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Everything posted by tigorprod

  1. The women characters in Hitchcock films (and television shows) were mostly portrayed as weaker physically and emotionally than the men characters although a female might be more cunning than the male counterpart. Even in an argument between a Hitchcock male and female (Grace Kelly and James Steward in Rear Window), the man almost always has the last word. This was the societal view of women through the 1960s and early 1970s. Would Hitchcock have ever considered a strong female character such as Ripley in the Alien franchise? Are there any Hitchcock female characters that might be considere
  2. Hitchcock once defined the MacGuffin as “the thing that the spies are after but the audience don’t care about.” Is there a MacGuffin in every Hitchcock film? For example, does Marnie have a MacGuffin?
  3. 1. How does the opening of Frenzy differ from the opening of The Lodger? Feel free to re-watch the clip from The Lodger (Daily Dose #2) for comparison. Aside from the obvious technical differences, Frenzy opens with a friendly, almost soothing travelogue aerial shot of London that glides through London Bridge under the beginning titles. Ron Goodwin’s score is all strings and happy horns as though referencing the traditions of the British Empire musically. The titles are clean and elegant against the London backdrop. Only the movie title, Frenzy, is designed using white and blood red ver
  4. 1. 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. Hitchcock has selected the purse as an object that represents and contains the complete counterfeit identity of Marnie. Hitchcock’s camera focuses in close up on this purse that is a canary yellow color that stands in contrast to the near colorless hallway where we see Marie walking from behind. Even her brown suit and her dark hair contribute to the production design. We see by the various b
  5. 1. 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) in this scene? The basic opening after Melanie strides into the pet shop could certainly play as a scene from a Ross Hunter-produced movie such as Pillow Talk or Lover Come Back with Doris Day and Rock Hudson as the principal actors. Hitchcock sets the first meeting of Melanie and Mitch as a verbal, thinly veiled sexually-infused joust. We think that Melanie is fooling Mitch into believing that she
  6. 1. 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? (I wonder how this extraordinary collaboration came off? Hitchcock, Herrmann and Bass had to communicate in some form. Which came first, the development of the titles or the music? Of course, the final draft titles and music had to be fully synched and approved by Hitchcock.) Psycho is a complex psychological thriller that again plays w
  7. 1. 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 line, "I look vaguely familiar.") How does our pre-existing knowledge of these stars function to create meaning in this scene? Hitchcock is not only the master of suspense but a master of casting. One of the most interesting things to learn about Hitchcock is the importance of finding the right stars for the success of his films. In this case, Cary Grant had been a big international star for two decades. Eve Marie Saint, who had won a supporting acade
  8. 1. 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," the mood and atmosphere they are establishing) that this sequence is communicating to the audience. If I had never seen a Hitchcock film before or if I knew nothing about his reputation, I would know that a great mystery, perhaps in the supernatural realm, was about to be presented to me even before the Vistavision credit is displayed with Bernard Herrmann’s
  9. 1. 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 allows the audience to discover the apartment courtyard setting along with some of the inhabitants. The initial panning shots that showcase the physical dimensions of the courtyard before returning to the sweating brow of James Stewart lasts 30 seconds or so. The next close-up confirms the sweltering heat by showing a thermometer hitting 95
  10. You have reached your quota of positive votes for the day

  11. 1. In how many ways does Hitchcock play with or visually manifest the metaphor of “crisscross” or “crisscrossing” in this introductory sequence. [For those who haven’t seen the film yet, the idea of “crisscross” is central idea in this film, a theme Hitch sets up from the opening frames of this film.] Be specific. Hitchcock sets up the “crisscross” motif using “doubles”. For example, the camera pans left on an approaching cab coming into the train station entry. In a low shot, the camera shows a male passenger wearing spats exiting the cab and walking screen left. In another low angle
  12. 1. What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this early scene from the movie? The Hitchcock Touch is immediately apparent in the selection of shots including extreme close-ups, dollies, expressionist angles, etc. The most prominent “touch” is Hitchcock’s presentation of a beginning attraction between Grant and Bergman that will later involve a third party, Claude Rains. Hitchcock crosses the spectrum of love, betrayal, mistrust, jealousy and sex. 2. How does Hitchcock choose to light, frame, and photograph his two stars in this scene? What are some of the contrasts that Hitchcock tryin
