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Everything posted by forlorn_rage

  1. https://learn.canvas.net/courses/1679/pages/peak-years-pt-1-hitchcock-hits-his-high-notes?module_item_id=195749#fragment-4c 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. One thing I never noticed before is that both Guy and Bruno take the same taxi company, appropriately named “Diamond Cab,” after a shape with 4 dia
  2. https://learn.canvas.net/courses/1679/pages/the-selznick-years-part-2-hitchcock-and-genre-film-noir?module_item_id=195509 1. As mentioned in the curator's note, this scene operates as a prelude to the main story. What do learn about the character of Uncle Charlie in this prelude? Be specific. In Shadow of a Doubt, we never completely find out the whole story with Charles “Uncle Charlie” Spencer. He remains a mysterious figure all throughout the film. However, there are hints that there is definitely something off about him. In fact, when Charlie’s landlady, Mrs. Martin, c
  3. https://learn.canvas.net/courses/1679/pages/british-sound-years-p-4-hitchcocks-british-stars-of-the-1930s?module_item_id=194812 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. I’m not very familiar with instruments, so I can only make a guess. I believe wind instrument(s), including the flute, some string instruments (a violin?), possibly an accordion as well. Anyway, they create a very cheery lighthearted atmosp
  4. https://learn.canvas.net/courses/1679/pages/british-sound-years-p-4-hitchcocks-british-stars-of-the-1930s?module_item_id=194812 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. I’m not very familiar with instruments, so I can only make a guess. I believe wind instrument(s), including the flute, some string instruments (a violin?), possibly an accordion as well. Anyway, they create a very cheery lighthearted atmosp
  5. https://learn.canvas.net/courses/1679/pages/british-sound-years-pt-2-hitchcocks-spy-thrillers?module_item_id=194603 1. Based on this 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) Definitely the characters are more important than the plot. In fact, it can be argued that the plot of this film is a MacGuffin, itself. From what I have seen the films mostly seems to focus either entertaining the audience with various touches of humour th
  6. https://learn.canvas.net/courses/1679/pages/british-sound-years-part-1-hitch-on-the-rise?module_item_id=194570 1. In this sequence, describe how Hitchcock uses sound design to put you into the subjective "mind of Alice"? Be specific. The sound goes off normally with the female customer in Alice’s family’s shop talking. Once Alice enters, she, her father, the customer all exchange dialogue normally. Once Alice enters the phonebooth, there is silence. She takes the phonebook and looks through it until she finds the section for the police. The customer keeps babbling the det
  7. https://learn.canvas.net/courses/1679/pages/beginnings-pt-2-hitchs-cinematic-influences?module_item_id=194413 1. Compare the opening of The Lodger to the opening of The Pleasure Garden - what similarities and differences do you see between the two films? Some striking similarities I found between both films are: There is humour in both openings. A blonde woman is a major source of attention in both openings. In both openings, there are innocent women in peril (even if the woman in question in The Pleasure Garden isn’t necessarily a blonde) 2. Identify elements of the "Hitchcock st
  8. https://learn.canvas.net/courses/1679/pages/beginnings-part-1-hitchs-early-life-and-career?module_item_id=194168 1. Do you see the beginnings of the "Hitchcock touch" in this sequence? Please provide specific examples. 2. Do you agree or disagree with Strauss, Yacowar, and Spoto assessments that this sequence contains elements, themes, or approaches that we will see throughout Hitchcock's 50-year career? 3. Since this is a silent film, do you feel there were any limitations on these opening scenes due to the lack of synchronous spoken dialogue? ----------------------------------------
  9. John Garfield enters as a hitchhiker to an unknown destination with an open spot for employment by the seaside. He doesn’t belong anywhere, doesn’t stay anyplace very long, or carry very many belongings outside of one suitcase. Lana Turner’s entrance is brought to attention from the sound of a dropped and rolling lipstick. When Garfield turns around, the rolling lipstick leads his eyes to the legs and eventually the entirety of Turner. Entranced by what he sees, Garfield gets up and picks up the lipstick. After Turner sees that he picks it up, she immediately turns her eyes to a compact mirr
