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About dawnmanser

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  1. Hitchcock collaborators in 2017 - interesting question! I agree with many who have already mentioned Sharon Stone would be certainly be inducted into the Hitchcock Blonde club. Also Nicole Kidman and Naomi Watts. Tom Hanks and George Clooney are this generation's Jimmy Stewart and Cary Grant, respectively. But I sincerely hope that he would take interest in new talent rather than recasting the same archetypes over and over. Composers - Hans ZImmer, Howard Shore, Danny Elfman Editors - Thelma Schoonmaker, Michael Kahn
  2. Director Tom Holland has acknowledged his film "Fright Night" (1985) is inspired by Rear Window. A teenager suspects his mysterious new neighbor is a vampire, and no one believes him. Now that I am a Hitchcock aficionado, I look forward to rewatching this great horror film and look for all the "Hitchcock touches!"
  3. 1. There are a few differences between the openings of The Lodger and Frenzy. The Lodger victim is revealed in the night, The Frenzy victim is revealed in the day. One has dialogue, the other does not. The Lodger victim is announced by a close-up shot of a woman screaming. The Frenzy victim is discovered by a crowd. The discovery of the Frenzy victim is preceded by a slow, long, wide shot moving down the river. Very open. The Lodger jumps right into it quickly with a tight closeup of the woman screaming. 2. Hitchcock "touches" include the long, slow opening tracking shot like we saw in Rebecca. There is also the gratuitous director cameo. The dark humor in the dialogue about cleaning up the river as a dead body floats by. 3. He opens this film with a dark humorous point about efforts to clean up the city as a dead body floats by. Perhaps efforts to change are futile? He comes full circle in a return to British filmmaking here. I haven't seen the film yet, but look forward to discovering what his intentions are.
  4. 1. Based on this opening scene in Marnie, we learn is very smart, methodical, probably in trouble of some sort. She keeps her back to the camera or her face hidden most of the time. We were introduced to characters this way in The Ring and The 39 Steps and Notorious. He uses this "touch" to introduce characters who are more than they seem. 2. This Bernard Herman score is softer and quieter than the others we've heard. Low key energy with a touch of sadness. Sort of reminds me of the musical themes in the television show Mad Men, which we already established took cues from this era of filmmaking. 3. Hitchcock's vanity cameos always pull me out of the picture. In Marnie, he specifically breaks the 4th wall and looks directly at us. Not sure why yet. Look forward to watching the film on Friday and finding out!
  5. 1. The opening scene has elements of romantic comedy, in that the two leads meet and have a flirty conversation. Their relationship is based on a misunderstanding. While not related to romantic comedy, I want to note that Mitch's arrogance, his assumption that Melanie must be an employee and therefore must serve him, speaks to the larger point of the picture about man's arrogance in his relationship to animals. Judgement day looms! 2. There is no musical score, the bird noises are blended with the city noises - for now. The birds frantic chirping creates an anxious mood, not unlike the staccato violins in the opening of Psycho. 3. Hitchcock's cameo isn't really out of line with his other cameos, in that he is just passing through. What connects this cameo specifically to this film are the two leashed dogs, again, another metaphor for man's arrogance that he is in control of something meant to be wild.
  6. 1. The slicing lines suggest the slicing knife through the shower curtain we will see later. The strong black and white contrast motif will be present through the entire film. 2. The semi-closed blinds are reminiscent of the opening of Shadow of Doubt. As for the specificity of day, date, and time, I think the suspense of the entire picture hinges on time. As the tension builds with every second, especially at the end. Even the staccato violins mark time, like a ticking clock. 3. Marion Crane's vulnerability is established right away. She's doing something she knows she's not supposed to be doing, she's nervous. She is very concerned about TIME. She has no clothes on, she is naked and vulnerable in the literal sense, too.
  7. 1. The opening shot of Rear Window establishes a lot of eclectic lives are tied together, confined in a small space. Jeff turns his back to all this , but he cannot escape his situation. He is hot and uncomfortable, but he is not above the situation. I don't know whose vantage point we are seeing this shot from. Maybe there is someone else in the apartment? (Sorry, I am probably the only person on earth who hasn't seen this film yet.) 2. I am guessing Jeff is a news photographer who will go to any extreme to get the shot. The race car crash, the broken camera in the foreground. Presumably, He went too far and was injured on the job. 3. Hitchcock is successful of conveying feelings of claustrophobia and voyeurism in this opening shot. I did find it odd that the apartment tenants were not shy about having their lives so exposed. Everyone in my neighborhood values their privacy, we all have tall fences and trees to block peering eyes. People draw their curtains or blinds at night. If it is so easy for Jimmy Stewart to view his neighbors, it is logical to assume the neighbors can see everyone else as well. The fact that no one is making any effort to protect their privacy feels a little forced. Perhaps this is resolved by establishing that it is so hot everyone has to keep their windows open, but that seems a bit contrived to me. 4. I have not seen this film yet, but I will this week!
  8. 1. The cabs enter frame from opposite directions. The men walk towards the train from opposite directions. The train tracks literally criss-cross. Finally, the men meet when their crossing feet literally touch. Nothing subtle about this! 2. Bruno seems flashy and chatty, based on his clothes and intrusive dialogue. Guy seems more reserved and conservative, based on his lack of dialogue and conservative clothing. Bruno intrudes Guy's privacy and his physical space. You can see the uneasiness on Guy's face as Bruno crosses the train car and takes the seat next to him. 3. There were light-hearted musical cues as the men exited the taxis and headed to the train. Upbeat, uptempo score insinuates an innocent train ride. Typical big-city hustle and bustle.
