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Everything posted by judith46

  1. Ahh, Notorious! The Hitchcock touches I notice are: the entry of the male main character in back profile; the intimate disarray of the room, the malingering melancholy of Bergman, The POV shots on angles, and the extreme closeups. Hitchcock accents the contrast between the two main characters by setting her in the decadent, upper class bungalow, while he seems more grounded and average in his appearance. She is dressed well but understated, while her character seems wild. He is a "regular guy" who has no time for frivolity, is contemptuous of it. The closeups emphasize these two diffe
  2. Hitchcock touches in Mr and Mrs. Smith lie in the movement of the camera through the scene, revealing elements of class and crass. The elegant dishes with leftovers and the room display comfort and class, while he sits in the middle of the mess and plays cards, a little more humble and street-wise. There is always nice arrangement of shapes in Hitchcock films; the characters are posed by duos and trios, and the negative, or background, space is used like part of the canvas with interesting play of light making shapes in the empty spots. I don't find this opening typical of Hitch in that
  3. What is learned about the Uncle? He appears to be despondent, has hostility toward possible visitors ("they may not be friendly visitors"), is aggressive. He appears to decide to walk directly into a threatening situation in which his guilt? may be discovered. Similarities in this opening and film noire may include the setting (it is a lower class place), the lighting (b/w, shadowy, harsh lighting on his head), and the feeling of impending doom. Difference may be in the way we move into the house from outside with the traveling cameras which is reminiscent of Hitch's previous film techn
  4. I just remembered, he used the open gate, door technique in Spellbound, too, to show the inner mind
  5. The posts today are all so good, I feel I don't have a lot to add. But I would like to agree strongly with ESei's observation that this is narrated from a woman's point of view. Am I wrong in thinking that this was the first and only time Hitch did this? It is very important to the story, because we are drawn by the tenuous, wistful narrative to try to understand her experience and the sense of foreboding. The twist and turns of the drive through the woods (or life) is very psychological, and to me more Impressionist, than Expressionist. The house is shown in a shift of light from its gl
  6. The tone, mood, and atmosphere are made to be fund and friendly by use of the polka type music and jovial dialogue. The cuckoo clock seems to make a commentary on the crazy activities in the inn. My favorite use of music is in The Third Man, with the insane calliope music and changing tempo used for emphasis. I haven't seen this version of Vanishes, but maybe it will be the same? Caldicott and Chartes seem to me like the three black crows in Dumbo; they comment on the action, make wisecracks, and emphasize what is going on. Margaret Lockwood is given the star treatment by the frami
  7. Again, the slow reveal: a close-up view of marquee, a stranger entering the room of seated on-lookers. The scene is shadowy and mysterious. These techniques are similar to Hitch's earlier works. The change comes as we are shown the stranger from the front and he engages with the speaker and the crowd; we want to listen to him, understand him. The music hall crowd jokes and banters, and like our hero, is unsuspecting of any evil goings-on. The scene is now well-lit and friendly. The scene has the Hitchcock Touch in the possibility of danger lurking in unlikely places, and that unsusp
  8. The opening scene is active, but jumps immediately to character studies. We see the interplay of the annoying girl and her relative, and judging of other people's character. Peter Lorre's character seems jolly and understanding, but we see a jolting recognition of one of the skiers. This sets us up to wonder what the relationship is between them. The opening scene is similar to Pleasure Garden in the crowd of onlookers, some of whom are eager to help and some who just watch. The similarity to the Lodger is perhaps the way we are immediately inserted into the action, though Lodger is
  9. It furthers the suspense in having the humdrum sounds of everyday (the water sound, the jabbering gossip) play in the background while the heroine is processing what has happened. We see that she has intimate knowledge of the affair, but we don't know how. Counterpoint of sound and psychology. The knife scene is set up by the rhythmic build in the repetition of the word "knife", getting ever more frequent and louder. I think modern directors use the actors' facial expressions much more, not needing so much sound to build tension.
  10. This class is getting too intense; last night I dreamed there were Keystone Kops digging up my yard! I find the most difference in style between Ferrell and Woody Allen. Woody is fond of language and ideas, whereas Ferrell and company are much more physical. Ferrell seems to be referencing the old silent slapstick films, with violent behavior, only now with sound, he includes vulgarity and scenes with shock value as in the amputation. This clip looks a lot like 3 Stooges, or maybe even Punch and Judy! Has humor gone full-circle? Beyond the groups of news anchors, I don't entirely
  11. The ZAZ approach seems to use verbal and visual slapstick in equal amounts; the airbag/car disaster followed by snappy dialogue about the "Get Smart" contraptions in the lab ("use your open eye") The ZAZ approach is different than the "young Frankenstein" spoof in the character of the heroes; Wilder is much more manic, Neilsen more matter-of-fact and deadpan. The props seem to be more important in the Naked Gun clip, with the air bag causing the car to run wild, the gadgets in the lab going off unexpectedly. Everything seems to go wrong for both Drebin and Clouseau. There are many
  12. This one difficult for me as I have never watched horror flicks, and am not a Mel Brooks fan. But I appreciate Russell K's excellent information regarding the way the concept developed between Wilder and Brooks. I love Wilder, though he can be over the top, but its a real blessing he had a restraining influence on Brooks. Sorry if I offend all you MB fans; we all have our own tastes. I think color would have made the lab setting less creepy and retro in feeling.
