Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Daily Dose #3: Fighting For Her (Scene from The Ring)


Recommended Posts

Today's Daily Dose covers a famous scene from Hitchcock's sixth film,The Ring (1927).


 


After watching the clip in Canvas, write down your reflections to the following questions. 


 


 


 


1. How does Hitchcock use montage or expressive editing to add vitality and rhythm to this scene? 


 


2. As is the case with a lot of German Expressionist films, in this scene, there are many shots that are very subjective and put us into the psychological mind of a main character. Please note the various techniques Hitchcock uses to create that feeling of subjectivity. 


 


3. How does Hitchcock stage the action, use set design, and editing techniques to increase the stakes in the rivalry between the two gentlemen?  


 


Please note: It is also fine, if you are newer to Hitchcock and his style, to simply share your personal thoughts on today's clips, especially what you notice about the evolution of Hitchcock's style as you see it evolving and growing from the clips from The Pleasure Garden and The Lodger to today's clip. 


Link to post
Share on other sites

The “Fighting for Her” scene from the Ring is a wild scene, but the key element is not the party but the mirror. Manager, trainer and boxer in one room and the party in the other room, and the boxer and his wife can see each other in the mirror. His jealousy growing as he sees her in the “champions” lap, her looking sadly at him when the “champ” talks of their next date.

 

As his jealousy grown the montage moves faster the piano keys, so elongated, the other string instruments, the LP record spinning around, and then his face superimposed showing the great jealousy he feels, as his wife slowly moves in and finally kisses the “champ”.

 

This is a great visualization of how jealous he becomes, leading to his storming into the room, then apologizing. Then he apologizes and shuts the door when returning. Not only is this giving us the visualization of his psyche, but is it a foreshadowing of what will come in the rest of the movie, his “fighting for her”? Does he win her back, or lose? Will he even want her back. That will be the suspense that we watch building as he moves up to take on “the champ”.

 

Definitely a product of his work in Germany and the influence of German Expressionism and even Soviet use of montage.

Link to post
Share on other sites

"The fighting for her" scene is just a beyond its time, editing wise, even the rhythm with the fast edit and everything running so fast it's like there's an actual fight between 2 men; That's what I got the impression for and the hallucinations of the her husband is just remarkable, I believe he introduced, that time, a new technique of imagining while speaking to someone else, and mixing all his feelings in one shot.

it is indeed a strong scene that introduce a fight in an other perspective.

Link to post
Share on other sites

1. How does Hitchcock use montage or expressive editing to add vitality and rhythm to this scene? 

- The pace of the dancers becomes more lively and excited as the tension of the triangulation of Jack, Mabel and Bob's relationship builds.

- The spinning circles of the vinyl record are superimposed on Jack's head, which makes it seems like the cogs of his mind are spinning out of control!

- There is a theme of excess and excitement throughout the party sequence, such as the dancers being framed by yet more activity from the dancing spectators, some of the audience having to fan the dancers to cool them down, overflowing champagne from the bottle, a variety of instruments being played along with the record...

 

2. As is the case with a lot of German Expressionist films, in this scene, there are many shots that are very subjective and put us into the psychological mind of a main character. Please note the various techniques Hitchcock uses to create that feeling of subjectivity. 

- In the reactions and facial expressions of the main characters, particularly Jack and Mabel and especially as they react to each other's viewpoint (through the mirror sequences) 

- The use of mirrors to show the progression of the action, which implies a more subjective view because it must pass through a 'lens' of some kind rather than directly 

- The superimposed images of the character's subjective view, for instance, are Mabel and Bob embracing in a kiss, or is this in the mind of Jack? The suggestion is that it is his interpretation because it appears hazy, as an imagined rather than an actual image.

 

3. How does Hitchcock stage the action, use set design, and editing techniques to increase the stakes in the rivalry between the two gentlemen?  

Most striking is that the men are in two separate rooms, which sets an immediate distance between them.

