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Jimmy L.

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About Jimmy L.

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  • Birthday December 16

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    Upstate New York
  1. One of the lecture videos ended with a clip from that AFI ceremony, when Hitchcock made that speech about Alma, and the camera cut to Alma's face, tears in her eyes. Great clip, and a great quote. Re: women in Hollywood, a while back I caught a documentary on TCM about female screenwriter Frances Marion. It seemed like back in the carefree early days, when Hollywood was a little movie-making colony out in sunny California, women were more visible in the various production roles. But as Hollywood became a big business, the culture changed and women were mostly employed as secretaries and
  2. The TCM airing last week was the second time I'd seen Frenzy, and I think I liked it more, especially with some added appreciation from this course. (I've since seen it again!) To me, it's Hitchcock entering into the modern era, playing by the new rules of 1970s cinema (i.e., no rules). No more censorship, etc. Movies were shocking and graphic, and Hitchcock joined the party. That said, I agree that the rape/murder scene is disturbing, and intentionally so. But I don't know if that's a reason to criticize the film or filmmaker. (It's an R-rated movie, after all.) The scene is very e
  3. As for the lecture videos, like others on this board, I thought they were great. I prefer sitting in on a thoughtful lecture to reading a bunch of text in a book or something. The conversation approach, I think, worked really well. (I don't know how lecture videos were in past courses.) Dr. Edwards and Dr. Gehring each know a lot about movies and film history, which is a good start, but they bring their own perspectives to the table, which I think adds a lot to the learning experience. A lot about movies is subjective, and it's nice to have different viewpoints presented and encouraged
  4. Great observation! When people think of Alfred Hitchcock, they think "Master of Suspense", and I think Hitchcock newbies (who might be most familiar with Psycho or The Birds, for whatever reason) expect Hitchcock movies to be horror thrillers, spooky movies full of gruesome murders and diabolical deeds. (Not that that's totally off the mark...) They'd be surprised at how funny his films can be. There's a lot more humor than people might expect, given the Master's reputation. Great movies often strike a satisfying balance of different emotions, and Hitchcock's humor plays well with his sus
  5. A few more have come to mind. The "drinking the milk" POV shot in Spellbound (1945) (viewed through the glass) reminds me of the POV shots in Champagne (1928), viewed through the bottom of a champagne glass. And the stylized trial montage in Spellbound, which focuses solely on Ingrid Bergman, is kind of like the expressionistic trial montage in Dial M for Murder (1954), which uses colored lighting and Grace Kelly's face to condense a long legal proceeding into a couple of minutes.
  6. Thanks, James, for the analysis! Very interesting stuff. I find music theory fascinating, but the language is way over my head. I used to play an instrument in my school band, but I don't know much about chords and things. It's tough for me to make sense of musical analysis without being walked through the terms from the beginning, with audio examples along the way. I envy people who've studied music enough to discuss it in technical terms, but I don't suppose I'll ever get around to taking courses in music theory any time soon. You seem very knowledgeable about both composition and Bern
  7. I can't say what was meant, specifically, about "Hitchcock guilt", but it got me thinking about how the theme of guilt is explored over and over in Hitchcock's films. What I find interesting about Strangers on a Train is that Farley Granger and later Ruth Roman are not guilty of the murder, but they know who is, they withold this information from the authorities, and they sneak around "acting guilty". It's like someone else's actions have made them guilty somehow, in their own minds, when really they had nothing to do with the crime. Like guilt can be a state of mind as much as a simple mat
  8. I'm not an insider or anything, but I've always assumed that "Costumes by" meant all the costumes (clothing) for the cast, whether it's a period piece or a contemporary setting. That person decides what outfits the characters should wear (like the knd of suit -- material, color, fashion -- the lead actor would wear, etc.). "Dresses by" or "Gowns by" is a more specialized credit, where a costumer extraordinaire is brought in just to design the leading lady's elegant attire, while the rest of the clothing/costume decisions are left to somebody else. For example, in Notorious, Edith Head was b
  9. One of the lecture videos last week brought up the similar use of upside-down POV shots in Notorious (1946) and Downhill (1927), which I found very interesting. Watching so many of these films in such a short time makes it easy to spot similarities like this. What other examples can people come up with of shots or particular techniques that Hitchcock re-used or re-applied or tinkered with in different films? For me, having just seen Rope (1948) on TCM, I thought the shot of the camera moving around the empty furniture, as if following an invisible character, while Jimmy Stewart explained ho
  10. I don't see Betty (Nova Pilbeam) as the insufferable brat that Prof. Gehring mentions in the lecture video. She's actually very good a few years later as a young woman in Young and Innocent (1937). Kind of reminds me of Emma Watson from the Harry Potter films. I like Joan Fontaine in Rebecca, but Pilbeam would've been twenty or so by then, and I don't think her 1934 performance should be any indication of her potential for later adult roles. It would have been interesting to see Pilbeam in Rebecca or some other Selznick feature, but she never became a big movie star. Also, I caught Jam
  11. Rebecca opens its gothic romance with the dreamy narration about Manderley. By introducing the current state of Manderley, burned and deserted, reclaimed by nature, the scene sets up a mystery that will be solved over the course of the film. The viewers know how Manderley ended up, and the film will explain how it got there. This is a cool way to set up the gothic tale, so viewers watching the romantic scenes between Joan Fontaine and Laurence Olivier will know, in the back of their minds, that some tragedy lies ahead. This opening narration could have been accompanied by still shots of bu
  12. The Academy did not completely ignore Hitchcock's films. Hitch himself was nominated five times for Best Director (Rebecca, Lifeboat, Spellbound, Rear Window, Psycho), though famously never won. Rebecca, Foreign Correspondent, Suspicion, and Spellbound were all nominated for Best Picture in the 1940s (with Rebecca winning over Foreign Correspondent in 1941). Besides Joan Fontaine and Laurence Olivier, Judith Anderson was nominated for Rebecca, Albert Bassermann was nominated for Foreign Correspondent, Michael Chekhov was nominated for Spellbound, Claude Rains was nominated for Notorio
  13. Diabolique is excellent (as are other films by Henri-Georges Clouzot, like Le Corbeau and The Wages of Fear). I believe the story I heard was that Hitchcock was interested in adapting the novel of Diabolique, but Clouzot beat him to it. So, as a consolation prize, the authors of that story wrote Vertigo for Hitchcock.
  14. I'm a big proponent of the lesser-known Young and Innocent, although I might not call that my top underrated pick. But I like to spread the word. Young and Innocent is a lot of fun, from Hitchcock's 1930s "thriller sextet" period. It's not as dire as other thrillers. There are no bombs or wars or evil organizations. Nobody's trying to shoot the protagonist. It's about a man wrongly arrested for murder, who escapes to try to clear his name and is pursued by the police. But the great thing about the film is its lighter tone, and the movie is really more of a romance between the man and a
  15. Last week I saw Easy Virtue and Champagne for the first time (the online versions), and rewatched The Farmer's Wife on TCM. I like them all. The Farmer's Wife is pretty solid as a silent comedy with a bit of its own style. Champagne is a straight-up, high society comedy, which was interesting to see from Hitchcock. Very light. The kind of madcap heiress comedy that would pop up out of Hollywood throughout the 1920s-1930s. Easy Virtue, on the other hand, is a drama, and I really dug that one, too. I especially love the beginning courtroom sequence, which shows Hitchcock's visual creat
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