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1. Do you see the beginnings of the "Hitchcock touch" in this sequence? Please provide specific examples. 


One of his signatures is to show different vantage points from the different characters in the scene.


2. Do you agree or disagree with Strauss, Yacowar, and Spoto assessments that this sequence contains elements, themes, or approaches that we will see throughout Hitchcock's 50-year career? 


Maybe. Without being a better student of silent films, this would be hard to nail down not being able to consider the filming norms of the time.


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?


As with most silent films, much of the dialogue is assumption being associated with the pantomime acting.  The director had to make harsh judgements on what to display in text. 

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Although I haven't seen nothing but the mainstream Hitchcock, I think this clip in particular references some of the earliest concepts marked by the Hitchcock-Truffaut book: the use of Kuleshov effect.

Of course it contains some of the elements the man used in his 50-year career, I think we can se a rudimentary use of those techniques, in part limited by the technology in that time.

 

This is my first foray into .... all of this!  online learning, film studies, group forums.  Could people please keep in mind what the organizers said early on -- people of all kinds of backgrounds are participating.  If you're going to reference something, please define it.  For instance, in this post -- what the Hk is a "Kuleshov Effect"?  It's real easy -- you simply type up your strange reference, followed by a comma which quickly and briefly summarizes what you're talking about.  So, let's assume the Kuleshov Effect is the lighting issues in the film - you would simply say "the use of Kuleshov Effect, use of different color lenses for inside/outside scenes,,...." Just my two cents.

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#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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Rich, thank you for this eye-opening clip. Had an epiphany, Hitchcock is a master of the "selfie" turning our POV inward by a number of conventions.

His touch is mirrored by the juxtapositioning of the dance girls' legs to the smash cut to the audiences' expressions and then leg shots in PLEASURE GARDEN. The girl's eyelashes flutter and then fold to a POV from her perspective, to their leering eyes. Another element he explores in this first directed film by him, is the wry contrast, and humorous shot of a smoking cigar patron, puffing away in front of a prohibitive sign.

Hitch's ability to twist the audience-dancer POV is an approach here explored and later perfected.

Watching people watching people becomes his favorite sport, and ours.

The synchronous voice was tricky at this point in Hitche's career. He masterfully uses his ingenuity and lip syncs off stage later because of the European accent of many actors in the silent era, thinking audiences would be more palatable to American voices. Evidence of this evolution of sound comes later, he doesn't know what he doesn't foresee in this film.

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This is my first foray into .... all of this!  online learning, film studies, group forums.  Could people please keep in mind what the organizers said early on -- people of all kinds of backgrounds are participating.  If you're going to reference something, please define it.  For instance, in this post -- what the Hk is a "Kuleshov Effect"?  It's real easy -- you simply type up your strange reference, followed by a comma which quickly and briefly summarizes what you're talking about.  So, let's assume the Kuleshov Effect is the lighting issues in the film - you would simply say "the use of Kuleshov Effect, use of different color lenses for inside/outside scenes,,...." Just my two cents.

I'm even greener - I've not yet watched a Hitchcock movie - on a few clips like the famous shower scene.

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1. Do you see the beginnings of the "Hitchcock touch" in this sequence? Please provide specific examples.

 

Because I've never seen a Hitchcock movie, I am not qualified to respond to this or the next question.

 

2. Do you agree or disagree with Strauss, Yacowar, and Spoto assessments that this sequence contains elements, themes, or approaches that we will see throughout Hitchcock's 50-year career?

 

See above.

 

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?

 

I was surprised by the music. I thought silent meant silent rather than no audible dialogue.

Initially I viewed it truly silently, but when I replayed it with the music, I was no longer distracted by the dancing to the music, and I could better connect with the movie. Reading the expressions of the dancing girl as she danced was not easy.

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1. Do you see the beginnings of the "Hitchcock touch" in this sequence? Please provide specific examples. 


Sexy blondes, crowded scene quickly reduced to a character or two engaged in ordinary tasks endeavors, ie., the older gentleman in the audience eyeing the blonde and trying to engage her; the pick-pockets, the innocent girl vs the experienced dancer...


2. Do you agree or disagree with Strauss, Yacowar, and Spoto assessments that this sequence contains elements, themes, or approaches that we will see throughout Hitchcock's 50-year career? 


