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Jennifer Anne

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  1. 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. The opening of Frenzy gives us London on an enormous scale through a sweeping aerial shot over the Thames that is matched by the grandeur of the score. The positively regal approach of the camera to the Tower Bridge made me feel as though I were watching the overture to an opera from a position of privilege--enjoying a view of London very few are able to see. The bright light of day, clear colours and travelogue-like imagery was the complete opposite of the dark, foggy close-ups and eerie murkiness of the Thames's embankments from The Lodger. We are still introduced to the murder victim through the staring eyes of a crowd; but the shock comes from the unexpected, full-colour view of the naked body lapping up against the edge of Thames in an otherwise celebratory atmosphere. 2. What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific. -The long aerial shot of London moving towards and eventually through Tower Bridge shows his technical experimentation; -We are once again in a seemingly innocuous public setting where one doesn't feel on guard or expect a disturbance; -Humour: a government official is talking about cleaning up the filth of the Thames just as a dead body washes ashore; the official asks if the murder victim has been strangled by his club tie; -Colourful chatter from extra characters; -Voyeuristic atmosphere as the camera and the crowd take lingering looks at the murder victim from the Thames' embankment 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. I think Hitchcock uses his opening scenes as a literal introduction of the viewer to the film, as if to say "Audience, meet camera. Here is what we are going to watch together." We are usually made aware of the presence of the camera immediately and folded into the experience of viewing through various technical and narrative devices. Perhaps it's another part of that intangible Hitchcock "touch", but I am always made to feel as though the director is right there watching alongside me.
  2. 1. We learn that Marnie carries herself in a very self-assured manner, and knows exactly what she is doing when it comes to changing her identity. She has evidently done this before because she is very calm and deliberate in her actions, seems to be in no hurry or panic. It's as if she is packing for a business trip in a routine manner. Her interaction with the two suitcases represents this change: the "discarded" identity is signified by the grey suitcase into which used clothes are thrown in a messy jumble; the new identity of the pink suitcase is neatly packed with brand-new items and primed for a fresh start. As a side note, I wish it were that easy to dye ones hair blonde from jet black, without the colour turning green, but that's part of the fantasy of forming a new identity 2. There is a somber, mysterious feel to the score with a slow and steady rhythm as Hedren moves about her business, which builds to a crescendo when we finally see her face and the reveal of her died blonde hair. The flip of her hair to the flourish of the music gives the impression of a baptism--the promise and hope of a new beginning. 3. Hitchcock comes into the hallway of the hotel or apartment, watches Hedren walking from behind, gives a sheepish glance at the camera and quickly looks away, as if he had been caught looking at something forbidden. He is acknowledging his own identity as a voyeur.
  3. 1. The opening sequence is lighthearted; I expected to hear playful or even mischievous music as I watched Hedren crossing the street and entering the pet shop. Hedren and Taylor's relationship begins with a standard romantic comedy "meet cute", complete with a mistaken identity and playful dialogue. The location of the scene--a pet store in San Francisco--plus the seemingly benign errand both stars are engaging in--purchasing birds--is also charming. We learn that Melanie has purchased a rare exotic bird, yet seems to know nothing about birds in general; she finds Mitch attractive and flirts with him, pretending to be a store clerk. Rod Taylor, on the other hand, is fairly knowledgeable about birds, buying lovebirds for his sister, and while initially mistaking Melanie for a clerk, plays along with her game as he begins to realize his error. As in a romantic comedy, both stars find each other attractive and intriguing. 2. The sound design creates a seemingly calm atmosphere with a slightly eerie or anxious undertone. Bird calls normally indicate a pastoral setting; you do not expect to hear them so loudly during the day within the centre of a city like San Francisco. When Hedren is walking outside, the sky is slightly overcast and the sound of the birds feels like an approaching storm (the pet shop proprietor vocalizes the possibility). Once in the pet shop, the sound is a cacophony--definitely louder and more frantic than you would expect in your typical pet store. We are not seeing anything unusual in this beginning sequence, but we are hearing something that is unexpected and a little unsettling. 3. Hitchcock, in a dark suit, is exiting Davidson's pet shop with two white schnauzers (?) and brushes by Hedren as she enters. The cameo occurs right after Hedren notices the flock of seagulls circling in the sky. My guess is that Hitchcock did not want to be a distraction from the suspense-building later in the film, so he inserts himself at the beginning. It's a humorous cameo, what with the title of the film being "The Birds", the only sounds we hear are birds, Hedren is whistled at (another bird-like sound), and the circling seagulls, but we see Hitchcock with two dogs.
