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About pete23

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  • Birthday November 8

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    San Francisco , CA
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  1. Yes thank you for a brilliant summer. Now I feel lost without reading and looking at videos and doing quizzes! Until next topic!
  2. From the knowledge of Hitchcock working style--the closest of the modern directors who can or possess a trace of Hitch's ethics would be Scorsese. They are both visual people. Since Alexandre Phillipe said he would love to see more comedies from Hitchcock to which I agreed. To this I add the Coen brothers. They possess a dark humor that would be in line with Hitchcock's English black humor to a tee. John Williams, though he worked with Master before, I would like to have seen the collaboration comes to fruition. I think John Williams is more closely in style of Bernard Herrmann. As for costume, Edith Head was an interesting person to say the least. With her contract at Paramount which was to last from the 30s to early 60s was unique. It is widely known that her name gets credited on "A" pictures. Her clothes were never considered pretty. It was correct for the character. Doris Day said that about Head clothes in "Man Who Knew too Much". Her clothes were indigenous to that period and it worked. Her clothes for all of Hitchcock's blondes were correct for the period with the exception of those for Eva Marie Saint. The suits worn by Novak, Hedren, Kelly and Day, all share her touch known as Edith Head suit--the semi-fitted three buttons suit paired with a slim a-line pencil skirt are perhaps her legacy with Hitchcock where his dictive were precise and often left no room for creativity. (Everyone who loved classic knew of her Oscars award for 1954 Sabrina. It wasn't her designs and wiling her contract her name was credited, but thus created one of cinematic most celebrated collaboration of designer and star which still holds the film goers to imagination to this day.) From that brief essay above, Sandy Powell would be a good fit. She designed costumes that fit the character and not an actress personal taste. Cinematography: no one comes to mind. Editor: Thelma Schoonmaker. A brilliant woman and a shade of Alma in her eagle-eye observation would be a perfect fit.
  3. Vertigo is often quoted as Hitch's greatest film. How much do you think the San Francisco locations enchance the visual effects or is it irrelevant because it looked like a travelogue? Does that apply to the famous locations used?
  4. 1) Frenzy opens with a panoramic view of London. A travelogue made by an Londoner who had missed his city and wanted to share in its stunning view. Though the view of the Thames River is in both Frenzy and The Lodger. the difference is that Lodger starts with a scream, pan to crowd in frantic manner. With Frenzy, it opens so calmly and majestically that underlies what will happen later. The crowd is there more subdued than Lodger. Then we hear a scream and a body is discovered. 2) The usual touches are the use of public space. The crowd as a starting point of the story. He use of black humor is not amused here. We see a constant politician presenting himself to the a crowd and a precise someone screams and mayhem insured. A body is discovered. Due to the relaxation of the codes, Hitchcock was more able to indulge his darker self. Hence, the nudity, the graphic depiction of the crime. His earlier efforts were bogged down by the production codes thus most of his themes are suppressed or coded. Now free of that Hitchcock was able to be free to tell his narrative in a way more mature way. 3) Hitchcock was able to use the new technology for his narrative. The use of helicopter shot is still spectacular. The swooping shot of London proper is more reminiscent of the opening to To Catch a Thief. That breezy look of beauty that underlies the ugliness beneath its veneer.
