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Craig0904

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Everything posted by Craig0904

  1. Having a full time job and a commute made it difficult to do the class and see the films scheduled on TCM. What made me think I could do both? But I made a conscious decision to do the class. TCM will always be showing Hitchcock films. I also have a few in the DVD collection. A free class on The Master of Suspense is a one-time event. I have another 35 years to catch up on Hitchcock films I had never seen before, re-watch my favorites, and add to my home collection. So happy I took this class! Personally fulfilling to say the least and I learned so much! Best, Craig
  2. There is no doubt in my mind. I will always remember this course as one of the most informative and fulfilling experiences of my life. I have learned so much about Hitchcock and film-making in general it makes my head spin! I've already warned all my friends I will be boring them to death with my newfound knowledge. We've covered The Hitchcock Touch in so much depth. I thought I would challenge my memory and compose a list of 'touch points' I can use a reference when watching a Hitchcock film, or others for that matter. Feel free to challenge my list, add to it, or create your own. T
  3. For me, there are a few that jump out quickly: The film What Lies Beneath with Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer. Dressed to Kill (as mentioned in the Lecture Notes) How about Night of the Hunter with Robert Mitchum? I think Laughton would have been as good as Hitchcock if he had kept at it. My current obsession on TV: Good Behavior on TNT with Michelle Dockery (shifting identities, thievery, dark humor). Michelle's character is fairly close to Tippi's in Marnie. And as I posted on Padlet very early on, Spielburg had said that when 'Bruce' the shark would not cooperate when making J
  4. 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. In my opinion, the similarities are the Thames River as a locale. Also, Frenzy begins with a crowd scene which is similar to The Lodger. In The Lodger, we are shown the killer’s ‘signature’ – the note that says The Avenger. In Frenzy, if you look closely, we can see the necktie floating around the victim’s neck. The necktie being the killer’s signature in Frenzy. We are not immediately introduced to a main character as part of the crowd
  5. I’ll be honest. I’ve only seen Marnie once, many years ago. I don’t remember being very impressed. I think it may be time to re-watch it with a fresh perspective. 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. Based on the opening scene, the character of Marnie is completely in control of her actions. There is nothing hesitant in her movement. When we do see her face, which is not often in the opening scene, we do not see fear; we see pu
  6. 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? This is scene has so many of the elements of a romantic comedy. There’s an immediate physical attraction on the part of both protagonists. Their first encounter begins with verbal sparring and a match of wits. There's a slight case of mistaken identity. They flirt and get underneath each other’s skin at the same time. To mix things up, an incidental character is added to the scene – eccen
  7. 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? For me, there are a few elements to the opening credits that really set the tone. First – the speed. Everything – the music, the graphics move along at such a rapid pace. And if in reality, the titles are going along at a normal pace, it’s the graphics that seem to increase the acceleration. The music (as mentioned, comprised only of strings) co
  8. 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. In my opinion, the general-public is only now getting to know who Eva Marie Saint is. This is early on in her career so there isn’t much pre-existing knowledge. She gets to play a role; whatever role she needs to play. She is playing a beautiful femme-fatale named Eve. Is it mere coincidence? Eve - the first woman; guilty of the
  9. 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. Like I mentioned in yesterday’s analysis, the eyes are the windows to the soul. Once again, Hitchcock uses this concept quite well, but even more disturbing in this case. What I get the from the title sequence images is that that the film will be about dizziness an
  10. Rear Window is one of Hitchock’s films I never get tired of watching. They say the eyes are the windows to the soul. I believe that as well, and I think Hitchcock did too. There’s so many moments in his films that focus on eyes. Always in extreme close-up. That’s not used as much in Rear Window. I think another commonly used theme in Hitchcock’s films is windows. Buildings shelter people and their private lives and desires from the outside world. Windows become a building’s vulnerability; an access point, the same way eyes do for people’s souls. Think about how many times you’ve s
  11. My personal thought about the opening railroad tracks shot: While Richard and Wes’ observation about the ‘criss-cross’ totally makes sense, I had another thought before reading the lecture. I felt like I was strapped to the front of that train, with absolutely no control to stop the train or change its direction at it hit the criss-crossed rails. It leaves me feeling very anxious and it reminded me of the German Expressionist concept of fatalism we learned early on. I may be completely off-target here, but that’s feeling I had when I watched the film recently. Strangers on a Train is a pe
