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Everything posted by mariaki

  1. Excellent choice! I was thinking about Hitchcock when I last saw this film a few months ago. Aside from the story which I think Hitch would have liked, there's gorgeous use of color and definite fetishistic focus on the perfect beauty of Alain Delon.
  2. Mario Bava's The Girl Who Knew Too Much (1963) is clearly a Hitchcock homage, and one of those transnational films mentioned in the class. It has interesting camera angles, lots of shadow and silhouettes, outdoor and well-known locations in Rome, a man who may be a good guy or a bad guy helping the woman, and more. Here's the Welles' A Touch of Evil (1958) is another that comes to mind. And finally, Shutter Island (Scorsese, 2010)
  3. How deep was Hitchcock's level of interest in the work of Freud, Jung and psychoanalysis in general? Did he read their works and consult with experts? Or was it just fashionable psychobabble? Watching Marnie so close to Vertigo really hits home that he had an interest in the theories and vocabulary of the field, as does also his comment on the subliminal effects of music and color.
  4. We know Truffaut's feelings about Hitchcock, but how did Hitchcock feel about Truffaut and about French New Wave in general?
  5. From the start, I wonder if an element of British class structure is going to be in this film. Using the medieval heraldry for London to identify the place seems pedantic. Why is any identification needed? As soon as the bridge comes into view, the 1972 audience will know the location. There's something upper-crusty about that heraldic icon- not to mention the regal music. We come to a well-dressed upper class politician, probably a member of parliament, who is quoting romantic nature poetry from Wordsworth and promising the river will be cleaned up so the brown trout and this bird an
  6. The notes on the Daily Dose begin with a quote from T.S. Eliot which suddenly made me position Hitchcock in the Modernist era. In a way, he is an Imagist in that he shows instead of tells and has nothing that is without meaning in his shots. In another way, he is a Surrealist, not in his visual style but in the shared surrealist concept of busyness of the unconscious and how it can impact our surface world. I also feel that his narrative is moved along by use of existing texts- the monogrammed matchbook cover, the neon hotel sign, a newspaper headline, a name in hotel guest book, etc. (Was i
  7. I am ashamed to say I haven't seen this film and greatly look forward to it because from the reading in our Daily Dose I am very intrigued. I am going to hazard a guess that Hitch's direct camera look in his cameo is an act of self-reflexivity. In the reading we learned that the critics panned the fake backdrop paintings and poor quality rear projection. We know in some film styles total realism is not always a goal and those aspects disparaged by critics might have been by choice rather than poor technique. I think my hypothesis is furthered by the clear intertextual references to othe
  8. Prior to The Birds, there were other films about nature gone wrong, often connected to radiation. In many that I can recall, humans unambiguously win in the end and show the ultimate superiority of human intelligence. However, The Birds is not just apocalyptic but almost anti-Enlightenment in its refusal to spell out cause and effect and its nightmarish unresolved ending. We humans think we are in control of nature and that our God-given superiority gives us the right to express mastery over other lower order species. We have great logical capabilities, like Mitch's law degree, and we are co
  9. The graphics in the opening sequence are about one splitting apart and two coming together. It's a visual interpretation of an individual (a name in the title) being torn apart and the complementary action of two parts of person forming a whole. Together with the music, the whole opening is really angst-filled. The music has a driving forcefulness that hints at speed- a linear movement that makes me feel the urge to flee or to hurry to get somewhere before its too late. Then it slows just a little and a thinner higher melody is worrying and nagging, not soothing. I think the specifici
  10. Before I finish the lesson and reply to the assigned discussion questions, I wanted to comment on the Osborne interviews which were so revealing. Both Novak and Saint commented on how Hitchcock was concerned with every detail of outward appearance much more so than the internal character. I think this points to the fact that the interior of the men is what drives the films this week. The women remind me of all the furniture in the room that Fred Astaire dances with. They exist for the man to interact with as catalysts, obstacles, frenemies on the hero's journey. Of course, the women are
  11. Chris thanks for all this work! You've brought together two of my favorites- Hitchcock and Wagner! Both artists plumbed the depth of emotion and the psyche, both tapped into the primal conflicts and desires of human existence. I won't pretend to understand all the musical examples you gave, but I do understand Wagnerian "non-resolution" and his use of motif, you got me to hear those touches in our Daily Dose as well. The video you made seems to have been removed. Any way to remedy that?
  12. Vertigo is a film I can watch every year (and I do) and find something new. Nothing in the mise-en-scene is by accident or unimportant and the film can be read on so many levels. It's a wonderful puzzle. I love what Scorsese said about the "quiet moments" in this film. There so much visually going on that quiet moments are genuinely needed to take it all in and digest it. And one of the most amazing quiet moments in any film is when Madelaine/ Judy walks out of that crummy hotel bathroom into the green light. Trying to look at the titles with fresh eyes, I find myself perplexed with the
  13. Everyone has done such a thorough job on our questions this week that I would like to take the opportunity to bring up something else. In an earlier discussion between the professors, both agreed that Gregory Peck just "didn't work" as a Hitchcock lead male. Deep down I knew I had always felt that Peck was an odd man out and hearing our professors say that got me wondering why. Was he too good looking? Cary Grant is about as good looking as they come. Was he too "every man"? Jimmy Stewart was America's "every man." I've come to the conclusion that Peck was just too upright and earn
  14. There was a bit of moralizing at the very end of Shadow of a Doubt, I thought. It was an interesting counterbalance to Hitchcock's oftentimes bleak view of humanity. During Uncle Charlie's funeral when the niece and detective are outside talking, the detective says something along the lines of (paraphrase here) "The world is not as bad as that, but it seems to go crazy now and then, like your Uncle Charlie, and needs to be watched." I actually found this quite a hopeful message even though I was ultimately disturbed that an innocent man would always be blamed for Charlie's crimes. I also
  15. Bergman's a mess in this scene, definitely playing against type. First, she is not lit for glamour. Though she still gets some nice hair highlights and a tear near the end that looks like a diamond beneath her eye, she doesn't quite have the star lighting that generally emphasizes her luminous beauty. More notable, in my opinion, is what her look tells us about her character. What kind of woman goes to bed in last night's party clothes? THAT kind! And in her dishabille we see her unattractively picking something off her tongue and handling her hair rat- things you don't expect to see
  16. I've read somewhere that "if it's gonna be noir, you gotta have Venetian blinds." They add that shadowy, barred look to a space, linear reminders of the dark mixed in with the light, and more importantly, a visual metaphor of imprisonment, of not being able to escape one's fate. In the opening clip of Shadow of a Doubt that we saw, I was taken aback by the motif of "bars" in a single shot. I've attached a snip I grabbed from our class video, a single still. From the white lines on the landlady's dress, to the slats in the rocker, the pinstripes in his suit, the stripes on the pillow and
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