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About BillieDawn

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  1. Here are a few-- Still of the Night- (mentioned by dweigum). Love this movie! Has a great dream sequence, a blonde and an art auction. Niagara- (mentioned by someone else too) Love this movie. Has a national monument, a blonde and a recurring musical theme. Stoker- This movie really seems to directly rewrite or reference Shadow of a Doubt. Knife in the water- Polanski's first movie? seems relevant. The Skin I live in- Pedro Aldomovar. The use of Antonio Banderas in this movie seems so Cary Grantish to me. The Sea of Love- Al Pacino and Ellen Barkin. Love this movie! Copycat- Sigourney Weaver and Holly Hunter. Possibly? The Jagged Edge- Glenn Close and Jeff Bridges? Eyes without a Face?
  2. 1. -Frenzy utilizes a panoply of modern filmmaking innovation such as color, sound & aerial shots to present traditional commercial representational filmmaking- whereas the Lodger utilizes cruder technology to achieve a more stylistic, experimental type of filmmaking. -The Lodger opening starts by showing murder and discovery of the body and Frenzy's opening ends with discovery of the body & realization there has been a murder. -Frenzy starts from very far away and The Lodger starts from very close in. -Frenzy starts with the pomp and circumstance of official business occurring before the body is found and not after. Both opening scenes contrast the soulless grind of daily business against the tragic loss of life. -Frenzy's crowd/audience is facing the government official whereas the Lodger's crowd is facing the murdered woman and then the witness. -Frenzy's frank depiction of the nude murdered body floating face down is a complete contrast to the lodger's barely seen clothed dead body lying face up in the street. -Hitchcock's cameo in the Lodger blends him in as a barely recognizable part of the exploitative media churning out the story. His cameo in Frenzy showcases him as an instantly recognizable and somewhat anachronistically dressed gentleman benignly watching the official with the rest of the crowd. -The Lodger's music seems to echo the drama and dread of the moment whereas Frenzy's music works as ironically cheerful counterpoint. 2. -The "travelogue" feel of the beginning with the "badge" of London displayed on the screen and the "local" music reminds me of the beginning of Lady Vanishes, also the first Man Who Knew Too Much and also parts of Vertigo. -The cameo occurring so quickly & slightly quirky too. -The dark humor of having the official proclaim the pollution will be cleaned up and then having a dead body in the water. -The framing of the opened bridge seemed very Hitchcockian to me- a type of doorway or window that we are "entering" in our opening. -The bridge itself seemed very Hitchcockian. I think of the Golden Gate bridge in Vertigo and the Bridge in Lady Vanishes. -The black smoke coming out of the boat reminded me of the black smoke coming out of Uncle Charlie's train in Shadow of a Doubt. -People leaning out of their windows to watch the official speak seemed very Hitchcockian along with the gawking crowds. -He always manages to cram a couple extra people in each scene- like four people turn around to look at the dead body when I could see other filmmakers just showing one or two people. -Hitchcock really gives a strong sense of place in the beginning of his films- we see it in Psycho and North by Northwest and Lady Vanishes and Rear Window- that opening panning shot that tells you so much. 3. I think his opening scenes are really meant to psychologically pull you in and shut the door behind you. They start out by making you feel wide open, safe, centered in a place. Then they take you deeper into the scene- often through a window. That's different then taking you through a door. A door is something you can exit. It's hard to get out once he's taken you through a window. Before you know it, you are seeing something forbidden/fascinating. Then he gives you permission to stay and keep watching/voyeuring by showing you that "you are not the only one fascinated by this- you are just part of a crowd." All of this happens visually- so that your subconscious mind grasps what's happening before anything is verbally confirmed. This is a sort of manipulation that pulls you in before you can articulate a refusal or an objection. At that point you've experienced the pull of your own fascination and you find you are complicit.
