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About mary_ann

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  • Birthday June 3

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    Film noir, art, travel
  1. The opening scenes are similar in that there is the horrific discovery of a dead body, followed by a large crowd gathering to look. In each film, the victim is a fair haired woman found on the edge of the embankment. The differences are interesting. In "The Lodger" there is a huge reflection of media frenzy, terror and shock. The music definitely is more intense here as well. With "Frenzy",comparatively speaking, it doesn't seem like much of a shock with this crowd of people. The music is not audible during the discovery of the body. Rather there is politician speaking. Its almost like a farce which in itself makes it disturbing. I mean it can't be every day dead and nude bodies wash up on the river like this.There is more colour in "Frenzy" and it is a discovery made at daylight. With "The Lodger" its darker shots, suggesting its discovered at night. There is more frenzy, (ironically) than with the movie "Frenzy" at least in its opening shots comparatively speaking. Also with "The Lodger" we have the spectacle of the horror, fear and depiction being magnified immensely via the press. With Hitchcock style, we have the discovery of a body belonging to someone of fair hair fairly early in the film, similar to Psycho where a death of a fair hair woman dies 1/3 way thru the film. There is a spectacle about the body as its seen floating by the crowd. I don't find there is an excess of emotion rather there is a severe lack of emotion. The reaction is almost non-existent. As stated earlier, I find this strange. The famous scream scenes whether heard or not in a Hitchcock film, work well. Hitchcock frames the scene with a close up and uses music as well to successfully frame the shot of extreme terror. Of course, for me, the most famous scream is in Psycho when Marion is being murdered in the shower.
  2. In this opening scene, we get to know Marnie's character while she packs her clothes in a suitcase. She is a woman of extravagance, with all fashionable, very good quality and multiple amounts of clothes. There is nothing plain or simple in that suitcase. She is like split personalities as she casts away one set of clothes into one suitcase and all new and different clothes in another. There is duality as a theme running thru this film as was in other Hitchcock films. Of course, we see her empty her yellow purse of bills into the suitcase which attracts our attention. Where did this money come from. Note, there are two purses, wallets, suitcases, and two sets of clothes, two different hair colours that reflect multiple identities hidden within. This is what we are dealing with in her character. We never see Marnie's face until she becomes another identity, with newly coloured hair and then at the train station. Otherwise we see her other persona, with black hair and a different identity. Bernard Herrmann's score is used throughout the scene to show the shadowy and doubtful nature, both up and down life of this character. The music is very quiet and guides us through the motions of Marnie. It becomes loudest just as she is on her way onto the train. Again, we are at the train station as Hitchcock viewers. As she locks one suitcase away and throws away the key, we hear no music, just the train station announcement. This is a great scene where Hitchcock makes his cameo. Its different as here he looks at the characters, then directly back at the camera. So who is shooting the film?! Its like he wants us to know he too is watching Marnie just as we are, the viewers. Very unique.
  3. This scene is more appropriate for a romantic comedy as there is lots of flirting, and smiling going on and joking around. It is tongue and cheek, very proper, not risqué. The leading characters are introduced to one another and seem suitable. It is a believable match and we are led to want to see what will happen with the two of them down the road. It piques one's curiosity. They both are at the store looking for the same thing, love birds and he thinks she works at the pet store as she plays along while waiting for love birds. They too will become coupled up like 'love birds'. At first, we hear the birds as they are in the flying around or perching in the sky. Then as Melanie approaches the store, she looks at the sky and observes the birds making louder chirping sounds and it becomes quite loud and somewhat of a warning, or signal to reflect dark times. They are grouping together in large formation in the sky. Once inside the store, there is nothing but bird chirping and activity surrounding the couple suggests their relationship could be entangled with love birds and birds in general. Here the bird chirping is not so unusual. The store clerk suggests there are so many gulls outside making noise, etc. due to a storm coming. Again, this is a foreshadowing reference of a literal storm of birds. The cameo is great as here you have Hitchcock leaving a pet store with two dogs. Melanie is there to pick up two love birds, so there is the focus on duality, and the couple meeting as well.
