear Window" and "To Catch A Thief" come to mind as later examples of this technique).  Another similarity between "Pleasure Garden" and "The Lodger' is that the we see a series of bold singular images that, out of context, may not relate to one another: a screaming woman with no sense of place; later a shot of a printing press.  His use of imagery is almost like a comic book experience where isolated frames tell a story unto themselves, but arranged, in order, a second broader narrative emerges.  You can almost sense the storyboard.  This is different than the example of "Rear Window" where we immediately know that we are in L.B. Jeffries' apartment, thus effectively placing parenthesis around the objects upon which Hitchcock will force our gaze.

 

Question #2: The most obvious element of the Hitchcock thematic, if not his "style" is the use of the blonde - in this case the off-camera victim.  Even though we never see her, this identifying characteristic is central to the story thus far.  Other Hitchcockian stock characters emerge as well, namely the well-meaning but minimally effective policeman.  We see him here listening and taking notes, but by keeping him at a profile of to the side of frame, we know that he is not going to be the hero of the story.  We see these types of police in several Hitchcock movies including "North By Northwest," and "Rear Window." Hitchcock is an establishment, middle class director: he doesn't paint the police as incompetent.  At the same time, if they were more involved, we wouldn't need the everyman main character to solve the central crime.  Even Scottie in "Vertigo" loses his job as detective to become an everyman before he enters the intrigue of the plot. Another, obvious Hitchcock element is the fact that we are at the scene of the crime.

With regard to filmmaking style, I think one emerging element is that the camera, and thus the viewer, is usually an objective eye.  We are taking in each of these moments, not as a participating viewer (with a few exceptions, as when the old woman sees the distorted reflection the joking bystander durning her retelling of events, in which the camera adapts a subjective point of view).  As a director, particularly in opening scenes, Hitchcock is often arranging images in a dispassionate way: as if he is showing us evidence upon which he expects us to judge, or like a magician laying out his cards with the intention of later fooling the eye.

 

Question #3: The scream is great.  As with a lot of  silent film experiences, when I think back on the scene, I remember the audio even though it wasn't there.  I think its power comes from the fact that its a close up, and the character's anguish is evident.  I never really thought about the scream in Hitchcock movies before, but as soon as I read the question i immediately thought of three: Doris Day stopping the would be assassin's bullet in "The Man Who Knew Too Much", Eva Marie Saint on the side of Mount Rushmore, seeing one of Van Dam's henchman n "North By Northwest", and of course, Vera Miles in the basement meeting the real Mrs. Bates in "Psycho".  All of which are uttered by blondes in semi-close up.

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The opening scenes of "The Lodger" and "The Pleasure Garden"depict the infamous Hitchcock blonde. In the latter case the blonde is screaming and then dead. Immediately the essence of the movie is about terror and crime.He shows his German movie making influence with the shadowy nocturnal urban atmosphere. He frames each image carefully with different camera angles. For example the dead woman's body is at ground level,  the newspaper printing press is from afar and the trucks delivering the news give us a front windshield view. I noticed how Hitch demonstrated our love for sensationalism by showing the typed story and how fast news travels.The silent scream is repeated in several of his movies but most remembered would probably be "Psycho".

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I'm about a week behind in this course, but I'm enjoying it immensely.  I had some technical (stupid) issues in the beginning while trying to post on the message boards.  But all seems to be working now. While I do love movies, and, especially Hitchcock movies, I've mostly disdained silent films, until now.  Learning about and watching Hitchcock's silent films has been interesting and I am now looking forward to watching these movies starting tonight.


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:  I see a similarity in Hitchcock's use of POV (Point of View).  In The Pleasure Garden opening, we view the stage show both as if we are in the audience and also as if we are backstage or in the 'wings'.  We also view the audience as if we are on the stage and also a participant in the audience.  Similarly, in the opening of The Lodger, we view the assault on the woman from the POV of the killer, and also as a bystander.  Hitchcock allows us to be part of the 'crowd', but also see the crowd as the witness does when she's telling her story and sees the reflection of the bystander who pulls his coat up over his face.  I felt her same fear.  One could probably say the same thing about many movies - but I feel this is rather innovative on Hitchcock's part because it's not just as if I was sitting in a theater watching a play.  Hitchcock really brings the viewer into the action.  I'm not just watching the newsboy sell his papers, I'm actually riding in the back of the newspaper delivery truck.


The main difference between the two opening sequences, for me, was the sophistication factor.  The Lodger appeared to be miles ahead of The Pleasure Garden in terms of camera angles, action elements, and, drama.  I was instantly drawn into the story of The Lodger with it's dramatic opening and breathless pace, while I felt more or less neutral about the events in The Pleasure Garden opening.


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?  Elements of the "Hitchcock style" that I saw:  blonde, beautiful woman; gruesome crime (unseen in detail); POV (see above-audience as voyeur); and, iconic use of giant man-made objects in contrast to the size of men (i.e. printing press, Mt. Rushmore, Statue of Liberty).


The most powerful storytelling in this opening sequence, to me, was the breakneck speed of the action.  I felt the terror of the woman relating the story of what she saw - and it scared me when she saw that reflection.  It was exciting to be on the newspaper delivery truck and dodging through traffic to get the latest murder story out to the public.


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? What a powerful opening image this is!  The face is framed, but at an angle, with the hair fanned around her head like a halo and I almost feel as though I can see the killer reflected in the woman's eyes.  It reminded me of Janet Leigh's reaction in the shower scene of Psycho; also, Doris Day's screaming in The Man Who Knew Too Much; and Patricia Hitchcock's silent scream in Strangers on a Train (or is it silent?).


On a side note - and, I have not read any other posts about this - I believe I can see Hitchcock's cameo as one of the men trying to buy a newspaper.  He might have a mustache, so I am not certain, and it is a kind of grainy, dim, print.


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