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About mtncat

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  1. Easy Rider (1969) MacGuffin - The drug money stashed in the teardrop tank of Captain America's chopper. Doubles - Two bikers... Travelogue - ...off to find America. Murder - Actually three in the final count. Montage Editing - Acid trip in New Orleans. Landmarks - House of Blue Lights. Sophisticated Use of Score - Soundtrack totally establishes social context. Mother Issues (Freud) - "It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)" This exercise is fun. I'd have to revisit Easy Rider, but I'll bet I'd find a blonde, a mirror, a high angle shot, color filters, etc.
  2. 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 opening of The Lodger provides a dead woman immediately. In Frenzy we wait. The initial humor in The Lodger is school-boyish compared to the delicious irony of a politician trumpeting pollution free waterways only to have a corpse float by. And of course, the magnificent dolly shot opening Frenzy could only have been a fantasy in the twenties. What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific
  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 meticulous. She assembles a fresh identity, each carefully purchased bit of it, into a brightly lined suitcase as she simultaneously discards her previous incarnation piece by piece into a drab brown suitcase. I'm then given that a dark past is spiraling down the drain with her hair dye. She emerges shiny and cleansed. The clues to her former identity are stuck away in a locker, the key
  4. 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) through their interactions in this scene? Melanie, if I may say, resembles an exotic bird herself. She likes the looks of Mitch when he enters the pet shop so she playfully pretends to work there, offering to help him pick out a pair of love birds. It quickly becomes clear to Mitch she knows nothing about birds but he goes along with her charade because he's attracted to her as well. Cute couple being cu
  5. I haven't seen Party Girl, but Touch of Evil came out in fall of '58 too and it's in many ways the ultimate Film Noir.
  6. 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 Hitchcock Chord is introduced, dissonant and jarring. Bass' titles come at us in fragments like a disintegrated personality as Herrmann's cellos attack us with minor 2nds like a ravenous shark. (You're welcome John Williams.) As the titles end, we have three shots of Phoenix, Arizona, and a very specific day, date, and time: “FRIDAY, DECE
  7. Everything you've said resonates with me. Live tweeting lousy movies with a snarky crowd can be fun, but I think great films deserve more of my attention. I do, however, review the #Hitchcock50 tweet thread to glean what are some illuminating observations.
  8. 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 Thornhill/Grant line, "I look vaguely familiar.") How does our pre-existing knowledge of these stars function to create meaning in this scene. Any less elegant couple playing at this level of carnal innuendo would border on porn. 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 i
  9. 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," then the mood and atmosphere they are establishing) that this sequence is communicating to the audience. Fantasy, possibly a dark and uncontrollable fantasy. In your own estimation, what is the single most powerful image in this title sequence? Defend your answer. The close-up of the woman's eye is shot through a red filter as the movie's title blasts ou
  10. 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? Hitchcock is showing us the extent of Jeff's world. We're introduced to Jeff's point of view without seeing it through his filters. 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? As the camer
  11. 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. Guy and Bruno are filmed at feet level entering the train station as though coming from two different directions. They nearly cross paths at the gate, but remain unaware of one another. The train is then filmed POV from track level traveling through a switchyard where tracks cr
  12. What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this early scene from the movie? As Dr. Edwards and Dr. Gehring discussed, Hitchcock never forgot a thing he learned. His tracking shot in on Bergman's face as she lay hungover in bed, his use of point-of-view camera angles as Grant approaches her from the doorway, all the interplay between light and shadow: we've seen this scene coming for twenty years. In my opinion Hitchcock has now achieved perfection in black and white. How does Hitchcock choose to light, frame, and photograph his two stars in this scene? What are some of the contrasts that H
  13. 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? Hitchcock reveals quite a lot through dolly shots, tracking shots, and extreme attention to detail. He shows us a pair of rich, pampered, self-indulgent slobs who are confined to a room and trapped in a marriage by their insecurities. Not so funny so far. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: the opening sequence of Mr. and Mrs.
  14. 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. Charlie's got a wad of cash and a lot on his mind. He also has a couple of guys on his tail. Charlie is cunning, he thinks things through. He briefly lets his violent streak get the better of him and smashes a glass against the sink. Then he sets his jaw and sets his course. Charlie's a pretty snappy dresser, I might add. 2. In what ways does this opening remind you of watching a film noir? If it doesn't remind you
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