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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? 

 

We have again tight shots drawing our attention in on the subject of both films, though this time it is one lone figure spread out on the ground, obviously a victim and definitely female versus a group of live young females scurrying about.  Then we are drawn again tight into the face of the witness as she explains to first the police and then to our new selection of voyeurs that are crowding in to view the victim and hear of the tragedy.  We have cuts from victim to police to witness and crowd that keeps the action continuing.  We see again that we fit in as voyeurs ourselves watching the crowd watching the action.  The ticker tape style writing is this time a bit more cryptic and not straight forward and also very technical looking as well to emphasize seriousness and authenticity to this being a big story that has everyone on the wire for updates and excitement even of the dark variety.  We sense a frantic vibe from the crowd, witness and later even from the machines as they crank out the news of this killer.

 

 

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? 

 

I find that the juxtaposition between the use of organic human facial features such as with the witness recounting her story and the cold hard machinations of the printing press so frenzied that is seems too alive and high strung with anxiety as it works to get the news of the murders to the populace is very effective at taking two subjects and using them to form a third idea as covered in the notes about montage.  The easy way one of the crowd members distorts his image in the truck mirror also stands out as it elongates his features making him look like the attacker enough to startle the witness even more.  We are viewing an outward stimulation that is not what it seems but enough of an expression of what to fear that it evokes that same fear.

 

 

 

 

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?

 

We see in the opening image of a woman screaming a concentration on both her eyes and mouth in a way that conveys a type of scream that comes from deep dark fear.  The closeup concentrating on the facial features instead of any action below the body makes it almost impossible to not imagine that scream and how it would convey with sound added.  We have a sense of what torture the victim is in without really and truly seeing any other movement in frame.  Of course this brings to mind the shower scene of Psycho and reminds me of how many adults even swore they remember the slash marks and visuals of the victim in it being so very gory when actually watching it for the first time in my life I noticed the true horror of that scene was in her face not the actual stabbing at all.  That sheer terror, that pain, was completely dependent on that close up view of the scream and even in a film with sound like Psycho we didn't need any true volume to affect us when visually it was resounding on its own.  Of course I find both pieces of film to benefit form their musical scores.  

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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? 


I would say there are similarities like the blonde character and a certain feeling that something ominous is lurking but I believe I find more differences between them. The Lodger has a faster pace, editing and visual impact. Characters are presented more dramatically whereas in The Pleasure Garden there was this atmosphere of dead calm in which an ordinary person falls prey of unexpected events. You can really identify the German and Soviet influence in the The Lodger which I believe was absent in 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? 


- The blonde character, as I mentioned.


- The constant emphasis of the tone and message he wants the audience to capture such as all those visual reinforcements like the MURDER animated sign.


- Compelling use of close-ups in murder scenes like the first image of the girl screaming. It reminded me of Rope's initial frames.


 


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? 


As I just mentioned, Rope comes to mind immediately and possibly Psycho, as well.


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I immediately noticed the music: frantic, dramatic, almost atonal in spots, slightly reminiscent of Stravinsky.

The shocked crowds, their faces all fixated on a single point, event, or person. Hitchcock reached a pinnacle of this in "Strangers on a Train" during the tennis scene (when hundreds of faces were following the ball from one side to the other, but ONE MAN was not...).

A pure Hitchcockian element was the man at the bar, as the woman witness is telling the policeman that the killer's face was all covered, he covers his face with his coat, almost mocking her melodramatic story. In that instant, the horror gets a tiny relief valve, a technique that James Cameron has perfected in his films.

And I definitely see the German element in the focus on machines: the long shot of the teletype, and then the enormous printing press and its moving parts; very technological, cold, impersonal.

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The difference of Pleasure Garden in comparison to The Lodger is the light-hearted beginning with the girls coming down the staircase and the men in the audience. It has humor, whereas The Lodger begins with tension that continues to rise throughout the rest of the clip. The similarity, though, is that same looming darkness. Of course, it’s much more apparent in The Lodger and more subtle in Pleasure Garden.

