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About ChristyKelly

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  1. Glad we have a group in our state! I'm in Pembroke Pines - not too far from Miami, anyway.
  2. 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. In The Lodger, the murder and woman's agony is immediate and in your face. The flashing marquee sign, the woman's screaming face. In Frenzy, in direct opposite to the title, here is serene, pompous and proper London and Londoners, being supremely happy about cleaning up the river, when a body floats down the current to wrest people from their artificial platitudes. 2. What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific. This was an immediate cameo of Hitch in a bowler hat indicating very proper dress; there's the long tracking shot of the Thames and the city of London, complete with signage for those who have never seen London Bridge. The ceremonial music depicting the glamour and splendour of Hitch's fair city, only to contrast with the grisly scene in the water. 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. Frenzy indicated to me that Hitch still enjoyed creating the silent film, and the opening scenes almost always indicate that it's still possible to create such a film, if only people were willing to view it. Nothing in this opening scene needed dialogue - even the speaker talking about the cleansing of the polluted Thames could have indicated with gestures that the waters would be sparkling once more using various methods of cleanup. Also, there is always contrast with what the viewer's POV shows (the beautiful city of London) and what is really there - like the two men's legs in Strangers On A Train, and the glamorous show marquee and the woman being strangled.
  3. Based on the opening sequence alone, what do you feel you already know about Marnie as a character? We already know that she uses disguises, she's extremely organized, does nothing halfway, and she has a lot to hide. She's also comfortable when she's in disguise and "in control." In what ways does Hitchcock visually reveal her character through her interaction with objects. She's fastidious about her packing, her wardrobe, her hair, exchanging ID cards in her wallet. She's impeccably dressed, with hair, makeup and nails perfect. She toes the key in the grate to dismiss the fact of her criminal behavior. How does Hitchcock use Bernard Herrmann's score in this scene? It's very much background music at the opening, then as Marnie does the big reveal after washing away the hair dye, the music swells with the recurring theme and we see her face for the first time. Did you see any variation in what Hitchcock is doing with his cameo in this film, and what do you think that variation means? Well, Hitchcock looks straight at us (for the first time) as if to say, I'm no mystery; I know what I'm doing, and I know you're curious about this mystery person, and I know you can't resist finding out all about her.
  4. 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? Well, Tippi knows nothing about birds, and she's willing to fake her identity in order to flirt with Rod. Rod knows very soon that Tippi knows nothing about birds. We also know that they will be a couple in this film. 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? First, there's the cheerful chirping of the parakeets and canaries, the sound of a successful pet shop. The ditzy owner could barely be heard above the din as she explains about Tippi's mynah bird being late. There's no reminder of the danger that has begun outside. 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. I think Hitch is saying to us that doesn't like birds.
  5. Psycho opens with title design by Saul Bass and music by Bernard Herrmann. This is their third collaboration for Hitchcock, including Vertigoand North by Northwest. How does the graphic design and the score introduce the main themes of this film? The graphic design is sharp and its movement of lines across the screen violent and strong. Likewise the music is making "lines" into your hearing, sharp, short, violent. There are sequences of smooth violin notes being played that suggest travel and movement. Nothing is still in this movie. It's action all the time. 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? Establishing the time lets the television generation know that it's important, perhaps a crime will be committed; an investigator has established this time after the fact while piecing together what took place. Obviously the semi-closed blinds tell us that Marion and her lover didn't want to be discovered. Marion continues this secrecy until she is killed. 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. Marion appears soon after the time and date are established. She is the one dominating the dialogue; she is making the decision not to see Sam anymore because there's no future in it and she's going to go her own way. She doesn't seem to see Sam as anything but an interlude in her life.
