Dr. Rich Edwards

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

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Unfortunately, due to the set up in which I had, I was not able to view this film. I will have to go to another video source to watch the part I missed

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One of the differences between The Pleasure Garden and The Lodger is in feel. The Pleasure Garden is light and fun. The girls dancing seem to be having a good time as are the male audience members. In The Lodger, the opening sequence shows us the shadow of a man, then a woman screaming, I assume being attacked. The feeling is ominous.

 

The one similarity I can think of is that both women Hitchcock focuses on in the opening of both movies are fair haired. 

 

Some of the elements I noticed that seem to reoccur in later movies is the witness giving testimony to the police, the crowds pressing forward to see the body. That happens in Frenzy as well. Then the crowd listening to the woman who witnessed the murder. Some listeners are horrified, others make fun of the situation. The shots with people using the telephone. Telephones are used in lots of Hitchcock movies, also his use of newspapers. 

 

The woman screaming reminds me of the opening sequence in Rope, though the David isn't really screaming. He's being strangled, so perhaps he can't really scream. He does, however, have his mouth open like a scream. Then if I remember correctly, the secretary screams in Frenzy, when she finds her employer murdered, and in Psycho Janet Leigh screams in the shower. I think Hitchcock uses screams often in his movies.

 

Was that Hitchcock with his back to us, on the phone at the newspaper office?

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Someone already replied that they thought the opening to the Lodger reminded them of "M".  I thought the same thing too.  Also, Mr. Hitchcock seemed to like to cast blondes throughout his career.  In The Lodger, a blonde is murdered and In his first film, The Pleasure Garden, blondes are running down the spiral staircase.  His use of camera angles and light and dark help tell his story.  I love his films and look forward to watching them in totallity.  I would like to watch The Lodger now, but oh well.

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I too thought the opening scene reminded me of Fritz Lang's M. Also the woman screaming at the beginning made me think of Janet Leigh screaming in the shower.

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Bonus question answer: You can catch Hitch at the 2:47 mark of this clip, in a stock film looking scene at the newspaper office. He is at a desk, talking on the phone, with his back to the camera, another Hitch Touch. I loving playing the Find The Hitch game!

 

In summary, their are many differences from The Pleasure Garden and The Lodger. The Pleasure Garden is lighthearted, alluding to and being humorous, the music is jaunty, for lack of a better word, and almost everything up to the girl's letter being stolen is very witting. The lighting, again, up until the suspenseful part is bright, depicting a carefree, open attitude. However, in The Lodger, everything is almost is direct contrast; there is panic, fear, even the music is frenzied. The flashing text are like a street light, indicating danger, even the witty man trying to be the Avenger to scare the woman is taken as in bad context, not as humorous. The lighting is dark, as mentioned, very much like film noire.

 

There are similarities that are shared between the two films, despite the differences. The use of women, in particular, blondes, is present, along with the, dare I say, sort of sexism that is prevalent in almost all his movies. I should clarify that statement; Hitchcock was notorious for using his actors and actresses, as scenery. He showed a strange mix of devotion and disdain for his actresses, while he worshipped them, he did punish them by doing many takes, not telling them the details of the scenes beforehand, etc. Hitch onscreen showed women in a very vulnerable way, sort of at the hands and mercy of men, whether it be murder, or being used by men sexually, the women is his films were portrayed as being at the hands of their man counterparts, their "directors", as it were. This is apparent in both films a part of the Hitch touch, though I am a female and adore his films, that is a center of his work, distasteful as it might sound and be. To stop beating a dead horse, I would say the camera angles, the use of the point of view, is also there in both films, as I mentioned before, the voyeuristic approach in the glasses of the man in The Pleasure Garden, and the crowd rushing to see the dead girl and to read the news about her in The Lodger.

 

The scream, while it could be easily recognized as the Psycho scream is more like the scream used in Rope. In the opening scene of Rope, the scream that comes from behind a black screen before Brandon and Philip are shown strangling David with the rope. Again, used more as a way to get the audience on the edge of their seats rather than to tell the whole tale, Hitch loved not letting anyone in one his own fun and jokes, but that is why we love him.