 

To tie the second and third questions together, the opening shot of the screaming girl reminds me of Psycho. Her scream (as well as the music) is plenty to send chills down your spine. But with this silent film, the look of horror on her face is enough to carry that emotion across as well. The angle of the shot also makes it look like you are looking down at the girl, perhaps right beside the attacker, signifying that he, too, is looking down at her and is about to overtake her. I think this was a great idea on Hitchcock’s part. It’s almost very simple, which actually makes it better. Another example of powerful storytelling I like is the news of the murder being spread so quickly and the frenzy of people buying up newspapers. It adds urgency and drama to the story.

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1. The women seem less objectified and more part of everyday society. The men aren't as leering and also seem like everyday people. There are very fast paced scenes in The Lodger, mostly revolving around machinery. In The Pleasure Garden the quick pace seemed centered on the dancers.

 

2.The opening shot of the woman's face but also the other woman. The witness who is seemingly in shock and hysterical at the same time. 

 

3.The shot is framed so you can't see anything else but her mouth in a scream. The background is very blurred. 

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a. The theme of fatalism expressed through anguished and distorted facial expressions is present in the opening scenes of The Pleasure Garden and The Lodger.

b. Both scenes tell a story through visual impact with only a few, well placed words as speech (e.g. "that's an exquisite chorus line..." and "...he was tall and his face wrapped up...") or a caption ("no smoking" and "will the next be golden-haired" 

c. I wonder did Hitchcock have the entire storyboard in place before filming production?

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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 both films we view incidents and other people through someone else's eyes. In The Lodger however we see a witness viewing criminal and that is where we see the Hitchcock style truly beginning. 

 

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? 

 

The very opening with the women screaming is reminiscent of Hitchcock's most well known film Psycho. The shot reminds me of Janet Leigh's death scene and Vera being attacked by Norman in the basement. Hitchcock focuses a lot on his characters faces and the fear in their 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? 

 

The shot is tilted and it appears as if she is looking up at her killer. It makes me think of the scene in Strangers on a Train when Bruno kills Mariam. I also see moments in Vertigo, Psycho and Frenzy. 

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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?

 

The first similarity I noticed was the observational component - groups of people watching another. And viewing their reactions. While in the first film it was a more pleasant situation, this was morbid, murder. The Lodger continues to expand on a larger scale.

 

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?

 

The scream, the anxiety as has been mentioned in today's dose, the watching and reacting, the confusion over a possible suspect... all of these seem to be common Hitchcock themes.

 

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?

 

So it's at an angle, which, although silent, adds a gripping component visually. It's a closer shot, so we really see the intensity from her. I'm certainly reminded of other screams from Hitchcock films - Psycho, Frenzy, To Catch a Thief (initially offscreen when the film starts).

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I hope this is the right discussion thread for this comment. The video interview segment with Hitchcock that went with the lecture and Daily Dose #2 was interesting to me because Hitchcock talked about art versus commercialism. He maintained that film is an art form meant for the masses, for everyone to view, and if one could find a good story to tell and tell it clearly to everyone, he or she could use any technique to get that story across -- as long as it was clear to everyone. Maybe that's part of his appeal: He didn't seem to think elitism had any place in film.

 

Did anyone else watch the video interview and come away with the same impression?

I believe you got it right- it is part of Mr. Hitchcock's appeal. He worked hard to give audiences the perfect visuals as he saw them in his mind. I was also impressed with his command on answering the questions. Hearing him speak, he oozed of confidence.

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In The Lodger​, the movies opens more as an advertisement/commercialism about a murder. In The Pleasure Garden​, it was more of an art sequence, which really wasn't what Hitchcock was known for. The intense of the people and the feeling of the movie, the anxiety and screaming of the people. As an audience we can all relate to in certain ways. The angle and the color blue which means the woman is being hurt or murdered. Psycho and The Birds comes to my mind.

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Just got the newly released Criterion blu-ray of this so am looking forward to that, but watching this opening I was floored by how much the opening has in common with the body washing ashore in "Frenzy," especially the shots of crowd onlookers. Both rely on "woman found murdered in a very public place" to set the stage for the rest of the film.

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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

It appeared to me that the murdered girl may be a showgirl, Golden Curl, which would be the similarity to Pleasure Garden. The difference would be the Lodger is darker and starts off with a murder as Pleasure Garden didn't come on as strong.

