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dan_quiterio

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About dan_quiterio

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  1. Some have mentioned the Coen Brothers, and I agree that they would be an excellent match, as writers and editors. Along the same lines as the Coens, what about Noah Hawley, who brilliantly adapted their Fargo to the small screen? The series has the right amount of intrigue, well-drawn characters, atmosphere, and, well, murder, as any Hitchcock film. In the previous thread in which we were asked to name modern-day films that have the Hitchcock touch, I mentioned Polanski's The Ghost Writer (2010). One of the elements of that film that stood out to me as particularly Hitchcockian was Alexand
  2. Roman Polanski's The Ghost Writer (2010) very much reminds me of a Hitchcock film. It's been a long time since I've seen it. I honestly don't remember the finer points, just that I walked out of the theatre and thought to myself, "Hitch would have made this film if he were alive today." Another is Chris Nolan's debut feature, Following (1998), which has all the moodiness and suspense of a Hitchcock thriller.
  3. There are certainly similarities between the opening of Frenzy and The Lodger--the establishing of place, the public crowds, and the finding of a female corpse. However, there are also differences. Whereas The Lodger took a more serious tone in its opening scene, there's a hint of cheekiness in Frenzy's, which is clear in the juxtaposition of the man pontificating about how London's waters will be cleaned and the body floating in the very same waters. Also, whereas The Lodger leveraged quick cuts, there are few in Frenzy. The camerawork in the latter is more slowly paced and less frenetic. In
  4. The opening sequence of Marnie is certainly a compelling one. I'm drawn to films that can convey information effectively with limited or no dialogue, and this sequence does that well. Marnie appears to be somewhat meticulous and calculated. She knows what objects she needs, and she calmly and precisely chooses and places them. She's all about preparation. Anything that doesn't factor into her plans, she tosses aside. Her actions are nicely complemented by Bernard Herrmann's sweeping and evocative score, giving me a sense of mystery, crescendoing to a big reveal when we first see Marnie's face.
  5. I agree with Prof. Edwards's assessment that the opening scene of The Birds feels more like a rom-com than a horror film. The chance meeting of a man and a woman under false pretenses, the casual flirting between the two, the on-the-nose symbolism of love birds, the lightness to the interaction between Melanie and the pet shop employee--they all lend themselves to a light, fun film. In this scene, we learn that Melanie has a sense of humor. She decides to play along when Mitch mistakes her for an employee. She's quite smitten with him and is curious to see how far she can go. Mitch doesn't see
  6. Psycho is the first Hitchcock film I saw, and it's my favorite. One large reason for that is Bernard Herrmann's frantic and stress-inducing score. The use of strings performed almost violently convey a stabbing sensation. It immediately thrusts the audience into a state of anxiety, setting up the right tone for what's to come. Saul Bass's opening title design works in concert with the score in influencing this sensation. The lines swiping in and out--from side to side and up and down--are analogous to violent swipes of a knife. I can't speak to Hitchcock's use of a specific date and time f
  7. Despite minimal action, this scene is quite revealing. It requires the dialogue to do the talking, so to speak, and we learn about both characters--Eve, in particular. She's aware of Roger's true identify, but rather than report him or fear him, she's intrigued by danger and literally flirts with it. She plays off Roger, played by Cary Grant, who we generally know to be suave, charming, and debonair. Knowing Cary, we expect him to welcome her advances, and he does. The soundscape sets the mood and atmosphere with a soft, romantic score, and the pattering of the train running over the tracks. T
  8. Watching and listening to the title sequence of Vertigo, I'm left with a moody, haunting feeling. Something certainly goes awry in this film. There's danger and discomfort. This is perhaps most apparent to me in the visual of the extreme close-up of the eye as the frame tints red, the film's title emerges from the eye, and Herrmann's fright-inducing score hits a climax. There's something uncomfortable about an eye; pair that with the color of danger and you have me prepared to watch a film that I'll be thinking about for a long time--for better or worse.
  9. Rear Window's opening sequence is one that introduces the audience to the physical world of L.B. Jefferies--his neighborhood and neighbors, his career, and the scorching heat, all of which play crucial parts throughout the film. We learn so much in just the first few minutes without any dialogue. I believe the POV of the opening shot to be ours, the audience's. As viewers of a film, we're naturally acting as voyeurs. In this instance, Hitchcock exploits that notion and takes us a step further by enabling us to take a peek into the world of the film while the main character is sleeping. We'
  10. I remember watching this opening scene as part of the 2015 film noir course. Such a fascinating study! There are several ways Hitch demonstrates the metaphor of criss-crossing, including the positioning of the camera when we see each man exiting his car (on the right side for Bruno, and on the left for Guy), the alternating direction of each man's steps, the criss-crossed rails, and in Bruno crossing his legs on the train. (If it weren't so common in the day, I'd even suggest the cross dissolves during the opening credits would be a contribution to the metaphor.) Guy and Bruno's difference
  11. There's something about watching Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman on screen that makes me feel warm inside. This scene in Notorious is no exception. The two characters portrayed by these acting heavyweights are depicted in contrasting ways--Alicia's hangover and sequined blouse convey a party girl, while Devlin's tailored suit indicates a man of business and class. Alicia is washed in light; what we see is what we get. Devlin, however, first appears in shadow--a classic Hitchcock "touch" that signifies a mysterious figure, perhaps with a secret. (The POV shot of Devlin spinning is another Hitchco
  12. The Hitchcock touch that stood out to me most was the pushing in of the camera on Lombard in bed, which is often done to increase tension and suspense--though it was not used to the same effect in this scene. Aside from that, nothing about this scene feels very "Hitchcock" to me. It features wealthy individuals--as is depicted by their servants, lavish furniture, ornate dish-ware, and Lombard's silk nightgown--as well as a soft, airy score and plenty of light with minimal shadow. There isn't a hint of nefarious activity. In regards to the casting, it's difficult making a judgment on Lombard an
  13. The first thing that stands out to me in this opening scene of Shadow of a Doubt is the juxtaposition of the playing children in broad daylight (set to an upbeat score) with the dark, brooding atmosphere of the boarding house room in which Charlie is lying on his bed, clothed in shadow (there never was a noir element more prominent than shadow). Similar to the opening of The Killers, Charlie is resting and appears defeated, just waiting to be caught by his predators. He's a man with a past. Upon realizing the two men have "nothing on me," he musters the audacity to march out of the building--a
  14. With the ethereal voiceover and images of a winding road through an iron gate, the opening of Rebecca is in contrast to the opening scenes of several of Hitchcock's British films. Whereas many of the previous films feature a frenetic pace and tone, Rebecca is soft and calm. Still, the opening features classic elements of the Hitchcock touch: an anxious feeling of distress and danger with the crashing waves and de Winter straddling the edge of the cliff; the innocent ingenue in the second Mrs. de Winter; and a brooding atmosphere in the dark, moody appearance of Manderley, which is itself a cha
  15. The opening scene of The Lady Vanishes is unlike most of the opening scenes we've seen. Although it similarly starts in a public location, it establishes the film as a comedy with quirky characters. This is clear in the light, upbeat music; cuckoo clock (perhaps symbolizing the "cuckoo" nature of some of the characters and situations we're in for); and the funny "straight-man" characters of Caldicott and Charters, who add a fun, humorous commentary on the wealthy American women and their experiences in Hungary (the bit about the Hungarian Rhapsody as the country's national anthem is pretty fun
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