Dr. Rich Edwards

Daily Dose #20: Look! (Opening Scene of Frenzy)

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Today's Daily Dose is from Hitchcock's 1972 film, Frenzy


Head over to the Canvas course to watch the clip, and then come back here to discuss.


As usual, here are three questions to get the message board rolling--


1. How does the opening of Frenzy differ from the opening of The Lodger? Feel free to rewatch the clip from The Lodger (Daily Dose #2) for comparison. 


2. What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific.


3. Using Frenzy as an example, what thoughts do you have about the various purposes Hitchcock had in mind when he created his opening scenes? In the Daily Doses, we have focused on opening scenes, so there should be patterns or strategies you have noticed over the course of opening scenes spanning Hitchcock's 50 year career.


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Further Reflections:  After watching the clip, please go to Twitter (#Hitchcock50) or the TCM Message Board (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.  (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.to continue your reflections on this clip. Here are a few discussion starters (though feel free to come up with your own):

1. How does the opening of Frenzy differ from the opening of The Lodger? Feel free to rewatch the clip from The Lodger (Daily Dose #2) for comparison. Frenzy opens during the day time. It involves a speech opening a public works project and is attended by the press as well as social activists and donors. The Lodger opens at night with a rather seedy looking group of people – much “lower class.”  In Frenzy the body is floating in the water and is just being discovered. In The Lodger the body has been discovered and the police are making notes of the crime scene. Frenzy is a “talkie” in color and The Lodger is a silent film in black and white save for a blue or neon blue sign that is some type of advertisement.

2. What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific. A public place. A vantage point that is above the crowd, the shot pans into the River Thames as if you are on a helicopter swooping in. So once again the locale is a character. The public event is disrupted by the discovery of a body.

3. Using Frenzy as an example, what thoughts do you have about the various purposes Hitchcock had in mind when he created his opening scenes? In the Daily Doses, we have focused on opening scenes, so there should be patterns or strategies you have noticed over the course of opening scenes spanning Hitchcock's 50 year career. AH used his opening scene to set the tone by using locale as a character – just as John Ford did with westerns. AH uses a public place or event – the discovery of the body in Frenzy versus the assassination in Foreign Correspondent or the murder that occurs in a foggy street full of people (The Lodger). The aerial shot coming into the Thames reminds me of how AH framed Rear View Window in a public square in an apartment complex – the voyeur. 

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How does the opening of Frenzy differ from the opening of The Lodger? Feel free to rewatch the clip from The Lodger (Daily Dose #2) for comparison

 

The Lodger, Hitchcock’s first thriller, started on the close-up of a scream, and then to the revelation of a dead body, surrounded by a crowd and police. Frenzy starts with a great helicopter shot over the city of London, down (or up?) the Thames towards the iconic Tower Bridge, The music score is very stately, and Hitch is clearly establishing a British feel to this film – a feel that would last throughout the entire picture.

 

Tower Bridge represents London the same way the Eiffel Tower represents Paris, or the Capital building represents Washington. They are icons. So Hitch is establishing the film’s Britishness. The film will feature other typical and iconic British elements in it: Covent Garden Market, The British Pub culture, Dinner Clubs, and so on. The people featured are lower class, but very British –Rusk works at Covent Garden, Babs and Dick work at a pub, The Police Sergeant a typical British character, and so on. Even food is stressed to be simple British fare – meat and potatoes, sausages and eggs – as the Police inspector struggles with his wife’s recent cuisine classes and is making exotic un-British food which he cannot stomach (pun intended).

 

So Hitch is first establishing the atmosphere, which he didn’t do with The Lodger, which starts In medias res.

 

It is also almost a reverse of the events in The Lodger. In the Lodger, A woman screams, there is a dead body, and a crowd forms. In Frenzy, a crowd forms (for a political speech), a person screams, and then we sees the dead body. It is a great shot as first one person, then two, then three then four, then the entire crowd see the body.

 

Because we are in the sound era the irony is expressed through sound and visuals, instead of visuals alone. After a speech about cleaning up pollution in the Thames, we see a dead body floating in it. In the lodger we see the dead blond followed by the sign ‘Tonight Only Golden Curls’ – it has to be told visually.

 

A key difference that we will see later in the film – a fundamental difference – is that in The Lodger we never meet the killer, whereas in Frenzy we spend much of the movie with him.

 

There are similarities to the Lodger though. In both cases we are dealing with a serial Killer. In both cases our lead will be mistaken for the killer. In both cases there is humorous talk about the killing (in the pub).

 

 

What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific.

 

Irony – the speech on cleaning up pollution in the Thames followed by a dead body floating in it.

 

The opening helicopter shot – which is a directorial flourish but serves a purpose as well, establishing the London setting

 

Of course the cameo – Hitch standing in the crowd with his hat on

 

The cutting – first one person sees the body, cut to two people, cut to three people, cut to four people.

 

The element of danger in ordinary public places. The body is not found in a back alley but rather floating down the Thames by a political speech.

