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  1. 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. ​The opening has majestic music and is in full color. You feel the full glory of the UK, London Bridge, the Thames. Not a silent open mouth screaming. 2. What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific. ​The shot of coming in from above, Gods' perspective is familiar in Hitchcock's work; Psycho. The photographers cameras like Rear Window, being voyeurs. The cameo of Hitch in the crowd. 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. ​I see a series of contrasts, the glorious music in a scene that doesn't have a lot of color in it, more shades of grey. The old-guard pompous politician; another, wearing his mayoral chain with his dignified wife standing next to him; all in a working-class part of town. It's not in a beautiful park, it's on the polluted waterfront. (I love how the politician is referencing birds...kingfishers.) Then, "Clear of the waste products..." "look, it's a women". Tongue in cheek perhaps?
  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. She's a thief and has been for a long time. The different SS cards, the old clothes and hair that she discards, very carefully. Not put in a dumpster, but in a locker and she drops the key down a grating. You know she's never going back there. How does Hitchcock use Bernard Herrmann's score in this scene? It sets the opening up as romantic, no slashing title cards. Title cards written on lovely stationary. The music is romantic. Did you see any variation in what Hitchcock is doing with his cameo in this film, and what do you think that variation means? He comes out the door and looks. We see his face, dead-on. No side profiles, not from the back. We know it's him, we've been waiting to see where he'll appear this time.
  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? Mitch sees her standing there, in a very nice suit and very high heels. He knows who she is but gets her to pretend that she works there. Asking her about lovebirds. A bird escapes and she tries to get it back into it's cage. Screwball comedy. (Side note, the shopkeeper tells Melanie that the delivery truck hadn't arrived yet. Why? Did the birds revolt on the truck ride over and kill the driver? Something to think about.) 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? The sounds of the gulls are louder than the city noises, traffic, & people. Sounds of the gulls flocking as Melanie goes into the bird store. The boy "cat call" whistle to Melanie. The sounds of the birds in the shop is soothing, just little calls and tweets. 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. Hitch is walking out of the bird store with 2 Scottish terriers leading him out. The dogs are leading the master on his leash.
  4. Psycho opens with title design by Saul Bass and music by Bernard Herrmann. This is their third collaboration for Hitchcock, including Vertigo and North by Northwest. How does the graphic design and the score introduce the main themes of this film? The "split" of the title in the opening credits mirrors Norman Bates' split personality. The cutting of the credits symbolizes the literal cutting with knives that happens throughout the movie. The music sets up a stressful, manic pace for the entire movie. Which is interesting since there are moments of complete silence. Norman watching Marion change, the detective walking up the stairs, Marion's sister looking at the bedrooms in the big house are all done in complete silence. 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? It is set up so we know it is a Friday afternoon. When Marion steals the money the audience knows she has a entire weekend before she is found out. She also has an entire weekend to change her mind. The opening of Mr & Mrs Smith are in a hotel room. Shadow of a Doubt is done going through a window, from the bottom. The opening of Psycho is done from the top, the view of God, or a birds view since birds are all over the movie, (Phoenix is also a bird not only a city) 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. It shows Marion as not an innocent, she had sex with her boyfriend on her lunch hour. Her sandwich remain untouched, because they were busy having sex. Not like Mr. & Mrs Smith, where the scene opens in a hotel room, with dirty plates and eaten food strew all over. You also see Janet Leigh in her white bra and slip, getting dressed. But when she is home, looking at the money on her bed, she has changed into a black bra. A transition from "good" to "bad".
  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. Grant is wearing sunglasses and his arms are on the table. Eva Marie is drinking coffee and keeps her arms off the table. He only takes off the sunglasses, revealing his eyes, when she says that he has a nice face. I love how he his life is in danger, but he has the "umph" to flirt! It reminds me of Grants role in "An Affair to Remember" (1957). His voice, tone and words almost mimic scenes from that movie. "Typical" Cary Grant, a man on the prowl! 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. Grants lighting Eva Maries cigarette gives the characters a chance to touch each other and see their hands up close it also give Eva Marie an opportunity to "blow" out the match. How is Hitchcock using sound design in this scene? Consider music and other background sounds in your answer. The sound of the training moving and light music in the background. It creates a very normal, casual scene.
