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Dr. Rich Edwards

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

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In this sequence of The Ring, Hitchcock interprets the chaos vitality of this scene through the rapid editing technique and the montage of the girl's frantically dancing. In order to create subjectivity of one main character, Hitchcock utilizes the essence of German Expressionism of how to portray a character's psychology and internal emotionality. Hitchcock includes two different perspectives, from the man and the other from his wife, who are both observing each other from a far. The man's perspective, however, is dominant, lingering on the image of the wife's embrace with another man; as well as focusing the camera on the man's space,how his imagination goes about, and how he handles the situation. The jealous of the man drips from the frame as Hitchcock creates a quite experimental montage of the party, with darted images of the paint player, he dancers, and his wife around all this chaos. 

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It's amazing. Without using words (sound) Hitchcock gets us right into the head of the main character, the champion in training. I couldn't help notice the humor in that throwaway line about training for a divorce. The brief scene we viewed is chaotic, intense and very sexual. The two female dancers infer lesbian trysts, a man forcing some liquor on one of them brings the scene to a different level of sexual tension and the portend of violence. And getting us into the subjective POV of the champion in training is very effective with the montage view of his wife sitting on the lap of the other man, following the sight through his eyes around the room. Very creepy idea to blur the photography, which only adds to the dark psychology of it all. We really feel that the champion in training wants to kill the other guy. Fighting for her? Ha! He'll be fighting for his pride I think! 


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The montage opens a passage of time in the man's mind and eye by having the audience see how jealous the man gets as the music plays faster until he is gone mad. The scenes in the mirror are very subjective. They both see each other in the mirror. The mirror shows and also looks into the future of the fighter.

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Regarding the set design, I just remembered that the living room set in THE RING reminded me of the living room in ROPE.

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1.     In this sequence from The Ring, Hitchcock has really tapped into his illustration skills to present us with a critically paced series of images that would fall apart otherwise as a story. The Ring is not just a physical fight pitting boxer against boxer, but instead the rookie is finding that he is already fighting the champion… over his wife. To create this tension, the first thing we notice is the staging- communication via mirror reflection to show that husband and wife are very aware of each other. Second is the party atmosphere-women wildly dancing, drinks flowing, and you get the sense that the night is spinning out of control. However, it is countered by a more focused conversation with the husband/rookie. Emphasizing the physical and psychological fight are the photos of two boxers on the fire place mantle. The montage of images occurs after we appreciate the staging and the expressive editing between party and intense conversation. So now we get inside the head of this young boxer. He desires so much, but is wondering if delving into this world will cost him his wife and their relationship. Illustrating this is the overlay of his manager talking to him about a fight and training juxtaposed with the image of his wife on the lap of the champion. The overlapping imagery floats back and forth between dancing women, his wife and the champ, to his manager, and the distorted piano keys and musical instruments to paint us a picture of the delirium he is feeling as he is asked to leave his wife at the party and go train to fight. Inevitably we see his culminating worst nightmare of his wife kissing the Champ and the man jumps up not realizing that he was acting upon an imagined event, screams and stops the party all together. I find this a very German Expressionist technique in which the images at first appear a bit non-sequitur, but gradually piece together. There is a sense of vertigo as if the main character’s brain were being turned on end trying to rationalize the evening.  I imagine this is the authorship or auteur aspect that Truffaut was getting at in that it takes the connection to a personal experience to dig so deep into best telling this story- almost as if it were somewhat biographical to Hitchcock. 

