Dr. Rich Edwards

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

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1. The Lodger is far more dark and macabre than The Pleasure Garden.  It's a shocking contrast to the lighthearted beginning of his first film. No humor, no joviality - the movement in the pleasure garden is as light as the story starts out as - dancing, plodding etc. In Lodger, everything is frantic, hectic, and shrouded in darkness. 

 

2. The panic of the witness and the crowd getting the details from her remind me of the frantic scenes in The Birds, where everything is mayhem and madness. The girl screaming in the opening, of course, feels a lot like Psycho during the shower scene.

 

3. The close up of the woman's face, the panic in her eyes clear even in this dated and grainy film. Focusing so much on her face leaves no question of her fear or danger, and even though we can't hear her scream, we internally scream on her behalf. 

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For me, the biggest similarity between the opening to The Lodger and The Pleasure Garden is the first shot, a close-up, of a blonde female.  In the case of The Lodger, however, the woman is clearly in more peril, as a murder victim.  Also, in both films, Hitchcock has a crowd observing the action, most of the onlookers observing passively and intrusively into someone else's life (and death).  You could argue, knowing Hitchcock's fascination with the macabre, that the onlookers gain pleasure from what they observe: the male patrons enjoying the dancers in The Pleasure Garden, and the crowd satisfying their blood lust--what Stephen King refers to as feeding the gators in the deep recesses of our dark side--by viewing the aftermath of the woman's murder in The Lodger.  Nonetheless, in both films (and this may not have been Hitchcock's intent) women, deemed throughout history as the weaker sex, are at the mercy of larger (male) forces, a theme that I also see in Psycho, the watershed film that many might use as a reference point for Hitchcock's other work, with the close-up camera shot of the victim's scream in The Lodger being comparable to Janet Leigh's similar scream in Psycho.  The British director Bernard Rose once said when filming Candyman that he found this type of scream to be artificial and annoying.  However, this type of scream is a typical reaction in a fight-or-flight situation, especially when the victims are as vulnerable as the woman in The Lodger and Janet Leigh in Psycho.  So I think that reaction works and the camera shot is very effective in conveying the sense of helplessness, especially in a silent film where the actors and director need to convey so much of the story and the emotions through actions alone.  Finally, as far as effective "Hitchcockian" film techniques or Germanic influences, I do like how the opening close-up of the victim's screaming, the passive group of onlookers, and the overall lighting and camera shots/cuts all help to create a great sense of helplessness and dread.

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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 think that The Lodger

and  The Pleasure Garden have similarities in where they both immediately bring your attention to a narrow and up close shot of something (i.e. the murder victim and the staircase). This makes you focus on that one thing. As for differences, of course The Lodger sets off a more darker tone right of the bat by showing the woman screaming at the camera. Unlike in The Pleasure Garden where in the beginning you had this more whimsy and carefree air as the chorus girls ran down the stairs.

 

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 would say the scene right after the woman is killed where you could see the crowd leaning over to try to get a good look at her was very interesting, because of how the death was shot. The movie opens and bam you see her horrified face, then bam she's dead. There's nothing else to it, it's a shock that makes you go "Wait a minute what happened?". Almost like when you're reading a book and a character dies out of nowhere and you have to spend a moment trying to process everything. Especially since it was such an up close shot, there's no panning away or a very wide angle for you to remotely even think about she could get away, so you're just left hanging, but interested just like 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? As I mentioned in question number two, I think the narrow perspective makes the scene work so well. And I know a lot of people have referenced this but this really reminds me of Psycho and it's shower scene.

 
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I love reading these posts.... you learn so much just from reading the thoughts of others.  For example, I'm fairly new to silent films, and I guess I had no idea the scores would be different depending on where/when you saw the film.  Thanks for that insight!  I love seeing how much Hitchcock had matured as a director, just two films later.  He definitely still likes the blondes, obviously, but the opening of "The Lodger" is clearly darker and more serious than the opening of "The Pleasure Garden".  That opening frame of the woman screaming would signify a Hitchcock film right away, even if you didn't know what you were watching...a scream that would be replayed in several other Hitchcock films.  My mind went to the less obvious scream of distress in Rear Window...the one where Jimmy Stewart thought he heard something....maybe?  LOVE the suspense!!

