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  1. In my opinion, James Wan and Drew Goddard would be interesting Hitchcock collaborators, because both have worked many times in the genres of suspense, psychological thriller and even horror, so they have plenty of experience. The first could help with the story or as a producer while the second one would be definitely an interesting constructionist for Hitch, because he can combine the auteur touch with the audience taste (he can have a comedic tone as well). In the case of cinematography, I would like to see Hitchcock working with Jeff Cronwnweth or Matthew Libatique due to their ability to create worlds full of disturbance and atmospheres of mistery as it is shown in, for example, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Black Swann respectively. The costume design head department of 2017 for Hitchcock could include Sandy Powell who has worked many times with Martin Scorsese or Trish Summermille who has collaborated with David Fincher many times too. Both have proved their ability to be involved in dark stories who convey clues of character personalities through clothes. Finally, for editing I would choose Lee Smith, because he is able to create such tension and suspense that Hitchcock probably would team up very well with him. Among his credited work, it is possible to identify Inception, The Dark Knight, Interstellar and Dunkirk, which effectiveness rests on the editing in key climatic scenes.
  2. After this course, I have started to think that David Fincher has a lot of influence from Hitchcock in many of his films. His movies have many common elements with the psychological thriller, suspense thriller or even film noir. Now, I am thinking about Gone Girl, which has a little bit of these genres and focuses on a falsely accused man, marriage and a psycopath. Also, even when it has a dark tone, there are many moments of dark comedy as well, for example, when Amy Dunne says that she is much happier now that she is dead. In the case of motifs, many important situations in the film are part of bed scenes (the assassination or the first and last shot of Amy), the protagonist is blonde and the covers of the books of The Amazing Amy could function as a painting. Finally, the music is very important for instance in the murder scene when the lighting is quite expressionistic with the blink effect and among other similarities it is possible to identify the many POV shots when Amy is writing her diary.
  3. In this course, I have learned a lot of new things about Hitchcock and I am amazed by his creativity an his willingness to experiment and take risks. I am an audiovisual communicator and I know how it is to work according certain boundaries in terms of standard premises, concepts or expectations as part of the production of, for example, a short film or a screenplay. That is why I admire the confidence Hitchcock shows in many of the interviews we saw in this course regarding all the innovations and new ideas he brought to the cinema from the early periods of his career. So, I was wondering, If there is an interview, letter or statement made by Hitchcock in which he expresses that personal fear of going beyond those boundaries and how he solved that in order to stand firm to his convictions.
  4. Daily Dose #20 Daily Dose #20: Look! Opening Scene from Frenzy (1972) 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. In the first place, this opening scene begins with a wide shot of the space, not a person or people. The solemn music is neither transmiting mistery nor cause some kind of anxious sensation and it is important to say that seems to be related with a different genre to the one proposed by Frenzy. Also, there is camera movement in the first minutes and the action occurs in daylight in opposition to The Lodger's opening sequence night scene. Once Hitchcock focuses on the politician speech, we can see that the people is unaware of the crime that has happened while in the third Hitchcock's silent film the crowd is shown when they have already found out the dead body of the woman. It is interesting how the body is displayed, because it is not seen from a close spot and for a brief moment as in The Lodger, but from a far point and it stays more time on screen. We can not even have a sight of her face, but the whole body is more explicit and is naked, so the impact is distinct. It feels like Hitchcock is traying to disturb in a different but equally efective way. 2. What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific. As it is recognizable in other Hitchcock's opening sequences, the public spaces are shown as possible contexts of such terrible crimes and in the Frenzy's opening scene this is more emphasized with the long dolly shot. The crowds are present again, common people and we can see their reactions to what is happening as crimes like in The Lodger or shows as in The 39 steps. The iconic Hitchcock cameo is there as well. 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. As I expressed in my previous response, the danger in public places and the idea that no one is safe are recurring themes in his opening scenes. However, I think that as an overall purpose is always trying to take the audience to the mood of the film through giving information about places, characters or stuations in a clear or subtle ways sometimes (which is in tune with the bomb under the table theory he mentiones in one interview), but even so, he is always creating some mistery that he is expecting the public watch develop throughout the movie. Every sequence is powerful in their own way and is also an introduction to Hitch creativity to convey that much since the very begining.
