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Everything posted by pwest1962

  1. We got more than we paid for; this was an outstanding experience. I learned so much about Hitchcock I didn't know. I had no idea about all the silent films he did, or how he was influenced by German expressionism! I use film as a teaching tool and this class has helped learn how to use it more effectively.
  2. OK, I am a teacher at a Community College in Alabama and teach online courses. You who are complaining should be ashamed. First, this class is free. Second, Dr. Edwards has at least 300, my mistake, 16,000, students in this class. He also has to prepare for the fall term and may also be teaching summer classes for credit at Ball State. People get a grip! You didn't pay for the class and you're not getting any college credit for it, so stop complaining and treating Dr. Edwards with disrespect! Do you think you are the only person in the world or that Dr. Edward's has his own life? He
  3. The opening is very revealing about Marnie. She lives multiple lives is very neat and she steals for the sake of stealing. I like Hitchcock's use of color, her yellow purse, it means caution. The music is beautiful, haunting and has the effect of movement. We see Marnie's legs long before we see her face. We also see Hitch watching her as she goes down the hall and he looks back to make sure no one is watching him, watching her. He is a rascal. The objects he uses as nodes to his other films: the money, "Shadow of a Doubt" the hair dye down the drain, "Pyhsco", the key down the
  4. The opening of The Birds is very playful. The bird sound track is a wonderful touch and at the beginning of the film and sets no ominous tone for the audience. We see Tippi Hedren, Melanie, heading for a pet shop to pick up a Minna bird. She notices all the birds hovering but goes about her business. As she goes in the pet shop, Hitchcock makes a very early appearance with his own dogs walking out and again the audience senses no dread! Melanie asks the shop keeper about the birds and is satisfied with the answer about a storm at sea. She wants her Minna bird but it has not yet arrived.
  5. The fact that we have another EVE is funny because unlike Jane Wyman in Stage Fright this Eve is dangerous, but not in the way the audience is led to believe. Hitch is leading as a long once more. She knows Thornhill is innocent and knows who the real killers are and she is, on the one hand, Thornhill's protector, but on the other, his advisory at the same time. She is definitely a double agent. This scene oozes sex from the eyes behind the woman's sunglasses, Grant is wearing, to the smirk on both their faces to the music in the background, then the topic of what's good on the menu
  6. The music is jagged and unnerving, combined with the titles which are broken parallel and horizontal lines make the viewer tense from the outset of the film and foreshadow the stabbing in the shower. The partially open shades are similar to fully exposed or lifted shades in Rear Window. Another classmate said something to the effect the blinds, "suggest the stabbing motion of the knife." Good call! The fact that they are only partial exposed tells the viewer something is going on inside that no one should see. Sex as an "Afternoon Delight" between unmarried adults spells taboo and bad gir
  7. This opening sequence is really not much different than other openings! Hitchcock has used wheels from trains, clocks, cars, and records to not only convey movement/action but also, to convey disorientation! What makes this opening stand out is its vivid color and now, Hitchcock can use special effects like spirals and curves he could not use in the past! And, of course, Novak's lips and eyes! In all the films we've highlighted, there is a point when our hero is made to doubt his/her own senses or sanity! Am I really seeing what I'm seeing, feeling what I'm feeling, knowing w
  8. First, I have not seen this film all the way through, so I am looking forward to seeing it on Friday. I already have the DVR set, just in case! The opening shot is a 360-degree view of Jefferies' stifling, claustrophobic world! That doesn't mean there is no action or interesting things going on in this world; it just gives us a closed in feeling. From the movements going on inside and outside his apartment, there is plenty of action. Jefferies' is closed in because of his broken leg, so we feel that as well. Shooting from this point of view is masterful. We get movement and claustropho
  9. After watching Stage Fright, I can see Hitchcock's prelude to Strangers on a Train. As I posted earlier about mirroring, there were pairs and doubles and mirrors all through Stage Fright. This film was a laugh riot and I loved Alister Sim. I wanted to see Sim in every scene of this dark comedy. We even see Eve's mom; we see this couple. She's a bit off and he doesn't live with her. Marlena Detrich's character as a faux fem-fatal and "Johnny" Noir were wonderful send-ups. "Johnny" loves her, but she's using him. Then, Hitchcock introduces us to "Johnny's" friend, Eve, Jane Wyman, wh
  10. Dr. Edwards calls it criss-crossing; I call it mirroring! We have two men, they are going to cross paths, but the way Hitch sets the shots up, the viewer is supposed to contrast these individuals by seeing the shoes they wear, the luggage they carry, and as our teacher, says they way dress and speak to one another at the beginning of the film. First, we see a flashy dresser with diamond patterned shoes, getting out of the cab. These are "loud" shoes and only a "loud" person would have the boldness, brashness, or even crassness to wear them. He has two suit cases. The other man has pl
  11. We see Bergman through a chair, then a close up of her disheveled body lying on the bed. There is a glass of milky substance on the table next to her. Suddenly, Grant appears in the door and tells her to drink it. It is more of a command, really. He walks toward her and Hitchcock changes the angle of the camera, in almost a 360, resolution as he makes his way across the room. This shot causes the viewer to experience two emotions: can we trust grant and just how confused and disoriented Bergman's character is after a drunken stupor. Disorientation will be a reoccurring theme in this movi
  12. "Shadow of a Doubt," "Little Foxes, Mrs. Miniver, "Pride of the Yankees," and "Best Years of Our Lives," have one thing in common: one of Hollywood's most underappreciated and talented actresses, Teresa Wright! To star in one of these films, would be a highlight in anyone's career, but to star in all five! I don't know why her film career did not last a long time, but she is in five of greatest films ever made.
