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Everything posted by cameos

  1. Just saw this. Had been thinking this back when we watched Rear Window. Who could forget Alvin and the Chipmunks? Thanks. Got my certificate yesterday. Woo, hoo! Camille Dee
  2. I'd like to add my thanks to you, Prof. Edwards, and your team for a really enjoyable and informative course. I look forward to watching the rest of the films on my DVR with a more informed view. I've also loved reading other students' insights and comments both on this message board and on the Hitchcock Bulletin Board. I've told many of my friends about the class and look forward to the next one. So happy to have found you all. Cameos
  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. Similarities: London setting, Thames River, police, press and spectator presence, a blonde female body found. Also, the cast includes established theater actors (Alec McCowen, Vivien Merchant, Anna Massey, Clive Swift, Billie Whitelaw, and Jean Marsh) as opposed to movie stars. The Lodger's star, Ivor Novello, was a well-known theater performer. Differences: The Lodger is in black and white and the opening scene takes place on a
  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.In this opening scene, Marnie appears to be a woman of mystery--a chameleon, although we do not know why. She is beautiful with expensive looking clothing, shoes, compact, wallet, luggage, etc. She also appears ladylike--the white gloves and elegant suit and hairdo. Although she seems to choose expensive, fine objects, and takes care in the way she packs her new clothes, the way she just throws and s
  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?Tippi Hedren is beautifully dressed and is walking quickly (and happily) in downtown San Francisco. There are wolf whistles and she turns to "acknowledge" them. The pet shop is a happy place, full of chirping birds. The tone of the clerk's voice and her dialogue are lightly comedic. Tippi Hedren then reacts to Rod Taylor by pretending to be a sales clerk and they engage in playful banter. T
  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?The deconstruction of the letters in the title sequence seems to indicate something that is seemingly whole (when the letters are together) is really torn in two--a schizophrenic mind and person who seems to function normally, but is really broken inside. The stridence of the music, the screeching and high-pitch of the strings indicate a tautness, rea
  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. Cary Grant is playing the Cary Grant film persona--handsome, debonair, perfectly groomed, savvy, and cool. I love that he's wearing the sunglasses. The surprise for me (and the audience) is Eva Marie Saint as a seductive woman who comes onto Grant in an extremely aggressive sexual way--not her previous image in films such as On the Wat
  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. The sounds and images in the title sequence create a mood of psychological turmoil. The spirals, of course, are incredible and almost remind me of the DNA and RNA double helixes. They are hypnotic and that also communicates that we will be in the world of the mind an
  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?Hitchcock establishes Jefferies' world with the panoramic shot of the view across the courtyard. The shot is almost a slice of life, albeit Jefferies' limited present life situation. Many of the cast of characters in this world are shown. ------------------------------------------ 2. What do we learn about Jeff in this scene without any pertinent lines of
  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 train tracks are the most obvious "criss cross" in the opening sequence. However, other "criss crosses" are: people crossing the station, the cars in the street outside the station moving in both directions, Bruno and Guy approaching their
  11. What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this early scene from the movie As mentioned in the lecture video, the point of view shots of Grant is one. The extreme close-up of Bergman's face while lying in the bed harks back to Hitchcock's early films--The Lodger, The Pleasure Garden, and also Carole Lombard in bed in Mrs. and Mrs. Smith. The lighting, Grant's character--the well-dressed stranger trying to involve Bergman in the McGuffin. Also, as in The 39 Steps, The Lady Vanishes, and even Rebecca, the romantic leads are adversarial to each other. There are also close-ups of Grant. ----------
  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? The Hitchcock touches I see in this opening scene are the close-up of the "ordinary" (good-looking, prosperous) man and the close-up of the beautiful blonde. The panning of the camera over the room--the dishes with old food, the comforter thrown over the couch quickly convey that there is a situation. There is also an "a