  5. Daily Dose #19 Daily Dose #19: Real Identities Opening Scene from Marnie (1964) 1.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. Based on this scene, Marnie seems a methodic woman, she seems to knows exactly what she is doing all the time, as it was something common to her (since the packing to the change of ID and hair color). I like very much how it is possible to set a contrast between the way she puts the clothes in one baggage and the other one (the old clothes are almost thrown in a messy way while the new ones are carefully accomodated inside) and how that conveys a certain sense that she is not longer interested in what it feels like her past (or maybe she wants to forget it) and she is more eager to give a different impression regarding her future appearance. Considered how she walks she looks determined. Also, due to the presence of cash money, ir is quite concebible that she is involved probably in a robbery (which is supported by her changing of identities). Personally, I found very shocking the way how her face is revealed, because after all the other references through the objects and her interaction with them, she doesn't seem that innocent how she looks. 2. How does Hitchcock use Bernard Herrmann's score in this scene? In my opinion, at the begining the score infuses some mistery regarding Marnie and increases the suspicion that it is something wrong with this woman who seem hiding something which is revealed by what she does. I particularly like (as I expressed in my previous response) how the score accompanies the revealing of Marnie's face. It makes bigger the impact of finding out the identity of someone that apparently has done something illegal with a that rational method. Moreover, it sets a link with the abbility of Marnie to get jobs based on the innocence she projects, but now it looks deceiving. 3. Did you see any variation in what Hitchcock is doing with his cameo in this film, and what do you think that variation means? I believe that unlike other cameos, this is shorter and he looks straight to the camera for an instante after which he turns around. I would say that it feels as if Hitch is kind of surprised to be seen and he wants to remain unnoticed. It is like he is making sure that nobody is looking at him and that is why he is looking both sides. Possibly that is kind of a reference to the hidden nature of Marnie activities as a thief.
  6. Daily Dose #18 Daily Dose #18: Love Birds Opening Scene from Psycho (1960) 1. 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? I think that the romantic comedic nature of the scene is clearer when Melanie gets in the pet shop and the character of Mitch appeares. The entire interaction between them when she pretends to be a seller has a comedic tone showed in the dialogue and its content. Also, the lighting of the scene in that moment (absence of sharp shadows and darkness) and the change in the sound score inside the store (outside there is a worrying sense that I woud talk about in the next question) are more in tune with the rom com genre than with the horror of the apocalypse. Finally, the presence of the woman and man flirting is related to that as well. In the case of the characters, we learn that Melanie is very confident with herself in the way she behaves in front of Mitch, she is funny and has the courage to make fun of herself and invent that she has knowledge on bird species. Because of the way she looks, it is possible to conclude that she has a comfortable life. At the same time, we can vtell that Mitch knows that she is lying, so the fact that he continues with the game is because he has interest in her or due to his enjoyment in flirting and th control he feels he has on the situation (he knows that she is lying, but she doesn't know he does). Besides that, it is revealed that he has a eleven-year-old sister, that her birthday is soon and he is fond of her. 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? In my opinion, Hitchcock mainly uses the sound design to create a certain contrast between the street and the pet shop as the normal state and the romantic interaction betweeh Melanie and Mitch and at the same time he evokes what is going to happen later in the movie. In the first place, when Melanie is walking to the store, we can hear seagulls sounds with a sorto of echo that makes them a little bit disturbing as if something was wrong (that is increased by the image of a lot of birds flying around in the sky). Along with that, we can hear the noise of cars passing. Moreover, I would like to point out that the whistle to Melanie works in two senses: on the one hand is a reminder of her beauty and on the other hand, it could be connected with the birds which makes it evocative and funny too (the dark comedy in Hitchcock is present here as well). In opposition, when Melanis is inside the shop, the bird songs are audible but because of the amount of them, the sound feels confusing in some way (probably alluding to the future chaos created by these animals), but this changes when Mitch appeares. The volume decreases and the rom com tone is highlighted. 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. Personally, I love this cameo and I think it can have more than one reading. It can be just connected to the pet shop due to the presence of the dogs. Similarly, we can see that Hitch seems unaware of the sound of the seagulls and the flock of birds that is flying in the sky, therefore, it is another representation of the ignorance of the people about what is going to happen with this animals. Other possibility is that as it is located in the street which is a pretty common and public place (a constant part of Hitch's opening sequences) where the people is walking as part of their daily lives and this is the kind of place and context when it is hard to believe that something like that is going to occur. Even when the birds attack is placed in Bodega Bay, this idea of something bad happening in a quiet or improbable location is maintained.
