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HITCHCOCK CAMEO SPOILER ALERT!

 

I couldn't find Hitchcock either, so I cheated and googled it.  He's the newspaper man who is seated at a desk and talking on the phone, so we never actually see his face.  I've got to believe that this wasn't a planned cameo.  I think that Hitchcock was doing yeoman's work here and serving as an extra in his own film.  Not an uncommon thing in the silent period.  It's not like Hitchcock started doing cameos in every film after this one.  He didn't.

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1. Comparing The Pleasure Garden to The Lodger has to focus more on the differences. The Pleasure Garden had a more humorous feel than the darker The Lodger. The Pleasure Garden also relied more on the use of inter-titles. The opening of The Lodger used only the repeated "To-night, Golden Curls" as if showing the thinking of the killer. The Lodger relied more on the visual to tell the story. One similarity is the use of a blonde in both films. The Lodger definitely comes across as a darker film.

2. Hitchcock's style is definitely showing in The Lodger. The close-ups of faces and eyes. The unexpected camera shots. I especially noticed the shot of the news paper truck taken from the back, where the oval windows with the two men's heads resembled eyes. The opening of the movie showing the discovery of the actual crime also shows the Hitchcock flair that is still influencing movies and tv today. It puts me in mind of the tv show CSI, it always started with the discovery of the crime. 

3. The screaming woman in The Lodger is framed in a very similar way to Janet Leigh's and Vera Mile's faces in the shower sequence and house sequence of Psycho. Her face is not shot straight on, but on the diagonal to fill up the rectangular screen from one corner to the opposite corner.

 

One thing that struck me in the opening sequence of The Lodger, is the clever use of the news teletype and light stream to help tell the story. Hitchcock used this instead of the inter-titles to give the details of the story. The audience learns that there have been 7 golden haired girls murdered by The Avenger, without interrupting the visual flow of the story. 

Hitchcock's use of the teletype makes me wonder if this was the first time this was used in a movie. There are modern movies that used this device. All the President's Men and Good Morning Vietnam come to mind.

 

P.S. I couldn't find Hitchcock. It is difficult, as I am used to looking for a portly, middle-aged gentlemen. I'm not sure I would recognize the younger Hitchcock.

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What a wonderful clip!  I was struck by the way that the opening moved from visceral human emotions of horror and fear - starting with the girl's scream - to voyeurism and greed.  From humanity to technology (and then back to humanity at the end of the opening -- further than we saw in the clip).  The crowds around the body were certainly voyeuristic, but they were experiencing the real horror of what they saw.  But then things being to move out, away from human emotions to the technology of spreading the news and the emotion.  The reporters first use pencil and paper.  Then one makes a phone call.  We then get that move to the fabulous telegraph machine - so gorgeous - and Hitchcock takes a full 45 seconds to have the story unfold letter by letter.  Next we see the incredible machinery of the newspaper production (the cogs and wheels so like what Chaplin used in Modern Times).  Then we move out in the street through the cars.  And by now the crowds are clamoring, but not in horror.  Now it's all about sensationalism.  And the newspaper seller is happy to count his money, happy that the murder took place on his watch, on a Tuesday.  And the large neon signs catch everyone's attention.  I watched a bit further into the film, and it's interesting that this montage doesn't end where our clip stopped.  Next we move out over the air waves (radio) where people hear news about the murder broadcast.  It's interesting that the opening really comes full circle here.  As people listen to the radio, Hitchcock gives us a series of faces – that fade into one another - listening in horror (some with their mouths open like the screaming girl).  Now they respond with fear to something they hear rather than see.  Overall, the opening was like a lens with a perspective that gradually shifted from a closeup of the girl’s screaming face, out over the crowds, and then to a wide shot of the city.  But then the lens began to move in again, into people’s homes, and then ended with closeups of faces again.  So the opening of the film really ends, I think, at this point.  Very cool.