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1. Similarities to The Pleasure Garden:  Menacing male figure, beautiful blonde woman, the mention       of curls.  

    Differences:  The Pleasure Garden appears more realistic very quickly, as opposed to the "heavy" 

    quality of The Lodger; an aura of darkness and dreariness is much more in evidence.

 

2. I was not able to discern many elements of Hitchcock's style, except maybe for the cross-cutting in         the press scenes.  I did see many Expressionistic elements:  The industrial elements--the huge           printing press, the huge telegraph machine, the headline "crawl"  looking startlingly modern--, the         angularity of the lettering (even the note left by the killer was a triangle), the extreme facial                   expressions of the witness.  I loved the shots of the rear of the car windows with the heads framed       in the center.     

 

3.  The woman's scream is iconic Hitchcock:  later in Psycho, of course, and in The 39 Steps, as 

     mentioned in one of the discussions.  

 

Was Hitchcock's cameo in the press room, sitting with his back to the camera, on the phone?  The film was kid of blurry, so hard to see.

   

    

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1. Similarities to The Pleasure Garden: fast-paced cutting to different points of view right off the top creates a sense of excitement; there is humorous character sketching with the secondary actors (the man who covers his face to imitate the killer for example). Differences: the woman's profession (as a dancer?) is only alluded to by connecting her scream and dead body to the flashing neon sign "To-night Golden Curls"; The Pleasure Garden takes us into the theatre. Also, text in The Lodger unfolds the story within the film instead of in title cards--there are only 2 title cards.

 

2. Voyeurism: the opening outlines how people consume the news of murder (being the murderer, witnessing event, police report, reporter, word of mouth, telegraph, newsprint, and billboard); the whimsy of showing the back of the newspaper van with 2 all-seeing eyes darting back and forth--it's humorous and unsettling at the same time; also and humorous is the image of the man covering his face with his jacket as reflected in the chrome of the coffee wagon. We also experience multiple points of view: from the sidewalk to the inside of the press van, to that of the reporters watching the news come in on the telegraph machine.

 

3. The framing of the screaming woman is in close-up and on an angle, similar to what the killer would be seeing as he commits the murder (strangling?). Are we complicit in this killing as witnesses? Reminded me of the strangling scene in Frenzy or Janet Leigh's scream in Psycho.

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I am looking forward to seeing "The Lodger" in it's entirety. I am not familiar with Hitchcocks silent films and having taken your film noir course two summers ago I am thrilled to see some of what  I learned them come back into view for me.

 

1. I found the opening sequence of "The Lodger" to be similar to "The Pleasure Garden" in the way that Hitchcock displays for us the reactions from each group of people in the scene. The observers (citizens) gawking and trying to get a better look, the cops taking in the scene unemotionally, the reporters getting information, while returning to the vision of the body on the ground looking up at the observers. I found it dissimilar in that there were fewer details....of the body and the surroundings, it was darker and blurrier looking which lends more suspense to the story. 

 

2. I could see the Hitchcock style in his use of unusual camera angles...the angle of the dead body, the angle of the camera inside the car, in the typewriting scene. You can see the German Expressionism influence in how Hitchcock uses technology over people to tell the story...the typewriter, the printing press, the unloading of the papers, the car driving the papers to the newsstands.....also there is very little use of inter titles. The camera movements are also indicative of the German influence on Hitchcock....having the camera inside the car is one example. 

 

3.  The scream shot in the beginning is a very tight shot of only the womans face and the focus is on her mouth open and moving as though screaming....we see immediately that she is in trouble. I believe that Hitchcock perfected this style in "Psycho" in the shower scene where we see the victim in the shower and all of the shots are tight on her face and her mouth screaming. In that scene the story seems more real and the cross shots to the perpetrator create more fear and suspense. 

 

I thought Hitchcock made his cameo appearance with his back to us on the phone in the newsroom....wasn't sure but then saw others answers! 

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1) Hitchcock was not making a thriller in his first film, at least the sequence does not indicate this, however, most of Hitchcock's movies have a preamble similar to this to set the scene for the balance of the movie. The reaction shots are similar as the element of group emotion is displayed.

