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About gcreamean

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    Washington, DC
  1. I want to say that this is one of my favorite films of all time. Ingrid Bergman's character breaks my heart. She is in love with Cary Grant but marries another man just because he wants her to. The look on her face when they meet at the races and she tells Grant that she has slept with Claude Rains is so touching. You can see in her face that she wants him to tell her to stop but he just says some callous remark that hurts her. Grant is very cruel to her through most of the film. She is basically prostituting herself for the man she loves and he lets her, and spends half the film telling her in some way that she is a ****. Also the woman who plays Claude Rains' mother is AMAZING! They way she smokes a cigarette. They way she looks at Bergman. She is creepy. One of my favorite villains of all time.
  2. 1. What I learned from this prelude about Uncle Charley is that he has some sort of shady life. The first clue is that he leaves money lying around without a concern for it. That tells me that money is not important to him, or at least this money. Then the way he talks to the woman. There are 2 men who are looking for him, he does not seemed concerned nor does he seem surprised. And the entire time that he is lying in bed holding the cigar, he has a demeanor of someone who doesn't seem trustworthy. 2. The first thing that reminded me of film noir is the shot of the shadow of the curtains over Joseph Cotton's face while he is in bed. The use of shadows is classic noir, to me anyway. Also most noir protagonists seem to always live in a dive apartment/hotel room. The music when the woman closes the curtains also seem noir like to me. And when he walks toward the 2 men on the street, there is a threat that a violent fight will occur, and noir films always seem to have a threat of violence breaking out at any time. 3. Even before the music, the scene has a sense of dread due to the lighting and Joseph Cotton's performance. The way he doesn't look at the woman as she is talking to him but instead he just looks ahead. But then she pulls the curtains down and the music starts, that adds to the dread in the scene and lets the audience know that there is something not right with this man. Is he a criminal or a victim? It doesn't answer that question but definitely lets the audience know he is shady.
  3. The shot of the camera pulling into the window of the house is almost exactly like the opening shot of Psycho. In fact, the slow pan of Manderley reminds me of the opening of Psycho with the slow pan around the city, just as this film has the pan up to Manderley. The difference for me in this opening scene from the others is the luxuriously slow pace. Usually there is some big dramatic opening (a skier falling, a murdered body found) but this is so slow and Gothic. The lighting of the house, the clouds passing by, the mysteriousness of it's look added with the narration are what make Manderley a central character of this film
  4. At first I thought that it was mostly about character but watching this scene again, I realized that we are getting lots of information on the characters that I am assuming will become important in the film that follows, so this is probably more about plot that seems in the beginning. Peter Lorre seems like a lovable, fun character at first, with his laughing and smiling. But that quick look he gives to the other man shows that there is something dangerous underneath the smile. I find the first minute of the scene to resemble a silent film, with the shot of the crowd, the dog running out and the POV of the skier. After that, all the dialog and more natural acting was different from the silent films.
  5. 1. For me the effect of the POV shots was suspense. It has a menacing sense to it. When the woman was walking up to the 2 men, as she got closer and the shot of the 2 of them became tighter, I though that she was going to slap either or both of them. 2. Again, for me the POV shots add an intimacy and put you into the character emotionally. Looking at someone or something as a character would see it links the viewer emotionally with the character. But also as I stated in No. 1 above, I think Hitchcock uses it as a suspense technique. 3. If both this film and The Lodger he transposes multiple images to tell the story. In Downhill, my understanding of the end section of the scene with the images of a feet dancing into a room, money being exchanged and the signed about being closed on Wednesday afternoon over over the woman's face are showing the story she is telling, much as in The Ring he used the overlay of the image of his wife kissing another man transposed over the husband as a sign of jealousy. He also uses the technique of separating characters in the frame that are antagonistic. In The Ring, the husband/wife are never in the same frame. In Downhill the woman is framed by herself looking at the 2 men, who are themselves separated by from her in the framing.
  6. 1. I do see the Hitchcock touch in the scene in which we see the different expressions on the men's faces as they watch the dancers. But what made me laugh was the last person of the sequence was of a woman sleeping. There are lots of little laughs in this scene. 2. Agreed. I would say one theme is the flirty, assured blond. 3. There was no limitations without sound. Hitchcock was learning to tell stories visually.
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