 

One thing about silent films: the soundtrack is always a gamble.  Usually the score has no relation to anything that the viewers of the original would have heard since later composers and arrangers do the music.  Is there any info about who did the score for the version in our Daily Dose?  I thought it was awfully heavy handed, particularly in the first 2 minutes.  It's like the composer didn't trust Hitchcock's storytelling and ended up over-emoting what the crowd was feeling.  I searched and found another score for the full version.  It was done by the composer Ashley Irwin to commemorate Hitchcock's 100th birthday (according to wikipedia). 

Folks might want to check out the same opening to hear how different music really effects the way we react to a film.  I prefer this version.  It’s more understated, and it stays out of Hitchcock’s way.  It doesn’t hammer us with how we are supposed to feel.  I found yet a third version for further comparison: 

 

Another thought about sound: when the words "Tonight - Golden Curls" and "Mur-der" blink on the screen, it's in a rhythm.  Even though we don't hear that rhythm, as we read these words, we internalize and "hear" that throbbing, ominous rhythm that both sets of words set up.

 

I really enjoyed this clip and look forward to watching the whole film!  Like other viewers here, I was reminded of M and saw the German Expressionist elements there.  I had never known that about Hitchcock, so this was great to discover his early influences from German and Russian film making.

Thank you for your clip with the different music! As I was watching the other, I wondered if this was the originally intended music score? I know the music would have been played live at the theater in 1927, and so it is difficult to know what Hitchcock would have intended, but the clip you posted had music that reminded me of later Hitchcock film scores.

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This opening scene of The Lodger is a different space from what we saw in The Pleasure Garden. He does once again starts the scene with a close up of blonde woman screaming. The music is much intense giving us a very dark and brooding atmosphere. Completely opposite of The Pleasure Garden which was playful and innocent. I think the opening scene of The Lodger is much closer to the Hitchcock films we are familiar with. The way " To-Night Golden Curls" is displayed across the screen reminds me of the title sequence of " Pycsho" where is just jumping out at you, giving you nothing but suspense and anxiety. He uses a lot of close up shots of the actors, so you can see their facial expressions. It sort of putting you exactly in the film and making you apart of it. He also plays with the colors of the scenes. He uses this soft blue and then in certain scenes a sapia like color. That's something I've noticed personally about this films that he uses a lot of color to help tell his stories.

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1. Compare the opening of The Lodger to the opening of The Pleasure Garden - what similarities and differences do you see between the two films? 


While "The Pleasure Garden" was more humorous and "The Lodger" darker, emotional elements were present in both. There were elements of voyeurism to both as well. 


 


2. Identify elements of the "Hitchcock style" in this sequence? Please provide specific examples. Even if you are not sure if it is the "Hitchcock style," what images or techniques stand out in your mind as powerful storytelling? Or images that provide an excess of emotion? 


One element of the "Hitchcock style" that is present in this sequence is the interesting camera angles. For example, around 3:34 when we, as audience members, feel like we are riding along in the car. Another example of an interesting camera angle is when we are reading what is written on the typewriter. I feel like, throughout his career, Hitchcock really used his camera as a set of eyes. 


 


3. Even though this is a "silent" film, the opening image is one of a woman screaming. What do you notice in how Hitchcock frames that particular shot that makes it work in a silent film even though no audible scream that can be heard. And what other screams like that come to mind from Hitchcock's later work? 


What really works about this shot is how closely it's framed. This really shows the emotion of the actress, as that is what you are solely focusing on as a viewer. You also find yourself dying to know what she sees! The scream from a later work that immediately came to mind is that of Janet Leigh's in the shower scene in "Psycho." You are dying to see what she sees! Vera Miles's scream from that same film also comes to mind. 


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The opening of Golden Curls much darker than the Pleasure Garden with murder up front. We have the obligatory blonde, and a touch of humor as witness at the coffee stand. The use of the camera showing the newspaper office and the delivery truck angle, make you feel in the scene. The scream being shot from atop and close up, you can feel her terror.

