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Daily Dose #4: Depends on Your Point of View (Scene from Downhill)


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1. In your own words, please describe the effect of watching the POV dolly shots / POV tracking shots in this scene? 

​    For me the effect of the POV dolly shots / POV tracking shots is that I can easily identify with the actors/ characters and how they must feel because we have all "taken that same long walk" as the characters whether it was into a principals office, a superior's office or a bosses' office. The way the POV is shot you as the viewer get that same long lonely feeling that the actor is getting. The POV insures that you have no wiggle room to look away, you are having to "face the music" just like the actor/character.

 

2. Why do you think Hitchcock uses the technique of a POV tracking shot? What does it add to his visual storytelling? 

​        If Hitchcock felt that actors needed to be treated like cattle, we can only imagine what he felt about his audiences/ viewers. I am sure that the POV shots cause the audience to view the scene exactly like Hitchcock wanted it to be viewed. It causes us to focus on what is important to advance the story or have us connect with the actor/character.

3. What connections (visual techniques, images, motifs, themes) do you notice between films that came before this (The Pleasure Garden, The Lodger) and a film that came after it (The Ring)? Please cite specific examples. 

      ​This is a very interesting question. I think that we see in ​Downhill​ the use of the superimposed images ( The "wronged" girl telling about her encounters with Roddy) showing them dancing and the closed sign at her shop etc. placed over her face as she relates the story. This is similar to the superimposed shots of the pianos, dancers, guitars etc. that we see in ​The Ring. ​In each of the films we begin to see the psychological aspects of the troubled characters ala German Expressionism. In The Pleasure Garden​ it is on a small scale but the look on the face of the girl when she realizes that her letter of introduction is missing; in The Lodger​ it is the exaggerated fear expressed by the old woman who is the witness to the Avenger's attack; in ​Downhill it is the troubled look on the face of Roddy when he hears the accusation brought against him; and finally in The Ring​ it is the look on the face of the husband as he realizes that his wife may cheat on him.

​      Hitchcock's use of close-ups in each of the four films cause us, the viewers, to look only at what he wants us to see. Case in point in ​The Pleasure Garden the view from the monocle and binoculars; in The Lodger ​the face of the murder victim as she screams; in Downhill as we explore Roddy's face, the wronged woman's face and that of the headmaster and finally in The Ring​ as we look into the husbands troubled visage.

      An aside: I agree that having Ivor Novello play a juvenile is a bit much but other actors in the early years attempted this too. Case in point Humphrey Bogart.

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1. In your own words, please describe the effect of watching the POV dolly shots / POV tracking shots in this scene? 


As is usual with POV dolly and tracking shots, it squarely puts me in the character's position; I experience that individual's feelings at that time. I find that I cannot be a casual observer when Hitchcock uses these techniques. This is particularly effective in silent films. Sound really isn't necessary to make these points.


2. Why do you think Hitchcock uses the technique of a POV tracking shot? What does it add to his visual storytelling? 


I think he uses this technique not only to connect the viewer with the character's experiences and emtions but also to draw the viewer into the action of the story. The tracking shot, especially if it is executed as a CU, helps you to understand how each character is reacting (or not reacting) to the circumstances at hand.


3. What connections (visual techniques, images, motifs, themes) do you notice between films that came before this (The Pleasure GardenThe Lodger) and a film that came after it (The Ring)? Please cite specific examples. 


Such connections as CUs and ECUs, which forces the viewer to observe or "feel" the character's emotions or empathize with his/her situation(the lead chorine in The Pleasure Garden; the screaming woman in The Lodger. Also in The Pleasure Garden, the focus is on an inanimate object - the purse that is stolen from the woman by what presumably are "stage door johnnies;" the CU of the boxer's face as he reacts to the wild party that is underway in the next room and his wife's wanton behavior with his opponent - the current champion).


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1. In your own words, please describe the effect of watching the POV dolly shots / POV tracking shots in this scene?

 I think it's a simple unobtrusive way to pull the audience into the scene. Naturally, if a characters are moving, having the camera move along with them gives you the feeling that you are there with them.

2. Why do you think Hitchcock uses the technique of a POV tracking shot? What does it add to his visual storytelling? 

I don't think Hitchcock is trying to use POV tracking shot to put you inside the heads of the boys, but rather to amplify the seriousness of what is happening in the scene. The two boys coming forward and seeing the stern look on the headmaster's face, and switching to the worried looks on their faces. Then he switches back and forth between the two. I think he's trying to get you to empathize with what they are going through. It also emphasizes how slow they are walking, like they are criminals being marched to the gallows. Later, the same technique is used as the waitress approaches to make her accusation. Again, I think he is trying to amplify what is happening to the two boys, the cold anger in the waitresses eyes and their fear of what she is going to say. 

