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Everything posted by riffraf

  1. I agree the new website, as far as the schedule goes is awful! The original schedule format was easy to scroll through and see at a glance a large section of films, the time, the length and a brief synopsis. Now, though the images representing the induvial films are a nice touch, it is more convenient seeing larger grouping of the films listed by date and time rather than having to scroll endlessly to find the particular film time being searched for. Another flaw in the "new format" is that originally one could select the time zone pertaining to your part of the country and it would stay
  2. In The Love Parade (1929) the character of Alfred (Maurice Chevalier) is better understood to be a sophisticated, handsome, humorous and non-threatening ladies man supported by the lavish sets, debonair style of clothing and his light-hearted manner in dealing with an otherwise volatile situation with a jilted lover and her jealous husband. It seems to be a part of the Lubitsch touch to keep just such a scene of anger and high emotions light and entertaining by making Alfred a friend to the audience by having him inform us of what’s happening on screen and offering his interpretations of the o
  3. In clips from Rose Marie (1936) the interaction between Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy is very reserved and formal yet an obvious flirtation is happening as Sergeant Bruce is pursuing a relationship with Marie and flat out asking her what competition he might have and what might attract her (to a man). So keeping in line with the production code, he is straightforward and open about his intentions all the while being a perfect gentleman. His singing starts to bring her around and allows for some innocent verbal trifling yet no physical contact at all and the conversation is all above boa
  4. This clip from The Great Ziegfeld (1937) a very light, happy-go-lucky view of life at time a number of years after the financial crash of 1929 but before the real drama of war in Europe would start in 1939. It is an overly optimistic view from the perspective of upper class, well-to-do theater patrons giving the viewing audience an escape from their everyday problems and a visual idea of how grand and fun life could be, but most likely not so realistic for the average movie audience. Had this been filmed before the motion picture code was enforced, we most likely would have seen m
  5. I too have watched Working Her Way Through College (1952) a number of times & up until then I did not realize what a talent Virginia Mayo was, dancing and singing some very complex numbers with the equally talented Gene Nelson. Since then I have connected the dots of her career, a gangster's moll in White Heat, sword & sandal flick The Silver Chalice, westerns Colorado Territory, historical drama Captain Horatio Hornblower and comedies The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, she could do it all with apparent ease.
  6. You will not want to miss Fred Astaire & Cyd Charisse's homage to Noir in The Band Wagon (1953)!
  7. With West Side Story (1961) I see an acknowledged classical tale of star-crossed lovers as written by William Shakespeare (and whoever) transposed into a modern setting while still maintaining the themes of young love, family, class, prejudice and dramatic storytelling. While updating of the story for contemporary times broadens its’ cultural appeal, putting it into terms of dance and music makes this all-embracing story one of universal (not the studio) appeal and a cultural icon. I find the movie alluring for repeated viewings because of the multitude of the spectacular achievements in acti
  8. So true, and I think The Hot Spot (1990) is a modern Noir masterpiece for Dennis Hopper. As for the Hitchcock touches, Hopper weaves and blends an amazing soundtrack of blues with music composed by Miles Davis, John Lee Hooker, Jack Nitzsche, and Taj Mahal to emphasize and underscore scenes of tense drama, robbery, adultery, passion, betrayal with an excellent ensemble cast of characters (William Sadler, Jerry Hardin, Barry Corbin, Charles Martin Smith and Jack Nance) in the same sensitive style Hitchcock worked with his collaborators. Don Johnson plays a drifter, fulfilling the “everyman ro
  9. A few more that would have been interesting with the Hitchcock touch during his prime... Bound (1996) Jennifer Tilly, Gina Gershon Red Rock West (1992) Nicolas Cage, Dennis Hopper, Lara Flynn Boyle Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997) Kevin Spacey, John Cusack Tightrope (1984) Clint Eastwood, Genevieve Bujold Identity (2003) John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet Silent Fall (2000) Richard Dreyfuss, Linda Hamilton, John Lithgow Original Sin (2000) Antonio Banderas, Angelina Jolie The Hot Spot (1990) Don Johnson, Virginia Madsen, Jennifer Connelly The Satan Bug (1965) George M
  10. Gotham (1988) with Tommy Lee Jones and Virginia Madsen, contains murder mystery, sexy blonde, determined detective, ghosts, plot twists, mistaken identities and more.