Again, the blondes...on stage they seemed to outnumber the brunettes, although I was surprised that a brunette was the lead dancer. The innocent girl being taken advantage of by the pick-pockets...he uses innocent types of women being taken advantage of by men throughout many of the films I've seen.


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?


Not very much. The lack of the spoken word, however, does encourage one to pay closer attention to body and facial language, as well as the music and pace of captioning. If you miss a caption, then you have to let your imagination fill in the blanks. In this film, I don't think it would be that difficult. It's all right there in front of your face. 


 


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Daily Dose #1: The Pleasure Garden

 

1. Do you see the beginnings of the "Hitchcock touch" in this sequence? Please provide specific examples.

Watching this clip from the "Pleasure Garden" reminded me a lot of some of the sequences in "Rear Window" specifically the woman's legs showing in the beginning. It's not quite the same but it has the same kind of vibe that would've been found in "Rear Window". A lot of the beginning shots with the dances and the spiral staircase also feel very Hitchcock and they seem to be identifiable to a lot of people that have participated in this discussion thus far.

 

2. Do you agree or disagree with Strauss, Yacowar, and Spoto assessments that this sequence contains elements, themes, or approaches that we will see throughout Hitchcock's 50-year career? 

I highly agree with Strauss, Yacowar, and Spoto that this clip is foreshadowing that what we will continue to see through this course. The clip had a lot of elements and themes that Hitchcock liked to reuse and recycle throughout this films. Many of Hitchcock's best films have a dark feel to them and it's no different from "Pleasure Garden". I think it's important noting where it all started.

 

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? 

I don't really think there was too many limitations from lack of spoken dialogue. I am a huge fan of silent films because of the fact that they are able to get the entire storyline across with little to no sound (besides music from time to time). The only issue I had was that this silent film didn't always use the word screens to say what they were saying and so I found myself struggling to follow along with the basic conversation the woman and man were having towards the end of the clip. 

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1. Do you see the beginnings of the "Hitchcock touch" in this sequence? Please provide specific examples.

 

Because I've never seen a Hitchcock movie, I am not qualified to respond to this or the next question.

 

2. Do you agree or disagree with Strauss, Yacowar, and Spoto assessments that this sequence contains elements, themes, or approaches that we will see throughout Hitchcock's 50-year career?

 

See above.

 

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?

 

I was surprised by the music. I thought silent meant silent rather than no audible dialogue.

Initially I viewed it truly silently, but when I replayed it with the music, I was no longer distracted by the dancing to the music, and I could better connect with the movie. Reading the expressions of the dancing girl as she danced was not easy.

 

I think it's pretty exciting that you've never seen a Hitchcock movie before! This class is totally going to open you up to some incredible films! I do agree with you in that I was also surprised by the music in the clip. There are different types of silent films depending on the time they were made (some include music while other's don't) and I think I liked that this one included music because it delivered the dark feeling of the movie. 

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1. Do you see the beginnings of the "Hitchcock touch" in this sequence? Please provide specific examples.

Yes, the camera angles give us the perception or views of the different characters. I also think I see the juxtaposition of what appears to be  a normal or comfortable setting vs. the darker aspects of life - all happening at the same time. Can see his humor as well e.g. the leering but comical old men and sleeping woman.


2. Do you agree or disagree with Strauss, Yacowar, and Spoto assessments that this sequence contains elements, themes, or approaches that we will see throughout Hitchcock's 50-year career?

I think so. Hitchcock has a very unique approach to his subjects and, for this time, this clip isn't like many of the other mainstream silent films - at least most of them.

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?

 

No, Hitchcock is very visual - he drew out every frame on storyboards - and some of his later scenes don't contain a lot of dialogue.

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I like the view of the monocle, the great humor (woman sleeping, smoking prohibited, the scene with the curl...), and that there are so much to see around. The spiral reminds me of vertigo, the monocle-view of rear window. So i agree, that there is much of the later Hitchcock to see. 

 

I don´t miss dialogue, because the music and the characters are so well done. It was great to watch, and to figure out, what is going to be next. And it worked well with this little text. 

 

I´m happy to have seen this, because, i don´t think, i have looked this film without this course. 

