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cropel

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  1. 1. Hitchcock's use of well known stars creates that fast empathy with audiences. We see two attractive people flirting with eachother and are instantly interested and invested in what is going to happen with them. 2. The matchbook serves as a prop to initiate physical touch between the two characters. The monogram is important because Grant's identity is important yet meaningless to everyone in the film (kind of like his useless middle initial) 3.The romantic music coupled with the background noises of a traveling train doesn't distract from the dialogue that is being spoken, but it supports the scene that we are seeing- a romantic encounter on a train.
  2. 1. From just the title credits alone- combined with music and visuals- one would think this film is going to be a thriller- eyes, lips, a beautiful woman's eyes looking nervously- that probably has to do with psychological manifestations- the title "Vertigo" is a condition and the spirals support that. The mood and atmosphere are "spiraling out of control" or "weaving a web of deception" 2. Woman's eye and the film title growing out of it. The eyes appear to widen (a look of fear perhaps?) and the title comes right out of them in an all encompassing way. 3. The music is so calming- save for the heavy BRAAAHHHHHs that come up. This works well with the spirals and title designs- very good timing on them together. This would not be as effective with different music (try inserting Benny Hill theme.. ha ha!), as the Herrmann score puts you at such unease that you know things are going to be uncomfortable in this movie.
  3. Voyeuristic- the POV is for the audience, seeing what Jefferies would see on a day to day basis. We are getting a glimpse at what is to come characterwise and atmosphere- a busy apartment complex in a big city. We learn that Jefferies is a photographer- the broken camera and prints around the apartment are clues for that- we also see some frustration at his present situation- a smashed camera could be a by-product of an accident that landed him in a wheelchair or it could be an expression of frustration because he cannot go out and photograph dangerous events (as shown in the photos around the apartment- car crash, explosions)- we also see that he has done some fashion work by the stack of magazines on the table but it seems that that does not interest him as much as the framed photographs of sports. The signing of his cast "here lies the broken bones of LB Jefferies" could also give way to the fact that he thinks his present situation is akin to a death sentence. Yes- this opening does make one feel like a spectator- we are peeking into the world of other minor characters and of Jefferies. I do agree that this film is very cinematic- I mean, it's a film that people watch about people watching people!
  4. 1. Criss crossing - different directions, different shoe types (plain vs flash), the actual train tracks (choosing a direction path) crossing. 2. They have different shoes, pants, carry different objects (suitcase, tennis racquets), one of them is quiet and reading and appears to be modest, the other one comes off as louder flashier- likes to broadcast who he is (Bruno tie clip). 3. The score serves to create a cheerful mood to open the picture- this film could be a comedy if not for the nefarious subject matter- it is upbeat and bouncy and creates some excitement that one might feel if they were going on a train trip.
  5. 1. Lots of visual information about the characters in a short amount of time, film angles to show emotion or scenario (in this case a hangover), borrowing from his earlier works (Downhill), this scene did remind me of the opening to Mr and Mrs Smith because of the disheveled woman in the bed. 2. I've always thought that the angle and lighting of Cary Grant in this scene made him look nefarious and "crooked" (side note: nod to Return to the Batcave- "He's crooked, chum!") and Ingrid Bergman looks a mess and in a vulnerable position from her physical position and her hair that has come off. The contrast between the smartly dressed Grant and the disheveled Bergman adds to this perception of an imbalance of power. Lots of close ups, soft focus on Bergman for beauty. 3. I think that the casting is superb. Though Grant has done many comedic roles, I feel that this showcases his more serious side (especially coupled with Bergman's vulnerability throughout the film). He's direct (another feature of his work in comedies) and charming, which adds layers to his performance. Bergman is a lovely mix of vulnerability and toughness, with a side of "I'm tired of all this" pathos that must be the "European" element. This is not something new that we have seen from her.
  6. I love, love, love this film and am so glad that it is in the discussion! I think it's because it's seen as so different that it gets left out of the Hitchcock conversation. The opening definitely has Hitchcock touches- lots of visual information in a short amount of time, character driven, the nosy older lady character (I just watched Rebecca and Shadow of a Doubt so that is fresh in my mind. The couple has been cooped up in their room for 3 days, are living slovenly, obviously fight a lot but seem to make up in the end, are well off considering the husband can take time off to fight with his wife until they make up without fear of losing a job (plus the fact that they have servants and lots of fine things around). I do agree that it is typical (POV shots, lots of visual information about characters and making us sympathetic to them straightaway), though there are many aspects that are atypical (the cheery music, the American feel, the fact that you know you will be seeing a screwball comedy). I think that if the music was different, it could look very similar to the opening scene of Shadow of a Doubt, except with a couple and they have been holed up in a room for nefarious reasons. I think the chemistry is just adorable for this comedy of remarriage. Lombard is so cute and stubborn and Montgomery is just as much of a mule. It's so much fun to watch!