  4. 1. The music has a steady hum which suggests a constant motion--that of a car driving on a long journey, or the inner workings of an anxious mind. The linear graphics work well to visualize this motion and also mimic the strings of the violin, so prominent in Hermann's score. Together, the music and graphics create an anxious atmosphere often disrupted by a rattling bass or piercing high notes, leading us to experience our fear of the unexpected. The graphic lines crack and fracture text in a visualization of Bates' psychological break. 2. Mid-afternoon on a Friday fairly close to Christmas is when many people are not concentrating on their work and are anticipating the weekend; in other words being in a place they may not want to be while their mind is wandering "somewhere else". This feeling is common to all of the characters in the film. As for the specificity of the location and time, it is suggestive of a detailed police report. The shot through the blinds is reminiscent of the introduction to Rear Window; yet the fact that the blinds are partially closed hints that we are peeking at a private moment not meant to be seen by others. The blinds, in this sense, are very much a keyhole. 3. Janet Leigh is the one who has the most anxiety in the scene--she picks up the tension established in the title credits and carries it forward. Hitchcock has reversed the gender roles to a certain extent: Leigh is the one who has to rush back to work, while Gavin is more blasé and in no hurry to leave the hotel room. Leigh is shown as more in control of the action: she is over Gavin kissing him with her back prominently displayed to the camera, but she is also the one to stop their afternoon tryst. She also appears comfortable and confident being partially dressed, yet as she hurriedly puts on her clothes she reveals her anxiety and displeasure with the status of the relationship--and that of her life.
  5. 1. I have always felt that Eva Marie Saint is behaving like every person wishes they could if "accidentally" seated opposite Cary Grant. Oh to be that confident at 26. In all seriousness though, Hitchcock seems to be letting us "eavesdrop" on what we, the viewers, may imagine would happen if two of the biggest male and female movie stars of the time wound up bored on a train. Saint's aggressive, forthright manner is a subversion of how we would expect a conventional 1950s woman to act in this situation, but as a glamourous movie star we are accepting of her behaviour. That Grant begins wearing sunglasses so not to be "recognized" also plays into the mythology of the successful, Hollywood superstar. 2. "ROT" enables the matchbook to stand in for Grant's identity, while reminding us that his character is a murder target and may soon be "rotting" himself. Saint confidently maneuvers Grant's hand and the matchbook towards her demonstrating how she is very much in control of the situation. She is the one bringing Grant to his death as evinced by her deliberate blowing out of the match. At the same time, the sequence plays out as a seduction; the matchbook gives her an excuse for physical contact with Grant, more of which is certain to follow. 3. The sound design reflects what one would hear if actually seated in a dining car: the most prominent sound is the the rhythmic movement of the train over the tracks and the clattering of dishes. The orchestral music adds an air of romance and is faint, acting as ambient music in a restaurant. I noticed that as soon as Grant pulls out his R.O.T. initialled matchbook there are a few faint train whistles in the distance. The overall atmosphere is quietly romantic and yet fused with uncertainty.
  6. 1. The atmosphere established is eerie and evocative of a journey through the unknown. The camera takes us on this journey, beginning with the visible means of sensual perception--eye and mouth--and slowly works its way inward through the pupil of the eye to the intangible subjective world of the mind as expressed through mutating graphics. The music echoes the motion of the spiral and it is the shape of the eye from which all patterns emerge. 2. Definitely the close-up of Novak's eye with the the graphic spiral seemingly emerging from her pupil. It is a visual manifestation of "the mind's eye" which is at the heart of the movie's subject. This image brings the realistic (photographed human eye) and subjective worlds together to evoke the distorted perception and depersonalizing effects of vertigo. 3. They work seamlessly together to add an emotional dimension to the haunting, rotating, and repetitive rhythm of the spiral. I began answering these questions before watching the daily lecture video; when Prof. Edwards pointed out the hypnotic effect of the introduction I yelled out "of course!!". Why wasn't I seeing that before? Guess I was too busy being hypnotized
  7. 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? This opening shot speaks directly to the viewer--it's as if we are at Jeff's side while he sleeps and have opened the blinds in order to take in our surroundings. We not only get to see what Jeff sees but are made complicit in his voyeurism. In essence, the story--and its questionable voyeurism--begins with the audience and not with James Stewart. 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? The smashed up camera is followed by the spectacular framed photo of a race car crash, explaining how Jeff came to break his leg. We also see camera equipment and other framed photos, followed by a negative and copies of a magazine cover. We know he has travelled extensively as a photographer and that he has also done fashion portraits (likely where he met Liza Freemont). He lives in a small, modestly furnished apartment in a crowded tenement block meaning he likely does not have much money. The prominence of his photographic equipment also shows that his work takes priority in his life. 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? I first saw this movie when I was around 12 years old and the opening has always made me feel as though I'm looking into a dollhouse. Yes, you are getting glimpses into other people's lives, but it's as they are waking up in the morning and has always felt innocent to me. Only when we are first introduced to the newlyweds and eventually Miss Lonelyhearts does it start to feel more sinister and invasive. Bonus question: if you have seen the entire film before, do you agree with Hitchcock that this film is his most cinematic? I agree in the sense mentioned above in the curator's notes section, that it is his most cinematic in that he has created an entire self-contained world built around the movie camera. This world exists for the camera and is completed by its relationship to the viewer.