 

Humor – it is not just ironic, it is humorous that a dead body should float by as a politician talks about cleaning up the Thames.

 

 

Using Frenzy as an example, what thoughts do you have about the various purposes Hitchcock had in mind when he created his opening scenes? In the Daily Doses, we have focused on opening scenes, so there should be patterns or strategies you have noticed over the course of opening scenes spanning Hitchcock's 50 year career.

 

I think the main purpose of a Hitchcock opening scene is to engage the audience, regardless of the design of the openings, which vary greatly from film to film. We have had:

  1. Visual introductions to characters (Strangers on a Train, Shadow of a Doubt)
  2. In Medias Res openings (Vertigo, The Lodger)
  3. Voice over narration (Rebecca)
  4. Character set ups (The Lady Vanishes, Foreign Correspondent, Psycho)
  5. We’ve started with murders (Rope, The Lodger)
  6. We’ve built up to murders (Psycho, The Birds, Frenzy)

We can see how many differences there are in a Hitchcock opening, but they all have some method of engaging the audience. The visual introduction of the two characters in Strangers on a Train is no less engaging than the immediate murder in Rope, which is no less engaging than the pan of the apartments in Rear Window.

 

The main thing about Hitchcock openings is it grabs the audience’s attention somehow.

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I can remember visiting London in 1972. The London we are returning to with Hitchcock is not the one he left. Hitchcock has enjoyed opening with scenes, or having scenes of famous places in his films, here we have one of Europe's great cities. Not only the city of history, Shakespeare or antiquity, but a New London. The cranes on the right building modern skyscrapers, and tall buildings standing over the old London. The minister of parliament is talking about cleaning up the Thames River, you can see the river is low and clogged, it is not low just because of tides. It also looks brown, dirty and smelly. They are talking about cleaning the river, even further up and bringing to the city a river that is again clean, that they can be proud of. Then the man yells “Look”. And we see a naked body, disposed in the river like the dirt and refuse and sewage that has been dumped in the river for hundreds of years. It is the opposite of what we have been hearing about.

 

When I was in London in 1972 the great “cleaning” was going on. That alone would be enough to draw Hitchcock back to make a film. I can recall almost anywhere you went you saw the steam cleaning going on. The old stone buildings being cleaned of the decades of residue from the coal fires that made London, that drove the industry that made it the Great City of Europe. Also the coal used in everyone's house for cooking and heating. The buildings dull and dingy with coal smoke residue, about to be made shiny.

 

The floating body, like so many in the Thames, probably since Roman days or before. Pirates set in cages in the river, killed slowly by the rising tide as punishment for their misdeeds. You may be able to clean the surface, and change the landscape, but that won't clean the past. The music is almost majestic even hymnal. We can be sure we will not be staying in the better parts of London.

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1. How does the opening of Frenzy differ from the opening of The Lodger? Feel free to rewatch the clip from The Lodger (Daily Dose #2) for comparison. 

The opening of Frenzy showcases technical advances made since The Lodger.

The opening shot of London that starts from a great distance overhead, all the way into the politician speaking on the shores of The Thames would not have been possible even a year before.

 

The Lodger starts with a murder. Frenzy is a lot less personal, with the body seen only from a distance, already dead, and face down -- impersonal.

 

2. What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific.

 

The long opening shot is a Hitchcock touch. It brings us from on high right down to ground level. London will be a character in the film, but this is a street level story.

 

There is a crowd gathered for the politician. They are spectators both of the politician and the spectacle of the body in the river.

 

3. Using Frenzy as an example, what thoughts do you have about the various purposes Hitchcock had in mind when he created his opening scenes? In the Daily Doses, we have focused on opening scenes, so there should be patterns or strategies you have noticed over the course of opening scenes spanning Hitchcock's 50 year career.

 

Again, I think he meant to establish London as a character, but also to telegraph that this will be a down in the mud, low level view of London.

 

At this point the people of London are certainly less shocked by the body, which has narratively been reduced to the level of pollution in the Thames.

 

The victim is a woman and the woman is nude, so there are elements that suggest there is a sexual dynamic to the murder.

 

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1. How does the opening of Frenzy differ from the opening of The Lodger? Feel free to rewatch the clip from The Lodger (Daily Dose #2) for comparison.

 

The camerawork jumps out to me as particularly different. When I think of the opening of the Lodger, I think of closeups and news spreading of the murder. In Frenzy, we have a long wide shot leading to the crowd in order to show the more widespread news.

 

2. What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific.

 

There still are similarities to other films here I think, particularly the Lodger - the murder, the crowd response and spreading of the surprising news. Even the Hitchcock cameo is here this early as part of the crowd.

 

3. Using Frenzy as an example, what thoughts do you have about the various purposes Hitchcock had in mind when he created his opening scenes? In the Daily Doses, we have focused on opening scenes, so there should be patterns or strategies you have noticed over the course of opening scenes spanning Hitchcock's 50 year career.