  3. 1. -Marnie is secretive -She is alone in the world -She is an expert at disguise or transformation using cosmetics, nail polish, lingerie, fashion. -She's extremely organized and a precise, deliberate planner. -She's able to discard things, let them go, almost wastefully. She's formed no attachment to them. -That she's carrying lots of cash implies she's criminal or illicit in some way. -That she's not in a hurry implies she's in no immediate danger but is control of her situation. -She seems to only choose identities with first names that start with "M". -The last name she used was "Marion" (a nod to Marion Crane of "The Birds") -She's a blonde now. -She can carry off many deceits and subterfuges. -She's emotionally controlled Hitchcock shows us she's "done" with her old brunette identity by having her casually toss those items into a suitcase. She tenderly and carefully handles the "new" items and keeps them in their packaging and arranges them nicely. Hitchcock shows us she's made this transformation before by having her handle the items with a routine, practiced air. She's not thinking while she's working but is going through familiar motions. Hitchcock shows us she doesn't really "care" about money by having her toss it messily into the suitcase. He also has her casually toss the beautiful new boxes and wrappings of her newly bought wardrobe on the floor. She's simply starting a new life- not becoming attached to things and cherishing them. There's a coldness to her. By having her drop the key into the grate in public, he's showing that she has a certain amount of risk taking & creativity. Her movements are as subtle as a pickpocket's or a magician's. It will not be hard to believe that this woman is a practiced thief and has tricked many people (men). The way she carefully pries open her card case is also thief like. She's "picking" the lock of a secret compartment. Her perfectly manicured hands tell us she pays attention to the very smallest details. 2. The music seems to act in a way similar to the scene in North by Northwest that we analyzed. Herrmann softens the moment. By surrounding her in a swirl of romantic themes, he softens her the way a cameraman might by using a soft focus lens. The music tells us, this is not a lowlife heartless criminal from the streets. This is a woman caught up in a fantasy life- a semi-tragic one. There is a humanity to her story- one that involves love and loss. When you hear the music you are moved to find romance and pathos in what you are seeing. It's not tawdry, sordid, nasty. 3. This cameo seems pretty blatant. He's no longer playing any fun little tricks. He's coming right out at the beginning and even looking at the camera! He's like "Hello, I'm here. You know it, I know. So what?" I think it's pretty funny but also provocative. It seems to echo everything I'm hearing about the way he was acting behind the scenes too. He's not afraid to claim full authorship and control. He's not afraid of stealing Hedron's limelight or disrupting the flow of what she's doing. He's absolutely breaking the fourth wall and acting like the Leo he is! His boldness echoes Marnie's boldness. He comes right out in public and dares the audience to be distracted. I think it means that he's pushing the boundaries of the traditional director. What if he did start walking in and out of scenes? Would the audience be surprised or bothered? His presence is so strongly felt BEHIND the camera that it's not a surprise to see him in front of it.
  4. 1. Meet Cute The characters meet cute and exchange playful banter with sexual undertones. They're clearly a match for each other- both attractive- both have strong drives and wants. He thinks he wants a woman who will fit into his lifestyle (his description of the love birds- not too demonstrative or restrained). Already we see that Melanie is pretty demonstrative- attracts attention and is a little bit of a minx. She thinks she wants a man who's the perfect fit- not a "chick" and already trained to talk and will be delivered to her house in a cage. (The mynah bird). We can see that Mitch is still connected to his 11 year old sister- maybe still living at home as a "chick". Also, he is clearly not going to fall for any of her tricks & will run his own tricks on her. Also, he won't fit in a cage. Melanie Melanie is attractive and stylish and seems to know it. She draws the attention of a boy on the street and almost seems to cause the birds to chirp louder with intensity when she enters the store. She flusters the saleswoman although she herself displays unflappable calm. She responds to Mitch's mistake with wicked spontaneous fun. She turns to chide someone who cheekily whistles her on the street but responds with good humor when she finds it's a child. I think this shows a tenderness towards children. She's spontaneous and resourceful- finds ways to parry Mitch's obviously superior knowledge of birds. She's a little spoiled and impatient when she deals with the saleswoman. She's used to getting her own way. I think she's a little stubborn too. She refuses to give up her charade even when it's obvious Mitch is on to her. Mitch Mitch also seems to know what he wants and is confident even to the point of almost seeming a little arrogant when he assumes Melanie is a saleswoman there to help him. He's intelligent enough to figure out her game and then gently tease her deeper and deeper into it. He's clearly thoughtful enough to buy his little sister a charming birthday gift. He's handsome, obviously. He's mischievous and tricky enough to play along with Melanie's gag. He's also composed & not easily disturbed. 2. The bird sounds change when we enter the store. The ones on the outside are more gull like and have an ambient natural quality. The ones on the inside have a frenzied cacophony. The sounds for when Mitch enters seem more masculine somehow than the ones when Melanie enters. Maybe the sounds are meant to halo or aura our characters like music would. I think it's a really effective use of sound because you don't notice it as much as music. It's more subtle and also more subconsciously effective. I think it's a little unsettling too- the one clue that we're not watching a romantic comedy? 3. Hitchcock comes out of the pet store as Melanie is going in. He's walking two scottie dogs which he's presumably just bought? Is the store mainly a bird store or a pet store? I think the significance of the dogs is that Hitch is saying "A dog is a man's best friend- stick to dogs". He's hinting that the buying and caging of birds can be a problem. Caged things can turn on you with revenge? Also maybe hinting that women (or any creature) can be a dangerous and powerful force when caged or held back.