  11. Not to be confused with Hitchcock's The Wrong Man (1956) but Jim McBride's thriller The Wrong Man (1993) with Rosanna Arquette, Kevin Anderson and John Lithgow, contains mistaken identify, innocent man accused of murder, a sexy blonde, exotic locales, stairs, trains, buses, action, chases and an iconic cigarette lighter.
  12. In comparing Vertigo to Laura, you have (eventually) a controlling and obsessive Scotty Ferguson (Jimmy Stewart) versus a controlling and obsessive Waldo Lydecker (Clifton Webb) who becomes a murderer. With the women you have Judy/Madeleine (Kim Novak) who is somewhat weak in personal character and easily manipulated by men, and Laura Hunt (Gene Tierney) also weak and easily manipulated. I assume the “likable character” being Mark McPherson (Dana Andrews) who though, not as educated or prosperous as Lydecker, is handsome, dedicated to his job, in love and without any major flaws. What I th
  13. Greetings Mr. Philippe and Professor Edwards, Knowing that the shower scene in Psycho was such an elaborate accomplishment with so many camera set-ups, unique editing cuts and then married so well to the soundtrack, I'm wondering if the edited version of the scene was made first and then given to Bernard Herrmann to score or was there some back-and-forth, "make the image fit the music or more music fit the image"? They are so well synced there must have been some artistic communication between the editor and the composer. Thank you, Ron Ferguson
  14. Apparently an alternate ending was filmed (probably at the insistence of the studio) for those who prefer a "Hollywood ending" or those who prefer their fiction abide by the old production code days of censorship and strict moral ethics when criminal activity and persons less than self righteous are punished before the film ends. https://youtu.be/VJBSSkn0Ldw
  15. I'm in the same boat and unfortunately missed the interview that I was so looking forward to!
  16. The Lodger (1927) opens with a disturbingly intense soundtrack accompanying a graphic of a dark shadowed character and transitions to an extreme close-up of a woman’s face screaming in agony followed with a late-evening riverside view of her lifeless body whereas Frenzy starts us out in broad daylight with a birds-eye view of London, much like a travel log along with a grand musical accompaniment of pomp and circumstance. The obvious differences being day and night and the major similarities, a woman’s body in or near the river Thames of metropolitan London. As mentioned in today’s lectur
  17. From the opening sequence of Marnie we know her character is young, attractive, in transit, mysterious, incognito, well dressed, uses an assumed identity, and has a lot of cash. Visually she is well posed meaning she carries herself with the ease and confidence of a high fashion runway model. She appears to be very neat, precise and organized in the way she packs her new clothes into the suitcase. We are apparently witnessing a routine (and most likely a crime) she has performed many times over like a skillfully executed covert operation. Hitchcock uses Bernard Herrmann’s score in his u
  18. I too love to visit iconic film locations! This is how the "Bodgea Bay School House" looked in 2012 as a private residence.
  19. The opening scene in The Birds follows the elements of a romantic comedy rather than a horror film by introducing a beautiful and sophisticated blonde who is initially mistaken for a sales clerk by a very suave and handsome man which leads them into a playful repartee duel regarding love birds. We learn right away that both Melanie (Tippi Hedren) and Mitch (Rod Taylor) have a sense of humor, both are somewhat attracted to each other and enjoy toying with one another in a farcical way as they discuss the mating habits of birds. Hitchcock’s sound design introduces us to the birds via their
  20. I believe you are one of the few in our class to pick up on the character's "vulnerability". In preparing for the role of Marion Crane, Janet Leigh had invented a complete life for Marion, as to where she went to school, what church she attended, favorite book, passions, fantasies etc., she knew the character intimately. And she goes on to say her book Psycho - Behind the Scenes of The Classic Thriller, "She isn't a thief by trade, but she is desperately trying to build a life for herself with the man she loves, who is debt-ridden and therefore, unable or unwilling to marry. This is her last
  21. The graphic title design by Saul Bass introduces the themes of Psycho by rapidly dissecting a black screen first with horizontal lines and eventually with vertical lines racing across the screen piecing together credits to become readable and just as quickly breaking them apart, all to the pulsating sound of Bernard Herrmann’s rich musical score. Symbolically showing the audience this is a puzzle told at a fast pace in bit parts and if you are not paying close attention, you will miss out on the overall story. As the titles end and the audience has experienced an exhausting and unnerving
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