 

This feels like a different opening as a whole compared to the others. The touches are here if you look for them, as previously mentioned, but the music just jumps out to me as not imposing any fear or impending death. Perhaps it's intended that way in order to be that more disruptive as the body is shown. We still have this observing of observers we've had so many times, the crowd reaction.

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1. How does the opening of Frenzy differ from the opening of The Lodger? Feel free to rewatch the clip from The Lodger (Daily Dose #2) for comparison. -- The scene is in color and has a majestic soundtrack - we are in London! (Also a note on the screen tells us so; because without the Ferris-Wheel, how would any identify the city now?) We finally enter the crowd scene and once the body is discovered, people look; but they are a silent crowd and do not show the agitation of those in the Lodger... the body of the woman is blonde... so could be where Marnie ended up.


2. What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific. -- Well, the opening show is a new one, since it's the first time he's ever performed such an action; and the crowd scene is more crowd-like and less individualistic as in the past; but the speaker is a character, from his rosebud lapel flower to his eager expression and speech.


3. Using Frenzy as an example, what thoughts do you have about the various purposes Hitchcock had in mind when he created his opening scenes? In the Daily Doses, we have focused on opening scenes, so there should be patterns or strategies you have noticed over the course of opening scenes spanning Hitchcock's 50 year career. -- Any opening shot of a film is the same as the first sentence in a novel, the first glimpse of a piece of artwork, musical phrase or even the first line of a poem - it is all meant to create the world upon which you will enter. This opening shot is a welcoming shot - here is London. It's huge! It has a bridge and a dirty river that some speaker is talking about cleaning up... removing the body is an excellent first step. His other opening shots, in all the films I've seen (and I did watch Rear Window and didn't mind Stewart half as much as usual - so thank you,TCM!) all create the world we are going to spend some time in; sometimes it's a busy street outside a trainstation, or a mountain side resort, or the inside of an expensive hotel... usually it's been streets though... outside shots to show the big world before moving into the characters and the world they have created.  I must say, I did notice the seagulls in this opening clip and had a shiver... thanks, TCM!  


 


In all seriousness, this had been a wonderful idea and I enjoyed it greatly; it has broadened my knowledge of Hitchcock's style and allowed me to see how others view him as well.  Thank you, TCM... this has been a wonderful month.


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1.    How does the opening of Frenzy differ from the opening of The Lodger? Feel free to rewatch the clip from The Lodger (Daily Dose #2) for comparison.


a.    The opening music and aerial shot puts one in mind of a travelogue, but while we can see St. Paul’s and Parliament in the distance, we are taken through the gritty, dirty, polluted side of the Thames south of Tower Bridge with industrial wharfs and canneries, etc. The speaker augments this vision with his explanation that the pollution is going to be taken care of and everything will be cleaned up. (This situates us in the kairos of the “ecology” movement of the 70’s.) But to contradict the speaker’s rosy picture of the future, the onlookers’ attention is shifted to more pollution in the river – a corpse! Maybe cleaning up London is going to be more difficult – and require attention to more than just water quality?


 


2.   What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific.


a.    The zooming shot that gives us locational perspective in a significant site – in this case, London – and the Hitchcock Cameo are two elements of the touch. Also – the introduction of a victim’s body is reminiscent of The Lodger.


 


3.     Using Frenzy as an example, what thoughts do you have about the various purposes Hitchcock had in mind when he created his opening scenes? In the Daily Doses, we have focused on opening scenes, so there should be patterns or strategies you have noticed over the course of opening scenes spanning Hitchcock's 50 year career.


a.     Hitchcock accomplishes several things in many of this openings:


 i.     Sets the mood or tone with music (e.g. Vertigo, Psycho, Rebecca – *Frenzy is an outlier, since the music gives no clue of the brutality to come


ii.     Introduces location as a key player (e.g. San Francisco in Vertigo, London in Frenzy.)


 iii.     Introduces us to the key character with whom we will relate. (*normally a known quantity such as Cary Grant or Jimmy Stewart, but Frenzy doesn’t depend on Star Power.)


  iv.     Either hints at, or directly introduces, the conflict early in the exposition. (hints at: the birds gathering in The Birds;  directly introduces: the murder victim in The Lodger)


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In this opening scene, Hitchcock is still focusing the audience's attention on public, recognizable places and landmarks. He chooses to reveal the first murdered victim not in some dark back alleyway, but in one of the most visible places in London, the river Thames (over which the audience has just flown in opening title sequence).

 

Of course, I love the irony of the politician's speech of promises to clean up the city and the river, only to have a (naked) dead body discovered just meters away.

 

Thematically, this film is not a departure from his other films dealing with murder. Visually, with the cuffs of production codes removed, he's able to explore a more graphic approach to revealing information to the audience.