  5. 1. The scene opens with the yellow purse tucked a woman's arm as we see as the camera pans up to reveal a dark-haired femme in dark brown tweed suit leaving the train platform. Then we her unpacking in a hotel room. (Notice that her new wardrobe was not in bags. In the yesteryears, shopping for clothing is packed into boxes.) We come to know this woman is in a hurry. Then we see her washing out her dark color in the sink and voila she becomes a blond-a new identity. And she sports a new color palette of clothes along with a new sleek hairdo. We know from this transformation that Marnie is not who she is and she is running away. Her reaction to objects is of nonchalant and uncaring. She tends throw things away as something of disposal as last year's clothes or lover. The key in which she locks the suitcase of loaded cash is seen be thrown away into the street grate. She seems not to care about the cash that is now left behind the train station. (Hitchcock loves those trains!!!) She is a sociopath if ever there is one. All her actions are done without empathy. It is about her and her needs at that moment. 2. Herrmann score is perfect to the tee. It demonstrates so well in the opening scene throughout the train platform. The score has a soft romantic tone. But as the scene progress to her washing out her hair the score gets louder and stronger. It fits the scene as the character dramatically changes from one persona to another. 3. Hitchcock's cameo is at the beginning with the master uncharacteristically looking into the camera. I believe it was his winking at us the audience for being naughty for following Marnie as she swayed down the hall admiring her view. We the audience is still voyeur de riquer.
  6. 1. I have to say how excited to see Tippi/Melanie walked across San Francisco's Union Square (my hometown) gave me such goosebumps. She crossed Geary and Powell Streets where the fabled cable cars clanked its way to the stars was like a scene from a frothy romantic-comedies of that era. Think Doris Day/Rock Hudson. As she approaches the Davidson's Pet Shop, As she climbed the stairs and banter with the lady behind the counter, Mitch came in. Dashing, well-dressed and groomed, a younger version of Cary Grant (not as tall) caught the eye of Melanie. From there the scene takes on a light, comedic nuances as the two very attractive leads do the mating dance. What is noticeable is the fact Mitch and Melanie are definitely interested in each other. Mitch is aware of Melanie's blatant lies about her knowledge of birds. He is an expert and knows how to gage a lie as he is a lawyer. As a romantic ploy, it played against what is to come and a backstory of boy meets girl, girl do boy wrong, and girl wants boy back. 2. The sound of birds in the opening scene screeching is to provide the audience a clue to what to come and subconsciously embed into our psyche to enhance the suspense. The various birds chirping throughout the opening scene without a score is truly experimental. We hear it as the film unfolds to its final dramatic ending. It is so scary and frightening as the whole film is only accompanied by the sound of birds. 3. Hitchcock is a master of self-promotion and here he does it early on in the reels. While we come to expect his infamous cameos, we anxiously look for him and often is distracting from the story on the screen. The Birds is an exception. He made his cameo and disappeared from the duration of the film. Therefore we are free from the stress and able to concentrate on the remaining story plots. Hitch certainly loves the number 2. Two dogs, both the leads are seeking two birds are so part of the Hitchcockian world. Double is his game.
  7. 1) The collaboration of Bass and Herrmann is extraordinary effective both visually and aurally. Herrmann's score of violin simulates the sound of screams coupled with the linear lines of Bass' graphic that looks like knives stabbing is so eerie. When I saw it on a TCM/Fathom event a few years back, as the credit begins, I found myself to be on-edge, nervous and highly alert to what is to come. 2) Hitchcock precisely set the exact time, date, and place as though as a police report would start out. He is giving us specific details for us to remember whether it is important or not. He wanted to remember this date and time as something will alter that day. Something extraordinary will happened. We have to remember it! Hitchcock loves to explore the voyeur in us, the audience, From the half drawn shaded window as it swooped in, we are vastly becoming invested in his universe. He entered the scene this way is to give it a more intimacy than say an opening door. It is through a window does a voyeur peeps. It reminds me of Rear Window except we are looking inward and out toward the other windows beyond the yard. 3) The opening scene serves to tell Marion's story quite clearly. She is working at a dead-end job with no prospect. She is having a tryst with a man who comes into town. She sees him on he lunch hours only. There is something bubbling beneath Marion's veneer. Her tone of voice to her lover is edgy almost nonchalant. It appears Marion's in charge of the situation instead of the lover. It is she who is running the show. She is already planning something when she returns to the office. Her dissatisfaction with her life and hoping for a better her lover is about to take shape and form. The way she is dressed is by far a difference from North by Northwest. A bar and slip in 1959 would have comandeered a today NC17 is shocking, but the codes were fast disappearing. Even the half-naked torso of John Gavin is risqué in that men of that period. Yes, we have seen shirtless men on the beach and whatnot, however, but never in the bedroom, lying on a bed in the throes of loving making. The 1960s have begun.