  7. Daily Dose #17 Daily Dose #17: What Do I Do With My Free Afternoon? Title Sequence and Opening Scene from Psycho (1960) 1. Psycho opens with title design by Saul Bass and music by Bernard Herrmann. This is their third collaboration for Hitchcock, including Vertigo and North by Northwest. How does the graphic design and the score introduce the main themes of this film? The first time I saw this minimalist graphic design, I inmediately associate it with the curtain oppened by Norman Bates when he is about to kill Marion. In a certain way, all those lines are similar to the curtains video transition too, so the relation with the idea of curtains is constant for me (it reminds me also of the curtains of the motel that seem normal but hides something). At the same time, when these lines moves, it reveales some credit, as we are discovering this side of Norman's personality. However, when I watched it for a second time, I started to think that a series of parallel lines are symetric and a sign of order, control. In the case of this sequence, because of the speed and the not so uniform order of movement of the lines, it creates a disturbance increases by the score. The kind of glitch present in some of the credits are another ingredient that makes you think that something is wrong, like if something gives the impression that everything is right when it is not. In the specific case of the score, it definitely takes the disturbance to a whole new level creating an atmosphere of mistery, tenssion, fear and a sort of certainty that something really bad is about to happen. 2. 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? In my opinion, when the date and time are that much specified it is due to a necessity of setting the events happened at that moment in a kind of a timeline in the mind of the spectator. Also, I think it is important to remember that the policemen or the detectives usually have the same method of taking notice of the date and time of the doings in order to solve a crime, so maybe Hitchcock is trying to establish that we are probably about to see something related to such a act and what is a about to happen is really relevant and we must remember when that ocurred in relation with the rest of situations. I believe that with this entrance, Hitchcock remarks the intimacy and privacy regarding the relationship and encounter of Marion and Sam. It is showing us a very personal aspect of their life and we are like Jeff in Rear Window, watching something that we are not suppose to see. Thus, I think that it has a similar approach to the opening scene of Rear Window (not only in the case of the windows of the neighbors of Jeff, but also of his own appartment that we are able to see in some detail when he falls sleep). 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. In the first place, this is the first scene and she takes the initiative of the action in it. Secondly, she is the first person we see after the camera gets in the room and pans inside it, after that the camera is usually set in a way that even when it is not a POV shot is posibble to be identified in some level with what she could see from her perspective. In that way, Hitchcock is deliberately highlighting her relevance for the story. Also, through the dialogue we are given a lot of information about her and her relationship with Sam. It is interesting that thanks to this scene it is conveyed that Marion has a free will in experiencing her love life (even if it is a secret) and (now that I consider it) she is shown as someone to see as well. Although, probably at this point it is too soon to say it, finally is because of it that Norman watches through the wall's hole and that seem to be set from the start. Marion is what mainly we are proposed to see and know about.
  8. Daily Dose #16 Daily Dose #16: It's a Nice Face Scene from North by Northwest (1959) 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. Based on the movies I have seen of these two stars, I think that they have an specific persona related to their characters and performances. In the case of Cary Grant, it is not a surprise that the conversation includes many references to his good looking face, his seductive attitude with women and his fame of womanizer. Despite the fact that this is not the real personality of the actor, the audience reads it that way and I think that is why it feels unexpected that Eva Marie Saint is pretty direct in her intention of seducing Grant. I read that in her previous roles, as she also expressed in the interview part of the today's lecture notes, she has never been the sexy spy, so that change makes this scene more compelling in a certain way. This woman (who wasn't supposed to do it) is boldly flirting with Cary Grant and that is creating an extra meaning to the interaction between a femme fatale and a main character. 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. In my opinion, the matchbox suggests many things in this scene. In the first place, it appears in a moment of pause or romantic tension release adding a different interaction between Roger and Eve. At the same time, it provides an opportunity of subtle physical approach after having flirting for quite some time. I think that this a very elegant way to create a situation in which Eve can continue seducing Roger. It is an interesting tool for the actors to play with. Also, I think it highlights the element of the matchbox itself that is going to be important later in the story (it is going to be used as a signal of Roger's presence). 3. How is Hitchcock using sound design in this scene? Consider music and other background sounds in your answer. I believe that the sound of the train moving is quite constant (there are some variations on the volume) and the music along with the sound of some elements in the scene have an interesting dynamic. Even though this is mostly a dialogue sequence, it has some pauses, changes and turning points emphasized by the sound design. For instance, the moment after the parliament about the empty stomach when the conversation stops, the waiter brings Roger's meal and we can hear the plate creating anticipation over the result of that phrase. Other example is the sound of Roger's fork right after Eve reveals that she knows he is a wanted man which combined with the "oops" remark that sort of punch conveyed by that statement. Finally, another important moment of the sound desing is the noise of the train's horn right after Roger says he knows what Eve means with her intentions. This is kind of a notice of of what just happened between them. The music sets the romantic mood as well accompaining this intants.