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1. How does the opening of Frenzy differ from the opening of The Lodger? Feel free to rewatch the clip from The Lodger (Daily Dose #2) for comparison.  As is obvious...black and white to color...the opening of Frenzy has a fabulous opening score....almost lighthearted...the opening of The Lodger is nothing close to lighthearted....also as the gentleman makes his speech it is evident the environmental concern of the Thames the cleaning up....this was not even a thought in the 1920's


2. What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific. We are back in London a public place...we see the landmarks London Bridge, Parliament, The Thames....Yes in the crowd there is Hitchcock's cameo...the use of music to draw you in


3. Using Frenzy as an example, what thoughts do you have about the various purposes Hitchcock had in mind when he created his opening scenes? In the Daily Doses, we have focused on opening scenes, so there should be patterns or strategies you have noticed over the course of opening scenes spanning Hitchcock's 50 year career.....The victim (the woman laying face down in the water) is introduced right in the beginning...she is also a Blonde female..London is also a character....the music....his collaborative touch....no Star Power as in his previous Hollywood films....it is reminds me of his early films before he goes to Hollywood....he ends where he begins in London ....coming full circle...he is home again


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1.  I actually found the trailer at the end of the Lecture Notes today resembled the opening to the Lodger than did the opening of Frenzy.  Frenzy could have been a substitute title for The Lodger.  The panic, frantic pace, silent scream, police movement, and all of that happenng under the darkness of night bears no resemblance to the opening of the actual film Frenzy.  We are treated to a beautiful aerial view of the Thames as though we are traveling along the river and entering the city through the Tower Bridge.  I feel as though Hitchcock was happy to be back in London and wanted to share this with the audience.

The music by Ron Goodwin sounded like a entry march to the city, majestic,  I was fully expecting that the first person we would see might be the Queen.    The eventual scene of the body floating down the Thames was also different in that it was nude and the crowd reaction was much more tempered than in The Lodger.  Also all filmed in broad daylight.

 

2.  The Hitchcock Touch was evident in his whole approach to this opening, the juxaposition of the welcome to my city and the nude body floating down the river,  the impressive dolly shot beginning with the glories of the city and ending with the dead body in the river.  The politician's reference to cleaning up the river and ending polution, then the image of the body - some very dark humor perhaps.

 

3. A common pattern/strategy employed by Hitchcock and seen in this opening is to throw the audience off guard.  He creates a sense of calm as he shows us this beautiful city, a city like our own perhaps then reveals the evil that lurks even in the most benign places. Making the revelation all the more distrubing.  The cinematography is lovely, the long dolly shot then the close up of the crowd, body etc  the care that is taken in every frame are also typical patterns found in a Hitchcock film.

 

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Of course the location, London, the actors british, and the public involvement are in both films.

 

His opening of the traveling the Thames, gives us the great visuals that hitch is known for, taking all of us to places we haven't seen or haven't seen in that view. Public areas for discovery/commission of unexpected events.

 

His openings seem to draw you in, peeping tom like, or unexpected events, or public spaces where bad things can happen. He also likes to set the location early on, gives us info that we need to process the more complex action to happen. Watching kim Novak interview, she said, he was always looking at you thru the camera, creepy like. You are watching a master of framing a scene, a kiss, a dolly shot, the true stalker of imagery.

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How does the opening of Frenzy differ from the opening of The Lodger? Feel free to rewatch the clip from The Lodger (Daily Dose #2) for comparison.

 

Though both openings involve murder, the crowd in Frenzy are fairly calm. Lot more panic and chaos in the opening of the Lodger.

 

2. What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific.

 

Some common elements found here are a famous landmark, a crowd setting and of course murder and a cameo.

 

3. Using Frenzy as an example, what thoughts do you have about the various purposes Hitchcock had in mind when he created his opening scenes? In the Daily Doses, we have focused on opening scenes, so there should be patterns or strategies you have noticed over the course of opening scenes spanning Hitchcock's 50 year career.

 

In a lot of openings Hitchcock establishes that unusual circumstances can happen to anyone anywhere. In this case we have a politician speaking to a crowd when a woman's body is discovered. The grand music and long sweeping shot over the river that eventually settles over the crowd doesn't have us thinking murder. We feel like a member of the crowd as we are also surprised to see a naked body wash up.

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How does the opening of Frenzy differ from the opening of The Lodger? Feel free to rewatch the clip from The Lodger (Daily Dose #2) for comparison. 


I actually really love Frenzy. Frenzy returns to Hitchcock's "low British" roots of film making.  Ron Goodwin's score set this up so brilliantly we get a rather 'patriotic British hymn" score with the travelogue style stroll down the Thames River.  At first this set up what would first seem a travelogue style movie.  It is Hitchcock paying tribute to his roots.  After the pan shot under the London Bridge I notice the dark black smoke coming off one of the boats.  It breaks the feel of London feeling like such a lovely travel destination. It reminds us that the Thames are filthy polluted with sewage, disease and "maybe something else."  Hitch is good at engaging his audience. Like in other movies there is a feel of voyeurism.  In Frenzy it is more subtle.. we are dropping in on the public crowd which places the audience at the scene of the murder. 


