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About gtunison

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  1. What three Hitchcock films would you recommend as a way to understand Hitchcock to someone just discovering Hitchcock?
  2. The pace of the music telegraphs that this is a story with some twist and fast turns. The eeriness of the music scares you in the first 3 seconds and yet leaves you wanting more. The visuals are disturbing too with lines of dark and light reflect the tempo of the music and preludes the movies dark side with most shot in deem light. The day of the week is shown to reference it's the end of the week and nearly the start of the weekend. And the time of day tells us it is late in the afternoon in the sleepy town of Phoenix. The camera moving in from the outside in reminds me of Rear Window except that was from the inside out. From the brief scene we conclude these two are having a tryst on a weekday and she is more into the relationship than he is and she would marry him right now if he asked. She is torn between doing the right thing and being a bad girl. She may be viewed as a tramp by the 1960's audience but she loves Sam and is holding out hope they marry soon. The fact they are in a seedy hotel and her lunch is still uneaten tells us they were not there for a prayer meeting. If only she had stayed there and not returned to work it would have been more of the same to come in the weeks ahead.
  3. I feel they are being themselves in this scene. Especially Cary Grant. There is a cool and crisp element between them. You can feel the sexual tension they have. She draws him in with the match lighting her cigarette. He pulls back and she pulls him back and blows out the match. I love the sound of the train though the scene. Its almost like their banter is in rhythm with the train.
  4. The opening images gives me a sense that there will be many twist and turns in this film. The music gives me a clue that I will be shocked and frighten at times. The single most powerful image for me the sequence with the face. There is time spent on the face so it must be important to the film. I know when I first saw Vertigo I thought I must study this face. I will see it again in the body of the movie. The music and the images work together in conveying the thought of twist and turns in the plot of the movie. Very gripping music throughout the movie. At times it scare the crap out of me.
  5. This is my favorite Hitchcock movie. He opens the film with a morning view outside Jeff's world since he broke his leg and busted a camera during a car race. He is sleeping in his wheelchair and sweating in the 90 plus heat of the morning. Hitch gives us a look inside that courtyard and we are transformed into the wheelchair for a ride that is surely to get rough. ​Hitchcock has little movie stories within the story of L.B. Jeffers. We are drawn into their stories. It is very cinematic.
  6. Hithcock uses the camera angle nearly touching the train tracks as they cross from one to another. Also from the camera angles used with the cabs. One is left to right while the other is right to left. There is a contrast in the music between the two sets of shoes. The Black and White shoes have a loud section of music and a flamboyant fast walk to them while the set of black shoes is more reserved and at a much slower pace.
  7. ​It has the touch of Hitchcock with the panning of the dirty dishes and the game of solitare and Carol Lombard tossing and turning in bed. Suddenly a knock on the door and one eye opens. So she is awake. We are told from the camera POV that they have been in the room a few days by the looks of the dirty dishes. This scene sets up the story. We soon discover they have had a fight and vow not to leave the room till they make up. That is a MacGuffin. Montgomery and Lombard play Mr and Mrs Smith very well. They love each other but neither wants to be the first to apologize and they play cat and mouse with each other throughout the film.
  8. ​We learn that although Uncle Charlie has expensive taste in clothes and cigars and money just laying around he is not a choirboy. He is nice to old ladies and probably dogs but is waiting for something sinister to happen. He says to himself that the men on the corner don't have anything on him and walks right by them in broad daylight. There is the dimly led bedroom, the low camera angle with a quick zoom of the steps outside the boarding house and then we see Uncle Charlie laying on the bed. All quickly and with the music, out interest are peaked. ​The music score serves to built the mood of Uncle Charlie as he awaits a showdown with the two men on the corner. We expect them to crash though the door any minute but Uncle Charlie decides to walk past them and down the street and shows no fear.
  9. 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? I say it is not that different. The house is also a character in the film. As the narrator tells us nature has taken over Manderley. The drive is grown over and though the house still stands, it is burned out and yet still a thing of beauty. 2. What are the Hitchcock "touches" in this opening that help you identify this as a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock? He uses the camera to take us on a ride to Manderley. It is dark and dreary. Then we see the waves and the high shores of the coast with a man standing on the edge. He slowly move his left foot closer to the edge. Is he going to jump or not. Something happened to bring him to this spot and we are hooked and want to know more. 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?
