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Everything posted by Kwittenbrink

  1. 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? Just a glorious first 3 minutes of a film! He is providing so much in these two times around the back yard and Jeff's apartment. We see the heat, the kids playing, the couples, apartments. We are starting our voyeurism early. Jeff has to catch up, or we are catching up with what he already knows. Get comfy, there's more to come. What do we learn
  2. 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. From the beginning we see the "criss cross": the two cabs, the two men/two shoes, the two different directions of their walking into the dining car. Then further with their "agreement" and how one doesn't want to hold up his end because he becomes frightened by the thought of it.
  3. What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this early scene from the movie? The lighting, the camera angles, the close-ups. 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? Bergman is well-lit and Grant is in shadows initially - does it apply to their character? Good vs evil? It seems as if Grant has the upper hand, Bergman seems fuzzy and hazy in lighting and disheveled in her bed and clothes while Grant
  4. 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? Well, like in his other films, we see everything that is happening to make up the backstory and make predictions as to what has been occuring. As in Rear Window, where we see each tenant in each apartment, the broken leg; in The Lodger, we see every person in town reacting to the murder; in the Lady Vanishes, we see each group of people affected by t
  5. 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 is very tense and trying to calm himself down - but the small sip of water and then the smashing of the glass show that he is about to blow should anything cause him to lose his cool. 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
  6. 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 scene opens much more quietly than the other opening scenes we've seen. It has an ethereal, lonely feeling, whereas the other movies have a very loud and boisterous, public beginning. This seems very spooky and horrific as stated in the lecture video - a gothic horror genre. 2. What are the Hitchcock "touches" in this opening that help you identify this as a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock? Hitchcock uses his lighting techniqu
  7. 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 is rather cheery and jolly, with the happy music. The scene becomes a bit blustery as we learn that there has been an avalanche that has covered the train so that now all the waiting people in the hotel are stranded and must stay for the night. So it doesn't seem ominous or suspensful at this point. 2. Discuss the characters of Caldicott and Charters in this scene. Wh
  8. 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? Unlike the other films, 39 Steps doesn't have the frenetic energy of the others, such as The Lodger. It has a more pleasant and modern feel to it. Perhaps it is the use of sound, but it seems much more enjoyable to watch. It does have the interesting camera shots, such as the ticket being purchased, and the footsteps into the music hall. Angles that seem very Hitchcockian. 2. Do you agree or disagree
  9. 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 would say more character driven - there is something brewing with the characters that we see briefly with Peter Lorre's glance at the skier. Having seen the one with Doris Day, I'm assuming the girl is the kidnapped child. (She, by the way, doesn't seem too bratty just yet - only wanting to please her father. Perhaps the bit where she didn't seem to care that her dog
  10. 1. In this sequence, describe how Hitchcock uses sound design to put you into the subjective "mind of Alice"? Be specific. I like how he has the gossiper mumble, perhaps, and only state the word "knife" so that we see that Alice is only focusing on that word. The final time that the gossiping shopper states knife, it is so loud that Alice jumps as she is taking the knife to cut the bread and it slips from her fingers. 2. Describe the different ways that the sound design of this scene operates in counterpoint to the visual track. For example, how does Hitchcock set up the shot where th
  11. 1. In your own words, please describe the effect of watching the POV dolly shots / POV tracking shots in this scene? It really pulls you into the action - it gives you a sense of being physically drawn in and emotionally becoming attached to the action. It's a very cool and unsettling feeling. 2. Why do you think Hitchcock uses the technique of a POV tracking shot? What does it add to his visual storytelling? I think that he uses the POV tracking shot in order to really involve the audience. I think that Hitchcock really liked to involve the audience and pull their eye in to see exac
  12. 1. How does Hitchcock use montage or expressive editing to add vitality and rhythm to this scene? The different clips added in with the record, the piano man, the crazy dancing - they are all combined to create a frenetic feeling to the scene which illustrates the husband's paranoia in a very vivid way. Then with the piano keys and the dancers that blend into each other, we become visually as mad and paranoid as him - quite a disconcerting scene! 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 ps
  13. 1. Compare the opening of The Lodger to the opening of The Pleasure Garden - what similarities and differences do you see between the two films? Well, the Lodger is definitely darker in style - the music and the woman screaming are two key differences. The Pleasure Garden is definitely not as openly dark, despite the leering men and the suggestive content. They are both very active and hectic, like life in a city tends to be. 2. Identify elements of the "Hitchcock style" in this sequence? Please provide specific examples. Even if you are not sure if it is the "Hitchcock style," what im
  14. 1. Do you see the beginnings of the "Hitchcock touch" in this sequence? Please provide specific examples. Yes, I do see the beginnings of the "Hitchcock touch" in the clip. He really used his settings to help create a very artistic visual - with the spiral staircase you become entranced already with that dizzying shot as the girls seem to spill continuously down the stairs. The men leering with their binoculars, very Rear Window, and even more voyeuristic, which is somewhat funny since they're already in the theater to see the dancing ladies. 2. Do you agree or disagree with Strauss, Ya
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