  8. 1. The single criss-cross or "X" implies a meeting and then a separation; a criss-cross pattern guarantees that this meeting and separation will continuously recur. In this opening sequence, the cross-crossing pattern is manifest in the tile floors inside the station, in the train tracks themselves, and by the seemingly accidental meeting of the two characters as they both cross their legs. The rhombus, however, is a more defined shape: equal sides and opposite parallels that, when bisected, form a cross pattern. The rhombus sets up both characters as being equal yet opposite--the existence of one depending on the other. Hitchcock uses the rhombus to introduce these characters: the Diamond Cab Company logo on each door stamps each character with this symbol, which is picked up again on the tile floors inside the station. The intersection of these two characters is far from coincidental, and one will likely come to define the other as their paths continue to "cross". 2. Walker is shown as flashy through his walk and his high-contrast wardrobe--shoes, cufflinks, patterned tie, and the fantastic "Bruno" tie clip labelling him like a store front. Granger is more subdued in darker hues that blend together, with the exception of his checkered (!) tie. Walker's body language shows him as more open to conversation while Granger, sitting directly opposite, is more closed off from his surroundings by the table and with his head down reading a magazine. Although Granger accidentally initiates contact, he is politely reserved; It is Walker who invades Granger's space by moving a little too close, grabbing his hand to shake, and offering up personal details about his tie clip. 3. The film is introduced with a dramatic flourish; when we transition to the characters arriving at the train station, however, the atmosphere becomes more playful and lighthearted. The score comprises an audio "criss cross" with the rhythmic repetition of a melody identifying one character and echoed in the other, establishing their similarities. It is only when we first see the tracks, and the shadow of the train hovering over them, that the melody fuses together and becomes sombre in tone. The suspense builds the closer we get to the two characters actually meeting; when they finally do interact, the music stops completely. Taken together, the music creates an anxious atmosphere by contrasting these light and dark tones. The lack of music during the initial dialogue creates a heightened focus on an anxiety common to most audience members: that of having to politely chat with an overbearing, pushy stranger when you are on a train with no means of escape.
  9. 1. What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this early scene from the movie? Definitely the creativity with the POV shots showing Grant from Bergman's perspective as he menacingly approaches her in bed. Grant is shot full-figure to look darker and more menacing, reminiscent of the Novello sequence in Downhill. These angles serve to bring the viewer into the mind of Ingrid Bergman's character, heightening emotion. The use of the record player to fill in background details of Bergman's character was innovative as well; instead of music, we get to watch Bergman react to the sound of her own voice exposing her true inner feelings.
 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? Cary Grant is constantly active in his movements, yet retains a stiff, sinister poise echoed in his dark, crisply tailored suit. He is shown either from behind, in full figure, or in shadow. In contrast, Bergman is more passive, reacting to Grant, but her striped top and scarf tied around her waist, her dishevelled hair, mimic her inner turmoil. The scene is almost dreamlike--as if the two are engaging in a complicated dance to a record not playing music. 

 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? I believe it challenges their personas and subverts the expectations of the audience. Although Grant looks his usual suave, debonair and well dressed self, his character is more subdued and serious than usual; he is missing his smooth, wisecracking, easy-going nature. Similarly, Bergman is shown dishevelled, with a hangover, lacking the poise, grace, and glamour of her image. She is vulnerable, reminiscent of when she played a prostitute against Spencer Tracy's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
  10. 1. What stood out the most to me was the playfulness with which Hitchcock keeps the audience guessing as to what is going on in the scene. it reminded me of Downhill, after Ivor Novello's character leaves home and begins working. Hitchcock introduces us to Novello's new profession through a series of close-up shots (Is he at a party? Is he a waiter?) followed by a pan out to a wider shot revealing him to be an actor playing a waiter on stage. Similarly, In Mr. and Mrs. Smith, we begin with a close-up of dirty dishes (Are they leftovers from a party? A banquet?). As the camera pans around the room giving us clues to what may or may not be taking place, it becomes obvious that they have been holed up in this room for longer than one night. 2. I guess I would have to disagree. In comparison to the other openings we have seen in this class, Mr. and Mrs. Smith does not have a dynamic pace or take place in a crowded public setting. It does retain an emphasis on seeing versus being seen: Lombard's eye peeks out from under her blanket; Montgomery stares at her from behind the sofa; Montgomery refuses to open the door to his office assistant, and instead shows only his hand. 