  13. 1. 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 begins with the establishment of characters, a married couple played by Robert Montgomery and Carole Lombard, by allowing the audience to discover their personalities with certain visual cues before any dialogue begins. The first dissolve opens to a pan-dolly shot of plates of half-eaten food. The shot lands on a disheveled, unshaven
  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. Hitchcock uses this initial scene to delineate Uncle Charlie’s sociopathic personality primarily though the visuals aided to a great degree by the dialogue with his landlady. The scene begins with a wide shot of children playing ball in the streets below a seedy apartment building. As the camera moves towards the building, Hitchcock shows tilted-angle shots of the window outside of Uncle Charlie’s room. These angled
  15. 1. Describe how this opening is different from the multiple opening scenes you have seen in the Daily Doses from the British silent and/or sound period? Most of Hitchcock’s openings in previous films have denoted some public chaos such as the busy theatre in The Pleasure Garden or the bustling crowds in The Lodger and The Man Who Knew Too Much. The opening scene of Rebecca quickly sweeps the viewer into a romantic, mystical state with the dolly shots into Manderley. Joan Fontaine’s poetic narration and the hauntingly beautiful music along with the stunning cinematography is the calm befo
  16. 1. Using specific examples, describe how Hitchcock opens The Lady Vanishes. What tone, mood, or atmosphere is Hitchcock establishing for the audience very early on in this picture? Pay particular attention to the music. As in his earlier pictures, Hitchcock opens the scene in a public setting in The Lady Vanishes. This time, it’s a hotel lobby in some unnamed foreign locale where German is spoken. Everything seems peaceful as people wait patiently seated enhanced by a deliriously happy music score. An older woman makes pleasantries with hotel manager as she pays her bill. As she exits
  17. 1. Now that you have seen multiple openings to Hitchcock's British films, how does this opening both fit a pattern you have seen previously as well as deviate from other opening scenes? Hitchcock follows the familiar pattern of setting the opening scene in a public forum. In this case, he opens by following a patron into the theatre shortly to be revealed as the main protagonist and leading man. As in previous films, the theatre audience, mostly common, working people, is rather unsympathetic to the performer, “Mr. Memory.” That callas tone is struck in the opening scenes in The Pleasu
  18. Daily Dose #6 1. Based on these opening scene, what do you anticipate is going to be more important in this film--the characters or the plot? (It is fine to make an informed guess about the 2nd question if you haven't seen the film yet.) The characters are more important and will drive the plot. We are introduced to the protagonists, the father, his daughter and his wife (unseen at this point) and the antagonists, the Peter Lorre character and henchmen. The skier is an interesting character because we don’t know whether he’s a good guy or a bad guy. There is a brief nasty exchang
  19. 1. In this sequence, describe how Hitchcock uses sound design to put you into the subjective "mind of Alice"? Be specific. Hitchcock begins the scene on an objective wide shot as Alice enters her father’s store. Everything seems peaceful up to the moment she opens the door to find her family and a rather annoying neighbor discussing a murder in the news that, unknown to everyone in the room, involves Alice. This wall of noise, especially from the neighbor, seems burdensome to Alice. When Alice escapes to make a call in a phone booth, things are suddenly peaceful again. Hitchcock uses t
  20. There is some sense in many of Hitchcock female characters that they cannot be completely trusted and even outright distrusted particularly in matters of the world. It's part of the "Eve" Syndrome. This may have been Hitchcock's personal view of women although he obviously depended a great deal on the power of his wife Alma's intellect. One could say that it was part of the thinking of the time but it obviously still exists in 2017.
  21. 1. In your own words, please describe the effect of watching the POV dolly shots / POV tracking shots in this scene? The first dolly shot that shows the POV of the young men walking towards the Dean of the school makes me feel as though I’m walking into a lion’s den. The slow, deliberate pace is ominous enough to jolt one’s survival instincts. The 2nd series of dolly shots shows both the woman’s POV and the young men’s POV as the woman approaches. She appears as a stalking animal coming in for the kill. 2. Why do you think Hitchcock uses the technique of a POV tracking shot? What
  22. The vitality and rhythm of this scene from The Ring seems to come from the escalating anxiety of the young boxer (the protagonist.) He fears losing his wife as well as his upcoming fight to his competition. The young man’s anxiety begins to grow as he spies his wife sitting of the arm of a chair where his fight opponent is sitting in the next room. That action is framed in a mirror that allows him to see around the corner into the other room. (Hitchcock often used devices or objects that allowed a character to magnify the view of a situation such as the hole in the wall that Anthony Perkin
  23. I would also like to see the "In Memoriam" short in a downloaded or streaming video file on this website. I have not been able to catch it during the times that I watch TCM. This seems to have been an especially eventful year with the passing of many great stars.
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