Jack's character is set against a backdrop of framed pictures of prize fighters and he is shown to be in a serious discussion about his training and the upcoming fight. In contrast, Bob is in the other room against a backdrop of dancing and partying, having an intimate conversation with Mabel. To exacerbate the rivalry, Jack is told that he will need to fight his way to the top in order to challenge Bob, if he has a chance to secure his future with Mabel. The lack of attention that Bob pays to Jack only serves to further this contrast between the intentions of the two men. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hitchcock did a number of montage sequences within this clip to add to the vibrant dancers and partygoers’ over the top actions of drinking, dancing and flirtatious moves all around the room.  In stark contrast to the well-dressed boxer in the next room contemplating his upcoming bout while worrying about his wife’s fidelity.  We are not sure if he is actually seeing his wife becoming intimately close to his rival in the next room or the image of them superimposed over a shot of him is just his imagination getting the best of him.  Either way the montage fuels the thought of reckless abandon of the wild crowd partying in the next room and ignites this character’s insecurities.

 

Though the main character is seated and quite reserved in a room adjacent to the party and is not directly involved, Hitchcock’s subjective montage containing hands playing the piano, the record player and other musical instruments all superimposed together in a powerful image indicating that this man is being besieged with the sounds of music and decadence within the next room.

 

For set design and staging, starting with the room where the party is happening, full of people drinking and dancing and going wild is conveniently next to a more reserved parlor where the boxing managers are prepping their man for his next fight.  Well-placed mirrors allows for the boxer and his wife to catch glimpses of each other from the different rooms. The rivalry is spurred on by the manager’s total lack of concern for the main character and tell him he wouldn’t be in this position (of losing his wife) if he were a champion.  Once again the music punctuates the action on the screen with upbeat tempos for the party scenes and slow melancholy moods for the boxer character’s scenes.         

Link to post
Share on other sites

1. How does Hitchcock use montage or expressive editing to add vitality and rhythm to this scene? 

The repetition of the cycle of the husband's observation of his wife in the mirror, and hers of him underline the gulf between them. He sees her reflection with his rival. She sees his reflection alone. They are both put in the state of mind of their separation prior to the promoter suggesting it.

 

The cuts between the dancers, the instruments, the player, serve to create then elevate a sense of manic hysteria within which she contemplates infidelity and he contemplates her infidelity.

 

2. As is the case with a lot of German Expressionist films, in this scene, there are many shots that are very subjective and put us into the psychological mind of a main character. Please note the various techniques Hitchcock uses to create that feeling of subjectivity. 

The whirling phonograph mirrors his accelerating emotional confusion. The scene is a vortex into which they are both being drawn.

 

As noted above, the mirrors serve as a nice proxy for their pending separation, as well as his paranoia.

 

3. How does Hitchcock stage the action, use set design, and editing techniques to increase the stakes in the rivalry between the two gentlemen?

 

Having the meeting with the promoter take place in proximity of the party allows the spouses to observe each other even though they are not in the same physical or emotional space.

 

The boxer is mostly positioned so that he is facing in the other direction -- his back is to his rival and wife. They are visually going behind his back.

 

Repeatedly switching the scene in the middle of the promoter's speech to the scenario real or imagined with his rival demonstrates the boxer's growing paranoia -- he can't focus on what he is meant to be focusing on. The music, and his imagined tryst between his wife and rival keep interfering.

Link to post
Share on other sites

H edits this scene to clearly show the wife's alliance with the other man. Her husband, never shown with her, can subjectively see through the mirror only his wife and her beau. Not having seen this before, I thought he was looking at a ghost only he could see. As the clip progressed, the mirror served to illustrate that the couple had some work to do on their relationship: going beyond what was reflected in the mirror. Kudos to H for the clever prop placement that allows the audience to see the internal struggle the husband faces.

Link to post
Share on other sites

In this scene from The Ring, Hitchcock uses the superimposition of images, as well as repeated mirror shots and deliberate editing techniques to put us into the psychological mind of the boxer. The first time we see his wife and her lover, the gaiety of the dancing girls falling onto their laps adds to the frivolity of the scene, and in turn, accentuates his feelings of unease. The shots of the couple in the mirror suggest that the boxer feels removed from their intimacy and also that he is examining his own feelings like looking into a mirror.