3. What connections (visual techniques, images, motifs, themes) do you notice between films that came before this (The Pleasure GardenThe Lodger) and a film that came after it (The Ring)? Please cite specific examples. 

One thing, I noticed in all four daily doses is that Hitchcock gives written information by showing what would naturally be in the scene to avoid the use of title cards (and later in talkies, unnecessary dialog). In The Pleasure Garden, we see a man smoking in front of a No Smoking sign, telling us that this is a person who doesn't follow rules, and by extension possibly, he's a liar, a cheat, or a criminal. In The Lodger, he uses the teletype machine to give us information about the murders. He could have done the same with a newspaper, but a teletype is more interesting and conveys a sense of urgency. We are seeing the news as it happens and anticipate each word as it is being typed. Also we are seeing the info before it has reached the newspapers. Later, we get more information about the murders on a lighted message board. In The Ring, there is a fight poster that the manager points to, indicating that the man is a boxer and that he has a big bout coming up. Later, the manager gestures to it again to emphasize that if the boxer wants to be successful/become the champ, he needs to train and possibly forget about his wife. In Downhill, during the waitresses montage, we the see that the cafe where she works closing at 10 o:clock. Presumably, they made a date or dates to meet after work. I can't be sure, but they also show a cash register with 1 pound rung up. I can't tell the denomination of the British currency, but I'm guessing it's more than a pound, implying that he was paying for sex.

Subjective shots and montage. In The Pleasure Garden, we see the dancers looking blurry from the man's point of view. Then he uses the binoculars to see better and concentrate on the one dancer. In The Lodger, when the old woman is telling her story to the cop, there is a brief shot where we see the killer as she actually saw him. We then get a montage to show the media uproar about the murder. In the The Ring, most of the clip is subjective in my view. We are not seeing the wife and the other man and the dancers as they actually are, but as the boxer imagines them to be. A montage is used to show a wild party and his wife becoming more affectionate to the other man. As the boxer becomes more upset, the images become distorted and nightmarish. There are multiple images superimposed on one another to highlight the waking nightmare the boxer is imagining. In Downhill, montage is used again to show the affair with the waitress. Also images from the affair are superimposed on her face the story.

Humor. I think this is often overlooked in Hitchcock's work, because we obsess about the interesting visuals and the suspense. Films like Shadow of a Doubt, Rear Window, and North by Northwest can be very funny in spots, especially in spots where we are talking about murder and shouldn't be laughing. We can see his humor these Daily Doses. The best example is in The Pleasure Garden when the man goes backstage because he has to to meet the dancer with the beautiful curl in her hair. Then the dancer pulls off the curled hairpiece, here, take it. In The Lodger, when the old woman is describing the killer, one of the bystanders is mocking her pulling his coat over his face. This dark humor, inappropriate jokes at the wrong time, people making jokes as a defense mechanism, etc. is something that he comes back to over and over again. I have never seen The Ring, so it's hard to say how the Daily Dose scene comes off in context of the whole movie. Seeing just the clip it comes off as somewhat sinister, but maybe in the context, it comes off as humorous. Often in romantic comedies, a husband will completely over-react to to his wife and other men, only to have it turn out that he was letting his imagination run away with him. Possibly that is what is going on here. 