 3. I thought the two had terrific chemistry. There was the clash of personalities so key to a screwball comedy--Lombard the outwardly neurotic wife and Montgomery the reactionary, inwardly neurotic husband--but the genuine affection they have for each other, doomed as it may be, still rings through. Lombard was slightly more subdued than in, say, Twentieth Century or My Man Godfrey, and this matched the tone of Montgomery's bemused-but-inwardly panicking husband. If they had been too different in their temperaments, it may not have worked as well.
  11. 1. -He is careless with his money as we see large amounts lying on the table and floor of a public boarding house; -He cares about his appearance--his tailored suit fits perfectly and is pressed even after lying down; -He has a temper (smashes glass in frustration over the police being outside); -He has no respect for the law, believing himself smarter than the two detectives following him (he brazenly walks past them instead of hiding; also by his words "What do you know. You're bluffing. You've got nothing on me."); -He seems to make unnecessary trouble for himself. He easily confesses to the landlady about not knowing his male callers, explaining they don't know him either, as opposed to simply agreeing with the landlady's assumption of the men being his friends. -For a person who has likely done something illegal, he doesn't seem very concerned about hiding or pretending to be someone that he is not; he has an uneasy confidence. 2. I haven't seen The Killers, so I will answer generally. The setting is a city boarding house (most noirs are in gritty, urban settings) and we meet a lone troubled man resting (or trapped?) in his room contemplating his next move. What stands out the most to me as noir is the expressionistic lighting: the shadows of the curtains billowing across Charlie's face and the bed echo his unease; the shadow of the blind comes down over Charlie's face like a curtain at the end of a play foreshadowing his death while Charlie lies still with closed eyes, immaculately dressed as if for his own funeral. The mood is also uneasy and the scene "pregnant with possibilities". The presence of detectives watching, waiting, and following this lone man is also very noir-ish. 3. The rhythm of the waltz is echoed in the cuts to Joseph Cotten in the rooming house: from the shot of the children playing in the street, to the rooming house (which is unlucky number 13!), to the window, to the room, all happen to the beat of the music. It sets up what will eventually be a "dance" between Cotten and Wright. The waltz also does not match the urban setting, establishing the well-dressed Cotten as a man who does not fit in with his surroundings.
  12. 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? It is comprised of longer, sweeping shots that are not lively or cutting rapidly from one to the other; it does not take place in a public location but in private the mind of the narrator (even in the dream it's a private and gated residential space); when cutting to the south of France the crashing of the waves and the isolated image of Olivier atop the cliff continue this dreamlike, ethereal state and increase the suspense. There are also no crowds of people, no use of text or signage. 2. What are the Hitchcock "touches" in this opening that help you identify this as a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock? -Focus is on the interior life of the characters--Joan Fontaine is narrating a dream; when we meet Olivier he appears suicidal and preoccupied with inner demons -Technique: the POV dolly tracking shot closes in on the gate and the camera passes through it like a ghost, illustrating the narration. The entire sequence feels like you are flying through your memory or floating over the water watching the events unfold. We are seemingly occupying the mind of the faceless narrator. -Incorporation of Expressionist lighting techniques--playing with light and shadow to create an ethereal atmosphere and haunting tone 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? The sequence involving Manderley is part character sketch setting up the house as an adversary for Fontaine, but one that appears to have been vanquished. The house has "staring walls" and appears to be a weary shell of its former self that nature is slowly bringing back to life. The entire sequence is at once ominous and haunting but also recuperative and offering a promise of positive change. The flashback structure emphasizes a story of survival: Manderley is simultaneously the end of the story and the beginning of a new one.
