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About Cscharre

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  1. As for composers, Hitchcock probably would have been known as the person who discovered John Williams rather than Spielberg. Hitchcock's popularity at the time would have led Williams to more willingly work with him than a 'nobody' like Spielberg. However, the late James Horner or Hans Zimmer might be a better choice as this men have worked with so many collaborators and their work has left a memorable mark on cinema already. Zimmer seems like he would listen to the director's input more than others as he has writtten so many varied pieces and for so many different types of films such as, The Lion King and The Dark Knight. It may be a score but it is a totally different audience.
  2. I can't think of many but what about... The Silence of the Lambs Poltergeist The Usual Suspects The Sixth Sense The Haunting with Julie Harris.
  3. 1. How does the opening of Frenzy differ from the opening of The Lodger? Feel free to rewatch the clip from The Lodger (Daily Dose #2) for comparison. Aside from finding a body, I don't see how anything about these two are similar. The Lodger is more frightening and scary. Frenzy treats death rather calmly. 2. What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific. The long shot from the helicopter. A dolly shot on a major scale but still the same motion. Then we continue the shot on the politician. 3. Using Frenzy as an example, what thoughts do you have about the various purposes Hitchcock had in mind when he created his opening scenes? In the Daily Doses, we have focused on opening scenes, so there should be patterns or strategies you have noticed over the course of opening scenes spanning Hitchcock's 50 year career. Approaching from a great distance seem to be an opening scene standard. Rebecca and Psycho come to mind. Further into the opening, a major disaster occurs. Hitchcock makes the opening more important than most because it get you hooked into the movie.
  4. 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. Without words we discover, that she is a criminal. She stolen money, she creates a new identity from amoung her various SSN cards, she buys brand new clothes and throws away others, she rinses out her hair color for another, she hides a suite case in a locker only to purposely loose the key so no one can ever open it. She is running from something. How does Hitchcock use Bernard Herrmann's score in this scene? The first shot of Hedren is very dramatic as the score rises to a climactic resolution when we see her "new" look. Did you see any variation in what Hitchcock is doing with his cameo in this film, and what do you think that variation means? He is starting to show more of himself than just quick pecks of himself.
  5. 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? Mistaking Hedren for an employee and her playfully manipulating the moment, allows Hitchcock to establish her character's traits. She is strong, flirtatious, non-helpless, and "knows what she wants" woman. She also shows that no matter what, she will get her way. The first scene plays like a RC with its playful banter but, I've always found it rather a demonstration of Hedren controlling behavior. In a way it's a roll reversal for this time. She being the typical male character who see what she wants and goes after it, he being the victim of a joke and plays along waiting for her to make the first move. Yes, this could be a RC but, I've always walked away feeling she is a spoiled child who was never told "no". How does Hitchcock use sound design in this opening sequence? For example, how are the sound of birds used to create a particular mood and atmosphere? From the street, there is no music, only sounds of life, a trolley bell or the birds sound from above. By allowing the sounds of the street instead of a musical soundtrack to follow her to the shop, Hitchcock establish where she is. She is in San Francisco as we can see by the poster on the wall and by the trolley going by but, it is more effective with the seagulls as we are reminded that the sea is near. In a way, you can almost smell the city as the bird sound reminds you of that you are very close to the ocean. That seagull sound is only missing the sound of the tide coming in. It also, makes you think all is well until, Hedren looks up and see more birds than expected. When Hedren asks about the swarm, she is quickly dismissed by the expert because after all birds are harmless. The opening scene contains a famous Hitchcock cameo. Describe the cameo and if you think it has any particular meaning in relation to this scene. Hitchcock is coming out of the pet shop with his two dogs. In the opening scene, two is a theme. We see two dogs followed by two love birds, concluding with the main character's flirting making a couple. The cameo to me just represent the possible of a romantic relationship for this scene. It sets up the scene that follows of the romantic banter.