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What a wonderful clip!  I was struck by the way that the opening moved from visceral human emotions of horror and fear - starting with the girl's scream - to voyeurism and greed.  From humanity to technology (and then back to humanity at the end of the opening -- further than we saw in the clip).  The crowds around the body were certainly voyeuristic, but they were experiencing the real horror of what they saw.  But then things being to move out, away from human emotions to the technology of spreading the news and the emotion.  The reporters first use pencil and paper.  Then one makes a phone call.  We then get that move to the fabulous telegraph machine - so gorgeous - and Hitchcock takes a full 45 seconds to have the story unfold letter by letter.  Next we see the incredible machinery of the newspaper production (the cogs and wheels so like what Chaplin used in Modern Times).  Then we move out in the street through the cars.  And by now the crowds are clamoring, but not in horror.  Now it's all about sensationalism.  And the newspaper seller is happy to count his money, happy that the murder took place on his watch, on a Tuesday.  And the large neon signs catch everyone's attention.  I watched a bit further into the film, and it's interesting that this montage doesn't end where our clip stopped.  Next we move out over the air waves (radio) where people hear news about the murder broadcast.  It's interesting that the opening really comes full circle here.  As people listen to the radio, Hitchcock gives us a series of faces – that fade into one another - listening in horror (some with their mouths open like the screaming girl).  Now they respond with fear to something they hear rather than see.  Overall, the opening was like a lens with a perspective that gradually shifted from a closeup of the girl’s screaming face, out over the crowds, and then to a wide shot of the city.  But then the lens began to move in again, into people’s homes, and then ended with closeups of faces again.  So the opening of the film really ends, I think, at this point.  Very cool.

 

One thing about silent films: the soundtrack is always a gamble.  Usually the score has no relation to anything that the viewers of the original would have heard since later composers and arrangers do the music.  Is there any info about who did the score for the version in our Daily Dose?  I thought it was awfully heavy handed, particularly in the first 2 minutes.  It's like the composer didn't trust Hitchcock's storytelling and ended up over-emoting what the crowd was feeling.  I searched and found another score for the full version.  It was done by the composer Ashley Irwin to commemorate Hitchcock's 100th birthday (according to wikipedia). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KAWQKBIWG0  Folks might want to check out the same opening to hear how different music really effects the way we react to a film.  I prefer this version.  It’s more understated, and it stays out of Hitchcock’s way.  It doesn’t hammer us with how we are supposed to feel.  I found yet a third version for further comparison: 

 

Another thought about sound: when the words "Tonight - Golden Curls" and "Mur-der" blink on the screen, it's in a rhythm.  Even though we don't hear that rhythm, as we read these words, we internalize and "hear" that throbbing, ominous rhythm that both sets of words set up.

 

I really enjoyed this clip and look forward to watching the whole film!  Like other viewers here, I was reminded of M and saw the German Expressionist elements there.  I had never known that about Hitchcock, so this was great to discover his early influences from German and Russian film making.

What an insightful post! Definitely gave me a lot to think about. I watched the whole film and when I rewatched the opening scene it really struck me how he has you in this in between world. Your viewpoint is not that of the killer or the crowd that gathers, but instead you're watching it all play out. You're apart of the panic, but somehow removed from it all, giving you space to formulate your own opinions. In Hitch's world things are never what they seem so immediately we are looking for clues.

 

Also, still can't find Hitch!

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1. The Lodger and the Pleasure Garden only really had similarities in the Blondes being the main focus of the men.  Other than that the films are both very different vibes.  The Pleasure Garden started off a with humor as with The Lodger it was dark and suspenseful from the first scene. 

 

2.  The "Hitch Styles" that i picked up on was the POV as if you were writing the news article also when the truck was driving it look like looking through binoculars or eyes.  Also when the older lady was relaying her story the man jokingly covers her face to had humor but almost instantly you see the killer hiding in the shadows.