  5. 1. Grey bars The grey bars of the title sequence evoke the noir shadows of window blinds, prison bars, highway dashes. They echo the bars of the headboard in the hotel room. They create the staff upon which notes of music are plotted and strung. The bars open and close with a mechanical, ruthless speed, like cutting blades of industrial machinery. They also remind me of the serrated stairs of an escalator or quickly closing elevator doors. The screen itself becomes bisected into what could resemble a type of bar graph indicating life or levels of volume. The bars throb with life force and then disappear. Names The cutting or bisection of the names is also violent. The names form and are impaled. The names form and then mechanically jam- to become unidentifiable- as if to say that people themselves can "go wrong" or "be off by just a little bit, but enough to be unrecognizable as human. The names can be cut into pieces just like human bodies. Music The music is equally "cutting". The aggressive, at times soaring, at times halting strains seem to emulate busy traffic. Sometimes you are screeching to a halt- other times allowed to accelerate. It's telling us we're in a dangerous world that we can't control. The violins themselves are being sawed to pieces by the violin bows. Overall When you watch the credits you are instantly agitated, disrupted and forced to submit completely to their timing. If you blink you might miss something important..They are disorienting & do exactly what credit sequence should do which is to sever your cognitive connection to the real world and prepare you to enter the realm of the movie. 2. By giving us the exact time and place Hitchcock forces us through the tiniest of apertures into a real world. After the intentionally jarring and confusing whirlwind abduction of the credit sequence we are gently and firmly placed down into an EXACT moment in an exact real place. The tone is calm and the visuals are now realistic and representational. We are breathless and ready to believe, listen, accept, submit. We are lambs led to the slaughter. semi-closed blind We are led through a semi-closed blind because Hitchcock wants to squeeze us through the tiny peephole. The blind is kept open by our characters because they are sloppy? They don't bother to close it all the way because of their passion for each other, because the room is hot and they want the breeze. We "sneak" in. They don't necessarily want us there. 3. Marion is shown as the character with the biggest "want". She's introduced as a good girl trapped in a bad girl's lifestyle. We immediately identify with her desire to break free of her trap. We project that she will spend the movie trying to overcome the difficulties in order to get safely married. (This resembles many chorus girl gets the guy story arcs of pre code films) Her brassiere looks like a bondage garment. She's stuck in this strict timetable of having to be back to lunch so her boss doesn't get mad. She's forced to lie and say she's "eating lunch" when she's trying to have some kind of sex life. She's trapped by these caresses and this barred headboard. She's a bird in a cage but not the cage she wants. Ironically, she imagines marriage as a kind of freedom- not just another cage. She ends up flying free of the bonds of the earth. Her dialogue is completely foreshadowing when she says "They don't care when you check in, but when your time is up..." Her time will be up in another hotel room but not the honeymoon suite we expect.