  8. 1) The two leads as beautiful as ever does have genuine chemistry that is often cannot manufacture. This is what we call X factor. Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint had it spades. Cary Grant had owned his persona of suave sophistication since the 1930s and Saint had been a model, a successful stage actress before her Oscars award. They were at the heights of their fame and beauty. Combined they made an electric scene in the dining car. The chemistry between Grant and Saint is unmistakeable. The attraction is heightened by the erotic banter however subtle it was. This is coupled by the fact the two leads genuinely liked each other and respected each other. Therefore, the palatable hint of sexual attraction is there. The audience can and will feel the energy and heat generated from the looks, the smiles, and winks of these two devastatingly beautiful leads. 2) The scene is very quiet and subtle. The use of the matchbook is brilliant as it is to the audience's eye just a matchbook. It is not noticed until Roger (Grant) picked it up to light her cigarette. Then Kendall (Saint) noticed the initials and asked "what's the O for" to which he replied nothing. It is Grant as Roger to mock himself and his screen persona. As the conclusion of the scene, we see Saint blow out the match. Very erotic and sexy. 3) We hear the everyday noises such as the train, dishes clanking and murmurs. The accompanying score is low and soft so we can hear the two leads conversation. The sound design only enhances the scene or rather love scene of the two leads.
  9. 1) The opening of the film title says just what it is. The strange green glow spirals and the very slow repetitive of the music gives a sense of being hynoptic under a spell. Certainly the extreme close-up of Kim Novak's eyes and mouth is very intimate as well the darting of the eyes as credits come forth. The close up is so tight that we see her pores is bit overkill obsession on the borderline of creepiness. Hint of the future mental state of the mad genius later on. 2) I have to say the detailed close-up shot of Kim Novak's eye. The eye which we have seen in Spellbound through the lens of Dali is very direct. It is saying the eye is the window to your mind and how you interpret what you see. The continual spinning spirals coming from her eye is more or less a statement of being entranced in a dream. Throughout the opening the spirals spinning is meant to put the watcher into another space and time. The inhabitations of the watcher is heightened to a level of fear, anxiety and confusion. 3) The synchronize relationship between Saul and Herrmann is by-far the most effective here. The timing of the eerie score juxtapose with the continual spinning spirals is enticing. Catnip for the film goers. It sucks you into that trance-like state. I find myself in that state as the film unfolds!
  10. 1) The opening scene is spectacular in the way it brings the audience into the narrative. The shot of the window out onto the patio and onto the buildings surrounding LB's own is vivid. The details of each of the windows are detailed down to the patterns on the walls. Each of those windows have its own stories to tell and the genius of Hitch is that fleshed out those details. I get a sense that he gave the background actors in those lodgings the freedom to improvise and create their own narratives. Each window is like a miniature screen of a movie with its own stories. But it is controlled not by reality, but by our own making. The audience is enmeshed by the visuals and sounds that is to draw us into that world. The vantage point is really the audience as we become the LB. We are now know the morning habit of our "neighbors" from the bachelor next door to the couple standing on a balcony having coffee, the couple who are forced to sleep on the balcony due to the stifling heat and to Miss Torso's daily habit of putting on her bar and doing her leg stretches. Despite of how we feel about voyeurism-but we can't take eyes away. We want more and we shall get more. 2) I learned a lot about LB's life as the camera panned around his cramped apartment. The cast is the starter that we know he is immobiled for duration of the film. Then we see his life strewn about the room. The broken camera. From this bit of visual, we know he is a photographer and on the walls hung pictures of far-off places with plenty of actions. We know he is an adrenaline junkie. And also we know he also does portraiture as the negative of a smiling woman in frame juxtaposed next to a stack of similar magazine as Life of the same woman. 