  6. Psycho opens with title design by Saul Bass and music by Bernard Herrmann. This is their third collaboration for Hitchcock, including Vertigoand North by Northwest. How does the graphic design and the score introduce the main themes of this film? With the graphics quick and crisp moment and the score producing an image of nerve-grating music, the patron gets the impression of a story of danger and suspense. The perfect score. As the titles end, we have three shots of Phoenix, Arizona, and a very specific day, date, and time: “FRIDAY, DECEMBER THE ELEVENTH” and “TWO FORTY-THREE P.M.” What is Hitchcock seeking to establish with such specificity? Also, why do you think Hitchcock elects to enter the hotel room through the semi-closed blinds from the outside? Does this shot remind of any other Daily Doses we have watched? The date - a work date; and the time - way after lunch, shows the audience the the two in the room are doing something nefarious. Going through the window, further adds to the "secret" meeting. In the remainder of this sequence, we are introduced to Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) and Sam Loomis (John Gavin). The scene pushed the boundaries of censorship, especially considering our last Daily Dose for North by Northwest was edited for a line of risqué dialogue. Since this is the opening scene of Psycho, how does the hotel room scene function as a way to establish Marion Crane as a main character? Defend your answer. The secret affair the Marion has established in this scene shows the she leds with heart; that she has problems making ethical decisions and that she can be tempted to find a quick fix for a problem.
  7. 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. For Grant, he knows he's famous and worshiped by many fans at the time. The above line plays to that. Not to mention, Saints dialogue here is a fantasy of many women at the time. To out talk Grant. Make him feel that she is the star and he's the one who should idealize her. There is minimal action in this scene, so any deviation from the overall pattern of focusing on the faces of the two leads will have increased significance. In that sense, discuss how Hitchcock uses the R.O.T. matchbook as an important piece of acting business (or as a prop) in this scene. Lighting the match, holding his hand, is all alluding to the sexual tension. The closer the hands get, the closer the characters may ignite that spark of romance. How is Hitchcock using sound design in this scene? Consider music and other background sounds in your answer. The train, to me, is more important. He's running. Do we try to listen closely for a stopping of the brakes or do we keep an ear out for footsteps that may slowly creep up to catch him? It keeps us waiting for the next shoe to drop.
  8. 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. This film is a psychological thriller. The visual tells the viewer that this movie represents a twisted plot line. In your own estimation, what is the single most powerful image in this title sequence? Defend your answer. The most powerful is the twisted figure that appears on top of the eyeball. This makes the eyeball more intimidating. You wonder what is going to happen and you know it will be scary and leave you unsettling. How do Saul Bass’ images and Bernard Herrmann’s score work together? How different would this sequence be with a different musical score? The music always sets the scene and the graphics allow you to visualize that music. If there was change in either, than the feel, sound and visual would give a completely different impression.
  9. 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? The opening shot establishes the POV of what will become Stewart's only outlet until his broken leg heals. The shot also points out Stewart's inability to move and how hot it is. We also see his profession with the panning of the photography equipment and his successful shots. By opening the shot with Stewart facing the apartment instead of the window, Hitchcock establishes Stewart doesn't care for any of the people in these apartments; nor does does he want to be in this apartment (he is in fact facing the door. A subscience idea to leave the apartment); and in a way Stewart's character knows he shouldn't just watch the neighbors. He knows that is becoming a peeping Tom. What do we learn about Jeff in this scene without any pertinent lines of dialogue (other than what is written on Jeff’s leg cast)? How does Hitchcock gives us Jeff’s backstory simply through visual design? His backstory is viewed from the shots of his camera equipment and photographs. We see the many cameras, followed by the adventurous shots, concluding with a published shot on the cover of a magazine. He probably broke his leg in such an adventurous shot. Does this opening scene make you feel like a voyeur or, at a minimum, remind you of being an immobile spectator? What feelings does Hitchcock elicit from you as his camera peers into these other people’s apartments? As a patron going to the movie to see this film when it first came out, you don't consider yourself as being a voyeur because that's what watching a film is. It isn't until the apartment people start watching you back that you really feel the voyeurism you have been doing. As we see all of the other people in the complex, Hitchcock establishes the character make up of each. We see what each individual apartment dewellers concerns himself;herself or themselves with. Bonus question: if you have seen the entire film before, do you agree with Hitchcock that this film is his most cinematic? I'm not sure if this is cinematic or just someone given a great budget. He makes the most of it by building a great set. It is marvelous how Hitchcock does keep the viewer interested in a movie that feels like it has the limitations of a play. It is still fast paced even through the audience is confined to the apartment view of the main character.