  6. 1. We get to enjoy archetypal Cary Grant suaveness under pressure. He's being chased for murder and yet he still looks great, orders a cocktail with lunch, woos a lady, lights her cigarette and even manages to leave a tip. Also, Cary Grant liked roles where gals chased him. He didn't like the idea of his character being sexually aggressive towards a woman. By having Eva Marie Saint- a new young actress whose name sounds like that of a young catholic virgin! and who just played a very innocent and virtuous character in On the waterfront-- by having her be the sexual aggressor in this scene we not only get the idea that Cary Grant is wildly irresistible so that he can induce an formerly innocent actress to chase him, but we also get the titillation of seeing our little Evie "all grown up" and playing with the big boys. 2. I guess the matchbook works as a visual pivot for the scene. It bonds the characters together because they touch. It "brands" Cary Grant as Roger O Thornhill. It's funny and stylish. It will serve as a vector of communication between the two in the future. It's funny to me that he's enough of a gentleman to light a lady's cigarette with a monogrammed matchbook when he's being chased for murder. Hitchcock uses it in a way similar to the monogrammed R in Rebecca- as a visual talisman for the character. 3. The music is surprisingly wistful and bittersweet considering the hotsexy dialogue. I think it's working to add tenderness and depth to the sexually suggestive scene. It hints that there's an emotional connection being made that the characters are hiding under their amped up personas. It foreshadows a moment when they will have to confront some sticky and scary feelings- intimacy and true honesty. It creates a veil of safety and reprise from the forces chasing them. The sound of the train racing inexorably forward serves as a stressful rustling reminder that this moment of human connection is temporary and will be torn away from them.
  7. 1. Visuals At first I think the movie will be about obsession or infatuation with a woman. I think this because the camera is SO close to her face that it represents this desire to get as close as possible to a love object. It's like there's this inappropriate closeness. (I remember seeing Psycho on the big screen and feeling that the close ups of Janet Leigh were almost claustrophobic for me- like bad boundaries or something). Then when I see the red tint on her eye I get the sense it will be a movie perhaps having to do with photography or a dark room- since dark rooms have that red light. But the red light also feels like panic or danger. When the woman's eye opens wide, I get a sense of fear or violence being done to this woman. But then when I see the spirals coming out of her eye I realize the movie will be about "seeing" and the subjectivity of human experience. One person sees something and processes it in a totally different way than another person. The mutating spirals represent the mind and psyche distorting the seen reality of the dilating iris. Then I start to see fingerprints in the spirals and I realize this movie will be about identity or perhaps a crisis of identity. I realize there might be a sense of losing one's self or one's perspective. I get a sense of falling into one's own subjective point of view to the point of madness. The spirals finally evoke DNA and I realize that we're dealing with the most primal aspect of identity and "soul". Sounds The strong bass horns give me a feeling of "bigness" like solid mountain ranges or sturdy monuments or large basins of water. I get a kind of primal, volcanic, geologic throbbing feeling like we're dealing with weighty issues of mankind and history. The tingling clarinets (?) give me a precipitous feeling of cliffs or teetering or swinging rope bridges or swaying tall trees. The alternation of these two tones is what really gets me off kilter and vulnerable. Isn't this evocative of the music for the opening of the Shining? Is it Mahler? I can't remember what it's called but it's a famous piece of music that is super scary. 2. I think the most important image is the first spiral (pink?) coming out of the pupil of her eye- because this is a kind of penetration of the body and is also the moment that we transition from photography to animation. It's the moment that we realize this movie is intellectual and not just physical. The obsession is not simply pornographic, but is psychological, possibly pathological and yet, somehow, possibly romantic as well, since these spirals are beautiful, complex, pristine and elegant. The moment expresses the verticality- the "falling", the "deepening" impulse that we find throughout the movie. This idea of the spiral expanding into a DNA like staircase. It visually represents the spiral staircase of the soul. 3. I guess you just say they work together perfectly? What else can you say? They interlock like perfectly crafted puzzle pieces. They complement each other, strengthen each other, burrow into each other like roots taking hold. A different music score would possibly take away the terrifying mystery of it? The spirals might seem psychedelic or cheesy with a different score? The whole thing could be camp?