  9. Daily Dose #15 Daily Dose #15: Lissajous Figures Title Design Sequence of Vertigo (1954) 1. 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. From the very beginning, it is possible to conclude that the movie is going to be related with a woman and the fact that there is a special emphasis on his mouth and eyes, I connect that with the themes of love but also of a mistery or a lie. The lips of a person is always been for me a sign that there is something that they are not saying, keeping hidden or lying about. Then, when we can see her eyes which are trying to look to the side avoiding to be seen directly, I can confirm that suspicion. Later, the extreme close up of the eye and the following images of the spirals, makes me think about getting into someone's mind, a complicated, complex and confusing matter. However, in this case, I believe that this woman is hiding something complicated in her mind and by watching that or having contact with that, we end up really confused. Finally, the music and colors used (specially the red) set a thriller tone. 2. In your own estimation, what is the single most powerful image in this title sequence? Defend your answer. In my opinion, the eye with the red color is the most powerful image. In the first place, because a picture of an eye (which conveys a lot emotionally) is very intense and the efect is increased with the extreme close up shot. In a certain way, the director is putting the audience really near to the emotions and thoughts of this character. The camera movement and the zoom which precede the image combined with the music makes the impact of the closeness even bigger. At the same time, the red color makes this distance threatning. The strenght of this picture consists in the inevitability of watching it, because the size of the shot doesn't allow us to see anything else (in a cinema, that eye should have been huge), the approach, the music and the apparition of the red color is so sudden that gives a great starting point for the next images of spirals and the rest of the movie. 3. How do Saul Bass’ images and Bernard Herrmann’s score work together? How different would this sequence be with a different musical score? There is no doubt that the entire sequence is supported not just for the image but also for the music. Along with the entrance to what it seems to be the woman's mind, it feels like the music is going to a deeper and looped journey as well. There are several changes that not only recognized as an ingredient to create a sense of mistery but inestability as well, so the patterns of the pictures and the score vary in an unexpected way. Definitely, the sequence could have had a different interpretation if the music was other and thar remarks the importance and relevance (of which Hitchcock was always aware) of the combination of sound and image for narrative and evocative purposes.