 

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?

The opening scene of the victim screaming is what draws the viewer in and grabs their attention. Also adding a little levity is a Hitchcock staple.

 

​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? 

The inaudible scream works due to the music and the terror in the actress' eyes. Other screams that come to mind are Psycho and The Birds.

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These are much more my gut reactions than answers to the given questions, but here are some reflections: 1) I had always thought of Hitchcock as a British and American director, but learning about his background in German and Russian film makes so much sense. It also gives me another level of understanding him as someone who simultaneously belongs to everyone and no one- we can all appreciate his vision and his works, but his perspective comes from a very specific and complicated place. 2) I haven't watched many silent films, and I am obviously limited to the POV of someone who was not raised with intertitles, so I tend to ascribe certain characteristics to them. That being said, the urgency with which they are designed and used in the To-Night Golden Hair excerpt is incredible and very unsettling. 3) There is nothing intellectual about this observation, but when I look at the elements of German film (industrialism, nihilism, etc.), I can't help but think of 80's punk and new wave, and I wonder how much of a role Hitchcock played in instilling those images in artists of that time. 

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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? Both open in a fast pace. However, The Lodger keeps the pace fast all the way through the sequence.

 

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? The repeated shot of the dead girl looks like his style. Showing the same shot to build up the suspense.

 

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? Can't think of the later work but I want to say it was Doris Day. The silent scream. A similar sound is made in place of an actual scream. The frame being at an angle also plays into the "wrongness" of the moment and the tragic outcome of the victim.

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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: They both begin with the camera holding still on the scene and the people being the only source of movement.

Differences: The Pleasure Garden had a much brighter and happier start. The audience could sense the mood would eventually change and conflict would arise, but it was foreshadowed in a much more light-hearted way. The Lodger was also missing the humor that was present in the beginning of 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?

The use of music was very powerful, and something that I think Hitchcock only continued to perfect throughout his career. The expressions of pain on the actors faces - Hitchcock never shied away from his character's showing that raw emotion. Another really powerful moment was how he had the description of the murderer typed out instead of being shown as a cue card. It was a bit more difficult to read it that way, but I think that only sharpened the viewers senses, allowing suspense to already begin to creep into the picture - all within the first couple minutes!

 

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 can be heard. And what other screams like that come to mind from Hitchcock's later work?

The scream works because Hitchcock filmed a close up of the actress' face, without any other distracting images in the background. Therefore, the audience is fully focused on her and her look of complete anguish. That paired with the fitting music that crescendos as a scream would allows the viewer to really hear it in their mind, feel the anguish and be holding their breath, eagerly (or not so eagerly) awaiting what is to come. This makes me think of the shower scene in Psycho - another instance where Hitchcock really let the music tell the story more than the actor's voices.

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Having revisited The Lodger yesterday (my third watch), I wanted to share some thoughts on it...

 

First, I'd like to say that the first time I saw this film (2010?), I didn't think much of it. I rewatched it on 2013, and it fared much better. Rewatching it yesterday, with what little input I had from yesterday's class just made me look at it from a much different perspective.

 

Second, I think yesterday's Daily Dose made me appreciate more how the opening works into the rest of the film. Someone here said something really great on how the opening starts with an intimate look at the murder, from the close-up of the girl screaming, to the witnesses and the onlookers, and then it pulls out to how the news spread and sensationalism hits, only to pull back in as people in their homes listen to the news... some of them being June, her colleagues, and the landlords. This obviously fuels their fears as the lodger arrives.

 

Also, the arrival of the lodger is such an obvious homage to Nosferatu (German Expressionism!) that I don't know how I hadn't noticed it before

 

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(also, kudos to Chris Coombs on Twitter, who tweeted the same comparison way before I did!)

 

I also find it funny how June falls for the lodger. Like I said on my post on The Pleasure Garden, funny how women just fall in and out of love all of a sudden. June has her boyfriend, who doesn't seem to treat her bad, even if he seems a bit of a doofus. But when she starts canoodling with the lodger, she has the nerve to tell him "I'm sick and tired of your interference!" LOL, I've always thought that was funny, but again, something I chalk up as sign of the times (something similar happens in The Ring)

 

But anyway, I always had problems with the ending with the lynch mob because I felt it took away from the "personal" story we had been following (June and the lodger). But now I think I appreciated it more because I felt it works as a nice bookend to how the story started, with it pulling back again to the macro of the city, afraid of something they don't know.

