Dr. Rich Edwards

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

329 posts in this topic

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 similarity between the two films is that the blonde women are the targets. In "Pleasure Garden", the blonde dancer is being stalked by the rich man and in "The Lodger" the blonde woman has been murdered. Will the blonde from "Pleasure" have the same fate?

 

The difference is in "Pleasure" it seems just that, everyone is having a good time watching the chorus where in "Lodger"no one is having fun. Everyone is shocked by the murder by the Avenger.

 

 

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 uses close-ups of his characters to show emotion, also his choice of music, because these films are silent the music makes the viewer anxious or happy depending on how Hitchcock wants us to feel. I like the way the camera zoomed in to show the distorted reflection of the man covering his face. The woman was terrified and as the viewer it took me a second to realize it was the reflection. He does the same when you see the distorted shadow of Norman before he kills Marion.

 

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?

 

Music played a valuable element in the scene, it sounded like a scream but it was just the instruments. Hitchock did something similar in "Psycho" even though we hear screaming the music adds an incredible element of surprise and makes the shower scene that much more disturbing. Without the music the murder in the shower wouldn't be so compelling.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The opening image is a close up of terror and it reminds of the scene in Psycho were Vera Miles character screams upon finding the mummified body of Ms. Bates but her scream is replaced with the screeching music of the sound score.

 

He replaces the sound of the scream more than once. I recall in Young and Innocent the reaction of the two girls who discover the body on the beach with the cry of gulls, much like in the 39 steps with the maid's scream being replaced with the train whistle.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What I found interesting, was remembering the earlier 1966 interview where Hitchcock talked about doing something different in a shot. He managed to do this in The Lodger  by using the teletype/telegraph machine and the  words running across the marquee instead of using title cards. He conveyed quite a bit of exposition quickly and (of course) silently.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 Also the use of the rousing score erupts in a manner similar to a scream. Its very similar find to the shower scene in Psycho, the extreme close up of the face and the thrilling score that screams for her and us

 

I don't know that there was a score for the Lodger. Typically someone plays along in the theatre live while watching what is happening on the screen, correct? I think what has been added on the clip might not be the same score as another version of the same film.

 

Not sure on this point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In Today’s 2nd Daily Dose: Reflections


The opening scene to ‘The Lodger’ is definitely ripe with similarity to Psycho’s shower scene in Hitchcock’s later work in film.


The music and the girl’s face were in my opinion German Expressionism in the way it had used the girl as a secondary purpose as supposed to her expression being the primary messenger to the audience telling of suspected foul play. Then again proving German Expressionism the story immediately portraying a fatality.


I was kind of shocked to hear Hitchcock himself denounce the Germans as his key influence into the Macabre, but it being the ‘English’ writer in him (crime novel lovers etc.)


I felt the Russian Montage was exerted during the reporter’s run to the phone booth and his description over the phone forming into the news being printed, forming into papers then trucks being shipped out and the public getting a hold of those papers until the message was written in the sky…


“The Avenger” has struck.


Causing a stream of increasingly steady panic as the story gains viewers.


The sharp editing was predominate (Hitchcockian) in this film though the camera lighting, angle and opening scene (Hitchcockian Scream) absolutely stole the show and set the film’s pace.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

 

Some similarities I noticed were the blonde characters. Both are silent films. Both used music to convey the mood. Pleasure Garden opening was light mood while To-Night Golden Curls was more dark. It seemed more like early film noir to me. Both drew the audience in immediately. Both were somewhat of a spectacle. Pleasure Garden an actual show while To-night Golden Curls was gossiped about around town about the murder of the young girl.

 

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 found the use of light and dark interesting. Pleasure Garden was light. Focusing the light on the dancers then on the people in conversation. Hitchcock draws the eye to what he wants you to see. In To-night Golden Curls it is dark. He uses the shadows to conceal the possible murderer. He uses the dark to draw out the suspense. We don't know who the killer is and he or she could anywhere. Even right in front of us.

 

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 uses the scream to start our adrenaline rushing as to what the scream is about then we see it's about murder. Screams in general usually trigger fight or flight response. This keeps the audience on the edge of their seats and doesn't let go until the last credit rolls. Movies like this leave me exhausted, but it is also why I love them.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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? 

