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LThorwald

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  1. 1. Well the opening of both films deal with the discovery of a dead woman. The differences between the two films, separated by 45 years, reflect advanced film technology and Hitchcock's evolution as a director. The latter film has a rather majestic soundtrack, which accompanies an impressive aerial shot of London, flying over the Thames, under the Tower Bridge, etc. We are meant to be impressed with the the size and scale of London. In The Lodger, London feels close, seedy, fogged in. 2. Many Hitchcock openings introduce us to leading characters, and that is one thing that this fil
  2. 1. I've seen this movie twice before, but I never noticed how well this first scene works. What we know about Marnie is that she is a secretive woman, and not only comfortable but adept at changing her look and identity. The many close-ups of objects, handled with such precision and care, show us that this is clearly not the first time she has changed things up. It is interesting how many of these objects do evoke earlier Hitchcock films, something that must be deliberate. 2. Herrmann's musical cue begins with a repeated motif that evokes a feeling of intrigue or suspense. It build
  3. 1. The opening is a "meet cute", which is pretty standard form in a romantic comedy. There is maybe just a slight hint of foreboding in the circling birds outside, but otherwise the tone is very light overall. Melanie and Mitch are clearly attracted to one another, and there is a slightly flirtatious tone to the dialogue. We learn that Melanie is willing to play assume the role of an employee of the store, just to have a little fun. And Mitch is charming and intelligent. 2. The bird sound is used almost in the way that musical cues could be used to aid in the overall mood. When the m
  4. 1. The titles of Saul Bass and the music of Bernard Herrmann work perfectly together, just as they had twice before. The here is off-putting; the viewer is a little unnerved from the very first sound and image. White titles on a black screen, and the way the lines of print are jagged, and move back and forth, is very like the slashes of a knife. The strings of the violin act as a counterpoint, with sudden strong sounds that are very knife-like in their own way. If I had never seen this movie before, I would be expecting a movie with violence, and a movie that would keep me on the edge of
  5. 1. Our pre-existing knowledge of Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint as stars adds a layer of depth to the scene. One could imagine that Cary Grant would attempt to travel incognito on a train, much as his character is doing. Eva Marie Saint was already an Oscar winner by this time but was not nearly the star that Grant was. She is seducing him, and her attraction is clear, but her motives are not. One could imagine a beautiful young actress being attracted to the older male star, something that has happened many times in fact. Particularly watching it now, so many years later, one can apprec
  6. 1. This is an interesting exercise, having seen the film several times. So I focused on the sounds and images, and the feeling I get is that a woman is going to be in trouble or threatened in some way, perhaps by viewing a crime or something of that nature. I also sense a psychological element. 2. The single most powerful image is the close up of the woman's right eye. Imagine seeing that in a movie theater, encompassing most of the screen. It is while the camera is focused on the eye that the image suddenly shifts to red, which is a bit startling at first. The color red is not only
  7. 1. The opening camera shot is introducing us to the entire world of the film. Although we don't know that the first time we see it, we are seeing the entire "world" that the movie will inhabit. (Interestingly, just before this clips begin, the blinds are raised on these windows, almost like the curtains being opened at the beginning of a play. I think the pov being expressed is ours, the viewers. Hitchcock is introducing the idea of audience as voyeur. We are going to spy on the lives of the people who inhabit this small world, and L. B. Jeffries will be our surrogate. 2. One of Hi
  8. 1. The idea of "criss cross" is first set up visually with the contrasting way the two characters are presented. Bruno's taxi is shot from the front, looking back. Guy's taxi is shot from the back, looking forward. Bruno's feet are shot moving right to left, while Guy's feet are shot moving left to right. The music and more rapid cutting in this section imply two characters whose paths are bound to "cross." Then of course the cut to the crossing train tracks. This does seem to be the perfect metaphor for two characters, whose paths may run parallel for awhile, then diverge. Finally, w
  9. 1. The very first shot, establishing the hungover Ingrid Bergman, cutting to the pov shot of Cary Grant, is a nice Hitchcock touch. As Grant approaches the bed and they begin to talk, there is a bit more cutting than one normally sees in a Hitchcock film, and the two actors are not seen in the frame together. This is a deliberate choice. At this point, they are at odds with each other. Then Hitchcock uses the brilliant shot at the end to bring them together. Whether than cutting to them in a two shot, the camera focuses on the spot, and the actors walk into it. Suddenly, they are bound t
  10. 1. The only real Hitchcock touch I see in this scene is the opening shot, which gives us a slow pan of the room, setting the scene with no dialogue. After this, the camera set-ups are pretty standard for an American comedy of the day. What this scene tells us about the couple is that they are very well off, and they have an unconventional marriage in some regards. 2. Honestly I don't see it as a true Hitchcock opening. He adjusted his usual opening structure to meet the needs of the genre, so it doesn't have the Hitchcock feel throughout, as the openings of so many of his other films
  11. 1. We learn that Charlie seems to be bored and distracted. The room is not tidy, and the way the loose money is thrown about displays a carelessness or distractedness. He seems to be thoroughly bored with life, almost as if he doesn't care what happens. He has a fatalistic attitude; almost as if it doesn't matter if the two policemen confront him or not. Seeing the two men out the window seems to raise his ire, and provoke him into action. So this is a man who can be provoked, who is hiding something, and who may be a criminal. 2. There are certainly elements of noir in the way the o
  12. 1. Hitchcock opens many of his British films by bringing us quickly into the story through the actions of the characters. We often get a group of people, setting the scene, then a closer look at our leading characters. Hitchcock likes to establish the setting quickly, economically and visually through characterization and action. This opening brings the viewer to the story through mood established with cinematography, voice-over and music. It opens at a much more languorous pace; rather than cuing us in to what is going on, it raises questions that we can only hope the movie will answer.
  13. 1. The tone is not only very lighthearted, it is also comic. This is probably the most broadly comedic opening of any Hitchcock movie. The music has a quaint, prosaic folksy quality, which also matches the lighthearted tone of the opening scene. 2. Charters and Caldicott represent the quintessential Englishmen abroad. They react to the chaos in the early scene, and the perceived slight by the hotel manager, with a typical British stiff upper lip. This attitude provides a counterpoint to the comedic scene they are reacting to. Having seen this movie a dozen times, I love the Charters
  14. 1. Hitchcock loves to feature crowds in opening scenes. He also likes to go from the grand scale to the small scale, by showing a group of people, then focusing on an individual in the group. This allows the viewer to be taken in by the overall spectacle, then slowly drawn in to the story of the central characters. One way this scene differs from earlier ones is that the tone is very lighthearted. There is not even a hint of something sinister happening. The great Robert Donat has an attitude of utter insouciance that makes him very appealing. He is not channeling any particular "type
  15. 1. I have seen this version a couple of times, but just based on this opening scene one would have to assume that characters that will be more important than plot. The only "plot" that we get in this scene, the dog getting loose and causing Louis to crash, is really just a contrivance to introduce the characters, and bring them together. It could have happened in a dozen other ways. 2. The obvious way to introduce a villain in a circumstance like this, where he is knocked down, would be to portray him as haughty, maybe even angry. But Hitchcock here introduces the sympathetic antagoni
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