  4. You have the cutting of the lines and breaks in the characters names as they are being introduced which shadows the coming attraction of the film. The cutting of flesh in the shower scene. The music is extremely sensitive to the graphic design and flows so well alerting the viewer to impending danger. With Hitchcock's specificity he is most likely suggesting the set up of a crime scene. In crime scenes, one always states the date and time and it follows the city be stated as well. There are no secrets. Everything is out there for the viewer to know. I love how Hitchcock enters the hotel room thru the blinds as this is how a voyeur would do so. The scene is set up like "Rear Window" in this regard. We enter the room uninvited to see a very personal situation between two lovers. There are gaps in the blinds to get a sneak preview. The lines in Saul Bass' graphic designed opening scene also reminds me of the blinds, vice versa. The gaps in the blinds also suggest there is some coverup going on here and it is not 100% private. Right in the first scene, Sam's reaction to her stating "this is the last time..." suggests to me it is not in his mind to see her any other way, and that he is good with the nature of the tryst. Whereas for her, she is unsatisfied always meeting in a hotel. She has no idea how true some of her last words to him really are by saying it is the last time. They never meet up again so the irony of it all, unbeknownst to a first time viewer, is quite unique. Second time around, etc. it gets better when heard every time. As a viewer we have become the wiser.
  5. Our pre-existing knowledge of these stars does have an affect on how we interpret his/her performance. We know Cary Grant is a leading man and ladies fall in love with him. Eve Saint Marie is also a leading lady who also attracts attention for her beauty and wisdom. I feel the R.O.T. matchbook is yes to detract from the two stars. Its a break from the intense scene playing out between the two. Its also a reminder that this is going on between them, this unfinished business of his identity and as he strikes the flame, the heat goes up not only in his quest for innocence but also their attraction for one another. Sound design is priceless. We have the silly violins in the background, music for love. I use the word silly as this is all about lust. Then we have the background noise to remind us we are still on the train and what is particular amusing to me is the view through the window as the scene unfolds. Its rather ugly and bleak and here we have an attraction progressing. I have to say she is rather fake to me. The whole scene is out of whack for me. I never felt, nor still do, that Eve Saint Marie was the right woman here for Cary Grant. It just never worked for me. I always feel very uncomfortable watching this scene. Perhaps that is what Hitchcock wanted.
  6. I listened to this clip without visual. Based on sound alone, I'd say this film is going to be both dreamy, and haunting. The continuous melody rising, and falling, suggests twists and turns to the film. Some surprises followed by the ending of the clip, lots of drama. Non-stop. Looking and listening to the clip, the sensation is further enhanced. For me, the single most powerful image is the spiral rolling out of Madeline's pupil midway and then again at the end, where the spiral rolls back into her pupil. I couldn't imagine a different score for this sequence based on my answers above. The shots work so well together with the music.
  7. wow, a lot goes on in one camera shot. I feel Hitchcock is letting the audience, 'us' see what the story will be all about by showing us a glimpse or summation if you will, of what is to come for the movie viewer. Through visual design, we see photos of Jeff so he is a writer or photo journalist. We see a broken camera and magazine cover shots he did as well. This scene does make me feel like a voyeur as I find myself looking at these vignettes, for e.g.. the woman putting on her bra with her back facing me. I feel that I shouldn't be watching her. It is really the daily snap-shots of life. Definitely his most cinematic film. It is abundant with stories, windows into so many people's busy lives and this is just in the morning. Its incredible to think all this goes on with just a shot thru a small window onto other apartments. Makes you think about the whole world. He gets you thinking about what it is you do yourself in the morning and who if anyone is watching anyone in the morning. He captures quite a diverse amount of activity in 2 1/2 minutes.