 

2) There is a "quick" editing style that make the action move quickly and provide the story line. Also, having the point of view from the news truck's point of view is very similar to other movies he has made, the drunken driving sequence in North by Northwest and the driving sequence in Suspicion.

 

3) Who could not see the scream of Janet Leigh in Psycho in that opening scream, screams are what make Hitchcock movies so unique! No one does it like Hitch!

 

Not 100% sure but I thought I saw Hitch in the group of onlookers at the 32 second mark of the clip. I can now see him at the 2:47 mark, very obviously Hitchcock! Thanks Strutter1974!

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  Mr. Hitchcock's use of the Soviet-style montage sequences moves the storyline along and adequately takes the place of dialogue. The rapid fire sequence of reporters, telephones, presses, and delivery trucks in "The Lodger" reminds me of the fast-paced sequence of the dancers going down the staircase in "The Pleasure Garden." Both sequence examples serve to efficiently, clearly and rapidly dispense with the story. The factory-like, assembly-line qualities to the montages, the stairs and chorus line and press process to the news story,  may serve as a bookmark to "Metropolis." The close-up reactions of the screaming woman and agitated crowds remind me of scenes in "Battleship Potemkin." The Bernard Hermanesque soundtrack in "The Lodger" is employed to heighten the intensity and frenzy of the crowd's reaction to this crime of the Avenger. It seems to signal and anticipate more tragedies to come.

  It is also interesting to note that the rapid fire montage sequences in both films serve to kickstart the action and intense feeling of the stories. Whether it be the cascading dancers down the stairs ogled by old men or the important insertion of the process of a crime news story, both clips serve to highlight the machinations of exploitation by the mass consumption of voyeuristic tragedies.

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Daily Dose #2

Daily Dose #2: To-night Golden Curls
Opening Scene from Hitchcock's The Lodger (1927)

 

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? 

In my opinion, both openings portray a certain event (in the case of the first one, it is a dancing performance and in the case of the second one, it is a crime scene) which gathers a certain crowd or audience who show different reactions, but in both cases there is a noticeable relevance of the responses of the people present there that conveys the emotion of both sequences despite their different moods. Also, other similarities could be the presence of a blonde female character that is important for that moment of the story and it is possible to identify a situation used to relieve the the tension or the main sentiment of the opening which happens with the smoker man in The Pleasure Garden and with the man who covers his face in The Lodger.

Regarding the differences, not only the spirit of the sequences are dissimilar, but also the editting constructs a particular rhythm for each one of them and either the camera movement or the the motion inside the shot are distintive. On one hand, The Lodger builds a heavy tension and anxiety mixing the reactions and different situations resulted from the crime scene discovery emphasizing in the cut speed and the elements moving inside frame (as people or machines). On the other hand, The Pleasure Garden has a playful and lighter ambience that at least at the beginnings displays a traveling and has a slower cut speed.

 

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?

Definitely, many characteristics that come from the Hitchcock influences thatappear in later movies like heightening the suspense when cuts the scene of the street with the man at the public phone and the journalists at the newspaper wich comes from the Griffith films. Also, from the german expressionism, it is possible to identify the emphasis in the visuals (there are no many intertitles and could be more), the dark atmosphere of the crime scene, the shadowy lighting (sharp in the first moment when we can see a shadow) and the camera angles (specially the high one with the face of the woman). Finally, from the soviet montage, the general rhythm and the curious association between the crime scene and the text on the screen "To night-golden curls". I would add to this list, the close-up of the face of the woman at the beginning which is really strong, the reception of the telegram that for me keeps me anxious despite the long duration of that shot and the effective use of the music.

 

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 size of the shot is very important, the close-up gives a huge weight on the character emotion that in the case of a murder could be shocking even if we cannot hear anything. In this case, moreover, the angle is a little higher which increases the impact of the suffering of the character, the actress is moving her head which gives more reality to her pain and the low light on her face contribuites as well. The composition of the image, where we can see her a little sided is an extra ingredient. 