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The camera angles are signature Hitchcock. Without any words how he directs the camera tells the whole story.. As well it also reflects his humor, the gal with the curl.

The second question. As above with his other films every cel tells the story.

Number 3: I am not a real big silent film watcher because I don't want to have to try to read and watch the movie at the same time however this movie can be watched with limited words. Hitch was the master! I also think his varied background and eye for detail made his movies the greats they are.

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1. Do you see the beginnings of the "Hitchcock touch" in this sequence? Please provide specific examples. The leering men and the camera work are the two things that stood out to me as the "Hitchcock Touch". The focus on the leering stares of the men and then the view through the binoculars felt very Hitchcock to me. Also, the focus on the expressions of the characters, the camera's focus on capturing their micro-expressions, were all something that felt very Hitchcock. We get an intimate view of how these characters are feeling. 


2. Do you agree or disagree with Strauss, Yacowar, and Spoto assessments that this sequence contains elements, themes, or approaches that we will see throughout Hitchcock's 50-year career? Yes, but I need to learn more to be able to specifically discuss this. 


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? I don't think there are any limitations. It created more suspense to wonder what they were saying, although we could tell based on their expressions, most of the time. 


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1. Do you see the beginnings of the "Hitchcock touch" in this sequence? Please provide specific examples. I do see the Hitchcock touch in this film in the camera angles he uses. He has films shot in a way that the audience knows exactly what Hitchcock wants them to see. For example, he wants the audience to see the women running down the stair case and nothing else which is why the stairs are the only thing in the frame. Also, he wants the audience to see the women from the spectators point of view. He switches from both the women p.o.v. and the spectators p.o.v. 

2. Do you agree or disagree with Strauss, Yacowar, and Spoto assessments that this sequence contains elements, themes, or approaches that we will see throughout Hitchcock's 50-year career? I do think that this film gives insight into the next 50 years of Hitchcock's career. 

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? I don't think there are any limitations in the scene. I think the dialogue would have been beneficial in the end of the scene where we see the men steal the woman's money. However, the audience can see the humor in the part where the dancer gives the spectator her hair and you can feel the emotion of the woman who realizes she has lost her money. 

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To be honest, if someone had just show me the clip I would've never guessed it was by Alfred Hitchcock. But that might be my only issue. Scrutinizing it I can see signs of the great Hitchcock. At first it seems sort of playful it diverts your attention to the darker stuff to come. And a deeper storyline. The fact that it is a silent film does not detract from the intention and communication of the film. PS why am I having a rough time getting back to the daily doses. That's the deep question of the day. I could not get on this message board and I now can't get back to the daily doses LOL. So I watched pleasure Gardner a couple days ago so perhaps I've have forgotten things. That is all.

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Daily Dose #1: The Pleasure Garden

 

1. Do you see the beginnings of the "Hitchcock touch" in this sequence? Please provide specific examples

Yes.. His penchant for focusing on a character's mentality which may be a key aspect revolving around the story.

 

2.Do you agree or disagree with Strauss, Yacowar, and Spoto assessments that this sequence contains elements, themes, or approaches that we will see throughout Hitchcock's 50-year career?

Agree.. He maintains such things to create a maximum impact and connect with audience.

 

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?

 

Not really as expressions are captured beautifully

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1. Do you see the beginnings of the "Hitchcock touch" in this sequence? Please provide specific examples.  The subjective or 'omniscient' viewpoint of the audience is clearly expressed in the clip.  This is seen in later films -- I particularly thought of Rear Window when watching the clip, as the men in the audience view the action on stage through various 'lenses'.  

2. Do you agree or disagree with Strauss, Yacowar, and Spoto assessments that this sequence contains elements, themes, or approaches that we will see throughout Hitchcock's 50-year career? Definitely, yes.  Particularly the cross-cutting and juxtaposition between the men's faces and action on screen.  Also, the revelation of information to the audience that a main character does not have, such as the theft from the purse.  Hitch makes the audience want to scream out and warn the woman, but they can't.  Suspense.

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?  Limitations, yes, but Hitch deals with them visually.  Hitchcock is famous for purposely imposing limitations in his films anyway.

 

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1. Do you see the beginnings of the "Hitchcock touch" in this sequence? Please provide specific examples. 