​---Each film features the use of a subjective camera at different times during the sequences; in ​The Pleasure Garden​, we saw the chorus girls through the binoculars of the front row of men, and in The Lodger​ we see the busy city streets through the windshield of the newspaper truck.  We are also given specific information in the form on close-ups on important pieces of paper.  In ​The Pleasure Garden, ​we see the shady men outside the club steal the letter from Jill, and in The Lodger, ​we see the police officer reveal the "Avenger" calling card.  Both films use humor--the sleeping woman in the front row, and the bystander at the crime scene covering his face like the killer.  The Lodger​ was different in its use of colors to represent each location, blue for the murder scene and the city streets and yellow for the news office and printing operation.  The camera in The Lodger​ is also much more dynamic, especially in the shots through the windshield of the truck.  (Also, "To-night Golden Curls!")
 

 

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 close-ups on vital information stand out as "Hitchcock style" elements.  The actors in ​The Lodger​ have very expressive faces, of course, and their performances add a real feeling of dread and terror to the sequence; these people are living in fear of a serial killer, and Hitchcock establishes that tone immediately.  Hitchcock was also not afraid to show the effects of violence; although there is nothing explicit shown onscreen, we still see the young woman's lifeless body prominently in the frame.  He would not shy away from this approach in the following years.  His use of the news ticker machine also struck me as an element of "Hitchcock style"--giving us a lot of expository information in a non-verbal way and letting us use our eyes and brains to make the connections.

 

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 score replaces the scream and the high angle of the shot indicate a sense of powerlessness in the victim.  Her face fills the frame, so we are able to get up close to her fear.  Obviously this is a motif that would be referenced again in the shower scene of Psycho.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

The recently Blu-Ray releases in both the UK and the U.S. have the movie in the current best restoration and use tinting throughout. Tinting was not uncommon in silent films to indicate different times of time, interiors vs. exteriors, moods, etc. Filmgoers of the time would probably be familiar with these uses and would take them in as aspects of the film when they viewed it.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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


Some similarities between the two films include each possessing a six second-long opening with a cut to many different faces.  A stark difference between the two films is a drastic change of emotion between the screaming face of the murdered victim in The Lodger and the joyful chorus girls in 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? 


Some examples of the "Hitchcockian" style include the following:


  • doubles ('mur/der' sequence, two paper boys riding in car)
  • repetition ("to-night: golden curls" throughout the film, paperboys loading cars, cars following)
  • chaos in otherwise calm areas (streets with crowds)
  • drawn out scenes with no talking, dialogue (typewriter scene)

Images or techniques that convey powerful storytelling could be the disarray of the townspeople in the streets or the elongated scenes with the typing typewriter, while images that exude excessive emotion include the obvious opening scene, the hysterical eyewitness, the buzzing newsroom, and the general chaos that erupts over the city.


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 utilizes an askew-ed, dramatic viewpoint that shows the audience that what has happened is important.  The awkward positioning of the camera to the blood-curdling scream supposedly taking place is possibly reminiscent of Marion Crane in Psycho


  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. Both films featured fast-paced opening sequences, a prominent but short-lived scene with a blonde (in this film, literally short-lived), & rapid shots of people and their reactions. The main difference in these two films was that the Pleasure Garden seemed more static and the Lodger was much more dynamic and dramatic, probably owing to the subject matter & Hitch's development as a film maker.

2. The rapid pace, a blonde screaming and in danger, different characters carrying on, action and tension heightened by the flashing marque and the teletype. I was also struck by the differing tints of the scenes: blue for the crime scene and a grayish tint at the newspaper.