When we arrive at the gathering on the Thames.. I love the dark humor of the speech that progress has been made and that "modern London" is becoming clean from toxic pollution and other problems.  Unlike the opening of  The Lodger the crowd is quiet and calm.  The dead body is nearly naked except for some white panties...It suggests a sex crime.  I find the more graphic sexual nature of Frenzy interesting and frankly very 1970s.  It seems to me this was a good style of movie making to move into for Hitch. I don't mind at all that it is not "a star vehicle" because by the 1970s the star system had dissolved pretty much. 


I like the interesting fact that when the dead body is discovered.. there is no "Frenzy" LOL... Hitchcock psychologically is stating that people in London at the time are so used to murders, rapes, and pollution that is just another part of Modern society.  (this is in a way more disturbing). The modern 70s dress and return to color film feels right.  It feels new (at the time) to be in glitter rock mod London with all of its sexually charged energy and tension.  Perfect back drop for modern thriller. 


2. What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific.


1. Like all his previous films the music score in this case Ron Goodwin's rather patriotic British score sets up the tone and mood of the movie.  The score works very well.  The patriotic feel is funny as almost to say: "Welcome to London, the home of Jack The Ripper and other rapist mass murderers."


2.  The Pan travelogue type shots is used in so many Hitch movies. 


3.  Close up of dead body 


4.  Dark humor. 


5. Staring and building to early murder (start of the film) 


These are all classic Hitch touches. 


3. Using Frenzy as an example, what thoughts do you have about the various purposes Hitchcock had in mind when he created his opening scenes? In the Daily Doses, we have focused on opening scenes, so there should be patterns or strategies you have noticed over the course of opening scenes spanning Hitchcock's 50 year career.


Hitch is the master of opening scenes.  The music, cinematography and characterization sets up what is to come perfectly in every Hitch movie.  In Frenzy it is not different.  I just think Frenzy has a lot of dark humor in the opening with such a patriotic feel with the music and London pan, then the nonchalant dead body in the Thames.  It is so Hitchcock's own personality too.  Emotionless in his face,  dry dark humor.  Rather funny to me. 


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1. How does the opening of Frenzy differ from the opening of The Lodger? Feel free to rewatch the clip from The Lodger (Daily Dose #2) for comparison.

 

Frenzy feels larger and more grandiose with the expansive shot from helicopter and crane swooping in on a public event. Frenzy was in colour and had sound (late twenties versus 70's) The Lodger presents more foggy images of cityscape and in b&w with a Scream as opposed to bystander declaring "look!" And then we see a floater. I've only seen Frenzy broken up so will watch again for more modern take on Hitch's horror in London, England

 

2. What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific.

 

Hitch cameo, a murder theme, intricate visual set-up. Large crowd in an opening very Hitch touch.

 

3. Using Frenzy as an example, what thoughts do you have about the various purposes Hitchcock had in mind when he created his opening scenes? In the Daily Doses, we have focused on opening scenes, so there should be patterns or strategies you have noticed over the course of opening scenes spanning Hitchcock's 50 year career.

 

I'd say the biggest pattern emerging over the fifty year span was his attempt to bring people in to common people stories even though there is also murder themes wrapped within the everyday environments. He seemed to like to blend public and private so well. The juxtaposing of people and public atmosphere with the more intimate stories of regular character in extraordinary situations...

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I find the more graphic sexual nature of Frenzy interesting and frankly very 1970s. It seems to me this was a good style of movie making to move into for Hitch. I don't mind at all that it is not "a star vehicle" because by the 1970s the star system had dissolved pretty much. I like the interesting fact that when the dead body is discovered.. there is no "Frenzy" LOL... Hitchcock psychologically is stating that people in London at the time are so used to murders, rapes, and pollution that is just another part of Modern society. (this is in a way more disturbing). The modern 70s dress and return to color film feels right. It feels new (at the time) to be in glitter rock mod London with all of its sexually charged energy and tension. Perfect back drop for modern thriller.

Really good observations ????????

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1. 

 

-Frenzy utilizes a panoply of modern filmmaking innovation such as color, sound & aerial shots to present traditional commercial representational filmmaking- whereas the Lodger utilizes cruder technology to achieve a more stylistic, experimental type of filmmaking. 

-The Lodger opening starts by showing murder and discovery of the body and Frenzy's opening ends with discovery of the body & realization there has been a murder.

-Frenzy starts from very far away and The Lodger starts from very close in.

-Frenzy starts with the pomp and circumstance of official business occurring before the body is found and not after. Both opening scenes contrast the soulless grind of daily business against the tragic loss of life.

-Frenzy's crowd/audience is facing the government official whereas the Lodger's crowd is facing the murdered woman and then the witness.

-Frenzy's frank depiction of the nude murdered body floating face down is a complete contrast to the lodger's barely seen clothed dead body lying face up in the street.  

-Hitchcock's cameo in the Lodger blends him in as a barely recognizable part of the exploitative media churning out the story. His cameo in Frenzy showcases him as an instantly recognizable and somewhat anachronistically dressed gentleman benignly watching the official with the rest of the crowd. 