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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 open with quick shots with crowds and blondes. The Lodger has a darker tone versus the Pleasure Garden's lighter, fun scenes.

 

 

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?

 

A crowd reacting to a crime has often appeared in large percentage of Hitch's work. Fear is another usual suspect we see. Opening tight shot of the woman screaming is great. Lets us know immediately what kind of film this is going to be.

 

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?

 

There's no mistaking that she has witnessed something terrible. Works as well as Vera Miles' scream in Psycho or Doris Day's in the Man Who Knew Too Much remake.

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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: The opening of both films is fast paced, we see a blonde as the key character in both films (Patsy in The Pleasure Garden ​and Golden Curls the murder victim in The Lodger)​ and there is evil about in both films  (Purse snatches in The Pleasure Garden and of course the Avenger in The Lodger)​.

     Differences: In The Lodger​ we see an emphasis on technology that is a result of Hitchcock's working with the German Expressionists. We see technology in the use of the telephone, the tele-printer, printing press, trucks delivering the newspapers and the moving light display that shows the headline news. The cast appears more natural in The Lodger​ as opposed to the pasty white skinned old gentlemen in the front row of the theatre. The crowds in The Lodger are a cross section of people that are believable whereas the old men in ​The Pleasure Garden ​appear to be cartoonish or caricatures.

 

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? 

     Some of the images and techniques that I observed include the fast pace of the scenes, the close up of the scream, the gathering crowds, the little subplots going on such as the man in the coffee bar line behind the old lady witness who mocks her description by pulling his coat collar over his face as a joke, and of course the excess emotion of fear as shown by the old woman witness.

 

 

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 gives a very close tight shot of the woman's face. The audience cannot look at anything but her face and he also has her face on a diagonal line which is something the audience would not expect or be used to in the 1920s. Other screams that come to mind include the final mission scene scream in Vertigo, the scream upon finding the dead dog in  Rear Window and of course the scream in Psycho​. Hitchcock critics, reviewers and biographers have referred to this as "The Silent Scream".

To read about this visit:   https://the.hitchcock.zone/wiki/Film_Quarterly_(1983)_-_The_Silent_Scream:_Alfred_Hitchcock%27s_Sound_Track

Film Quarterly (1983) - The Silent Scream: Alfred Hitchcock's Sound Track for a review of Williams' book on "The Silent Scream"

    Hitchcock's first cameo can be found at the 2:47 mark in the Daily Dose clip. He is sitting at a desk on the telephone (technology) with his back to the audience.

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1. The Similarities with The Pleasure Garden:

The Focus on the reactions of the people in the film: the audience in The Pleasure Garden and the crowd watching the lady describing the killer.

 

The Differences: 

The atmosphere and mood: The Lodger is dark and reminiscent of German Expressionism

The Locations: The Lodger is shot equally in both outdoor and indoor locations whereas The Pleasure Garden is shot mainly indoors apart from the scene where the lady's letter is stolen.

 

2. Hitch style

The shot of the murder victim being attacked in most of Hitchcock films (eg Psycho) 

The shot of the scream accompanied by the music which is similar to Psycho

And of course, the Hitch cameo!

 

3. What makes the scene of the screaming woman work?

The close-up accompanied by the heightened music makes it work as it did in Psycho (Janet Leigh in the shower) and Dial M for Murder (Grace Kelly being attacked by the intruder)

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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 get the basis of the movie. In The Lodger it is murder and we know from the start because the first frame is a blonde screaming. In the Pleasure Garden we find girls coming down a spiral staircase and then we see them dancing on the state. Both use Golden Curls which is a Hitchcock trademark.

 

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? 

 

He tells the beginning of the story with first the victim screaming and then an old women telling the police and the press what she saw. He then uses montage with the scenes of machines and newspaper press rolling the headline Murder. The Avenger has struck 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? 