As the dancing continues, and the energy in the room increases, the cuts become quicker. We see a phonograph spinning, people playing instruments, and more people dancing and drinking in a dizzying manner. This sharply contrasts with the stillness of the boxer and his companions in the other room. There is a distinct separation between the two settings, one being light and deliriously happy, the other somber and restrained. This symbolizes the feelings of discomfort the boxer has about leaving his wife when he begins his training.

Finally, the superimposed images of the piano and other instruments, the kissing couple, and the men who are reminding the boxer that he must start his training the next day, serve to heighten our sense of his reluctance.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a scene of a man being driven mad with paranoia while trying to maintain a vener of propriety.  As he is being told about his responsibilities as a fighter, his mind wanders to the next room (“Is it a window or a mirror?” we wonder, reality or imagination and we’re never really sure as the camera takes us from what seems like a discernible reality of a party, complete with flappers and flowing hootch, back to our guy who is being driven crazy while trying to maintain a sense of propriety.

 

The entire sequence (at least void of context) is entirely reminiscent of Rear Window in what seems like a voyeuristic approach to what’s going on in the other room. The visual establishing seems to maintain a distance from the next room and suddenly we are in it.  How is this possible? We were tied into a point of view, and we cut from the objective to the subjective – suddenly we’re in the party, but the party is a performance piece by two dancers, so we are now still watching but we are watching from a direct perspective; we are still audience both in the theatre and in a scene with performance in it.  We are in the room, yet we don’t really know how we got there.  The reality is sudden and suggests our voyeur has now joined the party so that when we cut back to him we are in what is now a distorted point of view where we see (in the close up of the record player over him) that he can’t get this out of his head.  Meanwhile, the other men in his room are unaware of his madness.  We thus, have gone from point of view, to an objective participation in the scene back to a distorted point of view.

Link to post
Share on other sites

1. How does Hitchcock use montage or expressive editing to add vitality and rhythm to this scene?

 

I know folks think Hitchcock did not require sound but sound and music still have an affect on the viewing experience. The music challenges my appreciation with the ragtime type piano score. That said the visuals are excellent and the montage also effective. I felt in particular the superimposition crossdissolving shots of our protagonist imagining losing his wife as he goes to train very much like the layered shots in Eraserhead. The piano keys clock and his head layered in a way to suggest the music and rhythm and ticking of clock dispite not having sound to be effective ways of communication. Lynch obviously watched Hitchcock. There are so many effective ways that he condensed his story elements in montage and with editing.

 

2. As is the case with a lot of German Expressionist films, in this scene, there are many shots that are very subjective and put us into the psychological mind of a main character. Please note the various techniques Hitchcock uses to create that feeling of subjectivity.

 

I think I was already suggesting those techniques above. He even states it was a way to cut out the unnecessary drama or long winded talking or stretched scenes by layering and fitting as much info into the montage to progress the story. The more info as little a space the more appreciative the audience would be seems his feelings.

 

3. How does Hitchcock stage the action, use set design, and editing techniques to increase the stakes in the rivalry between the two gentlemen?

 

Layering, editing, cross-dissolves, set pieces that communicate specific details I.e. Clock, piano, and the costumes even play a part. There is position of the characters high and low including the partylike atmosphere with the dancing ladies (the pace of their dance assists us). Spread out in the room for a master shot and intercutting to close ups. There's reactions a plenty which allow the viewer to better appreciate their emotions. There is not any info given that is not staged for better understanding of the main character "Williams" which is also pointed at on the card by his manager at the start of clip. We have a rivalry because the images of his wife create suspicion and the suspense of him losing her to his opponent is my impression. Quite the amount of story in such little time. Very effective storytelling in other words...

Link to post
Share on other sites

1. How does Hitchcock use montage or expressive editing to add vitality and rhythm to this scene?

 

The use of the mirror isolates the growing tension of infidelity during a jubilant party.

 

2. As is the case with a lot of German Expressionist films, in this scene, there are many shots that are very subjective and put us into the psychological mind of a main character. Please note the various techniques Hitchcock uses to create that feeling of subjectivity.

