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  1. I tried to get some interest here in DC but nothing came of it?! Now I know what Tom Hanks felt like in Cast Away....🤭😁
  2. To me I really didn't see any other battle of the sexes other than the 'mirrored tap dancing' that the pair did. Astaire tries to plead his case with Rogers and he 'tries' to impress her with his dancing. But Rogers shows him that 'anything you can do I can do better...I can do anything better than you (and in heels going backwards). This particular film to me is different than the others by its usage of sound in dancing. Sound of dancing in this film is more realistic. In the prior movies the sound of tap was dubbed in post production (and didn't always mirror what was being shown) were as in this film the tap dancing sounds are being recorded right there on set (note they probably did do some post production with sound but you have actual tap sounds coming from the dancers feet). Sound recording in movies during this time has come along way since the early days of movies. Microphones have improved and are able to pick up sounds better and are more believable. The possible changes in the roles of men and women in screwball musicals from the beginning to the 1930's could be that before the Great Depression everything was happy go lucky and men wooed women and it was bright and cheery but when the Depression hit men and women struggled to be happy. Musicals didn't have such dark undertones towards the end of the 30's (as they did in the beginning), things picked up and the movies became lighter and hopeful.
  3. The Lubitsch Touch in 'The Love Parade' is outstanding! The scene has you hooked when the woman comes out holding a garter and is 'chewing out' Chevalier and wanting to know whose garter it is. Chevalier is trying to appease the woman by saying it was hers but she shows him it's not. What is a jealous woman to do when her lover is cheating on her...go for her gun and shot him! Just as she is about to commit a crime of passion, in walks in her husband. What to do...shot yourself!! You're drawn into this funny but 'tragic' scene as the husband confronts his wife's lover and tries to kill him but come to find out the gun was EMPTY! You go from jealousy, to fury, to revenge, and back to comedy all seamlessly edited..that's The Lubitsch Touch! Effortless editing, great action and reaction. From the time Chevalier opens the door and turns to the camera and says "She's terribly jealous" you hear the woman yelling at him, you know she is going to come out like hell on wheels at him because she's found something that ain't hers. It's like you are eavesdropping in on the middle of lovers quarrel and you want to know what started it all. You are being 'revved up' for a fight and ready to take sides..while all the long wanting to see the 'battle' between to two. Now you're hooked and want to know what's next.. My anticipation of Depression Era Musicals are that there always seem to be a confrontation. Whether it's between lovers, siblings, or friends there always seems to be something pitting one against the other. You are going through an horrific event (The Depression) and you want to escape from it by watching someone else in a more terrible situation. The movies become your fantasy world and everything there may start out bad but always ends happy. You want that for yourself. You want to know that the sun will shine again, happiness is around the corner and all will be right again. Escapism...plain and simple. To me that's all what people back then (and now) wanted...just to escape and move onto happiness and what better way than thru a Musical.
  5. Being a fan of classic movies I've seen a lot of genres and have my favorites that I can watch over and over again..and Hitchcock was one of them. And I wonder how could someone direct these films of suspense? What's going on in his mind (his he out there like Stephen King)? Hitch's movies were just a great way to lose yourself and be entertained. Then the ultimate thing happened..TCM announced that they were working with Professor Edwards & Ball State and coming up with a course! Cue heavenly music... FINALLY!!!!!!!!! ALL HITCH, ALL THE TIME! I felt like a kid waiting for Christmas...counting down the months and weeks til the class would start. I must admit that I was a little apprehensive to do it because this will be my first class without my Uncle, who had been there for the other ones. I couldn't wait to tell him when a class would start and how I did on my test and what films were being shown. He was a big part of my life and now he's not here (it was hard to get through the Slapstick course because he had died the week before finals). But knowing him he would want me to go on and do this, especially knowing how I LOVE HITCH. So I got my materials for the class and waited. Day one started and I was flashing back to the first day of school where I was so excited and couldn't wait for class to start. Reading what we had to do and what movies we should watch got me ready to dive in the class. LET'S GET STARTED!!! I have to say it was quite surprising to learn some things about Hitch and his films that I never knew about (that he went to Germany and made films there). I knew that he did silent films (I had some DVDs) but knew nothing of his early sound films (The Lady Vanishes favorite). And I became a fan of his earlier films. Seeing those films now you see how Hitch was trying to feel out on how to make his films they way he wanted in such limited surroundings and funds). When we got to Selznick and his beginnings in Hollywood...WOW. To see a director like Hitch be able to work with the Hollywood system...kudos to Hitch for keeping his stand in how he made his films and who he wanted to work with. Now onto the films they made me LOVE Hitch..this is what I was waiting for! Hitch's Golden Period and Peak Years are his best film periods. Rear Window, Catch a Thief, North By Northwest, Shadow of a Doubt, The Birds, Psycho...what classics!!!! To make these classics and have to deal with the Hollywood system, Production Code, egos of stars, budgets, Writers, Producers...Go Hitch I now can never look at Hitch's films the same way again. That's not a bad thing, its a good thing. I see how he did take an older film and retwisted it into a more modern film that has become what we know is classic Hitchcock. I have a better perspective of Hitch's films and I'm a better fan of Hitch's now because I can now appreciate what he did with his films. As a kid watching them I really didn't get them, I just thought they were cool and I loved the freak out parts of them. But now having seen them before and after this course I have a whole new outlook on Hitch and I truly appreciate him and his films and the people he worked with (put your hands together for Alma Reville, a woman who didn't lose herself in her man and stood by him and worked with him to create these classic films). And now I owe one person a huge THANK YOU for making a newer and better fan of Hitchcock...PROFESSOR RICHARD EDWARDS!!!!!!!!! Thanks Professor for coming up with this course (along with Ball State & everyone there who was involved)! I think you made us all better fans of Hitch and more educated on his films and films in general. You can watch films all day and night and think you know what you are watching but to take a course in whatever genre you like does give you an insight that makes you more appreciative of the film and the process of film making. I can't praise you or your staff enough for sacrificing your time and energy into making this and hopefully future course happened..YOU THE MAN PROFESSOR E!!!!!!