 

3.  He shadows out the background to make the scream the only thing you can focus on as if shes right in your face doing it.  I've noticed that when he focuses on a scream it tends to be at an angle and almost always slightly above the woman as if your looking down on her.  It reminds of Janet Leigh in the shower scene and of Tippi Hendren in Marnie when she sees red or replaying her nightmares.

 

I had to watch the clip twice to find Hitchcock but i recognized him right away at the desk on the phone.

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1. Compare the opening of The Lodger to the opening of The Pleasure Garden - what similarities and differences do you see between the two films?

 

Similarities: Emphasis on faces of people and reactions that the people are having to the visual stimuli in the scenes. Quick cuts that move the scene along. High energy approach – this is not leisurely story-telling. Differences: Stories have different focus: pleasure in The Pleasure Garden versus fear in The Lodger.

 

2. Identify elements of the "Hitchcock style" in this sequence? Please provide specific examples. Even if you are not sure if it is the "Hitchcock style," what images or techniques stand out in your mind as powerful storytelling? Or images that provide an excess of emotion?

 

Emphasis on faces of people and reactions that the people are having to the visual stimuli in the scenes. Quick cuts that move the scene along.

 

3. Even though this is a "silent" film, the opening image is one of a woman screaming. What do you notice in how Hitchcock frames that particular shot that makes it work in a silent film even though no audible scream that can be heard. And what other screams like that come to mind from Hitchcock's later work?

 

Tight close-up; Dutch angle. Used in Psycho if I’m not mistaken.

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1.  The Lodger had much darker and macabre atmoshere created by the use of dark and light with the central theme of murder.  The Pleasure Garden was based on lighter material and created a much different mood.  The similarities are the excellent use of dark and light and interesting camera angles, blonde women as central characters, portrayed as relatively independent.

 

2. Regarding style, Hitchcock has created a claustrophobic, fearful and frantic atmoshere in the first few minutes of the film.  Attention to the details Tonight Golden Curls flashing on the marquee, a murder, the scream, and the frantic press made it both exciting and frightening.  The camera angle used in filming the crowds and in the vehicles created a feeling of being in the moment.  

 

3. The very effective opening scream portrayed a feeling of overwhelming fear.  Being soundless only enhanced the effect and did not spare the victim.  The use of shadows and light, what we don't see is the most frightening.

When thinking of his later work,  Jessica Tandy's scream  in the Birds when she found her neighbor a victim of a bird attack comes to mind. I should add though in this case she was literally so frightened no sound came out!

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The Hitchcock style...in the opening sequence we see a woman at the beginning of something horrible happening to her and then her body. This particular sequence has been done several time in Hitch's movies like 'Psycho' (Leigh in the shower and you have the music building up to the moment where Norman's 'Mother' attacks Leigh), 'Frenzy' (the attacker attacks the woman with a tie). It's the suspense of the moment right before the 'attack' you as the audience are pulled into the moment to where you know something is about to happen and you may not know what or how it's going to happen and then...WHAM...MURDER! You are jolted in its horrible act and can't turn away from what is being shown..like a car accident, you don't want to look but you can't help yourself. Hitch builds up a scene and 'the pay off' MURDER.

 

The opening sequence of the woman screaming to me needs no audio..the look of terror in her eyes speaks volumes. You can feel her fear when she sees the attacker coming towards her. The camera shots of the approach and then death are harsh. Then flash forward to 'Psycho' where the famous shower scene as Janet Leigh is in the shower and back goes the curtains and down comes the knife, you hear the scream and the knife (in time to the music) going into her body. You can feel and hear the terror that she is going through. I think Hitch became more freer to show his 'violence' than in the earlier films. Technology caught up and he could play more into the 'attack scene' than he could in the silent era (using different techniques in angel approach and sound being invented helped). Its more of an horrific impact now than then where sound does make a difference and really shocks you with the violence of the scene. You are more shook up with the "Psycho" scene than in "The Lodger". Both alarming but yet sound does make a difference

 

 

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I am new to Hitchcock's silent films.  You can definitely see the imagery and emotion that begins here and develops throughout his later work.   The opening sequence in "The Lodger" reminded me immediately of "Psycho".  The sequences (combined with the music) were very ominous, dark, and foreboding.  Despite the cinematic majesty, I never ever feel at ease watching any of Hitchcock's films.  It is clear from these early films that he knows his audience well and is able to easily build suspense in every sequence.  