  12. What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this early scene from the movie? Of course, for starters, the POV shot of Grant coming towards her while she’s waking with a hangover. The way the camera is rotating is dizzying! I had forgotten about the scene from Downhill. The tracking shots that are becoming more and more apparent. The extreme close-ups even when it means uncovering ‘unattractiveness’ when we see Bergman waking up drunk. You could argue it’s the only way to peel back her layers to see what kind of person she is. More and more I am noticing Hitchcock’s love of creating depth in a
  13. I’m just not that eager to watch a Hitchcock screwball comedy. I have not seen this film but I’m certainly willing to try. My thought about Hitchcock using comedic touches in his suspense films is: you just cannot have a film that has nothing but suspense and fear all the way through! You can only inflate a balloon so much before it pops, and you don’t want it popping too soon. Use comedic moments to give the audience some relief before putting them through the ringer again. That said, I wonder if the opposite is true for a Hitchcock comedy? Does he need to insert some suspense or tens
  14. 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. As we’ve learned already, Hitchcock is interested in handing over as much information as possible, up front. We know Uncle Charlie is a criminal. Innocent men don’t leave crumpled up bills spilling over the table onto the floor. We get the sense that his psychology is changing from the beginning of the scene to the end. He goes from calm and cool and collected to a rage, and willing to walk right past the cops trailing
  15. Rebecca is a gorgeous film, but I do not ordinarily think of it as a Hitchcock film. After the many other films we've visited it seems that there are a number of Hitchcock touches that are missing in this film - the chase, and I don't even think there's really a MacGuffin in this film. One could argue that Max is the 'wrongly accused man' but even then I'd say it was a stretch. I do like the idea that we will begin seeing a new pattern of supporting players take a more prominent role in his films. It's a valid point made in the lecture discussion. 1. Describe how this opening is diffe
  16. 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. The tone is light and breezy, but not cosmopolitan - folksy as mentioned in the lecture. We don't know exactly where we are right now, but we know it's not in a city. Unlike other films, Hitch is allowing us to 'let down our guard' at the very beginning. The cuckoo clock is not the ordinary kind by any means. With all the chaos going on in the room the clock seems to be 'cal
  17. I watched the documentary. I felt there was too much talk/translation and ambient noise to really enjoy the conversation. I enjoyed the interviews with other directors more, like David Fincher. Also, I got more out of watching interview with Hitchcock found on You Tube.
  18. 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? Thanks to this class I am really starting to pick up on the patterns in the motifs and settings and how it fits into the Hitchcock touch. Again and again, we're seeing these films begin with some kind of a gathering of people. It could be because a murder has been committed, or simply people in a theater or a prep school. It seems to me that showing our protagonist's feet in the beginning, Hitchcock really wa
  19. OK - I'm having a had time with these three questions, but I'll take a stab at it. Sorry for the pun! 1. In this sequence, describe how Hitchcock uses sound design to put you into the subjective "mind of Alice"? Be specific. Three moments where sound design placed us in Alice's state of mind here: a. closing the door on the phone booth, cutting off the sound, forces the audience to pay attention to Alice and what she may be thinking. b. the customer ringing the counter bell that sounded more like an alarm. In moments of anxiety our reactions to sight and sound are intensified. c. Obvio
  20. 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) Right from the beginning, you want to know more about these characters - their family lives, what makes them happy, what their troubles are, what makes them tick. And isn't that what we learned in Week One? That Hitchcock wanted us to care about the character? I have not seen this version yet (but plan to this week). While I watch the film, I will try to pay attention t
  21. I have a question about the lecture notes from the last module of Week One. One of the elements of suspense as pointed out in the notes is locale - being topical and relevant. I'm a little confused about this. Hitchcock isn't necessarily the screenwriter, who is the most likely person to have chosen the locale. Am I wrong? The screenwriter would have been the person to have written 'the man and woman are climbing about Mt. Rushmore'. 'The hero and villain are at the top of the Statue of Liberty'. Isn't all of this hard-coded into a script presented to the director? I guess what I am r
  22. OMG!!! How have I not noticed this before??? Thanks for the observation. Now I'm going to spend the next 4 weeks looking for staircases in the films.
  23. Thanks for everyone's input. I can see I'm not completely isolated with regard to my opinion. On to week 2!
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