  6. I think that Stephen King would make a GREAT collaborator for Hitch! The works of Stephen King are a PERFECT FIT with Hitchcock you can literally see the headlines...THE MASTER OF MACABRE MEETS THE MASTER OF SUSPENSE!!! Who wouldn't want to plunk down their last dollar to buy that movie ticket. Imagine Hitch's "touch" to Carrie?! Hitch would have finally gotten his much deserved Oscar! Every Stephen King movie that was made would have a different twist to it once Hitch got his hands on them. And imagine the books that were NEVER MADE into movies... These two great minds would have worked well together. Both had vivid imaginations when it came to their work. Each artist held you in suspense when they 'told' their tales. You are transported into their stories and you became their characters, you suffered right along with them. You rooted for the 'hero' and wanted to see the 'villain' get what they deserved in the end (especially Pennywise). One can get any of Stephen's books and just imagine Hitch directing that book...the possibilities are endless and THRILLING!!!!!!!!
  7. 1) My feelings about the opening scene of 'Marnie' is that this is a woman on the run and she doesn't seem as if she is scared. She to me seems like the cat that swallowed the bird! That Margaret is pleased with herself that she just got away with a lot of money and is off to start her 'new life'. And by Hitch showing us the many id cards she may have done this before. Moving swiftly and coldly through the motions of swapping lives (the taking of the clothes for the boxes and putting them into the new suitcase and the washing out of the black dye) like an old pro, it seems 'Margaret' has been at this for some time. 2) To me the use of Herrman's score is almost like a music video performance. Back in the day music videos USE TO TELL A STORY WITH THE MUSIC. They were mini movies set to music and you got the jest of the song by looking at the video. Well this seems the same..you have a woman getting off the train and going to the hotel and in her room she transforms herself into the 'new and improved' Margaret Edgar. The timing and pacing of the scene (via film score) is setting us up to the beginning of our story. It sucks you in and makes you want to know what's next for her. 3) Here again Hitch is the everyday man in his cameo. A man stepping out his room and he catches a glance a a pretty girl. Makes you think is he interested...does he want to follow this gorgeous lady and see what room she's in...is he curious to see what her face look likes...does he want to introduce himself or admire from afar...should he be impulsive??? WHO IS THIS MYSTERY WOMAN?!
  8. 1) To me the opening scene sequence seems more like a romantic comedy is a simple 'boy meets girls' moment. 'Girl' in pet store being waited on & 'Boy' comes in & mistakes her for a worker there. 'Girl' who seems VERY interested in 'Boy' acts the part of employee and tries to help him out but what she doesn't know is that 'Boy' actually knows who the 'Girl' is and plays along with her 'act'. This cat & mouse game goes on til 'Girl' is busted by 'Boy' & the real employee. Now annoyed (and still interested) the 'Girl' goes and gets 'Boy's' license plate number and gets his personnel information and decides that she is going to pay 'Boy' a visit and give him a present...love birds. 2) What seemingly looks like a typically nice day where the birds are singing in the background and a pretty girl walking across the street and get whistled at...the pretty girl glances up and sees birds swirling in the air (which is something we've all done just out of habit). You really don't feel that its anything out of the ordinary. How many times have you looked up and seen a flock of birds in the air and not give two thoughts about it. It's a nice day, birds are singing, it seems like another beautiful day. Almost a false since of security maybe. What could happen on this beautiful day? You wouldn't imagine that later in the day in a quiet, small town that the birds would rage a war on the local residents. That's not possible...or is it??? 3) What fun it is when you are watching a Hitch film and try to figure out when and where Hitch will pop up in the movie. Hitch puts himself in this opening scene as a 'typical customer' coming out of the pet shop with his 2 cute dogs. To me Hitch always plays the 'common man' in the scene that he's in. If you didn't know who he was you wouldn't even have really paid attention to that man. He seems ordinary and not doing anything abnormal...just blends into the background.
