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About jameskwonlee

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  1. If Hitchcock were to be alive today, he would still: innovate and push the boundaries of cinema, gravitate towards suspense thrillers, and have a sense of humor. Knowing all these things, I think for the DP (Cinematographer), he would work with Roger Deakins. Roger is british as well, and has worked on numerous thrillers and dark comedies with the Coen Bros. Among his best works include the Oscar-winning "No Country For Old Men" and more recently, "Sicario" which was Oscar-nominated and premiered at Cannes. Like Hitch, Roger has yet to win the Academy Award. In short, Roger is a great sus
  2. July 27, 2017 – Hitchcock lecture Part 20 1. The Lodger immediately tells us we’re watching a horror and or a thriller film. There’s a close-up of a woman shrieking. Then as we anticipate what the horrors are about, we pass through a very darkened, foggy location as we track what the crime is. Frenzy opens on a very upbeat note, with a grand, sunny view of London. None of the production design indicates that we’ll see a dead woman at the end of the scene. Even as we see the politician speak, we don’t expect a horror/thriller film at all, not even from the music. But the discovery of the b
  3. July 26, 2017 – Hitchcock lecture Part 19 1. Marnie is deceptive, she is either hiding from something or someone, or is deliberately disguising herself for a purpose. We don’t know if her intentions are good, innocent, or evil. We also know that she is beautiful. 2 . The opening music builds tension, and blossoms at the first sight of Marnie’s face. It increases the audience’s sense of wonder and awe, while giving us a hint as to what the genre of the film is. 3. Hitchcock first looks at the back of Marnie, highlighting what the audience is wondering--"who is this lady?" Then Hitch
  4. July 25, 2017 – Hitchcock lecture Part 18 1. Melanie pretends to be the bird shop owner or worker as she tries to help Mitch find two lovebirds. It’s clear that she’s no bird expert, but Mitch plays along. Based on attire, Melanie seems to be an upper class woman, and Mitch seems to be a nice man who is close to his family. 2. The birds dominate from the first frame with their sound. The sound overlaps the dialogue, almost obscuring it at times. The high pitch and the sheer volume of the chirping noises makes it seem like we are trapped a huge birdcage. 3. Hitchcock steps out
  5. July 24, 2017 – Hitchcock lecture Part 17 1. The strong piercing string soundtrack immediately introduces tension, momentum, and a sense of fear. The genre of this film is clearly in the horror and or thriller space. The fragmentation of the typography indicates that there’s more to this film than just the façade, that there’s some cerebral element that the audience should look out for. And finally, the modern (non-serif) typography hints that the film will take place in the present day. 2. I think the specificity makes us believe that somewhere in the world this thing is actual
  6. July 20, 2017 – Hitchcock lecture Part 16 1. To preface, I'm not too familiar with these actors. I haven't seen many films in their era, unfortunately, to fully understand this question. Though I can see that it's two very attractive people flirting with each other. We are invested in what they say and feel because the preceding films they’ve worked on have already established a mythology for the audience about these two characters—we automatically empathize with them without seeing much backstory in the film. 2 The ROT matchbook allows for the two characters to physically touch each
  7. July 19, 2017 – Hitchcock lecture Part 15 1 The film promises to be hypnotic—one that will get underneath your skin and appeal heavily to the senses, and subvert logic by sending us into a dream state. I expect to see surprises, twists, and experience surreal moments. Because we see such close-ups of a woman’s lips and eyes, I think the film will be about obsession or seduction. 2. I think it’s the extreme close-up shot of the eye, but more specifically at the exact moment when the eyelid widens and the screen turns red. It’s shocking because it evokes terror through radical contrast
