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About ckdxtrhaven

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  1. I completely concur with the course notes about having preconceived ideas of both actors’ performances. I only knew of Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald as a film couple, but I had never seen any of their movies. I had only ever seen MacDonald in one other film called San Francisco, many years ago. MacDonald played a down-on-her-luck, classically trained singer who gets hired to perform in a saloon by the owner, played by Clark Gable. I don’t recall liking her character because she seemed “too good” for the saloon owner and she was clearly out of place in his world of liquor and gambling. In the Rose Marie clips, MacDonald plays a similar character, a classically trained singer trying to get work in a saloon; but in Rose Marie, we see MacDonald making fun of herself, being vulnerable in front of an audience, showing she has real human qualities that the viewer can relate to. This draws the viewer in and makes her likeable to the viewer. Same thing with the clip where Sgt. Bruce tries to charm Rose Marie by singing to her. He tries to be playful and sincere, and it’s the typical guy crushing on a girl scenario. She initially resists, but then realizes he is letting his guard down in front of her, being authentic. Rose Marie cannot help having feelings for him. Much like Rose Marie, I found myself falling for Sgt. Bruce. There’s definitely a proper sensibility in these clips reflecting the time the movie was made. The men and women are polite and do not express their feelings directly. They must use other means to get the point across because it would be too forward to just say to someone I’m attracted to you. In this case, Sgt. Bruce has the advantage of being a gifted singer so he can woo Rose Marie with his crooning. That’s a common theme in musicals “after code” – boy likes girl, boy pursues girl, boy serenades girl and/or dances with girl, girl falls for boy.
  2. The clip showcases people who don’t seem to have cares about money or any worries of life. The viewer is introduced to Ziegfeld as he gives his hotel doorman a hefty tip for providing pertinent info. Cut to an opulent music hall full of ladies and gentlemen in black tie attire. Ziegfeld and his nemesis Billings are each seated in their own private box enjoying the show. Musical star Anna Held is performing in a luxurious costume, singing a bright, cheerful tune as she moves across the stage with a light-hearted energy. The viewer cannot help but marvel at Anna’s beauty and how she has captured the affection of the entire audience, particularly the two gentlemen. Anna finishes her song and heads to a lavish dressing room, complete with a female assistant to help her undress. To Anna’s surprise there’s a huge arrangement of orchids (costing thousands of francs) waiting for her from Ziegfeld. Anna is flattered by the gesture, yet coyly tries to suppress her excitement over such a gift. In the clip, the viewer is transported to a world of frivolity, with few concerns other than which rich gentleman should win the attention of the lovely lady. A pre-code version of this musical might have Anna Held showing more skin on stage as she performs. Her dancing would entice viewers with sensual moves, as she sings a flirtatious tune. Ziegfeld appears in person back stage to hand deliver the orchids to Anna, who will have already undressed from her costume into a robe and lingerie. Ziegfeld would profess his attraction to Held, face to face, and urge her to sign with him. Swoon.
  3. I think an interesting collaboration would be Hitchcock and Jordan Peele (writer/director of Get Out). The suspense thriller possibilities from this pairing could be prolific; and Jordan Peele comes from a comedy background which would also complement Hitch.
  4. Now that I’ve learned SO much in this course, I’m anxious to see the new movie Dunkirk because I’ve heard it has many elements that are a nod to Hitchcock... Pure suspense Hans Zimmer score More emphasis on visual imagery vs. conversation, to propel the story Bold camera techniques Nail-biting sound design over dialog Story told from three perspectives, interweaving and jumping back and forth in time I also read where they needed to solve the problem of how to shoot inside a Spitfire plane because the camera didn’t fit in the cockpit. They wanted the fight scenes to look as authentic as possible, not green-screened or filmed in a studio. So they hung the camera outside the cockpit and built a special lens that bent like a periscope. I think Hitchcock would have approved.