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In the opening scene of Hitchcock’s THE RING, we see two rooms that are connected only by a hallway mirror and the main character seated in view. His room is dull, quiet, serious, and drab, lonely even. There is much to contemplate as his agent is trying to get him to consider stepping it up in the boxing ring. This scene is contrasted with the wild party going on in the room across the hall where we have vivacious dancing (surprised not to see a single blonde), piano playing, a record player (implying even more music), drinking, smoking, and everyone having a good time. Immediately the opposing rooms describe the rivalry that is among these two boxers. Like other Hitchcock movies, this is not seen directly by either party, but across hall and through a mirror, adding to it’s mystique. The scene goes rapidly back and forth with the drab room and the party room where quick editing increases the tension and energy. It seems the longer he considers this training and hard work for boxing, the crazier and louder the other room becomes. Here is the beginning of the montage dream-like sequence where images are moved right on top of each other in the shot. It begins with the spinning record. I find it interesting that  the previous Daily Doses also included the use of spinning (1st the chorus girls of THE PLEASURE GARDEN, and in the printing presses of THE LODGER-  but also let’s not forget the out-of-control spinning Merry-Go-Round in the important climax in STRANGERS ON A TRAIN.  From the spinning record, we cut to his wife being seduced, to the dancers being stretched upward in a surreal way where we feel that this elongation and dizziness is going up to our heads. We feel the frenzy of the piano, the spinning record again, and numerous hands playing instruments all simultaneously shown together which then leads us into his paranoid psychosis; the kiss of his wife with the other champ. The next thing we see is that spinning record literally on top of the main character’s head indicating that all of this is spiraling in his mind. We are abruptly brought back to reality again when his anger causes him to stand up and realize he's seeing things that aren't really happening. We find ourselves back in the dry and solemn room where it appears he has made his decision.

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

 

​I found that the dancing , record  playing and piano shots went along so well with the music setting the fun tone then the shots back and forth with the mirror stood out.

 

 

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 shot of the spinning record, mirror image and then the shot of him imagining along with the person talking to him really helped to feel what the boxer husband was feeling.

 

 

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

 

There is the tense shot of all the guests looking at the husband and he just backs away.  It kind of makes you feel like everyone is against him or he thinks they are.

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  • Being in the movie industry myself producing and writing mostly indie films, the topic of the director being an auteur (or author) of a film has come up a few times in my circle. I've always thought directors like Hitchcock , John Carpenter, Fincher and Spielberg were true auteur's. Those directors are known for their "touch" and have their hands in a lot of aspects of the films. Even though there are thousands of people who contribute to making these films great, there's still that central part of the nexus that stands out.

     

    However, I also think that a producer can be the auteur. I've known directors who just show up on set and don't really seem to bring that auteur quality. A lot of times that shows in the final product as well. So, I do think that there are certainly auteur directors but not all directors are auteur's.

 

Speaking of "The Touch", I read or heard a story about some Hollywood writers who felt their contribution to the success of a film, in particular working for Frank Capra, who at the time was at the top of his game for putting the "Capra Touch" to a film project, and were not giving the writers their due. As the story goes, one of the lead writers presented Capra with a bound script full of blank, white pages, and saying, "Here, put the Capra Touch on this!"  Could be a true story.  Sounded good!   : - )

 

Classic!

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1. Hitchcock's use of the expressive editing moving from the room her husband is in and his facial expression of apprehensiveness at seeing his wife seated on the lap of another man and the wife watching her husband, her facial expression denoting her thinking of what her husband would think if she took the man up on his offer to see the dancer's show all done without words. The dancers frantic movements, on top of the men's smiling and you can see they are thinking of things to come later that night; the one dancer being fanned and giving a drink from a bottle as the liquid drips down her face and she jumps back up to dance; the other women join in and play music, the record spinning around all add the the intensity of what we the audience anticipate to come. The montage of the justaposition of the wife on the lap of the other man, their lips getting closer and closer until they kiss as the husband/boxer to be tries to listen to his agent drives the husband interrupts the party and then apologizes for the outburst.

2.The montage of the elongated dancers, piano keys under the wife kissing the other man and the record playing denote the jealous frenzy that the husband is feeling.

3. The use of the mirror through out takes us from each room to the next w/o much camera movement and I think is classic Hitchcock.

 

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So many of Hitchcock's movies have scenes with a "voyeur" quality. Mirrors; partially open doors; peepholes; and so on. And, it's not just characters doing the spying; the camera itself is often the voyeur. It'll be interesting to find examples of this in the films we're going to see.

