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About zcamenker

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  1. I could definitely see Hitch working with directors like Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, and David Fincher. Even though they are all very different and quirky/unique in some ways, I think Hitch would LIKE what they bring to the table. He also would love working with some of their constant collaborators like cinematographer Bob Richardson, editor Thelma Schoonmaker, and musicians Trent Reznor/Atticus Ross. The creativity and stylistic approach they bring to the table would probably impress Hitch a lot. It's really hard to think of writers because so few films today have screenplays
  2. I watched you twice on TCM with Ben Mankiewicz and agree with you that ROPE is one of Hitch's best films. I myself find it one of his most underrated and VERTIGO one of his most overrated. What are your feelings toward VERTIGO being consistently ranked as Hitch's best film?
  3. It's been a long time since I've seen MARNIE and I must say that, based on Dr. Edwards' praise for it and that intensely captivating opening scene, I look forward to seeing it again. While my memory points to some agreement with Dr. Gehring in that not all the pieces in this film work for me, I do think the overall feel of the film continues to show Hitch's success, even in his mid 60's. Just Bernard Herrmann's score and Tippi Hedren's look do that alone, not to mention the other moving pieces that make it an intriguing film. Herrmann's score here almost serves as a buildup to the reve
  4. In a way, the Saul Bass opening credit sequence and first scene of PSYCHO further expose us, as viewers in the Hitchcock audience, to the voyeurism that encompassed a significant part of his later career. The blinds, much like the blinds in REAR WINDOW for example, serve as a way for the audience to become peeping Toms ourselves. One may think that there is no better example of a peeping Tom than Jimmy Stewart's L.B. Jeffries in REAR WINDOW, but I personally think that Norman Bates is THE peeping Tom in the Hitchcock canon. As Drs. Gehring and Edwards said in the video, the scene where Bat
  5. I am going to use this space for a twofold response today. I am going to start with some thoughts regarding the innovative and provocative opening sequence designed by Saul Bass, then move into why I believe it is important to debunk the fact that VERTIGO is Hitchcock's masterpiece. First and foremost, having seen the film nearly a decade ago for the first time and not having watched it since, I do admit a slight bias for my feelings after the first time I viewed it. Next, I am not a film scholar nor expert by any means, so I do not expect anyone who reads this to side with me on what I sa
  6. It seems as though Hitch is trying to establish that everything in this picture WILL be seen through the rear window, almost like it is outside world storytelling from the inside. Hitch may also be aiming to convey to the audience that, while Jeff is the one who is going to be looking out the rear window, THEY are the ones who will see and notice everything thanks to the way Hitch crafts the camerawork with his cinematographer. Really, the opening gives the audience a vantage point that is established for the remainder of the film. As has been stated before, Hitch was often a silent filmm
  7. I would say that this opening drifts away significantly from other ones we've seen in class and that I've seen over the years. The fact that it is a screwball comedy shows from the beginning and the Hitchcockian touches, aside from visual and aesthetic pieces (sets, costumes, etc.), are largely absent. I suppose since our focus here is on the visual collaborations that it is a noteworthy piece to examine. What strikes me aside from the disarrayed bedroom and set that is typical to a screwball comedy is the delightfully light musical score by Edward Ward. Not only does it capture your attention
  8. It's been many years since I've seen SHADOW OF A DOUBT and all I remember from my viewing of it was walking away with a mix of emotions, thinking it captured my attention throughout. Based on the opening clip for today's daily dose, I look forward to watching it again! The fact that the opening clip is a prelude to the main plot line shows, and not in a bad way. Unlike some films that shift location/story/focus from beginning to middle to end, SHADOW OF A DOUBT introduces us to the villain that we will follow throughout the course of the film. We learn, through some amazing introductory mo
  9. 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? It is a well-known fact that Hitchcock was invested in emotional storytelling. I often think of his greatest achievements (PSYCHO and REAR WINDOW always come to mind) as being filled with emotion rather than excessive dialogue. In the absence of sound during this early period, I can see where Hitchcock may have gotten
  10. 1. Do you see the beginnings of the "Hitchcock touch" in this sequence? Please provide specific examples. Definitely. Two of the elements that stood out the most to me were the emphasis on the young blonde girl and the darkness of the exterior shots. These pieces are crucial to later Hitchcock films and I think the separation of light vs. dark is a key element for his depiction of good and evil. To see that light vs. dark may have been used in THE PLEASURE GARDEN is intriguing, even if it is just a happy coincidence. 2. Do you agree or disagree with Strauss, Yacowar, and Spoto assessments
  11. I agree with you that the film seems to be reflecting hardboiled dialogue with a touch of parody. I can't help but picture the two men as mimicking the toughness of Humphrey Bogart and the humor/mystery of someone like Sydney Greenstreet or Peter Lorre. I feel like they're almost mocking them in an intentional way, but then again, that may just be the nature of a "B" picture. This movie screams "B" picture because of its reliance on hardboiled dialogue, but also stereotypes of film noir like the train and the cutting from places fast. The only problem is you can see how poorly construct
  12. The scene remains largely unfocused on Kirk Douglas' character, Walter while it highlights the relationship between Van Heflin's Sam and Barbara Stanwyck's Martha. This seems intentional and having not seen the film, I'm sure it foreshadows quite a bit about the ultimately strange relationships between the three of them. The staging, something I thought was done in a clever and thoughtful manner, was directed toward a hyperfocus on Heflin and Stanwyck with only a small focus on Douglas, whose facial expressions are priceless. Despite the background nature of Douglas' Walter, it still
  13. I definitely agree that Hitchcock is a "special case" in the film noir canon. Though many of his films including Rebecca, Shadow of a Doubt, and Strangers on a Train do carry many noir characteristics, I don't think that he himself can be fully considered a noir filmmaker. Hitchcock was always referred to as "The Master of Suspense," and I think that is what each and everyone of his films does in some way. No one of his movies possess the same kind of characteristics, but neither do all films noir. Instead, they carry a generally "noir" feature that corresponds to their own genre or, in
  14. One interesting thought that I had while the credits were rolling was this: What does the man say to the police officer who points him in the direction toward the Homicide Division? It may be that the man, later said to be Frank Bigelow, says exactly what he tells the Head of the Homicide Division: "I'd like to report a murder." But....what if he actually said something else like, "I was murdered." My thought is that the police officer would have generated a larger reaction, but I could be wrong. What we see here in film noir, like many of the existential and hard-boiled stories t
  15. It seems that this opening sequence suggests a theme from the get-go that will be pertinent to the entire film. Being "caged" from the outside world is most likely the central theme of the film, hence the title. Between the opening taking place in a car, caged from the outside, the women entering the prison, caged from the entrance, and the women looking out past the closed gate, caged from the real world, it seems that the thought of not being exposed to the real world and society is the central part of the film itself. Judging from the names in the credits and the characters appearin
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