  7. 1. Uncle Charlie seems resigned to his fate (not getting up when the landlady comes into the room, waiting around listlessly) and is probably guilty of some kind of crime or shady dealings (the large amounts of money on the cheap boardinghouse floor). He seems to make up his mind about either getting out of his situation/town when the blind is closed (symbolizing a dark change). 2. The opening is very The Killers. We have a cheap and shady location, a male character who drinks, lacks a zest and love of life, and is probably a bad kind of dude. There is an apathy with a lot of characters in noir novels and films, that Cotton shows immediately. 3. The music helps to set the mood- anticipation building from the lighthearted tones to when the children were playing in the streets to a build when he breaks the glass and slow build when he passes the detectives.
  8. The opening is a slow, winding, narrative voice over that focuses on Manderley (place) instead of one character (person)- Though I DO think that part of what makes the novel and the film so great is that the place IS a character, embodying the stifling aspects of Rebecca's constant influence. This is a lot different than the openings of the British films, and feels more... refined and put together, but that could be the music or the voice over. Hitchcock touch is the POV through the drive to Manderley and coming up upon Maxim as he's looking out over the cliff. The effect of the voiceover lulls you into a reverie that would put you into the world of the story- class, wealth, with a touch of "appearances aren't everything".
  9. Cheery folk music helps to set up a pleasant waiting room scene that is broken when the skiing men come in jabbering away and the cuckoo clock goes off amidst all that. Caldecott and Chalmers add comedy, SHADE (the almighty dollar), a quick overview of "what has happened to us before coming here and waiting for this godforsaken train", and the fact that they (like Shakespeare's gravediggers or nurse) are going to be the comic relief in the show. Love how the focus is pulled past Caldecott and Chalmers to the women, signifying their (or Iris') importance. Iris is in the lead of her friends, is confident and the camera follows her (it seems that the crowd is watching her go up the stairs) as she gives her order and goes up the stairs. This lets the audience know that she is important, as well as the way the innkeeper treats her.
  10. This opening fits the pattern by starting off in a public space, theatre performance, blinking lights. It deviates by not focusing on a male gaze towards women and has a bit more fast paced comedy. Yes, Hannay is more innocent than previous Hitchcock characters- he's handsome, intelligent, Canadian , and is patient enough to ask the same question that doesn't have to do with a woman's age or sports titles more than once. A familiar, public setting, a boisterous audience add to the Hitchcock touch of regular people in out of the ordinary situations. Mr. Memory's act is strange, but it isn't quite out of the realm of possibility for the time. The fact that the act itself is so weird (why would anyone want to sit in a hall and ask some fellow questions) lends itself to that grain of speculation (the Maguffin) that this may or may not be important, or that something is going to happen here, it's just not quite clear what that is yet.
  11. 1. This film is definitely character driven, with a side of plot interaction to come later. 2. Abbott reminds me of an iron fist in a velvet glove. Comes off good natured, a little fumbling with the language, but you know there is something dark about him when he recognizes the skier and has that Lorre look/pause/chuckle. 3. The whole opening up with spectators watching someone or an event, POV shots (the skier almost crashing into the girl), action and danger, and the pacing are recognizable. I think that this film has a much more polished touch for an exciting opening than the previous two openings.
  12. 1. Hitchock's use of sound puts you in the subjective mind of Alice because you are hearing what she (with her guilt about the night before) would be hearing. The repetition of the word "KNIFE", punctuated by moments of silence (in the phone booth) and sound (the jarring bell ringing for the customer) helps to add to the uneasiness that Alice (and the audience) would be feeling, given the previous night's activities. 2. Focus on the gossipy customer, whose story starts moving towards every second word being "knife". Move to Alice at the table, staring off into the distance. Sound focus on "knife", that particular word being louder than the rest of the lines the gossipy customer is saying. Alice picks up the bread knife. Her father asks her to cut the bread. All the while she is hearing a steady drum of "knife, knife, knife" until suddenly "KNIFE" sounding like it was screamed. Knife jumps out of Alice's hand and startles everyone. The slow build up adds the effectiveness of the suspense of the scene. 3. As was previously stated by many other members of this forum, I think that music cues and dialogue are more frequently used to give scenes this effect.