3. The scream was shot at an angle and with a tight closeup. That indicated terror & no sound was needed. Of course, Psycho comes to mind.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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 humor with the paperboy stood out to me as Hitchcock style. All around there's murder, terror, fear, horror and yet, the paperboy, is doing great selling papers because of all the crime and he says so! That kind of irreverent, absurd humor in the midst of something that would actually be horrible strikes me as very Hitchcock. It gives the viewer a little bit of a break in the midst of all the suspense and fear.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think previous postings have pretty much covered the ground here but I do have a few personal observations. The cutting here is much more frenetic than in The Pleasure Garden. I also find that I am less certain of what is going on right away. Clearly something has happened to draw a crowd and involve the police but the viewer is not sure what. This is something that Hitchcock uses in later films. We are thrown into the middle of things without understanding what is going on. Little bits of additional information emerge as the scene unfolds but Hitchcock still keeps us in the dark about a lot of what is happening. I couldn't help thinking about North By Northwest where we get information about someone named Kaplan but don't know who or what he is. We have to wait as the movie goes on for additional information about what it is all about. Part of Hitchcock's suspense technique was to gradually inform the viewer about what is happening. Sometimes red herrings were thrown out to keep us guessing.

 

The clip we saw was somewhat murky. I am hoping that the TCM screening will use the latest high definition restoration which is quite sharp and much more revealing of the action.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know that there was a score for the Lodger. Typically someone plays along in the theatre live while watching what is happening on the screen, correct? I think what has been added on the clip might not be the same score as another version of the same film.

 

Not sure on this point.

Right.  Usually the music was provided by an accompanist (piano or organ) or a small chamber ensemble if things were fancy.  So the score you hear for most films was done well after the original.  In fact, many contemporary composers are mining the depths of silent films these days.  It gives them a perfect "canvas" for original compositions that might actually have a shot at being heard.  (You can often tell that the orchestral sound is actually synthesized in a lot of contemporary silent film scores.)  I found two other scores for The Lodger with just a quick YouTube search.  To be fair: some silent films did have a set score (like Chaplin's City Lights), and films often came with a cue list of pieces (or types of pieces) as suggestions to the accompanist.  And some early films did have recordings to be played along with them (though they weren't that carefully synchronized).  Check out Vitaphone technology for that: http://www.vitaphoneproject.com/.  I don't know if that was ever the case with Hitchcock's silent films, though.  Finally, if you're curious about silent film scores, check out these two groups that accompany silent films:  Mont Alto Orchestra and The Alloy Orchestra.  Two very different approaches, but both are terrific.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

    Hitchcock puts you right into the action of the story in both films. However, the feeling of the opening sequences is quite different. In the Pleasure Garden, you were drawn to the faces of the audience watching the dancers. In The Lodger, you were feeling the terror of the victim and the horror of the onlookers after the crime.

 

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 believe the Hitchcock style is shown though the elements of the story on which he wants you to focus. In the The Pleasure Garden, it was the blonde dancer with the attractive legs and the man viewing them with his binoculars, and later the focus on the handbag robbed of its owner's letter.

In the The Lodger, the focus was on the terrified victim's face and  then the description of her murderer given by the overwrought witness, acted out by the man standing behind her and seen in a reflection to provide emphasis.

 

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 face fills the shot. It is shot from above, as the POV of the murderer. Her mouth, opened in a scream, and her eyes, opened wide, are what make the opening image work to portray the terror of the victim and what is happening to her.

Vivian Leigh's mouth was also a focus in Psycho during the shower scene, as well as Tippi Hedren's during the attack in the bedroom in The Birds.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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 stage is set by 'viewers' in both films - and the object, pretty girls. However, in the first film the girls were in control of the attention, whereas in the second, they became the victim (although we only see the one in the opening sequence as she's murdered).


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? -- His focus on light remains for this film as in the other and this time, even the line 'meet me at the lamp post' is used to illuminate the lodger's real purpose for being where he is.


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 frame on the face and the open mouth in terror are clues that this is a bad event; which it followed by another person, this one in more shock then terror... and then we head into mouths wagging and fingers pointing.  Psycho, of course, is the major one for screams (my mother wouldn't take a shower ever after watching that one). Mostly, I recall his use of train whistles that masked a screen... but those came later with sound films.


 


On an additional note, during the film when the Lodger was at hospital, a bit of Ivor's music was played... I sat up and paid attention! I love Ivor's music and it took me a second to realize what I heard.  It was a nice touch from whomever did the sound on my copy.


  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A reporter takes notes as the witness is interrogated by a bobby. As she relives her experience for the crowd at the refreshment stand, the reporter calls in his story. There's not a moment to lose.