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The Lodger was filmed less than two years after The Pleasure Garden, yet Hitchcock's style became siginificantly more mature and distinctive. The only similarities are the exaggerated, almost non-realistic expressions of the people involved, but even this is only for suspense in this film, while in his first he tried to express more emotions, and it was typical in silent cinema.

 

In my mind, the beginning of the film resembles the one of the penultimate movie Hitchcock ever directed, Frenzy. A serial killer targeting young girls creates havoc and mystery among the people. Hitchcock emphasizes this with rapid cuts, disturbing camera angles and constant moving of either the camera or the people in the scene. He used several of these techniques very often later in his career. As for his first of many and unique cameo appearances, it's almost unrecognisable. I happened to remember his appearance from a compilation video of his cameos, otherwise I would never find him. Still, it's further proof that The Lodger is the first true Hitchcock film.

 

Hitchcock used screaming, especially from women, a lot in his films (most notably in Psycho) and he knew that sometimes it's more disturbing for the audience to just watch the woman screaming without actually hearing her. Someone who has seen a lot of Hitchcock knows that screaming is usually a precursor of a heinous crime or something really shocking, and one could argue that this is another of his trademark techniques first used in The Lodger.

 

 

 

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1. I noticed similar use if silhouettes and strong lighting to communicate mood and direct the audience's focus. Both films use P.O.V. shots to make you feel as though you are either sitting in the audience watching the dancers, or waiting anxiously for the telegram, we are right in the middle of the action. The differences between the films relate to scale. While The Pleasure Garden is a small, intimate experience, men oogling dancing women for amusement, The Lodger tells a story that grips the whole city. The camera opens up to show city streets, cops, crowds, the printing press factory. It's a much bigger world.

 

2. Hitchcock style: He certainly likes blonde women! Titilating emotions, whether it's something fun snd exciting, or violent and horrifying, emotions are high.

 

3. While we do not hear the woman screaming, the accompaning musical cue mimics the sharp, shrill tones of screaming. Of course Hitchcock revisits this in Psycho. Very clever!

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#3 There are many screaming women in Hitchcock films.  Two of them were in today's lesson (Psycho and The 39 Steps).  The woman in "The Lodger" reminded me more of the strangled woman in "Frenzy".  I thought she was the victim.

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The opening of The Lodger is similar to the opening of The Pleasure Garden in that they are both tightly cropped views leading us to experience “The Hitchcock Touch”.  The Pleasure Garden starts off with chorus girls hitting the stage in a lively dance routine underscored with a high-spirited and enthusiastic music background.  The Lodger clip begins with a more sinister sounding music track and the images are full of terror, alarm and fear.  What the two clips have in common is the way Hitchcock communicated his story by editing numerous shots together, The Pleasure Garden’s dancers and audience images and The Lodger’s street crowd/police/reporters images to convey an emotional environment: frivolous fun and flirtation to horror and alarm.  Different emotions and different environments but both constructed the same way with fast-cut editing, meaningfully composed shots, fluid camera movement and actions accented with a well-orchestrated sound track.