  13. 1. The music has a whimsical feel--it made me think of a merry-go-round or an amusement park--with bird-like notes and 3/4 time of a waltz; it works with the caged bird and the cuckoo clock to set a humorous tone to a scene that is quite lively and chaotic. 2. I absolutely love these 2 characters. They are a send-up of the quintessential British tourist couple--believing themselves to be more worldly, sophisticated, and important than they actually are. I laughed out loud at the image of both of them standing for the duration of the Hungarian Rhapsody, thinking it to be the Hungarian national anthem (and likely bickering quietly to each other like a married couple at the same time). They serve as comic relief, but also to further establish the setting of the picture in Europe and cement the idea of train travel being difficult due to weather and the political climate of 1938 in the mind of the viewer. 3. Iris is consistently placed directly opposite the hotel proprietor, Boris, the man who has been the most active character up until this point. The scene begins showing all three ladies and Boris on equal ground, each one flirting with him and joking in a slightly condescending manner. It is Iris, however, who initiates movement towards the stairs, who corrects Boris's english, and talks over him giving out orders and demands. The scene ends with Iris leading the "charge" up the stairs with Boris and the others in tow. Iris is also the only character who faces towards the camera throughout the scene and who also receives a close-up (I'm not sure what to call it) with only her and Boris in the frame.
  14. 1. Similar public setting, emphasis on text (signage) and on watching and being watched, lively music, and playful POV shots. In The 39 Steps, however, the identification with one main character (Donat) is more streamlined. We literally follow in his footsteps and establish a relationship with him that will carry throughout the picture. 2. I agree to a certain extent. It's as if Hitchcock is having fun with us in this opening clip and asking us to figure out if Donat is good or evil. He begins with more sinister elements (the first we see of Donat is his ominous shadow being cast across the ticket booth) which suggest we should be wary of this man (his collar is up, we only see his broad shoulders, feet, and not his face) and he is almost late for the beginning of the show in a crowded theatre. In the wider shots of the theatre audience, however, Donat does not stand out. Hitchcock makes us wait to see him; there are no shots of Donat reacting to anything said in the theatre. When we do see Donat, he seems at ease with the young boy shouting over him and leaning on his shoulder; he offers a bemused smile as the lady next to him brushes off her collar in mild disgust. He is polite and respectful, asks a seemingly benign question, and applauds Mr. Memory with a "quite right" that fits him in with the crowd around him. Donat would have been a star in Britain by 1935, I believe, and he looks every bit the movie star which the public would want to embrace. His close-up reminded me of a publicity shot: Donat is handsome, well dressed and shown slightly turned from the camera, his face not hidden but framed by the upturned collar. Immediately following the close-up, Mr. Memory identifies him as Canadian and literally welcomes him into the picture. In short, Hitchcock films him as increasingly part of--and accepted by--the crowd and the performers. 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? The elements present are the use of a seemingly ordinary public setting that sets the viewer at ease (and mirrors the audience of the movie theatre) but has the potential to be sinister (do you really know what the person sitting in front of you is capable of?). Emphasis is on characterizing ordinary people in extraordinary situations (though this first clip doesn't address the extraordinary yet; it spends time characterizing people as ordinary and establishing Donat one of them.).
  15. 1. I believe the characters are going to be more important. Time has been taken to establish relationships ("Uncle" Louis, father and daughter, a questionable history between Louis and Abbott) but also the quirkiness of their characters. For example, the daughter, as Wes remarked in the video, is annoying and used to getting her own way with her father; plus she doesn't seem that sorry for causing a near-catastrophe and ruining Louis's competition! Very little has been offered in terms of the plot; just a sense of unease due to the accident and Peter Lorre's shocked expression. 2. Unlike others in the crowd, his English is admittedly poor and his fur coat, hat and white gloves further single him out as unique. Given the shock on his face and hasty exit upon seeing "Uncle" Louis the skier, the two share a negative history; although Louis seems perplexed by Abbott's reaction to him. His laughter and toothy smile suggest a jovial good nature but because it's Peter Lorre, that is usually masking something sinister underneath! The daughter even remarks on his toothy smile and sets him up as being creepy. The fact that Louis falls and then remarks that the young girl and dog nearly killed him, in conjunction with his association with Lorre, suggests that Louis may meet an untimely demise. 3. The "act of watching" or voyeurism is immediately emphasized in these three openings. Each offers a unique perspective of a subject (dancers descending a spiral staircase, flashing neon sign/screaming woman, and the wide shot of a ski jump) and move to shots of an audience watching that subject (burlesque theatre, crowd on the street watching a dead body, crowd watching a skiing competition). In The Man Who Knew Too Much, however, the initial shot orients us in a wide landscape, not in a series of close shots of a stage or the lamplight of a suggested Thames embankment. The location of the action, St. Moritz, is clearly established, not suggested.
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