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Any director who creates a silent film must work harder at telling the story.  That's a given, of course.  However, in the clips I have seen this week (and the film The Lodger, which I watched in its entirety), I think Hitchcock without a doubt does a much more masterful job in telling his stories in the silent film medium.  In a silent film, the director must rely more heavily on the actors' actions and reactions (sometimes exaggerated), as well as setting, music, and camera shots to tell the story.  By the way, deleting the music from today's clip took nothing at all away from the scene's power.  In fact, once again citing the director Bernard Rose (Candyman), sometimes a director will use music as a short cut in creating the desired reaction in a viewer.  If the director does his job, he won't need music to tell you when to be scared or be sad or to feel the characters' emotions.  And this was the case with Downhill.  Even without the music, I could still feel the boys' dread and anxiety.  I like Hitchcock's point that with the advent of sound, the dialogue should not simply be a restatement of the characters' expressions.  Instead, the words should serve as a counterpoint to those expressions.  I'm not sure if that point applies here, but in this clip from Downhill, Mabel's expression says one thing, but her words are all lies to protect the actual father.  And I think Hitchcock tells this part of the story masterfully by using the montage while Mabel is speaking.  The audience does not hear (read) much of what she says.  However, they don't really need to.  Instead, they are able to piece together the "story" she tells by the images of the phonograph, the legs of the dancers (not Roddy,s), and even the exchange of money and her necklace, which suggests Roddy's wealth and the fact he should provide for her.  I also like how Hitchcock conveys emotions (anger and anxiety) with the cuts between the POV dolly shots and the close-ups of the characters' faces.  As the boys enter, the viewers clearly see their looks of dread (who hasn't felt that way when summoned to see the school master, especially in this case where the boys know the gravity of the situation).  We feel as if we are they as we see them very slowly walk that "Green Mile" towards the school master's desk; we see the stern look on his face; we see the boys' reactions to his look.  And we see their reactions once they realize Mabel is in the room (deliberately announcing her presence by dropping an item on the floor?  And does she do this to insure the boys follow the plan, having Roddy take the fall?)  Finally, as far as recurring visuals, images, motifs, etc, In all of the clips so far, the viewers are to some extent given a limited perspective or even a skewed perspective of the given story.  In some cases (The Pleasure Garden, The Lodger, The Ring, and arguably even Downhill) we intrude on other people's lives and deaths rather than being invited in.  But after all, isn't that true of all films where we willingly assume the role of voyeur (even for the most brutal films, admit it)?  And once we intrude upon these people's lives, the director controls what we see and what we make of it.  Even though Hitchcock mentions using larger sets in silent films of the time, he limits what we see by narrowing the shot, framing the sides of the screen with black bars, or using the "monocle" or "telescope" effect by putting a circle around one character, limiting our view and forcing us to look at only that image, giving that image more power.  Added to that, we "hear" or see only on character's perspective.  In cases like that, Hitchcock makes the viewers work harder at discerning fact from reality, truth from lies.

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The POV dolly shots in this scene give the sense of tension over the ground to be covered before the boys face the headmaster and discover the reason for being summoned, which you know is not a good one. You can tell they are both nervous and frightened as they do not even notice the girl in the chair, their sole focus is on the headmaster.

 

When the girl is going to point out the father of the baby, it is almost as if she is going to fire a gun. The emotion in the scene is heightened by the close tracking of her approach.

 

The facial close ups linger and covey the emotion of each character in each of the Hitchcock films we have seen. The montage and edit of the images over the girl's face as she recounts dancing and being alone with Roddy in the shop after it closed are similar to later ones in "The Ring."

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Watching that clip made me feel like a person who had no hearing. Meaning that in the same way a deaf person can understand what a person says through their expressions and visual emotions,, That is what hitch did- there was no sound but i knew what was going on.  it reminded me of the ending of  Sabateur when that rat looking guy was handing on the edge of the statue liberty. There was no sound but it was intense... Also you can see something special there. Compared to other silent films of the time there is a HUGE difference in his style than what was common during that time. Chaplin was a master at silents as well

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...  For Irvine (Tim) it is a longer walk, each time the shot comes back to him he is making himself smaller, more hunched over. ...

I didn't notice that so much as they are walking forward, but later as the waitress is starting to tell her story, he is almost hiding behind Ivor Novello.

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While watching the clip, The POV tracking shots forces the audience to identify more strongly with the characters. It also creates an empathetic sense of dread and anxiety as the camera moves ever closer to the headmaster.

 

Hitchcock uses the tracking shots to quickly involve the viewer into the drama. It also creates a dynamic sense of something happening and emotional interest that would be absent if it was shot with a standard static camera.

 

It seems that with each film Hitchcock is expanding his range of available storytelling techniques. For example, the montage technique in DOWNHILL is further expanded and employed in the clip from THE RING. Utilizing the montage, he is able to further the narrative in a condensed period of time.

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1. These particular shots are effective in drawing me into the story and in connecting with the characters' experiences. It makes me feel as though I am with the boys walking shamefully towards the headmaster. I also believe that the shots help to encourage me to continue watching because the suspense of the shots makes me wonder what is going to happen next.

 

2. It helps to connect the audience to the characters -- and it helps to engage the audience into what is happening in the characters. As others have mentioned, it is harder to simply "watch" the movie with shots such as these, rather than "feel" for the characters. It heightens an interest in the storyline and encourages viewers to delve into the piece. It is Hitchcock's camera angles and direction that are able to achieve this without sound.