-The Lodger's music seems to echo the drama and dread of the moment whereas Frenzy's music works as ironically cheerful counterpoint. 

 

2.

 

-The "travelogue" feel of the beginning with the "badge" of London displayed on the screen and the "local" music reminds me of the beginning of Lady Vanishes, also the first Man Who Knew Too Much and also parts of Vertigo.

-The cameo occurring so quickly & slightly quirky too.

-The dark humor of having the official proclaim the pollution will be cleaned up and then having a dead body in the water.

-The framing of the opened bridge seemed very Hitchcockian to me- a type of doorway or window that we are "entering" in our opening. 

-The bridge itself seemed very Hitchcockian. I think of the Golden Gate bridge in Vertigo and the Bridge in Lady Vanishes. 

-The black smoke coming out of the boat reminded me of the black smoke coming out of Uncle Charlie's train in Shadow of a Doubt.

-People leaning out of their windows to watch the official speak seemed very Hitchcockian along with the gawking crowds.

-He always manages to cram a couple extra people in each scene- like four people turn around to look at the dead body when I could see other filmmakers just showing one or two people. 

-Hitchcock really gives a strong sense of place in the beginning of his films- we see it in Psycho and North by Northwest and Lady Vanishes and Rear Window- that opening panning shot that tells you so much. 

 

3. I think his opening scenes are really meant to psychologically pull you in and shut the door behind you. They start out by making you feel wide open, safe, centered in a place. Then they take you deeper into the scene- often through a window. That's different then taking you through a door. A door is something you can exit. It's hard to get out once he's taken you through a window. 

Before you know it, you are seeing something forbidden/fascinating. Then he gives you permission to stay and keep watching/voyeuring by showing you that "you are not the only one fascinated by this- you are just part of a crowd." All of this happens visually- so that your subconscious mind grasps what's happening before anything is verbally confirmed. This is a sort of manipulation that pulls you in before you can articulate a refusal or an objection. At that point you've experienced the pull of your own fascination and you find you are complicit.

 

 

 

 

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1) The lodger started with a scream, whereas Frenzy starts with a panorama, then closes in on a speech before that body is seen, and there is no scream.

 

2) There is the incoming closeup and the ramping up of the speech before we see the body. Hitch is in the scene. Then there is the POV of the crowd as we see the body.

 

3) Hitchcock gets us into the meat of the story very early. There is no beating around the bush, meeting the characters, we are immediately thrust into the action. 

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1. The constraints of the silent medium dictate the differing approaches to a body of a fair haired (Hitchcock and those blondes!) woman being found on the Thames embankment. "Lodger's" exposition relies heavily on pantomime aided by a very small bit of dialogue and a lot of written newspaper material to let the audience know that London has a serial killer called "The Avenger" on the loose who has already killed 7 blondes. Hitchcock creates a sense of urgency in his silent opening by using the newspaper's need to get its story out quickly to the eager public to read. "Frenzy " opens with all of Hitchcock's humor on display because the audience can listen to the expansive politician waxing on about cleaning up the refuse found in the river as an environmental clean up project just before witnesses spot a terrible bit of pollution in the form of a dead blonde floating face down in the Thames. Hitchcock's cameo is priceless here because just before the discovery we see him in his bowler hat looking askance at the politician banging on about detritus in the water as if to say to us "how awful to call my victim trash."

 

2. Hitchcock is very at home in the two London exposition scenes. He uses all of the British conventions with which he is familiar to orient the audience as to where they are. In the "Lodger" he pumps fog into the picture and his bystanders are properly lower class in their dress, reactions and speech. As such the audience knows it is on a Thames embankment which is in the demi monde of London. "Frenzy" shows London a bit differently. The discovery of the body happens during the day among a crowd of middle class people concerned about the cleanliness of their environment. Hitchcock stamps the scene as London by placing a map legend prominently in the corner of the screen. (He did this in "Psycho" and "Notorious" with date, time and place stamps). In both films the audience knows right away a killer of women is among them.

 

3. Commonly Hitchcock shows us the crime or the seeds of the crime up front. But the story he tells following that revelation is one frequently haunted by guilt, hounding memories and sexual frustration. The audience knows that it will probably be watching a story about a wrong man chased by authorities, bad guys or both, while he has to, in turn, chase the real wrongdoer in order to prove his innocence. The convention of the Macguffin, will probably be used to give the characters a reason to chase around in the world of suspense, even though the nature of the Macguffin is really not important to the story.

 

Hitchcock will often bring the audience up short in the opening by focusing on a place in which a crime would not immediately be expected. "Lodger" shows the horror of murder up close and personal, in the foggy night which is a naturally frightening time and place. By the time he directs "Frenzy" Hitchcock zeros in on a very specific mundane daytime scene in which environmental pollution is at issue. The discovery of the ultimate pollutant in the form of a dead woman brings the audience up short and puts them off balance for the rest of the film. It is not surprising that some 50 years later Hitchcock has mastered his presentation.

