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About AmyV

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  1. 1. Based on the opening sequence alone, what do you feel you already know about Marnie as a character? Something bad going on with her. Sheis clearly a law-breaker by having multiple Soc. Sec. cards and very liekly the packets of cash denote something dishonest going on there - plus she completely changes her appearace; she has 2 suit cases, 2 purses - so she is someone who is changing her identity, running away from something, toward something else perhaps? In what ways does Hitchcock visually reveal her character through her interaction with objects? We note how carefully she treats her nice, new things, while tossing aside their boxes and dumping things into the one suitcase. She had previously dyed her hair dark, so we see her washing out the color now. Finally, she takes the 2 suitcases and places one in a locker, the key to which she deliberately tosses down thru a grate at the station where the locker is. So, she doesn't want anyone to find the suitcase anytime soon. 2. How does Hitchcock use Bernard Herrmann's score in this scene? Very dramatic-sounding score, adds to the whole drama of what the character is doing, adds to our wonder of what she is up to & why. Still, it is rather muted, not the louder, frenetic, sweeping music we've heard toward the beginning of some of Hitch's other films. 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? His cameo was more pointed/direct, with him looking right at us/the camera, or so it appears, rather than being a rather casual appearance, as is the case in many of his other films. Not sure what this variation means, except maybe a wink and a nod to the audience that "here ya' go; here's my cameo," making it very clear & obvious this time - even as we are not real clear on what is going on with the female character who we see at the start.
  2. 1. In what ways does this opening scene seem more appropriate to a romantic comedy than a “horror of the apocalypse” film? In many ways, the opening seems very light, peppy, with touches of humor, such as the pet store proprietress with her profuse apologies over the late delivery of Melanie's birds. Then, there is the male lead (Mitch) entering the store, soon mistakes Melanie for a store employee, she plays along, and they have a whole discussion of types of bird, molting, etc. What do we learn about Melanie (Tippi Hedren) and Mitch (Rod Taylor) in this scene? They both have an interest in pet birds. She is either a playful type person or immediately has an interest in him, or both, to play along as though she does work there. He seems quite knowledgeable about birds himself, types, whether they are molting or not, etc. 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? We can hear birds in the background from the very beginning of the scene; then, there is the kid who whistles at Melanie, which sort of mimics the sound of a bird, then she particularly notices the swarming gulls in the sky - and we hear and see those. The sounds they make, especially in a film of this sort, seems sinister. But, the birds sounds in the shop, conversely, seem more innocent and again, maybe even contribute to that feel of it starting out more like a romantic comedy/drama than a horror film. 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. I really like the cameo, personally. It is simply Hitchcock walking out of the pet store with his two terriers on leashes, as Melanie walks in. I didn't think about the fact that it is one of those examples of doubles in a Hitchcock film, but clearly, it is. I appreciate the analysis I read from some of the other students on this.
  3. 1. How does the graphic design and the score introduce the main themes of this film? Wow! The frantic/frenetic music! That, along with the graphic design with the names and the very title of the film, makes me think of someone cracking up. It's heavy & stressful sounding, could be scary & hint of danger. 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? It is a helpful foundation for the entire story. For example, Marion mentions "these extended lunch hours," and we think Yes, that is quite an extended lunch hour if you are not returning to work until 3:00 or later! It says something to us about her character that she is willing to lie about that & take a chance by lengthening her lunch break to that extent, all to secretly "hang out" with the guy Sam. Also, it lets us know that this story begins in conjunction, basically, with the start of the weekend. 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 immediately brings home the point that these two people are probably doing something they should not be, are sneaking around - hence, the semi-closed blinds. It makes me think of "Rear Window"; although, our view there was from Jeffries' apartment window looking OUT to the courtyard & other side, then back into his apartment where he is dozing in the wheelchair. And, certainly, as others have said, in that case, the windows & blinds were wide open; he was not trying to hide anything. 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. Partly due simply to the fact that she is IN the opening scene with another big name actor of the day, it makes her seem like a main character. She also begins revealing little bits about her work life and these trysts with Sam - providing insights into her life which will surely be pertinent to the story. *Does anyone know what Marion (Janet Leigh) says to Sam (John Gavin) at the 3:26, or so, mark in the video clip? Right after she says "When you're married, you can do a lot of things," she then hurriedly whispers something, after which, he says "You sure talk like a girl who's been married." I've listened several times and cannot figure it out! Maybe someone has already asked/answered that question!?