  6. Even at the level of the dialogue, this film is playing with the idea that two Hollywood stars are flirting with each other (e.g. the line, "I look vaguely familiar.") How does our pre-existing knowledge of these stars function to create meaning in this scene. What a double entendre there is when Cary Grant says, "I know, I look vaguely familiar." I bet the theatre audience went crazy over that line. Eva Marie had bedroom eyes on him - all soft and dreamy. She's the open one, Cary had sunglasses to conceal himself. We're hanging on every word of what these two are saying by not saying it. There is minimal action in this scene, so any deviation from the overall pattern of focusing on the faces of the two leads will have increased significance. In that sense, discuss how Hitchcock uses the R.O.T. matchbook as an important piece of acting business (or as a prop) in this scene. The matchbook is an excellent foreshadowing of the role it plays near the end of the film in warning Eve Kendall. In itself, the matchbook has little meaning, as the O in the initials signifies nothing. A jab toward the advertising business; they put meaning in little symbols and names that really have no meaning at all. But the matchbook serves a purpose - that of the first physical connection between the two characters, and how compatible and relaxed they are with each other. How is Hitchcock using sound design in this scene? Consider music and other background sounds in your answer. The music is excellent background - the clicking of the rails, the lulling effect of a relaxed and pleasant dinner. The violins play a beautiful backdrop for the conversation that takes place - as if it's part of the conversation and the attraction that is very apparent between these two characters.
  7. Describe what you think this film will be about simply from the sounds and images in these opening credits. Even if you have seen the film, try to focus on these sounds and images themselves and “the story” (or if not "the story," the mood and atmosphere they are establishing) that this sequence is communicating to the audience. The music immediately conveys to me that this is an "otherworldly" film - on the order of The Twilight Zone or Outer Limits. The repeating flute sequence puts the audience on guard because we are about to plunge into the unknown. The close up of the various parts of the face convey a psychological thriller. The mood is unrest, discomfort, and a mesmerizing or hypnotic experience. In your own estimation, what is the single most powerful image in this title sequence? Defend your answer. I'd say the most powerful image is the Lissajous figures because you can't take your eyes off them. When at the end of the sequence you see it in the eye of Kim Novak, then her eye opens wide, you know you're in for one heck of a ride. How do Saul Bass’ images and Bernard Herrmann’s score work together? How different would this sequence be with a different musical score? There's something symbiotic between Herrmann's score and the rhythm of the Lissajous figures revolving. It's mesmerizing and suspenseful because of the length of time they revolve with the repeating musical sequence. It's almost telling us to stay calm, but we know better!
  8. How would you describe the opening camera shot of this film? What is Hitchcock seeking to establish in this single shot that opens the film? Whose vantage point is being expressed in this shot, given that Jeff has his back to the window?Hitchcock in his opening shot shows us the cage that Jeff is living in as well as the other apartments full of other "zoo animals," each doing their own routine. He finally comes back to Jeff's cast keeping Jeff from his usual routine. Added to that is the heat which has Jeff sweating even when lying still. It is our POV here, as we get ready to know more about the zoo and how they interact or don't interact. 2. What do we learn about Jeff in this scene without any pertinent lines of dialogue (other than what is written on Jeff’s leg cast)? How does Hitchcock gives us Jeff’s backstory simply through visual design? We learn that Jeff is an active man, a photographer who doesn't shy from danger, given his trophy wall of photos depicting race car crashes, explosions and fires. His "salute" to a cover girl - a negative, shows Jeff as a sardonic and sarcastic person, and, given his inscription on his cast, and the fact that he takes no notice of the neighbors waking up and making noise and going about their business, a closed-off person as well. 3. Does this opening scene make you feel like a voyeur or, at a minimum, remind you of being a an immobile spectator? What feelings does Hitchcock elicit from you as his camera peers into these other people’s apartments? Certainly the opening scene made me feel like a voyeur, but with permission from the director to pay attention to what's going on in people's apartments. I mean, after all, they haven't closed their curtains or pulled the shades, so that gives us tacit permission to spy, right? 4. Bonus question: if you have seen the entire film before, do you agree with Hitchcock that this film is his most cinematic? I was fortunate enough to see the entire film in a movie theatre when Fathom Events and TCM showed it last year. There were a great many details I'd missed even though I'd seen it on TV many times. I agree that this is Hitch's most cinematic film; it provides the whole story visually - Lisa and Jeff's relationship included. The story contained within the apartments needs no dialogue or even sound, since we can see the music being played, the reaction to it by Miss Lonelyhearts, the dancing and the partying. Jeff, with his telephoto lens, takes us closer to the apartments that have something to hide, and we share his suspicions as a result.