Next we're shown the newspaper being created and distributed. We gather with editors around the teletype to learn details of the crime. This intertitle, the wire report, explodes with narrative.

The news factory hums with human and mechanical activity. The news rush continues.

As the paper hits the streets, news sellers are mobbed. A benefit of this crime? Fear sells papers.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The diagonal shot of the screaming woman, eyes gazing towards her killer then darkness definitely draws you in immediately, just like the spiral staircase of descending women. Hitch is honing his craft in film making. I watched The Pleasure Garden in full yesterday, interesting but stopped and walked away a few times. The first four minutes of the Lodger left me with wanting more.  I see the influence of the German expressionists since I am familiar with "M". I saw similarities like the dark shadowy lighting that emphasized fear and desperation. The newspaper reporting of the murder was interesting. I like being able to watch the typewriter script the reporting of the murder. I was there as a reporter. I particularly took note of the back of the newspaper delivery truck, the back windows were two circles similar to the binoculars in The Pleasure Garden. I am now the voyeur too.

So happy to be a part of this learning experience. Thank you Prof. Edwards

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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? 

Two different tones (though I think that the leering in The Pleasure Garden did give some uneasiness) for two films, fast paced, very specific shot by shot storytelling that is so effective, use of blondes and the male audience/actor gaze upon.

 

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 use of montage to rapidly move the story along, the use of newsprints to move the story along, the up close scream.. The opening of the film did remind me of M, and the use of artistic titles (repetitive, scrolling) reminded me of Sunrise (1927). I think the neon-flashing title of TO-NIGHT GOLDEN CURLS was particularly powerful storytelling, as it sets the tone right away for who we should be on the lookout for victimwise, the tawdriness of the whole crime, and the general feeling of on-edge that the people in the city have towards this crime and the suspected suspect.

 

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 of the quivering mouth and terror in the eyes of the woman and the closeness of the shot helped film goers' brains "hear" the scream. You see someone opening their mouths in terror, you put the scream in. Coupled with the flashing TO-NIGHT GOLDEN CURLS title, you just know that something unfortunate has happened to this woman. That's what's so cool about silent films and makes them different from talkies- there's a lot to be said for making the connections in your brain about what is going on soundwise than hearing an actual scream (think anticipating a gunshot over hearing one). Of course, one thinks of Psycho, The Birds..etc, because of the use of close up (sometimes soundless or sound over-ed) screams of women in Hitchcock's films. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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?

Women are the central characters in both openings, although central in entirely different subject matters..one being lighthearted..the other more grim. The frenetic pace...dancers rushing down the staircase...the reporter frantically relating his story to his editor. And in both, there is the ever present element of humor...in this case a sort of dark humor,,,the young man covering half his face as the witness relates the story and description of the murderer.

 

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?

Not sure if I can articulate this well enough, however, Hitchcock is the master of grabbing your attention and instilling a curiosity about the story which makes you want to watch it until the end. And he does it in many different ways...sometimes revealing the crime up front, sometimes panning the set filling you with information...sometimes appealing to the sensual desires and emotions. In whatever way he chooses, it is that immediate curiosity of wanting to "see where this goes next and what will be the final resolution". The Lodger certainly does this.

 

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 revealing the emotion of fear and the duration of the scream...its long and intense. Reminds me so much of the shower scene in Psycho.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

 

Again there is the hustle and bustle of people in their busy day from dancing girls to newspaper men. There are contrasting personalities on screen from serious, to easy going, to very jovial. The Pleasure Garden has more of a traditional, natural flow to the way the scenes are connected compared to the opening of The Lodger which has more fast cutaways to speed up the emotion of the viewer, gripping you and taking you into the suspense. 

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 you already have the plot of the film being a crime has been committed but then he adds in the suspense as the details are emerged from the eyewitness describing them and eventually the details are slowly revealed as they are typed up slowly revealing the crime. The stylistic title opening is also very much in the Hickcock style.

 

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? 