  10. Daily Dose #14 Daily Dose #14: Here Lie the Broken Bones of L.B. Jefferies Opening Scene of Rear Window (1954) 1. 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? I think that the first shot which is a traveling in that starts from Jeff's window sets the logic of the film in a subtle way, because our anchor is going to be that spot and the whole movie is about looking outside. From that point, the next shot which shows us the building complex as a whole with their different apartments and inhabitants feels descriptive not only of the place but the characters and tone as well. Each one of the other windows frames a different situation that tells something about the married couple sleeping outside (the seem kind of special because of that act), the music composer (who doesn't want to hear again about the negative aspects of his age) and Ms. Torso (who seem freed of body inhibitions and focused on her dance skills). The same happens with Jeff and the look of his apartment. At the same time, the peculiarity of their personalities, the music and lighting creates an atmosphere of a sort of black comedy, a hue that will remain for the rest of the film. In my opinion, those moments when we are not watching the world from Jeff's point of view, creates the impression that we are there too, we are as spectators as he is. We are looking outside, but we can look at him and his apartment. In that way, Hitch also uses this situations to give us extra information that Jeff doesn't have like when he is sleeping and we can see supposely The Thorwalds leave their apartment. 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? In the first place, when we see the broken camera it is possible to connect that with the accident that caused Jeff to have a casted leg and that he is a photographer. Then, the photo of a car race and a war setting confirm that and suggest that he is attracted to exciting and dangerous things or situationsbut the pressence of the woman negative picture and the magazine with the same image shows that he probably accepts other type of comissions as photographer. Thanks as well to the way things are ordered (there are more than just one camera and a lot of copies of magazines that may include some of his work), we can conclude that he gives a lot of importance to his profession. I particularly like how this whole shot inside the appartment feels like we are like watching his life without he notices it. 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? Yes, definitely the entire movie made me feel aware of my condition as spectator not just of the movie but of the other's lifes in general. I believe that was Hitchcock's purpose. To convey us with a curiosity that is actually part of all of us and the boredom that sometimes we experience with our own lifes which sometimes leads us to watch outside overlooking the problems or situations that ocurr inside of our houses as happened to Jeff and his relationship with Lisa. Finally, I would say that this movie is a proof of or neverending interest in stories that could belong to others. 4. Bonus question: if you have seen the entire film before, do you agree with Hitchcock that this film is his most cinematic? Based on all the Hitchcock's films I watched, I agree, because in Rear Window Hitchcock deploys his mastership of the cinematic language. He continues emphasizing on the use of images instead of long dialogues, he gave us an amazing insight in the lifes of Jeff's neighbors without just by showing key moments of their daily routines or activities. Moreover, he builds the entire movie so well that the third act is incredible even though we haven't left the complex of apartments. I would like to add too that the POV shots, the camera movements and the amazing remark made to the lighting in the final confrontation between Jeff and Mr. Thorwald is outstanding.
  11. Daily Dose #13 Daily Dose #13: Criss Cross Opening Scene from Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train (1951) 1. 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 personally love this opening scene from the very first time I watched the movie and I think that the criss cross metaphor is suggested pretty early. The fact that the credits are accompained with a image of the street where we can see cars moving conveys the idea of transportation, of path. Then, the focuse on shoes, which are other element related with movement and path that is finally remarked with the context of the train station and the POV of the trin itself. Besides the objects, I believe that one of the key audiovisual tools for this scene to express the idea of criss cross is the editing. The cut from the arriving, route through the station and inside the train of Guy to the Bruno's is essential to propose the encounter of these two characters. In my opinion, this is a good example of the match between the Griffith's influence on the creation of suspense by crosscutting different spaces and actions with emphasis on detail and the soviet montage's imprint in which the juxtaposition and contrast of two images express a third idea. This combination (wich also involves the importance given by Hithcock to compelling shots and character construction) transmits anticipation to the inminent meeting and pose the concept of different paths converging. 2. 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. Because of the relevance attributed to the shoes, one of the first differences is set through the particular models of each of the pairs correspondants to Bruno (who highlights more with a sophisticated black and white model) and Guy (who wears a sober black design). Also, it is interesting where the camera is placed in the shots of each character due to the dissimilar perspective it conveys in each cases. I would add that the pressence of the rackets among the Guy's luggage provides an extra ingredient to this. Other element of contrast is the way of walking and the opposite direction to where they are going which combined with the previous signs remarks that the eccentric and peculiar Bruno diverges from the serious and more conventional Guy. Finally, I would like to point out that inside the train, the clothes (the light coloured striped suit and shirt of Bruno and the dark unstriped suit and standard white shirt of Guy) with the behavior (the more talkative and easygoing attitude of Bruno and the more concise response of Guy) contribute to that matter as well. 3. 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? In my opinion, the score confirms the difference between Bruno and Guy by changing the use of low and high notes from the shot of one character to the other's. Moreover, it increases the anticipation and suspense of the encounter matching the melody with the steps of both of them. It is true that it seems to get a greater intensity but it opts for the a silence before to include another sound that coincides when the shoes collide.