  4. 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? I guess it creates a sense of irony in the fact that, e.g., Cary Grant's character is trying to "fly under the radar" to not be recognized/noticed. Meanwhile, we know who Cary Grant is, so we feel like saying "how can you not recognize the guy?" 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. While Roger Thornhill has given Eve a fake name, when she needs a match, he pulls out the personalized matchbook that puts the lie to the false name. Of course, she had already said she knows he is Thornhill. The prop also allows her to continue to show her flirtatiousness with him - by grasping his hand and blowing out the match. 3. How is Hitchcock using sound design in this scene? Consider music and other background sounds in your answer. The rather faint, soft background music sounds like a romantic love theme, quite appropriate to what is happening. Otherwise, we hear normal background sounds like the train moving along the tracks, the sounds of dishes, etc., like we would expect in a dining car.
  5. 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. If I had not seen the movie & just watched this opening, I believe I would think (also due to the film title) that it was a psychologically-oriented movie, a psychological drama, if not a thriller. The music intimates the same thing. I might wonder by it showing the face & focusing in on the eye then the spiral pattern if it could be about a person who sort-of goes crazy. 2. In your own estimation, what is the single most powerful image in this title sequence? Defend your answer. For me, I would say it is when the picture of the eye turns all red and then the first spiral pattern appears there. It is powerful because it is the first glimpse of color then dizzying spirals originating in the eye. It also resembles a hypnotism taking place. 3. How do Saul Bass’ images and Bernard Herrmann’s score work together? How different would this sequence be with a different musical score? Each one works with the other to support the idea of someone's psychological state and will-it or won't-it fall apart? It feels like a kind of psychological journey will take place, at least. The symphonic music tends to sound ominous, foreboding. Without it, it might not feel as heavy and foreshadowing of the horrors to come.
  6. 1. How would you describe the opening camera shot of this film? It sweeps across the building on the other side of the courtyard, giving us a feel for what Jeff can constantly see as soon as he looks out the window. What is Hitchcock seeking to establish in this single shot that opens the film? The interesting mix of characters all living within close proximity of one another and of Jeff. Whose vantage point is being expressed in this shot, given that Jeff has his back to the window? You might say it is our vantage point, as the voyeuristic observers who usually get to watch through Jeff's eyes, since this is largely the view outside from his apartment window. 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? We learn that he is currently immobilized and from the photos and broken camera on the table/shelf, it could be that his current injury was obtained carrying out a photographic assignment. His backstory is given through the photos shown including the double negative and the magazine cover it was used for and, again, the broken camera. 3. Does this opening scene make you feel like a voyeur or, at a minimum, remind you of being a an immobile spectator? Since my purpose when watching any motion picture is to observe the story, its characters, and what happens to them all, I never really thought of myself as a voyeur, but knowing we are watching scenes that Jeff is seeing, it does feel a little voyeuristic, by proxy. What feelings does Hitchcock elicit from you as his camera peers into the other people’s apartments? I certainly feel drawn right into those apartments, curious what they look like on the inside, curious about the people inhabiting them. 4. Bonus : if you have seen the entire film before, do you agree with Hitchcock that this film is his most cinematic? Not being an expert, it is difficult for me to say if it is his most cinematic, but i can see that it might be. It is a sprawling set and interesting how the scenes across the courtyard are framed. Also, the shots that are supposed to be looking through Jeff's telephoto lens, the way it is done with black around the edges, as if we are looking through the lens, very creative POV shots.
  7. 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 biggest element to me was, as mentioned in the lecture video or the readings, are the criss-crossing railroad tracks. I guess there was the criss-crossing, as it were, of the two cabs the men took. They seated themselves opposite each other on the train, but then Bruno crosses over to Guy's side to sit next to him. I didn't think about what some others mentioned that was another criss-crossing and that is that both men crossed their legs when they sat down! 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. As to camera-work, Hitchcock has each man walking through the station appearing to come from two opposite directions, looking like their paths might cross. (I guess this is also another example for question #1 above.) Guy seems more "everyman," more workaday in his choice of clothes and shoes, Bruno quite flashy in his spectator shoes and "Bruno" tie clip. Bruno seems much more outgoing and chatty, while Guy appears, at least here, more reserved, less talky. 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? It is a very sweeping, dramatic score and seems like it is a prelude to something big happening.
