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Everything posted by CathSK

  1. What other aspects of battle of the sexes do you see indicated in this clip or in the film Top Hat? The most basic aspect is the guy pursuing the girl, rather than the girl pursuing the guy — which is the traditional way relationships are handled. He does everything he can to impress her; she is annoyed and is “playing” hard to get. He thinks that getting together with her is light and frivolous (at first), but for her it’s a more serious situation. He has to prove himself to her before she’ll consider him a viable suitor. He must be a gentleman for this lady to accept him. How d
  2. What do you notice about the Lubitsch touch? How do the props, the dialogue, and the staging help you understand the character of Alfred (Maurice Chevalier)? Instead of a little black book, Alfred has a little drawer full of his paramours' guns (presumably). Alfred is clearly a ladies’ man and has been through the ropes several times before. He knew the woman hadn’t actually killed herself. He knew her husband couldn’t actually kill him. He just stands there and lets the scene play out. Been there, done that. The props are shown purposefully multiple times, as though they are
  3. What do you notice about the interaction between the characters in these two scenes? Please give specific examples. In both scenes, the characters are together, yet separated. In the boat, she is in front of him and has to turn completely around in order to interact with him… which she doesn’t totally do. There, they speak to each other without making much eye contact. In the saloon, they are facing each other, but unable to hear each other speak, and making genuine eye contact with each other. In some ways, in the second scene, they are closer to each other than in the first. The eyes
  4. Forgive me if I get any of my historical “facts” wrong… just thinking through it…: Do you agree that the clip exhibits a brighter perspective of life than might be realistic? Why or why not? The subject matter is very light and “play”ful. Anna Held’s costume is white/light and frilly, the stage set she’s performing in front of is frilly, the song she’s singing is ridiculous, the way she’s singing it is innocuous and coquettish. She doesn’t have a care in the world. Nor do the audience members, as she’s blinding them with her mirror’s reflection of the stage lights – putting them in the a
  5. Well… here are my totally random contributions… - - - - - - - MOVIE: "Identity" - (trailer)motel, rain, psychotic behavior, keys, murder, intrigue, a little bit of humor, and a killer on the loose... - - - - - - - TV SHOW: Murder She Wrote “South by Southwest” episode: (There are many, many other Hitch-influenced TV shows/episodes, of course....) - - - - - - - Speaking of TV… One of the things I’ve realized recently about Columbo is that his movies/TV shows clue us into the murder/crime first, and then we get to watch him put all the clues together.
  6. Hi, everyone... :-) My question(s)... We've learned that: If Alma didn't like it, Hitch didn't do it. So, I'm wondering: Were any of the movies Hitch decided not to make (based on or in accordance with Alma's advice) later made by other directors?... which ones?... and were they successful? And did Hitch (and/or Alma) have any regrets about not pursuing some of those stories/opportunities after all? Also: Were there any movies made by other directors (stories that had not come Hitch's or Alma's way) that Hitch would have wanted to take a crack at directing himself, if he'd had
  7. 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. Music: The opening of The Lodger actually sounds like a frenzy, while the opening for Frenzy sounds refined and reverent to the majestic history of England. In The Lodger, the music makes the death of the woman feel urgent, yet expected, as though the people have been on alert for such an occurrence. In Frenzy, the music suggests that the stateliness of life has been going on. There is peace and calm in the city, and the people seem
  8. 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. Marnie appears to be: Smart. Careful. Experienced. Posh. Clever. Secretive. Beautiful. Fashionable. Ladylike. Worldly. Sneaky. Self-confident. A risk-taker. Conniving. Calculating. If we didn’t know better, she may be a spy performing a mission, rather than a thief. Oh, and BTW… as it turns out she’s a lustrous blonde, after all! 2. How does Hitchcock use Bernard Herrmann's score
  9. Just some random thoughts today… 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? Melanie and Mitch (M&M) appear to be sparring with each other lightly (pecking?), talking about the activities of lovebirds, as if they themselves may be lovebirds. Birds of a feather flock together. :-) Melanie walks with a bounce in her step, which feels comedic and fear-free. The lady behind the counter is a bit of a ditz, talking on and o
  10. 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? The gray lines mimic a couple of things: rows of knife blades and the high and low volume level of music. They slice their way together through the dark background letting in only a little bit of light (white text). Constantly stabbing at you, chasing you… making you go mad (?). I predict doom and gloom… and panic… especially since Hitch i
  11. 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. Cary Grant is handsome, debonair, manly, smart, witty, sly, and a class act. (And other dreamy adjectives.) Eva Marie Saint is ladylike, gentile, strong, clever, beautiful, sweet, and fashionable. The pair are much like their character counterparts. Roger is a dapper ad man with the ability to think fast on his feet and a