  13. The opening to this film next to Mr. and Mrs. Smith is the funniest of any Hitchcock film I've ever scene. You have so many sounds going on: cuckoo clocks, and Swiss like gay, folk dancing music popping in the background of an overcrowded hotel, or chalet. This is farcical chaos. There has been an avalanche and the trains are not running so the hotel is overbooked and the manager is overwhelmed. Immediately, we are introduced to key players in the film. They are chorus girls led by Margaret Lockwood who plays Iris and knows how to get around the manager with charm and bribery; Basi
  14. The opening scene from Rebecca is in darkness and there are no people, but we hear Joan Fontaine narrating over the unsettling background shadow of "Manderlay." Her voice is somehow quietly strained as she remembers the past and her time at that place/palace. I don't remember any other opening without people or motion. However, this opening is so creepy that you know it is a Hitchcock film. Olivier then appears on the edge of the cliff as if he is ready to jump. We hear Fontaine voice again filled with fear as she warns him to step back. We hear concern rather strain; she fears he wil
  15. The opening scene of this film reveals quite a lot about Uncle Charlie. For one thing, we only see his silhouette or one side of his face, so even in room light, he looks suspect. He has a wad of money on the table and another pile on the floor; this seems to be careless, but we know this is not so. He is contemplative; his mind is on something else as he taps, taps and taps his cigar on his chest. We know he has a lot of money and some how we know he didn't get it legally or morally. We also learn a lot about him when the landlady comes in to tell him about the visitors. She is not s
  16. This film along with The Pleasure Garden and The Lodger bring the audience immediately in with action and characterization. The sky jumper presents movement/action. So far all the films I've seen being with movements whether it is a train moving or spinning records or ticking clocks. Hitchcock does not waste a scene; he wants his audience to move all with the characters on their rollercoaster ride. The little girl is going to get in the way of whatever is going to happen. She does not think before she acts; she wants the dog, so if skier falls down, oh well. The skier takes it well
  17. Now that I've seen The Lodger, I can make some comments about the mysterious lodger and our happy, go-lucky, trench coat wearing visitor to the music hall. Robert Donat is a normal guy and we don't feel the same tension we do when Ivor Novello appears at Daisy's house wanting a room. I must say I was never convinced Novello's character was "The Avenger." He is worried, angst-ridden and yes mysterious. Hitchcock almost goes overboard trying to convince the audience the Lodger is the killer. I felt he pushed this too hard which made me doubt Novello was the killer. In fact, I thought a
  18. First, this is not murder but as with many of Hitchcock's victims, the trouble comes with the cover up. Alice thinks no one will believe her because she went upstairs with a man who said he wanted to do a painting of her and she undresses voluntarily. The thinking of the day would have been she should have known and is asking for it. She should have gone immediately to her boyfriend, Frank, at Scottland Yard and told him the truth. But then, where would be the suspense, tension, and blackmail? Now, onto the topic at hand: Hitchcock uses sound to convey Alice's uneasiness and fear. The f
  19. You see his use of dance and music to convey sexuality and decadence. The hallway the boys walked down looked like a church aisle; the high arches gave me the feeling of a cathedral and the walls looked like pipes from an organ. I wasn't scared for the boys, but as I mentioned earlier I suffer from guilt complexes anyways, so whenever the boss says she needs to see me, my first thought was what did I do wrong? Tim knew what was going on but I can't remember the name of our downhill, spiraling hero, he walked in just fine because he knew he hadn't done anything "unhonorable." Loved how Hit
  20. No, he was a Gigolo, women paid him for companionship and sex, but the sunlight showed her true age as well as the true condition of his life. In the flashback, he realized just how he had been used and how he had used others. I don't think he had sex with the last lady but he did have sex with some of them. He also had to deal with a hard-hearted Madam or Pimp, whichever way you choose to see the old, bossy hag.
  21. Now that I've seen the whole film, I am seeing early themes, Hitchcock explores in so many films. I also am beginning to see his use of tracking POV shots and now have more understanding. I also love how he used yellow, blue and black and white to convey not only symbolism, mood and emotion. I am grateful to part of this class.
  22. The first thing you see is a boxing poster where a lone man is sitting by himself. He sees the reflection of the woman he loves sitting in the lap of another man. Then, Hitchcock uses music and dancing to again show movement in his stories. At first, it is only two girls dancing frantically in the room; after a time, they go to chairs and sit, are fanned and given drink to continue the dance. The competitive dance is a Metaphone for the boxers desire to fight for a title and for the woman. The music becomes louder and the dancing more frenzied and more people join the dance, as the
  23. Again, we see fair-haired girls with curls, so we have a pattern here. I like the use of blue and yellow for outside and inside shots. We see men in vehicles; which is a staple of many Hitchcock films to count. The close of the screaming woman is powerful again we do not need sound to see and know there is fear. I loved the use of technology in the police headquarters followed by the giant printing press in the newsroom. Flashing Tonight Golden Curls as if it were a warning and a news headline waiting to be splashed across the front page. The news seller admits Tuesdays are go
  24. Yes, the use of the spiral, staircase equals images from Vertigo. Hitchcock moves from back and forth from both points of view and from inside to outside spaces. The look of the lusty men as they watch the ladies dance is funny and then we see the "blond" staring at the old man with the unfocused glasses, then binoculars, with disgusted bemusement. We need no words to tell what both are thinking. She then dusts him off when he awkwardly tells her he noticed her hair. So, pun intended, she pulls her hair and offers it to him and then walks away. Outside, thieves are focused on a l
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