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About vhclark

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  1. 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. In The Lodger, the victim leads us to the crowd and then to the press. In Frenzy, it is reversed. We see the speaker, then the press, then the crowd, then the victim. 2. What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific. We are going, again, from wide to tight. The broad expanse of London, like the broad expanse of St. Moritz, are squeezed down to as small an image as possible. While we are doing t
  2. 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. She uses things, consumes them. New clothes in, old clothes out. Money in. The old purse is merely a container. She tosses aside an identity and chooses a new one. Her hair color is rinsed away. The vestiges of her old life are abandoned in a train station locker. She only keeps things for as long as they are useful. How does Hitchcock use Bernard Herrmann's score in this scene? The phrasi
  3. 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? Other than the birds circling over the square, this is a rather light scene. Mitch mistakes Melanie for a sales clerk and she decides to toy with him. His request for love birds is filled with innuendo. She tries to snow him, which Mitch and the audience see through quickly. Melanie knows very little about birds. How does Hitchcock use sound design in this opening sequence? For exampl
  4. 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? Between the score and the graphics, I feel like things are being torn apart, cut. Some things are hidden and become revealed. The words "Psycho" and "Alfred Hitchcock" become distorted after they are revealed. Everyone has a secret which gets revealed. Some are more shocking than others. As the titles end, we have three shots of Phoenix, Ariz
  5. 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. Cary Grant is pure style and class. I don't have a good feel for Eva Marie Saint. The give and take between the two is remarkable. Grant's character is on the run, but Saint's character here is on the hunt. Perhaps the scene is putting their public personas in sharp contrast to their characters. There is minimal action in this s
  6. 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 is a journey into the mind. We see Kim Novak's cheek, then mouth, then both eyes. They show concern and anxiety. Then, we focus on one eye. We see color. We get the spirals, that spin and move in and out. The music is in arpegios, punctuated by stronger notes.
  7. 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? He is trying to establish Jeff's world. We go to the window sill and see the world waking up. Jeff is one of those who doesn't need to get up early. We see him sweat and then see how hot it is already. We got back out side and see the composer getting ready for the day. We see the couple sleeping on the fire escape waking up. We see (a lot of) Miss Torso. W
  8. 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. Guy and Bruno are coming in from opposite sides of the frame, towards each other. The tracks are the paths we choose, leading us to chance encounters. The cabs even come in from opposite directions. Bruno and Guy even occupy opposite sides of the frame until Bruno comes over.
  9. What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this early scene from the movie? The shots are tight. The characters are first shown concealed, Alicia by sheets, Devlin by shadow. Devlin is showed in unusual camera angles, a dutch tilt at first which rotates completely around. This also reveals Alicia's frame of mind. Devlin, then later both characters are framed in a doorway. The dialog starts economical, but then goes on to more exposition. 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 bet
  10. 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? The shots are fairly tight. Again, Hitchcock prefers to show instead of tell. There's humor: when David signs the paperwork in pencil and Sammy objects, and when David closes the door with a cane. The camera angles are more conventional than the other opening scenes we have watched. But, this is the most conventional film so far. There are shadows in
  11. 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. Uncle Charlie is tired, weary. He waxes on his situation and his options. He is careless when he feels secure. He is angry and frustrated, working himself to the point where he has the power to act. When he does act, he dares his pursuers to follow him and catch him. 2. 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 t
  12. 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? How this opening is different from the others we have seen so far is the narration. Hitchcock offers far more meaningful exposition here than in the scenes we have seen so far. Yes, it is metaphorical, but it is exposition. Once we get to the South of France, it becomes more like what we are used to. 2. What are the Hitchcock "touches" in this opening that help you identify this as a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock? The framing is still
  13. 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. The mood is brilliantly juxtaposed. The music is light and festive, while the travelers anxiously wait for information. While anxious, it is calm. The group of German travelers enters and the chaos begins. They are loud, the cuckoo clock is loud, and the hotel manager has to struggle to complete his phone call. Order shall be disrupted. 2. Discuss the characters of Caldicot
  14. 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? I found the shots in The 39 Steps to be tighter that the others. We don't get a proper two-shot until we see the performers. I was going to say the orchestra, but the only figures clearly seen in that shot are the conductor and the bassist. Hannay is shrouded in secrecy. The hecklers are hard to understand. If deliberate, it would go to reinforce their unimportance. Thematically,the opening of The 39 Steps
  15. 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, most definitely. The people shown in this scene all know each other.The Lawrences know Louis well enough that Betty calls him "Uncle Louis." Louis knows Abbott. Abbott doesn't know the Lawrences, but he does know that Louis does. 2. What do you learn about Abbott (Peter Lorre) in his brief scene? How might this introduction affect your view of the cha
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