  5. 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. Frenzy opens with majestic pageantry music playing as a long dolly shot shows aerial views of the ThamesRiver area. It's day time and the viewer gets a nice, scenic view of London, even flying under London Bridge. The camera zooms to a group of people gathered along the shoreline of the river listening to a speaker. As he expounds on efforts to keep the river clean of pollution (for over a minute by the time the viewer hears him), a spectator sees a woman's body floating in the river. In The Lodger, there's no time lost before the viewer knows about the crime. The film opens and the viewer immediately see a shadowy figure and then a screaming woman's face and the words To-Night "Golden Curls". Cut to a dead body and a woman reporting the crime to the police. Streetlamps are on and the scene features shades of blue, gray, black to signify that it's night time. 2. What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific. Long dolly shot opens the film. Crowd of everyday people gathered in a public place. Familiar location in London along the ThamesRiver. Ironic humor with politician talking about ridding the river of pollutants when a dead body floats up. Hitchcock makes a cameo in the film, standing in the crowd wearing a bowler hat. The floating body is a blonde woman. 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. The opening scenes establish the setting for the film, sometimes in very specific detail using familiar landmarks, or signage. This draws the viewer into the story, knowing exactly where the events take place. In Frenzy, a City of London logo appears on screen. In Psycho there's a typewritten caption for Phoenix, Arizona. In The Birds, the camera passes a poster sign for San Francisco. In The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934), hands sift through travel brochures for Switzerland. In Notorious, the title card reads Miami. Florida. In The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) the side of a bus displays Casablanca - Marrakech. Being in public space with a group of people is reminiscent of Hitchcock's earlier films we reviewed (The Lodger, The Lady Vanishes, The 39 Steps) and revisits the idea that ordinary places can mask something sinister. In Frenzy, a peaceful gathering of citizens listening to a speaker turns into a crime scene. The public/outdoor space is often filmed from afar and eventually zooms in to a smaller, possibly private location. In Frenzy, we see an aerial shot of London that moves under LondonBridge and towards the edge of the river where a small group has gathered. Zoom in on a politician speaking to the group of people. A POV shot from the crowd puts the viewer in the audience. In Psycho, we see the Phoenix skyline and then zoom to a window mostly covered by blinds. Cut to a close-up of the opening under the blinds which leads to the inside of a hotel room where the viewer observes in voyeuristic fashion a couple having a fling. Hitchcock uses the 'zoom to a window and then inside shot' in The Lady Vanishes, Shadow of a Doubt, Rope, and Dial M for Murder. All examples of placing the viewer in the scene, observing the players, maybe seeing something they shouldn't. Hitchcock is known for his cameos in films and in a couple, he appears sooner than expected and in a more obvious (active) way. In Frenzy, he's part of the crowd listening to the speaker and he's the only one not clapping. Perhaps he disagrees with the speaker's points about the river being clean? In Marnie, he exits a hotel room as Marnie walks by, looks at the camera as if he acknowledges the viewer who is trailing Marnie via a POV shot, and then he takes over and follows Marnie as she turns the corner.
