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Everything posted by pumatamer

  1. What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific. Touches would be the chaos of the scene. There are a lot of people, a lot to focus on, so much in fact that we do not know what we should pay attention to the most. It reminds me of the beginning of The 39 Steps.
  2. Based on the opening sequence alone, what do you feel you already know about Marnie as a character? In what ways does Hitchcock visually reveal her character through her interaction with objects. She doesn't care about her objects. Her objects are just trophies for her success as a thief. She doesn't particularly care for the objects as she packs them. She throws them into her case. Did you see any variation in what Hitchcock is doing with his cameo in this film, and what do you think that variation means? He looks right at the camera and then it cuts off. I found this cameo strange and a l
  3. 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? There is the subtle but cheesy flirtation between Hedren and Taylor. The improbable and also absurd way in which they meet and which Hedren's character decides to bring him loves birds...just adds to the romantic comedy feel of this scene. 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? Th
  4. 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? I think the distortion of the actor's names and even the title demonstrates the theme of dual personalities or a distortion of people present themselves to be. The music and the lines running through the screen show a frantic and hurried rhythm that maybe these people are experiencing on the inside, but not showing to the outside world. As t
  5. 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 ROT matchbook has several purposes, to draw the attention back on himself, to gauge her interest in HIM, and to just connect to her physically possibly.
  6. 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. I automatically feel that the film will be a darker themed film. That there will be danger, suspense, confusion, and I can't wait to dive right in. In your own estimation, what is the single most powerful image in this title sequence? Defend your answer. I thin
  7. 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? I think Hitchcock is addressing the fact that we are all voyeurs. It is fascinating to watch others go about their daily lives. We the spectator feel that we shouldn't be spying or watching others but we can't help ourselves. Bonus question: if you have seen the entire film before, do you agree with Hitchcock that this film is his most cinematic? Visually there aren't
  8. 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. Before we actually see the faces of the characters, we are meeting them. Their shoes, their walking, their luggage are all things that differentiate them and prepare us to meet them.
  9. What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this early scene from the movie? Two things stand out to me. The shadowy view of Grant as he enters the room and the extreme close up on Bergman as she comes to.
  10. What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this opening sequence? Moreover, what do we learn about or know about the couple through the scene's visual design: the props, the set design or dressing, the decor, the camera angles, the lighting, etc? I'd say the lack of dialogue, the closeup on the eyes of the female character, and the disarray or "organized chaos" of the scene. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: the opening sequence of Mr. and Mrs. Smith is a typical "Hitchcock opening" based on openings you have seen so far in the other Daily Doses? Why or why not? Yes, ple
  11. In what ways does this opening remind you of watching a film noir? If it doesn't remind you of a film noir, what makes the opening here different from the opening of a noir film like Siodmak's The Killers? (Note: If you haven't seen The Killers, it is fine to answer this question in general terms about your own personal expectations) The shadows coming across Charlie in the bed and as his land lady enters the room. The men in fadoras eyeing him up as he passes by. The impending doom of it all just screams noir.
  12. What are the Hitchcock "touches" in this opening that help you identify this as a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock? The thing I notice is the angle in which Hitchcock shoots his scenes. Olivier overlooking the rocks...the shots from behind at a steep angle and the steep angle from below him. All these increase your anxiety and the suspense of the scene.
  13. 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. There is a lot going on. It is organized chaos! We have a lot of chattering, the scene is chaotic but also jovial, which is probably meant to confuse the viewer. Hitchcock often confuses the viewer and then directs the viewer by the use of heavily cast scenes and often a lot of dialogue or happenings going on. This way we are distracted until he sets up what he wants use to see
  14. 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? We see off-color humor, suspicion, and a closeup on specific characters that help the viewer get to know the characters better.
  15. 1. 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) I think the characters will be more important. Even in that opening scene, Hitchcock is giving us little tidbits that inform the characters. He gives us insights into their personalities with gesture and the things they say.
  16. 1. In this sequence, describe how Hitchcock uses sound design to put you into the subjective "mind of Alice"? Be specific. We see how on edge Alice is with her focus on the word KNIFE. Hitchcock uses repetition, volume, and pitch to really drive home the word knife and Alice's building anxiety over that particular word. It is brilliant. I love seeing this early work of Hitchcock's.
  17. 1. In your own words, please describe the effect of watching the POV dolly shots / POV tracking shots in this scene? The creeping suspense of not knowing what is happening in the scene is what the POV adds to this. Since we don't have sound to inform us, we only have the images and the POV shot makes these images more intense with a creeping style. We move with the two boys towards the headmaster and his disapproving stare. Their slow approach to him leads us to the impression that this will not end well. It is a genius scene!
  18. The mix of superimposed images, anticipation in the form of a kiss, closeups of the lead actors eyes as he imagines his wife's misdeeds, the distortion of the dance scene, all add to the chaos or imagined chaos of what is happening. It is a fantastic scene!
  19. 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? The closeup and extreme closeup of the emotional turmoil that the woman is in, is classic Hitchcock. He wants you to experience the emotion of the character and that intense focus on the eyes helps us go on this journey with the characters.
  20. 1. Do you see the beginnings of the "Hitchcock touch" in this sequence? Please provide specific examples. The leering men and the camera work are the two things that stood out to me as the "Hitchcock Touch". The focus on the leering stares of the men and then the view through the binoculars felt very Hitchcock to me. Also, the focus on the expressions of the characters, the camera's focus on capturing their micro-expressions, were all something that felt very Hitchcock. We get an intimate view of how these characters are feeling. 2. Do you agree or disagree with Strauss, Yacowar, and Spoto
  21. Of the slapstick influences we covered in this class, who do you think most influenced Will Ferrell as a slapstick comedian? You can select for your answer any of the studios, directors, writers, or actors covered in this course. I think the work of Mel Brooks and but also Stanley Kramer. The use of cameos in Anchor Man were clever and make people laugh with anticipation, knowing new faces might pop up. This reminds me of Kramer's It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and all the cameos that showed up in that.
  22. 3. In the context of slapstick comedy, compare Peter Sellers' Inspector Clouseau with Leslie Nielsen's Frank Drebin. I love both of these comedic actors but there is something glorious about Nielsen's Drebin and his happy-go-lucky, pass the buck, absurdity. Sellers' performance seems more classical and trained. It is really difficult to describe the difference between them, to be honest!
  23. 3. Would this film and its gags have worked as well if Young Frankenstein was shot in color? Defend your answer. I think the film being shot in black and white added to the "authenticity" and credibility of this serious, medical drama...or that was the hilarious and obvious gag visually. Wilder plays the character straight /very serious and this adds to absurdity of the film. Also when we see a black and white film we generally assume it will be a classic film or serious. The decision to film in black and white was brilliant.
  24. In what ways does this scene from Bananas operate as both slapstick comedy and as parody? It's parody in that it's mocking the USA luxury of fast food/takeout. Mix that with Allen's deadpan expression and expectation that all this food will be available in this locale. The slapstick gag was the hundreds of food bags but I personally loved the coleslaw in the wheelbarrows! Genius!
  25. Describe specifically how this scene looks and feels like a "live action" cartoon. I think the bursts of color, the camera angles, silly gags, and overall concept have a cartoon feel!
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