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About GromeksDeath

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  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. Though both openings involve murder, the crowd in Frenzy are fairly calm. Lot more panic and chaos in the opening of the Lodger. 2. What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific. Some common elements found here are a famous landmark, a crowd setting and of course murder and a cameo. 3. Using Frenzy as an example, what thoughts do you have about the various purposes Hitchcock had in mind when he created his opening scenes? In the Daily Doses, we have focused on opening scenes, so there should be patterns or strategies you have noticed over the course of opening scenes spanning Hitchcock's 50 year career. In a lot of openings Hitchcock establishes that unusual circumstances can happen to anyone anywhere. In this case we have a politician speaking to a crowd when a woman's body is discovered. The grand music and long sweeping shot over the river that eventually settles over the crowd doesn't have us thinking murder. We feel like a member of the crowd as we are also surprised to see a naked body wash up.
  2. 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. We discover that Marnie is a dishonest person. Stacks of cash, multiple identities & changing hair color adds up to something fishy. How does Hitchcock use Bernard Herrmann's score in this scene? The musuc creates a mood of suspense or perhaps intrigue. Upon fist seeing Marnie's face, the music accentuates the reveal. Did you see any variation in what Hitchcock is doing with his cameo in this film, and what do you think that variation means? The cameo is funny. Hitch enters the hallway looking at Marnie then looks into the camera briefly (breaking the 4th wall) to see that we have caught him checkin' out the babe.
  3. 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? Seems just a casual day in a pet shop with friendly flirtatious dialogue. Funny Melanie is trying to mess with Mitch yet he is onto her and has a little fun of his own. How does Hitchcock use sound design in this opening sequence? For example, how are the sounds of birds used to create a particular mood and atmosphere? I suppose with a film called the Birds, what better soundtrack than bird chirps & calls. I think the bird sounds act as almost a laugh track to the playful flirting between Mitch & Melanie. The opening scene contains a famous Hitchcock cameo. Describe the cameo and if you think it has any particular meaning in relation to this scene Hitchcock's cameo seems uneventful. It fits the mood of this light and fun scene. His dogs go with all the pairs in the film... love birds, Mitch & Melanie, two cities, etc...
  4. Psycho opens with title design by Saul Bass and music by Bernard Herrmann. This is their third collaboration for Hitchcock, including Vertigoand North by Northwest. How does the graphic design and the score introduce the main themes of this film? It's no secret that Herrmann used an all string score to emmulate screaming or screeching. The Bass titles come in with a stabbing motion which of course we see later in the shower. As the titles end, we have three shots of Phoenix, Arizona, and a very specific day, date, and time: “FRIDAY, DECEMBER THE ELEVENTH” and “TWO FORTY-THREE P.M.” What is Hitchcock seeking to establish with such specificity? Also, why do you think Hitchcock elects to enter the hotel room through the semi-closed blinds from the outside? Does this shot remind of any other Daily Doses we have watched? The precise location, date & time might point out that on any given day something extraordinary can happen to an ordinary person. The shot through the window reminds us of Rear Window's voyeurism. In the remainder of this sequence, we are introduced to Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) and Sam Loomis (John Gavin). The scene pushed the boundaries of censorship, especially considering our last Daily Dose for North by Northwest was edited for a line of risqué dialogue. Since this is the opening scene of Psycho, how does the hotel room scene function as a way to establish Marion Crane as a main character? Defend your answer. This opening hotel scene lets the viewer know that Marion is not very honest. There is some foreshadowing here as Marion steals money and also meets her demise in a hotel (and we know how "mother" feels about women like Marion).
  5. 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. Perhaps since we are familiar with the stars, it feels like we are out with a couple of friends. With their flirtatious conversation having us think "get a room already" There is minimal action in this scene, so any deviation from the overall pattern of focusing on the faces of the two leads will have increased significance. In that sense, discuss how Hitchcock uses the R.O.T. matchbook as an important piece of acting business (or as a prop) in this scene. Our focus is on the actors and their suggestive dialogue. The matchbook is then introduced. Due to the nature of the scene and the camera pointing it out, we suspect the mtchbook may come into play further in the film. How is Hitchcock using sound design in this scene? Consider music and other background sounds in your answer Music is light. There are some relatively harmless sounds within the dining car. Seems as if the train's exterior sound plays more as the musical force, driving our two actors to the inevitable "hook up".
  6. 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. With the repetitive creepy music accented with dramatic horns and the trippy visuals I would guess that the film would be a mystery and deal with hypnotism. In your own estimation, what is the single most powerful image in this title sequence? Defend your answer. I would say the image of the eye. It seems to be anxious in it's subtle movements or perhaps frightened. How do Saul Bass’ images and Bernard Herrmann’s score work together? How different would this sequence be with a different musical score? Match made in heaven. The hypnotic music & psychedelic images are perfect. With a different score this opening wouldn't be as effective.
  7. 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? By scanning around the incredible courtyard set and all of the walks of life that reside within this complex and ultimately seeing Stewart's broken leg Hitchcock establishes that this film's location may exclusively take place here. Despite Stewart's back to the window, I still feel we are seeing his vantage point since it is his apartment. What do we learn about Jeff in this scene without any pertinent lines of dialogue (other than what is written on Jeff’s leg cast)? How does Hitchcock gives us Jeff’s backstory simply through visual design? We see Jeff's broken leg first, then his destroyed camera. Then through a series of photographs, that we now know he shot, we can assume Jeff injured himself while photographing something adventurous, possible even dangerous. Does this opening scene make you feel like a voyeur or, at a minimum, remind you of being a an immobile spectator? What feelings does Hitchcock elicit from you as his camera peers into these other people’s apartments? Hitchcock turns us into voyeurs in this clip. We are looking in on everyone. There's an array of feelings due to the variety of people. We see some people sleeping in, working people & of course sexy Miss Torso. Bonus question: if you have seen the entire film before, do you agree with Hitchcock that this film is his most cinematic? Not sure if I agree that it is his most cinematic film. It may be, might not. What it does do is take the single setting and instead of it feeling claustrophobic it opens up a compelling story with all kinds of personalty from all the neighbors.