 

Hitchcock layers shots. Not only do we see what he is seeing, we also see the character's thoughts. While talking with a man we see faded images of his wife & the champ. The collage of instruments superimposed onto the character represents his mind spinning and growing angry/jealous.

 

3. How does Hitchcock stage the action, use set design, and editing techniques to increase the stakes in the rivalry between the two gentlemen?

 

Amongst the music, dancing & drinking we witness an entirely different tone through the use of a doorway & mirror. The layered shots (as I mentioned above) also raise the tension.

Link to post
Share on other sites

At first watching this clip....It appeared to me the fighter was looking thru a window...(realizing later it is a mirror)....appears to me longing for the women..mirroring his feelings..his wife does he really have her or losing her....when images are superimposed ....I get a sense this is the mixed feelings of the fighter ...all muddled together.....is he hearing the promoter....not really.....the separate rooms....the separation of husband and wife....

 

It must have been a very new filming technique at the time...to superimpose the record playing...the instruments being played....even the elongated piano keys.....but it is effective in reflecting the unsettling emotions of the fighter.....Will he win the fight...will he keep her?

Link to post
Share on other sites

1. He made one are seem happy with laughing and dancing like everyone was the life of the party, while in the next room it was a bit more up tight, but the glances into the next room from the guy were as if he were wanting to be like that, where his wife would want to be with him, and not that other guy.


 


2. Putting to scenes side by side in front of you of what the guy was seeing, the man in front of him talking to his wife sitting on the other mans lap till all you could see was the two sitting together, which was in a way showing that there was a moment where all he could think about was them, and being that was all you could see it was like it was you.    Also when all you see is the hands playing the piano looking down it was like you were playing the piano yourself.


 


3. The man indicating that he was not as good as the other man, his wife wanted to be with him, and if he wanted her back he would have to fight for her, and he was all ready to do so, they were pushing him to do something which yes he did say he wanted to do but wasn't ready for making him feel weak.  Also the fact that he was wanting to fight and was talking about how to go about doing it, while the other guy was having a party, because it was like one felt the need to do everything while the other was calm as he felt nothing to worry about like a taunt to the other guy. While his wife was easy to be in love sent the whole thing against the other because of her.


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. How does Hitchcock use montage or expressive editing to add vitality and rhythm to this scene?

 

To give the audience a fast-paced motion as if it were a roller-coaster ride at a theme park. He also describes the scene just like the party, out of control and using the motif of mirrors to give us a reflection in the jealousy of his wife in the arms and lap of the champion.

 

​2. As is the case of with a lot of German Expressionist films, in this scene, there are many shots that are very subjective and put us into the psychological mind of a main character. Please note the various techniques that Hitchcock uses to create the feeling of subjectivity. 

 

​The filming of the party through a distorted mirror, the overlapping of hands playing the piano and the guitar, the phonograph and record playing music, the wife and the champion superimposed, and the main character's face and his facial expression showing his overall rage and fits of jealousy. Distortion is one of the techniques that is used in German Expressionist films, as well as the use of the overlapping and superimposition of different shots to give us an experimental feel in this sequence.

 

3. How does Hitchcock stage the action, use set design, and editing techniques to increase the stakes in rivalry between the two gentlemen?

 

He sets the action in the spare room where the main character is looking through the mirror that can be seen from the distance visually, puts the boxing poster in the spare room to tell the main character who he is fighting up against, uses the reverse shots from the main character's POV and back to the main character in an omniscient shot and increases the tension by showing us the facial expression of the main character to show his frustration and anger as to increase the stakes in the rivalry between the two gentlemen.

Link to post
Share on other sites

1. How does Hitchcock use montage or expressive editing to add vitality and rhythm to this scene?

 

The cutting during the dance scene between different angles of the two dancers, and the people watching, adds vitality. As the party continues the shots become shorter and shorter in length - the dancers, the piano player, the crowd, the instruments, the record, - this increases the pitch of the party scene and intensifies the wild feeling of the party. At this point we get a dissolve back to Jack. The wildness of the party with it's editing dissolving to the static scene of Jack adds to the contrast in his mood and that of the party goers.