  6. 1. 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. Marnie is returning to her hotel room after a very successful shopping trip, which includes a new suitcase. She is seen filling two suitcases. One suitcase is larger (we assume this is the new one) and it gets packed very neatly with the new purchases she has just brought back with her. The other suitcase becomes a storage container to discard the clothes she is wearing now, along with other existing belongings. Marnie seems to be starting over, shedding her old skin for a new one. This seems puzzling and the viewer is still not sure of her motive. She then pours several stacks of bills from her purse into the new suitcase. Her motive for changing suitcases and clothes starts to take on a more criminal nature. Marnie opens a compact with a hidden compartment that contains multiple social security cards -- all with a first name beginning with the letter M, all issued in 1959. She sifts through the cards and picks one that she then uses to replace the existing social security card in her wallet. She wants a new identity, and seems to have extensive experience in doing this. She then rinses her dark hair, washing away the black color to reveal it's blonde underneath. Not only is she changing her identity with documentation; she also wants to be unrecognizable from her previous look. The final step in her transformation is to ditch the old suitcase in a locker at the train/bus station, and to throw away the key. She has a secret that requires she become a different person in all ways, and she's a pro at doing this. 2. How does Hitchcock use Bernard Herrmann's score in this scene? The music starts out slow with repetitive tones as the viewer sees a woman from behind walking through a hotel hallway. The woman is then seen packing two different suitcases, one with newly bought clothes and one with the clothes she was just wearing. The music during this sequence brings on a feeling of anticipation as the viewer is learning that this woman is changing her identity (new bag, new clothes, new social security number). Cut to a shot of dark hair being rinsed in a sink and the color is getting washed away. The music swells when the viewer sees the woman now has blonde hair - which is still covering her face. Then the music climaxes when the woman flips her hair to reveal her face in close-up to the viewer. The music is very loud and powerful at this point as the viewer is being introduced, face to face, to the main character of the film. The music almost encourages the viewer to give the woman an ovation for revealing her new self. 3. Did you see any variation in what Hitchcock is doing with his cameo in this film, and what do you think that variation means? Hitchcock looks directly towards the camera as if he has an active part in the action of the scene - he's looking to see if anyone is coming from behind and then he starts following Marnie. Maybe it's his way of demonstrating that the viewer is going to be tailing Marnie in this story.
  7. 1. 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? There’s a chance meeting between Mitch and Melanie inside a pet store. Mitch assumes Melanie is a store clerk, and this type of mistaken identity is a typical meet cute for a romantic comedy. It’s obvious from body language that Melanie is attracted to Mitch, but he doesn’t appear to be as obvious about his attraction to her. Mitch starts asking Melanie questions about love birds and Melanie works the charade exuding confidence even while giving him misinformation. I think Mitch figures out pretty quickly that Melanie is not a store clerk. Even so, Mitch doesn’t call her out immediately or seem bothered that she is pretending to be someone she’s not. He wants to see how far she’ll take the ruse. Their dialog is light and slightly flirtatious (more so from Melanie at this point). Melanie is sophisticated, beautifully groomed and dressed, and seems to come from money. She’s used to getting attention (boy who whistles at her), and she’s used to getting her way; but she’s polite and cool. She doesn’t make a big stink with the store clerk when her birds haven’t been delivered yet, and she seems certain she can charm Mitch. Mitch is well dressed, loves his family, seems no nonsense, and all business. He likes having the upper hand and being in control. 2. 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? Outside the shop we hear the usual traffic noises associated with a big city, and the faint sound of seagulls screeching is evident in the background. Melanie is whistled at by a young boy passing her, which she acknowledges by turning around and smiling. Then she hears a loud raucous sound of many gulls flocking in a group overhead in the sky. The sky is overcast, and the gulls seem to be agitated. Usually gulls are not so far inland unless there’s bad weather approaching. This is foreshadowing for what’s to come. As soon as Melanie enters the pet shop, there are lots of chirping sounds coming from the caged birds, but at a lower in volume than the gulls, and the sounds seem to be the normal noises birds make. The shop is brightly lit with cages of colored birds in warm tones, which is in contrast to the gray skies outside where the gulls are gathering. Melanie and Mitch’s dialog is pleasant and even with all the bird noises around them, the camera focusing on their faces makes them the center of the scene and the bird sounds blend into the background. 3. 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 walks out with a pair (doubles theme) of light colored terriers. The only meaning I can gather is he loves animals and enjoys shopping for and with them. Having a pet store location is the perfect excuse to feature his beloved dogs.