Other screams could be the ones from Janet Leigh in the shower and from Vera Miles when she sees Norman's mother in Psycho. 

 

Sorry for the extension. I really enjoy this :)

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In this silent film opening, I was fascinated by the spotlight on the technology of the day, i.e., the typewriter typing out the story of the murder, the Times Square-ish crawler relating the story on the outside of a building, the reporter calling in the story on a payphone. I am not using the correct terminology, I am sure. Words sometimes fail me. But the pace is rapid, makes you breathe fast. I look forward to seeing The Lodger next week in its entirety.  I caught a glimpse of the partially masked suspect, but not of Mr. Hitchcock himself in his first cameo. Enjoying this immensely.

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1) Similarities

 Both movies start off with emotional reaction in Pleasure Garden the audience all happy go lucky and in The Lodger the audience is more intrigued with the women describing the killer. They both have chorus girls in both and they are all fair skin with blonde hair.

 

 Difference

Pleasure Garden takes place indoor and more upper class people. While The Lodger take place outside , and is more dark and sinister,and it full of working class people.

 

2) Hitchcock style The opening shot of the women screaming and the music that goes with it just like Psycho and Marine. German Expressionism is the technique that stand out to me more.

 

3) Her expression the fear in her eyes we don't need any sound her face says it all, just like Psycho in the shower scene.

 

 

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The Lodger definitely has aspects of the “Hitchcock style” and German expressionism in the opening. The victim screaming, just a head shot, centered on her mouth, drawing you to it, and the fear in her eyes. Then the crowd scene all jostling around (easy to miss Hitchcock there, he was so young), jostling to get in for a closer look. Then following the policeman and the witness to the food truck, where she tells her story again, the fear on her face, then seeing the killer again, though we know it is a joker trying for a laugh, and she almost faints.

 

The cut aways to the reporter calling in his story, reading from his notes frantically into the telephone, then the close up of the typewriter/telegraph and the story as it is being told. This always is used to show anxiety to get the information out, whether a typewriter as here, or the police teletype. Then later in the city everyone reading the story from the News Sign high up, necks craning to see each word. This also works to place the narration for us to go along with the visuals.

 

Interesting how except for the opening shot, there is little about the victim from that point on, in what we see. Definitely a part of German Expressionism that Hitchcock brought back with him. You can see in the visualizations, far more than in any narration, the Anxiety of the supposed ordered world, especially as it moves from the banks of the river to newsroom, the men surrounding, reading the story on the telegraph as it is written. You can tell how this will be a film of FEAR, and how the innocent could be accused or hounded in this city.

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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? 

 

What is similar is the camera looking down, but this is a close-up, from the killer's perspective.  The Pleasure Garden is filmed above, but far away.  God's perspective. 

 

 

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 movement back and forth, the sharp cutting of scene to scene, in layers reminds me of "Battleship Potemkin".  The character joking that he was the killer, pulling his coat up around his face reminded me of Peter Lorre in "M", but "M" was made a few years later. The short shot of inside of the car, the 2 car windows, like all-seeing eyes, peering out.  Reminds me of the car scenes in "North by Northwest."

 

 

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 close up scream is of course Janet Leigh in "Psycho", but what makes me smile is the close up silent scream at the end of "Psycho", Mrs. Bates.

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Someone already replied that they thought the opening to the Lodger reminded them of "M".  I thought the same thing too.  Also, Mr. Hitchcock seemed to like to cast blondes throughout his career.  In The Lodger, a blonde is murdered and In his first film, The Pleasure Garden, blondes are running down the spiral staircase.  His use of camera angles and light and dark help tell his story.  I love his films and look forward to watching them in totallity.  I would like to watch The Lodger now, but oh well.

The difference is the pace I believe the similarities are there, but much slower in Lang's "M", while in the "Lodger" it is almost a panic rate.  

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Hey Guys, My name's Berlin.