  9. When Alice is sitting at the table she appears to be in shock and not paying attention to the conversation that is being had about the murder that happened the night before. She is in a state of shock and the only words that she hears is knife because that is the instrument she used to kill her attacker. Its almost as if she is hypnotized and she can only respond when she hears the word knife. Hitch brings the word knife out more louder to emphasize that that is what Alice used. And when she uses it it brings her back to the moment of her attack.. To me you are transfixed on Alice because you know something has happened to her. Her whole attitude is something is not right with her and she's trying to be 'normal' but she can't. She is having an inner conflict with herself on what to do. She goes to the phone book and instead of looking up a number she looks up the Police. She then tries to sit down to eat but the lady customer (who is talking about the murder the night before) is constantly reminding her of what she went through the night before. Then as she goes to pick up the knife, she is so fixated on it that all she hears is the word knife (possibly flashing back to the previous nights events), then we hear the word becomes louder and louder to the point Alice flings the knife across the room. Was it knowing that she just killed someone that made her do that or was it her actually her acting out what she did? I think why the use of sound wasn't used a lot back then could be many reasons. One people had no training on how to use sound equipment, Two were fearful of spending the money on the equipment and that sound would be a commercial flop, Three when sound was introduced a lot of theaters weren't equipped for it and theater owners just didn't want to take that risk, Four film companies just didn't have faith in the new technology and once again money is a factor. In the long run MONEY ruled and no one from the movie company, to directors, to theaters just didn't want to take a major risk by introducing sound into movies.
  10. In watching this scene the dolly shot definitely pulls you in. You are watching a scene where the two 'boys' are brought in for questioning on a subject matter very controversial (back then). As the two 'boys' approach the Dean you see in the distance a 'girl' sitting looking very evil at the pair. Then the boom comes when you find out why we are here, as the 'girl' gets up to pick the 'boy' out there is suspense in the air. Cut to her, cut to them, back and forward...draws you into the scene. I feel that Hitch uses the POV shot to get you (as the viewer) to feel more apart of the scene, meaning if it was shot at the angel of looking at the 'girl' approach the 'boys' you might not be as drawn to the scene as you are when you are looking at the 'boy' in a slow panning motion. To me it adds to his telling of this story. You ARE in the scene. You are the 'girl' walking up to the 'boys' & you are the 'boys watching the 'girl' walking towards you. You are waiting for the shoe to drop as to who has committed this 'unspeakable' act. SUSPENSE!!!!! Hitchcock definitely knows how to get you involved in a scene.
  11. In the scene where the boxer is suppose to be listening to his manager and trainer he glances across the way to a party where everyone is having a good time and he sees a couple in the chair, then Hitch imposes an image of the boxer's wife sitting on the lap of another man and the boxers imagination is starting to go wild, he assumes his wife is going to do this while he is away training. I think Hitch likes to use our imaginations a lot and let's us be the character he is focusing on at that point in the film and 'we' react like that character in the moment. We like Hitch's character are his puppets of emotion. He pulls the strings and we all react. By superimposing images the lines of reality tend to blur and you/character imagination starts to run wild. With the scenery, Hitch uses a window as his focal point. Its like peering through the looking glass and you fall into Wonderland. You are a watcher of the scene but only participating in your mind. You see yourself as part of the party goers. Wishing you were actually there and then imagining that your significant other is also there and then you realize this isn't fun anymore. Imagination is very powerful and Hitch can work it.. that's why he's the Master of Suspense!
