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slp515

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  1. Daily Dose #20: Look! Opening Scene from Frenzy (1972) 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 Lodger - No sound. There was fog- night time- the victim was shown screaming - she was alive - the audience has a clue as to who the killer is (he left his signature- The Avenger)- news reporters incites the people emotionally- technology was displayed for that time period within the newsroom. Frenzy - There is sound. It is daytime during a political rally- camera technology was much more advanced - used at the very beginning with the aerial shot and panning of the city. During the rally, people see a dead body in the River and don't seem at all in awe. We (the audience) don't have a clue as to who did this crime. 2. What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific. Common Hitchcock touches that are seen in this opening scene are: first, reading his name in the opening credits. Then, the camera slowly panning his location - London. The sound of the light hearted yet, patriotic music is heard throughout the panning shot of the river. Lighting is used from the onset. You see as he slowly pans London, the light shadows or clouds in the background, and as he brings the camera closer the lighting changes to a more beautiful picture. You even see the murky waters of the Thames with birds flying over. You see an overhead shot - of the political rally and panning closer you see the crowd. You even want to listen to the government official talking about the sites as his voice rises to excite the crowd. You see a close-up shot of a man taking pictures. In a quick pan of the crowd you also see Hitchcock, himself as part of the spectators, wearing a black hat. There is a POV shot of the man who says 'Look'. As the people look down into the water, the camera angle changes too. 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 uses his opening scenes to start his story line. His opening scenes are used as manipulation. He deliberately uses ways in which he shows us props that are central to particular scenes or plots in his films. He tells his stories using a camera so therefore he uses location, various degrees of intrigue, suspense, murder, and romance to completely throw us off guard and we love it!
  2. Daily Dose #19: Real Identities Opening Scene from Marnie (1964) 1. Based on the opening sequence alone, what do you feel you already know about Marnie as a character? In what ways does Hitchcock visually reveal her character through her interaction with objects. Marnie's character is displayed as secretive in this opening sequence because we really don't know who she is. She enters her hotel room with newly purchased suitcases, new clothing that she is packing into the cases and throwing a lot of money from her yellow bag into them as well. She not only changes wallet with a new identity but she has four different Social Security cards. She also changes her hair color from black to blonde. It is as if you really wonder about who she really is or what has she done and finally, what is she up to. 2. How does Hitchcock use Bernard Herrmann's score in this scene? Hitchcock uses Bernard Herrmann's musical score in this scene to convey a mysterious echo of something happening that we know nothing about. It mounts our curiosity with her every movement especially when she washes the dye out of her hair. 3. Did you see any variation in what Hitchcock is doing with his cameo in this film, and what do you think that variation means? Compared to Hitchcock's earlier cameo shots, this one seems to be not like his others. He is leaving his hotel room and looks down the hall as if accusing the woman who just passed of doing something wrong. He then does something that I don't think that I have seen him do before and that is - he looks directly at the camera. I think that he is telling his crew that he can do something that he has instructed his actors and actresses not to do in his movies and that is to not look directly into the camera.
  3. Daily Dose #18: Love Birds Opening Scene from Psycho (1960) 1. In what ways does this opening scene seem more appropriate to a romantic comedy than a “horror of the apocalypse” film? What do we learn about Melanie (Tippi Hedren) and Mitch (Rod Taylor) in this scene? This opening scene starts on what seems to be a very beautiful day. As Melanie is walking to the store, a little boy whistles at her which brings a smile to her face. Although she sees a huge flock of birds flying around and making a fuss, she still thinks that her day will go well as she proceeds to pick up her order. In the store she meets Mitch who mistakes her for the shop keeper. Melanie seemly, flirts with him playing along with his innocence of who she is. Mitch is looking for "love birds". These scenes are definitely romantic comedy and not a horror of the apocalypse. What we learn about Melanie and Mitch in this first take, is that they seem to be quite opposite. Melanie knows nothing about birds as seen with the shop keeper as well as when she encounters Mitch. Mitch just assumes that the beautiful blonde he sees when he looks up the stairs is the shop keeper. Mitch knows more about birds and provides enough information to the audience that he does - while Melanie attempts to try to make him aware that she knows about them. 2. How does Hitchcock use sound design in this opening sequence? For example, how are the sounds of birds used to create a particular mood and atmosphere? Hitchcock uses sound design in this opening sequence by creating a perfect city atmosphere by the sea (San Francisco sign) - with birds flying high and chirping - the bustle of the the people walking, cars passing and the streetcar (trolley) going by all seem to create a serene yet busy atmosphere. Even the little boy who whistles at Melanie seems to be imitating the birds. 3. The opening scene contains a famous Hitchcock cameo. Describe the cameo and if you think it has any particular meaning in relation to this scene. The famous Hitchcock cameo was when Hitchcock himself came out of the Pet Shop with two dogs on a leash passing Melanie as she entered the store. After viewing the cameo, I was convinced that the Hitchcock cameo had a particular meaning in relation to this scene only because he walked out of the Davidson's Pet Shop (shops sign) with two dogs. And then I realized that this is his touch that he created for each of his movies and that they really have no meaning. Only to him- I read that he started doing this to get next to his crew and that they started making it harder and harder for him to do. He stated that he had to do it after that.
