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About SherriW

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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. The opening of Frenzy is a more drawn out, especially with the lengthy aerial scene. It's daytime for this discovery of the body in the water. In The Lodger, it was night and at the train tracks. The crowd was already gathered for the speaker but the murder was the reason the crowd gathered in The Lodger. 2. What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific. His cameo in the audience. His long camera shot and use of a tourist destination for a location. 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. The opening scenes are used to introduce us to the characters and their locale.
  2. 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 graphics are very fractured at times. The music rises and fall in a very fast manner suggesting urgency and maybe fear. 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 shot reminds me of Rear Window. I'm not sure what the point of listing the day and date is. 3. 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. She has the bulk of the dialogue and seems to be leading during the scene.
  3. 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. There is a playfulness in the music. The characters in the scene are very busy and animated. 2. Discuss the characters of Caldicott and Charters in this scene. What do the performances of Caldicott and Charters add to this scene 3. From their doorway entrance to their staircase exit, describe how Hitchcock uses dialogue, camera movement, and the placement of characters in the frame to establish Iris (Margaret Lockwood) as the star of this scene. She walks in first, has the majority of dialogue and walks up the stairs before the other women.
  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.She's able to slide easily between her identities. She carefully packs the clothes from the boxes in one suitcase while casually tossing the other items she had just worn in the other. It 2.How does Hitchcock use Bernard Herrmann's score in this scene? The score makes the scene feel mysterious and drawn out. 3.Did you see any variation in what Hitchcock is doing with his cameo in this film, and what do you think that variation mean The Hitchcock cameo was very prominent in this movie. He's more in the shot than the actress and he looks right at the camera. It seems like he's trying ti distract us.
  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. Honestly, although I've heard of Cary Grant before I'm not at all familiar with his reputation. I had never heard of Eve Marie Saint. 2.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. The function of the matchbook seems to be to give the characters a reason to touch. 3.How is Hitchcock using sound design in this scene? Consider music and other background sounds in your answer. The music is really minimal in this scene. It's mixed with the sounds of background noise such as clinking of glasses and the sound of the train.
  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. Something unsettling. 2. In your own estimation, what is the single most powerful image in this title sequence? Defend your answer. The opening sequence of the eyes. They look side to side as if a bit frightened or confused. 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 and the graphics work well together. The horns give a sense of danger.
  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 shot seems like a 2. 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? He's sweating from the extreme heat. The smashed camera could have something to do with his broken leg. He likes action photos but also seems to shoot fashion. 3.Does this opening scene make you feel like a voyeur or, at a minimum, remind you of being a an immobile spectator? What feelings does Hitchcock elicit from you as his camera peers into these other people’s apartments? Not really. It just looks like normal activity for a neighborhood.
  8. 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?The banter between Melanie and Mitch is almost ridiculous. He obviously suspects she has no idea what she's talking about. 2.How does Hitchcock use sound design in this opening sequence? For example, how are the sounds of birds used to create a particular mood and atmosphere? You can hear the sounds of the city including the birds, the clicking of her heels and even traffic noise. 3.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. He walks out of the pet shop with his two dogs. I suppose it could be an emphasis on couples.
  9. 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.I see the crossing of the feet, the train tracks and the legs. 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.Guy's movements are unrehearsed and plain. His speech is almost nonexistent. His clothes are very plain and more like casual wear for that time period. His shoes ate the same. Bruno almost glides as he walks and just strolls with a casual confidence. He's obviously ostentatious from his clothes to his shoes and even the way he gestures as he talks to Guy. He leans toward him as if they're old friends. 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 beginning feels very wistful and then changes to playful and a bit foreboding at times.
  10. 1.What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this early scene from the movie? The topsy-turvy shot of Cary Grant entering the room. The record playing, which we've seen in several of his movies. All used differently in every scene but representative of is German influence. 2.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 The vulnerability of Ingrid Bergman's character laying **** on the bed is greatly contrasted by Cary Grant standing over her with a very menacing look on his face. His clothes come across as very plain but stark in the black and white coloring. I realize it's a b&w film but you can see shade variations. I have to add, I cracked up when her hair piece fell off. 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? Having seen both in other films, I would have a hard time thinking there could be a bad performance. Cary Grant could play menacing, romantic and comedic roles. Ingrid Bergman could play smart, brave, vulnerable and tempermental.
  11. 1.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? Hitchcock wants us to be emotionally invested in these people and, even though there's no sense of foreboding, there is a sense of suspense. Everything in the room is rumpled and used, so they've been there a while and aren't particularly concerned with the state of everything. We barely see the leading lady until halfway through the opening scene. The rule... no leaving the room until the quarrel is over is a precursor to the modern don't go to bed angry 2..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? Disagree. What I've seen so far, he often uses the POV shot which we don't see at all here.There's also very little interaction between the two lead actors. Almost all of the dialogue is between the secondary actors until the end of this scene. 3.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? They seem very easy and effortless together.There's definitely a lightheartedness to their energy instead of the kind of intense energy like we see in a film like Rebecca.
  12. 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. He's being followed by a couple men. 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 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) unknown As we move into Hitchcock's Hollywood years, his scores will take on more importance than they did during the British years. Music will play a big role in Shadow of a Doubt. The film's score is by Dimitri Tiomkin, the first of four film scores that the composer will create for Hitchcock. What effect does the Tiomkin score have on the mood, atmosphere, and even the pace of this opening scene? At first the music feels a little joyful then moves to a littler paranoid and then to straight up panic, 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)
  13. 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? This opening scene uses more organic scenery,the ocean and the rocky cliffs, instead of large crowds of people . Also, even though music is present Joan Fontaine's voice seems to guide the mood more. 2. What are the Hitchcock "touches" in this opening that help you identify this as a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock The ominous cliff scene that is shot from behind the actor is the only hint of Hitchcock I saw. 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? Just calling the house by name, and even the fact that it has a name, marks it as something special to be noticed. The way the narrator speaks about it, with both fondness and sadness, gives it a life of its own. The lighting used also seems to suggest the house has a life force of its own.
  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? The music sets the tone. In this film, The 39 Steps, it;s light and festive as compared to The Lodger where it was eerie and unsettling. Hitchcock also seems to like opening his films with crowds of people. However, in The 39 Steps the crowd scene feels more personal and interactive than the other films we've discussed. 2. Do you agree or disagree with Rothman's assessment that Hitchcock in this film is focused on introducing a more innocent character than in previous opening sequences of his films? Agree . Reflect on the role of yet another public space opening a Hitchcock film--this time a music hall--the prominence of a performer (Mr. Memory), and the reactions of the audience in the film to Mr. Memory's act. How does these on-screen elements play into the Hitchcock touch as described by Gene Phillips? The movie opens in an ordinary setting. Instead of all the montages, he seems to use Mr Memory as a focal point for us and the audience in the movie.
  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 2. What do you learn about Abbott (Peter Lorre) in his brief scene? How might this introduction affect your view of the character Abbott later in the film? He seems very friendly and light hearted 3. We saw two opening scenes from Hitchcock's silent films in the Daily Doses last week (The Pleasure Garden and The Lodger). How is this opening both similar and different from those two films' opening scenes In all the films the opening is fast paced. In this film, the characters are center stage. Also there isn't anything really sinister in this opening scene. In The Pleasure Garden, it's the leering men and in The Lodger it's the murder scene.
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