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terranightangel

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About terranightangel

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  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. There is a level of control to the scene and being we know both are well known actors/actress, it adds to that control. At the time, leading gossip papers would have loved to link the two as a couple to sell papers so if one might have seen that before hand, this scene sells that idea. 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. He uses it to set up a very important moment between the two. The matchbook leads into her holding his hand, the music is soft and she pulls him back to blow out the match. This helps with the flirting between the two. How is Hitchcock using sound design in this scene? Consider music and other background sounds in your answer. There isn't any other noise from the passengers around them. The two become center stage and nothing else is important. There is the rumble of the train at times which gives a sense of flowing time and movement to the scene. The music is soft and in the background which adds a romantic feel to the moment.
  2. 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. It makes you think the film is going to be about mystery and people lost in their own mind or running in circles without figuring out what really is going on at the time. Though the beginning shot on the female and the end shot on her, leads one to think the film will be about her losing her own mind in an unease and mystery setting. In your own estimation, what is the single most powerful image in this title sequence? Defend your answer. The swirls leading in and out of the female's eyes. It is this image that focuses on her over another character or story idea. It also leads into her and out of her which gives off the idea her mind is at risk in this story. How do Saul Bass’ images and Bernard Herrmann’s score work together? How different would this sequence be with a different musical score? It wouldn't work without this score or something similar to it. The music picks up volume and loses it like the swirling drawings. There are notes that sound like a finger sliding up and down the violin while the bow continues on the same string, though it could be a different musical instrument being played. This helps to add to the unease of the opening scene.
  3. 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? Hitchcock is establishing the view from the bedroom which is the vantage point being expressed in the opening scene. You get to see the people Jeff will come to know from that window even though currently his isn't looking at them. You also get to realize they don't seem to care that others are watching them as they go about their day. No one pulls a blind or glances at another apartment but you can tell easily that everyone is close enough to see everyone else. 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? The back story is given in the picture frames and with the cameras. The cast is seen before a busted camera. Pictures of dangerous moments are seen along with working cameras. It implies Jeff hurt his leg getting one of the pictures and that he takes pictures for a living. The female on the cover is on Jeff's desk but as the negative so this might mean he is close to her but not as close as he might like to be. I will have to watch the film to see if there is a relationship between them as I took from this there currently isn't but might have been one or Jeff has hoped for one with her. 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? I'm use to watching films so watching someone's else act out their lives doesn't make me think of myself as a voyeur. It did make me curious about the people in the rooms though as we only had a limited amount of time with each one. I think at the time it was made, it would have given people an unease and curiosity at the same time. Today though with reality shows a dime a dozen, most people have lost their unease when watching others going about their lives though a window. Bonus question: if you have seen the entire film before, do you agree with Hitchcock that this film is his most cinematic?
  4. 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. He uses the cabs pulling up in different directions, the men are walking from two different angles and even sit down as if they got on the train from two different doors. He also does something I would think people might miss and not even think about if they weren't paying attention or studying the film. He films the feet as they swing back and forth, the motion itself is that each foot is criss crossing the other in a parallel line. Lastly Hitchcock uses the train tracks to show the criss cross pattern before the two men meet. 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. Bruno has white and black shoes, he talks a great deal and he is wearing a pin stripped suit. Guy is wearing dark shoes (solid color), his suit is dark and he barely says a word. 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 music sets the mood as there is not talking until the two men meet. In modern films, the crowd would be louder, there might be certain gossip phrases heard or the men might be heard talking on their phones. Hitchcock instead falls back to his normal silent era days and lets the music be the words for the opening. The music climbs as the two men get closer to meeting and it is used as the bump when the two feet hit each other.
  5. What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this early scene from the movie?The camera angle is Hitchcock trying to show Alice's hangover. The fact he uses the record to do back story, the male lead is a cop and the female is in trouble is like many of Hitchcock's other films' opening scenes. 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 male is in a suit and there on business while the female is wearing a party outfit and suffers from a hangover. This sets up the male to be the no nonsense guy while the female is the misguided out of control woman. 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? ​For him, I think it confirms him as a steady, in control male who woman at the time loved. As far as Ingrid went, this wasn't the actress who goes straight home to her husband. It might have been a shock to her fans if her other work was less 'bad girl' roles.