  8. 1. 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? The score is suspenseful string music played at a quick pace. The tune is erratic and jarring, eliciting feelings of urgency and tension. Thoughts of being chased come to mind. The graphics are a series of horizontal and vertical gray lines cutting through the white text of the titles, splitting the words so they are unreadable. Perhaps leading the viewer to read between the lines? The split text might be implying the split personality of Norman Bates, or the words being cut by the lines could be a metaphor for the knife slashing that's to come. 2. 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 specificity of the day/date/time is to establish the setting and give the viewer a point of reference for events to come. Shortly after this, the viewer learns that Marion took an extended lunch break to meet her lover for a hook-up, and their time together is nearly up as check-out time is 3pm. The words THE ELEVENTH made me think of the phrase The Eleventh Hour - the latest possible time before it's too late. Maybe foreshadowing Marion crossing the line from good to bad. The shot of the semi closed blinds suggests something secretive and hidden, and the POV camera shot entering the room via the window adds a voyeuristic quality to the first glimpse of the people inside the room. The viewer is seeing something they're not supposed to, and is a co-voyeur with the director. This is reminiscent of Rear Window. 3. 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. When the interior of the hotel room is revealed, the first shot is of a blonde woman, Marion Crane, lying on a bed. There’s a man standing next to her but we only see the lower part of his torso. Marion Crane is the focus of the shot, and her whole body is illuminated for display on camera. This suggests she’s an important (main) character. Interesting how the viewer is shown a contrast between Marion and Sam. She's wearing white lingerie and has light colored hair, while he's in dark pants with dark hair. Marion appears the way we would view someone who's innocent and pure, while Sam might have something dark lurking underneath.
  9. 1. 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. Cary Grant’s reputation in films is as the irresistible leading man, so it’s only natural that viewers would expect any character he plays to be the object of a woman’s desires. With his handsome looks, impeccable tailoring, and engaging repartee, he would have a tough time avoiding attention from females. Eva Marie Saint I only knew of from On The Waterfront, and in that film, she played the good girl next door; quite the opposite of Eve Kendall. It was a surprise seeing her as the femme fatale, pursuing Grant, keeping up with him line for line. She changed my mind about her immediately after this scene. She was outstanding as the sexy spy! 2. 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. I thought focusing on the matchbook provided an opportunity to find out a little about Roger. He tells Eve the O stands for nothing - so why does he have it? Does it make Roger more important to have a middle initial? He likens his initials to “rot” which suggests he doesn’t think highly of himself. Maybe it’s his way of giving Eve a heads up that if she gets involved with him, she’ll be disappointed. Also, I think the viewer is getting a heads up to pay attention to the matchbook as it will come back later in the film. 3. How is Hitchcock using sound design in this scene? Consider music and other background sounds in your answer. The moving train, the clinking of silverware and dishes, paper receipt tearing, mellow music in the background – all normal, ordinary noises we would hear on a train dining car; all done subtly to allow the dialog to shine. Hitchcock, as we have studied, was known to prefer visuals over sound to tell a story; and yet in this case, he focuses on the dialog between the two leads, using close-ups of each of their faces as they speak. The dialog is smoldering and in more ways than the obvious, because each character is trying to conceal an underlying secret (wanted man, spy lady) that could ignite.
  10. 1. 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. We see a black and white close-up of a woman’s lips, slightly twitching, and then we see a close-up of both her eyes looking left and right. This woman is nervous about something. Move to a close-up of one eye as the image becomes tinged with red. Red maybe signifying danger, or red could possibly represent love but with fear underneath. Something white appears in her pupil as her eye opens wider. Her anxiety is growing. The white enlarges to display the word Vertigo. The title floats away to reveal a spiral circling over the pupil and expanding outward, maybe to represent confusion in her mind. The black center of the spiral eventually outgrows and replaces the black pupil, and then the eye image disappears. Repeating spirals continue to display. The music is slowly hypnotic but with moments of loud intensity (when titles appear on screen) and a haunting undercurrent. Just based on this clip, my general assumption is the film is about a frightened woman who possibly is in love with the wrong person and spiraling out of control. 2. In your own estimation, what is the single most powerful image in this title sequence? Defend your answer. Seeing the woman’s eye become overtaken by the spiral. That hints at the woman not being what she seems. Something expands beyond what is seen on the surface. 3. How do Saul Bass’ images and Bernard Herrmann’s score work together? How different would this sequence be with a different musical score? The images and the score are well coordinated and play off each other nicely. A different musical score would not convey the film’s themes as well. Particularly, the abstract graphics in this opening might not have the same meaning to the story. Just for kicks, I played the Shadow of a Doubt score while watching this sequence. It sort of worked, up until the spirals appeared. The spirals lost their significance and became pretty background images blending with a slow tune.