 

      1. I felt as though both "The Lodger" and "The Pleasure Garden" both focused on subject's correspondence with one another like cause and effect an example being when watching Lodger I thought to myself "That woman is crying/sad because of what's on the floor, someone probably died"  and with Garden watching how the camera cut from the girls clambering down the stairs and dancing to that smooth sliding shot of the guys feening over the girls, that scene already registers what the dynamics between the characters present. It's simple but Hitchcock knows how to make you understand when something dope is going on. There's only few differences that I caught between the two films, that being, "The Pleasure Garden" seemed to want to move the story along like visually the characters plus the intertitles helped cradle me to the end meanwhile "The Lodger" I felt definitely used that Expressionism technique Hitchcock learned in that he highkey wants you to see, feel, and dwell a little bit on why this certain character, it being the screaming woman, is in such discomfort. I feel like I deviated off topic sorry guys

 

     2. The longshot of The Typewriter or I think it was a Telegraph, typing what happened at the scene of the crime mixed with the intertitle cards I felt established emotion kinda subtle because as the words were being typed I kept feeling as if it were going to keep going and show/tell us something crazy something that wasn't shown on scene I wont say that I was feeling anxious but felt anticipated. Also the part where everyone is huddled around that lady next to the food truck, as she's explaining what happened she sees a figure in the telephone both who she visually mistakes as being the same man she witnessed at the crime scene but it's actually just a guy reporting what happened to the people at the telegraph place. That whole scene just shows how tragic and frightening news can spread so quick.

 

     3. What made the shot with the screaming women in the opening scene of "The Lodger" work so well is that the camera was held on the actress just long enough for her shake during the scream while the orchestra gradually gets louder before the shot changes, all this helps sell the effect without having the need to audibly hear her at all.

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The Pov shots are similar, in these 2 silent films

 

The hitch touch is showing the printing presses running

As the news spreads with maddening speed expressing urgency

 

A blonde screaming is hitch, you can see the image in many of his films

 

Off angle camera, noir ish lighting, as he said, the start of a master.

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1. There are a lot of people who aren’t the protagonist--somehow introducing us to the world before Hitchcock reveals the lead character.

The difference is that whereas The Pleasure Garden makes strong use of the subjective POV, whereas The Lodger has a more omniscient camera--we're less in people’s head spaces (except for the opening) but we cover more ground and see the happenings of this town as the news unfolds. The Lodger also employs parallel cutting to a greater degree. In terms of the mis-en-scene, the atmosphere is really thick and high contrast in The Lodger, showing some influences from German Expressionism. The Pleasure Garden is also high contrast, and dark but doesn’t have the same foreboding mood, which is appropriate in the context of the story. 

 

2. A very tight close up of the woman in the beginning gives us a bold, mysterious image that makes us wonder about what where the film will go next. There’s also an element of doubt, misinformation, and paranoia that's seeded very early on, as the crowd begins to suspect who the killer might be which is funny and evocative. 

 

 

3. We can see the mouth prominently, moving up and down subtly, as if the vocal chords of her shrill scream undulate even her lips. We also see the eyes of the women to reveal the emotion of fear. I think the scream is present in Birds, and Psycho. 

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1.  The similarities that struck me were the use of a blonde actress and no need for dialogue as the facial expressions and body language told the story.  They were also similar in the use of unique camera angles.  It seems to me there were far more differences than similarities for example, the foreboding staccato music, the shadowy blue hue and the increase in close up shots which gave the picture the overall feeling of foreboding negativity whereas, the Pleasure Garden had a light feeling.

 

2.  The elements included Hitchcock's macabre sense of humor when the bystander is making fun of the witness' description of the avenger and again, the unique camera angles and voyeurism.  I specifically loved the shot of the back of the new delivery truck with the two windows that looked like eyes.  Very creepy. 

 

3.  The movement of the woman's jaw almost lets you hear the scream.  The scream is of course reminiscent of Psycho and I'm sure several more Hitchcock movies that I've yet to see. 

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The screaming women. The way they are both kinetically edited. The blending of shots all stood out as similarities to me. Nothing really stands out as a difference except maybe the film stock and it seemed as if he had a lot more to work with as far as sets go in The Lodger.

 

Blonde woman, woman screaming/shrieking in terror, suspenseful – people are in a panic, this is heightened by the music as well as the editing style. Murder/Crime/Hysteria all seem like things Hitchcock likes to play with.

