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Posts posted by rukiki

  1. 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? 


    - Woman's Voice Narration

    One thing I instantly noticed is the application of a woman's Voiceover that explains about the house in her personal point of view. This makes the opening is more intimate compared to Hitchcock's previous works. The information about the story is already specific from the beginning. We know that at least there are two important elements in the films ; the woman's point of view and Manderley, the house itself which also become a character in the story.


    - Detail of the house

    Other thing is about the detailing of the setting from the beginning. The more detail the information, the more curiosity occurs. We as the audience want to know more about what has happened in Manderley.


    2. What are the Hitchcock "touches" in this opening that help you identify this as a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock? 


    - The Point of View shot

    This time around, the POV shot is executed with tracking camera movement as the representation of someone's in the car riding in to the house. 


    - The establishment of the key characters

    Just like what we have seen in Hitchcock's previous works, he likes to introduce his characters effectively from the start. In Rebecca, the audience can tell from the beginning that The Man has something to do with the sea. 


    - The mention of Manderley

    Hitchcock likes to play around with words or jargon. I think the mention of Manderley from the very beginning also reminds me of Hitchcock 'touch'. 


    3. How does this opening sequence use Manderley--the house itself--as a kind of character in the story? What affect does the flashback structure and the voiceover narration have on your experience of this scene? 


    We can tell that Manderley is not presented only as a setting from the wide shot of the house as the opening and also from the close up shots (with tracking) that give the audience very detail information about the house. The intention is even stronger when the woman's narration also mentioned about it.


    The flashback structure and the voiceover narration give deep and personal feeling since the very beginning. It invites us to be in someone's world where a very important incident had happened. The character of the woman's soft voice might also bring the audience for another interpretation.

    • Like 2
  2. 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 think it's the characters that is going to be more important. Though there are many characters appear on this opening sequence, Hitchcock put uniqueness and special distinctive gestures to every character.
    It clearly shows in Medium Close Up shot when Abbot (Peter Lorre) appear on screen. The gesture of Abbot gives a little yet very important detail that was being put as a hint to lead the audience into the story.

    2. What do you learn about Abbott (Peter Lorre) in his brief scene? How might this introduction affect your view of the character Abbott later in the film? 

    I think Abbot character is quite strong. From the look, he has some certain unique feature and from his dialogues, we can tell that he's coming from other place. And the most important small detail is his gesture & reaction after he glanced his eyes at the ski player.


    3. We saw two opening scenes from Hitchcock's silent films in the Daily Doses last week (The Pleasure Garden and The Lodger). How is this opening both similar and different from those two films' opening scenes. 

    One of the similarities I instantly noticed is the utilization of established shot of the situation as opening of the sequence.

    In The Man Who Knew Too Much, it opens with Wide Shot of the ski arena. And in Pleasure Garden, it opens with the established shot of the spinning stair.

    The other thing is about the Close Up shot that shows dramatic expression of the talent. We can find when the ski player got shocked when he saw the dog. And in The Lodger, it shows in the Close Up shot of the screaming woman.

    The crowd in those 3 films is also the similarity. One difference that I noticed in The Man Who Knew Too Much is that Hitch uses panning camera movement to show all the crowd.

    One difference that I strongly feel between these 3 opening is the tonality or the mood of the sequence. The Pleasure Garden and The Man Who Knew Too Much show more happy & dynamic feeling while The Lodger gives you another mood that is more intense and dramatic.





  3. 1. Do you see the beginnings of the "Hitchcock touch" in this sequence? Please provide specific examples. 

    Here are some "Hitchcock touch" I noticed in this sequence :
    - He established the situation by using object with certain distinctive shape. It shows at the very beginning when the story opens with the established shot of the spiral stair. This similar approach also appears in Hitchcock's later works.
    - The Point of View shot. It happens when The Old Man sees The Woman through his binocular.
    - The humour. It shows when The Old Man tells The Woman that he adores her curly hair. Then The Woman just simply gives The Old Man her curly hair piece.
    - The theme is always about real life and the approach is realistic with some dramatic moments. Also the thought about life that is full of unpredictability. 
    2. Do you agree or disagree with Strauss, Yacowar, and Spoto assessments that this sequence contains elements, themes, or approaches that we will see throughout Hitchcock's 50-year career? 
    Yes, I agree.

    3. Since this is a silent film, do you feel there were any limitations on these opening scenes due to the lack of synchronous spoken dialogue?

    I think this opening sequence is doing fine without any dialog. The visual and all the things that appear on screen (the setting/artistic elements, the costume, the talents' expression & the lighting) are already powerful so that it will be easy for audience to digest and understand the story.
    • Like 1
  4. 1. In your own words, please describe the effect of watching the POV dolly shots / POV tracking shots in this scene? 