  8. First scene we have the criss cross of the diamond shape on the taxicab door. Criss cross diamond shape on the floor, criss cross of the train tracks, people crossing their legs with shots under the table, then the actual bumping into each other of Guy and Bruno. And a Criss cross pattern on Guy's tie. The score of Dimitri Tomkin sets the mood and tone of the film. It starts out loud and lavish with the arrival of the characters in their respective cars. Here the music quietens up then the trumpets start a bit. The characters come out of the cabs, but all we see for a while are their shoes and baggage. An odd way to begin a film yet memorable. Bruno's style is more tailored looking, he wears more expensive shoes, white with black whereas Guy has less stylish shoes with a less defined crease in his pants suggesting he pays less attention to the way he looks than Bruno. The pinstripes and stylish tie also make him appear sharper dressed than Guy. Bruno also has a handkerchief in his breast pocket whereas Guy has none and tucks his tie into his vest worn under the jacket. Bruno also has a tie clip with his name and seems more confident and self assured than Guy.
  9. I love this scene and the pov Hitchcock uses when Cary Grant approaches Ingrid Bergman lying in bed. We see Cary from the point of view of Ingrid yet when she tries to get the angle right, it seems he changes. Its the typical, you don't always see things as they are element in a Hitchcock film. There is distortion, the distortion of truth. Then the truth comes out on a recording on vinyl. Very interesting indeed! The contrasts are great. You have Cary, clean cut, in a suit, no wrinkles then a disheveled Ingrid, still wearing her clothes from the previous night, coming out of bed with a hangover. Attempting to get tidied up combing her hair. Her vision is all over the place, she is still nursing a hangover and he sees straight and points it all out. He walks with confidence. She walks without ease. I love the close ups here. There is good chemistry here and why shouldn't that be, they are both well known great actors at the time of this film. Meaning they are not just famous, but excellent quality actors. They work well professionally. I feel this would be their challenge, to excel and have that chemistry and do very well in the film with the adage of fame.
  10. What a mess! The couple live together yet sleep separately and sheltered into their bedroom. They are contained in a microcosm thats part of the house. There is a mess and pile of dishes with food, and a chaotic disarray. The lighting suggests a sunny day, the curtains are drawn but are sheer so we see the rays of sunlight. I like how Hitchcock uses long camera shots for telephone conversations and the two maids talking to one another about what the one who took breakfast up saw in the bedroom. The decor suggests opulence, lots of silverware and dishes, fancy plush satin bed covers and sheets. Lots of wasted food. It is a most unusual visual of beauty amongst chaos and here we have mystery. What is going on, and why are they keeping themselves away from everyday life. I tend to agree its a typical Hitchcock opening scene as it leaves me scratching my head. I'm intrigued right away to know why these two people live this way. What could be the reason and my curiosity is piqued. This is what Hitchcock always does in the opening scene. Leaves one guessing and in this way its very typical. I feel the casting and chemistry between the two stars Carole Lombard and Robert Montgomery is very well done. They are both attractive yet Carole here appears to have the temper and Robert appears trying to appease her and not disturb the sleeping lion.
  11. Oddly enough, in this opening scene, we don't learn too much about this character except that he is hiding something when he gets mad and breaks a glass then gets up to the window and says "what do you know, you are bluffing, you have nothing on me" as he discreetly watches the two men on the corner of the street who called on him. He smokes a cigar and has lots of money it seems. It is clear though that he doesn't wish to be disturbed and could be ignoring the callers. Not much else is revealed about him however the music crescendos when he makes a bold move and walks out the door of his flat and right by the two men who had called on him. The scene reminds me of a film noir as there is always a story we are waiting to be told and here too we encounter a man under odd circumstances, not knowing his story as its yet to be revealed. There appear to be two men after him and it could be about money. There is mystery and a hint of danger. He breaks a glass out of frustration or fear, not sure yet. The musical score is very important to this film as we don't know much about this main character yet the music tells us through its volume and beats per minute, that someone is on the loose. It reveals emotion and warns us of character action. Its what we listen to as we see the action and it is very revealing. It tends to get louder with the actions of the character. Very well done. It escalates every time he first exits the door of his apartment and doesn't close the door, wind breezes in from the window, and moreso when he leaves the building which has the #13 on the door. The music gets louder and more vibrant as he approaches the men to pass them on the corner. It seems that as the two men then follow Uncle Charlie, their footsteps are in time with the piano playing. I love it.
