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  1. What possible reasons might there be for the changes in roles between men and women depicted in these screwball comedy musicals that distinguish themselves from earlier musicals in the 1930s? As we progressed through the ’30s and neared WWII—when women entered the workforce en masse while men served in the military—it seems that female leads in movies were given increased opportunities to match wits with their male counterparts. Depicting female characters as equal to males reflects the changes that were going on in society. That is not to say, however, that equality was a universal exp
  2. 1. What do you notice about the interaction between the characters in these two scenes? Please give specific examples. While the two characters are playful with one another in the first scene, there doesn’t seem to be any genuine emotion there. One factor in the “lack of feeling” is the lack of eye contact, which is very limited due in part to their position in the canoe. The female character’s playfulness is illustrated when she mockingly impersonates the singing of her love interest (i.e. operatically). At the end of the second scene, the characters make eye contact. His face sof
  3. Season 12, episode 5 of American Dad, titled "Bahama Mama," features a murder-swapping story line à la Strangers on a Train.
  4. Two of the most Hitchcockian films I’ve seen that are by directors who aren’t Alfred Hitchcock are Charade (1963), directed by Stanley Donen, and the French film Diabolique (1955), directed by H.G. Clouzot. Charade features murder, romance, mistaken identities, and espionage. The combination of suspense and humor are what really echo Hitchcock, in my opinion. Charade has a fantastic score by Henri Mancini. Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn are the charismatic leads. Diabolique deals with a murder gone awry and is very suspenseful. The cinematography reminds me of Hitch’s B&W Holl
  5. (1) The Lodger opens at nighttime whereas Frenzy opens in the daytime. In The Lodger, the body is discovered at the beginning of the opening scene, but in Frenzy, the body is discovered a few minutes into the opening scene. We immediately know that the victim in The Lodger was murdered because of the Avenger’s “calling card.” In Frenzy, we do not have immediate confirmation that the victim was murdered. In both films, the victim in the opening scene is female. (2) One of the Hitchcock touches in Frenzy is Hitch’s cameo. He’s in the crowd listening to the politician in the opening sce
  6. (1) The opening scene shows that Marnie has something—or many things—to hide. She has various aliases, as indicated by different social security cards. She has altered her appearance by dying her hair. Marnie is probably involved in illegal activity based on the amount of cash she has on her person and her disposal of the key to the locker where she stores a suitcase. (2) The score in the opening scene is dramatic and mysterious. It effectively builds intrigue as we see the various images that give us clues about Marnie’s character. The music builds and crescendos to the big reveal, t
  7. (1) In the opening scene, we learn that Melanie has ordered a myna bird which she’d hoped would already be able to talk when she picks it up. We learn that Melanie has a playful side as she pretends to work at the pet store when Mitch mistakes her for an employee and asks her for help finding love birds. Mitch, we see, is quick-witted and playful as well. He is quick to discover Melanie’s charade, posing questions and making comments that reveal she is not knowledgeable about birds. The opening scene of The Birds is like a romantic comedy because of the mistaken identity trope and the flir
  8. (1) Anxiety is a major theme in Psycho. Marion is anxious about her theft, and Norman is anxious about his murder of Marion. The title design and accompanying music induces anxiety in the viewer. The titles enter the screen from different directions via lines that slice through the frame, which reminds me of stabbing. (The “slats” of the titles resemble Venetian blinds, which reference the theme of voyeurism. The different directions from which the titles enter the screen symbolize the unpredictability of Marion’s attack and allude to the fact that Marion is being watched from various ang
  9. (1) North by Northwest is the final of the four Hitchcock films in which Cary Grant appears. Thus, he is very familiar to fans of Hitch’s films. Grant’s line about looking vaguely familiar adds humor to the scene. It also references the fact that his character is a wanted man. The line precedes his failed attempt at introducing himself to Eve Kendall using a fake name. She catches him immediately, citing that his picture’s been on the front page of every newspaper. Unfortunately, I don’t know enough about Eva Marie Saint to comment on how her stardom creates meaning in this scene. (2
  10. (1) In the opening of Vertigo, the extreme close-ups of the individual parts of the female character’s face are very jarring and produce anxiety in me as the viewer. Coloring the images in red conveys danger and/or death (as I associate the red with blood). The score conveys a sense of urgency. Based on the opening sequence, I would say that this film might be about a kidnapping, and the woman in the title sequence is the victim. (2) The zoom in on the eye is the single most powerful image in my estimation. When the image becomes red and her eye starts to blink and water, I feel panick
  11. (1) As the camera pans around the courtyard, the viewer enters Jeff’s world. The bustling and variety of the goings on remind me of an ant farm. Since Jeff’s back is to the window, I consider the opening camera shot as that of an omniscient, silent “narrator.” (2) Based on the words on his cast—“Here lie the broken bones of L.B. Jeffries”—being lame, to Jeff, is akin to being dead. He thrives on action, and inaction is torture to him. We learn that he is a photographer and that there is an element of danger to his profession, as evidenced by the photo equipment in his apartment, the
  12. (1) I noticed two ways in which crisscrossing in demonstrated in the opening of Strangers on a Train. First, we see Bruno—or rather just his feet—walking from the right side of the frame to the left upon getting out of his car at the train station, while Guy, on the other hand, gets out of his car and walks from the left to the right side of the frame. They are headed toward each other. Second, there is a shot of the intersecting train tracks. (2) The characters of Guy and Bruno are contrasted significantly in the brief opening of the film. Bruno is flashier. He wears pinstriped pan
  13. (1) In Notorious, as is often the case with Hitchcock, the viewer is thrown right into the thick of the story right off the bat. Another Hitchcock touch is the creative camera angles, which in this scene include a POV (from Alicia’s perspective) with a rotating tilt. In addition, Alicia—though she doesn’t seem to be an "ordinary" character—is being thrown into an extraordinary circumstance, and extraordinary circumstances are common in Hitchcock films. (2) I think the costuming in Notorious denotes an element of glamour/style/sophistication to both characters. Devlin is in a suit, and A
  14. (1) One Hitchcock touch I noticed was a POV shot (from Mr. Smith’s POV when he is looking at his wife). Also, there was attempted voyeurism on the part of the maid. She couldn’t see anything through the keyhole of the bedroom door, so she resorted to just listening in on the couple. We don’t see the attempted voyeurism, but it is discussed. The opening scene is brightly lit, which makes sense as the film is a comedy. There are not any jarring camera angles, which often generate shock or discomfort. Thus, this is going to be a comfortable, pleasant film. I think that Mr. and Mrs. Smit
  15. (1) Charlie has a great deal of cash in his possession, and he’s holed up in a rented room. He likely acquired the money through dishonest means, which would explain why there are two men in pursuit of him. According to his discussion with the landlady, Charlie has never met his pursuers before. Later, while talking to himself, Charlie asserts that the two men are bluffing and have nothing on him. We learn that Charlie is rather brash and willing to take risks as he exits the boarding house and marches right past the men on the street corner, who play it cool, as if they are not tracking h
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