 

About the religious imagery, I'm still not sure what to make of it.

 

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It looks nice, but I have to wonder what was Hitchcock's intention with it. Other than the people's trial of an otherwise innocent man, there's not much I can get in terms of religion. Oh, but it was nice to see Joe come out as the hero :D

 

It was also nice to see an early MacGuffin with the identity of the Avenger.

 

Finally, the final shot was another neat bookend to the opening shot, with June and the lodger kissing, while you can see the neon sign in the back through the window flashing "TO-NIGHT GOLDEN CURLS". The zoom in on June's happy face was a nice contrast to the close-up of the screaming victim in the opening.

 

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Overall, it was really nice to revisit this with the perspective of what we've learned so far.

 

 

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Compare contrast the films-

Both open with blurry images and you see that a woman is the main character. One woman is very young and beautiful ( Pleasure Garden) and one is older ( The Lodger). Both involve power. PG involves power over a woman TL involves power over a city. PL is sexually charged, but TL isn't . I was not a stent movie fan, up until now, so I'm looking forward to seeing ninth of these.

Elements-

Character in distress, blurry images, awkward camera shots, lighting lends a lot to the scene,

Scream lending

Wow! You can see agony in that woman's face. Great shot of her.

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1. ​The Pleasure Garden and ​The Lodger ​(both considered in their entirety) are strikingly similar and yet stylistically quite different. ​I absolutely loved ​The Pleasure Garden, ​for its greatness of style and substance, visually and thematically. It largely seemed to take its cinematic cues from early American silent films, such as those of Griffith, with Hitchcock adding his own sensibility and creating quite the beautiful picture. ​The Lodger, ​on the other hand, is clearly influenced by the German films Hitchcock claimed to have taken in during his time in Germany, particularly the expressionism of Lang and Murnau. After seeing The Lodger, ​I believe that this particular influence suited Hitchcock and his thematic and visual interests even more than the similarly great use of whatever he put into ​The Pleasure Garden. ​The interplay between shadow and light, violence and romance, taut compositions and gentle framing simply seem to excite Hitchcock in a way that makes it no surprise to me that he continued primarily to make this particular kind of film and considers The Lodger ​his first true Hitchcock film. His cinematographic technique reaches a fever pitch throughout ​The Lodger, ​and the compositional awareness and terse momentum shown in the film highlight Hitchcock's precocious genius.

 

2. ​The Lodger ​is chock-full of powerful storytelling that provides a certain "excess of emotion". A few moments spring immediately to mind: the unnerving and menacing arrival of the lodger (of which the film gets its subtitle "A Story of the London Fog"), the beautifully framed tenderness of the first kiss between the Lodger and Daisy, the immaculately edited and inventive flashback sequence during the Lodger's confessional. A discussion of the level of craft and artistry displayed by Hitchcock in The Lodger, ​if given the amount of space it deserves, would continue far beyond what I have briefly mentioned here.

 

3. Multiple moments in ​The Lodger ​find the screen filled with the faces of screaming women. All are effective in the exact way Hitchcock intended, and the fact that it is a silent film makes it no less easy to describe them as "blood-curdling" (It would be impossible to mistake them as yawns or anything else).

 

Shout out to the amazing, glowing restoration of The Lodger ​shown on the new Criterion release, along with a beautiful new score by Neil Brand. It's easily the greatest restoration of a silent film I've ever been witness to.

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  1. Compare: The two films each opened with women. "Garden" was interesting because even though the women are dancing for men's entertainment, the lead dancer is in the power position and teasing the bumbling, sputtering gentleman. Hitch has definitely stepped up his game with "Lodger," with its more urgent editing and powerful music. 

 

Hitchcock style: I've noticed Hitchcock's wide shots have conspicuous depth, layer after layer of background, giving it a real 3-D feel.