 

2. Please note the various techniques Hitchcock uses to create that feeling of subjectivity.

 

There are two types of subjectivity in this scene. External and Internal. The external subjectivity is in the mirror shots as Jack sees Mabel sitting on the champ's lap, and Mabel sees Jack in the other room. This is done in the standard way by showing observer then cutting to what is observed.

 

Then there is the internal subjectivity - what Jack sees in his mind - which is accomplished with superimposition of images. Jack's mind dwells on Mabel sitting on the other man's lap, as they get closer and more intimate, til eventually they kiss. This happens as his trainers are talking to him. Jack sees the image of Mabel and the other man over his view of the trainers, but they eventually fade away and only the image of Mabel and the champ remain as his thoughts intensify. The party scene now becomes distorted - it's a nightmare to him, what's going on with his wife in there. These distorted images reflect his thoughts.

 

3. How does Hitchcock stage the action, use set design, and editing techniques to increase the stakes in the rivalry between the two gentlemen?

 

The most obvious staging is the fact that Jack and Mabel/Champ are separated physically in different rooms. This physical separation reflects the emotional separation that is going on.The action also reflects the mood of the characters. The wild party where Mabel is - Mabel who seems happy and without a care - is contrasted with the somber room where Jack is - Jack is unhappy. The flashiness of the party room contrasted with the simple room Jack is in. In the Party room, much of the action is played out in front of a huge window in which we see the city at night, the lights in the buildings, the flashing neon signs...this is the night life. Jack's room has no windows. Flash vs drab, open vs closed, large vs small, revelry vs serious talk - the two areas contrast.

 

A side note. If there is a piano player, and people on instruments, then why is a record player playing? Are they playing to the record? Just sayin'

Link to post
Share on other sites

He uses many elements to show movement and escalated and distorted images as the husband's temper flare. First we see the dancers, then it escalates to drunken dancing, and maybe running to conclusions that his wife is having a tryst. The piano keys are distorted, the dancing steps get more sloppy, the record player moves towards the end of the song, the mirror reflects movement. There is also quicker scenes towards the end. Tons of ways to enhance movement. 

 

By shooting just the character face upon him/her  seeing something not meant for him/her to see, you can really feel personable with the emotions of anger the character is going through. You see it in the face and expressions of the face and the music keys you into that emotion as well.

 

Strangely, the lovers are very open about their emotions towards each other whereas the fighter husband is enclosed in a room with only a mirror to show him whats going on in the other room where ALL the action is taking place.

I like how he uses a large room at night with everyone drinking and having fun, partying it up juxtaposed with the angry, not having fun husband. Draws you to how miserable and unfair the scene is to the character.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I’d like to focus on the second question: “As is the case of with a lot of German Expressionist films, in this scene, there are many shots that are very subjective and put us into the psychological mind of a main character.”

 

The clip from The Ring is a great example of the unnerving, other-worldliness of music.  I’m not talking about the music that we hear from the score (something added later – nothing to do with Hitchcock), but the music that we see within the film and that the fighter “hears.”  Kristine and others mentioned the great montage moment when the phonograph is spinning, superimposed on his forehead – and how this depicts his whirring mind.  And the hands on either side of his head playing their mirrored ukuleles contribute to this feeling.  That’s a great shot that seems indebted to German Expressionism.

 

In the interview with Hitchcock we watched for today, Hitchcock talks about having to use visual elements rather than sound in order to depict the pacing of the man upstairs (when he constructed the glass floor and filmed the soles of the shoes).  As Hitchcock said, in a sound picture, you’d just hear the pacing.  But he had to show it.  Conversely, in the scene we just viewed, Hitchcock used “sound” (even though inaudible) to show the fighter’s mental anguish.  It’s not that he actually sees the spinning record and the flapping hands and the elongated piano keys.  He’s hearing music in his mind – out of control, distorted, and disorienting – and the music mirrors (another mirror!) his inner psychological state.  Hitchcock could have chosen all kinds of things to indicate the man’s torment and distorted any number of visual elements that had nothing to do with music.  But by taking music (something that is usually fun and often comforting) and morphing it into something grotesque, he heightens the man’s distress even more.  We see the distorted music and understand the man’s mental state.