  10. 1. In this sequence, describe how Hitchcock uses sound design to put you into the subjective "mind of Alice"? Be specific. When Alice goes into the phone booth to look up the telephone number you stop hearing the babbling lady. Alice is focused on finding that number when she comes across the number for the Police. She throws the book down and walks out of the booth only to hear the constant babbling of the customer. She is now focused on the previous night. 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 After Alice sits down for breakfast, her father asks her to cut the bread. In the background the customer continues to run off at the mouth non stop and is taking about the knifing. Alice picks up the knife and zeros in on the word Knife. She is consumed by the knife and throws it to the floor in her mental anguish. She gets up to wait on a customer and he mentions the murder and how no suspects have been named and she barely speaks to him. . 3. Why do you think this particular use of subjective sound is not used frequently in cinema? ​So much of todays cinema is visual with montage and flashbacks.
  11. 1. How does Hitchcock use montage or expressive editing to add vitality and rhythm to this scene? The boxer thinks back to when his wife was only interested in him as seen in the montage. He must be wishing he was in the party room with her by his side. 2. As is the case with a lot of German Expressionist films, in this scene, there are many shots that are very subjective and put us into the psychological mind of a main character. Please note the various techniques Hitchcock uses to create that feeling of subjectivity. Knowing that his wife is cheating on him right in front of him is agonizing. He is training for his biggest fight but now has the image of her with another man in his mind. As he watches the girls dance they seem to fade into running images in his mind. Hitchcock dissovles the piano keys into the hands of the player as the girls dance lifting their dresses to show their knees. 3. How does Hitchcock stage the action, use set design, and editing techniques to increase the stakes in the rivalry between the two gentlemen? ​One is trying to impress a young lady and one is trying to keep cool about it. They are in different rooms but can clearly see the other.
  12. 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? Both get the basis of the movie. In The Lodger it is murder and we know from the start because the first frame is a blonde screaming. In the Pleasure Garden we find girls coming down a spiral staircase and then we see them dancing on the state. Both use Golden Curls which is a Hitchcock trademark. 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? He tells the beginning of the story with first the victim screaming and then an old women telling the police and the press what she saw. He then uses montage with the scenes of machines and newspaper press rolling the headline Murder. The Avenger has struck again. 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? ​She is framed at an angle and we see fear on her face and imagine she is the victim of a horrible murder. We can hear her scream in our minds eye and are drawn into the movie from that point. I think of the scream in Rear Window when the little dog is found strangled in the courtyard. And the scream of Judy as she falls from the bell tower in Veritgo. Nearly the same image is framed in the Birds with Tippi Headron being attacked by the gulls.
  13. 1. Do you see the beginnings of the "Hitchcock touch" in this sequence? Please provide specific examples. Knowing what I know about Hitchcock films if I did not know this was done by him I would thought it was just another silent film. But according to Strauss he does frame the shot so that the world is that staircase of what seems a never ending chorus of girls. 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? I can see his use of sexy blondes and men taken with them. He adds a bit of comedy by giving the lovesick man her curl. 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? ​Yes because at some point he will run out of girls and the audience gets dizzy watching it. It is a setup for a dance number that I suppose was common during early films.
  14. More in the style of ZAZ. Ron is clueless that he is a boob. To that he is a mixture of Nielson and Robert Hays from Airplane in the timing of the lines. Allen's characters are normal everyday people in extraordinary circumstances like a civil war. Brooks pays respect to the genre his is spoofing. It was a take on West Side Story and they wanted to make sure to include all the local stations in the big fight. Very exaggerated without the fine music from WSS. I would say Ferrell was a fan of the Three Stooges, Groucho Marx and Woody Allen.
  15. It was like watching an old cop movie or tv show. Very dry dialogue but punched with jokes. The Swiss Army Shoe is an example.. Some what similar but with bigger site gags. Drebins car scene has Frank go into cop mode, shooting at the car and asking did anyone see the driver. Then he realizes it was his car. Not quite over the top humor but very funny. Drebin is more vocal comedy where as Clouseau is more physical comedy. Both are bumbling but in different ways.
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