 

The opening image in The Lodger clip of a woman screaming was shot in an extreme close-up, completely filling the screen with her terrorized face and accented by the pounding, disturbing music which has to be a pre-cursor to Bernard Herrmann’s frightening and often copied score from the Psycho shower scene.  So even with the lack of synchronized sound, Hitchcock visually captured a woman’s shrill scream and left the audience little doubt as to what they did not hear.  This scream idea will be repeated in The 39 Steps when a woman discovers a body, turns to the camera to scream and dissolves to the next scene of a speeding train and it’s piercing train whistle.  Also the clever use of the teletype machine to provide story information in a  cinema graphic way rather than using title cards.  “The Hitchcock Touch” is established. 

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What an insightful post! Definitely gave me a lot to think about. I watched the whole film and when I rewatched the opening scene it really struck me how he has you in this in between world. Your viewpoint is not that of the killer or the crowd that gathers, but instead you're watching it all play out. You're apart of the panic, but somehow removed from it all, giving you space to formulate your own opinions. In Hitch's world things are never what they seem so immediately we are looking for clues.

 

Also, still can't find Hitch!

He is sitting at a desk with his back to the camera on the phone, he still has hair in those days and it is dark!  Atleast I think its him!

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1) The similarities between The Pleasure Garden, The Lodger and most of Hitchcocks film I think is that he always grabbed your attention from the get go, usually with a visually stimulating image,  Where The Lodger the attention is a macabre scene of the womans face, he never followed usual format and even shot that at an interesting angle to give you that view from the killers perspective.  The Pleasure Garden I feel he used his infamous (visual patterns, like inside a Kaleidoscope) I know that probably doesnt make sense, but I always get the feel that he uses people as moving patterned shapes to give the audience something visually deceptive and appealing at the same time. Similar to how he likes to use views through binoculars, another shape.

 

2) The elements of the Hitchcock style was to pull you into the story from minute one, with his in your face shots that naturally peek the audiences interest, this movie is no different, you can't help but keep watching because Hitchcock was a genius at appealing to our sense of nosiness, we want to know what happened, who is the girl, what/could have done this.  Its no different then when we are all rubbernecking past an accident on the road. Hitchcock used our own natural preoccupation for knowing all the tidbits of a crime story against us and drew us into his stories. He didn't sugar coat his scenes either, which was amazing for the time with all censorship that played into movie making of the time.

 

3) The initial opening image, makes me wonder if Hitchcock wanted you to see the victim from the killers point of view, obviously not straight on, but if we were struggling your view would be from different angles. You don't need to hear any scream, your imagination fills that in for you automatically.

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1. What stands out in both films is the ability to manipulate the audience with "the shot." Whether Hitchcock is narrowing the view to focus on something small or the large open-mouthed scream, we are forced into what he wants us to see. It's not unlike a magician with slight of hand tricks. We are looking left when all the while the manipulation is happening to the right. Then wham! We are blind-sided with what seems impossible to the human eye. Then we think him clever, as I was not looking in that direction. Of course not, he didn't want you to look there yet. That's his ability to have climax and twist endings you never knew were coming. Brilliant.

 

2. The Hitchcock styles I see are the POV shots. I really liked and laughed when we are looking through the rear car window that looked like eyes. I also noticed a change in color from the cold outside blues to the warm sepia colors of an office. Pacing was a notable affect. The cars were rushing, the printing machines spinning at a blinding rate and people crowded and grabbed maniacally at the newspaper, all to lift the viewer to a height of anxiety and rush. I also could see all the different ways of conveying the written word: the repeating of a title, the flashing of the word "murder," the telegraph typing, the message board scrolling the news. And the specifics like saying that "Tuesday was his lucky day." Then I think what's my lucky day? And why do bad things seem to happen on my lucky day? Tuesday is such a boring day of the week. It's not the beginning, middle or end. That means murder can happen anytime!

 

3. There may be silence in that scream, but my mind fills in the sound that is not there. Psycho would have the most notable screams by Hitchcock.