 

3. Montages and superimposed images were seen in Downhill and The Ring to express character development. Downhill uses this technique to show the waitress' past and rise to her current situation, while The Ring uses the superimposed images to show the boxer's acute fear about his wife and the champion. The character's emotions are definitely explored with by Hitchcock in these scenes, as he effectively tries to show what is being felt without heard dialogue. Examples of this include the girl who screams loudly in The Lodger, Ruddy's fear about the waitress and her accusation in Downhill, and the boxer's fear in The Ring. I also believe that all of the movies used tone and mood to convey certain themes -- The Lodger, being a murder mystery, used choppy cuts and focus on evidence as it was being discovered, while The Pleasure Garden had a more jovial feel with the dancing and smile of the man. This, I feel, helps the audience to understand what is going in and to get invested in the storyline so they want and need to know what happens next.

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Daily Dose #4: Downhill

 

(1) As others have stated, the POV shots help the viewer to walk in the shoes of the characters.  Shots from the boys’ perspective made me consider their feelings and how I’d react if I were in their place; likewise, shots from Mabel’s perspective made me consider her feelings and motivations.

 

(2) I think Hitchcock’s use of POV demonstrates that no story is one-sided.  Stories are more interesting when you consider opposing viewpoints.

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1.  For me the effect of the POV shots was suspense.  It has a menacing sense to it.  When the woman was walking up to the 2 men, as she got closer and the shot of the 2 of them became tighter, I though that she was going to slap either or both of them. 

 

2. Again, for me the POV shots add an intimacy and put you into the character emotionally.  Looking at someone or something as a character would see it links the viewer emotionally with the character.  But also as I stated in No. 1 above, I think Hitchcock uses it as a suspense technique. 

 

3. If both this film and The Lodger he transposes multiple images to tell the story. In Downhill, my understanding of the end section of the scene with the images of a feet dancing into a room, money being exchanged and the signed about being closed on Wednesday afternoon over over the woman's face are showing the story she is telling, much as in The Ring he used the overlay of the image of his wife kissing another man transposed over the husband as a sign of jealousy. 

 

He also uses the technique of separating characters in the frame that are antagonistic.  In The Ring, the husband/wife are never in the same frame.  In Downhill the woman is framed by herself looking at the 2 men, who are themselves separated by from her in the framing.  

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The POV camera action draws us into the scene. Rather than being voyeurs, outside looking in, we are united with the actors. The icy expression on the face of the headmaster as Roddy and Tim walk towards him let all of us know that something really bad is going to happen. Hitchcock's use of POV intensifies all of the emotions; the scheming, malicious expression on the waitress's face as she looks at both guys and then singles out her victim is magnified by the closeup. Her motive is clear. She picks out the one who's father is "rolling in dough." Tim's display of cowardice is almost painful to watch--his "hang dog" expression, his constant refusal to make eye contact with Roddy. Incredible!

 

The montage towards the end of the clip tells us quickly the story the watress is relating to the headmaster about how the events took place. Is any of it true? Will Roddy be cleared? We're emotionally invested in the outcome.

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Daily Dose #4: Depends on Your Point of View 
Scene from Hitchcock's Downhill (1927)

 

1. In your own words, please describe the effect of watching the POV dolly shots / POV tracking shots in this scene?

Even when the two POV shots displays a pretty similar movement, each one of them have a distinctive purpose because of the previous shots, so the editing sets it. I think that the first one who belongs to both men conveys this impatience and anxiety that comes when one knows that it is aproaching to something bad or scary. The slow pace of the movement intercutted with the faces of the old man and the two young men adds more intensity to this mood.

 

In the case of the shot from the woman point of view, it feels different because the two men are not walking towards the danger, this is getting closer to them. The woman is going to accuse them and that is another type of fear due to the impossibility of a escape and the certainty that one of them is guilty of something that they do not know, therefore, they cannot know how to react, how to defend themselves. The intercutting again works marvellously. So, in both cases, the effect of the POV is be able to feel the emotions of the characters simpathize with them and understand the gravity of the situation for them. 