  12. The Hitchcock style...in the opening sequence we see a woman at the beginning of something horrible happening to her and then her body. This particular sequence has been done several time in Hitch's movies like 'Psycho' (Leigh in the shower and you have the music building up to the moment where Norman's 'Mother' attacks Leigh), 'Frenzy' (the attacker attacks the woman with a tie). It's the suspense of the moment right before the 'attack' you as the audience are pulled into the moment to where you know something is about to happen and you may not know what or how it's going to happen and then...WHAM...MURDER! You are jolted in its horrible act and can't turn away from what is being shown..like a car accident, you don't want to look but you can't help yourself. Hitch builds up a scene and 'the pay off' MURDER. The opening sequence of the woman screaming to me needs no audio..the look of terror in her eyes speaks volumes. You can feel her fear when she sees the attacker coming towards her. The camera shots of the approach and then death are harsh. Then flash forward to 'Psycho' where the famous shower scene as Janet Leigh is in the shower and back goes the curtains and down comes the knife, you hear the scream and the knife (in time to the music) going into her body. You can feel and hear the terror that she is going through. I think Hitch became more freer to show his 'violence' than in the earlier films. Technology caught up and he could play more into the 'attack scene' than he could in the silent era (using different techniques in angel approach and sound being invented helped). Its more of an horrific impact now than then where sound does make a difference and really shocks you with the violence of the scene. You are more shook up with the "Psycho" scene than in "The Lodger". Both alarming but yet sound does make a difference
  13. Alfred Hitchcock was known for showing off his leading ladies within his movies. And all but a hand full are blonde. In 'Rear Window' Grace Kelly is shown in slow motion kissing James Stewart, in 'Suspicion' you see Cary Grant eyeing Joan Fontaine in the car of a train after asking could he sit in it with her. A guess would be why Hitch does this is to give his audience a glance at this particular woman who could possibly be the cause or reason to his leading man's down/windfall. In the next question I agree with Yacowar and Spoto assessments of Hitch's scene sequence. Hitch uses the camera as a leering eye, that we the viewers are getting a 'look' at the actress from the point of view of the man. And to not make it all creepy throwing in a dash of humor in the scene like the old man stepping on the other man's foot when he is trying to get backstage or the woman in the front row sleeping showing that she could care less of the dancing girls. In almost (if not all) of Hitch's movies you are a peeping tom in the movies, meaning you see from the view of his actor in a set up scene whether 'he' is eyeing a lady sitting in front of him or his 'victim' taking a shower. It's almost like you're the hunter watching his pry just before the 'kill'. And for the last question I don't think it make a difference whether or not you have sound. Hitchcock's set up to the whole scene explains itself. You see girls coming down a staircase and its obvious they are going on stage to perform. Ans you see the men in the front row and they are either uncomfortable or enjoying themselves. And one poor soul is smitten by one of the dancers. Then your next scene a poor girl is robbed of a paper that will make or break her in trying to get into show business.
  14. HEY GUYS...Anybody out there who is a Backlot Member of TCM living in the District, Maryland or Virginia who has started or interested in starting a Local Chapter? I'm interested in joining or possibly starting a Local Chapter...LET ME KNOW WHAT'S DEALEO?! Happy Viewing.... PPS: Who's ready for the Hitchcock class starting in June?!
  15. DD #5 'CLEANING UP HIS ACT: Charley Chase 1) How well do the slapstick elements of this clip match up with the five conditions of Slapstick proposed in Module 1 (exaggerated, physical, repetitive/ritualistic, make believe, painful/violent)? I think 'The Pip from Pittsburgh' uses all 5 conditions of Slapstick..Chase not wanting to make the same mistake twice when it comes to his blind date, goes overboard in trying to get out of his 'Blind date'. Seeing that his 'blind date' is a knock out Chase precedes to 'doll himself up' (seeing a display of a shaving kit, Chase gets aid of a stranger by asking him to read the newspaper for him (Chase pretended to leave his glasses home so the stranger blocks Chase by reading out loud the newspaper, while this is happening Chase shaves). The physical & repetitiveness of Chase going back & forth getting sprayed w/perfume to mask the garlic smell on his breath, going up to people & speaking in people's faces to get their reaction to his breath. Make believe part is using the 2nd stranger as a mirror (while the 1st stranger is blocking his Chases' way, Chase uses another stranger next to him (who's back is turned) as a mirror to shave...the 2nd stranger's suit jacket's back is 'shiny' like a mirror. The painful part of the clip..Chase 'assaulting' people with his breath (which having put money into a machine, Chase gets squirted w/garlic in the face & eventually in the mouth. 2) Do you find the clip confirming or challenging Gerald Mast's description of Charley Chase? Even in a short clip, do you get the sense that his greatest emotion is 'exasperation'? I agree with Mast on both parts of the question...Chase 'defending himself' against his date (having seen one of his previous dates in the lobby) in the clip by getting sprayed all over with perfume (which masks the garlic breath he has) and saying that Chase is exasperating is an understatement...his over the top actions such as rushing around trying to get funky to get out of his date and then overreacting when he sees his date is real a 'hot tomato' by primping himself in a crazy manner by having strangers be his accomplices in getting pretty for his date. 3) As an early talkie that is transitioning from the 'silent film era', how well do you think this scene uses synchronous sound and music in the construction of its gags? Surprisingly everything & everybody are all in sync. I've often seen early talkie movies not match up with either the sound (like a car backfiring) or the actors dialogue not in sync. So 'The Pip from Pittsburgh's' director and film editor did a great job with this film.
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