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 The opening of The Lodger is far darker then the opening of The Pleasure Garden as we see murder upfront with Hitchcock’s trademark wit. .  The Pleasure Garden starts off with chorus girls hitting the stage which is very gentle compared to the opening of The Lodger as we see fear- terror-alarm. It reminds me of the shower scene the music as its chilling tone really echoes the horror of the moment in time.  Hitchcock visually captured a woman’s shrill scream in a way that really makes you jump out of your seat in horror of her plight. The Hitchcock touch is started here. 

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1. Some similarities I noted were use of a blonde woman (but, of course!); setting up the shots so that we, the viewers, feel as if we are RIGHT THERE...in the theatre or in the crowd of people in The Lodger.


Differences....The Pleasure Garden clip was in a very intimate setting; a theatre, whereas The Lodger went from on location to another (scene of a crime, telegraph printing, city). Also, The Lodger is exploring MUCH more darker themes at this point than The Pleasure Garden. 


 


2. Hitchcock styles/themes/emotional storytelling: The opening scene!! We have a close-up of a blonde woman, screaming, clearly in distress. Lots of lights.shadowing used. Distortions used with the semi-close up of the man hiding his face (whats that about!!?? creates some mystery vs. the other man covering his face as well...whodonit??)


 


 


3. The close-up and music in the back ground and expression of the actress helps to convey the horror and screaming from the blonde woman in the opening scene. Of course, Psycho pops up in my mind :)


 


P.S. I totally want to teach a Hitchcock and Psychology course! That would be awesome!


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1. Compare the opening of The Lodger to the opening of The Pleasure Garden - what similarities and differences do you see between the two films?  In each case there is an opening scene with a woman on display - a chorus girl ("The Pleaseure Garden") and a female corpse being looked over by policemen and the woman who found her ("The Lodger"). Both films begin at night and use a public place: a pub ("The Lodger") and a burlesque club ("The Pleasure Garden"). 

 

 

 

2. Identify elements of the "Hitchcock style" in this sequence? Please provide specific examples. Even if you are not sure if it is the "Hitchcock style," what images or techniques stand out in your mind as powerful storytelling? Or images that provide an excess of emotion?  Showing how terror strikes everyone reminds me of "The Birds." 

 

 

 

3. Even though this is a "silent" film, the opening image is one of a woman screaming. What do you notice in how Hitchcock frames that particular shot that makes it work in a silent film even though no audible scream that can be heard. And what other screams like that come to mind from Hitchcock's later work? Psycho, Psycho, and Psycho :))

 

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1. Compare the opening of The Lodger to the opening of The Pleasure Garden - what similarities and differences do you see between the two films? 

 

What immediately struck me is the growth you can see in Hitchcock's style between these two films -- and in such a short window of time. The POV shots in "The Pleasure Garden" -- which were fairly standard for the time -- give way to the more seamless POV shots in "The Lodger," like riding in the car along with the newsmen, reading the telegraph tape as one of the editors, or being a member of the crowd watching the news scroll on the street. These more sophisticated POV shots insert us as viewers into the film in a less overt way, heightening the sense of being there in a way the cruder POV shots can't quite achieve.

Hitch's augmentation of story through camerawork is another mirrored area, and another in which he shows growth. Though the fluidity of "The Pleasure Garden" felt ahead of its time, the quick cut sequence which opens "The Lodger" displays an even greater mastery of the idea of storytelling through editing and storyboarding. It's easy to see the Soviet montage influence here, a technique Hitchcock employs to great success to heighten the tension in this opening sequence. Nothing much happens in this opening scene, after all; the tension gets ratcheted up mainly through the pace of the cutting and the focus on human reactions.

 

2. Identify elements of the "Hitchcock style" in this sequence? Please provide specific examples. Even if you are not sure if it is the "Hitchcock style," what images or techniques stand out in your mind as powerful storytelling? Or images that provide an excess of emotion? 

 

As others have stated, what stands out most strongly to me is the use of extreme close-ups, especially the sequence LRH notes which immediately follows where our clip ends which chronicles multiple reactions of people hearing the news of the murder.