  12. Daily Dose #12 Daily Dose #12: Why Do You Care How I Feel? Early Scene from Hitchcock's Notorious (1946) 1. What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this early scene from the movie? In this scene, it is possible to see again the importance of POV shots that in this case not only sets the audience in the Alicia's perspective but also turn out a marvelous introduction moment for Devlin. The camera also conveys extra emotion with the travelling made during the listening of the recorded discussion between Alicia and her father. It really gets us in the drama of Ingrid Bergman's character and this is another element part of the Hitchcock signature. The pressence of big stars such as Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman in the main roles and the ambivalent or obscure characters is very common in Hitch's movies, especially in his noir genre films. I would like to add that I feel like Hithcock's stories are gaining progressively a sense of intimacy focusing on the complexity of relationships and Notorious feels like one of the peaks in this matter. 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? From the very beginning, the audience can see Ingrid Bergman in a close-up with a soften light despite beign a little bit obscure and Cary Grant almost completely light with a dark light. In that way, Hitch is setting the differences among them. She seems vulnerable and he has the control of the situation. Regarding the costumes and hair styles, Alicia looks a messy hair with bright colured clothes which oppose to the impeccable black suit and hair of Devlin. When their conversation begins, there is a slight contrast of light and shadow in Alicia's face while Devlin looks correctly illuminated. Despite the kind of chaos projected by Alicia, it is interesting that the sparks of her blouse combinated with the light create a glow that gives her certain elegance. So, Hithcoch is using this scene to show and flaunt his stars (probably that is the reason why Ingrid Bergman is always going to look great no matter her part in the story), but at the same, he is building characters, giving information about them and encourage the audience to identificate with the movie. 3. 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? In my opinion, as it is expressed in the lecture notes and the lecture video as well, Ingrid Bergman have this combination of darkness, melancholy, elegance and innocence, so definitely the character of Alicia matchs perfectly, because she evolves throughout the whole movie from a party indifferent and frivolous girl, to give everything for love and in some way also for patriotism. In the case of Cary Grant, he was always considered as a graceful gentleman who was also cold or distant which is the case of Devlin too who turns out to become in a emotionally driven man.
  13. Daily Dose #11 Daily Dose #11: Thought I'd Left? Opening Scene from Hitchcock's Mr. and Mrs. Smith (1943) 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? As it is visible in other Hithcock's opening scenes, this one presents us the protagonist couple by giving certain clues of their personalities and situation in the story through the different objects found in their room, in that way, he emphasizes in the psychological dimenssion of his characters. Also, it is possible to identify the urban location and the topic of marriages as other elements of Hithcock's touch. From the very beginning, the visual design develop Mr. and Mrs. Smith story and relationship. Thanks to the type and material of the crockery and the look of the room, we conclude that they come from an upper class and that they have been locked there for many days (that is later confirmed). At the same time, the mess of plates, glasses, bottles or newspaper is another hint that they don't attend themselves but they have servants who clean. The element of the cards and the blanket over the couch which is constantly stepped on by Mr. Smith serve as a tool to reveal the weirdness of the characters and the whole situation. In the case of the lighting, in combination with the dressing, props and the decoration white or lighter colours, creates a bright atmosphere that mixed with the music coveys a playful mood which opposes to the feeling of the dark and serious ambience of the office of Mr. Smith. Therefore, this sequence introduces us to two weird and funny characters who are living in a very peculiar marriage that seems odd not just to us but to the rest of the characters. 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? I don't think that this is a typical Hitchcock opening scene. Definitely, it has his touch as I said in my previous answer and I would add that it has some similar characteristics with the first sequence of Shadow of a doubt (because it also gives details of the main character through visual design) and The Pleasure Garden (both have an alike tone). Nevertheless, I believe that Mr ans Mrs. Smith deals with a kind of story that stands as different from the rest we have seen in the other Daily Doses due to the blend of the topic of marriage and the comedic tone and that marks a difference of location for the scene (the couple's room or indoors in general) or the visual design. 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? In my opinion, the chemistry between them is really good, they match really well and the interaction feels in tune with their characters and the tone of the story. I really like this cast choice, because Robert Montgomery has this picaresque gaze and that fits perfectly with Mr. Smith, from the first scene he sets the way of his performance for the rest of the film. In the case of Carole Lombard, I like the fact that she is able to play the adult and childish sides of Mrs. Smith and that she has this appereance of perfect wife which contrasts with the peculiarities of her character.