  8. July 18, 2017 – Hitchcock lecture Part 14 1. The opening camera shot is the director’s omniscient perspective. It is not Jimmy Stewart’s POV, which we will indulge in a lot a little later throughout the film. The reason for this is to introduce to the audience the objective truth of the people’s lives in this contained world. We become familiarized of the general setup, so that we don’t have to waste time thinking about it when the real drama plays out. Also, this opening shot allows us to be the casual voyeurs, before we become one by proxy of our protagonist. 2. We immediately learn th
  9. July 14, 2017 – Hitchcock lecture Part 13 1. The big one, already mentioned in the lectures is the railway that “criss crosses.” Secondly, both of the men’s feet, the white shoes and the black shoes, cross in the opposite screen directions. The music seems to accommodate this “crisscrossing”. The edit also diametrically opposes the two movements and feet. Each of the men sit and cross their legs. These shots culminate in the wide shot of the two men, sitting across from each other. 2. Bruno seems flashier, with his white shoes and pinstripe suit. Guy seems to be more conservative in all
  10. July 13, 2017 – Hitchcock lecture Part 12 1. We see a strong character POV of Alicia, who is upside down and fuzzy brained. The camera rotates to an upside down position and becomes sharper focus as she wakes up. Immediately, if I may count this as a "Hitchcock touch," we see two of his favorite actors, and both have a good share of close-ups so that the audience can read their emotions. 2. Cary Grant’s character is dressed in a suit, implying that he's all business in this scene. Bergman is dressed a little more casually, and her hair is in disarray as she wakes up, implying that s
  11. July 12, 2017 – Hitchcock lecture Part 11 1. We see the strong, “director-motivated” camera once more—when Mr. Smith wakes up and sees his wife in bed—a dolly pushes into her. There’s also an element of suspense in even the minor beats, such as when Mr. Smith pranks Mrs. Smith by acting like he left the room after he notices her sleeping. With the pole near the door, we see the setup before the execution, which ramps up our anticipation for what might result after the door slams. The messy, half eaten plates, the playing cards, and the large room indicate that this is a
  12. July 11, 2017 – Hitchcock lecture Part 10 We know that he’s being watched. It’s clear from the landlady’s dialogue and at the end when the two men actually follow him. The hero seems well aware of this and is depressed, almost resigned, as evidenced by how he leaves wads of cash on the ground, and also by how he doesn’t take extra precautions to hide from the men, like closing the blinds or making sure his stalkers aren't at the door. He just lets the landlady in very easily, without even acknowledging her presence. 2. Iconographically, in line with other noir films, we see the fedo
  13. July 10, 2017 – Hitchcock lecture Part 9 1. Immediately, the narration and Hollywood-style score made me think this is not a Hitchcock picture. And the production value is clearly more magnificent than any of Hitchcock's previous films. Furthermore, his British films often opened in more “common” environments, such as an inn, a theater, the street, etc. But Manderley is otherworldly, almost fantastical. 2. The strong objective camera floating through the Manderley estate is a Hitchcock influence. The liberal use of closeups on Olivier is also somewhat of a signature, as Hitchcock really l
  14. July 6, 2017 – Hitchcock lecture Part 8 1. The opening is rather festive, and establishes the folksy nature of the group. They are also internationally diverse. Unlike The Lodger, this film opens on a lighter note. 2. Their performances allow the audience to understand the setting better—they are the “every men,” the ones that the English speaking audience will identify with most. So through their eyes, we get to survey the environment and its characters further. 3. Iris is the brunette between two blondes—making her stand out immediately. Also, Boris shakes her hand, and she is
  15. 1. Across all films, we don’t immediately see the protagonist. There is some teaser element that first grabs the viewer’s attention, whether it’s the beautiful dancers in Pleasure Garden, the screaming woman in The Lodger, the big ski slope in The Man Who Knew Too Much, or the interesting tracking shot of “Music Hall” in this particular film. How then 39 Steps deviates from the others is that the camera takes an even more subdued, objective role. We don’t see faces nor any subjective POV’s for quite a long time. We're not in anyone's head, nor do we see a replication of emotions through Hitchc
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