  4. Daily Dose #17: What Do I Do With My Free Afternoon? 
Title Sequence and Opening Scene from Psycho (1960) 1. Psycho opens with title design by Saul Bass and music by Bernard Herrmann. This is their third collaboration for Hitchcock, including Vertigo and North by Northwest. How does the graphic design and the score introduce the main themes of this film? The graphic design and the score reminded me of a highway or train track moving too fast and at the same time introducing the cast and entire staff. The line design even seem to be in the shape of a piano at one point and just before the story started, the design seem to have changed into a musical sheet scale. The music is suspenseful and mysterious with its string instruments enhancing various sounds to increase the fear, suspense and sense of not knowing what was coming. The sounds mixed with lines graphics seem to pull you into the movie 2. As the titles end, we have three shots of Phoenix, Arizona, and a very specific day, date, and time: “FRIDAY, DECEMBER THE ELEVENTH” and “TWO FORTY-THREE P.M.” What is Hitchcock seeking to establish with such specificity? Also, why do you think Hitchcock elects to enter the hotel room through the semi-closed blinds from the outside? Does this shot remind of any other Daily Doses we have watched? Hitchcock introduces the place, date and time in theses shots to give his audience an introduction to this scene. As he pans the city skies and buildings leading to the hotel window, he is letting us know where this scene is actually taking place, and that it is in the afternoon and it is the beginning of the weekend. Hitchcock also elects to enter the hotel room through the semi-closed blinds from the outside to allow his audience to take a peep into something happening that is perhaps a secret or maybe there is something to hide. It is dark as we proceed into the room and it seems to be a hot, dry afternoon. As I watched this shot, I immediately thought of Rear Window. 3. In the remainder of this sequence, we are introduced to Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) and Sam Loomis (John Gavin). The scene pushed the boundaries of censorship, especially considering our last Daily Dose for North by Northwest was edited for a line of risqué dialogue. Since this is the opening scene of Psycho, how does the hotel room scene function as a way to establish Marion Crane as a main character? Defend your answer. The hotel room scene functions as a way to establish Marion Crane as a main character in several ways. First Hitchcock preferred his leading ladies to be blonde. This fits Marion Crane. Second she is lying on the bed and Hitchcock takes a POV of her in the very first scene at such a low angle to establish her beauty and statuesque state. She seems to be seducing Sam Loomis and in this scene she is definitely not dressed. Lastly, she talks marriage. This gives the audience a sense of speculation and suspense in their future.
  5. Daily Dose #1: Spiraling into View Opening Scene from Hitchcock's first film, The Pleasure Garden (1925) ‪1. "Hitchcock touch" in this sequence - the girls coming down the stairs and the camera looking up at them running down the spiral staircase. He changed the shot and filmed from the top down‬ ‪2. Yes I do agree. Scenes such as the lady talking and then older men enjoying the young ladies as well as the women in the audience - some sleep while others had binoculars was definitely a Hitchcock touch as well as his signature scene when the young lady was robbed of her letter of introduction for a job. ‬ 3. I do not feel that there were any limitations on the opening scenes because everyone watching knew what was happening in each scene.
  6. 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 comparing the openings of The Lodger to The Pleasure Garden, the sound affects were very different. One was joyful music while the other was scary. In the Lodger there was a lot of emotions and fear. The title repeating itself. Joy and excitement began in The Pleasure Garden. Similarities were described as a dark evil appeared in both films - one with death and the other with robbery. 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? - In this sequence the "Hitchcock style" showed dark shadow lighting in its first shot of the little girl screaming as well as when the newspaper truck was flying down the street. They both emphasized despair and anguish. The creation of suspense was displayed throughout the film with the questioning of the witness to the man that had his head wrapped up to even the reporters getting the story out. 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? - Bringing the woman's screaming expression directly to your face on the screen in this silent film makes it work as well as the eerie sound of the music. Psycho comes to mind from Hitchcock's later work when the woman is in the shower and is being stabbed by the Bates Motel owners son.
