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dsanders

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About dsanders

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  1. Not Contemporary, but I wonder why Hitchcock didn't work with Graham Greene. They share some of the same interests: espionage; doubles/twins; obsession and guilt; the underbelly of the world; Ferris Wheels and carnivals; world travel, especially involving hot spots; great writing; suspense and thrillers. For that matter, what about Malcolm Lowry?
  2. Charade Wait Until Dark Memento Inception Signs Blood Simple The Third Man Videodrome Dead Ringers
  3. Daily Dose #20: Look! Opening Scene from Frenzy (1972) The long swoop down from the sky over London, down along the center of the Thames to London Bridge, and past and turning toward the huge building, and a public official reciting Wordsworth to a small crowd emphasizes, the size, modernity, history, institutions, and civilization of London and Britain. The official rolls his British r’s with histrionic fervor as he talks about restoring the river to its pre-urban condition. Then the shot of the crowd, a photographer in particular, and a naked woman floating on her belly in the river. The
  4. Daily Dose #19: Real Identities Opening Scene from Marnie (1964) Marnie is a very put together person, everything done with a click of the heel, a dressed-to-the-tee at all times personality. Her gloves are in plastic, her bills—gained criminally—bundled in neatly wrapped packages, her lingerie thrown on the chair, draped over by her topcoat. She keeps her alternate identities in the form of social security cards, easily available in a hidden compartment of her compact. She has a compartmentalized life, with a suitcase stuffed into an anonymous locker, the key to which is kicked down the drai
  5. Daily Dose #18: Love Birds? Opening Scene from The Birds (1963) I have to say that The Birds is another favorite of mine, often viewed, going back to my childhood, when it was very scary, and then later on when it became more interesting for its film-making aspects, and the apocalyptic theme, which makes it stand out from his other works. Like Dr. Edwards, and Dr. Gehring, I too know Rod Taylor from The Time Machine, which we got to see at a school assembly, as a reward. I think Taylor does an remarkable job here, starting in this opening scene, where he is ‘dressed as Cary Grant,’ but con
  6. Daily Dose #17: What Do I Do With My Free Afternoon? Title Sequence and Opening Scene from Psycho (1960) The title sequence to Psycho joins the music of Bernard Hermann and the graphic design of Saul Bass impeccably. It’s a forceful intro that grabs your attention, with minimal visual detail, to indicate what’s coming. Only these essential graphic lines, horizontal and vertical that slide in and out foreshadow the break in personality that is at the heart of Norman Bate’s character, the break and attempted escape from society that Marion tries to make, the unconventional break in the film’
  7. Daily Dose #16: It’s a Nice Face, Scene from North By Northwest (1959) This is my favorite Hitchcock film of the ones I have seen before. I think I probably saw it in childhood, but I can’t remember the exact time, but I do remember seeing it in my early 20’s and starting to realize how great Hitchcock was by getting swept up in the crop duster scene. The diner car scene in particular is so memorable. I love that it is set on the train, with the passing scenery. It’s a brief pause in the frantic chase that is going on. He’s just barged into her compartment and kissed her to escape his
  8. Daily Dose #14: Here Lie the Broken Bones of L.B. Jeffries, Title Design Opening Scene of Rear Window (1954) I love this movie. It’s a masterpiece, maybe his key work, but also competes with so many other masterpieces from the man. I’ve seen it many times, using it in a film club I teach to middle school students. They enjoy it every time, and lay aside their cell phones for two hours, with their social media, the logical progression of the world predicted in Rear Window. The opening scene establishes the set as a real world, quotidian, natural, with a cat, not a dog, crossing the cou
  9. Daily Dose #15: Lissajous Figures, Title Design Sequence of Vertigo (1954) I really like the subject of this Daily Dose. It’s a very creative assignment to focus on a title sequence to extract the meaning from it. I looked at the link to the Saul Bass website and was surprised by the familiarity I had with the posters and their look. It’s a signature design style that in my mind really stands in for edgy, new, sophisticated works of art. I have seen the style almost more on the covers of paperbacks than on movie posters. I think of James Baldwin, Nelson Algren, Hubert Selby and others, a m
  10. Daily Dose #13: Criss Cross, Opening Scene from Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train (1951) What a way to ring in the 50’s with Strangers on a Train. When I watched this film several weeks ago, I was just overwhelmed with it. I saw it several times when I was younger, but not for many years. Seeing it again, I still remembered the story, more or less, but from the opening shots on, it just seems like it brings together so many of the techniques and styles we have been studying in such an integrated way, that the film just charges forward from the opening scenes, and never lets up. A work of ge
  11. Daily Dose #12: Why Do You Care How I Feel? Early Scene from Hitchcock’s Notorious (1946) In the opening of this scene, Cary Grant stands in shadow, framed by the doorway, his darkness a reflection of the agency he works for and his role working for them, as well as his emotional state toward Alicia. He is frozen inside, choked up, unable to respond to her love at first, and when he does, only to pull back, because ‘they have a job to do’. He’s jealous and insecure and shies away from her with the least little suspicion. She is lit in the scene, even though covered in blankets and hun
  12. Daily Dose #11: Thought I’d Left? Opening Scene from Hitchcock’s Mr. and Mrs. Smith (1943) I don’t like this one as well as some of the others. I admire Hitchcock’s attempts to move into other genres to expand his repertoire, but some don’t fit him the way others do. There is an ambivalence here that gives the story an uneasy undertone. When Robert Montgomery admits that he would not get married again if he had the chance, because he misses his freedom, it makes sense on one hand as someone being absolutely honest about his feelings, without thinking about the consequences, under the stran
  13. Daily Dose #10: Nothing on Me, Opening Scene from Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt (1943) Of Uncle Charlie’s character, we get a very heavy sense of fatalism and doom weighing on him, as he lies on the bed, as in the montage-like fluid movement of the camera down the nightstand to the bills tossed haphazardly aside on the floor, suggesting even money doesn’t matter to this character, and the complex lattice-work of shadows that lie across him and the room. The landlady comes in and with crystal clear depth of field, her in the background, his prone figure close up, what a great shot, she
  14. Daily Dose #9: Last Night I dreamt, Scene from Hitchcock’s Rebecca (1940) The opening scene is slower than the fast paced editing and montages of previous Daily Doses. And it is talky immediately, with the voice over narration, a symptom, I wonder, of Selznick’s influence and words right from the novel? It reminds me of one of the opening shots of Citizen Kane, with the iron gate, and Xanadu hovering in the background. The camera moves fluidly through the gate, along a winding path that looks highly artificial, dark shadows over it, not quite like the movement of cloud shadows, and then th
  15. Daily Dose #8: Cooling Our Heels, Opening scene from The Lady Vanishes (1938) The opening scene from The Lady Vanishes sets a tone, again, of a series of quick-paced interactions, verbal and physical, to a background of musicality, in the light-hearted folk-music, the musical international languages of the guests, and resulting mis- and non-understanding of the actors, and light-hearted repartee. I like Caldicott and Charters dialogue: “It has always been my contention that The Hungarian Rhapsody is not their national anthem…In any case we were the only two standing…” “That’s true
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