  10. Hello Professor Edwards. I'm thrilled to finally be able to interact with you directly. I wasn't sure you would see my final post (I ran out of time to post it on Canvas), but took a chance to post it on here anyway. I'm so glad you were able to read my post after all- it was totally worth the time. And thank you for your very thoughtful reply- even numbering the points, very thorough. 1. I wondered if viewing the openings had to do with avoiding spoilers for the films. Note: Some of the articles did actually contain spoilers, but I was careful to skim through quickly to avoid them. I
  11. Hello VanHazard, thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my post. It’s great that we can still comment and discuss the class even after it is (sadly) over. Unfortunately, I wound up sending the post before realizing I didn’t even finish my thoughts about The Third Man! Whoops. You can re-read the post again for the changes if you’re interested (as long as you don’t start a fight, lol). Anyway, there were over 100 films covered in the Summer of Darkness festival. I didn’t at all mean that there should’ve been daily doses on all of them (not sure where you got that from my post)
  12. Professor Edwards, I felt I did understand before that everything would close at 11:59 on 8/3/2015 (or 10:59 the same as the quizzes, it's kind of confusing) and was rushing to get everything done. However, I took another look at the due dates and saw that the user survey under "assignments" had a due date of 11:59 8/4/2015 and thought I would have more time on it (as well as the message boards), only to see that it too closed along with everything else. It's too late now and I would've liked to have put in my two cents about the daily doses. Oh well, just wanted to notify that there was
  13. -- Discuss how the opening of this film exemplifies the noir style and substance. -- Now that you have seen all 32 Daily Doses, what did you take away from the Daily Doses assignment? Did it contribute to your learning about film noir? The film, Criss Cross, starts off with Franz Planer’s crisp, beautiful cinematography of a panning, aerial view of the Los Angeles at night. The dark lighting, desperation of the doomed lovers wanting desperately to be together are all indicative of the noir style. Overall, the Daily Doses have really opened my eyes not only to cinematic artistry, but
  14. The first few seconds when Raymond Burr makes his entrance, it is the only time all three faces of the thugs are visible. After one of the hoods finishes saying, “But I managed to bring him back here for you, Walt,” that is when Burr speaks and becomes cloaked in the shadows at the same time. The only face that isn’t seen is that of Steve Brodie, faced away from the camera, huddled in the far left corner of the frame to show his helplessness and insignificance to his tormentors. The staging of Burr punching Brodie is very interesting. The direction switches from the back of Brodie’s he
  15. Film noir is not just made up of shadows, dark lighting, smoke, and odd camera angles. Without the proper establishment of the location and mise en scene in relations to the particular scene and story, the noir “style” merely becomes a cheap bag of parlor tricks without substance or value. Whether it’s on location shooting or the studio lot, the best of film noir doesn’t use the setting as a mere backdrop, but instead goes out of its way to emphasize entirety of the setting in which the characters get around or have made their home. The audience is given scope of the true nature of the
  16. “Without your voice, I’d be lost in a land of silence.” Shortly after saying this, the jazz score begins to play over the amorous couple continuing their conversation over the phone. The prurient decadence of the score is every bit as lush and carnal as the cinematography, particularly Jeanne Moreau and Maurice Ronet’s close-ups that are so intimate, the passion is apparent even when they are not in physical contact or even in the same scene together. Jazz, like film noir, is a time capsule to an age of sophistication, euphemisms, refined decorum and style. The music is provocative, s
  17. The presence of the salvation army, as well as the wholesome, community feel of early 19th century America does a good job of lulling the audience into a false sense of security. This is indicative of what is happening to Howard onscreen as well as to what is happening to Americans offscreen with the threats of Cold War, Communist invasion of Eastern Europe, and nuclear annihilation happening overseas. The smudge on the window is greatly symbolic of the main character- an otherwise amiable, good-natured character, but there is something in his psyche that randomly sets over the edge, to c
