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Everything posted by cmichaelhorn

  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. The opening of Frenzy showcases technical advances made since The Lodger. The opening shot of London that starts from a great distance overhead, all the way into the politician speaking on the shores of The Thames would not have been possible even a year before. The Lodger starts with a murder. Frenzy is a lot less personal, with the body seen only from a distance, already dead, and face down -- impersonal. 2. What are some of the
  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. Hitch wants us to know that the purse is something important. He keeps it in the center of the screen as Marnie walks away from the camera. It colored canary yellow and is the only biright color on the screen, We know that she has at least a double life. She has fake SS numbers in a secret compartment. She has a stash of cash that she treats casually. She packs a second suitcase then locks it in a b
  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? Hitchcock is careful to couch the story in a setting of normalcy to counterpoint the apocalyptic elements to follow. Melanie is suffering delays in shipping frustration, she is mistaken for the shop girl, then taken for a ride by Mitch. There are several layers moving on to of each other here. Throughout is the chatter of the birds. We learn that Mitch is not as ignorant on the topic of bir
  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? The music and the graphics combine to foreshadow plot elements. Hermann is the Hitchcock of music in the sense that he is msterful at evoking specific feelings / reactions with his score. Here, the shrieking violin motif that underpins the shower scene is mirrored visually with the stabbing lines that Bass deploys across the screen. In Hermann's scor
  5. 1. 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. I don't know how much this is really there. Obviously he is referring alternately to the line 'you look familiar' as well as the subtext that his picture has been spread around and he is in the mode of concealing his identity. Certainly we know Cary Grant and are expecting his witty banter, so there is that. 2. There is minimal
  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. There is a woman, she is watching something. She looks to the side, meaning she isn't looking at us (as the eye in the opening shot of Blade Runner is 'the film watching you' according to Ridley Scott), and the spiral in the eye coupled with the revolving score, sug
  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? The opening camera shot is an establishing shot that starts by setting the stage and continues on to filling in details about Jeff. We can pick the vantage point - I chose the audience. Once Jeff wakes up we are slaved to his vantage point. Jeff already knows where he lives. He can afford to sleep through the establishing shot. What do we learn about
  8. What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this early scene from the movie? The spiraling camera work was done before, as noted in the Lecture video. There is an interesting, if brief, focus on the glass which predicts the famous stairway sequence in Suspicion. The liquid is cloudy and mysteriously lit. In Suspicion, there is a -- well, suspicion that the glass contains poision. In Notorious she is actually poisoned. Long tracking shots, such as when Grant leaves the bedroom are a Hitchcock touch. How does Hitchcock choose to light, frame, and photograph his two stars in this scen
  9. 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 learn that Charlie, at least for the moment, is transient. He is living in a boarding house and hasn't been in this one for long. He has enough money to notice, and a habit of having that money, to the point that the landlady notices, and that he has a disregard for its security. We know that Charlie is in the middle of his career, what ever that career may be. He is weary. We know that he is being followed -- there is
  10. 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? There is a loneliness to the opening cruse through Manderlay's miniature set. In the previous films there was a very populated screen establishing the scene and atmosphere. The dialogue establishes that the film will be a flashback. This is quite different than how the other flims start in medias res. What are the Hitchcock "touches" in this opening that help you identify this as a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock? The mobile camer
  11. 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? Public space, use of music and the boisterous crowd to set a lively mood, the 'slice of life' character array asking the questions mirrors the almost prototypes of characters displayed in the earlier films. It deviates from the earlier films as Hitchcock again becomes more naturalistic in his style. Deviates - Also, he subverts expectations in an almost meta way as he uses angles and montages that m
  12. 1. In this sequence, describe how Hitchcock uses sound design to put you into the subjective "mind of Alice"? Be specific. Hitchcock uses sound in the sequence we see from the perspective of Alice. In other words, it is the sounds not just that are going on around her, but that she is focusing on. 2. Describe the different ways that the sound design of this scene operates in counterpoint to the visual track. For example, how does Hitchcock set up the shot where the knife flies out of Alice's hand so that it registers a shock in his audience? Pay attention to both what is happening visua
  13. 1. In your own words, please describe the effect of watching the POV dolly shots / POV tracking shots in this scene? There is much being done in the service of building tension / anticipation with the POV shots in the film. One is in the heads of the students moving across the office with plenty of time to speculate on a number of unpleasant possibilities as to why they were summoned. In a similar fashion when she is approaching them, there is a similar wait while we hope to discover who will be identified by her. 2. Why do you think Hitchcock uses the technique of a POV trackin
  14. It is interesting to note that the 'Dutch' angle is actually German in origin, the word being a bastardization of 'Deutsch'. At any rate, this was certainly something Hitchcock would have been exposed to in Germany.