 

It also seems significant that the kiss, which has a very long build-up, happens at the height of this musical montage.  The phonograph spins, the hands play the ukes and piano, the banjo appears (another circle over top of the record), and then the couple kiss on top of all that.  The out of control music piles up until all that musical and mental chaos leads to his imagining the kiss.

 

I don’t know if Hitchcock read Aristotle, but the ideas that the ancients had about music still permeate our beliefs about its power.  This scene reminded me of this quote:

“Music directly imitates the passions or states of the soul…when one listens to music that imitates a certain passion, he becomes imbued with the same passion; and if over a long time he habitually listens to music that rouses ignoble passions, his whole character will be shaped to an ignoble form.”  Politics, Aristotle

 

In this scene, Hitchcock has inverted this formula.  The inner passion and anguish of the man is now reflected in the music that he thinks he “hears” in his head.  And Hitchcock shows us this distress by showing us distorted music.

Link to post
Share on other sites

To display the energy of the scene, nearly every scene that was included in the sequence was full of movement. The women dancing, the musicians playing their instruments, and the friends all clapping and enjoying the party add to the feeling and impact of the scene. No one is simply just sitting, other than the wife and the man she's flirting with. 


What I notice regarding the subjectivity of the scene is the prolonged close ups on the wife and the boxer. When we first see her, she is just a woman enjoying the party with a man, but then in the close up of her face, we see that there is something more here. Hitchcock's use of the mirror shows the tension between the husband and wife, acting in a way as a seeing without being seen. The camera shows her face and then her looking into the mirror and the audience is left to think "what can this be?" Only when we see the husband looking into the mirror and the close up of his face, along with the dialogue, do we know that this is a married couple. He also uses the mirror as a way to see her without being seen, noticing her behavior to the other man. The use of the mirror reminds me of the glasses scene in "Strangers on a Train." It offers the audience, more than the characters, a way to know the wider context of what is going on. 


Link to post
Share on other sites

1) He uses montage to create a joyous party scene, in which the husband thinks that his wife’s “affair” is occurring in. This idea seems to increase his jealousy even more, until he realizes that it never existed.

 

2) One technique is seeing the wife and the other boxer in the other room, through the mirror. This, to me, shows that the man feels distant and detached from his wife. Another technique Hitch uses is the overlapping of the wife and other man as what the husband only sees, giving a visual sense to his jealousy and rage.

 

3) One use of set design goes back to seeing the wife and the other man through the mirror, from the room the husband was in and vice versa. This gave a sense of them knowing that the other was watching, which to the tension of the scenario.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I’d like to focus on the second question: “As is the case of with a lot of German Expressionist films, in this scene, there are many shots that are very subjective and put us into the psychological mind of a main character.”

 

The clip from The Ring is a great example of the unnerving, other-worldliness of music. I’m not talking about the music that we hear from the score (something added later – nothing to do with Hitchcock), but the music that we see within the film and that the fighter “hears.” Kristine and others mentioned the great montage moment when the phonograph is spinning, superimposed on his forehead – and how this depicts his whirring mind. And the hands on either side of his head playing their mirrored ukuleles contribute to this feeling. That’s a great shot that seems indebted to German Expressionism.

 

In the interview with Hitchcock we watched for today, Hitchcock talks about having to use visual elements rather than sound in order to depict the pacing of the man upstairs (when he constructed the glass floor and filmed the soles of the shoes). As Hitchcock said, in a sound picture, you’d just hear the pacing. But he had to show it. Conversely, in the scene we just viewed, Hitchcock used “sound” (even though inaudible) to show the fighter’s mental anguish. It’s not that he actually sees the spinning record and the flapping hands and the elongated piano keys. He’s hearing music in his mind – out of control, distorted, and disorienting – and the music mirrors (another mirror!) his inner psychological state. Hitchcock could have chosen all kinds of things to indicate the man’s torment and distorted any number of visual elements that had nothing to do with music. But by taking music (something that is usually fun and often comforting) and morphing it into something grotesque, he heightens the man’s distress even more. We see the distorted music and understand the man’s mental state.