 

Also, does anyone know who the accompanist is in this film? It's brilliant work!

I guess I'll have to watch it on TCM to find out. Looking forward to it!

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

The expressive editing used was the fun house mirror effects as well as the scenes where the wife and other man were superimposed over the mirror and next to the husband's manager. 

 

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 found the most subjective shot was the music playing; the piano, the ukuleles, the playing record; giving us an idea of  all that was going through the husbands mind. He was dizzy with jealousy.

 

3. How does Hitchcock stage the action, use set design, and editing techniques to increase the stakes in the rivalry between the two gentlemen? His use of the mirror was great as it allowed us to see what was going on in each room from different points of view. 

The wife looks in to see a husband that she thinks doesn't care for her anymore, although he does and the husband sees a flirting wife even though she seems very uncomfortable. 

 

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The Montage technique contributes a flapper rhythm that energizes the scene to convey atmosphere and sets the jovial tone.

But this is reversed quickly by reflecting the turn of emotions through juxtaposition of the mirror views.

Subjectivity? The use of mirrors trigger the audience to expand their views and actor perspectives. Framing a jovial foursome then a swivel to the actor's furious expression contrasts sharpley their viewpoints. And then another mirror reflection and the fighter's face boils. Superimposing three figures clues us to a love triangle. Our fists flex too.

Set design? Palatial rooms warrant an audiences envy, but also encourage their fantasy and suspension of reality. We are drawn in to partake sides and route for the winner. Cutting from one catty cornered room through an entranceway to the next simultaneous portrait invites us into their confidences and betrayal.

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I felt exactly how the husband was feeling with the techniques used by Hitchcock such has the fun house mirrors which gave me a feeling of being disoriented and confused like a film noir.

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I was very impressed by the clip of The Ring. I liked the shots showing the mirror reflections. The superimposed shots (?) were very well done, I thought.

 

As the Boxer gets more agitated and anxious over the thought of his wife with the other guy,  the musicians and the music highlighting his agitation and distress- effective

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The vitality and rhythm of this scene from The Ring seems to come from the escalating anxiety of the young boxer (the protagonist.)  He fears losing his wife as well as his upcoming fight to his competition.  The young man’s anxiety begins to grow as he spies his wife sitting of the arm of a chair where his fight opponent is sitting in the next room.  That action is framed in a mirror that allows him to see around the corner into the other room.  (Hitchcock often used devices or objects that allowed a character to magnify the view of a situation such as the hole in the wall that Anthony Perkins used to spy on Janet Leigh in Psycho or the binoculars that James Stewart used in Rear Window to watch his neighbors.)  His wife is also able to see the reverse view of her husband in the same mirror (or another mirror) on the wall.  Hitchcock momentarily displays her subjective view that indicates an unease in her mental state that show her intensions to be somewhat veiled and suspicious.  The montage shots of the party revelers along with the distorted piano keys are cut at an increasing pace that reveals the young fighter’s mounting discomfort.  Perhaps the most interesting sequence that Hitchcock creates is the young fighter’s subjective view of the boss talking to him as he imagines his wife kissing his competitor in a superimposition that shows his distraction from the present conversation.  Finally, he explodes in an emotional outburst overlaid with sexual tension in which he must decide to stay or leave the situation.   It is an almost complete visualization (beyond the Roaring 20’s piano music that most certainly was not originally part of this film) of this young man’s turbulent psychological state.            

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

 

I think with the dancing scenes early on, they're farther back shots and longer takes, whereas as the sequence progresses we see faster and closer cuts, which advance the pacing. The blur and piano key fades seem to add to the rhythm, but also the subjectivity of point of view.

 

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 the most obvious is the superimposed/transparent vision, but also that continued theme this week of watching the watcher. As I mentioned previously, the wider shots with dancing seems to add to the frivolity of the scene, i.e. less serious.

 

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 staging seems to be wider shots for one gentleman and closer shots for the other, choosing to get more into his head with his thoughts - pinning the challenger to the prize holder.

