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Everything posted by snickersnee

  1. There are so many musicals I really love and find myself going back to, but the following is a short list of favorites. The Wizard of Oz My Fair Lady Fiddler on the Roof White Christmas Gentlemen Prefer Blondes The Music Man Yentl The Producers Chicago I'd say the infectiousness of the songs from those films is the number one factor that keeps me coming back. However, I also very much like the themes, the colors, and the overall "feeling" that comes over me when I watch them, and so forth.
  2. 1. Do you agree that the clip exhibits a brighter perspective of life than might be realistic? Why or why not? Yes, I would say so. The overall tone is incredibly cheerful and optimistic. Anna is singing a happy, playful song and using her compact to interact mischievously but innocently with an enchanted audience. Ziegfeld's tone when bantering with the doorman is light and carefree. Even in the scene where Anna is presented with a serious decision to mull over, the tone of the scene doesn't become more pensive or serious the way it almost certainly would in real life. I can defin
  3. 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 intro to Frenzy is more of a slow burn than the opening to The Lodger was. We're taken on a bird's eye journey down the Thames to orient us within our setting before we actually reach the spot where people are standing listening to the speaker. Even then, we're listening to the speech for a few minutes before anyone happens to notice there's a naked corpse floating around in the river. With The Lodger, it's just straight up action right
  4. 1. Based on the opening sequence alone, what do you feel you already know about Marnie as a character? In what ways does Hitchcock visually reveal her character through her interaction with objects. We definitely know she's a career criminal of some kind, probably a thief -- multiple IDs and social security cards, way more cash than any honest person would probably be carrying around with them. This is confirmed by the way she transfers it from her purse to a suitcase -- not what most people would do with that much cash if they'd come by it via honest avenues. She's packing kind of haphaza
  5. 1. In what ways does this opening scene seem more appropriate to a romantic comedy than a “horror of the apocalypse” film? What do we learn about Melanie (Tippi Hedren) and Mitch (Rod Taylor) in this scene? If I were unfamiliar with this film and saw this scene out of context, it's not out of the question that I'd assume I'm about to watch a romantic comedy of some sort for sure. To start with the obvious, the opening scene focuses on the meet-cute between the two main characters and it's flirtatious right from the get-go. Their banter is also lighthearted and really quite humorous. You ge
  6. 1. Psycho opens with title design by Saul Bass and music by Bernard Herrmann. This is their third collaboration for Hitchcock, including Vertigo and North by Northwest. How does the graphic design and the score introduce the main themes of this film? As with the two other opening title sequences we watched, the score and design go together here like peanut butter and jelly or macaroni and cheese. While each is masterful and well worthy of appreciation on its own, they create something special and unique when they come together -- almost a mini-introduction to the underlying themes the film
  7. 1. Even at the level of the dialogue, this film is playing with the idea that two Hollywood stars are flirting with each other (e.g. the line, "I look vaguely familiar.") How does our pre-existing knowledge of these stars function to create meaning in this scene. I feel like I'm going off on a tangent with this first part here, because I don't think this was really what this question was asking for, but let me see if I can get this thought to make sense. The idea that rooted itself in my head after I read this discussion question and considered it as I watched the scene has to do with ho
  8. 1. Describe what you think this film will be about simply from the sounds and images in these opening credits. Even if you have seen the film, try to focus on these sounds and images themselves and “the story” (or if not "the story," the mood and atmosphere they are establishing) that this sequence is communicating to the audience. You definitely have the impression that this film will focus on something to do with psychology and the way the mind works in general. Also possibly the relationship between what the eyes see and what the mind perceives. (Dreamy, subjective, abstract images and
  9. 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? If I had to pick just one word to describe this shot, I think I'd have to go with "convincing". Even though I'm quite aware that this is a custom-built contained set on a sound stage, it really doesn't feel like one. All the little touches really convince me that this is a real little neighborhood where people actually live out their real lives. You eve
  10. 1. In how many ways does Hitchcock play with or visually manifest the metaphor of “criss cross” or “criss-crossing” in this introductory sequence. [For those who haven’t seen the film yet, the idea of “criss cross” is central idea in this film, a theme Hitch sets up from the opening frames of this film] Be specific. Quite a few, actually. As far as the ones I noticed, there's the train tracks as touched on in today's lecture, as well as the way the camera is focused on a juncture in the tracks. You can see the train is headed for that juncture, but as a viewer, you are unsure of which dire
  11. 1. What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this early scene from the movie? The point-of-view shot is definitely part of the Hitchcock touch. You see Devlin through the eyes of the hungover Alicia and it helps put you in her shoes. The camera twirls around. You see Devlin at first from a cockeyed angle and then upside down. The shot is hazy at first, later becoming clearer. The whole sequence makes me feel a little woozy and disoriented watching it -- definitely reminiscent of how I'd feel if I really overdid it with the alcohol the night before. Especially if I woke up to find someone else
  12. 1. What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this opening sequence? Moreover, what do we learn about or know about the couple through the scene's visual design: the props, the set design or dressing, the decor, the camera angles, the lighting, etc? Hitch likes to introduce his viewers to his stories right in the middle of a situation in progress, as opposed to before that situation develops. This particular scene isn't as action-oriented as some of the ones his earlier British films opened on, but it's definitely... a situation. I don't yet fully understand the pattern of "fight-and-make-up" t
