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About efederman

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  1. Both Orson Welles and Alfred Hitchcock were known to have filmed numerous projects within a circle of chosen actors over time. I find it interesting that they differed so greatly with Orson preferring method actors and Hitchcock favoring non-method actors. At the core, what does this say most about the approach of these two iconic directors?
  2. The opening scene in THE LODGER differs from the opening in FRENZY in several ways. In THE LODGER, the setting is night time and there are quick frantic cuts, lights and screams to indicate the panic of murder that just took place. In FRENZY, the setting is daytime, and the POV shot is a smooth, calm flying above the city, over the water, then close to the water, until we land at a high class gathering of a Senator who is ironically speaking about cleaning up the river. Moments before someone shouts “Look!” and we see the floating naked body of a dead woman face down in the river. The shot of
  3. True to Hitchcock, the opening scene of MARNIE is true character development created through visuals, playing like a silent film with no dialogue. To me this is most reminiscent of REAR WINDOW where we get a complete look at a character from the start. She is quite clearly changing identities, after taking off with a great deal of money, much like in PSYCHO. Her old suitcase and wardrobe are neutral in color, while her new suitcase is literally bigger, and her clothing is brighter. Her wallet goes from grayish brown, to sparkling gold. The purse is the only exception to this, which changes fro
  4. The opening scene to THE BIRDS is more appropriate for a romantic comedy than horror as we are witnessing the chance encounter of Melanie and Mitch, who both seem to be flirting with each other. There is only one ominous sign in the scene- the birds circling around outside before she walks in. The dialogue and deception between Mitch and Melanie all happen at the top or second floor of the pet shop which I find a nice touch that we are set up higher, like birds. The associations between these two and birds move beyond this however, when their playful dialogue includes a sympathy of why birds s
  5. Both the graphic design and the score in the opening credit scene in PSYCHO are bold (even in black and white). There are horizontal gray lines that move quickly across the screen then form a word, sometimes a broken word that comes into view. After a few times, the lines change from horizontal to vertical, then back again. I believe this is showing us the dual personality that encapsulates and haunts Norman and the many directions that takes him. The graphics and music also reflect the rapid nature of the stabbing knife in the various murders we are about to encounter. The music is whirling a
  6. The greatest sense I get from this famous scene in NORTH BY NORTHWEST is sophistication, well-played by superstars of the day; Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint. He wears the superstar sunglasses (seen in very few films prior), wears his own clothes, and mentions his face is “recognizable”. She confirms and adds that he also has a “nice face”. The entire scene is really a back and forth between close-ups on these two, so other than what we can read on their faces, we must gather much of our clues from their dialogue (surprising for Hitchcock). This back and forth close up is only interrupted by
  7. The feeling I get from the opening scene in VERTIGO, is both a combination of hypnotism and falling. Even though the fall itself feels long, slow and peaceful (as if we are traveling to another space and time), there is an element of danger. The shocked look in the close-up of the eye let’s us know something is threatening. The fact that we as the audience cannot see what is frightening her increases the suspense. There is also the sense of danger as the first spinning object we see looks a bit like a stretched fingerprint of sorts. The long spinning opening here reminds me of the opening scen
  8. The opening shot of REAR WINDOW establishes the setting and most of the players for the entire movie. As the camera pans around, we are curious to take it all in. We are tempted to look in the windows, and also through that narrow alley that leads out to the street. The sounds are so true and believable as we hear the cars and trucks, and even trains from a distance. We then are looking straight in Jeffries’ apartment while he is completely unaware. We are doing to him exactly what he will do for the rest of the film; spy on people. The look through his apartment tells us a great deal about hi
  9. The criss-crossing in STRANGERS ON A TRAIN can be seen first visually in the opposing direction the two main characters' walk. We only see their feet at this point so I will say that the white shoes (Bruno) always walks to the left (both outside AND inside the train), while the black shoes (Guy) only walks to the right. We must deduce that they will eventually meet or bump into each other. The criss-crossing can also be seen in the train tracks as we focus on the two main paths that cross, then separate. The POV camera shot let's us see the train as a character that picks the path to the right
  10. Daily Dose #12 - Notorious Hitchcock touches that are in this scene from NOTORIOUS include the spiraling camera work where we see Grant ultimately upside down, the close up of Ingrid’s face, and the record player conversation as a sort of flashback (giving us information on plot). Devlin is first shown to us in dark shadows, and with the dizziness of the spiraling shot on him, we are clued in that he is complex and we are not sure if we can trust him completely. He is very poised, calm and well-dressed and continues to retain he upper hand, ultimately with the information he has on her
  11. The opening to MR. AND MRS. SMITH does contain a few elements of the Hitchcock touch, which includes a first person POV shot as well as a tracking shot as we comb over the monumental remnants of former meals, dish after dish in their room that were never cleaned up- or even brought to the kitchen. Like in REBECCA where the narration speaks about never wanting to return to Manderley hinting that something of great importance has happened, here we are back to Hitchcock's visual portrayal of sorts. The music, cuckoo or playful in tone however, sets us up to know that we are not talking about a mu
  12. The opening of SHADOW OF A DOUBT first and foremost reminds me of M as we see a number of young children playing unaware of the looming danger above. Hitchcock pans up to the window which appears empty and lonely (much like the windows in Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks) in differing odd-angle shots. When we finally see Charlie (my dad’s name just happens to be Charles Spencer! ha), we know immediately he lives perilously and is possibly suicidal. He has money thrown around the room and doesn’t even flinch when the landlord begins to handle it. Like THE KILLERS, he is lying very solemnly in bed, sp
  13. The opening to REBECCA differs a great deal from Hitchcock’s previous films, so much so that it is difficult to find the Hitchcock touch. Instead of a public place, we have a private residence. Instead of flashing lights and fast paced action, we feel like we are slowly going down a dark abandoned rabbit hole. The only thing that seems reminiscent of Hitchcock is the line where the second Mrs. Dewinter states that she could never go back. This tells us immediately that something major has happened here. This is much like the early murder scenario in beginnings of THE LODGER and THE 39 STEPS.
  14. Hitchcock opens THE LADY VANISHES with a myriad of images and sound. I love how the very first glimpse of this film is a first person pov. We enter room as we enter the movie. The introduction of characters begins with the older lady who is sweet and calm and appears happy to be traveling somewhere. The score that accompanies this part is also happy, flute-like- child-like. It reminds me of Disney’s score in Pinnochio. As soon as she exits, we see two characters, Caldicott and Charters, who are about to tell us a great deal of background and tone with their body language and side-gossip conver
  15. The opening scene in THE 39 STEPS is like previous Hitchcock films in that we see fragments or parts of things that give us clues to the character or plot. For example, we see the flashing show lights in THE LODGER that say “To-night Golden Curls” and here we see a pan of very similar show lights that say “Musical”. It is also like THE PLEASURE GARDEN in that the setting is a music -type performance-based hall, complete with a crowd of people focusing on an entertainer of sorts. What is absent here is a blonde female character, and an obvious threat. There is chaos in sound however; people t
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