  7. Daily Dose #3: Fighting For Her Scene from Hitchcock's The Ring (1927) 1. Hitchcock uses montage or expressive editing to add vitality and rhythm to this scene by having carefully chosen close-ups of a man and woman on a chair seemly hugging and kissing. Another close-up of a man in a different room with eyes glaring at the couple. The music added to the vitality of the scene and the rhythm is when he pieces together different fragments of the shots together like when the picture of his wife and the man sitting with her are placed next to her husband face. 2. Various techniques Hitchcock used to create that feeling of subjectivity in this scene were emotions like laughter, fear, boredom, anger. Another technique is the camera as it moves from the guest in one room to the gentlemen in another room. Point of view shot is another technique where an idea is placed into the mind of a character without explaining it - the woman's husband. 3. Hitchcock sets the stage by introducing a boxing event advertisement and a meeting of three gentlemen in one room and guest in another room involved in frolicsome acts of dancing around and playing with each other. The set is designed so the audience and characters can see each other in both rooms. Editing techniques used started with a close-up of the actor and cuts to a shot of what he is seeing and then back to the actor to see his reaction. Tension builds when the actor walks into the room where his wife is.
  8. Daily Dose #4: Depends on Your Point of View Scene from Hitchcock's Downhill (1927) 1. In your own words, please describe the effect of watching the POV dolly shots / POV tracking shots in this scene? While viewing the film I felt like I was moving along with the two mates who were entering the office in the POV tracking shot. And the headmaster appeared to be moving up to me. The POV dolly shot created a moment of fear as the young lady approached the two men. As she seemed to move closer, I felt that she was going to slap one of them. 2. Why do you think Hitchcock uses the technique of a POV tracking shot? What does it add to his visual storytelling? I think that Hitchcock used the technique of a POV tracking shot because he is shooting an action shot where the men are moving. He used that technique to follow the men who would otherwise leave the frame. What it added to his visual story is suspense. 3. What connections (visual techniques, images, motifs, themes) do you notice between films that came before this (The Pleasure Garden, The Lodger) and a film that came after it (The Ring)? Please cite specific examples. Connections (visual techniques, images, motifs, themes) that I noticed between films that came before like (The Pleasure Garden, The Lodger) and a film that came after it- (The Ring ) were dancing and joyous laughter, fun themes and images in the Garden and the Lodger. The pictures appeared to also have a very dark lightning especially the Lodger when film was taken in the street. The themes were also dark in nature when murder, robbery and scamming became its themes. As for The Ring, however, it seemed to have better visual techniques such as lighting and POV, clearer panning and the theme was more serious. It portrayed a serious social issue of couples who get trapped in ironic situations. The technology seemed to have improved a bit when rolling cameras were included to bring the characters up closer to the audience.
  9. Daily Dose #5: Heard About the Murder? Scene from Blackmail (1929) 1. In this sequence, describe how Hitchcock uses sound design to put you into the subjective "mind of Alice"? Be specific. In order to enhance the feelings of guilt from Alice after she murdered the artist, Hitchcock used surrounding sounds to amplify those feelings. As Alice is slowly walking through quick-moving crowds in a daze of shock, car horns enhance the counterpoint between the busy world and her stake of shock. Each of Hitchcock’s car horns are taunting her to snap out of it. Another was when she wakes up in bed the next morning, caged song-birds in her room whistle happily to the extent that they become intrusive, further escalating her frantic mental state. 2. Describe the different ways that the sound design of this scene operates in counterpoint to the visual track. For example, how does Hitchcock set up the shot where the knife flies out of Alice's hand so that it registers a shock in his audience? Pay attention to both what is happening visually and aurally. Be specific. The sound design of this scene operates in a counterpoint to the visual track when the woman continued to ramble on about the murder and did not stop as she kept repeating the word 'knive'. You could actually see what was going through Alice's mind in this scene as if she was remembering her guilt. Hitchcock's signature scene appeared as he set up this scene by providing a close up shot of Alice's facial expression where it seemed the audience knew what she was about to do. Instead of slicing the bread as she was prompted to do by her father, she took the knife and threw it - an emotional act causing the audience to have a moment of fear. 3. Why do you think this particular use of subjective sound is not used frequently in cinema? This particular use of subjective sound is not used frequently in cinema because technology has provided for many different others ways to get to an audience. Advancement in cinema has promoted sounds in theaters to frighten the audience with other more advanced subjective sound like 3D, IMAX movies etc. and it expresses a change of time. Younger people want more.