  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. Lips. Nose. Eyes. Black & White, zooming in to one eye which goes to blood red, the eye opens wide-horrified. The music is stressful. The spinning circles are hypnotic, surreal. Not quite reality. It sets up an dream-like experience. The black opening of the circles, the all-seeing eye. In your own estimation, what is the single most powerful image in this title sequence? Defend your answer. The spinning discs, dream-like and hypnotic. You can't stop watching. How do Saul Bass’ images and Bernard Herrmann’s score work together? How different would this sequence be with a different musical score? The opening music is very, "tick-tock, tick-tock" hypnotic. It gets stressful. With the brass instruments blasting on top of the rhythmic woodwinds. The spinning discs, different colors and changing with the music ramping up is very dreamlike and not in a good way. Gives me a headache every time.
  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? The opening shot is like we live there, the blinds open one by one. These aren't heavy duty venetian blinds, these are light bamboo shades, even when they are closed you can see out of them (and others can see in). It is showing another day has started. It does what we all do every morning, open the blinds. We see people doing what we all do everyday, get ready for work. An cat is walking across the courtyard, pigeons fly in and the milkman is making his deliveries. The windows are open and even though it is early morning, you can see by the thermometer, it is already hot. You can hear what is going on in other apartments, music 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 the broken camera, the photos of an explosion and a nuclear bomb blast and the one that injured him, the racecar hurling towards the camera. A fashion shot as a framed negative and a stack of magazines with the fashion shot on the cover. He's not shooting for National Geographic, it's a magazine like Life or Look. 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? It does feel like we are the immobile spectator because we never leave the apartment. We see that it is a small studio apartment with a tiny kitchen off to the side. Bonus question: if you have seen the entire film before, do you agree with Hitchcock that this film is his most cinematic? Yes it is. Hitchcock put an entire city block into a small space and all the little details with it. If you've ever lived in a city apartment, this is what it is like. He captures it perfectly. Even down to the background noise. Pigeons on the roof, the streetcleaner and the kids playing in the street, horns honking. The walls don't bar the noise of your neighbors and their everyday life. You hear the arguments and listen to their music.
  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. The train tracks, crossing over each other. The criss-cross of both characters exiting their respective cabs. Guys feet, Bruno's feet, Guy's luggage, Bruno's luggage. Then Bruno takes his seat and crosses his legs. Guy takes his seat and crosses his legs. 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. Brunos' shoes are stand-out, dandy-ish. Guys are plain, sensible. Everything is filmed from the back, or knees on down. You don't see anyone's face until minute 2.3. Bruno wears a personalized tie clip on a lobster tie (it's a bottom dweller). Bruno sits too close, almost up against Guy. I need to disagree with the notes that Robert Walker was on his way to stardom. By the time of SOAT, he was a full-blown alcoholic. His career had been ruined in part by Selznick who married Walkers ex-wife, Jennifer Jones. 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 opening music is sort of romantic, with the view of the train station with the US Capital dome in the background. Then it moves to when they exit the cabs it is light & airy and keeps it up while they walk to and board the train.
  9. What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this early scene from the movie? front and center a glass that has a glow to it. Like that famous glass of milk that Cary Grant had carried up the stairs in Suspicion 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? Ingrid Bergman is far from glamorous here. Her hairpiece has fallen out and her makeup is all smeared. The camera turns around, giving us Alicias' perspective. She is no cool blonde with the tight hair bun like HC films later on. There isn't the focus on the glamorous Grant, his voice is mainly off-screen. The focus is on Alicia and what a hot-mess she is. Towards the end, they are standing shoulder-to-shoulder, equals. 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? ​Both actors were well-cast here. She as an understated, naturally beautiful women with a foreign accent. He as a cool, suave, romantic man. ​I have to disagree with a few points made in the lecture notes. Ingrid Bergman has played "a bad girl" before; in 1941's, "Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde" with Spencer Tracy and Lana Turner. She played a barmaid/prostitute who is physically and emotionally tortured by Tracys' Mr. Hyde. ​I also don't see Nortorious as a love story. Love is another McGuffin in the movie. 95% of the movie is Cary Grant treating Ingrid Bergman as a "party girl". The last scene, she whispers to him that the uranium is in the "Inez Mountains", completing her mission to the end. He does rescue her but up until that point he wasn't that conflicted about her prostituting herself for her adopted country. ​
  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? Not a lot of Hitchcock touches, zooming in to plates of half-eaten food. (Reminds me of the opening of "Psycho", with the hotel room and uneaten sandwiches.) It appears both parties haven't left the room in a few days. But since they have been eating, they haven't been having sex. He needs a shave. The music is light and lyrical. It's obvious from the quilt on the couch, he has been sleeping there and you see that she takes up the entire bed. 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 disagree, he isn't coming through a window, the camera is already in the room, looking at dirty dishes. You don't see the entire room for a few moments. 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? They are cute together. Between the music and the two of them cuddling on the bed, it paints a very sweet picture.
