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About sandeepchauhan

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  1. As was noted in the lecture notes, Hitchcock's use of the Bernard Herman score is to elicit a very specific emotion: Sympathy. Juxtapose Herman's use of strings here: subtle, romantic and soft versus Psycho: the strings are almost like a frenetic, high pitched wail. Hitchcock's appearance in the film is almost a direct breaking of the fourth wall. In previous films his cameo was a sly nod to the viewer, here it is almost an actual nod.
  2. One of the (many) things I love about Hitchcock's work is how he fuses genres. Like was said in earlier lectures, Hitchcock had a head for the business of film as much as the art. By using the trappings of a romantic comedy (a chance meeting of two attractive strangers, sly flirtations, and droll humour) Hitchcock eases us into the world he's creating. Whereas a lesser director might begin to build the tension from the opening, Hitchcock instead chooses to focus on the inner needs of his protagonist Melanie (first her bird not arriving, then being mistaken for someone who works at the pet shop) it works nicely here
  3. Its been about 15 years since I last watched Psycho --- I hope I can remember somethings about this film. Bass' title credits along with Hermann's score, communicate what we the viewer are about to watch: their design work is sparse, tense and nerve wracking, the film will be the same. If we go back to Hitchcock's desire to communicate an emotion we can see that fully realized in this title sequence. Like the film, it communicates a lot of ideas but remains mysterious and mercurial. Opening the film with a call back to Rear Window and the feeling of peeping in on someone's personal life, helps communicate the notion that we're partaking in something illicit, and as we focus on Sam's naked torso, and Marion's face Hitchcock pulls a switchon us as we expect Janet Leigh to be in the film till the final credits roll. https://media.giphy.com/media/ySMlUbk6qZENa/giphy.gif
  4. Vertigo is easily in my top three Hitchcock films (along with Rear Window and North by Northwest) this opening title sequence sets up the film nicely. As stated in the lecture video it helps to create the fever dream experience of the film -- Bass' trance inducing visual design combined with Hermann's tense sound design create a strange reality for the viewer both calm and anxious at once. As the viewer begins to be lulled into this fever dream, as the viewer focuses on Kim Novak's eye, with the score screeching in the background, the first of computer generated spirographs appears, almost as if created by the subconscious -- an excellent metaphor for Scottie's actions throughout the film.
  5. 1. Character will take greater importance over plot - the inciting incident is created when a precocious little girl's dog runs into the laneway for a speed skater. This little moment is meant to introduce the audience to some of the film's main characters and to give an idea (a notion?) of who they are. 2. Abbot seems easy going at first, played in such a way that when he does get down to business he will seem far more menacing because of this introduction.
  6. 1. By carefully using specific sounds within the scene, Hitchcock invites the audience into Alice's mind. Take for example the focus on the word knife by tuning out the rest of the conversation, and by over emphasising the word, the audience is in the same state as Alice: trance like, fixated on the murder and a potential conflict with the law. 2. By focusing as much as possible on Alice rather than the action around her, Hitchcock baits and switches the audience: we're so focussed on Alice that we don't notice the knife until she drops it and we hear knife crash to the floor. Add to this that again, the word knife lulls us into a trance like inducement again we like Alice forget about everything going on around us. 3. I believe a lot of it has to do with economy. In one of the interview clips we watched last week Hitchcock was particularly vocal about the visual and the sound being at odds with each other but because of a need to emphasize the story that doesn't happen.
  7. "He keeps the camera, for the most part, closed in on Alice. We are crammed into the phone booth with her, or in her face at the breakfast table because she is closed into herself, only occasionally aware of others, as we occasionally pan out to see them too. Likewise, we hear the sound as she hears and processes it, not as it would realistically sound in the setting. The conversation from the other room is only a warble until Alice opens the door because she is lost in her own thoughts. When she is in the phone booth and fixated on the phone book, the sound is eliminated completely because she is not paying attention to it. At the breakfast table, we don't follow all of what the customer is saying because Alice isn't paying attention either, except for the word "knife," which drives her into her own inner turmoil. The customer is not repeating the word with more and more volume, and she certainly doesn't scream it in the end. But because Alice's inner anxiety is building, we hear the word spoken louder and louder, until the sound of it screamed causes her to throw the bread knife." I noticed this too -- Alice is focused solely on her situation and as such only the things she thinks about -- police courts, the knife, the actual murder -- are actually "real" to her. The word knife takes on a particularly hypnotic feel, almost sending Alice into a trance (as an aside I wonder if Jordan Peele was inspired by this scene for Get Out) to the point where she can't function. Likewise her fixation with the police, make things like the ringing of a door chime take a more ominous tone.
  8. 1. The main difference between Pleasure Palace and The Lodger seems to be that of mood: PP is at times jovial, very silly and almost farcical. Lodger is menace, terror and dread, if as in the lecture video Hitchcock's style is described as "German Expressionism mutated" this opening sequence is encapsulates that idea. If the Germans were obsessed with fate life "behind the eightball" this scene takes that notion and tweaks it slightly to a more nihilistic turn. 2. Two things come to me as I watch this: (1) the frenetic energy, there is a lot of activity in the scenes, and they are composed in such a way as to communicate almost all of it. I found it like following a maze, my eyes would from left to right taking in everything. This energy is something I've noticed in many of his later films, particularly in the opening sequence for Vertigo. That rooftop chase is still one of my favorite sequences in a film. (2) Hitchcock's obsession with blondes in terror, which is very well known, comes up here with the victim. Its a weird thing and this is probably the first time the fetish has been used. 3. The close up on the victim's face helps communicate the terror she feels when there is no sound available. The menacing score helps with that too. Its a trope that Hitchcock uses often in his later films with sound as well: the extreme terror of his protagonists and their situation.
  9. #3 Since this is a silent film, do you feel there were any limitations on these opening scenes due to the lack of synchronous spoken dialogue? - Yes I do see some limitations, as a modern film goer I find that I need sound (digetic, non-digetic, dialogue, etc) to help immerse me in the world that the film attempts to create. A lack of spoken dialogue reminds me that I'm watching something that isn't real -- I'm not a part of it but rather a casual observer of it.
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