  10. Daily Dose #6: Knocking 'Em Cold Opening Scene from The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934) 1. Based on these opening scene, what do you anticipate is going to be more important in this film--the characters or the plot? (It is fine to make an informed guess about the 2nd question if you haven't seen the film yet) I believe the characters are going to be more important in this film than the plot based on the opening scene. 2. What do you learn about Abbott (Peter Lorre) in his brief scene? How might this introduction affect your view of the character Abbott later in the film? In this brief film, Abbott seems to be a happy character having fun and not angry with anyone. Even though he was knocked down in the snow, he rose as if the fall did not bother him and the people who were knocked down with him. Something about the way he looked at the skier sparked my curiosity about both characters. They seem to know each other. 3. We saw two opening scenes from Hitchcock's silent films in the Daily Doses last week (The Pleasure Garden and The Lodger). How is this opening both similar and different from those two films' opening scenes. Last week in (The Pleasure Garden and The Lodger) the similarity in 'The Man who Knew Too Much' with one film - The Pleasure Garden was that they both started with characters involved in fun and joyous events in the films' opening scenes . The Lodger's opening scene, however, was more suspenseful, dark and deary.
  11. Daily Dose #7: Mr. Memory Opening Scene from The 39 Steps (1935) 1. Now that you have seen multiple openings to Hitchcock's British films, how does this opening both fit a pattern you have seen previously as well as deviate from other opening scenes? The rolling sign - the mysterious approach to the story and the presentation of the angles of each shot all fit a pattern we have seen previously which deviated from other opening scenes. 2. Do you agree or disagree with Rothman's assessment that Hitchcock in this film is focused on introducing a more innocent character than in previous opening sequences of his films? Yes, I do agree with Rothman's assessment that Hitchcock in this film is focused on introducing a more innocent character than in previous opening sequences of his films. A mysterious figure walks into the theater and there is no view of his face until he sits down. Nothing like his other films. 3. Reflect on the role of yet another public space opening a Hitchcock film--this time a music hall--the prominence of a performer (Mr. Memory), and the reactions of the audience in the film to Mr. Memory's act. How does these on-screen elements play into the Hitchcock touch as described by Gene Phillips? The music hall was at first quiet until the performer, Mr Memory was introduced. It seemed that he was suppose to be the smartest man on earth until he asked the crowd for questions. The audience started shouting questions at him and even answered their own. They became boisterous and at times scary. Gene Phillips gives a checklist to describe the on-screen elements that play into Hitchcock's touch. For example: - Ordinary people who are drawn by circumstances into extraordinary situations. - The hero is thrown back on his own resources, and the audience sympathizes with his plight - Evil can lurk in places that at first glance seem normal and unthreatening - Villains (Hitchcock's) commit their mayhem in amusement parks and respectable restaurants - not in locations that we tend to avoid in order to escape potential harm, such as a dark alley - He takes the audience into his confidence early in the story by sharing with them information that other directors might withhold for the sake of a surprise ending. - Using MacGuffin: “simply the thing that preoccupies the hero and heroine and because of which they are thrown into danger, such as a vital secret formula. “
  12. Daily Dose #8: Cooling Our Heels Opening Scene from The Lady Vanishes (1938) 1. Using specific examples, describe how Hitchcock opens The Lady Vanishes. What tone, mood, or atmosphere is Hitchcock establishing for the audience very early on in this picture? Pay particular attention to the music. There are a lot of people sitting around in the opening of this film. The music is pleasant but does not suit the mood of the crowd. As more visitors arrive, the sounds gets louder and the clock goes off to add to the gentleman's loud chatter. Even the hotel manager talks loud but speaking in a different language, his tone is joyous and excited. 2. Discuss the characters of Caldicott and Charters in this scene. What do the performances of Caldicott and Charters add to this scene. Caldicott's character seems to be a little stuffy while Charters' is more business like. But they both are truly gentlemen and expressed that by the way they both opened the door for The Lady. Both also seem to not speak the language of the people sitting around. They definitely added a distinguished and British flavor to the scene. 3. From their doorway entrance to their staircase exit, describe how Hitchcock uses dialogue, camera movement, and the placement of characters in the frame to establish Iris (Margaret Lockwood) as the star of this scene. Hitchcock has the camera zooming into the window of the hotel where everyone is sitting around. He pans from the front door around to the people sitting and then to the lady coming down the stairway and brings her closer as she tends to her business with the hotel manager
  13. Daily Dose #9: Last Night I Dreamt Scene from Hitchcock's Rebecca (1940) 1. Describe how this opening is different from the multiple opening scenes you have seen in the Daily Doses from the British silent and/or sound period? This opening in 'Rebecca' was so different than Hitchcock's British silent and sound period because the story begins with a picture of a place we soon find out is named Manderley. The voice is describing the road leading up to this place as well as describing this beautiful yet creep scene. A scene that she was daydreaming about. 2. What are the Hitchcock "touches" in this opening that help you identify this as a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock? The winding roads that look like they needed repair and the vegetation around it with this huge Victorian spooky looking house in the back ground all seem to be Hitchcock touches in this film. 3. How does this opening sequence use Manderley--the house itself--as a kind of character in the story? What affect does the flashback structure and the voiceover narration have on your experience of this scene? At the end of the road that leads up to Manderley sits this large house that makes you wonder who lives or lived in it and who the inhabitants were to live so far out of the way. The long winding roads that took so long to drive up to it. The house presents an errie feeling as well when you think about what has happened in this place that projects a rugged view of a unkept area. And why is this woman dreaming about it. What was her connection to this house.
