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About brooke.fenton

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    Advanced Member

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    Salt Lake City, Utah
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    My interests include: film, screenwriting, learning, traveling, reading, cooking and baking, event planning and spending time with my loved ones.
  1. I think Hitch's new Edith Head would be Catherine Martin. Her costumes are incredibly vivid, telling and rich. I definitely think he would collaborate with Hans Zimmer for musical scoring. Zimmer's themes are iconic and thematic, very similar to the way Bernard Herrmann would have composed. While this would be incredibly outlandish, I love the idea of a Hitchcock/Coen Brothers collaboration. Can you imagine that film?
  2. Some films that I feel have the slightest traces of the "Hitchcock touch" or have been inspired by Hitchcock are: "Double Indemnity", "Repeat Performance" and "High Anxiety."
  3. 1. 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. "The Lodger" was definitely more action-packed from the beginning. The murder had already taken place. Here in "Frenzy", Hitchcock sets up the scene and then we find that a murder has occurred. 2. What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific. The camera work definitely has the Hitchcock touch. There is a long tracking shot at the beginning as well as quick cuts back and forth from the man giving the speech to the reporters. He also puts us right in the action as though we are there discovering the dead body in the river. 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. I think he used different techniques in opening scenes to set tones or also to throw the audience off. In this opening scene, it is a very pleasant opening with wonderful swelling music followed by a nice speech. The camera shots are long and fluid. Leading up to the discovery of the dead body, the camera angles become more choppy with quick cuts.
  4. 1. 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's obviously a mysterious character. She has multiple IDs and other items that seem to be saved for a specific identity. 2. How does Hitchcock use Bernard Herrmann's score in this scene? It crescendos when we finally see her and is mysterious while we aren't able to see her. 3. Did you see any variation in what Hitchcock is doing with his cameo in this film, and what do you think that variation means? It was quick and he looks right into the camera. Something I don't think he ever really did.
  5. 1. 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? The opening is definitely misleading that this will be a horror film. It's a nice, light opening. The only slightly ominous thing are the swarm of birds flying overhead, but nothing else would lead the audience to believe that anything is wrong. The scenery is bright. Melanie wears a light colored dress. People talk on the streets, boys play as they pass her. We learn that Melanie is somewhat of a spoiled girl used to getting her way. She is playful and somewhat manipulative. Mitch is her match though. He plays along, but also isn't afraid to confront her. 2. 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? The sound is interesting, because we really don't hear the birds too much until we see them on the screen. 3. 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. It's very subtle. Hitchcock passes Melanie as he comes out of the pet store while she walks in. He has his two dogs.
  6. 1. Psycho opens with title design by Saul Bass and music by Bernard Herrmann. This is their third collaboration for Hitchcock, including Vertigo and North by Northwest. How does the graphic design and the score introduce the main themes of this film? The opening sequence of "Psycho" is very indicative of themes of the film. The music is startling and unsettling. The breaks in the title show that things appear to be solid and smooth on the surface, but the more you dive into the film and characters, you can see something is broken and demented. 2. 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? The specificity shows that Marion and Sam are obviously where they shouldn't be. It's a workday in the middle of the afternoon -- definitely not the time or place one would think of being in a hotel room. The way we enter the hotel room via the camera is genius. It is very voyeuristic and also establishes the tone of sneaking around/deception. Were we to enter in from the door, we wouldn't hear the same dialogue as we would have if the characters weren't aware of our presence through the window. 3. 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's character drives most of the dialogue and action. We also establish that Phoenix is her homebase while Sam mentions he is only here has a visitor.
  7. 1. 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. We know Cary Grant is the suave, debonair playboy type. We know he will be witty and clever and charming. The same cannot be said for Eva Marie Saint. She's a little mysterious and not much is known about her. 2. 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. At this point of the movie, we don't know it, but this matchbook will be an important prop later in the film. It's a very unforgettable object. 3. How is Hitchcock using sound design in this scene? Consider music and other background sounds in your answer. The sound is very subtle, but it nicely complements the dialogue and character development.
  8. 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. In one word: haunting. The camera is uncomfortably close on a woman's face, making sure we see every detail and flaw. The various colors, shapes and music are unsettling and chaotic. All of the elements set the tone of the film for the audience. In your own estimation, what is the single most powerful image in this title sequence? Defend your answer. The tight shot of both of Kim Novak's eyes is so powerful to me. You see them shift from side to side as though she is making sure she is not giving herself away or that she is not being watched. The theme of secrecy and paranoia will manifest itself later in the film by multiple characters and this opening sequence establishes those themes. How do Saul Bass’ images and Bernard Herrmann’s score work together? How different would this sequence be with a different musical score? Between the dreamlike images and chilling music, the two collaborators work incredibly well in creating a haunting tone.