  11. 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? The opening shot is an introduction to all the stars in a series of individual movies playing in each one of the neighboring apartments. Our seat is inside Jeff’s apartment and the overall film is from our (the viewer’s) vantage point. We also have a front row seat for the movie playing in Jeff’s apartment, as well as (that we see later) a close-up of the visual playing in Jeff’s mind. 2. 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? Jeff, wearing pajamas, is confined to a wheelchair in a very hot apartment in an urban city. It’s morning and the temperature is already over 90 degrees. The apartment is cluttered with belongings that suggest Jeff is a bachelor. He has a well-stocked liquor shelf. Jeff does photography as serious hobby or as his career based on the multiple cameras and camera equipment in the apartment. A broken camera sits below a large photo of a car race crash captured as it happened, and up close by the photographer. There are other framed black and white photos of different action subjects (massive fire, car accident victim, military zone, an explosion). Jeff takes risks to get his shot. A framed negative of a woman’s portrait sits next to a Life magazine, where a photo from that negative adorns the cover. Jeff is also marketable as a photographer. 3. Does this opening scene make you feel like a voyeur or, at a minimum, remind you of being an immobile spectator? What feelings does Hitchcock elicit from you as his camera peers into these other people’s apartments? I don’t necessarily feel like a voyeur from watching the opening scene. Rather, I am the movie viewer, and that fact justifies that what I am observing is allowed. I don’t initially have the sense that I am intruding on these people’s lives. Because I've watched this film before, I know that later the movie viewer will also see things from Jeff’s POV through his telephoto camera lens while sitting in his wheelchair. Seeing the apartments from Jeff’s vantage point, framed within a telephoto camera lens, does start to elicit a sense of spying on the neighbors, and being confined to a wheelchair as an immobile spectator. I start seeing things the way they play in Jeff's mind, and I react as he does. I'm not supposed to be looking in these apartments, yet I cannot stop myself. 4. Bonus question: if you have seen the entire film before, do you agree with Hitchcock that this film is his most cinematic? I would agree. The set is magnificent, especially knowing the care and minute details that went into creating it so it would be like an actual complex of apartments (complete with running water and electricity). The apartments are small, but the windows are large, presenting a clear view of each apartment. The viewer has full visual access to all that goes on inside. The camera work is classic Hitchcock from the slow, panning shots around the buildings and the courtyard, to the POV shots that increase our investment in what a regular guy, who’s just sitting around looking out his window, sees and ultimately suspects.
