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Master Bates

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About Master Bates

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    Writing, Travel, Photography, Film History, Swimming, Piano
  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 LODGER (1927) OPENS with the (silent) full screen shot of a woman screaming. This gets us right into the action: the body of a woman has been discovered on a London street. Forty-five years later, however, Hitchcock has come a long way--and so has the movie industry: FRENZY (1972) opens with an extended, technically flawless aerial shot above the Thames, following the river, going through the raised gates of Tower Bridge, resolving on a
  2. 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. Right out of the gate, we see there is something "hidden," something "underneath" about this character, this Marnie. Methodically, she unboxes and takes the tissue off new clothes apparently bought at an upscale store. She obviously has money to spend on expensive clothing, which she carefully packs in a light-colored suitcase on her hotel bed. Meanwhile, she casually tosses undergarments into a s
  3. 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? ------ AN UPSCALE, WELL-LIT pet shop is antithetical to the typical horror film setting. It isn't a fog-shrouded castle in Transylvania, or some mad scientist's laboratory. But it's typical of Hitchcock to open in a public place--in this case, a pet shop with many well-heeled patrons; and, on the second floor, LOTS of birds. It's here that our two stars--'Tippi' Hedr
  4. ​I think Hitchcock and composer Stephen Sondheim could have produced a major collaboration. There are several reasons why I say this: ​1. Sondheim's love of movies. He's on record saying he's never been a reader, but he's a great lover of movies and has been all his life. ​2. Sondheim loves puzzles. This would seem to be a perfect match for Hitchcock's love of the same: working out the "puzzle" of a character's psychology, etc. ​3. With "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street," Sondheim has said that he wrote the score as if he were scoring a motion picture--a horror picture at tha
  5. In VERTIGO, why is the manager of the McKittrick Hotel (Ellen Corby) insistent that "Carlotta Valdez" hasn't been at the hotel that day? We have just seen "Madeleine/Judy" opening the shade in the room above the lobby. Or have we only seen her there through Scottie's eyes? Through his...imagination? In which case, is she there...or not?
  6. 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? Saul Bass's bold, black-and-gray, parallel bars that slide back and forth--and through each other--are an abstract manifestation of a knife slashing (vertical bars) or stabbing (horizontal bars), then pulling out of, a body--repeatedly. This is a stylistic representation of the brutal murder that will be at the heart of PSYCHO. The murder--the
  7. 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. EVEN THOUGH CARY GRANT is playing a role--"Roger O. Thornhill"--in NORTH BY NORTHWEST, Hitchcock--and Grant--are not letting anyone forget that he is still Cary Grant. Right off the bat, he's wearing "movie star" sunglasses, ostensibly because his character is on the run from thugs who have mistaken him for someone else and from p
  8. 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. THE MARRIAGE OF BERNARD HERRMANN's score and Saul Bass's computer animation in the title sequence tells me this film is going to be a mystery of complicated--spiraling, "twisted"--psychology. The hypnotic, swirling, multi-colored designs tell me I will find mysel
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