  9. 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.The movie opens with a picture of the U.S. Capitol building - perhaps a tongue-in-cheek reference to the way politicians "cross-cross" or double cross the hapless constituents by saying one thing and doing another. Then the cabs arrive. As the two gentlemen traverse the train station concourse, there are numerous criss-crossings with the other passengers and the diamond-shaped tiles on the floor. And, once the two men enter the train car, their legs criss-cross with all the other passengers' legs on the way to his seat. As we watch the flow of the tracks as the train pulls out of the station, you have a sense that although there are two paths, as the train pulls to the right, both characters are destined to go the same way - a metaphor for how Bruno convinces Guy to buy into his psychopathic idea. Then there's the obvious criss-crossing as each gentleman crosses his legs while seated in the train car. The bump happens and an intersection of their lives begins. 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. First of all there's the difference in the two men's shoes - Bruno's is a very noticeable spectator shoe, and Guy's are black oxfords with thick soles. In addition, the two men reach their seats from opposite directions coming into the car. Bruno is dressed in a suit and tie, while Guy is dressed in a more casual manner with a sweater vest and jacket. Bruno is most outgoing, talking about himself, while Guy is polite but quiet and reticent. 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? Mr. Tiomkin's score is fabulous as it raises the pitch of emotion and makes us aware of things we should pay attention to. As each gentleman exits the cab, a separate interlude of "introduction" is heard, telling us that these characters are the ones to pay attention to. As the gentlemen walk through the concourse the beat changes to a steady "walking" pace, conveying a quick journey through the crowd to the train and a sense of purpose. Once we see the gentlemen's legs moving toward their respective seats, the music becomes very quiet, then ceases once they are seated. At the end of the film, of course, the music undeniably contributes to the the extreme violence of the merry-go-round running amok and the dangerous character of Bruno running through the amusement park.
  10. What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this early scene from the movie? As the camera focuses on Cary Grant in the doorway - you're suddenly in Ingrid Bergman's aching head and seeing what she sees. Then begins the ultimate tracking shot of Grant moving toward the bed which pitches him upside down to Ingrid's eyes - oooh, my head! Fabulous shot. Seeing Grant in shadow is also a Hitch touch, as he doesn't want us to know who it is right away, because Ingrid isn't fully awake yet. Also, the extreme closeup of Ingrid's face and her agony at being awakened after a night of drinking puts us in her POV as well. How does Hitchcock choose to light, frame, and photograph his two stars in this scene?What are some of the contrasts that Hitchcock trying to set up between these two characters through art direction, costume, and cinematography? When we first see Cary Grant, it's the back of his head, all in shadow - just like a spy. Likewise, he's impeccably dressed and fully in control of himself, as a handler, (unlike Leo G. Carroll in North By Northwest!). Ingrid is far from a spy-type person because of her dishevelment, or so you think, until she and Cary connect. She is filmed in extreme closeup in all her hungover glory, and even in the driving scene, she is the one you can't keep your eyes off of. She is dressed simply and stylishly without a lot of frills as someone who is vulnerable, not hidden down below so many layers (accessories). What you see is what you get. In the later scenes in the home of Sebastian, Ingrid has become the woman in control, calmly calculating how to complete the mission and provide the U.S. (Dev) exactly what it asks for. Based on this scene (or the entire film if you have seen it already), reflect on the casting of Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman. Does this scene conform to or challenge their well-known star personas? Definitely the scene conforms to their personas - Cary Grant - the consummate male-in-charge, with a tender spot in his heart for a beautiful and vulnerable woman, and Ingrid, beautiful but doesn't know it - seeking approval for everything she does. Willingly tries to please the man she loves, even it it means taking a huge risk.