  11. 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. Uncle Charlie is comfortable living on the seedy side of town. So comfortable that he leaves his money thrown on the floor. He is lying in bed in the middle of the day, posed, looking like Dracula. He is in full suit, he didn't take off his jacket as most of us would if we were lying down. He is comfortable enough to tell his landlady that he never met the men who called for him. She pulls down the shade and his eyes are closed, looking like he's dead. He throws a glass at the wall, showing us he is angry and that he is a wanted man. "You have nothing on me" ​ 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) ​​ The opening of kids playing ball in the street, the light music is very friendly. Then the camera looks up at the rooming house window. This is different, in prior AH films, the camera looks down (Gods perspective), is this Satan's perspective? The throwing of the glass at the wall is very film noir, the prediction of more violence to come. When Uncle Charlie walks out the door, he doesn't walk away from the detectives, he starts to walk right up to them. In traditional film, you would be expecting a confrontation, or a shoot-out. It's not in the clip, but the opening you see that the neighborhood is seedy, you see broken-down cars down by the river in an industrial area of the city. No trees, no grass. 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 at the beginning is light and friendly, the kids are playing ball. Nothing wrong here. Then the music changes as the camera looks up, it starts to get darker. It climaxes when he throws the glass at the wall. You know when Uncle Charlie decides to leave the city, the music becomes light, a little tinkle and back to ominous. It ramps up again as he walks right up to the detectives.
  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? ​You start off with a view of the moon, looking up at it. Not down onto a scene like The Pleasure Garden, or The Lodger. It's all scenery, there is no actor in it until minute 2.10. ​There is a voiceover, taking the viewer from the present into the past. The female star is dressed very simply, like anyone watching the picture. She isn't glamorous like the female star in Lady Vanishes. 2. What are the Hitchcock "touches" in this opening that help you identify this as a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock? Moving the viewer through the drive to the ruins of Manderley, making us part of the picture. Then it ramps up quickly with de Winter yelling at a girl, it makes us wonder what did the opening have to do with what we just saw? 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? ​ You know something awful happened there, you look at the ruins. The voiceover is very wistful. But what I don't understand is the voice of the 2nd Mrs de Winter says she dreams she was back at Manderley What? Go back to a time where she was insecure and being gas lighted and abused? The wistful voice contracts with the nightmare of "being back at Manderley"
  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. ​It opens by the camera coming in wide, giving us a feel for the room. The music is light, almost out of a Disney fairytale. I was waiting for cartoon birds to fly in and get everyone tea. ​Then it descends into almost slapstick chaos. The travelers coming in w/ their loud voices.. 2. Discuss the characters of Caldicott and Charters in this scene. What do the performances of Caldicott and Charters add to this scene. It's implied that they are a couple. He has a scar on his face and they both discuss the situation in Europe and the need to transfer trains. 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. Iris is the main character, she is positioned in front of the others and she has the most dialogue. My eye is drawn to the checkered pattern jacket she is haphazardly wearing and the walking stick she is using. That focuses our attention on to her.
  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? ​Not like his earlier films, this one opens with a lot of action. Almost manic. It starts slow and then builds quickly. There is a lot of background noise. Sounds of a baby crying and a heckler. (?) There is no close up of any one characters face. 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? ​Yes. I agree. He is a man who goes to see a performance. 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? It's an everyman opening. I love it. The heckler and the baby crying. Dialogue coming fast, one of top of the other. Before you have a chance to absorb one line, another comes in on top of it. Like normal everyday life.
  15. 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) ​Based on the opening; the characters. There is very little sound and brief action, which in any other movie would be a tragedy, the act of a skier wiping out into the crowd. In any other movie the skier, Louie would be furious having his chances ruined by a girl running out onto the field. Here, it's all a game, he's not upset, the girls father isn't upset that his child was nearly killed and the girl isn't sorry at all. 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? Abbott is shown as a good-humored man, laughing and brushing snow off of himself until he sees the skier, Louie. Then his expression changes, to a dark one. 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. ​This opening is very quiet, almost silent. Not unlike the 2 silent films, The Pleasure Garden and The Lodger. There is a lot of dialogue, and hardly any action. The pace isn't as frantic as The Pleasure Garden and is lighter than The Lodger.
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