  8. 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. We see train tracks crossed, legs & fingers as well. The two characters' paths are also crossing. Even in this brief scene, how does Hitchcock create a sense of contrast between Guy (Farley Granger) and Bruno (Robert Walker)? Consider everything from camera work, to clothing and shoes, to dialogue and speech, for example. Guy's attire is casual and he walks very regular. Bruno is dressed in nicer suit & shoes. Bruno's walk has more life in it. Upon meeting, Guy is quiet and dies not seem interested in conversation and Bruno is at the other end of the spectrum. While the visual design gets the most attention typically, how does the Dimitri Tiomkin score function as part of the mood and atmosphere of this opening sequence? The music is lively. Serious yet adventurous. The music accentuates the scene of Guy's foot hitting Bruno's and that sets the film into motion.
  9. What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this early scene from the movie? The use of light and shadows, also angles (especially that pov tumbling shot of Devlin as he approaches the bed). How does Hitchcock choose to light, frame, and photograph his two stars in this scene?What are some of the contrasts that Hitchcock trying to set up between these two characters through art direction, costume, and cinematography? The scene starts with film noir style with shadows and light. Both characters are partially hidden. Hitchcock sets up the contrast between the characters by having one hungover, agitated and still in last night's clothes while the other is professional, well dressed and to the point. Based on this scene (or the entire film if you have seen it already), reflect on the casting of Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman. Does this scene conform to or challenge their well-known star personas? I believe this scene (film) confirms their personas. Both are incredible in the film (Rains too!) and the scene sets up the cat and mouse interplay between the two that runs through the film.
  10. 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? A sweeping shot of the room is a Hitchcock touch. Of course tjere are his two favorites in there as well... food and a blonde. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: the opening sequence of Mr. and Mrs. Smith is a typical "Hitchcock opening" based on openings you have seen so far in the other Daily Doses? Why or why not? I will disagree because of the lighthearted music and playful mood of the scene. Though we have seen a couple openings that had some fun happening, but the only suspense here was... how long were tbey going to be in the room for? What do think about the casting of and chemistry between Carole Lombard and Robert Montgomery? Do you think both are well cast for this "comedy of remarriage?" Why or why not? I think the two work well together, especially based on this lone opening scene. They are attractive, in love and not concerned with much else.
  11. 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. He has a cool head. He doesn't seem worried when the woman tells him people were looking for him. He thinks he can outsmart eveyone. His demeanor and the cash out in the open on the table and floor eludes that he has obtained the money in a dishonest manor. 2. In what ways does this opening remind you of watching a film noir? If it doesn't remind you of a film noir, what makes the opening here different from the opening of a noir film like Siodmak's The Killers? (Note: If you haven't seen The Killers, it is fine to answer this question in general terms about your own personal expectations) As in many film noirs the audience knows who the criminal is before the mystery gets started. Another similarity is it's black and white and the use of shadows. 3. As we move into Hitchcock's Hollywood years, his scores will take on more importance than they did during the British years. Music will play a big role in Shadow of a Doubt. The film's score is by Dimitri Tiomkin, the first of four film scores that the composer will create for Hitchcock. What effect does the Tiomkin score have on the mood, atmosphere, and even the pace of this opening scene? The music helps create tension in the scene and making it clear that these are not Charlie's "friends".
  12. 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? Insread of a character filled opening sequence, Rebecca opens with a narration over a tracking shot of Manderley. 2. What are the Hitchcock "touches" in this opening that help you identify this as a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock? Use of shadows in the beginning, then suspicion is instilled with a man seemingly pondering suicide. 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? From the opening scene we can tell that Manderley will be a major part of the film. The lights turning on almost seems to pump life into the house.
  13. 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. The tone is a fun and lighthearted. The hotel clerk is quirky and Caldicott and Charters are hilarious. The music aids this opening theme as it is carefree. 2. Discuss the characters of Caldicott and Charters in this scene. What do the performances of Caldicott and Charters add to this scene. These two characters are great in this film. They are quite comical and add to this scene in which we like every character. 3. From their doorway entrance to their staircase exit, describe how Hitchcock uses dialogue, camera movement, and the placement of characters in the frame to establish Iris (Margaret Lockwood) as the star of this scene. The hotel clerk appears to be very busy with a lot of customers but drops everything to assist Iris and her friends. The camera is concerned less with the rest of the patrons and focuses on the women.
  14. 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? Pleasure Garden & 39 Steps both open at a hall with folks assembled to partake in some entertainment. I love that we first see Robert Donat from the waist down then when we finally see him above the waist and it's from behind. Instantly we wonder who this man is and antcipate what may happen. 2. Do you agree or disagree with Rothman's assessment that Hitchcock in this film is focused on introducing a more innocent character than in previous opening sequences of his films? I agree. Hitchcock wants us to like this character so we sympathize with him later on when he falls under a frequent Hitchcock mold- being the wrong man. 3. Reflect on the role of yet another public space opening a Hitchcock film--this time a music hall--the prominence of a performer (Mr. Memory), and the reactions of the audience in the film to Mr. Memory's act. How does these on-screen elements play into the Hitchcock touch as described by Gene Phillips? Perhaps using a public setting makes it feel more real to the viewer, like any of us could be vulnerable to being involved in a giant mix up at any time. Plenty of comedic wit in this scene with Mr. Memory & the audience.
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