 

Scream: I think it works because of the close-up and the off-angle. Also, the light and shadow give it an additional alarming tint. Her mouth is shaking as she screams, drawing our attention to it and making us "hear" the scream.

 

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1. Similarities/differences for Pleasure Garden (PG) and The Lodger (L): The focus again was on blond/fair-haired girls. There were voyeuristic elements in both at the beginning, namely the leering men in the audience (PG) and then the crowd surrounding the woman telling her story (L); humour was also present in both - the sleeping woman in the audience (PG) and the newspaper seller pleased the murders were happening as Tuesday meant increased paper sales (L).

 

However, the differences were that in the PG you met the characters straight away - namely, the two young girls who are central to the film, whereas in L, the main protagonists, indeed even the Lodger himself is not seen until later in the film. In addition, in L it is apparent that murder, in particular, a possible serial killer, is the main theme of the film, whilst in PG the main theme is not at the outset of the film.

 

2. The Hitchcock-style was evident for me with the clever use of the camera work, for example the image of the two newspaper delivery men's heads positioned in the two round windows of their van, reminiscent of a pair of spectacles (I'm currently reading 'The Great Gatsby' at the moment, and an image of spectacles plays heavily in that novel, and that novel would have just been published whilst the film was being made - although probably completely unrelated!).

 

Also the juxtaposition of the scenes with the woman relaying her story to the Police and onlookers, with the ones with the newspaper reporters relaying the story to their editors.

 

The way he also used the newspaper editor's typing machine to explain that another murder had occurred, allowing us to recognise that this was not the first one.  In addition, the use of the printing machinery and the production of the newspapers reminded me somewhat of 'Metropolis' with its machines.

 

3. The woman screaming was shot slightly off angle and from above, which meant the viewer was looking down on the woman, giving the impression that you the viewer were looking through the eyes of the murderer. The shot reminded me of ones used in Psycho and The Birds.

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I don't see a lot to compare between the Pleasure Garden and the Lodger, other than lots of close-ups. The Pleasure Garden's opening would make you believe the film is a comedy (I haven't seen the complete film) but there's no question The Lodger is not going to be humorous.

 

Elements of Hitchcock's emerging style would be would be the close-ups, framing (the newspaper delivery men's heads shown through the back windows of their vehicle), Hitchcock in the film (sitting at a desk, back to camera at the newspaper office) to name a few.

 

What makes the scream work for a silent film is the length of the scream, the skewed angle and the close-up.

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One unique Hitchcock trait I noticed in this film as well as The Pleasure Garden was how dark the background was in both pictures. Emphasis was also put on the faces and facial expressions of the characters with camera closeups.  The dead woman was blonde again but we don't see what she looks like. In this film, there isn't any written dialogue but the character's faces along with the typewritten news piece tells the story. Interesting film.

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1. A lot of quick cuts and close-ups in both. Not much humor in The Lodger compared to a lot of humor in The Pleasure Garden.

2. A lot of energy with the quick cuts. You can see the German influence in the lighting that sometimes seems to glow in some scenes. A lot of close-ups of faces as well as objects.

3. The scream had more impact in being so close and on an angle.

Again, very impressed with the great B/W photography and lighting that brings such interest and richness to each shot.

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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?


 


Both films contain a fairly large number of individual shots for a film of the era:  one does not get the impression of a static camera that is merely recording the action.  The way that each shot conveys a piece of information is even more evident here in The Lodger.  For example:  first there is a shot of what one of the characters sees (the dead body of the victim), followed by a shot of the character’s reaction as she is describing what she witnessed.  In another shot, we see that the murderer leaves notes on his victim that identify him as “The Avenger.”


 


The Lodger conveys a considerably more information via the written word than The Pleasure Garden does.  Interestingly, this is more through information that is present in the action of the film and that the characters could see rather than information given by title cards (I would describe this as “diegetic,” but that word is usually reserved for sound).  Examples include:


 


TO-NIGHT “GOLDEN CURLS”


 


“The Avenger” (note with triangle)


 


The telegraph teletype report of the murder (extended)


 


 


“ANOTHER AVENGER CRIME - LATE THIS EVENING THE BODY OF A FAIR-HAIRED GIRL…”


 


(Consider that there are only two title cards in this clip.)