3) Hitch by using the opening of the back yard of LB's apartment is to make the audience a participant in the story. Also he knows that human nature is that we are curious. Thus I, as an audience, I have become a voyeur. (Sidebar after this) Hitchcock seeks to elicit a sense of shame and pleasure in presenting us with this panorama of windows with lives in it. As a voyeur, we become so entranced that we project our own imaginations and thoughts onto those people across the way. For sure, I don't feel guilty, maybe for the first minute or two; but afterward I wanted to know more. 4) Agreed. This is Hitch's best film opening. While it does have his touches such as a public space, the crowd is placed in various windows. It is still Hitchcock! His most visual. **Sidebar** Please allow me to indulge, Professor Edwards. You see, I lived in New York years ago and lived in the back of a building similar to LB's. So I know a thing of two about voyeurism. I, not unlike LB Jeffries, have taken to look out of my window and to see my neighbors through theirs. Try as hard I might. I just couldn't look away. Hitchcock had in Rear Window forced us to confront our tendency to voyeurism. There are times, I had seen my neighbors in various stages or undress or nude (Hitchcock was right this does excite and draw you in), picking their noses or just oblivious to the fact they are naked standing in front of the window. I often see them during my daily chores and not unlike LB or Lisa, I let my imagination go regarding these unknown beings. Strangely once I met them at the grocery or at the butcher, they are not that far from my imagination of them!
  11. 1) In how many ways does Hitchcock play with or visually manifest the metaphor of “criss cross” or “criss-crossing” in this introductory sequence. [For those who haven’t seen the film yet, the idea of “criss cross” is central idea in this film, a theme Hitch sets up from the opening frames of this film] Be specific. Criss crossing has an metaphor of how lives can be crossed. The criss cross of the train tracks is the most obvious. As well as the entrance of the two characters as they criss-crossed each other in the arrival of the taxis. The train track is more visual as it heads to become a single track; it gives a sense the eventual of being one single path. 2) Even in this brief scene, how does Hitchcock create a sense of contrast between Guy (Farley Granger) and Bruno (Robert Walker)? Consider everything from camera work, to clothing and shoes, to dialogue and speech, for example. ​Men Fashion: Let's not kid ourselves, clothes does make the man as in this case the shoes have it all. We see two pairs of distinct shoe styles. One is a pair of wingtip spat which one can say the man who wears this is one of daring and flashy and yes, flamboyant. The other is a pair of discreet and possibly dark-tan wingtip laced up oxfords. It tells of a man who is of elegance, classic and not-a-risk taker of any kind. As we see the body shot, we see the classic dark-tan shoes are wearing a possibly dark navy blazer with charcoal grey trouser. The spats boy is wearing a light gray or in color suit which gives a tale of cockiness and confidence. Bruno's is definitely flamboyant in his choice tie and very bold tie-clip bears his name! Notice how the trousers' length are just above the shoes. Hitch wanted the shoes to be seen as a character. Camera: The shots are most in angles. Hitch hints of oddity to the characters. Dialogue: Guy's almost lack of conversation as oppose to Bruno's confidence and sureness in his opening introduction. Bruno's speech is bold and assertive as Guy's passive in silence and in its short sentences. It is Bruno who takes control of the conversation and even getting up to sit next to Guy. Guy is almost darkness and seems to be backing away. But Guy is too fascinated by Bruno's nonchalant bravadas to even care. 3) While the visual design gets the most attention typically, how does the Dimitri Tiomkin score function as part of the mood and atmosphere of this opening sequence? The score is like another part of the character as we see in the opening scene at the train station. For Guy, we get a sense of classic, softer notes than Bruno's loud almost in-your-face jazz. The music sets mood of the characters as well as setting up the story as it rolls out before our eyes.