 

Also of note is Hitchcock's use of crowd scenes as a shorthand for the breadth of human experience. We saw this in "The Pleasure Garden," to a more comedic effect. In "The Lodger," we get a range of sympathetic reactions to our hapless witness, but also a little side-eye and even the mean-spirited practical joker covering his face. The highlighting of individual personalities within a crowd scene is a seemingly small touch that nevertheless adds a rich texture to Hitchcock's work.

 

3. Even though this is a "silent" film, the opening image is one of a woman screaming. What do you notice in how Hitchcock frames that particular shot that makes it work in a silent film even though no audible scream that can be heard. And what other screams like that come to mind from Hitchcock's later work?

 

Many others have noted Janet Leigh's performance in "Psycho," but honestly the first congruent image that came to mind for me was the disembodied head of James Stewart in "Vertigo" -- a film rife with German expressionistic tendencies, by the way :)

ALSO thanks so much @LRH for the extra clips! The Ashley Irwin version will definitely be what I give a full watch! -- Ooooops that's supposed to link to LRH. Not sure why that's not showing up! Each message board has its own quirks I reckon ;)

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I first saw this film at the Detroit Film Theatre at the Detroit Institute of Arts a few years ago with local musician Frank Pahl and his group Little Bang Theory providing the musical accompaniment.

 

The opening scene blew me away with its sensational reaction to a murder with a screaming woman, the flashing marquee and the reactions to the murder, especially with the press (I am a freelance reporter for a small town newspaper). It was neat seeing how breaking news got around back then.

 

The rapid editing, dark shadows and flashing words are a sharp contrast to "The Pleasure Garden" with the sexy chorus girls enticing the men with their singing and dancing.

 

Those areas of the Hitchcock style that pop out to me are naturally, the screaming woman, the dark shadows and the reactions from the crowd gathered around the witness. The reaction from the press and especially the excited newsboy also stand out for me.

 

Screaming women do indeed pop up in Hitchcock's films. Naturally, Janet Leigh in "Psycho" stands out from everything, but also Vera Miles in "Psycho" and Doris Day in the second "Man Who Knew Too Much" film are other prime examples.

 

The way the girl's face is angled and her expression let us know what is happening. Of course, music is also the key. The music in this clip does a good job. I can't remember the whole score Frank Pahl did when I saw "The Lodger" in Detroit, but he added plenty of dramatic touches, including a vintage police siren in the murder scenes.

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1. Compare the opening of The Lodger to the opening of The Pleasure Garden - what similarities and differences do you see between the two films?

 

What I notice between the two films "The Lodger" and "The Pleasure Garden" is the use of quick shots between the crowd, who the are the voyeurs, and the two individual women: the witness (The Lodger) & the dancer(The Pleasure Garden). The woman who is giving testimony to what she found is juxtaposed to the crowd who is eagerly listening and hungry for information.

 

2. Identify elements of the "Hitchcock style" in this sequence? Please provide specific examples. Even if you are not sure if it is the "Hitchcock style," what images or techniques stand out in your mind as powerful storytelling? Or images that provide an excess of emotion?

 

Again, the use of a crowd as voyeurs, the use of tight shots, the use of quick shots to tell the story are all Hitchcock. The use of light against darkness; he used the newspaper man reporting to his office as the light came on in the telephone booth shedding light in the darkness. His use of out of place humor as the man in the crowd tries to scare the old woman by putting his coat over his face. There's always a little bit of humor in Hitchcock films.

 

3. Even though this is a "silent" film, the opening image is one of a woman screaming. What do you notice in how Hitchcock frames that particular shot that makes it work in a silent film even though no audible scream that can be heard. And what other screams like that come to mind from Hitchcock's later work?

 

Even without sound, my mind inserted a voice screaming. When I think of a Hitchcock scream I always think of Psycho and Janet Leigh's voiceless scream in the shower because the screams were coming from the violins in the music.

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