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1. How does the opening of Frenzy differ from the opening of The Lodger? Feel free to rewatch the clip from The Lodger (Daily Dose #2) for comparison. 

 

The opening of Frenzy differs from the opening of The Lodger in a couple of ways. First, The Lodger opens with a close up shot, while Frenzy shows us a long, aerial shot of London. The Lodger has a hard opening with the scream and the murder, while Frenzy opens with a seemingly innocent scene of a public speech, and only at the end of the clip is the body discovered floating. 

 

2. What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific.

 

Some of the Hitchcock touches I see in this opening scene are first, it starts with ordinary people in an ordinary situation. Second, we see Hitchcock's signature cameo. Also, there's the element of humor with the politician talking about cleaning up pollution in the river, while a dead body is seen floating in it.

 

3. Using Frenzy as an example, what thoughts do you have about the various purposes Hitchcock had in mind when he created his opening scenes? In the Daily Doses, we have focused on opening scenes, so there should be patterns or strategies you have noticed over the course of opening scenes spanning Hitchcock's 50 year career.

 

Hitchcock's openings are always attention grabbers. They also always introduce us to a location, character, or theme that will be important in the film. (The voiceover talking about Manderley in Rebecca, Tippi Hedren noticing the flocking birds outside the pet store in The Birds, this dolly shot of London in Frenzy, the date and time stamp in Psycho, etc.) 

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It seems to me that there was a lot more chaotic elements in the opening of the LODGER.

A large crowd had gathered at night after the murder. Making the situation all the

more disturbing and creepy.

 

In the Opening scene of FRENZY we get a sweeping travel log of the beautiful city

of London. However,a large crowd has gathered, in the seamier side, during the

day, to hear the local politician expound on cleaning up the city and the river.

When lo and behold a nude woman's body, lying face down, has washed up

amid all the murky, polluted water.

 

Hitch uses this technique frequently to draw us in to the story and then we see all is not what it seems, as he brings us around to a different angle.

 

We get to see Hitch's cameo early standing among the onlookers.

Noting that in this movie he has not used any British big name stars.

 

Although I did recognize Billie Whitelaw's name in the credits.

 

Side note: she played Mrs. Baylock in the original version of the OMEN.

 

Probably a big distraction was avoided, as I cannot see Cary Grant starring in

FRENZY.

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1. How does the opening of Frenzy differ from the opening of The Lodger? Feel free to rewatch the clip from The Lodger (Daily Dose #2) for comparison.

 

Music: The opening of The Lodger actually sounds like a frenzy, while the opening for Frenzy sounds refined and reverent to the majestic history of England.

 

In The Lodger, the music makes the death of the woman feel urgent, yet expected, as though the people have been on alert for such an occurrence.

 

In Frenzy, the music suggests that the stateliness of life has been going on. There is peace and calm in the city, and the people seem nonchalant about potential dead bodies being found.
 

 

Visual: A crowd is gathered by the River Thames in both openings. There is also a police presence in each opening. However…

 

In Frenzy, the people are gathered together for a "good" (harmless) purpose — to hear a speaker talk about strides being made in cleaning up the river. They do not exhibit any fear or anxiety, as they are in support of the man who is giving a speech. Then, a man crowd notices the dead, naked body of a woman floating in the river and calls out, “Look!” Only a few people turn around to look.

 

In The Lodger, the crowd gathers by happenstance, only after attention is drawn to the murder of a fully clothed woman on the street by an older woman. She is seen describing the event to a policeman who is taking notes. A reporter is on scene to take photos and notes for a news story. Everyone is in panic mode and is clamoring to see the body and figure out what is going on.

 

 

2. What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific.

 

Hitchcock likes his long shots… and his focus on the everyday world filled with ordinary people doing ordinary things in ordinary places. The Tower Bridge, the businesses aligning the river, the boat chugging across the water, the crowd of photographers and journalists, while pedestrians walk casually by, people watching the speech through windows in the background, the mix of social classes, world renown “monuments” in view (Houses of Parliament, Big Ben…)…

 

As the camera flies through the air toward the man giving the speech, we are treated to a view of the river where the dead body will appear, yet it is not in view yet. Once the body appears, we are directed straight to it.

 

 

3. Using Frenzy as an example, what thoughts do you have about the various purposes Hitchcock had in mind when he created his opening scenes? In the Daily Doses, we have focused on opening scenes, so there should be patterns or strategies you have noticed over the course of opening scenes spanning Hitchcock's 50 year career.

 

In some of Hitchcock’s films. The opening acts as part of the story, essentially putting us in the scene — in Frenzy, we fly in via the camera and find ourselves standing by the podium watching the man speak. This gives us an intimate, personal view of events unfolding. In some of his other films, the opening is not so much a part of the movie, but instead features graphic elements and music that reflect the feeling of the story and its outcome (or the feelings Hitch wants us to have about them), thus securing us as a viewer only, not a participant.