  14. Daily Dose #10 Daily Dose #10: Nothing on Me Opening Scene from Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt (1943) 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. In my opinion, the character of Uncle Charlie is built from the very first shot, because we can see kids playing on the street in a normal way, but the next shots from outside of his room are sided conveying a sense of incorrectness like if something about that place is wrong (propbably him). Then, the money on the floor is easily associated with an illegal work and the fact that is just thrown is kind of a clue of the carefree personality of Uncle Charlie. Due to the way he speacks with the woman, he seems smart, owner of the situation, someone that thinks a lot abot the things that he is going to do. The content of the conversation also sets that he is dealing with suspicious people (policemen or thiefs), so he must be dangerous in some way or linked to dangerous affairs. Also, the reaction he has after the woman leaves shows he is not only a violent man (when he throws the glass), but also that he has skills hiding he is real personality in front of others. Finally, I think that he looks very confident in general, but especially when he walks towards the two men outside of his building. I love the way this scene is assembled giving all these little but really relevant details. 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) Although I haven't watched The Killers, the atmosphere created by the shadowy look of the scene (even in the middle of a sunny day), makes me think about a film noir. I am particularly amazed by the way the lighting changes alog with the mood of Uncle Charlie just right after the woman leaves the room and he is alone apparently thinking about the two men who are watching him from outside. The sharpy shadows are precise for that moment. Another element from film noir is the urban location presented in this opening, the idea of the danger right there where the people seem to live safe is a common point with the Hitchcock touch too. I suspect that the dark side of Uncle Charlie as a character who looks tranquil and normal in the surface, is another proof that this is a film noir. 3. 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? The Shadow of a doubt's score is in perfect correspondence with the mood of this scene and its different moments. In the first place, it establishes a difference between the street where the kids are playing and it is possible to see the Uncle Charlie's building (the music feels normal or even joyful here), and the room where he is (the music here has more bass sounds in which highlights some church bells). When the woman gets in and the conversation takes place, the music is normal again and changes at the time the woman lowes the curtains setting the two sides of Uncle Charlie (the public and the hidden). The climax of this moment is reached when he throws the glass and the music not only increases its volume, but also starts to include high sounds from a violin. This change is repeated when he goes out and walks towards the two men. I would say that the score remarks the evolution of energy, tone and mood throughout the scene guiding the spectaror.
  15. Daily Dose #9 Daily Dose #9: Last Night I Dreamt Scene from Hitchcock's Rebecca (1940) 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? Considering all the opening covered in the Daily Doses, I think this is the first one that includes a narration which along with the image sets the rest of the film as part of a flashback. Also, unlike other Hitchcock openings which are usually located in noisy and public places where the pressence of a crowd is a sign, the Rebecca's first sequence shows us an abandoned mansion covered with plants. In that way, from the very beginning, this story feels subjetctive like it is going to be a personal, intimate or familiar conflict which is limitated to Manderley. The use of the past time increases the curiosity about all the things that happened and could have led to the present state of the mansion and the way, the woman is talking about it. 2. What are the Hitchcock "touches" in this opening that help you identify this as a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock? Despite the fact that this opening scene already displays us how Manderley is going to end up, Hithcock is still playing, like I mentioned in my first response, with the mistery, in this case, of how this happened. There is still a sense or a glimpse in the shadowy and dark dreamy atmosphere of the sequence that recalls the German Expressionism influence on Hithcock. The lighting and the camera movements are the tools used to convey that feeling. I particularly love the way the lights changed during this scene while the second Mrs. De Winter describes the cloud which passed and covered the moon. Other hint of Hitchcock's touch is the presence of tortured characters such as Mr. De Winter (Laurece Olivier) which is another proof of the German Expressionism that emphasized in the psychological side of the characters. Including the images of Manderley, the entire scene transmits a lot and we have only seen a mansion, a cliff, a man and a woman. 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? In my opinion, through the narration, the pictures and the time on the screen, it is pretty clear that the mansion is important for the story. However, the tone and feeling of those particular images and the way the second Mrs. De Winter refers to Manderley, it feels like it was like a person, a fascinating one although it is possible to sense that it has something dark or sinister inside (probably like the character of Rebecca). It is easy to conclude that a bad event took place there at some point, but even so, there is a certain longing in the woman's voice which makes the whole situation confusing and interesting. It makes urgent to know all the facts and especially who is the woman who is talking ans what is her relation to the house.
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