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Daily Dose #3: The Ring

 

1. How does Hitchcock use montage or expressive editing to add vitality and rhythm to this scene? 
Besides the editing, you can gain a lot of sense of vitality and rhythm from just watching the way the protagonist (the boxer) is worried about training for his competitions and the anxiety of what to do with his wife. He worries that if he leaves her to go training they may end up in divorce. Editing wise, I loved the shots of the mirrors and the quick shots from the dancers to the couple sitting and chatting about going to see their next show. 

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 usage of mirrors and the different ways they are used throughout the scene really add a lot of subjectivity. The way they often superimpose the people in the scenes adds to the message and theme that Hitchcock was trying to convey. The man playing the piano was one of the most subjective moments because it really opened up to what the protagonist was thinking.

3. How does Hitchcock stage the action, use set design, and editing techniques to increase the stakes in the rivalry between the two gentlemen? 
Using the mirrors definitely tells us there is a rivalry between the two gentlemen especially when one of them appears to have anxiety about leaving his wife when told to go to training and that his wife didn't need to go with him. The mirror is the gateway to the future! 

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I felt exactly how the husband was feeling with the techniques used by Hitchcock such has the fun house mirrors which gave me a feeling of being disoriented and confused like a film noir.

I totally felt the same way about the mirrors. It gave me a feeling of disorientation and anxiety as well!

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

The beginning of the scene has the boxer contemplating his future and we slowly descend into his inner thoughts of leaving his wife, his future, and thinking about her falling in love with another man while he is gone. Slowly the thoughts turn from a reasonable thought to an over the top obsession of montage with his fear of his wife leaving him. Hitchcock uses this montage to get a deeper look at the boxers hidden fears visually rather than in words. 

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 initial shot of the boxer looking into the mirror as the others are having a party is a little subjective at the time of if it is a scene of reality or imagination only to later learn it is a scene of reality. The use of overlaying film within the scene creates a chaotic montage that we know know is a scene of imagination that is inside the boxer's head and not that of reality.    

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 use of overlay of the film shows us the jealousy of our main character given his distance to the other gentleman, the looks he has in the scene and how the scene of the couple laughing is overlaid with everything the boxer sees. As the scene get more and more abstract we are then jolted back into reality as the boxer walks into the room the part is being held. 

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

 

I think he used expressive editing when he showed the girls dancing while the man was talking to the other men in another room, by use of mirrors. The music was so upbeat, it made me feel as though I wasn't watching a Hitchcock clip until it came to the men talking about training and what to do with the man's wife. 

 

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. 

 

When the music started to play faster, it showed the agitation that was building within the man while he thought of his wife with another man. The shots of the band gave a visual to the man's agitation. 

 

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

 

I think the mirrors played a huge role in rivalry between the men. It gave the boxer (essentially) a bird's eye view into what was going on between the competition and his own wife. Everything seemed to be setup so perfectly to where the man could see what was going on in the other room but not be seen by those in the room. 

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


Using this technique clearly brings more to the film. I think one scene in particular is when Jack is listening to his manager talking but he can't stop thinking about his wife flirting with Bob. Hitchcock uses montage to show what he sees and what he is thinking about at the same time. 


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. 


This films does focus on Jack and what he goes through mentally throughout the film. Hitchcock puts us into his mind and shows us what he is thinking especially in the scene mentioned above. 


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 important scene here is when Hitchcock stages Jack in one room and he can see down the hall and sees Bob with his wife. It angers him and really gets him to want to fight to win his wife back. 


 


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I'm a bit behind, so I haven't had a chance to read most of the answers here, but I still want to share my thoughts...

 

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

 

The editing is fast, the music is lively, quick cuts to women dancing, drunk gentlemen, people shaking in their seats and laughing. It helps put a sense of "lack of control" in the scene, which represents how Jack feels.

 

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 most notable shot is the one with the elongated keys at the piano, which to me echoed a shot I saw yesterday on Murnau's The Last Laugh (amazing film!) where the protagonist (the porter) is in a drunken stupor and sees himself in front of an elongated revolving door.

