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Everything posted by aoohara

  1. Given his penchant for writers with commercial successes, I could see him adapting a work by John Grisham and perhaps even Stephen King. King's work especially has a certain irony and humor, particularly his short stories which are not necessarily seen as horror. I could even see Tarentino as a collaborator. Actors like George Clooney, Jude Law, Harrison Ford, Robert Redford would have made perfect everyman archetypes while fitting the commercial star desirability quotient. I could see Meryl Streep and Charlize Theron as perfect muses as well.
  2. I think the opening sequence is meant to evoke the subconscious and the sometimes unreliable workings of the mind. The woman's face is disturbingly close, it's raw and exposed. The eyes seem to express fear or concern...and then the fade to red....it's frightening...what is she seeing?! The music moves along a similar arc....beginning with a dreamy or fantasy like tone, to fear then horror. This hasn't always been my favorite H movie, but it's one that compels me to watch again and again and I think that is the magic of it. Powerful and influential art doesn't always make us feel good, we
  3. As others note, we are being introduced to our surroundings, our neighbors, our environment and our routines. It's our own personal vantage point that we are seeing. All of the bits and pieces that we take in, as the camera pans, are subliminal, yet overt. We take in just enough to settle us into our proper place while leaving room to want to know and see more. I love the music coming from somewhere within the courtyard....it sounds distant and we hear it's echo. I believe that the opening sequence is meant to cast us in the role of useful and even helpful neighbor. The tone and music are
  4. There are so many ways that the notion of criss crossing is presented to us. Obviously the rail lines, but also the car pulling into the station, moving in front of us from left to right. I love the bustling passengers moving in front of us, through and around Bruno and Guy...I think it keeps us grounded in the banal and normal when what is about to happen is far from normal. Later, after Bruno has presented his idea he even quips "criss cross!", with childlike excitement and logic. Bruno is so disturbing but I can understand how Guy might feel that moment they meet. Haven't we all sat do
  5. I think the biggest difference between this and other Hitchcock openers is the fact that we hear the voice of our narrator played by Fontaine. Her voice has such a dream like tone and coupled with the POV shot of the drive, the fog and the burned shell of a manor home we begin to feel that familiar sense of dread and suspense. I think this opening also serves to introduce us to the house as a main character....we see it before other humans. There is love in the second Mrs. de Winter's voice, but also sadness, regret and perhaps a resolution that things are as they should be even though somethi
  6. I agree with Gehring in that this is a hard one to watch because of the angst and turmoil we feel for the relationships. I think that Hitch is at his best, creating real tension for us as a viewer because we have the information each of the principles are missing. I also appreciated the lecture info about the repeat POV shot...I think good artists, do not simply try a technique and then abandoned it....he is practicing, perfecting, revising. All marks of an artist dedicated to craft. This film does push buttons with regards to the stars and their personas...but only so far. We are led beli
  7. I really think the whole scene opens as like one of Hitchcock's early silent films. We have lot's of clues to take in and read. We understand the couple has been there for days, they do this often, they are wealthy and they adore each other. Lombard is perfect....and I love the way her expression changes when she realized Montgomery has not actually left. She's completely adorable. The whole notion that days are spent like this is frivolity and silliness at it's finest. For this married couple nothing else in the world matters but these two. It's such a conventional marriage (I mean r
  8. I think Uncle Charlie is a new kind of leading character...a pathologically, evil person. There are no hobbies for this person, no activities beyond whatever evil doings he's engaged in. He's a criminal who wants or steals money, yet doesn't value it. He's running from something yet doesn't seem to be hiding. He's waiting. Waiting for the next opportunity. For Uncle Charlie, neither legal, nor moral laws exist. For this reason it's film noir at it's scariest. For the innocent there is no honesty or integrity that will prevent Uncle Charlie from changing course.... there is no moral high groun