  6. 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? The mess and the amount of dishes suggest the couple doesn't care about cleaning, has a wait staff, has money though they don't have regular jobs as they must have been in the room for a long time. The couple isn't the most honest with each other as the wife is faking being asleep and the husband fakes leaving the room. They do seem to actual care about each other and that is seen with their facial expressions. 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? ​It's not typical as far as these two don't seem like the any folk off the street who lands in a mess of trouble and the female isn't already in trouble or headed in that direction. I do think it has Hitchcock on it as it's different and playful and it lacks a great deal of dialogue compared to most films today. 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? ​I think they have a certain chemistry between them that makes you want to see more of them on screen. I'm not sure over the whole length of the film it would be the same thing but the opening does give a hint of playfulness and fun.
  7. 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 has been staying at this location for long enough for the land lady to feel okay walking in his room, telling strangers he isn't in, touch his money and pull his blind down. The land lady seems to feel for him but doesn't call him by his first name so they are not a close relationship. When Charlie talks about the two men, he seems not sure how he wants to approach them and his eyeing them from the window gives us a sense, they may cause him danger and not be in Charlie's best interest. 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) ​It has the feel of a film noir but almost with a gangster genre to boot. The money, the two men and Charlie leering at the window reminds me of a gangster style over a detective film. I can't say later on if told from a detective or if Charlie ends up investigating something that it might not end up a Film Noir. 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? ​It gives it drama while there is little in the action of the land lady or Charlie. The music climbs as Charlie leaves with his anxiety about approaching the two men but stops as he gains his strength and composure. The music for me almost becomes overbearing but stops before it does so which allowed me to focus in on the characters and the action in the scene.
  8. This short film was done for the YouTube channel Film Riot but after seeing it and our last week of silent/sound film study on Hitchcock, I really think everyone here will love it. It lacks some story but overall I really just love the use of sound and a few other key moments in it. Let me know what you think?
  9. 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? ​Common things I noticed in the opening would be the danger to a character even though in this film it is more implied than actual and there is the girl watching the guy which is much like the crowds watching a sport. The differences is there is a house which is far more center stage than people and there are only two people in the whole opening. Also no one dies, there is no comedy and other than the voice over, sound seems almost secondary in nature. 2. What are the Hitchcock "touches" in this opening that help you identify this as a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock? ​One touch I noticed right off was the people come off as rather normal. The nothing special here approach Hitchcock is famous for using in his films. Another touch would be letting the audience in on a secret the charters will not know which is the adventures, love, fun do not last. This secret may have us root against a character or for another one so we are now set in motion on Hitchcock's own path, not the films or with the characters. 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? ​It all eases you into the flashback itself, it sets the tone this house was once a grand thing though years later whatever happened has been lost allowing nature to overtake it and the film at this point is being told from the female who is doing the voiceover. If we had started out with the two people, we probably even half way through would have hoped the adventures of this house lasted but Hitchcock makes sure we are well aware that is not the case. ​NOTE... I don't think many films give away certain secrets to the audience anymore. Look at West World in HBO and it's vast secrets. If one or two had been leaked on purpose to get the audience to feel or connect with a character, would it be less a great show? I think few directors understand how to use this effectively without destroying the actual film itself. Most audiences also expect to be kept in the dark the duration of the show in order to be surprised at the end.
  10. 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. ​The music is light hearted and not very serious though the matter at hand could be as delays can be bothersome. Hitchcock avoids being drowned in the tension of the train delay by using the music, the wit of the other characters and the lack of dialogue given to the extras in the scene. 2. Discuss the characters of Caldicott and Charters in this scene. What do the performances of Caldicott and Charters add to this scene. ​They help to set the tone that Iris is far more important than they are to the movie. They give the crowd's reaction to the clerk and the reaction to the delay of the train. Lastly, they give us the first English speakers before the women walk in to the inn which connects them to the women even before anything has happened. 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. At first you think the clerk is headed to Caldecott and Charters but the camera follows the clerk to the three women with Iris in the lead. She gets the main dialogue and all the snappy come backs. The camera also shows her face full on while the other two girls are side profiles.
  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? The opening scene fits the pattern of an audience much like the ones watching 39 Steps is watching a show on a stage. It's very different in there is no female victim and there is far more interaction even more than The Man Who Knew Too Much. The interaction though is more like the early films with less intimate conversations between characters since it's done with a crowd. 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? I agree it comes off as a more innocent character but it made me wonder if Hitchcock was thinking the audiences are expecting a killer or victim so they will hang longer on the suspense of wondering it this new character is just that. 3. 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? ​You have the comedy relief common already in Hitchcock's works with the comments of the audience. The music hall is at the time a common place people would find themselves so they relate better to the film's opening. The main character already comes off as a common person and this will later allow the audience to feel more his plight in the film.