 

If you call that a "Dutch Angle Shot" it stands out as that is the only shot like that in the first 5 minutes. It's an unsettling angle that draws you in and says pay extra attention heightening the shot importance. Right away it reminds me of Janet Leigh's shower scream from Psycho the most but it also has a bit of Vera Miles scream later in the same film.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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 both introductory sequences, I think Hitch really goes out of his way to create an atmosphere of the mundane, the everyday, the familiar. In The Lodger it's the setting, the familiarity of the newsstands, newspaper press, phone booth and telegraph (which were all - obviously - everyday back then) and also the crowds and bustle of the city. Even with the murder, the cops and the newsmen are doing their jobs. It's all very believable. The Pleasure Garden showed us ordinary men enjoying a chorus line show, and you really feel like Hitchcock is trying - and succeeding - in portraying ordinary, everyday life. That is, IMHO, and excellent place in which to inject horror.

 

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 close-up-scream is a Hitchcock staple. You can see him wanting to do interesting things with the camera -- the weird distorted shot of the man. Ever the experimenting technician, Señor Hitchcock.

 

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 many people have said: Psycho, etc. ... It might be interesting to do the math on Hitchcock's leading ladies --- how many of them DIDN'T scream?   :)

 

... you probably won't read this, prof, but this is my first online course, ever. Totally enjoying it. All the best. -- e.s.
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. Several similarities can be found in the opening sequences for both Hitchcock silents- both films take place in then-present day London, England and are set in the evening.  Notable differences include quick (and concise) pacing and that the majority of the sequence takes place outside on the streets of London for “The Lodger,” compared to “The Pleasure Garden,” where most of the sequence takes place inside the music hall.

 

2. I feel the part (in “The Lodger”) where the woman is screaming is emotional and powerful, as she is strongly expressing her emotion after witnessing the murder that took place, along with images of the crowd of patrons outside looking at the murder headline in the newspaper (including the footage of the large news ticker outside, causing readers of the ticker board to act in a state of shock).

 

3. Hitchcock framed the shot of the woman screaming (in the opening scene from “The Lodger”) in a tilted manner, thus showing the woman’s strong emotion after witnessing the murder.  One can clearly see her reaction to the murder and her expression works well without sound.  This might have inspired the close-up shot of Janet Leigh’s scream in the “shower” sequence in Hitchcock’s “Psycho” (1960).

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The main difference between the openings of The Lodger and The Pleasure Garden, is the shots are shorter and a more frenzied pace.  (I wonder as aside if the blue tone and sepia tone are on purpose or just a product of the yearly days of the media.)  Hitchcock doesn't use the first person perspective here, so we are not sure of the any particular character yet.  He seems more concerned with an overall theme, the spread of information (makes me wonder considering his other films what he would have done with the theme today, with streaming video and 24 hour news) than diving into the characters.

 

The montage is in effect.  The visual of the telephone telegraph, printing press, the delivery.  The shot of the paper being handed out with a flurry of activity.  Actually, this doesn't feel as Hitchcock as The Pleasure Garden.  Typically, I think of a more measured slow evolving sequences until the moment of violence.  But then again perhaps the dissemination of information is the act Hitchcock is more concerned with here.  And is this the act of violence?  I haven't ever seen this movie before, but the theme of the wrongly accused man was mentioned in the prelude to the video, so we are building to that.  Is the spread wrong information the act of violence?

 

The shot the woman is very effective.  It doesn't take very long to figure out what is happening.  Extreme close-up, canted angle.  Tension.  Was there something around her neck?  I imagine this is German expressionism.  It isn't so much a picture of reality, but a picture of terror.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just have a few observations about "The Lodger" after viewing it this evening.

First, the version on YT seems to be a much better quality transfer than the one on archive.org (the one I watched). The YT sound track seemed to be better also. But, I was intrigued by the use of the color tints for the different scenes, which is not present on the YT versions. I'd be curious if this was original.

 

Another scene which struck me was the footstep scene, showing the Lodger pacing in his room. Obviously shot under glass to show the soles of his shoes (German influence?). Come to think of it, this ties in nicely when the Cop studies the lodgers footprint and determines he's the killer, another montage.

 

I loved how Hitch wraps it all up in the final scene, the couple embrace happily ever after but the flashing "Golden Curls" can be seen in the background. So far ahead of his time.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

New Members:

Register Here

Learn more about the new message boards:

FAQ

Having problems?

Contact Us