  13. I would definitely come down on the parody side more than SS, and that's why I love Woody Allen. I like the incongruity and outrageous situations, and the verbal asides. The very idea of a peace core volunteer rounding up lunch for hundreds of rebels is very unlikely, especially set to the snappy dixieland music. Not so much physical here, but the sight of wheelbarrows of slaw is pretty thigh-slapping! Woody is always true to his down-trodden, nervous, Jewish character that he did in stand-up. I don't see much connection here to the Sennett films, though some of the members have had so
  14. I so agree. Some of us only became acquainted with the older films because of tV. I remember being surprised to find out that Bob Hope and Red Skelton had movie credits!
  15. I think the most important thoughts are already out, but here's my bit. I get the cartoon flavor from the carnival-like atmosphere, the drum roll in preparation for a "death-defying feat". The hero is in white satin, the barkers are in colorful clothes, the balloon is striped, and the villians are mustachioed, and wearing black with top hats like Barnaby Grudge. The hero is silent while the bad guys have those scratchy voices. The fall of the hero into the air is filmed from the start point, giving us the scary feeling that its curtains for him. Homage is paid to past slapstick by the
  16. Clouseau's mangled words are always so funny! He's almost creating a new language. The setting up of the pool shot, anticipation growing, growing, and then RRRRIP! is classic visual SS. This film is my favorite Pink Panther. The description of "judas goat" (new to me) is very apt for Clouseau; he bumbles so badly but just muddles through, causing mayhem for everyone around him. He, of course, hasn't a clue; nothing is his fault. Sellers furthers the cop as comedy by updating for new generations, and maybe making it more personal
  17. The addition of color accents Lucy's character. The plaid shirt plays up her red hair, while the more black and white treatment of Desi's wardrobe also serves to put the focus on her. The crazy tilt of the trailer, essential to this scene, would be hard to pull of on TV with its narrow screen. Lucy continues and refines the clown tradition. I believe I heard once that the studio had her work with Buster Keaton to perfect her comedy. Anybody else know about that? guess Minnelli needn't have worried about the "dirty face" aspect! I remember my mom, recovering from surgery, watching
  18. Everyone has already expressed my own thoughts, and so beautifully! I did have to look closely in the dog scene to see if the fish was barking back, because the mouth shape of dog and fish were the same!
  19. It does seem though that we look to television more for the best comedy these days. I notice TV series are mentioned more as good examples in the "modern" era
  20. I just couldn't get any of those clips to play, but fortunately I remember A & C rather well since they were a staple of my childhood. In comparing them to the Marx Bros, I would characterize the Marx's as more cerebral. Groucho is always calculating while Chico rambles. But with Abbott and Costello, they are more "buddies" and are experiencing everything together. Lou is nervous and non-sensei while Bud is calm and reasonable. I do agree with Gehring's "taste and timing" comment for the most part (in the movies, not in stand-up) When exactly, though does "modern" start? Tom Hank
  21. I agree about Milton Berle. Maybe he was funny on a vaudeville stage, but it never seemed to translate well into film and tv.
  22. With Mast's comments about societal constraints in mind, I see that Fields is rebellious against his judgmental family and his obligation to them. In reaction and wishing to take charge of something, he meddles with a mechanic and "gets what he deserves", which is a crunch on the foot. Lots of sarcastic asides, violence, and bits like swallowing the cigarette. Fields is more sophisticated than Chase, though operating much the same way. His cutting asides are like Groucho, but more malicious. He is alchoholic, rude, cynical. I never have liked Fields, never thought he was funny even whe
  23. The demeanor of the character is certainly more up-tight, stressed, and as such is not as engaging as Lloyd. I think the use of the sound may have put a damper on some of the physical exploits. While the scenes are humorous, I don't think they are played out to the full extent that a silent star would have done. The background music is typical of what you would hear in a restaurant setting, and the gag sounds were there, but not exaggerated much. I think it is interesting as work of transition. I agree with other comments about the use of music in film as an interesting topic.
  24. Looking over everyone's comments, I don't think I'm contributing many new thoughts here. It did seem to me that the crowded setting and close proximity of people really set up the comedy, and the spinning of the merry-go-round continuing into the next scenes was a nice touch. The film was also at a more natural speed than the earlier ones. Lloyd certainly seemed more natural, and such a good guy; like someone you would know from next door. I like that he was a victim of the crab, too. I'm not sure I know enough about Lloyd to see his contribution, other than I enjoyed this clip much
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