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About mfederman

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  • Birthday 11/12/1970

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    That fine line between clever and stupid
  1. 1. The opening scene of Frenzy, is vastly different than that of The Lodger. Where the Lodger opens up with flashing lights, and a silent scream followed by a montage of cuts that introduce the setting, Frenzy does not open with a “frenzy” as it were. Instead there is this long, extremely long air-born dolly shot above the Thames. Accompanying it is music that is a bit dated for the date of the films creation. I could tell right away that the film wouldn’t deal with the reality of the 60’s in England. Especially London. However, there was something uneasy about the sound track. As we move
  2. 1. In this opening scene from Hitchcock’s, Marnie, we gather almost everything we need to get the ball rolling. Marnie is basically changing identities. Why? Because she’s a thief. Not much more to say except to state the obvious of what give us these clues. New clothes in a new suit case, old clothes in another. Switch out the old Social Security card and pick from one of the other ones. She’s done this before. Dump your stolen money in the new suit case, wash out the dye in your hair and dispose of the old suitcase in a way that will take people a long time to discover. It all echoes bac
  3. 1. In this opening scene from The Birds we see a playful flirtation between Melanie and Mitch being created. First off, we know that Melanie doesn’t work there, Mitch doesn’t. With her verbal exchange with the employee we get the idea that Melanie is upper class, seemingly busy, on some strict schedule, and a little worried that the bird she ordered isn’t what she will get. But this shifts-obviously Melanie isn’t too busy to have a little fun with the attractive Rod Taylor’s character. The minute she can’t name the strawberry finch’s correctly, Mitch decides to have bit of fun with her as
  4. 1. In this opening title sequence and scene, Saul Bass and Bernard Hermann basically tell us we’re going to get chopped up, physically, emotionally and psychologically. The broken wording brings to mind the way in which the human mind can seem illogical or completely separated from reality. The pure string orchestration when combined with Bass’ imagery, brings to mind slicing knives. The sound is harsh and unforgiving. 2. The actual first shots of the film not only give us a visual on a city which is not gigantic and at the same time not terribly small. So we have a small town vibe
  5. 1. In this sequence of North by Northwest, the train lunch scene is so important in truly setting the viewer up for a very confusing ride when trying to figure out the legitimacy of everything coming out of everyone’s mouth except Roger’s. The exchange of, “I know, I look vaguely familiar…” is on the first level plot oriented in that he is probing as to whether Eve, knows who he is. On the second level, it is perhaps a tool that deals in the actual psychology of Hitchcock towards his audience. Hitch knows the audience knows these two stars well and they will sympathize and feel for the bot
  6. 1. Well since I’ve seen Vertigo a couple of times, it is hard to answer this in a guessing manner, either way I’ll echo back to when I first saw it. As an artist and art teacher I am naturally very responsive to abstract visual cues, but a I am also a huge Saul Bass fan. By title alone, Vertigo automatically suggests that there is an imbalance of some sort and that something in this plot won’t add up. However, the deeply psychological mood or atmosphere created wouldn’t be the same without the wonderful counterpoint of Bernard Hermann’s score to Bass’ graphics. Both question 1 and 3 go han
  7. 1. The opening shot of Hitchcock’s Rear Window is an exercise in his masterwork as a silent film maker. He is an illustrator by nature and a designer. Hitchcock knows how to give us a great deal of information in a quick amount of time. The camera starts with a slow push out the window to a courtyard as the viewer takes in information about most of the neighbors. Early morning, we are seeing the intimate behavioral patterns of our neighbors. I say “our” because that is Hitchcock’s intent; to make us an instrument in some way. As stated in the lecture notes, Hitch is also intent on making
  8. 1. In the opening sequence to Strangers on a Train, the symbolic visual representation is seen in almost every new shot, from cut to cut. The music cues us to the visual representation as well. First is Bruno’s feet. The camera sits to the right of Bruno’s character, focused on his feet. This contrasts with the shot of Guy getting out of the car in which the camera sits to the left. This suggestion of two opposing characters and entities crossing paths randomly continues in the shots of both characters as they walk; Bruno shot walking toward the left and Guy shot walking toward the right.