 

​She is framed at an angle and we see fear on her face and imagine she is the victim of a horrible murder. We can hear her scream in our minds eye and are drawn into the movie from that point. I think of the scream in Rear Window when the little dog is found strangled in the courtyard. And the scream of Judy as she falls from the bell tower in Veritgo. Nearly the same image is framed in the Birds with Tippi Headron being attacked by the gulls.

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1. Similarities

       -blonde as object of crowd gaze and prurient curiosity

       -crowds filmed watching something with emotion

       -scenes filmed from backstage, dressing room & printing press show people at work  

       -opportunistic pickpockets & opportunistic reporters exploit women

       -moments of humor interrupting more predatory tone

       -blurred camera effects to convey moments of emotion

       -use of signs to convey info 

       - 2 contrasting women (sassy blonde & naive brunette in pg and then dead blonde and horrified

        harridan in lodger) surrounded by many more anonymous men

    Differences

       -sexy blonde showcased in pg but barely shown in tl

       -more dynamic action, movement and sequences in tl

       -more cuts in tl

       -more use of different kinds of texts in tl (note, type machine, signs, electric banner)

 

2. Hitchcock style

      -makes you feel complicit in exploitation and voyeurism by embedding your pov in crowds and

       causing you to laugh in the midst of predatory moments 

      -makes you feel passive by showing you unusual camera views from above or behind where you 

       feel more like you're peeping guiltily at something rather than sitting as a paying audience

      -ensnares your imagination with half formed or blurred images 

      -sets horror or seduction or crime in public setting in full view

 

3. Scream

      -shot at an angle which shows a world on tilt

      -reminds me especially of ROPE which also starts off with molar-baring scream

     

 

      

 

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There's so much Hitchcock in this clip I don't know where to start and would hazard to end talking about screaming blondes anyway. For now I'll simply sing praises to the driving rhythm of his editing. Imagine what joy composers experience scoring his films. 

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First, where is Hitchcock in that opening scene? I watched it twice and didn't see him!!

 

Now, I made some observations regarding question three.

I noticed the music immediately, which reminded me of the popular "shower scene" in Psycho. Others will have undoubtedly mentioned this and I apologize for heading back to the shower scene once again, but it was what immediately came to mind.  The short, staccato beats add to the intensity of the scene. It was very reminiscent of Janet Leigh's death scene. The wide, open mouth in the opening scene of The Lodger clip is clearly screaming and the closeup shot of the face clearly shows the fear in the woman's eyes. I thought at first that this was all very similar to the shower scene, but it was actually surprisingly different. In the "shower scene" we get a closeup of Leigh's mouth as she screams instead of a shot of her entire face. 

Also, when watching this clip,  I was reminded of Arbogast's death in Psycho. Again, the open mouth showing shocked horror and the wide, stunned eyes. Also, the music is there again when Arbogast dies, just as it is in the opening scene of The Lodger. 

 

 

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For the most part, even though I've been watching classic films for 50+ years, I haven't really tried to understand the making of the films.  I like them or I don't.  Sometimes I can tell you why, but definitely not with the expertise of someone who's studied film.  I'm amazed at the knowledge & insight of many of the posters here on the message board.  So, I'm sure I'll stumble my way through verbalizing how I feel, what I see, & the technical aspects of film.  But be assured, I am enjoying this, as I did enjoy Slapstick Comedy last year.

 

1)  Similarities: blondes (what was the deal with Hitchcock & blonde haired women?) the focus in the beginning of both films.  

Differences: The Lodger much darker mood than The Pleasure Garden.  The woman screaming in the Lodger could have shown more terror in her eyes, but.... I wasn't sure at first if the screamer was the victim or the witness; I think the victim.  

 

2)   Hitchcock does like to get the audience's attention right from the beginning.  While he catches your attention, & holds it, differently in each film, he does grab your attention from the start.

 

3)  Hitchcock fades in on the woman screaming, uses an oblique angle close up to focus in or her, & then fades away to the next screen to proceed with the story.  No words necessary.  You know something bad has just occurred.  When I think of other Hitchcock screams, I think of Psycho; Janet Leigh's scream in the shower scene, & Vera Miles' scream upon finding Norman's mother in the basement.  In both he uses "different" kinds of camera angles, the sharp cuts from one angle to another in the shower scene, & the quick in/out shots on "mother".