  8. 1. I would describe the opening shot as a masterful visual narrative presenting the "universe" of the movie and hinting at some of the movie's themes and conflicts. Hitchcock is showing us our world giving us backstory on our protagonist and also introducing minor tableaus and foreshadowing romantic conflict. The vantage point is ours. We're the voyeurs in this moment- immediately complicit despite ourselves. I love that the movie starts with us going OUT a window- when so many of his movies start by going IN a window. 2. We learn -His name is L.B. Jeffries -He has no air conditioning -He's confined to a wheelchair with a leg broken from trying to take a photo of a car accident that ended up smashing his camera. (He's physically fearless, perhaps reckless, death wish?) -He's taken lots of exciting action photos around the world. -He has a wry sense of humor (as seen in the writing on his cast) -He considers being immobilized as synonymous with being dead (here lie the broken bones...) -He doesn't live with anyone who would force him to sleep in a real bed or add feminine touches -He can sleep through lots of noise and light- is used to "roughing it" -He makes a modest living to afford this middle class apartment in a safe area where people leave their windows open & sleep outside. -He'll do fashion photography but takes a cynical view of it (framed negative is a critique perhaps) -He has tons of photographic equipment and keeps it nearby in case needed- not packed away. (perhaps indicating he's in denial of how long he'll be laid up?) -He doesn't have a routine or anywhere to be in the morning. -He's not afraid of sleeping with his back to the open windows 3. I guess I never feel like a voyeur because I realize I'm watching a movie and the movie is giving me permission to be a voyeur- in fact demanding that I become a voyeur. Honestly the only thing that gives me the creeps is when I start to realize that I might be voyeuring Hitchock himself into his mind, his obsessions. Although Miss Torso makes me a little uncomfortable- more of a projection of a man's fantasy than a peek into a real existence. Lisa helps when she interprets for us what Miss Torso's life is really like. It's like "juggling wolves". Her pov comes in as interpretive counterbalance to the male view. Most of the time I feel pity and fascination for the people Hitchcock shows us. The composer guy is lonely and keeps his radio on all the time for companionship. He's developing a paunch and doesn't want to be reminded of it by the commercials. He's living a disorganized bachelor existence where he shaves in the living room. The couple on the balcony has developed a completely routinized sexless practical partnership. They sleep in public so no intercourse. They have their alarm clock set. They lower their dog out at regular intervals. They're completely self contained unit, but no romance to it. Miss Torso is obsessed with her body's needs for exercise and food but is unaware of the effect it might have on a watcher. Like the composer, she seems immature. She wears a young girlish almost babyish pink costume. She does leg kicks at the table. She's not integrating her life with anyone else's. This is similar to L.B.
  9. 1. Criss crosses -train tracks -come from different directions onto the train -tennis rackets held in a crossed way? -the opening shot of train station archway looks like a church arch implying a cross? -They both cross their legs (different than the woman next to guy whose feet are together) 2. Clothes Bruno's's two tone shoes evoke Uncle Charlie's shoes. They're jazzy, dandyish, bright. Guy's shoes are simple durable, masculine. Bruno's pants are shorter to show off shoes, socks- maybe more tailored? Guy's pants are longer, cover the socks, more sober, modest, off the rack. Bruno's lobster tie evokes opulent vacations, self indulgence, pleasure. Guy's checked tie is tucked into a schoolboyish sweater. Bruno's got stripes & a contrasting show handkerchief. Guy had no hankerchief & dark sweater matches blazer matches pants matches shoes. Luggage Bruno's bag looks like a fancy pigskin or expensive but a little worn out from lots of travel? Guy's bag looks masculine, practical, durable, not as easy to scratch or damage. Guy has two tennis rackets indicating he's got a partner or coeval. Bruno has a tie pin that that his mother bought him- indicating he's a loner still partnered to his mother. Music Bruno's soundtrack is jazzy, suggestive, almost winking at scoundrelly behavior. Guy's is more straight laced of an ambitious straight shooter. Physicality Bruno stands with his leg at a fey angle suggesting femininity. Guy marches with masculine and athletic confidence. Bruno sits down with careful grace of someone aware of his surroundings. Guy plops down on the wrong side of a table and slides over and knocks into Bruno carelessly. Bruno leaps out of his seat and cozies up to Guy in a graceful catlike flash. Bruno sits down with a sort of expectation- what's going to happen next. Guy has a book ready and no other defensive mechanism for fending off unwanted advances. Speech Bruno launches into confident charming informed conversation with no fear. He uses dynamic expressions such as "blasted off the court". Guy's very much like simple one word responses of a jock. Bruno lies right away by saying "I won't bother you" and then proceeds to bother him. He also makes a funny cutting reference to his mother. Guy is much slower on the uptake and doesn't offer any information or banter. 3. The music describes and illuminates character. It performs an auditory version of a criss-cross by blending and remixing musical styles that describe each character. It underscores the movement of the train- the sense that something inevitable has been set in motion. It's playful at times and foreshadowing the next.