  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. Joseph Cotten lies on a boarding house bed fully-clothed in a nice suit and groomed, holding an unlit cigar (symbolic?) in the middle of the day--already a clue that something isn't "right" or ordinary. He does, indeed, look like a man waiting for death, or at least tired of life, especially in shots where his eyes look closed. The fact that he has cash strewn carelessly in his room is another
  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? The opening seems much more introspective and panoramic to me than the previous films. There is no theatrical setting, nor close-ups of women screaming, and no act or event with large groups of people present. It also focuses on an individual house, rather than a public place. -------------------------------- 2. What are the Hitchcock "touches" in this opening that help you identify this as a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock? The "
  15. 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 mentioned in the Curator's Notes, in the opening scene, the mood is lighthearted--the folk tune playing in the higher register of the flute, the humor of the cuckoo clock and its emerging figure, and the group of travelers awaiting their train in a seemingly "safe," happy hotel lobby where business is going on as usual. The use of the folksy music also portends the Micha
  16. 1. How does this opening both fit a pattern you have seen previously as well as deviate from other opening scenes? The 39 Steps opens with a procession of letters spelling Music Hall. One of the first scenes of The Lodger is also of lettering: To-Night Golden Curls. As mentioned in the notes for the Daily Dose, in The 39 Steps one of the first shots is of the back of a male figure also in a coat. However, in The 39 Steps, we soon see that the main character is a handsome, likable fellow enjoying an evening's entertainment in a place where an ordinary person would go to enjoy themselves
  17. 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) I think the plot is going to engulf the characters and sweep them into the maelstrom created by Hitchcock. I think the protagonists are merely innocent pawns caught up in the story. Perhaps the most clearly drawn character in the opening scene is the daughter--pushy, not too well-behaved, indulged. 2. What do you learn about Abbott (Peter Lorre) in his brief s
  18. 1. All of the sounds seem to "assault" Alice, who is obviously very nervous and frightened. Most especially, the sound of the woman's voice and the word "knife." Whatever the reality of what's being said might be, Alice hears only the words "knife" and "murder." Because of her fears, in Alice's mind, the word "knife" is shouted when she is asked to slice the bread (use the knife) causing her to drop it. The contrast of silence when she enters the phone booth is marked. It reminded me of the visual effects and montages used in The Ring showing the main character's imaginings of events du
  19. 1. The POV shots clearly put the viewer into the heads of the main characters. The long walk towards the stern looking headmaster, via the tracking and dolly shots, creates a sense of dread and fear in the minds of the viewers, as well. 2. I think Hitchcock wishes to convey emotions and move the narrative forward, so the audience knows something bad is about to happen to the main character in this film. 3. The most striking image, to me, is the closeup of the face of the angry woman. Hitchcock also used a closeup shot of the face of the female victim i
  20. 1. How does Hitchcock use montage or expressive editing to add vitality and rhythm to this scene? The whole atmosphere conveyed is of a frenzied party: Dancers are dancing very wildly shown in wide shots and closeups, guests dancing in the background, then cutting to a shot of the piano player bouncing up and down, cutting to the record playing, then elongated shots of the dancers and piano keys almost swaying, with the superimposed images of the guitar and banjo players' hands, flying fingers of the piano player. 2. As is the cas
  21. 1. Similarities to The Pleasure Garden: Menacing male figure, beautiful blonde woman, the mention of curls. Differences: The Pleasure Garden appears more realistic very quickly, as opposed to the "heavy" quality of The Lodger; an aura of darkness and dreariness is much more in evidence. 2. I was not able to discern many elements of Hitchcock's style, except maybe for the cross-cutting in the press scenes. I did see many Expressionistic elements: The industrial elements--the huge printing press, the huge telegraph machine, the headline "crawl" looki
  22. I'm so happy to be part of this wonderful class. I agree with Strauss, Yacowar and Spoto that there are elements visible in this first film. The beautiful blonde, the theatrical milieu, the perspective from the stage wings, the "innocent," the chivalrous male who gets involved, and the humor are all in evidence here. The camera work--the close-up of the chorus' legs, the slow, upward shot of the beautiful chorine, and, of course, the spiral staircase, augur films to come. Overall, I don't think this silent film is terribly limited due to the lack of dialogue, but I would love to
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