 

It also seems significant that the kiss, which has a very long build-up, happens at the height of this musical montage. The phonograph spins, the hands play the ukes and piano, the banjo appears (another circle over top of the record), and then the couple kiss on top of all that. The out of control music piles up until all that musical and mental chaos leads to his imagining the kiss.

 

I don’t know if Hitchcock read Aristotle, but the ideas that the ancients had about music still permeate our beliefs about its power. This scene reminded me of this quote:

“Music directly imitates the passions or states of the soul…when one listens to music that imitates a certain passion, he becomes imbued with the same passion; and if over a long time he habitually listens to music that rouses ignoble passions, his whole character will be shaped to an ignoble form.” Politics, Aristotle

 

In this scene, Hitchcock has inverted this formula. The inner passion and anguish of the man is now reflected in the music that he thinks he “hears” in his head. And Hitchcock shows us this distress by showing us distorted music.

So the music was in Hitch's head and is communicated visually despite lack of music and dialogue. Possibly why later collaborators like Bernard Herrmann really assisted the marriage for the whole ensemble so well in later years

Link to post
Share on other sites

1. How does Hitchcock use montage or expressive editing to add vitality and rhythm to this scene? 


At the beginning of the clip, the shots are longer, but as the sequence goes on, the shots get shorter, which really adds to the vitality of the scene. 


2. As is the case with a lot of German Expressionist films, in this scene, there are many shots that are very subjective and put us into the psychological mind of a main character. Please note the various techniques Hitchcock uses to create that feeling of subjectivity. 


I feel that Hitchcock really does this in the sequence of this scene when the dancers and then the piano keys become distorted, as though reflecting the mental turmoil of the main character. 


3. How does Hitchcock stage the action, use set design, and editing techniques to increase the stakes in the rivalry between the two gentlemen?


The stark contrast between the frivolity and lightheartedness of the party and the seriousness of the fighter being prepared in the next room helps increase the stakes in this rivalry. The physical separation between the main characters really illustrates their rivalry as well. 


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a great course! Today, I will skip responding to the prompted questions (which were good ones), to comment on the impact this Daily Dose had on me.

 

I am fascinated by storytelling, and how storytelling has evolved in film. Films have enabled storytellers to tell stories in ways that were never possible before.   

 

Last year, I visited the Musée Lumière in Lyon, France, where I watched the first ten films ever made by the Lumière brothers (in 1895). Some of them animated scenes from famous paintings, while others displayed scenes of everyday life - workers leaving a factory, a train pulling into a station, a snowball fight, etc. There was even a slapstick short involving a gardener getting sprayed by a hose. Clearly, they had the technology to tell a story via moving pictures, but their ideas for how to make a movie were still in their infancy. For me, their stories in the movies were not much different than what could have been seen in real life. This is not a knock on the Lumière brothers - I doubt that it could have happened in any other way.

 

I have read that Benjamin Franklin witnessed the ascent of a Montgolfier hot-air balloon while he was the US Ambassador to France. When asked what good it was, he responded "what good is a newborn baby?" I takes time for people to best use new technologies.

 

Well, the newborn baby of cinematography had developed so much by 1927 that Alfred Hitchcock could use montage editing, superimposition of images, distortion, cross-cutting, etc. to tell a story in a way that previously was not possible. The clip in today's Daily Dose illustrates this perfectly.

Link to post
Share on other sites

There was even a slapstick short involving a gardener getting sprayed by a hose. Clearly, they had the technology to tell a story via moving pictures, but their ideas for how to make a movie were still in their infancy. For me, their stories in the movies were not much different than what could have been seen in real life. This is not a knock on the Lumière brothers - I doubt that it could have happened in any other way.

I believe that was one of the gags discussed last year during the slapstick course so kudos on being a part of the bigger picture. I liked your observations. Please keep sharing!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

© 2020 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...