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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? 


 


As noted by other commenters - the striking difference is the stark, dark, harsh "opening with a bang" of The Lodger against the playful prelude 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? 


 


One thing I noticed was that Hitchcock makes us THINK we saw something we really didn't see. We ASSUME the police, reporters and gawking crowd are standing over the murder victim, but in fact, the victim's body is NOT in any frame with any other person. Even the Avenger's triangle calling card is not shown to be on the body. (This reminds me of how Hitch made us THINK Janet Leigh was stabbed in Psycho, when there is no frame showing the knife cutting her.)


 


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? 


 


https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DDWQ1YaUQAAQwP0.jpg


 


 


 


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I made some observations regarding question three.

I noticed the music immediately, which reminded me of the popular "shower scene" in Psycho. The short, staccato beats add to the intensity of the scene. It was very reminiscent of Janet Leigh's death scene. The wide, open mouth in the opening scene of The Lodger clip is clearly screaming and the closeup shot of the face clearly shows the fear in the woman's eyes. I thought at first that this was all very similar to the shower scene, but it was actually surprisingly different. In the "shower scene" we get a closeup of Leigh's mouth as she screams instead of a shot of her entire face. 

Also, when watching this clip,  I was reminded of Arbogast's death in Psycho. Again, the open mouth showing shocked horror and the wide, stunned eyes. Also, the music is there again when Arbogast dies, just as it is in the opening scene of The Lodger. 

 

 

You definitely see horror in Martin Balsam's eyes in the stabbing scene on the stairs in Psycho!  (There was horror in my eyes the first time I saw this scene, too.)  It's that horror in her eyes that to me seems missing in the the victim in the beginning of The Lodger.  I just don't see the fear in her eyes.

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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? Blondes....Hitchcock definitely had something for them, and used them in both films. He's using the cutting back and forth technique in both as well. Subject matter is much darker in the opening scene of The Lodger...a scream vs ladies gaily tripping down a spiral staircase.

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? Camera angles, cutting back and forth, lighting.

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 woman's head angle makes you aware this is not a normal voice or head position. Reminds me of Psycho and Janet Leigh, or Kim Novak.

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1. What stands out in both films is the ability to manipulate the audience with "the shot." Whether Hitchcock is narrowing the view to focus on something small or the large open-mouthed scream, we are forced into what he wants us to see. It's not unlike a magician with slight of hand tricks. We are looking left when all the while the manipulation is happening to the right. Then wham! We are blind-sided with what seems impossible to the human eye. Then we think him clever, as I was not looking in that direction. Of course not, he didn't want you to look there yet. That's his ability to have climax and twist endings you never knew were coming. Brilliant.

 

2. The Hitchcock styles I see are the POV shots. I really liked and laughed when we are looking through the rear car window that looked like eyes. I also noticed a change in color from the cold outside blues to the warm sepia colors of an office. Pacing was a notable affect. The cars were rushing, the printing machines spinning at a blinding rate and people crowded and grabbed maniacally at the newspaper, all to lift the viewer to a height of anxiety and rush. I also could see all the different ways of conveying the written word: the repeating of a title, the flashing of the word "murder," the telegraph typing, the message board scrolling the news. And the specifics like saying that "Tuesday was his lucky day." Then I think what's my lucky day? And why do bad things seem to happen on my lucky day? Tuesday is such a boring day of the week. It's not the beginning, middle or end. That means murder can happen anytime!

 

3. There may be silence in that scream, but my mind fills in the sound that is not there. Psycho would have the most notable screams by Hitchcock.

My observations are so similar to your #2 answer. I noticed the "eyes" , color change, rushing and fluid movement of cars and people and machines. This is a very interesting course!