 


Hitchcock’s penchant for humor also is present in this clip from The Lodger, when a man plays a trick on the woman who saw The Avenger by wrapping up his face so that she will think that The Avenger is there.  In this case, the humor is much “sicker” than what was in The Pleasure Garden.  There is also the visual “joke” of the two heads in the police car seen through the back windows that make the car appear momentarily as if it has eyes.


 


There was more light in the clip from The Pleasure Garden; the scenes in The Lodger were generally darker (natural, I suppose, since much of the action was taking place at nighttime).  This does complement the lighter, gayer nature of The Pleasure Garden versus the darker, more ominous tone of The Lodger.


 


The Lodger seems less set-bound than The Pleasure Garden.  The latter film took place mostly in the cabaret or music hall, whereas there appear to be several different locations in The Lodger.  This, and the way that the scenes are cut, give the view a sense of urgency, that an emergency is occurring.


 


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?”


 


There is, of course, another Hitchcock blonde and she is seen right at the beginning of the film.  This, and the close-up of the female witness, both convey the characters’ emotions along with a sense of claustrophobia, of feeling trapped.  The acting, as is typical of many silent films, tends to seem overdone to a 21st Century audience because silent film relied so much more on facial expressions and the human body to communicate emotions.  The way that the witness opens her eyes wide and points with exaggerated gestures show that she is nervous and very upset.


 


The fact that there is very little dialogue is significant.  Hitchcock conveys information through images rather than words… in many cases, the viewer must infer what is being said.  Consider the scene on the airport runway in North by Northwest, in which the Professor (Leo G. Carroll) explains to Roger O. Thornhill (Cary Grant) what the motivation for Eve Kendall’s (Eva Marie Saint) conduct has actually been:  what is being said is really unimportant because the audience already knows what is going on, so Hitchcock dispenses with sound and lets images predominate.


 


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 can be heard.  And what other screams like that one come to mind from Hitchcock’s later work?”


 


The woman’s face and hair are the only things in the shot, and this forces the viewer to focus his/her attention on the woman (victim).  Also, the lack of an audible scream is compensated for by the fact that her mouth is open so wide and is near the center of the frame.  Her eyes appear to be focused, so one can safely guess that the killer is right there too, seen by the character but not by the viewer.


 


The first scream in one of his later works that comes to my 


mind is actually in Frenzy when Brenda Blaney (Barbara Leigh-Hunt, another blonde) realizes that Bob Rusk (Barry Foster) is “the necktie killer” and is about to kill her after **** her.  Frenzy is as close to The Lodger (thematically speaking) as any of Hitchcock’s movies:  serial murders of women, the wrong man is suspected of being the killer, the London setting etc.  The poster for Frenzy even depicts a woman screaming (Anna Massey), very similar to this shot.


 


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There is also, of course, the iconic extreme close-up of Marion Crane’s (Janet Leigh) mouth as she is screaming in surprise and fright at the beginning of the shower scene in Psycho.  There have been interpretations of this as a vaginal counterpart to the phallic knife, leading to an interpretation of the shower murder as a rape as well as a murder.  (Murder and sex are linked more explicitly in Psycho and Frenzy than they were in The Lodger.)


 


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The Birds is notable for another “silent scream,” even though it is a “talkie:”  when Lydia Brenner (Jessica Tandy) runs from Dan Fawcett’s house after discovering his dead body.  More distantly related, stylistically and thematically, are numerous shots of the children’s faces screaming in fright as they run from the schoolhouse and are attacked by the birds.


 


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1. The two films are similar in that they both use camera angles from behind the action, as well as angles that make it seem like the audience is seeing something from the point of view of someone in the story.


2. While the film is black and white, it almost seemed like the lighting "strobe" effect made the signs change color. The offset camera angle at the beginning of the movie seems very Hitchcock, as does the humor in an otherwise serious story. There is a sense of urgency, and yet Hitch injects a bit of fun in the scene where the woman is describing the murderer. 


3. The audience sees a very close-up, tilted image of a woman screaming; her mouth moving slightly to convey making a sound. It definitely brings the shower scene and Marion Crane from Psycho to mind.


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