  18. Thank goodness, this daily dose is taking a different approach. I was tired of trying to find new, innovative ways of making the same comments on style, direction, post WWII issues, etc (just like the filmmakers of that time, lol). It was starting to get stale and repetitive. Anyway, I agree with many of Foster Hirsch’s points, not about 50’s noir in general, but definitely some of the negative points about this movie. Anyway, I was very excited to see The Narrow Margin after reading that it was about a gangster’s widow, especially with the dynamic Marie Windsor in the cast. This is an ac
  19. Just from this short 4 minute scene, so much is apparent between Sam, Walter, and Martha. It is clear that they all have a history together, but it isn’t anything casual. The furtive glances, expressions rising and dropping every second, underlying tensions barely concealed under a polite, civil veneer. When they are alone, Sam and Walter are all smiles. Sam makes himself at home while Walter is playing the part of the gracious host welcoming back a childhood acquaintance. It is apparent though that there is melee for dominance going on with these two, as they size each other up under
  20. There are so many vital details and clues that foreshadow the destiny of Jane Palmer: the 3.5 mile marker, the 8:30 time on the driver’s watch, Jane insisting they turn back because of her reluctance to face the “diamond-studded wife” of a friend she and her husband are on their way to visit (a visual that she, herself, will set out to create for herself at any cost). At the precise moment that Jane tries to take the keys out of the car slows it down, possibly the agreed upon signal for the sealed deal, since this (and the other aligned signs) gets the driver’s attention. The Palmers
  21. The visual symbolism of the “criss-cross” patterns are similar to the staging of Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre’s confrontation scene from The Mask of Dimitrios. It’s apparent with the diagonal angles in the direction of the bottom right corner of the screen from diametric directions (Guy from the left and Bruno from the right). Their opposite directions and the contrasting colors of their shoes (Guy with dull, dark shoes and Bruno with shining black and white shoes) show that are on opposing sides and will be at odds with each other very soon. The only visible noir elements in the op
  22. Edmund O’Brien stars in both The Hitchhiker and DOA. The audience doesn’t get a glimpse of the faces of Frank or the hitcher until both decide to reveal who they are- the hitcher by way of gunpoint and commands to “keep driving” and Frank by way of revealing himself as the murder victim. I don’t know about Kiss Me Deadly, but I definitely notice a similarity between DOA’s opening and Laura. Both movies establish the central protagonist as “dead” at the very beginning of the movie with powerful lines of dialogue. Like the beginning of caged, pointillism is central in the composition- the en
  23. The small window surrounded by darkness creates a solitary claustrophobic prison with no escape, freedom, or hope to look forward to. Not a single frame in this scene, whether it’s the window, Eleanor’s Parker’s tear-filled face, placard carved “Women’s State Prison,” the layered brick foundation with separated by barred windows in-between, or gate severing the prison from the outside world. The opening to Caged is unmistakably is the Warner Bros. It echoes many of the crime films that came before, particularly I am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang. The making of the film came to the perfec
  24. In the opening of The Hitch-Hiker, the audience it introduced to two restless, middleclass, middle-aged already showing signs of discontent in their lives as they are on their way to a fishing trip until they are stopped by a mysterious figure on the side of the road. Unlike in Kiss Me Deadly, Roy and Gilbert, while not enthused, they don’t seem to mind picking up the stranger and even try to make attempts to converse with the hitcher. There are several notable similarities and differences between the two movies. Both movies involve hitchhikers of questionable origins and characters. In K
  25. During a time when modest, respectable young women were expected to be adorned with a sensible, sophisticated style of dresses, or blouses and short skirts, hats, stockings, and gloves, Cloris Leachman as Christina bursts onto the screen of Kiss Me Deadly… In nothing, but a trench coat. Unfortunately, Christina’s fear and desperation leave her no time for modesty or conventions; to the point of using her whole body to stop the car of a disgruntled Mike Hammer and can’t even speak when he demands answers because she is so out of breath. Despite the exceptional circumstances, Christina and M
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