  10. I must confess, I love this film so much that it makes me feel jealous to see other people even talking about it! 1. Hitchcock touches. -We see Alicia in a facedown one-eyed view. This is similar to Lombard in Mr& Mrs. Smith and Janet Leigh in psycho. That single eye is iconic. Could even be an echo of Norman looking through the peephole. Reminds me of Magritte painting. -Shadows on the wall are complex and echo the moral complexities the characters face. -Alicia's blouse is a stripe which perfectly posits her as a "convict" (convict stripes) to Cary Grant's "copper" dapperness. (It's interesting to me that Bergman also wears a striped blouse in Casablanca, which in that movie, evokes a concentration camp uniform to me) -Cary Grant is shown in shadow. His sleek suited silhouette evokes Olivier wearing his hat right before killing himself. Both images evoke Magritte for me. Hitchcock often inspired by surrealists. -Obviously the full camera swivel of Cary Grant creates a fun house surreal moment which not only works narratively for the moment but informs the dizzy, sickening feel of a hangover. Also tells us that we don't know if Cary is good or bad and perhaps he will change from one to the other. -I love the use of a record player! So many of the early movies showed phonograph players and this is another and very different but effective use of one. -The "drink" at the beginning is another use of foodstuffs for Hitchcock & perfectly foreshadows Alicia's future struggles-alcholism and then poisoning. -Irony is seen in that Grant is the one telling her to drink when he later condemns her drinking and also puts her in a position where others will tell her to drink poison in the guise of curative. -One of Hitchcock's themes is exploitation. Here we see Grant attempting to exploit Alicia's weak, depressed, hungover state in order to get her to do what he wants. He's completely vertical, sober, powerful, handsome and supplied with audio proof. She's hungover, her fake hair falls off, her clothes are a mess, she's cranky, etc. -The erotic whiff is totally present. She says "there's only one thing you think I could be good for" As a viewer, I immediately think "prostitution?" but she clarifies "stool pigeon" which is a relief to me but a false one because in fact they mean to use her for a type of prostitution. -Doorways! Cary Grant appears framed in a doorway and while they're listening to the record player they're both framed in the doorway because they are on the precipice of entering into a compact with each other. The doorway represents transformation. -The rolling pan of the camera to show "realization or revelation" when Alicia is listening to herself. 2. I think I sort of answered this one in previous answer. 3. I think the scene totally conforms to and enhances their star personas! Cary Grant. -iconic for suits. He was notoriously exacting about them. -iconic for tall dark and handsome. His framing in the doorway is almost a comic book level visual. -iconic for coming from an acrobat background. The camera tilt might be a reference to Grant's well known acrobatic skills. He does flips and somersaults in Holiday. Also Hitchcock ALWAYS makes sure to show Grant walking completely across a room or down a hallway. IT's as though he loves to showcase Grant's physical grace in his gait. -I also think Hitchcock capitalized on Grant's poise and self containment and used it to create moments of moral ambiguity for the audience. He's not an "open" presence, he's sleek and mysterious as a cat. He might be good, he might be evil. Who knows? But he's gorgeous. Ingrid Bergman -I think the scene consciously references her work in Casablanca although I really have no idea if this film was made after or before. I already mentioned the striped shirt and I'd also like to mention the way Hitchcock shows her "listening" to herself on the record. That evokes her STELLAR scene in Casablanca where she's listening to Sam play "As Time Goes By" -Ingrid Bergman is, I think, very earthy, natural, beauty. By showing her with her fake hairpiece torn off and no makeup is actually showing her to her best advantage. She looks best windblown, carefree and messy. This very earthiness helps you not to see her as cheap or slutty no matter what she does. -Her passion is a great contrast to Grant's self containment. She can emote to a very strong degree and not seem overdone. AT the same time she can crush your soul just by staring and listening. -This role perfectly exploits her "foreignness" and plays upon her Casablanca "fighting for good" role. -I love the way she's forced to be dishonest and deceptive when her character is clearly shown to be very honest, open, impulsive. Grant's character would have been so much better at hiding his feelings and manipulating people. Yay! What a great movie.