  11. 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? Unlike The Lodger, The 39 Steps opens at a public stage in a big crowd of middle and lower class audience. the Lodger opened with the scream (albeit silent) of a murderer's victim. The 39 Steps does not reveal it's nature until several scenes later with the death of Lucie Mannheim. Likewise the Man Who Knew Too Much opens in a public sporting event introducing you to characters without many hints about what may be important about them. 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? I agree that this film definitely introduces an innocent character, although knowing it's a Hitchcock film, we're a bit cautious about Mr. Donat at first, haha. He doesn't have the drawl of innocence that James Stewart had in the remake, so we're just not sure. Many unsavory characters take refuge in a theatre, although when Mr. Donat asked questions of Mr. Memory, I was pretty sure he was an innocent since he didn't mind being notice. 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? First of all Robert Donat introduced as an ordinary person placed in an extraordinary situation. The double chase where the authorities are chasing him but Donat is chasing the guy in the know who could clear him; but wait, instead of clearing him, he shoots him. And poor Donat is also mistrusted by the farmer because he has convinced the farmer's wife to help him out. The music and shadows make the film that much more suspenseful and quicken the pace of the film. Then comes full circle when our hero is back in the theatre where Mr. Memory reveals the MacGuffin of the film and dies trying.
  12. 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) Most certainly the characters are more important - within the first 30 seconds the daughter and Peter Lorre were introduced. Lorre' manner is most interesting because he appears to be an innocent bystander. But the length of time spent in conversational banter leads us to believe that his character is significant. 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? While Lorre brushes the snow off his coat after the mishap with the ski jumper, he tells everyone he's OK, yet when he sees the skier up close his expression changes to dead serious. Then he again starts laughing and joking again and disappears quickly into the crowd. 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. I didn't see The Pleasure Garden but as to the Lodger, its opening scene was murder. The Man Who Knew Too Much was pleasure that turned into a near tragedy, yet everyone was very gay about it and unconcerned, especially the young girl. The Lodger told you it was going to be a whodonit; the Man Who Knew didn't let on until much later.
  13. In the opening scene we learn without a shadow of a doubt that Uncle Charlie has got a problem. First of all he's lying on his bed fully dressed, not relaxed but playing with a cigar. Money strewn around, a mess, yet he lays immobile, thinking, thinking. His answers to the landlady are distant, depressed almost, like he no longer cares. Yet as soon as she leaves, he sits up, sees the detectives, and murmurs they're bluffing. All in all, Uncle Charlie is not who he seems, which is the crux of the film. The opening is definitely film noir, the mystery around this man who the landlady is concerned about, his mumbling answers, then the detectives- what are they looking for? Uncle Charlie's walk past the detectives knowing they'lll tail him. Cat and mouse. The music is spectacular as Uncle Charlie leaves his room, hits the street and walks toward the detectives. The music speeds up, crescendos, and we're caught up in the chase; we have to through it to the end!
  14. 1. In your own words, please describe the effect of watching the POV dolly shots / POV tracking shots in this scene? The effect was mesmerizing, the audience is compelled to watch. If you were in that situation, you would not look away for fear something horrible will happen. Predator/prey situation. 2. Why do you think Hitchcock uses the technique of a POV tracking shot? What does it add to his visual storytelling? This technique created feelings in the audience of dread, anticipation and forboding as the waitress approached the two men in The Ring. It was a way of conveying an inescapable situation. 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. Definitely the visual technique of montage, as thoughts swirl through the minds of the characters. Also, in The Ring, Hitchcock's shot of the flirting couple in the mirror creates a feeling of unreality, as if the husband is thinking "Is this really happening with my wife?"
  15. Of course Ben Mankiewicz does it all the time in his film introductions but I had to laugh when he questioned whether the moon landing really happened in 1969. Naturally Ben wasn't even born...
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