  8. 1. What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this early scene from the movie? The cool angles & POV shots, such as the view of Cary Grant when he comes into the room and we see it from Ingrid Bergman's viewpoint, so that he is turned completely upside down as he talks to her. The POV closeups of Bergman's character as she wakes up & sees the glass before her & is told to drink up by Cary Grant. The use of shadows/light on Cary Grant, particularly, like when he is standing in shadow in the doorway. 2. How does Hitchcock choose to light, frame, and photograph his two stars in this scene? As mentioned above, having Grant in dark shadow, framed in the doorway at first. The extreme closeup of Bergman early in the scene, giving us insight on how she feels at that moment - hungover, tired, groggy. We get several closeups to moderate closeups on each of them here. By the end of the scene, as she is confronted with her true feelings on the topic of patriotism and serving her country , they are finally standing closer together, the two of them rather framed together in the doorway. What are some of the contrasts that Hitchcock is trying to set up between these two characters through art direction, costume, and cinematography? His suit seems very neat, precise - and dark. So, while he seems to be one of "the good guys," there is still some mystery there and/or a strictly-business attitude that prevents us from really, fully knowing him at this point - is he really as good as he is supposed to be? Also, again, the mystery involved considering his very dark clothing. Her outfit, on the other hand, seems more "fun," sparkly, a mix of light & dark - oh, and it seems to be the outfit she was wearing the night before. So, not at all as put together as Cary Grant in the scene. 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? In this scene, I see a bit of both. There is conformity. For Cary Grant, he is working with the good guys against the bad Germans; he is suave, fashionable, trying to get a person who is "on the fence" to do the right thing & help her country. For Ingrid Bergman, despite the way her character seems, we learn she does love her country (U.S.) enough to refuse to help her father when he had tried to get her to work with some Germans against the U.S. Still, Bergman's character might also be something of a challenge, as she seems to initially be playing against the type we expect of her by apparently being a devil-may-care party girl whose father is a traitor. And, back to Grant, he also seems colder & more business-like than we often see from him.
  9. 1. What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this opening sequence? The use of the music to help set the tone and feel. There are some POV shots, like the one that comes up to and stops on Carole Lombard in the bed. 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? The couple seem very messy, or as we learn, the fact is they have been holed up in the room for a while, thus the reason for the general messiness. They are a wealthy pair, as it is a large bedroom and they have at least two paid housekeeping employees. They like to tease each other. With the lighting, music, and the action, the story seems pleasant, not foreboding, like in some of the other pictures. 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? As some of the other openings have somewhat been, this one seems more totally lighthearted; there is also the use of music to help set the scene - in this case, whimsical, playful sounding music. Of course, it is not one of those crowd scenes we've witnessed in several of his other films, but we have now seen some others that are not, either. 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? Personally, I do think they are well-cast here. They seem comfortable and easy with one another, down to her briefly pressing on his nose with her finger and the way he grabs and holds her, also the teasing, like his slamming the door, pretending to have left the room, her reaction to that and his quickly revealing the truth that he has not left the room, in reality. Of course, we know how great Carole Lombard was in comedy, anyway, but I have to say with just this opening, it really makes me want to watch the entire movie, as I don't think I've seen it all in the past. Unfortunately, I missed it when it was on last week, so we'll see if I can get hold of it soon.
  10. 1. This scene is a prelude to the main story. What do we learn about the character of Uncle Charlie in this prelude? Be specific. We see already that there is something wrong with Uncle Charlie, something sinister, and someone is after him, either the cops or other bad characters with a gripe against him. He is very confident in himself, saying the men are bluffing and have nothing on him. Then he goes out &, openly defiant, walks right past them. 2. In what ways does this opening remind you of watching a "film noir"? The use of darkness and light and shadows in the scenes in his room remind me of a film noir. I would say maybe even the use of the music in this opening has the same effect. 3. What effect does the Tiomkin score have on the mood, atmosphere, and even the pace of this opening scene? Beginning with the soaring music at the initial opening, we are drawn in, even indoors to the scene of Uncle Charlie lying on the bed, then it becomes very quiet. The music feels dark when Charlie is in the darkened room and goes to the window. Then, the music rises, getting louder as he decides to go outside & provocatively walk right past the two men who were looking for him. Lastly, I like the use of the piano notes that seem to match the steps of the two followers, as they begin to trail behind Uncle Charlie.
  11. Sorry, I already typed my whole response out last night but managed to lose it, so I am abbreviating the questions, etc. as much as possible here. 1. How this opening differs from other openings of British silent or sound period? Several of the other films start with crowd scenes, many people moving about or enjoying a show or crowding around after a crime has been committed, or such. This one begins with a scene of an old, seemingly destroyed or run-down house, as it appears in a woman's dream, the same woman who is narrating at that point. Quite different from the other openings. 2. Hitchcock "touches" - There is the POV shot of moving down along the driveway until the house comes into view; we have the use of light & darkness to add to the mystery of this house and what has transpired there. The music, which is rather quiet and in-the-background at the first part comes more to the fore when the scene switches to Mr. DeWinter standing upon the precipice, the raging waters below. The music becomes rather sinister, foreboding. 3. How does the sequence use Manderley itself as a kind of character in the story? The whole 1st segment is a woman talking about the house, it being in her dreams, it having clearly been something of a focal point in their lives in the past. It makes us want to know more & what was its significance. What affect does flashback structure & voiceover narration have on your experience of this scene? The flashback structure brings us right in to the story; it intrigues us & makes us want to know what is the big deal with the house, this big beautiful mansion, what happened & why can they never go back there again?
