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  1. I agree johnranta with everything you said (I never imagined that the drippings of a rubber tree could be such an eerie and effective builder of tension), and I was also struck by how calculated Bette Davis' character's murder seemed to be. She never flinched, never revealed any kind of emotion (not shock or sadness or grief or even delight). I too have never seen The Letter but suspect this may serve as a framing device and that much of the film may be told in flashback in order to establish why she killed Mr. Hammond. My thought is that she must have had a very good reason. Regarding the
  2. It is amazing how closely we watch these brief clips and see all the tone and meaning that they set when we focus only on the opening in these Daily Doses. Some viewers who sit down to watch the entire film may view these opening much more passively, waiting for the "story" as you say to really begin. So yes, I agree. Isn't it amazing how much is buried in the scenes we may not always properly process?
  3. I have not seen La Bete Humaine but I found the opening sequence highly symbolic and potentially foreshadowing. The opening image of the raging furnace immediately brought connotations of hell and destruction to mind, but as the camera pulls back, we realize that we are relatively safe and aboard a train. But then the darkness of the tunnel ahead and the warning whistle suggest movement into darkness and into the unknown, suggesting something dark and unexpected may befall our characters (once we meet them). The curve of the track and angle of the camera when the two trains pass also creates a
  4. I have seen M multiple times and am actually working on a book on the films of Fritz Lang (one of my primary reasons for taking this class). The opening uses image brilliantly to further the story. The intercutting between the mother and young Elsie Beckmann beginning with the mother's smile at the chiming cuckoo clock to the dismissal bell at school, the mother setting the table and Elsie heading home. Words are not necessary to build a relationship between the mother and Elsie and dramatic irony gives the scene a more tragic sense as the mother smiles and happily prepares for her daughter to
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