  12. 1. As the scene opens, we see Uncle Charlie lying on a bed in a darkened room. He is smoking and the camera pans to the floor where a small pile of bills streamed on the floor. I get the sense this is not a man on-the-run or a man who is not bothered by his deeds. At first glance, I wondered where the money came from-a bank perhaps. He is non-chalant and very cool to the surface. A making of a psychopath. Since Hitch has dealt the themes of duality, we see the coolness and the anxious as the opposite. As the landlady informed Charlie that two men is inquiring about him. We saw nothing but calm. The landlady drew the shades and left. The anger within him comes boiling to the surface as he throw a glass to the floor. He proceed to put on his hat and headed out the house. He sees the two men in questions across the street and boldly walked up to them and defiantly bumped one of them to instigate the game of cat and mouse. Within this brief scene, we know Uncle Charlie is not what he pretends to be. A fine start to a road trip into Hitchcock's world. 2. Haven't yet seen The Killers. I can suppose that the man, like Charlie, is contemplating some form of sort while lying on a bed. I can imagine there are deep shadows on the face and the room to indicated mood. Both men, I can assume, are killers. The difference is that one is on his way to the gallows and one is about to escape. While both are psychopaths, one is caught and one is about to be caught himself. 3. The music here served as a character as well as the picturesque township of Santa Rosa. It sets the mood of the film. The best example is the Merry Widow waltz. The score tells you what was in Charlie's past all without a single word.
  13. 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? The sound period ushers in a productive period for Hitch as he has access to bigger budget and the "stars" for his vision. There is not much difference with the exception of narration providing the set-up for the audience as I call it, we, the voyeurs. The narration by Joan Fontaine is quite faithful to the novel's opening and gives the audience a background into what we are about to see. 2. What are the Hitchcock "touches" in this opening that help you identify this as a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock? We see the close-up of the gate to Manderley. As the dolly moves into the twisting drive way toward the mansion along with narration, we are introduced to the most important character in the film, Manderley. The shot of the crashing waves upon rocks and the vertical shot of Olivier standing on the edge of the cliff is a touch of the unmistakeable Hitchcock touch. 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? It gives a structure and sense of the story as it unfolds. I come to know a bit of the past of these two people.
  14. 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. The opening is in public space beloved by Hitch. A hotel of nondescript with the exception of the cuckoo clock that marks time. The crowd of travelers are rested on their luggages waiting for the hotel manager as goes about his flight. The music is also a mood indicator which Hitchcock used to the maximum. The music is light and airy enough to present a mood of light-hearted traveling scene. Music is to play a future in Htich's cinematic achievements. His use of music as mood to full effect. The beginning as we see the manager and a customer sans dialogue is reminiscent of his silent films. The action does not need words to express the action. 2. Discuss the characters of Caldicott and Charters in this scene. What do the performances of Caldicott and Charters add to this scene. The characters are hilarious. They were used as a comic tour-de-force in a whimsy opening scenario. As Professor Edwards added in his lecture video, listen to their dialogue which I did. I know the tight English accents are not what we used to here; not the posh tones of Masterpiece theater, but rather a more natural and perhaps regional accent. The tidbit of their conversation is very much political in nature. Thanks to our fearless Professor to whom i owed a debt gratitude of having learned something new about this film which I have seen many times. Now, I have to pay more attention aurally when it plays on Friday evening. 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. Margaret Lockwood while was a brunette beauty. She was not standing in the middle of the frame sandwiched by her blonde companions. She was staged on the right side of the frame and yet it is her bit of dialogue that enable the audience to distinguish her from the blondes. They knew who was the leader of the pack and took command. As the scene progresses, the camera as though by nature follows her lead as they ascend the stairs to their room. I knew she was in-control of the situation as she is the boldest of the three to correct the manager of his pronunciation of Avalanche, how cheeky and in French. She continues to assert her character dominance with ordering a magnum of champagne, a girl after my own heart. She has got chuzputah. Not a bad thing to have if you are about to be a woman who is going to need it the most in the next 98 minutes.
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