  12. 1. 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 shot of the train traveling over criss-crossing tracks The camera switching between an image of Bruno, and then an image of Guy as they are getting out of a cab, walking through the station, walking through train. Guy’s and Bruno’s crossed legs under the table The men are sitting across from one another, and then Bruno crosses over to Guy’s side of the train and sits beside him. Bruno crosses his hands/fingers when saying to Guy, “I certainly admire people who do things.” Bruno shakes one of Guy’s hand using both of his hands, and Bruno’s hands almost look crossed at this moment. Could the double hand shake mean Bruno wants to express extra friendliness towards Guy, or perhaps more control over Guy? 2. 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. The camera initially shows only the legs and feet of Bruno and Guy. Both men arrive in a similar cab and have a porter helping them carry their luggage. Bruno’s suitcase is worn while his clothing is flashy - pinstripe suit, black and white buster brown shoes, printed floral tie, tie clip of his name. His look is reminiscent of characters in Guys and Dolls. He saunters quickly with one hand in his pants pocket. Bruno gives the air of being suave, relaxed, and carefree. Guy has a nice, sturdy, leather bag. His clothing is traditional - dark sport coat, gray cuffed slacks, vest, checkered tie, plain, sensible shoes. He has two tennis rackets so he is serious about playing. His stride is simply to get from point a to b efficiently, and walking with both hands down by his side. Guy accidentally bumps Bruno’s foot and he excuses himself before going back to his book. Bruno recognizes Guy as a tennis star and immediately initiates a conversation and starts flattering Guy. Bruno’s dialog is quick, fluid - almost rehearsed - and he exudes charm. Guy is polite while trying to keep to himself. Bruno moves from sitting across from Guy to sidling up right next to Guy. Bruno continues talking, even going to the extent of explaining to Guy the back story on his "Bruno" tie clip. He then tells Guy he doesn’t talk much and for Guy to go ahead and read. Bruno then takes this opportunity to glance at what Guy is reading. 3. 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? Opening for the movie is a big orchestra playing with some isolated strings adding a bit of melancholy. As both men arrive at the train station, there's a quick paced, brassy tune that accompanies each of them as they make their way to the train. As the train pulls away from the station navigating it's way through the maze of criss-crossing tracks, the big orchestra sound repeats and includes an underlying anxious melody (dundundun!) as if something bad is about to happen. When Bruno walks through the train, there is an eerie tune that plays which implies there's mystery about this man. When Guy approaches, the tune changes to a slightly homespun melody, and then culminates when Guy kicks Bruno's foot.
  13. 1. What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this early scene from the movie? Glass of liquid next to bed slightly illuminated reminds me of the glowing milk glass in Suspicion. Angled shot of Devlin standing in doorway, masked in shadow. Light shining on Alicia’s curled hair similar to how blonde curls were a point of focus in The Pleasure Garden and in The Lodger. View of Alicia’s one eye peering at Devlin while she’s lying in bed, reminiscent of Carole Lombard in bed in Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Spinning and then upside down view of Devlin as he enters the room. Close-up of a spinning record as was seen in The Ring POV tracking shot as Devlin approaches Alicia's bedroom as the record plays 2. 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? Devlin is standing in a doorway, arms crossed and his face is masked by a shadow, hinting that he is perhaps not what he seems, that something dark lies beneath. This shot is from Alicia's point of view, staring up at an angle at Devlin. He appears tall, all business in his suit, and he's doing all the talking, telling Alicia to drink the glass of liquid. He has the upper hand over Alicia who is lying in bed, hung over. She is still wearing last night's clothes, hair is messy, words and thoughts are jumbled. Alicia follows Devlin's direction at first, and then she resists. Devlin enters the room still from Alicia's point of view, spinning into focus and then appearing upside down. From here the camera switches between Devlin and Alicia, and each time one of them speaks, it's an isolated shot of the person speaking. Devlin leaves the bedroom and enters the living room, still speaking to Alicia. He puts a record on the record player and moves back towards Alicia's room. We see a front shot of Devlin walking to the bedroom (camera). Then the camera switches to a POV tracking shot from Devlin's perspective as he nears the bedroom door. We see Alicia dimly lit in the bedroom. Alicia moves towards the bedroom door as the dialog on the record gets more heated, and she looks to be pondering her duty to her country. Her face becomes more brightly lit as she meets Devlin at the bedroom door, and she realizes what she needs to do. 3. 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? The pairing of Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman in Notorious is perfection. Cary Grant often plays characters who initially show disinterest (just business) towards the female character, and then their coupling ultimately develops into more. This works right in line with the Devlin character. Ingrid Bergman, as the professor said in the lecture video has a slight vulnerability to her. This adds depth to Alicia, who is stubbornly torn over helping Devlin. She is resistant towards Devlin in the beginning. Later when she is with Sebastian and realizes her true feelings for Devlin, the vulnerable side surfaces.