 

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But the scene has a lot of blurry shots, hallucinatory images, visions of people laughing, of the wife with his rival, the record spinning as sounds fade in and out... the shot where he's "listening" to his manager only to fade into the wife with the other boxer. They all help to heighten the feeling that Jack is not here, is not entirely in his senses.

 

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

 

By using two rooms, it helps to establish the separation, the divide between Jack and his wife. The use of the mirror is clever and effective as Hitchcock uses it to look back and forth from one room to the other. And again, the quick cuts from the lively, drunken action in one room where everybody is having fun to the other room where everything is serious business.

post-50116-0-99766900-1498827876_thumb.png

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

   The pacing and montage add to the uneasy feeling of the husband about training and leaving his wife. The garishness and pacing of the women dancing and the shots of the wife on the other man's lap only add to the rhythm of this scene, which becomes disjointed as it carries on.

 

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. 

    Those mirror shots! First the wife looking into the mirror and then the husband looking into the mirror- very effective! Also, the overlay and growing size of the fighter's wife "taking over his thoughts" as he was thinking about the prospect of going away to train, as well as the distortion of the many hands and musical instruments added to a very confused, upset, and disorientated feeling for the main character and the audience.

 

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

  It's a small room with lots of uncomfortable things going on in it, as well as the use of mirrors and quick cuts add to the feeling of uneasiness and stakes between the two gentlemen. Also, it should be noted that the fighter's handlers aren't exactly reassuring in the titles to the fighter when they say the other man is a champion and he is not- yet.

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The mirror shows the two worlds. his wife´s fun-world, and his business-world. 

A little bit is the dancing scene like a boxing scene, because the ladys are in the middle and they are two and when they need a break, they become help and cooling with towels. The more fun they have, the more they loose control, or it looks like we-the watcher- looses control, because of the montage effects. 

 

And as much more the pary people have fun, Jack couldn´t concentrate, heat up at the overlay of Jacks wife during his boss is speeking, which shows his thoughts. 

 

The short scene, when his wife stops laughing, shows that something is not the way she wants. It shows more depth for the figure. 

Similar is the end of the clip, when his expression on the face changes, and the audience know, that he has made a decision. 

That scenes i like most. 

 

And the scenes when we see a pair dancing from one side of the mirror to the other, and then one woman falls on the man on the chair - there i like the music and picture combination. 

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

 ---By cutting back and forth between the two rooms, Hitchcock is able to create an atmosphere of tension between the characters.  The juxtaposition of shots in the wild party room with the seriousness of the other room adds ebbs and flows to the scene that make it easy to understand what is at stake. 

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.

 ---First and foremost, the use of mirrors is the most important to creating the sense of subjectivity throughout the scene.  Jack can see his wife in the mirror with the champ, and his uneasiness at the arrangement becomes clear.  Also, the wife can see her husband sitting alone in another mirror, and her face changes to one of concern (or guilt?).  Seeing the reflections of the loved ones in the mirror lets us see the scene through the characters' eyes.  Later when Jack's mind is spinning he sees his wife kiss the champ--or does he imagine that he sees the kiss?  Again, this subjectivity adds to the tension of the scene. 

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 use of mirrors in the set design adds to the subjective feeling.  The staging of the party scene is like a boxing match.  The young ladies dancing in the middle of the floor collapse onto chairs at the end of the "round" and are tended to by "corner men" who give them liquid refreshment and fan them with towels before they both pop back up to continue the revels; this "match" is just a diversion, but the match in the ring will be much more serious.  The superimposed image of the champ and the wife paired with the furious spinning of the record player and the ukulele and banjo players gives us a sense that Jack's head is spinning, just like the record.  When we see the wife and the champ together on the left side of the frame and Jack's manager on the right, we can infer that Jack's thoughts aren't with his manager at all--he may be looking at him, but he isn't hearing a word because his mind is elsewhere.

 

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