    The effect of watching those POV shots is I can feel the tense happening in the room. The message is there's something really important going on. The situation is getting more dramatic by adding the tracking into the POV shots. 

    Personally, I like POV shot with the tracking because it is not only giving you a time to walk on the actors' shoes, but also it feels a little bit of hyperbolic that gives another experience/journey for the visual storytelling. To me, a film should provide another level of reality. If not, it would be kinda boring to watch.

    2. Why do you think Hitchcock uses the technique of a POV tracking shot? What does it add to his visual storytelling? 

    Just like I mentioned earlier, I think Hitchcock wants more than only regular POV shots. He needs to strengthen the dramatic situation happening between the talents. 

    Hitchcock knows really well how to play around with audience's mind. The tracking shot provides a personal feeling that the audience can identify easily to the situation.

    3. What connections (visual techniques, images, motifs, themes) do you notice between films that came before this (The Pleasure GardenThe Lodger) and a film that came after it (The Ring)? Please cite specific examples. 

    The connections are :

    - The montage & The Point of View shots as visual technique that Hitchcock always use in The Pleasure Garden, The Lodger, The Ring and Downhill.

    - The same images occur are the shots that focus on certain shape of things that is open for audience's interpretation. For instance, The opening shot of The Pleasure Garden that shows a stair with an action of dancers going down or The tuts piano and the spinning record in The Ring.

    - Uncertainty is the motif that occurs in all those films and the theme is always about a person with a problem that makes the person become anxious. 

    • Like 1
  5. 1. How does Hitchcock use montage or expressive editing to add vitality and rhythm to this scene? 


    The montage in this sequence is a representation of The Boxer's jealous mind which started by the first mirror reflection shot. In terms of the pacing, the party sequence is more fast that it gives dynamic feeling. While The Boxer's sequence is executed in slow pace and the feeling is more tense. 


    Hitchcock uses the montage technique by superimposing two shots consist of

    - The Boxer's fife and The Other Man at the party with

    - The Boxer's POV shot in the meeting room ; a man's talking, explaining something to The Boxer.

    Then the Boxer's wife and The Other Man shot is getting closer and getting more close up approaching the camera until the other shot in the meeting room is gone. So the audience can see that the only thing in The Boxer's mind is about his wife with The Other Man at the party.


    Another application of the montage is also by superimposing (cross dissolve) two different shots with matching object. Just like what we see in the shot of blurry dancers dissolving into the shot of tuts piano.


    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. 


    The feeling of subjectivity is shown in some sequences that put the audience into the psychological mind of the main character. 


    - The mirror reflection showing the wife with another man at the party.

    - The superimposed of the close up shot of the wife kissing the man, the spinning record and the very close up shot of The Boxer's face with annoyance expression.


    3. How does Hitchcock stage the action, use set design, and editing techniques to increase the stakes in the rivalry between the two gentlemen?  


    I think by differentiate the feeling and tonality between the two sets ; the party and the room.

    The party is set up in a wider room and the feeling is more relax where the meeting is happening in smaller room with limited space and the feeling is more tense.

    The pacing for those two sets is also different as I mentioned earlier.

    • Like 2
  6. 1. Compare the opening of The Lodger to the opening of The Pleasure Garden; The similarities & differences between the two films.


    The obvious difference between these two films is about the tonality.

    The Lodger is very well related with Hitchcock's later works that provide us with dramatic & intense feeling. While Pleasure Garden gives happy & lighter tonality.


    I noticed some similarities between the two films.

    One of them is the using of close up shot to open the films. It contains intimacy & how it takes the audience to get into the story.


    There are also some Point of View (POV) shots in extreme close up to reveal the details that are needed to understand the story.


    In Pleasure Garden, it shows in binocular's sequence. The camera is getting blurred as the man is having difficulty seeing the dancer clearly. Also the extreme close up of the lady's purse as the man's POV when he's taking the money from the purse.

    In The Lodger, it's just like what appears in the extreme close up shot of "The Avenger", 



    2. Identify elements of the "Hitchcock Style" in this sequence.


    - The very beginning of the sequence shows the silhouette of a man as it is also shown in most of Hitchcock's later works.


    - The Close Up shot of the screaming woman that is very intense and powerful. Hitchcock always opens the story with the problem in a very dramatic output. It then makes the audience want to stay because they want to find out more.


    - The breakdown of the shots. Hitchcock cuts different shots of different actions into pieces. The take out is very sharp and it's easily getting into audience's mind.


    - The music.


    3. What do you notice in how Hitchcock frames the woman screaming shot that makes it work in a silent film even though no audible scream that can be heard.


    The music is taking important part in conveying the message of the story and helping to create dramatic impact.


    From the visual, it's because of the execution of the shot by using high angle camera and very close up shot focusing on the talent's face. The gesture of the screaming woman is also on point and very sharp in telling the story.


    The shot at least reminds me of Psycho and The Birds.

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