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About DrNickatNite

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  1. Hitch did some really good work on the television series "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" and "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour." This topic is a place to discuss, share favorites, etc. To get us started, note that there were 17 episodes of “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” directed by Hitchcock: 1. Revenge (02/Oct/1955) — *1.1 (*Season.Episode) 2. Breakdown (13/Nov/1955) — 1.5 3. The Case of Mr. Pelham (04/Dec/1955) — 1.10 4. Back for Christmas (04/Mar/1956) — 1.23 5. Wet Saturday (30/Sep/1956) — 2.1 6. Mr. Blanchard's Secret (23/Dec/1956) — 2.13 7. One More Mile to Go
  2. 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. a. The opening music and aerial shot puts one in mind of a travelogue, but while we can see St. Paul’s and Parliament in the distance, we are taken through the gritty, dirty, polluted side of the Thames south of Tower Bridge with industrial wharfs and canneries, etc. The speaker augments this vision with his explanation that the pollution is going to be taken care of and everything will be cleaned up. (This situates us in the kairos of
  3. 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. Marnie is a con artist who changes identities with regularity to cover her criminal tracks. We see little of the Black-haired Marnie – but the “new model” is celebrated with choreographed technicolor. (And isn’t Tippi Hedren also changing from The Birds’ Marion to Marnie’s Margaret?) How does Hitchcock use Bernard Herrmann's score in this scene? The music evokes a transformation from som
  4. 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? a. The movie begins with a light, comedic mood set by the humorous gesticulations of the shopkeeper, and the flirty banter of Melanie and Mitch, who show themselves to be urbane, fun-loving players in a romantic sketch. 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?
  5. 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 mixture of the tight, fevered score with the slicing graphics gives the sense of tightness, tension, anxiousness, jitteriness, even frenzied action. 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 est
  6. 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. a) We are comfortable with these faces (“it’s a nice face”) – and that is what Hitchcock wants from his stars: the ability of the audience to connect emotionally. 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 significa
  7. 1) 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. a) The abstract images and evocative musical score call to mind: Falling, Mental Illness, Uneasiness, Tension, Mystery. At first blush, I would assume the film is about someone dealing with mental illness. 2) In your own estimation, what is the single mo
  8. 1. & 3. 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? 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? a. The POV in Rear Window is always that of a close co-conspirator with Jeff. Since we are also “watchers” like him, his n
  9. 1. 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. 2. 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. a. The criss-cross and the contrasts wo
  10. What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this early scene from the movie?​Close-ups zooming into the faces of the characters to provide an extra layer of information, using the “ordinary girl” who finds herself in an extraordinary situation, and the disorienting camera angles are all obvious Hitchcock touches. 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?Bergman’s character is in emotional turmoil; disheveled an
  11. 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? a. It appears they live in the lap of opulent decadence beyond the wildest dreams of avarice. (Not exactly the “ordinary man” of the thrillers, huh?) The focus of the cameras on the facial expressions as they react to off-screen cues is very Hitcockian. Hitchcockesque. Ish? 2. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: th
  12. Sorry - a day late due to travel: 1. 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. 2. 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? a. Even before reading the notes for this film – I had immediate Déjà vu of the Swede in The Killers. In the beginning of both films, it seems that we have walked in on t
  13. 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? The setting is far from pedestrian and commonplace (as we have seen in the British period films) – it is the shell of a great remote mansion (albeit in ruins.) 2. What are the Hitchcock "touches" in this opening that help you identify this as a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock? Hitchcock touches include the POV dolly shot and close shots of Maxim’s face to visually convey information when the narration stops. 3. How does thi
  14. 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. The opening is comedic with light, whimsical music and humorous interactions between the travelers and each other, the travelers and the wind, the hotelier and the noisy environment, etc. Touches like the unusually loud cuckoo clock and the correction of the pronunciation of “ava-lawnsh” lend to the humorous texture. 2. Discuss the characters of Caldicott and Charters in
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