 

2. Why do you think Hitchcock uses the technique of a POV tracking shot? What does it add to his visual storytelling? 

As Hitchcock has been influenced by the German expressionism, it makes total sense that he emphasizes on the psychological dimension of the story and the characters. However, I would like to remark that this is also possible through intertitles (in some parts of The pleasure garden, the intertitles are used to narrate some parts of ths story, so they could be used to give some clues about the emotions in the scenes), but he decides to rely on the visual, on the images that he can create. A POV shot adds emotional meaning to an image and even when the audience do not always notice it, they can sense it, experience it as this is happening to them. This is very effective and giives to Hitchcock storytelling realness, complexity and humanity. It is understandable when it is said that Hitch is a silent film director by heart, because this is traceable in his later work confirming the german expressionism influence.  

 

3. What connections (visual techniques, images, motifs, themes) do you notice between films that came before this (The Pleasure GardenThe Lodger) and a film that came after it (The Ring)? Please cite specific examples.

There are many connections between these films which reminds the auteur condition of Hitchcock with a specific style. The visual tecnique of the superimposition is constant in The pleasure garden (when the ghost of the woman is seen by Levet) and The Ring (in the scene watched in the clip this week); the POV shots are also common in The pleasure garden (at the beginning scene), The Lodger (in the kissing scene between Daisy and the lodger), The Ring (in the room where the man is talking about his training) and, of course, in Downhill as well and the full of meaning editing in The Pleasure Garden (the opening scene), The Lodger (the second murder and the lynch scene), The Ring (in the dance room) and in Downhill as I explained it before.

 

In the case of themes, I would say that there are recurrent ideas of the appearances as deceiving (neither Jill in The pleasure garden nor The Lodger are what they seemed to be) and that the internal conflicts can become external (as happens with Levet in The pleasure garden who becomes crazy after killing a woman and the husband of The Ring who ended up yelling at the party room after he started to think that his wife can be unfaithful). Among the motifs and images, it is possible to identify the stairs or the close ups. 

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Before I answer the prompts, I just have to say that Mabel's casting and portrayal surprised me. Her makeup and body language give the impression of someone who has been around the block more than once. Even though Novello is in his mid-thirties, I still got the feeling that she was coming off more like a child molestor than a victim. And I wondered why Hitchcock made this choice. 

 

As for the dolly shot, I see that many of my insightful fellow students have already pointed out that the moving camera puts us inside the characters' heads. I also noticed how these shots distorted time and space: the headmaster's office seems the length of a bowling alley and the time that it takes the young men to enter to his desk seems painfully endless.

 

I noticed connections to the previous films in the dramatic facial closeups, the spinning turntable, the superimposed images, and the dancing feet. It is becoming so clear that Hitchcock is putting together a visual vocabulary.

 

One other thing that stood out to me in this film is the formality of the blocking. At several points the two students hold almost identical, mirrored body shapes, almost what one might expect in dance. There is something almost static and ritualistic in the positions of the actors that contrasts with the fluidity of the camera movements.

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1. From the beginning of this scene the POV dolly it puts you in the mind of the headmaster as the 2 boys enter the room sheepishly know they're in trouble. As Hitchcock stated that the facial expressions say it all, you don't really need the words. As the camera moves from the headmaster, students and Mabel you can feel the tension that each one is thinking. We can feel the fear/dread of the boys as Mabel comes closer

 

2. His technique draws the viewer into the scene. This is done through not only editing but script and and directing. The editing plays the bigger role in this scene.

 

3. In both films Mabel plays the vamp but in this film she ends up in trouble. In both movies at the end of the scene the door closes possibly signaling the end of a chapter in their lives. What started as friends they're now at odds with each other. The movies need very little dialogue. It stands on its own through their actions and facial expressions.

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1. In your own words, please describe the effect of watching the POV dolly shots / POV tracking shots in this scene?  -- They seem to be the early shots of the steady cam and push/pull shots. In this case it builds on the dread of the boys as they approach the headmaster in an incredibly long walk...

2. Why do you think Hitchcock uses the technique of a POV tracking shot? What does it add to his visual storytelling? To create in incredibly long walk... as shown by the headmaster far, far away when the boys first walk in.

3. What connections (visual techniques, images, motifs, themes) do you notice between films that came before this (The Pleasure GardenThe Lodger) and a film that came after it (The Ring)? Please cite specific examples. -- For the Lodger, this is another telling of the wrong man - but the man has a secret so doesn't share and accepts the punishment of others. This came after The Lodger and before the Ring, so for me, it's showing the beginning of women taking control, for good or ill, and no longer being the innocent 'victim' - which is one of the things I've always liked about Hitchcock's films...