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Slightly off the topic of the Golden Curls clip: INFLUENCES

 

Though I hadn't previously thought about it, I can easily detect the influence of Eisenstein and the Russian Collage Theory - with Hitchcock's use of "the cut" as a compositional tool. (E.g. the scene in The Lodger where the gawkers are "looking" at the victim's body - but they are never shown together in frame.)

 

And I was only familiar with Murnau's Nosferatu, so I though, "Yeah, the macabre, the shadows, the ominous, etc..." but then I saw The Last Laugh

 

You gotta watch like the first couple minutes or so of Murnau's Last Laugh and see just how much this German Expressionist Film must have influenced Hitchcock!

 

Here is a link to The Last Laugh: https://youtu.be/W7yiZM-SlwI 

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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 Pleasure Garden starts off light and humorous. The Lodger starts with terror, death, and murder. There is some voyeurism in both, but in The Lodger, it’s the crowd straining to see the dead girl and learn more about the crime. At one point in the short sequence, the boy selling papers mentions that Tuesdays are his lucky days: He sells more papers to people satisfying their curiosity about the latest murder. For him, murder is an economic boon.

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 have already mentioned that I am not too familiar with the Hitchcock style, but I did notice the woman screaming at the beginning, the rather quick pace of the narrative (a lot is packed into the opening sequence of The Lodger), and the use of voyeurism. Hitchcock may have been interested in the macabre, but he is well aware that many share his interest (newspaper boy experiences murder as an economic plus, after all!).

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?

In this instance, I think one has to credit both the actress doing the screaming and the director filming her scream in a choker close-up. That scene must have been even more dramatic on the big screen, in a theater and not on a computer screen or a smartphone. Others on this thread have already mentioned Janet Leigh screaming in Psycho, and I think the woman screaming in that close-up can compare to the shots of Tippi Hedren in The Birds, when she is in the restaurant and when she is trapped in the phone booth.

 

Additional Thoughts:

1. Was the blue tint that we saw in this clip part of the original film? I thought it worked well for the subject matter, but I wasn’t sure if it was Hitchcock’s intention to use blue tint for the original film.

2. The very first image in the clip, even before the woman screaming, seems to have been part of the film’s opening, and those jagged shapes made me think of German expressionism, specifically The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari.

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1. The main difference between the two is that pleasure Garden is lighthearted and gay. While the Lodger has a darker more sinister feel especially with the woman screaming. The similarities is the voyager viewpoint of the men in the front row and the curious onlookers at the murder scene. It give the film goer the feel they're actually a participant in the scene.

 

2. He gives the views the illusion that the crowd and police in the Lodger are standing right over the body, even though we don't see it. This is much like The Rope's opening scene where David is being strangled. You only get a glimpse of him and then he's not in the rest of the film. The women screaming in the Lodger can be seen in his future works in almost the same exact pose and expression. You see this with the character Brenda in Frenzy.

 

3. In the Lodger the woman's silent scream is effective because of the facial expression. You can see the terror in her eyes. It was used effectively throughout the silent error because the actors had to isle facial expressions to get the point across. Another good example from this era is in Sunrise. You can see the same technique used in several of Hitchcock's future films, for example Frenzy, Suspicion and The Man Who Knew Too Much.

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Similarities between THE LODGER and the PLEASURE GARDEN include Hitchcock's instant communication of mood: from the gaiety of the music hall in the first film to dark images of body being discovered in the second. Also, in both movie clips, most shots contain a flurry of motion and activity.

 

The clip reminded me of the scene in FRENZY where another neck-tie murder victim is discovered floating in the Thames (gaping bystanders, serial killer of the loose, etc).

 

The shot of the sceaming woman works well because of the extreme close-up of the woman's contorted face. It wouldn't work as well in a wider shot in my opinion. It of course, reminds one of the camera framing in PSYCHO's iconic shower scene.

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1. The Pleasure Garden and The Lodger have similarities in that they both display blonde female characters as their centre piece. Both films also both have camera angles that attract the viewer and that propel the storyline forward. However, the tones and moods of the two are quite different - The Pleasure Garden has a lighter feel, while The Lodger seems dark and suspenseful. 