  12. 1 & 3) The opening of "Rebecca" is so different from most Hitchcock films previously made. Here we have the moon, a glorious shot of a full moon and a narrative directing visuals along with the camera of the iron gate just before the road/ path to Manderley. Once in, here is nothing but a winding path, somewhat barren-like nature setting, crumble and leafless trees, overgrown brush, trees down; nature takes over. Through use of language and narrative, anthropomorphic qualities are given to the house. Nature encroaches it, and it is described at one point, as having long tenacious fingers that reach up into the drive. Manderley itself had light within the windows and the house had a face. She describes the walls of the house as 'staring' at the onlooker. There is no loud, public and commonly visited place for this film introduction. Hitchcock uses shadow and light in the full moon shot preceding the drive to Manderley. Also, the waves shining under the moonlight and crashing down on the rocks as we are introduced to how our heroine meets Maxim. We hear louder music reaching a crescendo and there is Maxim on the edge of a cliff, wanting to throw himself over. As he takes a step closer to the stormy waters below, he is stopped/ saved by the heroine. ​This scene is a precursor to the type of relationship the couple will have. It starts out rocky, tumultuous and challenging. This continues through the course of the film. The expectations are set for the viewer. It is so well laid out. I love this movie and can watch it over and over and over again and never be bored with it.Of course, the book is just as awesome.
  13. The music is very calm and happy-like suggesting the film would be of the same temperment. Love when the woman guest leaves and a gush of wind comes in to open the door for her on her way out. Soon after we are introduced to the porters who with the wind, change the tone of the scene instantly. They bring in chaos and utter distraction with their noise, chatter and arguing, making it difficult for things to remain calm and merrily good. Sound further erupts with the cuckoo clock going off, and the front desk man not being able to hear the person on the phone and giving orders to his guests about registering. This is how we are introduced to the next two characters. Here we have the characters Caldicott and Chalmers being told to register, then the desk man passes them right by upon observing the arrival of three beautiful young women, suggesting Caldicott and Chalmers are being over-looked. This is of course presented in a humourous yet frustrating way to the two men. Further on, their dialogue suggests they are reasonable and calm men unlike the eclecticism of the scene early on and unlikely to react. From their doorway entrance to their staircase exit, Hitchcock uses dialogue in a way that only the three women and the front desk man can be heard. Everything else stops around them and everyone is just watching and looking at the newest arrival. The camera moves with the characters from the door to the step and the most important character seems to be the one closest to the staircase leading the way (with the camera and onlookers) to the stairs. The camera also focuses on Iris with the front desk man only in one shot which further helps to establish Iris (Margaret Lockwood) as the star of this scene.
  14. I see a pattern in opening scenes, for eg. 39 Steps and The Pleasure Garden there is an opening scene in a theatre setting, lots of people, so a very commonly visited public space. Lots of comedy and farce in both as well. We are introduced to important characters here not just everyday people. Differences, well there are many as not all his films start out the same way or in the same location. I'm not sure Hitchcock is trying to introduce a more innocent character that one he normally does. I feel the character is simply more refined and incapable of lashing out. He's more mildly mannered than even Cary Grant in North by Northwest, another innocent who is wronged. I agree that there are many on-screen elements of Hitchcock's use of public spaces in his films in opening scenes. If you just look at his early films and silent films even, you can see he uses public spaces and there is no exclusion of the characters from the public. Its very openly portrayed. Love that there is no seclusion. Everything is out in the open and unravelling. There are what is deemed to be a secret, however everyone finds out the so called secret.
  15. Based on the opening scene, I would say the characters are going to be more important than the plot yet I would imagine this would change. Abbott plays a dummy if you will, but he is not a dummy. Appearances are deceiving.I love this about Hitchcock films. This scene is similar to "the Pleasure Garden"and "The Lodger" in that there are lots of activity in the scene yet different of course, as there is dialogue, lots of laugh lol!
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