  9. 1. The use of Ingrid Bergman's POV while lying in bed is definitely a Hitchcock touch. 2. Hitchcock uses the scenery by putting his actors in two separate rooms when they are in conflict. We saw this also used in Downhill and The Ring. While Cary Grant is boldly wearing an all black suit, Ingrid Bergman is wearing a black and white striped blouse, perhaps visually showing she is divided or conflicted about something. 3. Regarding casting, while I have certainly heard of these two actors, I have not seen any of their movies and am not familiar with what their personas are or were at the time. But I definitely notice a change in the cinematography in the 40s films. Long, lingering close-ups of the actors, and better sound quality. Production value is definitely going up!
  10. 1. The British films opened with an active, kinetic scenes in a public places. The quiet, slow, push in on the mansion is a marked departure. 2. The Hitchcock touch is present in the opening scene with the narrator's POV as she moves towards the mansion in her dream. 3. As for the house itself - I LOVE miniatures. I work in the art department, and would have had a field day working on a set like this. Smart use of the set successfully creates a dreamy, mysterious mood.
  11. 1. I really love that set in the opening of The Lady Vanishes. Really wonderful architecture! As for the opening tone or mood, despite the upbeat, light music, everyone was just sitting there, rather sullenly, waiting for the train. The mood of what we see is the opposite of what we hear. Then there's the announcement the train is delayed, which adds to the tension and frustration. I didn't really find it upbeat or humorous at all. 2. Caldicott and Charters bring the exposition to the scene, they help us understand what is going on. 3. Iris is established as the leading lady, as she has the most aggressive dialogue. She is standing on the first step so she is head and shoulders above the other women. She literally leads the other women up the stairs. Also, I think it is a deliberate choice she is a brunette and the other two women are blonde.
  12. 1. The 39 Steps opening scene fits a pattern established in The Pleasure Garden, in that Hitchcock establishes a performance in a public place. There's exciting energy, everyone wants to enjoy themselves. Silhouette lighting is used to focus our attention to the stage. Fast cuts and montage are used to establish the setting and the mood. Quick. Upbeat. Fun. 2. Disagree. Because we are introduced to the main character in silhouette, back to us, no face, I believe it suggests things are not what they appear. There is more to this man than wanting a geography lesson in Canada. The fact that the man repeats the question, Hitchcock is telling us to pay attention to this man. Things are not what they seem. Again, this is a classic Hitchcock touch. 3. The casual, fun-loving atmosphere here is creating a sense of comfort for the audience, we are being led to believe nothing bad will happen here. But Hitchcock loves to lead us one way and surprise us in another.
  13. 1. Based on this opening scene, characters are going to be more important than plot. 2. Abbot was a good sport about the accident, laughing it off, but when he got a good look at the skier, his expression turned cold for just a second. Obviously he knows the skier, and has an unpleasant association with him. Despite the outward appearance of being jovial and carefree, something sinister has been teased. My impression is he is not as happy-go-lucky as he wants everyone to believe. 3. This scene is similar to both The Lodger and The Pleasure Garden in that a physical act, whether murder or an accident, sets in motion the intersection of the characters in the story. The Man Who Knew Too Much makes a departure from the others not only with the obvious with the use of sound, and visually he opens up the camera to a wide mountain vista. This scene is bright and open and crowded, as opposed to dark and intimate like the first two opening scenes.
  14. 1. Sound is used creatively to put us in the mind of Alice. When the woman is gossiping about the murder, the word "knife" can be heard loud and clear above anything else. In the phone booth, it is completely silent when she closes the door. Alice shuts out the world as she is singularly focused on calling the police. And lastly, the bell rings at the perfect time to break the tension when she is repeatedly asked what is wrong. 2. The woman gossiping keeps repeating "knife" louder and louder, and Alice is increasingly upset. Obviously something is going to happen. The action of throwing the knife is a strong visual gesture. 3. It is not frequently used anymore maybe because it's a little gimmicky? The use of sound in motion pictures now is not a novelty, but the standard. Sound design is so advanced now, and while it would be used to heighten emotion, I don't think simply punching the word "knife" over and over would satisfy today's audience. Musical cues, camera moves, lighting, would all be interwoven to convey the point.
  15. 1. I have to agree with the others here, in that the POV shot is used to build tension before it is revealed which boy is guilty. As she steps closer and closer, the POV dolly zooms in, like a shark, effectively heightening the drama. 2. Heightens drama, builds tension in a creative way. We are literally "put in her shoes" before the big reveal. We do not know if the boy she identifies is truly the father, or is it because he has financial means to care for her. 3. Set design is used to literally divide the conflict. After the girl makes her announcement, she is physically shut out of the room while the headmaster speaks with the boys. In The Ring, the boxer physically moves to another room to discuss his conflict. Montage and overlays are still used to express inner thoughts, concerns and flashbacks. POV is used to put us in the heart of the action, whether it be oogling dancing girls in The Pleasure Garden, waiting for the telegram machine in The Lodger, or revealing the baby's father in Downhill.
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