  9. 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? I think that we are meant to be just as involved as Jeff is, so while his back is turned to the window as he sleeps, we are being introduced to the setting and characters. I think that by Hitchcock giving the first few moments of the film to let the audience familiarize themselves with everything -- without any particular action or dialogue -- we as the audience feel as more of a friend than an intruder. 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 can tell he is not abiding by his usual schedule. We see various adventures and travels he has been on. From the photo of the race car crashing, we know he is a thrill seeker and lives on the edge. Does this opening scene make you feel like a voyeur or, at a minimum, remind you of being an immobile spectator? What feelings does Hitchcock elicit from you as his camera peers into these other people’s apartments? At first, the POV shots seem innocent enough, but as the opening scene goes on, the camera angles get closer and linger a little too long to the point that the viewer does feel a bit more like a voyeur than a casual observer. Bonus question: if you have seen the entire film before, do you agree with Hitchcock that this film is his most cinematic? I would agree that this is one of his most cinematic. This is one of his only films where action is more dominant than dialogue. Hitch is incredibly able to tell the story by what is going on on the screen through action rather than relying on very much dialogue to inform the audience.
  10. 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. There are many ways in which the idea of "criss cross" are used. Examples include the cars and people crossing the street/intersections, the train tracks, when Bruno and Guy's feet are seen together as though they have met on the train as well as various body language (legs and arms crossed). 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. There is a contrast between light and dark shoes. Their clothing is different. Bruno has a tacky tie clip and lobster tie while Guy is dressed more classy and upscale. Guy is very polite and formal while Bruno is very brash, crude and as informal as possible. 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? His use of contrast with the music narrates the action as well as defines the characters of Bruno and Guy.
  11. What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this early scene from the movie? The elements that stand out most to me are the uses of light and shadows, focus on an object that will later become an important part of the plot (the glass), the silhouette of Cary Grant in the doorway and the camera angle as he walks from the doorway over above Ingrid Bergman. 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? You begin with Cary Grant in the shadows. He is dressed in a nice suit. Ingrid Bergman is introduced in the light. She is wearing a more casual outfit. Cary Grant is far away, Ingrid Bergman is close up. 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? I think this film was a great role change for Cary Grant. He is charming and is mostly seen in comedies, but I think he was able to channel that charm and use it in a more dark and complicated way.
  12. 1. Describe how this opening is different from the multiple opening scenes you have seen in the Daily Doses from the British silent and/or sound period? It is very different in that there isn't any real action going on. There aren't characters. There is a voiceover, but nothing that the narrator tells us matches with the shots on the screen. There isn't any particular attention paid to an object or item (until the end of course). 2. What are the Hitchcock "touches" in this opening that help you identify this as a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock? The use of the camera, the dark shadows and fog all seemed very Hitchcockian to me. 3. How does this opening sequence use Manderley--the house itself--as a kind of character in the story? What affect does the flashback structure and the voiceover narration have on your experience of this scene? The camerawork allows us to see the POV of the character and make us, in a way, the character of the narrator.
  13. 1. 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? ​There are definitely lots of Hitchcock touches. His focus on particular objects that tell us about the characters and location. He tightens a shot on Carole Lombard and focuses on the cards, messy dishes and decorations in the room. 2. 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? I would agree the the way in which it is filmed is a typical Hitchcock opening, but I would say this movie differs because it is a comedy rather than his typical mysteries or thrillers. 3. What do think about the casting of and chemistry between Carole Lombard and Robert Montgomery? Do you think both are well cast for this "comedy of remarriage?" Why or why not? I think they have a fun and playful energy together that makes for good chemistry.
  14. As mentioned in the curator's note, this scene operates as a prelude to the main story. What do learn about the character of Uncle Charlie in this prelude? Be specific. We learn that Uncle Charlie is a cad. He is in trouble for something and as a result, has to flee from the police. We see his demeanor changes after news of the two visitors. He is calm at first and then there is a moment where all of that is shattered as he shatters a glass by forcefully throwing it at the wall in anger. 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 lightning and use of shadows was very reminiscent of a film noir. Uncle Charlie is world weary. While his landlady is frantic about two visitors, Charlie seems unsurprised and unbothered by this news. The mis-en-scene is very "noir" -- a seedy, stark apartment on the rough side of town. As we move into Hitchcock's Hollywood years, his scores will take on more importance than they did during the British years. Music will play a big role in Shadow of a Doubt. The film's score is by Dimitri Tiomkin, the first of four film scores that the composer will create for Hitchcock. What effect does the Tiomkin score have on the mood, atmosphere, and even the pace of this opening scene? It's definitely a stark contrast to the following scene of Uncle Charlie on his bed. The mood is very uplifting. The score showing the people dancing at the party is upbeat and happy. When it begins to be dark is when Uncle Charlie throws his glass to the wall. We know something is wrong and that what we thought isn't what we are going to get.
  15. 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? Many of Hitchcock's film openings have occurred in a public place. However, this opening seemed different to me. Rather than focusing on the action as in previous clips, this opening scene seemed to be more dialogue-focused. 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? Agree. 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? I think it adds to the idea of the Hitchcock touch because Hitchcock liked to not only explore the emotions of the protagonists, but he also liked to use the background characters as a way by which to do that.
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