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BarbaraGrahamTucker

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Everything posted by BarbaraGrahamTucker

  1. Instead of addressing the questions, this will just make some comments. What I am getting from these clips is a wicked sense of irony in Hitchcock. Show one thing, mean another. Say one thing, show another. Juxtaposed images. Beautiful regal music over a polluted river. Politicians saying we are going to clean up the river, dead body floating naked. This is not just a technique or motif in this film, but in others. In The Birds opener, Tippi Hedren goes into a shop of caged birds after she has looked at a skyful of wild, menacing, unexplainable, and uncontrolled birds. Janet Leigh in Psy
  2. . She wants to acquire objects and the power they give her to create new selves or identities. She is dishonest and clever about it, successful at beating the system (how did she get four different Social Security cards, the money). She can discard items even though she needs them for her rues. She buys (steals) the best. She wants to live high class and will do what it takes. I would guess that she interacts with objects better than people. How does Hitchcock use Bernard Herrmann's score in this scene? It gives a sophisticated feel. The cameos are sometimes cute but they get anno
  3. 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 very bare, black and white, primeval, shocking. Nothing good is going to come of this. No happy ending. Reminds me of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring which has similar feel and theme as Psycho. 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-THR
  4. Cary Grant was the epitome of Mr. Suave. He is quoted as saying, “I wish I were Cary Grant” because it was a part he played, not his reality. However, here she is in control. She has manipulated the meeting, she knows all about him, he can’t hide, she makes the passes. So it’s a turnabout for subtle laughs, plus no doubt what she wants sooner or later. Of course, she’s lying to him as well and playing a part, just like he is trying to play a part of not being Thornhill. Some levels of irony. Fire is the metaphor. He lights it, she puts it out. She is fluid and gentle but is movi
  5. 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. Those images pretty much state that this will be an unsettling film about mental conditions or mental anguish or something along that lines. Who is that woman at the beginning? She’s not one of the stars, so her random anonymity is fascinating from the beginning. T
  6. 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? The camera goes full circle, twice really, both times ending on Stewart, once to show the temperature, the second time to show his cast and then his camera and photographs. He is establishing that this is an open world. Due to the heat, his neighbors seem to haven given up on the concept of privacy for a while, but they could close their blinds, so they ar
  7. 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. Obviously, the train tracks have the criss-cross design for track changes. The going back and forth between two men, who are clearly going to be different types of men. They both cross their legs before hitting feet, which means they will. Since Bruno is looking for Guy, th
  8. What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this early scene from the movie? The camera is enjoying her face, even when she is hung over. (she still looks good). He does some side-ways or unusual camera angles. 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? Cary Grant is totally put together and in control. She is not in control, and she is a mess. She is vulnerable but she does what he says. She argues but
  9. 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? At first, I didn’t see much here, so I had to think about it. It seemed like a typical 40s comedy. My interpretation was that they were hold up having sex for days, not that they were fighting. Hitchcock lets the visuals tell the stories as much as the dialogue in his early pictures, and there is no talking until 1:40. They are wealthy or at least w
  10. 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 sense I got was a corpse lying in a coffin. He looks dead, lying there in a nice suit. And his soul is dead, in a sense, and cold. It is all he can do to tolerate that talking of his landlady. He is obsessed with money but does not value it. He is angry and bitter and violent. He is being followed by two men who don’t know what he looks like, or else they are horrible detectives because he walks right past them.
  11. 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? This is far more conventional and starts like a lot of movies, with voice over and camera panning over a scene. There is no liveliness, and no people. Up to now, Hitchcock has used social (parties) or public settings (music halls, inns) at the beginnings. 2. What are the Hitchcock "touches" in this opening that help you identify this as a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock? I actually did not see any. Sorry. I have watched this many times
  12. 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? Public places. Entertainment places Common people, not high tone or cultured kinds of things (not an art museum but a vaudeville act) Energy 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 don’t see that. We can’t know if he is innocent, but he looks wholes
  13. 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) Well, I’ve seen it, but I’ll say plot. The characters are kind of stereotypical or stock, except for Lorre. And I think Hitchcock was really more into escapist plots. The fact that the girl allows her dog to almost kill the man and everybody is ok with it is bizarre, when you think about it. 2. What do you learn about Abbott (Peter Lorre) in his brief scene? How might
  14. 1. In this sequence, describe how Hitchcock uses sound design to put you into the subjective "mind of Alice"? Be specific. First, Sounds that she hears are exaggerated. Second, when she is in the phone box, even though the nosy customer is talking, we can’t hear it. She is in a totally silent world because she is preoccupied with her problem (I assume she has seen the murder; beyond that I don’t know the plot of this film) even though in reality the woman’s voice would still be audible to her in the box. The woman’s chattering signifies the things swirling around her even though she is su
  15. 1. In your own words, please describe the effect of watching the POV dolly shots / POV tracking shots in this scene? It struck me as pure German expressionism. It definitely gave the feeling of how the boys were experiencing this predatory woman—moving toward them like a snake or in a dream. They are scared to death because they have an inkling of what it is but she is still trying to decide who she will pin her pregnancy on. 2. Why do you think Hitchcock uses the technique of a POV tracking shot? What does it add to his visual storytelling? Mainly to experiment with getting the sense o
  16. How does Hitchcock use montage or expressive editing to add vitality and rhythm to this scene? The editing adds to the conflict. I didn’t realize until the end that the couple kissing in the other room was the fighter’s wife and his opponent in the ring (in the future), but I knew he was obsessed with the woman and how she was acting with the man and very upset. The crazy dancing next to the calm discussion of the fight (which is violence) and then the portrayal of the dancers as if they were fighters in their corners makes the audience confused and wondering who is really the fighters here,
  17. Compare the opening of The Lodger to the opening of The Pleasure Garden - what similarities and differences do you see between the two films? First, Hitchock is fully into creating a new art form. Many movies from the 1920s are essentially filmed plays. Limited sets, characters not moving much, dialogue based even though technically silent. Here we are outside, inside, in different places, even at the printers. We have a cross section of people groups. We have the teletype being used to tell the story. In THE PLEASURE GARDENS we have lively dancing girls flirting with old men and pickpock
  18. 1. Do you see the beginnings of the "Hitchcock touch" in this sequence? Please provide specific examples. It’s easy to say we see it because we see often what we want to see. What I do see if someone having fun with human nature, the dirty old but harmless men getting a look at women’s legs, the sleeping woman who could care less, the flirty chorus girl, the irony of the manager who can smoke in his own theatre if he wants despite the sign, the telegraphic of small things that say a lot. Sure, there are things we can say are Hitchcockian touches, but it’s probably the spirit more than the
  19. 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 mood is funny and off kilter. The cuckoo clock is not a cuckoo, it plays a funny song. The little lady goes out almost blown away. The German porters come in with a bunch of stuff and dump it in front of the reception. Why? The clerk speaks four different languages without knowing if they fall anywhere. He wants to impress the American girls. The music sounds like “oompah
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