  13. 1. In your own words, please describe the effect of watching the POV dolly shots / POV tracking shots in this scene? POV shots help create mood, suspense (the feeling of walking towards doom in the office at the beginning of the scene, the anticipation of which man the woman will accuse. 2. Why do you think Hitchcock uses the technique of a POV tracking shot? What does it add to his visual storytelling? To make the audience feel like they are in the characters' shoes, creating more empathy and connection = investment in the storyline. 3. What connections (visual techniques, images, motifs, themes) do you notice between films that came before this (The Pleasure Garden, The Lodger) and a film that came after it (The Ring)? Please cite specific examples. Themes of debauchery (the party in The Ring, the dance club in the Pleasure Garden, the flashiness of the murder in The Lodger), superimposition of images over someone's face to show reflection or assumption (The Ring), the use of montage (The Ring, The Lodger), close up and use of eyes, especially of women, the possibility of the wrongly accused character theme (though I haven't seen this film yet, so I'm not sure).
  14. 1. How does Hitchcock use montage or expressive editing to add vitality and rhythm to this scene? The pacing and montage add to the uneasy feeling of the husband about training and leaving his wife. The garishness and pacing of the women dancing and the shots of the wife on the other man's lap only add to the rhythm of this scene, which becomes disjointed as it carries on. 2. As is the case with a lot of German Expressionist films, in this scene, there are many shots that are very subjective and put us into the psychological mind of a main character. Please note the various techniques Hitchcock uses to create that feeling of subjectivity. Those mirror shots! First the wife looking into the mirror and then the husband looking into the mirror- very effective! Also, the overlay and growing size of the fighter's wife "taking over his thoughts" as he was thinking about the prospect of going away to train, as well as the distortion of the many hands and musical instruments added to a very confused, upset, and disorientated feeling for the main character and the audience. 3. How does Hitchcock stage the action, use set design, and editing techniques to increase the stakes in the rivalry between the two gentlemen? It's a small room with lots of uncomfortable things going on in it, as well as the use of mirrors and quick cuts add to the feeling of uneasiness and stakes between the two gentlemen. Also, it should be noted that the fighter's handlers aren't exactly reassuring in the titles to the fighter when they say the other man is a champion and he is not- yet.
  15. 1. Compare the opening of The Lodger to the opening of The Pleasure Garden - what similarities and differences do you see between the two films? Two different tones (though I think that the leering in The Pleasure Garden did give some uneasiness) for two films, fast paced, very specific shot by shot storytelling that is so effective, use of blondes and the male audience/actor gaze upon. 2. Identify elements of the "Hitchcock style" in this sequence? Please provide specific examples. Even if you are not sure if it is the "Hitchcock style," what images or techniques stand out in your mind as powerful storytelling? Or images that provide an excess of emotion? The use of montage to rapidly move the story along, the use of newsprints to move the story along, the up close scream.. The opening of the film did remind me of M, and the use of artistic titles (repetitive, scrolling) reminded me of Sunrise (1927). I think the neon-flashing title of TO-NIGHT GOLDEN CURLS was particularly powerful storytelling, as it sets the tone right away for who we should be on the lookout for victimwise, the tawdriness of the whole crime, and the general feeling of on-edge that the people in the city have towards this crime and the suspected suspect. 3. Even though this is a "silent" film, the opening image is one of a woman screaming. What do you notice in how Hitchcock frames that particular shot that makes it work in a silent film even though no audible scream that can be heard. And what other screams like that come to mind from Hitchcock's later work? The close up of the quivering mouth and terror in the eyes of the woman and the closeness of the shot helped film goers' brains "hear" the scream. You see someone opening their mouths in terror, you put the scream in. Coupled with the flashing TO-NIGHT GOLDEN CURLS title, you just know that something unfortunate has happened to this woman. That's what's so cool about silent films and makes them different from talkies- there's a lot to be said for making the connections in your brain about what is going on soundwise than hearing an actual scream (think anticipating a gunshot over hearing one). Of course, one thinks of Psycho, The Birds..etc, because of the use of close up (sometimes soundless or sound over-ed) screams of women in Hitchcock's films.
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