  10. In how many ways does Hitchcock play with or visually manifest the metaphor of “criss cross” or “criss-crossing” in this introductory sequence. [For those who haven’t seen the film yet, the idea of “criss cross” is central idea in this film, a theme Hitch sets up from the opening frames of this film] Be specific. The criss-cross set up is visually present in the shot of the railroad transfer yard and the shot of the feet of the two men who, when they finally tap shoes, we see who they are. A criss-cross of chance. Even in this brief scene, how does Hitchcock create a sense of contrast between Guy (Farley Granger) and Bruno (Robert Walker)? Consider everything from camera work, to clothing and shoes, to dialogue and speech, for example. For Bruno, the clothes are more polished, the shoes are more expensive; his speech is more forward and controlling yet he comes off like a "momma's boy". The lighting on Bruno seem to stand out more like a spot light. As for Guy, the total opposite. His clothes are fair, his shoes are practical, his manners are less forward and by reading a book, he gives the impression that he just wants to be alone. The lighting on him is softer and less sharp creating a more likable impression. While the visual design gets the most attention typically, how does the Dimitri Tiomkin score function as part of the mood and atmosphere of this opening sequence? The score moves the characters into position. You are waiting for that shoe tap and the beginning of the ride.
  11. What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this early scene from the movie? The tilled camera shot of Grants enterance and the shot of Bergman listen to the record. The slow moving camera. How does Hitchcock choose to light, frame, and photograph his two stars in this scene?What are some of the contrasts that Hitchcock trying to set up between these two characters through art direction, costume, and cinematography? On Grant, straight forward and simple lighting making him look polished but not trustworthy. For Bergman, the lighting makes her look vulnerable and still beautiful. Based on this scene (or the entire film if you have seen it already), reflect on the casting of Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman. Does this scene conform to or challenge their well-known star personas? As for Grant, he is rarely seen in a tshirt and jeans combination so this is typical Grant. However, the angles of shots Hitchcock puts him in, sets a menacing look to him. Bergman, has appeared in so many different period pieces that her persona was never defined. But she usually plays "not bad" women. The scene here shows her drunk with a hangover and in trouble with the law. Yep, so not her.
  12. 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? For Hitchcock touches, the one that stands out the most are his pan shots. The pan shot of the food that's piled up and the pan shot of the Smiths, individually. We learn through there leftover food that they are very well off; we learn through his work place that everyone waits for the two of them to finish whatever seems important to them in order to get work done. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: the opening sequence of Mr. and Mrs. Smith is a typical "Hitchcock opening" based on openings you have seen so far in the other Daily Doses? Why or why not? Yes, it is. Even though this is a comedy, we still get the mysterious opening of "What's going on?". What do think about the casting of and chemistry between Carole Lombard and Robert Montgomery? Do you think both are well cast for this "comedy of remarriage?" Why or why not? He might have been the weak link here but as Lombard was really the comedian, it was bound to be a vehicle that she would lead.
  13. 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. We learned that he already knows that someone would come to the house to try and see him, thus the reason he told the landlady to not to disturb him. We also know that he is a very cool character who doesn't scare easily. And we know that he is in real trouble with the cops. In what ways does this opening remind you of watching a film noir? If it doesn't remind you of a film noir, what makes the opening here different from the opening of a noir film like Siodmak's The Killers? (Note: If you haven't seen The Killers, it is fine to answer this question in general terms about your own personal expectations) Dont know The Killers. There are aspects of film noir in the opening scene. The landlady speaking to him in the dark and him not moving to acknowledge her. The shadows that fall during that scene gives the look of film noir. His speaking to himself, although just on line, let's us get to know what he is thinking, a bit film noir. I'll answer the last question after I see it Friday.
  14. 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 this first scene is different from Hitchcock's British films. We have yet to see narration open a movie; we haven't yet seen a long tracking shot like the driveway. However, interrupting Olivier from the cliff reminded me of Hitchcock's quick disruptive scenes that tease the audience in to thinking something bad had happened. 2. What are the Hitchcock "touches" in this opening that help you identify this as a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock? Again, the cliff scene. 3. How does this opening sequence use Manderley--the house itself--as a kind of character in the story? What affect does the flashback structure and the voiceover narration have on your experience of this scene? The filming of the different lighting of the house made the house come alive.
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