  11. I'm fond of this movie. 1. Hitchcock Touches -Reminds me of lifeboat when camera pans across objects to tell a story- withholding dialogue -Reminds me of later movies where food is shown & featured -Reminds me of Shadow of a Doubt where the "help" are given first lines in a story and the main characters are "presented" with a sort of delay & then a visual flourish. -Carole Lombard's single eye reminds me of Janet Leigh's eye in psycho. -the use of "bars" of shadow & light is often seen in Hitchcock movies indicating his preoccupation with fear of imprisonment etc. -Hitchcock seems to add more bystanders and observers to scenes than I would expect and it adds depth. At the office- three people are looking in as the lawyer talks on the phone. etc. Props - the trays & food everywhere tell us there has been a prolonged picnic or shut-in situation - the silver serving ware tells us this couple is well off & have a good appetite - the use of the walking stick or cane to shut the door is funny and possibly phallic. It's one of the few "male" props & is used effectively to trick her & bring about reconciliation. Decor -the fact that room is decorated in lavish & feminine way tells us the couple is well off and the woman is in charge, possibly spoiled. There's lots of satin echoed in her nightgown. Lighting - the lights from the blinds indicate that it's mid-morning? Also serve as "bars" on the cage of the room in which they've been imprisoned for days. Also serve as bars in his office which is a different sort of cage. 2. I would say it is NOT a typical opening based on movies we've seen so far. If you include later movies, I would say it is more typical. -not starting in a public place -not rambunctious and lively -not ominous or dark or moody with examples of exploitation A few things that seem typical are the playfulness, humor, music, visual storytelling, 3. I like both actors immensely. I think they do have chemistry and I enjoy watching them but I would admit that they both play the clown and there's a little confusion about who gets to be screwier? I wonder if Carole Lombard doesn't need a stronger foil? I enjoy her with William Powell and also John Barrymore. Montgomery can come across as light and playful and does best with more serious or "straight" actresses like Norma Shearer or Joan Crawford?
  12. I dearly love shadow of a doubt! 1. He's careless with money. Perhaps because it comes easily to him. He's able to put on a show of prosperity but is possibly more at home in dark corners. He's attractive to women. They like him, protect him, fuss over him. He's a stylish dresser. He's prone to depression or a sort of suicidal ambivalence. He's a risk taker. He's avoiding something. 2. The movie reminds me of a noir: Uncle Charlie speaks in a cryptic, cynical, almost jazzy or philosophical way. Money is useful but it's not the primary thing at stake. Something more primal is at stake (think of the Maltese Falcon- "the stuff of which dreams are made".) There's a strong irony contrasting innocence and corruption (the boys play in the street while policemen track down a wanted man in a sleazy boarding house) The shadows are a dynamic element- informing and animating character. (The woman pulls the shade down and it's as if Uncle Charlie comes alive in the darkness.) The cops hover like storm clouds but don't really have the goods to strike. The mood is one of stylish unease. We sense the violence will be psychological. 3. The score is amazing. I loved the crescendo when he finally decides to leave the room. It's a fairly unclimactic thing to do - just to walk out a door- but the music signals it's importance. The occasional jazzy interspersing of the merry widow waltz feels ironic and gives some foreshadowing. The dark underside of his seductive waltzes are these moments of dodging the police. The music underscores the play between dark and light. It feels improvisational at moments- highlighting the impulsive decision making of Charlie.