 

Also, at the beginning of his films, we are likely to see a key event happen, or a key object is in close focus — which tells us ahead of time what the story may be about. For example, in Frenzy, we see the dead body of the woman floating in the river. She is actually the only person who really should mean anything to us in this scene, as the people in the crowd are merely incidental; they are not who the actual movie is about, and they will not be seen again. They are simply a means to an end: pointing out that there’s some kind of problem. We haven’t yet met the murderer or the protagonist.

 

It feels like Hitch wants us to feel like we’re on a wild psychological ride for some of his films (Vertigo, Psycho…), and in others, we are falling into emotional entanglements (Notorious, Rear Window, Rebecca…), and others we are on suspense-filled adventures (North by Northwest, The 39 Steps, The Lady Vanishes…).

 

Each individual opening seems to be designed to support the type of movie it is meant to feel like (internal/external to ourselves).

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1.    How does the opening of Frenzy differ from the opening of The Lodger? Feel free to rewatch the clip from The Lodger (Daily Dose #2) for comparison. 

 

Frenzy differs from The Lodger first in the opening music. Frenzy’s music is more of a patriotic sound and The Lodger’s music is dramatic and builds up the suspense of the opening scene with the body.  The Lodger opens with a dark evening as one person approaches and sees the body while Frenzy opens on a bright sunny day with a crowd already in place to see the body.

 

2.    What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific.

 

Hitch’s touch in this scene:

 

The title:  The red lines through the lettering of Frenzy reminded me of the lines that ran through and broke up the title of Psycho; the red indicating blood and making me feel that something is or will be broken.

The music: The patriotic music seems to make me think that the opening mood is good and will have a scene associated with this crowd of reporters and people listening to the speech of a local politician.

The setting: being in a public area; the crowd gathering outside a public venue.

Showing the viewer a dead body right away: Giving the viewer the information upfront; showing us the body, that there has already been a murder. So now we are anxious for the outcome.

The camera movement: the dolly scene over the river making me feel I was on a plane and a boat moving across the Thames sailing under the bridge; classic dolly shot from Hitchcock.

 

3.    Using Frenzy as an example, what thoughts do you have about the various purposes Hitchcock had in mind when he created his opening scenes? In the Daily Doses, we have focused on opening scenes, so there should be patterns or strategies you have noticed over the course of opening scenes spanning Hitchcock's 50 year career.

 

I think Hitchcock’s purpose with this opening scene was to give us a full view of London with the patriotic British music making me feel that Hitchcock was proud to be English and back filming an English picture. The patriotic feeling on a sunny day made me feel that this is a normal day for normal people so what could go wrong? But wondering could the water be a key element in this story?

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(1) The Lodger opens at nighttime whereas Frenzy opens in the daytime.  In The Lodger, the body is discovered at the beginning of the opening scene, but in Frenzy, the body is discovered a few minutes into the opening scene.  We immediately know that the victim in The Lodger was murdered because of the Avenger’s “calling card.”  In Frenzy, we do not have immediate confirmation that the victim was murdered.  In both films, the victim in the opening scene is female.

 

(2) One of the Hitchcock touches in Frenzy is Hitch’s cameo.  He’s in the crowd listening to the politician in the opening scene.  Another touch is the humor and irony.  The politician is talking about making the river clean again, and no sooner does he say this than a dead body is discovered in the river.  The river is tainted by pollution but now also by a person’s death, which we presume is the result of murder.

 

(3) In general, I would say that Hitch consistently establishes the scene in the opening shots of his films but an immediate action takes precedence in his opening scenes.  Usually, something immediately ignites the audience’s intrigue in the opening of Hitchcock’s films, e.g. a ski jump, the discovery of a dead body, an ominous flock of birds in the sky, or the camera focusing on a key object such as a handbag.  When creating his opening scenes, Hitch wastes no time engaging his audience.  

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1.    How does the opening of Frenzy differ from the opening of The Lodger? Feel free to rewatch the clip from The Lodger (Daily Dose #2) for comparison. 

 

There is a lack of focus on a specific character who has witnessed something horrible. This time, a group, who experience a dead corpse seem less shocked and disturbed by the incident. There is no footage of a person who is traumatized by a horrible incident. The crowd is introduced immediately and sets the tone for the locale, demographics and historical context of the story.

 

2.    What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific.

 

Introduction to the locale with sweeping camera moves across a wide and diverse set of environmental imagery. We are introduced to the culture, demographics, time period and other supporting information with a panoramic view of the place where the story begins. Hitchcock again places himself in the crowd with a cameo.

 

3.    Using Frenzy as an example, what thoughts do you have about the various purposes Hitchcock had in mind when he created his opening scenes? In the Daily Doses, we have focused on opening scenes, so there should be patterns or strategies you have noticed over the course of opening scenes spanning Hitchcock's 50 year career.

 

Introduction to the locale with (sometimes) miniatures, sweeping camera moves across a wide and diverse set of environmental imagery. We are introduced to the culture, demographics, time period and other supporting information with a panoramic view of the places, props, costumes, customs, language, fashion and historical context where each story begins.

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