  9. The music, the cuckoo clock, the quick dialogue and the exasperated manager bring a level of ridiculousness the the scene.....it's light and humorous. I love they way the camera brings us into the lobby...through a small window, giving us that closed in feeling we've seen in so many other shots. It helps us understand that we are all in this together. The way the people are seated in the lobby is also such a treat...it's a little like a painting and perhaps a metaphor for humanity in general. We like to think we are formal and stately, but underneath we are all a little cuckoo. I also love th
  10. I think Hitchcock is toying with us a bit and reminding us that we can't always trust our instincts...there are sinister elements to what we see, the neon lights, the faceless man buying a ticket, the shadow of a man and off kilter angles...and yet.... I was intrigued to hear Dr. Edwards discuss elements of screwball comedy present in this film, because I've always thought that The Man Who Knew Too Much has those same elements....especially with the witty and quick banter between the parents and their wealthy, flirtatious, life of the party lifestyle. They remind me of Nick and Nora Charle
  11. I think in this opening scene Hitchcock is asking us to note the characters and their relationships to each other while setting a tone for what's ahead and what we as the audience are expected to find important. This point of detail is different from our other opening shots in this way. Peter Lorre makes such a great first impression as fun-loving sociopath....nothing is serious, all is a lark, until he sees the face of the skier and reveals, for just an instant, a dark side. In that instant he looks as if he could kill, and then calmly go about his business. His companion shows us that he
  12. I've also been thinking that the whole subjective sound technique is used more than we realize. It's fun learning some of these technical aspects of film making...even though I've spent my whole life watching classic film, I've never really considered some of these things.
  13. This doesn't at all look like a film made by someone tinkering with a brand new technology...As others have pointed out, sound is one way we understand Alice's experience. I love the cleverness of the gossipy woman droning on and on, driving Alice (us) deeper into paranoia and aggitation while being blithely funny. The scene in the phone booth allows us to hear what Alice hears, but it also serves to punctuate the scene and build tension. As to why subjective sound is seldom used....I remember Hitchcock saying he only made one "who dunnit", that he always wanted his audience to know what was
  14. The two POV dolly shots in this clip, while subliminally building suspense, almost literally deliver us -as in you are on a conveyor belt being offered up to the headmaster and/or the waitress- to our own feelings of dread, guilt, and perhaps even shame. I think Hitchcock uses this for a couple of reasons. He's an innovator at heart and this is (I'm assuming) new technology.... but it's also efficient, it's calm. Here again is that juxtaposition so present in his work; the calmness and quietness of the shot belies the feelings that the boys and even we have. The pace of the scene is slowe
  15. I think vitality and rhythm are accentuated through the near constant movement of the party goers. The music sets a tone, but no-one is still....even the seated people in the back of the room are in motion. Moving between montage footage of musical instruments and the people maintains and propels the energy and action. We are invited to share Jack's paranoia in the way that Hitchcock superimposes the playing musical instruments over images of his wife and rival Bob, distorts and elongates the images and allows the music and energy levels to climb. While we understand and perhaps are inclin
  16. I think both films set an energetic, almost frenetic tone. That energy sort of winds us up as a viewer. We are being kind of conditioned to expect something. Something I really appreciate about Hitchcock's films, and these early ones are no exception, is the notion that nothing is extraneous. Everything might be relevant to the plot in some way, we just don't know what or why and so we are being asked as viewers to "wake up and take note!" As others have noted, the two seem different in overall tone and feel, but there is also a different kind of modernity present in The Lodger clip. The f
  17. Thank you for such a fun introduction to the class with this clip. And I appreciate all of the great observations other course participants have made....It all provides a really broad lens with which to consider the topic. I agree that there are so many Hitchcockian elements present. One of the things I was struck with is the overall efficiency or "tightness" of the film clip. Nothing is wasted, nothing is left out. When I watch Hitchcock I always feel as though I'm watching a carefully choreographed dance...the imagery is at once thoughtfully sequenced and planned, while also appearing na
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