 

He shoots it at an angle from above to make it appear as if something is attacking her or as if she is shocked by what she is seeing/coming at her. I have only seen a handful of his films and the most obvious and famous “scream” that compares to this one would be from the shower scene in Psycho or maybe some of the shots from The Birds. It’s a definitely a trademark of his.

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I think both films set an energetic, almost frenetic tone. That energy sort of winds us up as a viewer. We are being kind of conditioned to expect something. Something I really appreciate about Hitchcock's films, and these early ones are no exception, is the notion that nothing is extraneous. Everything might be relevant to the plot in some way, we just don't know what or why and so we are being asked as viewers to "wake up and take note!"

 

As others have noted, the two seem different in overall tone and feel, but there is also a different kind of modernity present in The Lodger clip. The flashing neon lights, the headlines, and the imagery propelling us from the breaking news over the wire to the printing of the presses to the delivery of the newspapers seems very modern to me...even now all these years laters.

 

As for elements of Hitchcock's style....Both films give viewers really accessible points of entry in that we can all imagine ourselves as one or more of these people (perhaps not the lecherous cads). For instance the victim in The Lodger could be anyone-it could be me or I might have been a bystander like those on the street. Hitchcock seems, even then, fascinated with the innocent bystander (warts and all) and the everyman. 

 

The opening shot is particularly effective in the way the woman's face is so tightly (claustrophobically) framed and slightly askew....as if something is dreadfully wrong. The absence of sound is unimportant.

 

Off the top of my head I'm reminded of the scream in the '56 version of The Man Who Knew to Much when Doris Day screams at the climatic point in the assassination plot. The whole scene almost reads like a silent film...all we hear is the symphony playing while Day is helpless to act. As she screams the music stops for just a second and we see her face, also tightly framed and slightly askew. I hold my breath everytime I see it.

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Golden Curls

First of all, I saw the connection to the strange moment of The Pleasure Garden when the chorus girl removes one of her artificial curls. Blonde hair seems to have a life to its own in Hitchcock films. In the opening scenes of The Lodger, the screams are shocking and the closeups and intense lighting magnify the effect. The effect that I keep thinking about, though, is the newspaper montage. It works as narrative but the percussive pace is just as scary as the screams--at least it felt that way to me. Hitchcock is showing us hysteria on an individual and social level, but he's not just showing us--he's making us participants as our hearts race and we breathe a little harder. Everything moves--that's one of the great things about Hitchcock and I see the connections to Eisenstein's Odessa steps.

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1.) The pacing of both of the films is very excitable almost like being kicked into high-gear. Blonde hair also reappears again which seems to mean something here in Hitchcock's early films. Tone is completely different in each film however, with murder being foremost here in "The Lodger" while "The Pleasure Gardens" had a much more light, pleasurable atmosphere. 

 

2.) More of the same elements as seen in "The Pleasure Gardens" appear here such as the quick cuts of shots, blurring the focus only to make it clear a few moments later, and the close ups of characters. Here we begin to see moments based on German expressionism however, like the low camera angle on the deceased girl and dark shadowy lighting obscuring the face of the murderer.

 

3.) I think that the angle of the woman's face and the closeness of the shot give it a different appearance entirely than if sound was added. The only similar scene that I can think of that would come close is the shower scene in Psycho. However, I am sure there are many others that as of yet I haven't seen. 

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Many have expounded very well on the class topics. I'm proud of my companions. I now understand The Lodger, and some of Alfred's techniques much more thoroughly. Some questions remain.

 

Why do the people move so quickly in these silent films? I'm chalking that up to inferior film stock. Is it disconcerting that all of the people in this film have passed away? Possibly, but maybe not. Do silent films come across as somewhat goofy because of the way the people move, and the way no one is speaking? I think so. I think these facts contribute to an undercutting of a dramatic silent film. Silent comedies fare much better within the context of this "goofiness."

 

I did not like the music attached to the first clip of The Lodger. The second one that someone posted was much better (Ashley Irwin).

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