  14. Daily Dose #10: Nothing on Me Opening Scene from Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt (1943) 1. As mentioned in the curator's note, this scene operates as a prelude to the main story. What do you learn about the character of Uncle Charlie in this prelude? Be specific. Uncle Charlie appears to be waiting for something to happen or thinking about what to do. His landlord seems to be aggravating him with the information she has about his visitors. He appears angry when she leaves when he smashes his glass against the wall. But then he seems to be confident that the men cannot recognize him. The suspense begins as the men follow him. 2. In what ways does this opening remind you of watching a film noir? If it doesn't remind you of a film noir, what makes the opening here different from the opening of a noir film like Siodmak's The Killers? (Note: If you haven't seen The Killers, it is fine to answer this question in general terms about your own personal expectations. This opening reminds me of watching a genre and style film noir because of the darkest of the room, the mysterious character of Uncle Charlie and the sound of the music leading up to the suspense. This movie was similar to The Killers with its dark lightning, sound affects and mysterious beginning. 
 3. As we move into Hitchcock's Hollywood years, his scores will take on more importance than they did during the British years. Music will play a big role in Shadow of a Doubt. The film's score is by Dimitri Tiomkin, the first of four film scores that the composer will create for Hitchcock. What effect does the Tiomkin score have on the mood, atmosphere, and even the pace of this opening scene? The effect that Tiomkin's score had on the mood, atmosphere, and even the pace of this opening scene was varying. First the music was playful as the children played in the street but changed when the camera went to the window creating a subtle attitude as if something was about to happen. Then the music changed for a few seconds to a pleasant sound as Uncle Charley lay in the bed and then back to the subtle sound when the camera focused on the money. When Uncle Charley smashed his glass the music became mysterious and eerie adding a dark and scary atmosphere. As Uncle Charley left the room the score got louder, more dangerous, fast, exciting and mysterious, even as the men followed him down the street my heart skipped a beat - the music frightened me.
  15. Daily Dose #11: Thought I'd Left? 
Opening Scene from Hitchcock's Mr. and Mrs. Smith (1943) 1. What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this opening sequence? Moreover, what do we learn about or know about the couple through the scene's visual design: the props, the set design or dressing, the decor, the camera angles, the lighting, etc? In the opening sequence there was Hitchcock's touches of visual techniques, lighting and camera perspectives and sound. You know that by the disarray of the room and all the dishes, uneaten food, newspapers, glasses and bottles around that the couple had been there for awhile. You also knew that the couple was in a hotel room by the decor of the room, and that it was morning from the light and the tossing and turning of the lady in bed - as if she was waking up. 2. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: the opening sequence of Mr. and Mrs. Smith is a typical "Hitchcock opening" based on openings you have seen so far in the other Daily Doses? Why or why not? 
 I strongly disagree that the opening sequence of Mr. and Mrs. Smith is a typical "Hitchcock opening" based on openings seen so far in the other Daily Doses. Although the music was upbeat and joyous, there was no dancing, no mysterious errie music to give you impression that something strange and weird was about to happen. 3. What do you think about the casting of and chemistry between Carole Lombard and Robert Montgomery? Do you think both are well cast for this "comedy of remarriage?" Why or why not? The casting of and chemistry between Carole Lombard and Robert Montgomery was actually very good. They had the right charisma especially during the scene where he pushed the door shut to make her think that he had left. The look between them suggested true love. As far as both of them being well cast for the "comedy of remarriage" I only saw one scene that I considered rather funny and that was when he stepped on the couch to cross over to the window. And it was funny only the first time he did it. I guess i will have to see the rest of the film to answer further.
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