  9. 1. The Hitchcock “touch” as stated in the video lecture, is the unique revisiting of the POV twirl shot as Grant’s character, Devlin approaches Alicia, Ingrid Bergman. The close up shots on her face are a lot like many other films, such as Mr. and Mrs. Smith when Lombard is in bed in the opening sequence. Though it’s not the opening sequence, it is classic Hitchcock in the set up of the characters, plot and suspense or mystery in a quick amount of time. If you haven’t seen the film you would have to look up a plot summary to figure out what’s happening though. 2. Love that Berg
  10. DAILY DOSE #11 “Thought I’d Left”, Mr. and Mrs. Smith 1. AND 2. In my opinion, Hitchcock is keeping his “touch” but it’s not in the same way as with the silent pictures in Britain or in the sound films from Britain. Hitchcock is choosing to create his mystery and tension in less obvious ways and allows us a bit of a slower introduction to the cast. However, Hitch is still able to introduce the plot dynamics through character (which has always been his choice), within a rather short beginning to the film. I think this change or departure into more sophisticated method of his “touch” b
  11. 1. This opening scene in Rebecca is almost entirely not typical Hitchcock. Aside from the use of miniatures and the foggy landscape, there isn’t a series of quick cuts and immediate character introductions. You don’t have a public place as a setting, but a rural one isolated from the rest of the world. The pace is slow. The gradual push shot that gives us the first person psychological perspective and flashback at the same time is a convention that Hitchcock would use. But it is slow and Hitch, prior to this film didn’t open a film with a flashback narrative. I find it hard to believe that
  12. DAILY DOSE #10 1. The scene is extremely like the opening to The Killers, though set in the daytime as opposed to the dark night time. Laying on his bed, eyes closed, but awake, money on the floor suggesting that it is not of any real concern of his. This scene tells us that Charlie has for some reason become embittered and there is a dark spirit overwhelming him. A sense of futility, and isolation from humanity. Specifically it is Charlie’s reactions to his boarding house host; a woman whose most likely the same sort of character he will criticize at dinner later in the film. Charlie lat
  13. 1. The opening of, The Lady Vanishes offers an immediate contrast in tone and atmosphere. The soundtrack offering a peaceful happy tone with a no-stress attitude as the elderly lady checks in with the hotel manager. After the intro push shot we have two quick cuts to a depth of field shot in which we see our male duo of Caldecott and Charters trying to close the door to keep the cold out, while the old lady disrupts this by needing to exit. In this shot we have a wonderful foreground placement of the manager and the action in the background. All seemingly peaceful, but the struggle of Cald
  14. DAILY DOSE # 7 1. The opening sequence of The 39 Steps is similar to the other Hitchcock films in that we have a very public space in which a performance of some sort has drawn the crowds and we know exactly where we are. Typically, this is where Hitchcock would have started off with character faces and introduction right at the first frame, but not here. Intrigue is created by only being introduced to a character’s hand buying a ticket and their feet as he walks in. Even then we still only see the back of his head as he takes his seat in the theater. So again, as in The Man
  15. 1. In terms of importance, we know that Hitchcock most likely chose Peter Lorre for The Man Who Knew Too Much for a few reasons. Lorre was coming off “M” and the acclaim so audiences knew him, second Lorre has an exotic look about him with the haircut and gray patch. Moreover, he has a thick German accent and an overall eccentricity portrayed in Abbott. So I believe the audience will buy into a sympathetic feel for Abbott interestingly. As mentioned in the lecture video, Hitch keeps a slapstick element and Abbott/Lorre was described as perhaps the “nicest villain ever”. Character wise in
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