 

2. Though I am unsure if this is "Hitchcock style," I admired the use of phrases (such as "to-night golden curls" and "half of face") that appeared more than once throughout the clip. I believe that this effectively put emphasis on them as a part of the storyline, which was especially brilliant with this being a silent film. I think that Hitchcock placed these to help viewers follow the storyline, but still managing to, as we talked about within the lecture today, use some of the more obscure art forms of the time. 

 

3. The up-close emphasis on the actress shows that something is happening and compels viewers to pay attention. Even further, the actress' body language (facial expression - wide eyes and wide mouth) adds to the scene.

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The opening of The Pleasure Garden is light and the opening sequence of The Lodger is dark. Both focus on women. He uses over the top facial expressions to convey mood. He uses close ups to give us a mood, feeling and atmosphere. The scream in the beginning of The Lodger reminds me of screams in Psycho and Frenzy. Hitchcock uses a woman's scream in a lot of his films.

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1. The contrast is amazing. In the Lodger everything is chaotic. There are lots of people and many things going on at once. The police officer is talking to a witness. There are people everywhere trying to see what happened. The opening is much darker than Pleasure Garden. The background is dark and when we see the faces they have some light on them. In the Pleasure Garden, it is very bright with a fun feel. There is no fun feel in this opening. Even the newspapers being printed is hectic and chaotic.

 

I am not sure about the style. I did notice both scenes open with a woman being the focus of attention.

 

Her mouth is wide open you can see all of her teeth. Her are wide open and you can see fear in her eyes,

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The differences I noticed between The Lodger and Pleasure Garden was with the themes. PG opened to a livelier musical song as the women pranced (happily) down the staircase giving the viewer the feel-good sense that nothing bad has happened, nor is going to happen.  The Lodger opens immediately with the dramatic musical song setting the viewer up for the macabre as the film moves onto the woman screaming.  Two different viewer feelings here.

 

The “Hitchcock style” presents itself immediately as I watch the open mouth of the shadowy woman’s face leading to the lifeless figure on the ground; Hitch setting us up for the anxiety and curiosity of the terrible thing that just happened and of course, the “who did it” as the crowd seekers gather and the news people rush out their story. I must admit, I was impressed with the typing instrument way back then!  This style reminds me of an early scene in The Man Who Knew Too Much when a man is being chased and gets stabbed and stumbles to Jimmy Stewart in the middle of a public square and dies; there again you have the crowd screams and curious onlookers.  

 

The opening image of the scream shows us that even in the beginning Hitch was preparing the viewer for the macabre-type film we were about to see. Other similar screams in his movies were that in Psycho with Janet Leigh and even Vera Miles’ scream when she discovers the dead mother in the chair. 

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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 similarities between The Pleasure Garden and The Lodger is that they both have women, in particular, blonde women. This showcases the obsession that Hitch would have with in his later films. Also, in both films, women are victims. The difference in this case is that the main dance girl in 'Pleasure' is set up as a victim, but she immediately stands her ground, whereas the woman in the beginning of 'Lodger' is simply a victim because she is killed (but offscreen). 

 

Another difference is that the tone of 'Pleasure' is more light and a little naughty with playful mischief, but in 'Lodger', the tone is definitely bleak and grim. 

 

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? 

 

Obviously, the sequence has includes both images of power and emotion. For example, the woman screaming at the beginning of when she is killed. This gives off the sense of terror and set the tone for the rest of film. The people surrounding her body are obviously in fear because now there is a killer in their midst. The newspaper montage represents that there is mass hysteria increasing because of the woman's death. The emotion is everywhere: tension, paranoia, and panic. 

 

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 it's interesting that when the woman is screaming, it looks like she is singing, which means she is singing her own death. The music is basically screaming for her and being her voice. This comes to mind the moment of the housekeeper discovering the body of the woman (a spy) Robert Donat meets in THE 39 STEPS before she is fatally stabbed. When the woman screams, you don't hear her scream, you hear the train's horn as it pulls in. You can say that the train is screaming for her, because it lets you know that there has been a crime. And when there's crime, there is always panic and confusion. 

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