  13. 1. As mentioned in the curator's note, this scene operates as a prelude to the main story. What do learn about the character of Uncle Charlie in this prelude? Be specific. We learn that Uncle Charlie appears to be an odd mix of cool/collected and anxious/explosive. He seems like the kind of guy that you wouldn't always be able to read, probably to your own detriment. Like... you wouldn't be totally able to tell you really ticked him off and made him angry until he literally explodes in your general direction. (We see this in the way he goes from lying on the bed thinking and staring at th
  14. 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? The biggest, most obvious difference for me is definitely the pacing. The other scenes we've looked at gave me the impression of being out in public somewhere, happening upon some action, and stopping to see what's going on. You're launched right into the film at a fast pace, often witnessing events that will turn out to be key later on in the story right away. With Rebecca, it's more like you float into the setting all by yourself at a s
  15. I don't know how underrated it could really be considered, but Rebecca is one of my absolute favorite Hitchcock films. Easily in my top five, but I feel like I don't see it discussed or mentioned very often. I also really like Marnie, The Paradine Case, and Spellbound. On a related note, I was kind of surprised at how much I enjoyed watching some of his silent films the other night. Until I signed up for this course, I'd never seen any of them and was only vaguely aware that Hitch got his start in silents. I think I'd maybe only seen one silent movie ever in my life before that. I figured
  16. 1. Using specific examples, describe how Hitchcock opens The Lady Vanishes. What tone, mood, or atmosphere is Hitchcock establishing for the audience very early on in this picture? Pay particular attention to the music. As is the case with a lot of Hitchcock's opening scenes, this one crackles with energy. There's a lot going on and lots of different people present, each with their own concerns and reasons for being in that exact place at that exact time. The tone feels anticipatory because everyone's waiting to check in and get on with their vacation/journey/evening. This also feels li
  17. 1. Now that you have seen multiple openings to Hitchcock's British films, how does this opening both fit a pattern you have seen previously as well as deviate from other opening scenes? Well, it definitely fits with other openings I've seen in that Hitch is encouraging me as the viewer to step in and follow someone into a pretty ordinary setting. Like Hannay, I feel like I'm just out to spend an evening doing something fun. There's also a lot of energy in the scene as there has been in the other opening scenes we've looked at so far. No slow burn build-up. There's a quick, fast pace goi
  18. I totally didn't notice the way he looked at the skier. Definitely a sign of things to come for sure!
  19. 1. Based on these opening scene, what do you anticipate is going to be more important in this film--the characters or the plot? (It is fine to make an informed guess about the 2nd question if you haven't seen the film yet.) I did get a chance to see this version of The Man Who Knew Too Much many years ago (like, try 15-20). But I only saw it the once and I remember nothing about it except really, really liking Peter Lorre's performance. That said, I feel like I'm approaching this from the same place as those that have never seen it. I'm not sure if this is me subconsciously remembering so
  20. 1. In this sequence, describe how Hitchcock uses sound design to put you into the subjective "mind of Alice"? Be specific. I've never actually seen this film in its entirety before, so I don't truly know why Alice is so engrossed in the idea of this murder. Maybe she was involved in some way. Maybe she's having a "Golden Curls" moment, worrying that she could become the next victim (or that someone she knows might). Whatever the case, we see how focused she is on it by the way she starts tuning out every sound in the room except for every instance where the speaking woman in the room say
  21. The crooked stairs going down to the beach in Rebecca. I live near Point Lobos where that was filmed and have been up and down those stairs myself many times. To this day, I always call them the "Rebecca stairs".
  22. This is the case for me as well. I've probably seen some of Hitchcock's films (i.e. Vertigo, Psycho, or The Birds) a good 20 or 30 times, but I never stop noticing new things. Sometimes it's something bigger, but little discoveries enhance the enjoyment of the film as well. As a creative person, I'm always especially appreciative of the little details because I realize some person at some point made a conscious decision to include each one. I love actively noticing what kind of art a character has on their walls, which book that is on the coffee table, what foods the person has in their fridge
  23. 1. In your own words, please describe the effect of watching the POV dolly shots / POV tracking shots in this scene? It's two things at once, they sort of contradict one another, and I'm positive that's intentional on the part of Hitchcock. On the one hand, I'm placed right there in the scene right away. That irritated headmaster isn't simply staring at a key character. He's staring at me in the shoes of that character. I'm instantly clear on what Roddy is feeling because I'm instinctively feeling it as well whether I want to or not -- uncertainty and that special brand of anxiety you o
  24. 1. How does Hitchcock use montage or expressive editing to add vitality and rhythm to this scene? He starts slowly by cutting back and forth between the two very different scenes, using juxtaposition to underline the differences between the two. One room is more business-like and no-nonsense while the other is lavishly decorated and filled with laughing, smiling people. One scene is energetic and fast-paced almost to the point of making the viewer dizzy while the other is very still and focused. The fighter can technically see into the next room thanks to the reflection in the mirror, bu
  25. 1. Vertigo 2. The Birds 3. Psycho 4. Rear Window 5. Rebecca Plus enthusiastic honorable mentions for Shadow of a Doubt and Strangers on a Train.
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