Yes. This sequence shows how he used the camera to create a story for his audience. 


2. Do you agree or disagree with Strauss, Yacowar, and Spoto assessments that this sequence contains elements, themes, or approaches that we will see throughout Hitchcock's 50-year career? 


This was the first time seeing this clip so I don't think I would have identified it as a Hitchcock film, but focusing on this question I do begin to see elements, themes and approaches that we see developed in other movies. Mainly the unique way the story draws in the viewer using suspense. 


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?


No. The visual aspect of the media does a great job in telling the story. The cues given in the Curator Notes, prior to viewing the film also helped as I kept looking for the scenes described. 


 

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With the "setting of the stages" (on and off) and other technical and storytelling aspects, the audience views the beginnings of the 'Hitchcock touch".

 

We have the theme of getting acquainted with the milieu and settings, as we will see in later Hitchcock films.

 

There were no limitations, since this scene could have been done in a sound film with little or no dialogue. 

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First of all thank you very much TCM team for facilitating everything for us to enjoy the amazing course of prof. Richard Edwards. I am  having a great fun and value with every second I spend with  The Master of Suspense: 50 Years of Hitchcock! 

 

Regarding The Pleasure Garden scene it is amazing how the light and darkness made  almost everything. I believe that even the title cards are not needed in such a piece. The focus on the women bodies and/ or parts of their bodies is done by the spot of light and it told everything!  even a bag of a woman could be a source of attraction and exploitation  so it takes all the light. I wounder if Hitchcock was a sort of feminist in a way or another!  there is a similarity between the staircase scene  and the scene of the bag,  the same light and darkness, and framing  trick.

 

For sure there were no limitations  because the director was completely able to master the visual aspects of his film. He was able not only to reveal two parallel actions happening  at the same time but he was very able to reveal the two  parallel life of the stage ladies. and also the double standers of how some people could receive art "now it is not a clever line" she sarcastically said to the man flattering her .  

The Director sums all the contradictions in the frame of (smoking is prohibited) singe  on the background of a heavy smoker. In my opinion this card of smoking could have been the only written words in these few smart scenes. I can not believe how very modern  is these scenes though they are made in the silent cinema era! 

 

 

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Two points stood out to me in regard to seeing the "future" Hitchcock in this early clip.

 

First was the use of the out-of-focus view through the opera glasses that eventually focus on the legs of the women dancing. I'm reminded of two scenes in his later films. I recall in Rear Window the initial view of Grace Kelly's face as she moves closer to Jimmy Stewart as he awakens from his nap. We know who she probably is but we see his perspective as he awakens and his view focuses on her face coming close to his for a kiss. The other scene is that remarkable moment in Vertigo as Kim Novak emerges from the bathroom in her hotel room dressed in the "Madelyn" clothing and hairstyle, something he coaxed her into doing. She emerges from the cloud of soft neon light from the hotel's sign outside the window, coming into his view slowly, as the mood of the scene compresses both their passions for one another.

 

The second was the scene at the theater entrance, as the to thieves watch the young woman fretting about entering the entrance for an introduction. The looks on the faces of men are obvious; they're up to no good. We know, as Hitchcock cuts to the shot of her handbag, that their idea is to steal something from it. The viewer, as someone previously commented, wants to yell out to warn her because we know she's going to be a victim of the pickpocket. I'm reminded of Hitchcock once describing how he wanted to show the audience, in the example he used, that there was danger in the scene, such as a bomb under a table. The viewer knows it's there, but the characters don't and the tension comes in waiting for the explosion, as opposed to both the audience and the characters suddenly surprised by that happening.

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Hello all. A little late to this thread, but it's been a busy work week. On to the dosage...

 

1. Do you see the beginnings of the "Hitchcock touch" in this sequence? Please provide specific examples. 

Yes. The concept of the viewing audience as voyeur is evident particularly when wee see through the gentleman's perspective as he's focusing his attention on a particular chorus girl. We see this concept repeated in Rear Window when we see through Jeffries's eyes and in Psycho through Norman's eyes.

From a technical standpoint, the high angles as we view downward at the chorus line. This is a technique known as the crane shot that Hitchcock faithfully uses in many of his films. Particular favorites for me is North By Northwest and Rear Window.