  14. 1. 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? Immediately there’s a panning shot through a bedroom cluttered with dirty dishes, glasses, leftover food and drinks. Someone has eaten many meals in the room. The camera pauses on a man’s hands playing cards and then moves up to his unshaven, preoccupied face looking at a nearby bed. A wriggling body is under the covers as the camera zooms in on a blonde woman’s eye peeking out. It's morning as sunlight is shining through the windows. The room is large, elegantly decorated, and well furnished. The tableware is nice, the glasses are crystal. They are well off financially. Knock at the door from a maid delivering grapefruit with cherries, and coffee for breakfast. She does her best neck crane to get a glance into the room. She later reports back to a woman (cook?) in the kitchen about the couple who have apparently been holed up in the room for three days after quarreling. The couple seems devoted to each other while trying to work through their differences, and they have staff and co-workers concerned about them. 2. 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? This opening is slightly different from others we've reviewed in the course. There's a lighthearted, cheerful tone that comes through right away. The room is bright, the music is whimsical and joyful. The characters are loving towards each other and appear invested in their relationship. Other openings we’ve studied have a darker tone with an anxious quality. 3. 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? Carole Lombard is an extremely talented comedic actress, in addition to being gorgeous, and well-liked by both women and men. She can play goofy, the girl-next-door, or an elegant lady. Very versatile and she is a great choice for any comedy. Robert Montgomery I’m not as familiar with, but he seems likable and a worthy straight man for Lombard’s antics.
  15. 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. Uncle Charlie inhabits a rented room in a boarding house, address number 13 (bad luck?) in a NYC neighborhood. We first see Uncle Charlie in his room, lying on a bed with his arms folded on his chest, resembling a vampire. He’s dressed in a suit and smoking a cigar, which suggest he likes the finer things. He doesn’t seem concerned about the large denomination bills that are lying exposed on the nightstand and on the floor. He appears to be a loner, bored, shut-off. He reacts indifferently, barely opening his eyes, when the landlady tells him about two men who were looking for him. The tone of his voice is menacing while composed as he tells the landlady that the men, “aren’t exactly friends of mine. “They’ve never seen me.” He appears to be on the run from the law, but at the same time, the law can’t prove he is their guy. After the landlady leaves the room, he calmly sits up, puts out his cigar, picks up a glass and downs the drink in one shot, stands up, and then smashes the glass on the floor. While he appeared cool and collected when the landlady was present, there is pent up anger inside. He walks to the window and sees the two men standing across the street. We hear him say (think?), “What do you know? You’re bluffing. You’ve nothing on me.” He fully believes he is smarter than these men. He demonstrates this by gathering his things, going outside, and confidently heads straight for the two men. He boldly walks in front of them with head high, almost brushing one man as he passes, and then he continues briskly down the street. 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) Film noir elements: Low-rent location Darkened, poorly lit room Man lying in bed surrounded by cigar smoke He seems to be a crime suspect being followed by police Alienated from others, loner, possibly disillusioned, cynical Foreboding background music 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 score is expertly crafted from the big, happy overture as the scene opens with neighborhood kids playing ball in the street, to a blending with the Merry Widow waltz as the camera focuses on the boarding house and then the room window where Uncle Charlie lives. Then there’s a change to a slow, methodical, insidious tone as Uncle Charlie is introduced to the viewer. The mood from film opening to here goes from expansive to closed and dark. After the landlady pulls down the blind, the room darkens and a creepy, sinister foreboding tune plays as we see a close-up of Uncle Charlie lying on the bed. As Uncle Charlie sits up, the music swells slightly and then builds to a crescendo as he smashes the glass. He moves to the window and the pace of the music races, mimicking his adrenaline surging as he opens the blind to see the men across the street. While Uncle Charlie ponders his next move, the music switches to a lighter tune with some of the waltz notes mixed in as he realizes what he has to do. He grabs his things to leave, and the music becomes a determined, forceful tone, quicker in pace and then intensifies to another climax as he opens the front door and steps outside. When Uncle Charlie walks towards the men, the music becomes loud and purposeful as he passes them and heads down the street. The men following him are accompanied with the sound of piano keys rhythmically pounding, as the men pound the pavement yet again.
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