  13. 1. The first scene is deserted of people! The mood is eerie and calm rather than loud & dynamic. A voiceover is a new technique for Hitchcock. The scene is outdoors rather than indoors. The romantic music functions typical Hollywood score rather than novel counterpoint. There's no real humor? The scene is a flashback. 2. The rolling forward camera shot is typical. Having a camera enter the movie through a building's window is typical. Roiling seas beside cliffs is typical or comes to be typical. Showing our leading man from behind is typical. I felt that we were immediately supplied with talismans or motifs for each character-the hat for DeWinter and the sketchbook for Joan Fontaine's character. I felt that the main character's counterintuitive reactions to each other were typical. DeWinter was rude and angry at someone who saved his life and Joan was apologetic and scared. Those reactions seemed almost comedic. A violent dislike of each other was typical for romantic pair. The use of miniatures was typical. 3. The house has a name and is introduced as a sort of living entity that has a character arc going from grand and stately to burned out and deserted, i.e. living to dead. The house is fondly recalled in memory as though it's a character. When she says "you can never go back to Manderley" we realize she's talking about something more than a place or a structure- obviously those things can be rebuilt. Makes me wonder if Hitchcock is also saying that he can never go back to England. Now he's stuck in America dealing with Selznik. Flashback structure and voiceover narration tell us that destruction is coming so then we worry for the main character almost from the beginning.
  14. 1. The lady vanishes's opening is reminiscent of the 39 steps in that there's a passive crowd of people who are focussed upon a single person. In 39 steps, they're focussed on the memory man and In the lady vanishes it's an innkeeper. The delicate, childlike music acts as a counterpoint, I think, to the wind raging outside. It sets us up geographically & tonally in a small provincial haven. We see lots of contrasts in this one scene- the relative calm turns to mayhem when the innkeeper makes an announcement. Some guests are fawned over and others are ignored. This is inn is recognizable as a microcosm of our world- different factions jockeying for resources and shelter. 2. Caldicott and Charters seem to be the narrators of the scene and seem to be the characters the audience should initially identify with. They don't understand quite what's going on. They're out of place. They're bickering. They have funny petty concerns in the face of a dangerous world. They look upon the "star" of the movie as someone favored & blessed. Those are all analogous concerns to the audience as the audience tries to figure out what kind of movie they're in for. 3. Iris is the brunette with two blondes. She faces the camera directly while the blondes are viewed from the back or side. The blondes are more fidgety and distracted while Iris seems composed and masterful. She stands on a higher step than the others and is the one that the innkeeper addresses himself too. She gently chides the others, makes the decisions, corrects the innkeepers pronunciation and generally assumes primacy. She's framed alone with the innkeeper in a two shot. She also shows the strongest "want" of the group - wanting to continue her journey despite the avalanche.
  15. 1. This time we're identifying with the audience and not getting the backstage view. Expectations are confounded - the slow reveal of MUSIC HALL and the dingy sort of shadowy ticket buying sequence sets us up for what might be a sordid experience but instead we find a playful and harmless and completely nonsexual entertainment. In the pleasure palace, the playful descent of the dancers down the spiral staircase seemed to foreshadow a vivid and exciting stage show but instead we were forced to watch the lecherous audience members and backstage deals. 2. I agree that we're being set up for an innocent character. In comparison with the bawdy and drunk audience, Hannay comes across as earnest and polite. He's interrupted by a child but still displays patience and perseverance in getting his question answered. His question is is about distance or space whereas many of the other questions are about time. This seems to foreshadow a journey. It also identifies him as Canadian which I associate as being peaceful and friendly. I love it when Hitchcock shows his main characters from behind at the beginning of his movies. He does it in Notorious when we see gorgeous back of Cary Grant's head. The slow reveal forces us to identify with the character by having us see what he sees. 3. I think the whole point of starting in the music hall is to manipulate the real movie audience into identifying with Hannay. Hitchcock taps into the fact that you, as an actual moviegoer are vulnerable in real life to other people catcalling the screen or making noise or otherwise ruining the movie. Therefore you are perfectly primed to identify with the decent and civilized Hannay. Just as Hitchcock inserts himself into the movie, he inserts you, the audience in the movie. The introduction seems to imply that those who are able to pay attention and engage in the movie will be rewarded.
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