 

2. Do you agree or disagree with Strauss, Yacowar, and Spoto assessments that this sequence contains elements, themes, or approaches that we will see throughout Hitchcock's 50-year career? 

I agree. I've mentioned an element (crane shot) and theme (viewer as voyeur) in my previous response. Other themes: the clever lady. Hitchcock's women always seem to have this very smart wittiness about them. The chorus girl reminded me a bit of Eva Marie Saint's Eve Kendall in NxNW.

Though I have not yet seen Pleasure Garden, I get a sense that I just witnessed the first MacGuffin with what was stolen from the handbag.

 

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?

Not at all. In fact, I feel that some of Hitchcock's best and most pivotal scenes (in sound films) were those that lacked dialog and/or had complete silence. It usually highlighted the tension. Some examples: Notorious when we focus on Bergman's hand containing the key; In Rear Window, most of the film lacks dialog as we peer into his neighbors' windows. In Foreign Correspondent  as Joel McCrea is trying to avoid detection in the windmill.

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​1. I do see the beginnings of the 'Hitchcock Touch' in this sequence, specifically in using the themes of seductive women and crime. Hitchcock also creates suspense by clueing the audience in on something that one or more of the characters doesn't know - dramatic irony - when the woman does not know where her paper went, but we know it was stolen by the men outside. This is seen in several more of his movies, such as Dial M for Murder, Psycho, Strangers on a Train, etc.

 

​2. I agree. This film uses staircases, which comes up in Vertigo and Dial M for Murder, beautiful blondes (it is hard to find a Hitchcock movie which does NOT have one), and the humorous juxtaposition of ideas and emotions (like the men enthralled by the performance while the woman sleeps), seen in many if not all of his films.

 

​3. I believe the lack of dialogue has the potential to cause many problems and set limitations for a film, but the way Hitchcock handles the background music and the visual aspects of the scene makes it just as easy to understand, if not more interesting, than if dialogue were more relied upon to tell the story.

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Hello All!  Sorry this is a little late been a nutty week.

 

1) Yes I do see the beginning of the "Hitchcock touch" in this short film sequence.  The fact that he jumps from the face of the men to the legs of the women or the juxtapose of the scene and the mood of the characters shows that he is really trying to tell the story well especially in a silent movie. 

 

2) Yes I do agree because of the way Hitchcock tells a story in all his movies you can definitely see how he is showing the elements and themes in this early clip. 

 

3) There are some limitations because you don't always know what the characters are saying.  For example when the gentlemen leaning against the door are first shown talking to one another you aren't sure exactly what they are saying.  However once the lighting in used to show the purse the young woman is carrying you know that this is what they are discussing and you get the idea that they are going to steal it.  

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I do see some elements of the "Hitchcock touch" in this opening scene of The Pleasure Garden (1925). What struck me the most was that innovative shot of Patsy Brand from the perspecitive of the male audience member. Seeing her in a blur without the monocle, a more focused blur, and finally in perfect clarity through the binoculars, we leer at her. And than, just as we grow uncomfortable at the intimacy, Patsy feels his attention and its intent and reacts. Its like a sequence from "Rear Window" or "Dial M for Murder", where the director makes us understand the scene by putting us in the shoes of the characters on each side.

 

For the second question, do I agree with Strauss, Yocowar, and Spoto? 100%. There are classic silent film elements to the picture, an amusing pan of the men in the front row, a chorusline of girls, obvious villains in the form of theives. However, each element has a certain spin to it that is unmistakablely Hitchcock. For example, the last "man" in the front row is a napping woman. The focus of the scene is not the lead chorus girl, but a member of the line. The theives think they are taking cash, but instead steal the only thing in the purse that is worthless to everyone except the purses' owner. Every detail is richer and can be explored as a story on its own.

 

Silent Film. The shot with the binoculars and the audiencemember/ Patsy Brand did not suffer from a lack of dialogue, that is for certain. It didn't need it. The intent was skillfully expressed without words. I would say, that the lack of words most likely pushed Hitcock and other silent film directors to innovate the story telling process. How else to express the feelings of the moment and get beyond the "naive sentiments", as Hitchcock called them, of the spoken title cards?   

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