  12. 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) ​Characters based on the opening scene. There is a bit of action but far more interaction between characters for me to fathom it might be the plot. I worry though this is another moment of Hitchcock gives you something at the start like a good character but shows you in the end it isn't what you thought it might be at all. 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? ​Abbott knows or there is something between him and the skier. Abbott stops talking and looks directly at the skier even though it is a very brief moment. Other than that, I get a feeling Abbott feels above things around him. The way he dusts off his coat, the laughter at how assumed he seems and how he waves at the end. If he was more on their level, he might shake their hands to say it was nice to met them, he might pat the skier's shoulder to say no harm done or he might do a wave less showy. 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. Again a female is in danger at the very start of his film. There is also action like the rule that a good book always starts with action in the opening scene to draw in the reader. Hitchcock uses this action so the audience doesn't tune out. A difference would be the amount of interaction between characters. In the The Pleasure Garden, the characters interact but in brief moments like the man loving the blonde curl. In The Lodger, the opening is about the action and not the characters themselves. A murder had taken place but Hitchcock doesn't take us to the police station where characters can discuss the next move but instead has us on scene with the eye witness and the crowd. Both are far less intimate compared to The Man Who Knew Too Much. ​Side note... two films that come to mind which are not Hitchcock that use the Double Chase would be the Fugitive and Bourne series. The two films have main characters who are being chased by the 'law' and are chasing the actual guilty party though Bourne blurs this by making the 'law' guilty.
  13. I like you am just getting into making film. I took this class because it isn't best for me to go to college and get a degree in Film. If I went, I would have to take film study courses like this one. I think, the best thing, is to take the class and learn from Hitchcock things you might like to try or avoid as he even had his pitfalls in film. Learning about the great people in film can help form which kind of film maker you will end up and may stern you into one artistic idea or another.
  14. 1. In this sequence, describe how Hitchcock uses sound design to put you into the subjective "mind of Alice"? Be specific. ​ ​Instead of using the double exposure to reshow the murder, Hitchcock uses the rambling woman. There is talk about the police and how using a knife to murder someone is wrong. 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 visually and aurally. Be specific. ​This took me a bit to get what Hitchcock did in this scene. The clip for some reason was low in volume so I found it again on TCM website and it was a bit more clear. The rambling woman says she could never use a knife than the word knife is said a few times before Alice is asked to cut the bread. As Alice trembles with the knife in her hand, the rambling woman begins to say 'You mustn't use a knife' which is opposite of the visual. This gets loud and Alice throws the knife as in response to the words. 3. Why do you think this particular use of subjective sound is not used frequently in cinema? I think studios, directors and producers are looking for sales/mainstream and creativity gets a back seat or no seat at all. Though I do have to say X-Men did have a version of this but I'm not sure it was done on purpose. When the one guy who hears thoughts, Xavier, is trying to focus on one person, he tends to hear a thousand voices at once like you might hear a whole sentence until the one he wants is all that is heard, which is like the sentence turning into a phrase or single word. They could have taken it farther with this and used Hitchcock's technique, which may have given the audience a different way of hearing Xavier's thoughts. ​Example of Hitchcock directing X-Men. Opening scene is Wolverine facing a dilemma about killing this bad person to save the human race. Wolverine's claws are seconds from doing the deed. Xavier sends Wolverine a message in his head like 'this is the right thing, you are not a horrible killer. the human race will be saved' but after hearing this sentence a few times Wolverine only hears 'horrible killer'. Wolverine doesn't in the end kill the bad person and in true Hitchcock form this bad person ends up saving the human race so killing him/her would have destroyed everything.
  15. 1. In your own words, please describe the effect of watching the POV dolly shots / POV tracking shots in this scene? ​When the POV tracking shots are used to get the girl closer to the boys, this builds tension and suspense. It allows the audience to walk closer with the female but at the same time allows the audience the view of the boys reaction to it. 2. Why do you think Hitchcock uses the technique of a POV tracking shot? What does it add to his visual storytelling? ​It not only adds the suspense Hitchcock is know for in his movies but gives the audience the two sides to the story without have to flash back or do the scene over. By seeing the current scene in both POV, the audience isn't missing out. The tracking shot does this easily and doesn't pull the audience out of the movie. 3. What connections (visual techniques, images, motifs, themes) do you notice between films that came before this (The Pleasure Garden, The Lodger) and a film that came after it (The Ring)? Please cite specific examples. ​Hitchcock used the vignette with the black edges on the film in The Pleasure Garden and he used it in this one. He also has the female as a victim in this scene though as I have not watched the whole movie, I could not say she is truly a victim. In the Ring, Hitchcock uses double exposure to show a daydream inside the husband's mind while in Downhill, he uses it to show a flashback.
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