  12. 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. The music has a sympathetic romantic feeling about it, as well as caution, fear, and yet calm. The Lissajous figures are flower-like, which is also romantic (yet formulaic). The swirling images pull you in as you focus on what’s at the center of them (the e
  13. 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? From the beginning (after the opening credits), we move with the camera through Jeff’s window overlooking the courtyard in the early morning. We don’t know him or that this is his home, yet, but… this sets up our own location. The fact that we do not move from this position, tells us that we are on Team Jeff… stuck here in the room with him until furthe
  14. 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. Attempting to capture these in order of appearance: Background imagery behind credits shows cars passing each other on the road, either from left or right. Bruno exits his taxi sort of from the right. The man who carries Bruno’s luggage enters from the left. Bruno turns left,
  15. 1. What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this early scene from the movie? Using the camera to show the POV of the characters — drunken Alicia awakening to see Devlin, rotating through his entrance until he’s upside-down. Close-up of Alicia’s face as an intro… and just staying there for a while. Lushness of surroundings, even though the scene is quite homey. Use of shadows and light. Devlin is a darkened figure in the doorway against the bright backdrop of the room behind him. He looks menacing, but isn’t; just to Alicia at the moment. Equal weight of time/focus/lines given
  16. 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? Beautiful girl. We get the close-up on a blonde woman (Mrs. Smith) as our introduction to her. She doesn’t scream, but when the camera is focused closely on her face, there is a knock on the door that causes her alarm (or just concern) and her eye opens to express that feeling. Familiar setting (for some). There’s the upper-class feeling of l
  17. 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. The scene opens with a street view of innocent kids playing — shot straight on by the camera. The scene fades into a view of a doorstep and then a window — each shot at a crooked angle by the camera. The window leads into Uncle Charlie’s room. Therefore, we instantly know something is askew with him. The camera angles are an instant visual comparison of right vs. wrong, as are the shadows lying across Uncle Charlie’s fa
  18. 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? We are introduced to Mrs. de Winter II only by voice. There are no people in the scene (no crowd). The location is particular to the character speaking — the house called Manderley — rather than a public location where life and activity are going on. There is no sense of humor in the narrative voiceover, or when the characters do appear on screen. The scene is instantly depressing and moody, with an overgrown and destroyed home. The s
  19. 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. So… this is going to be a fun train ride… in one way or another, eventually. Of course, we have the “everyday” crowd full of all types of people waiting with their luggage at the inn, an “everyday” location. Everyone is in a good mood, or at least… there is nothing dark, mysterious and fearful about this scene. It’s just that sense of life going on as usual, regardles
  20. 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? Patterns: Location is an “everyday” place with lots of people in it. People from all walks of life are present — young (baby crying) and old. There is an audience watching a show/theater performance (The Pleasure Garden; 2 showgirls at party in The Ring, etc.). Man in trench coat and hat as in The Lodger. “MUSIC HALL” flashing before us similar to “TO-NIGHT GOLDEN CURLS” Protagonist has a pleasant dispo
  21. 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) The characters are going to be “more important” because of their relationships with each other. Technically, being an audible film, characters can be developed more fully/personally now because you can hear the intonation of their voices, get real insight into the expressions on their faces, and they are saying foretelling things, such as “I might have been killed, you k
  22. 1. In this sequence, describe how Hitchcock uses sound design to put you into the subjective "mind of Alice"? Be specific. When the older woman in the hat (Hat Lady) is speaking, all Alice can hear her say is “knife” over and over again, as Alice has a mental preoccupation with the events that occurred involving a knife. It’s actually interesting to note that both the Hat Lady and Alice have a preoccupation with the subject of a knife – only one of them isn’t internalizing it. Hat Lady is, instead, speaking openly and freely about it from a position of strength. Meanwhile, Alice is silent
  23. I really enjoyed hearing Hitchcock's comment about not repeating the visual with the verbal, too. One of the first things I learned when I entered the wonderful world of advertising (my career)... was how words and images work together to tell the full story. As a copywriter working with art directors, we carefully craft ads that don't say the same thing twice. If the image speaks volumes on its own, I don't repeat it in the copy (and copy is generally kept very short as it is)... and if I happen to write a great headline (?), the artist will select a photo that supports it but doesn't sa
  24. That's what it looked like to me (quite risque)... or ... he was paying her to keep quiet about their "dealings"... or... he was paying her to help with her "trouble" after the fact. Eit her way, apparently she didn't think the amount of money she got was enough.
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