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About BrianM

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  1. I've always liked the title sequences in David Fincher's movies, and he has acknowledged Saul Bass as an influence. They do draw the viewer in to the movie, the way Hitch's opening scenes/titles did, in either an exciting or unsettling way.
  2. Here's my two cents on this topic; probably most or all of these have been mentioned before, but let's see if I've come up with something new: I mentioned 1976's Silver Streak in an earlier post - very similar to North By Northwest Stanley Donen's pair of European-set/romantic comedy/caper movies, Arabesque and Charade And two more recent ones, both, interestingly, with Angelina Jolie: The Tourist, another European-set/rom-com/caper film, which I rather liked And, an interesting twist on the wrongly-accused man movie, the wrongly-accused woman movie: Salt, in my opinion, also
  3. Here's a slightly different Hitchcock opening scene. This time, you see the title "Frenzy" over a magnificent helicopter shot of the Thames, accompanied by a patriotic-sounding march that would make Edward Elgar jealous. All you can think is, "Hitch, what are you up to?" You just know this isn't going to end well. There is another long shot, into the speech given by a fatuous politician about cleaning up the Thames (which did happen). The crowd applauds politely, except for the sour-faced man in the bowler hat. Then, as if to pour cold water on the optimism of the affair, a relic of London'
  4. Another essentially silent scene in this introduction. First thing that struck me was the similarity of the music to that of Vertigo, with a repeating musical motif, which starts off higher, then is echoed in lower tones. As the unseen woman washes the dye out of her hair, and we are given a full-screen reveal of "Marnie," the music swells to an almost ecstatic peak. She's someone else! She's free! (Shades of Judy's transformation (back) into Madeleine in Vertigo). In only a minute or two, we understand that this is a person who has stolen money and is changing her identity. One tell
  5. From memory, I was going to say this opening was different from the regular "unsettling" one that we've become used to in Hitchcock's movies, but then I watched it. No, no, no - plenty o' foreshadowing here; Melanie sees the huge flock of seagulls, which are the dominant sound on the soundtrack as she walks along the street; the opening shot of both her and Mitch in the pet store is "bird's-eye"; he also glances at a caged bird as he summits the stairs; and the sounds of birds almost drown out the human dialogue that follows. The Birds has always been my favourite Hitchcock film; I first w
  6. As Dr. Edwards points out, the music in the opening (and all thru the film) is only performed on stringed instruments. We all know the "slashing" effect during the shower sequence, but this opening is quite a different effect, one of stabbing or gouging, and as I've pointed out previously, sets the audience on edge immediately. It's in a fast tempo, like North By Northwest, but the effect there, for me, was to help set the pace that much of the movie would take. In Vertigo, the slowly undulating woodwind figures set up the dreamlike and hypnotic psychological effect that movie would exploit.
  7. Another Hitchcock scene that presents a character in a certain way, only to have your first impressions proven wrong later in the film. You think the Eve Kendall character is a shameless flirt, but later find out she's been made to do it in order to entrap Roger Thornhill. It's kind of a nice parallel to the bad guys' (and Eve's) mistaken idea that Roger is someone he's not. Come to think of it, most all the main characters aren't who they seem to be at first! As others have said, the matchbook business is a way for the two characters to have actual physical contact with each other for t
  8. I was privileged to see this film in a movie theatre on its reissue in the 1980s, and was completely blown away - by the story, the acting, the look of it, and the ending - everything. I saw it again (in a theatre) a year or so later, and while the shock of the ending wasn't as powerful, this title sequence was still amazing. I've just watched it closely on a 20-inch computer screen, and it's still effective! The spiral/circular graphics fit so well with Hermann's repeating figure in the woodwinds that it's uncanny. Looking at it now, the striking moment when the music hits a harsh ch
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