  15. I wonder if part of the reason for the montage you describe isn't also to set the real premise of the film, which is the way the crime of the Avenger isn't just the murder of the 7 victims but also the degree to which the city is being held in an elevated grip of fear. Without this being obvious, the chain of events that follow, where an unknown man becomes the screen upon which the boarding house projects its paranoia, doesn't seem as believable. This, if done today, would almost certainly be linked to the obsession that Western Civilization, particularly the US has with living in fear --
  16. 1. How does Hitchcock use montage or expressive editing to add vitality and rhythm to this scene? The repetition of the cycle of the husband's observation of his wife in the mirror, and hers of him underline the gulf between them. He sees her reflection with his rival. She sees his reflection alone. They are both put in the state of mind of their separation prior to the promoter suggesting it. The cuts between the dancers, the instruments, the player, serve to create then elevate a sense of manic hysteria within which she contemplates infidelity and he contemplates her infidelity. 2.
  17. I don't know that there was a score for the Lodger. Typically someone plays along in the theatre live while watching what is happening on the screen, correct? I think what has been added on the clip might not be the same score as another version of the same film. Not sure on this point.
  18. The Lodger was tinted and toned on its original release, the differing colors used to dramatic effect. Earlier photochemical restorations had reproduced these effects, but digital imaging systems allow incredible scope for adjusting the contrast and depth of the colors to ensure a balance with the underlying black and white cinematography. Particular attention was paid to the nighttime sequences set in thick fog that are toned blue and tinted amber.
  19. He replaces the sound of the scream more than once. I recall in Young and Innocent the reaction of the two girls who discover the body on the beach with the cry of gulls, much like in the 39 steps with the maid's scream being replaced with the train whistle.
  20. 1. Compare the opening of The Lodger to the opening of The Pleasure Garden - what similarities and differences do you see between the two films? One obvious similarity is the 'golden curl' which is literal in The Pleasure Garden, and presumably some theatrical which is playing nearby the scene of the murder in The Lodger. Another interesting element is that the opening shot of the victim screaming could easily have been read as a singer singing, especially given the juxtaposition of the 'golden curls' title. 2. Identify elements of the "Hitchcock style" in this sequence? Please provide
  21. Quite so. Hitchcock once made the comment: "If it's a good movie, the sound could go off and the audience would still have a perfectly clear idea of what was going on." I think this demonstrates his bias toward visual storytelling, but I agree with your observation. It is probably righter to say that Hitchcock was never seduced by new technologies nor did he take any aspect of storytelling for granted. Anything that makes it into the final product seems to have been considered, and placed -- much like as in the example you give from Blackmail. One wonders what Hitchcock's approach
  22. I think this is an astute observation and would add that not just what he does is important here, but why he does it, and after that when he chooses to do it.
  23. 1. Do you see the beginnings of the "Hitchcock touch" in this sequence? Please provide specific examples.
 AH often is quite manipulative with forced point of view (POV) shots. There are a couple of note, even in this short sequence. 
 The scene which introduces Mr. Monocle starts with a pan along a row of the faces of folks watching the show. It then returns to Mr. Monocle and switches to his POV to show that he is singling out a particular dancer, and that she is aware of his action. The interesting bit is the realistic touches that AH inserts, with the intentionally out of focus shot demo
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