  12. 1. Using specific examples, how does Hitchcock open "The Lady Vanishes"? What tone, mood, or atmosphere is Hitchcock establishing for the audience very early on in this picture? Pay attention to the music. The tone & moodwith the music and the rather comedic proprietor give it an air of whimsy and lighthearted pleasantness. Nothing in this part seems particularly foreboding. 2. Discuss the characters of Caldicott and Charters in this scene. What do their performances add to this scene? We can almost step into their shoes, since they are Englishmen who are trying to figure out what is going on, what is the cause of the hold-up. We get some insights into them with the conversation regarding cricket and the supposed Hungarian national anthem. Also, they seem like a source of comic relief. 3. Describe how A. Hitchcock uses dialogue, camera movement, and placement of characters in the frame to establish Iris as the star of this scene. The proprietor immediately moves to the door to greet her and her friends, like he didn't even notice other customers at the time. Then, the scene, camera, dialogue is all focused on her and her small group until they are out of sight - gone upstairs.
  13. 1. This opening both fits the pattern we have seen previously and deviates from it. Fits in that we again have a crowd scene and, similar to The Pleasure Garden and The Man Who Knew Too Much, there's a show or event taking place with an audience present. One way this one seems to deviate, at least from what we observe here is that there is nothing blatantly sinister going on here, such as there was in The Pleasure Garden, The Lodger, and The Man Who Knew Too Much. 2. Agree or Disagree with Rothman's assessment that Hitchcock here is focused on introducing a more innocent character than in previous opening sequences? I agree. We were left to question the innocence of some earlier characters, at least in the beginning, but we are given nothing that makes us feel hesitant or bothered by the protagonist here. 3. Another public space opening a Hitchcock film, the prominence of a performer, and the reactions of the audience to Mr. Memory's act, how do these play into theHichcock touch? The protagonist is presented like one of the ordinary people, as he sits watching the show, even asking Mr. Memory a question. But, being in such an ordinary locale in a Hitchcock film, we wonder if something more dark is lurking beneath the surface. We might also speculate if Mr. Memory will be a part of the MacGuffin.
  14. 1. I did not get to see the whole movie yet, so just based on this scene, I thought the characters seemed like the bigger deal than the plot due to all the talk by the characters present about other characters in the storyline, people such as the wife/mother (Jill?) and some other man (was he the competitor in the clay pigeon shoot?) that the daughter apparently does not care for. We also begin to get acquainted with characters like Peter Lorre's Abbott and the two men, the girl's father and the ski jumper, Louie. 2. What we learn about Abbott in the scene - he seems very affable, overall; however, we see his very sober reaction to Louie when he seems to suddenly recognize him. Because of that reaction, it casts him in a different light, like he might not be such a good character, after all, unless the person to whom he is reacting in that way turns out to not be a good guy either. This affects my view of him later in the film because it makes me feel we need to "watch-out" for him. He may not be as affable as he seems. 3. How is this opening both similar & different from the openings of "The Pleasure Garden" & "The Lodger"? All three start with crowd settings, groups of people like those viewing a show in the first movie, viewing the aftermath of a crime/murder in "The Lodger" and spectators at a sporting event in this one. One difference is we had crimes committed in both of the earlier films, the pickpocket in the Pleasure Garden and murder in the next one, but today's film does not seem to show a crime committed in the opening.
  15. 1. How he uses sound design putting us into the subjective mind of Alice? We get more sounds from her vantage point, focused on the customer/acquaintance's non-stop talk of the murder & use of a knife therein. As Alice goes into the phone booth, all outside sound is silenced, then restarts as soon as she opens the door. Also, having the woman's conversation become just muddled words, with the exception of one word jumping out over & over again, the word "knife," clearly, we know it only sounds that way to Alice. 2. Different ways sound design operates in counterpoint to the visual track. What is happening visually & aurally, be specific. The idea, again, that we, as the audience, hear what Alice hears - like blah-blah-blah - "knife" several times; the visual focusing in on Alice grasping, gripping the knife before it flies out of her hand. Also, the final time the woman utters the word "knife," it is much louder - again, probably as it is this way in Alice's mind, not in reality. 3. Why this use of subjective sound is not frequently used in cinema? I think some of it could be that it would involve having to give your audience some credit as to being able to figure out what is being done there, that it is a subjective presentation, not a view of straight reality. Also, if not done carefully, it could indeed be a bit confusing. I thought this whole scene was very interesting and well-done!
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