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The idea of the POV shot definitely helps us as the viewer get into the minds of these characters. The two young men are showing signs of anxiety and fear, first at approaching the headmaster himself and then when the young lady approaches them later. Also, the young lady is seen as intimidating to the two young men as she approaches them based on the accusation that she is bringing on them. 

 

Like Hitchcock's earlier films we see the use of superimposing and close-ups as well used to great effect as the young lady is imparting her story as she sees fit to tell it. 

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The use of the POV emphasises the subjectivity of the story. The camera displays what the character sees. And beyond its experimental use, and its technical aspects, allows to better interpret the actions, thoughts or feelings of the characters. With regard to the relationship with the other films, I can highlight the story of the woman with images overprinted that accompany it. Another similarity I find is the force of the images. The lack of ambient sound, strengthens the visual element. For example, the scene where the two companions are left alone in the center of the scene, still, and watching each other sideways, is eloquent.

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The effect of watching the POV tracking shots and dolly shoots adds to the tension of the scene, along with the up close view of the headmaster and what character would be chosen as the guilty one. The connections such as the visual techniques betw÷n the three films is the building of tension and the identification of conflict within the three films.

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1. In your own words, please describe the effect of watching the POV dolly shots / POV tracking shots in this scene? The POV dolly/Tracking shots make the tension palpable. The first is from the viewpoint of the 2 boys as they approach the head master. The tracking shot conveys the dread in the long, long walk to their reckoning. Then the POV of the girl allows us to see what the machinations her mind is plotting as she approaches the boys and the tension mounts

 

2. Why do you think Hitchcock uses the technique of a POV tracking shot? What does it add to his visual storytelling? As mentioned above, it prolongs the mounting tension in the scene from the boys' point of view, and then the girl's impending choice, which makes the suspense almost unbearable for the viewer. Hitchcock wants the viewer to feel this uncomfortable situation and become just as anxious.

 

3. What connections (visual techniques, images, motifs, themes) do you notice between films that came before this (The Pleasure GardenThe Lodger) and a film that came after it (The Ring)? Please cite specific examples. The obvious theme of the wrongly accused was paramount in the Lodger and now Downhill. Visually, Pleasure Garden uses a closeup of the face as does the Lodger to put the viewer on edge. The Lodger, Pleasure Garden, the Ring and Downhill uses POV of one or more of the characters. In all of the movies, you don't need titles to tell the story. Powerful imagery and various camera angles, movements, lighting tells the story visually. Hitchcock sure can tell a story!

 

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Love the use of the pov shot as Mabel walks toward the boys, you can almost palpate their fear. The fade out shot of the dancing into the ****, just use your imagination. Hitchcock's use of the double exposures again, tie the story together.

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The POV shot is one of my favorite techniques in the Hitchcock style, I think is efficient, highly functional and always interesting to see something literally through the eyes of a character, you can feel more easely their afflictions and emotions, it causes a kind of empathy in the public (which sometimes can even also cause some disconfort if the character is up to no good, for instance), it makes the viewer somehow more intimate with that character and in extension with the film itself.

 

(and I have to say, when I was watching Downhill I thought the female character was accusing him of theft?)

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1. In your own words, please describe the effect of watching the POV dolly shots / POV tracking shots in this scene? 

 

There is much being done in the service of building tension / anticipation with the POV shots in the film. One is in the heads of the students moving across the office with plenty of time to speculate on a number of unpleasant possibilities as to why they were summoned.

 

In a similar fashion when she is approaching them, there is a similar wait while we hope to discover who will be identified by her.

 

2. Why do you think Hitchcock uses the technique of a POV tracking shot? What does it add to his visual storytelling? 

I am not sure what the POV tracking shot is for in this scene. I see it where she is looking from one to the other. All it does here is extend the length of time before we break out of the tension caused by the POV.

 

3. What connections (visual techniques, images, motifs, themes) do you notice between films that came before this (The Pleasure Garden, The Lodger) and a film that came after it (The Ring)? Please cite specific examples.

 

The montage was there and the visual overlay of something imagined (her story) over something real (her telling the story) is something we saw in 'The Ring'. There it was his unspoken fear of what might happen. In 'Downhill' it is her retelling.

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1. In your own words, please describe the effect of watching the POV dolly shots / POV tracking shots in this scene? 

2. Why do you think Hitchcock uses the technique of a POV tracking shot? What does it add to his visual storytelling? 

 

The first set of POV dolly shots instill a sense of dread, unease, and uncertainty, as we are with the two boys (dollying backwards) as they march slowly closer (dollying forward) to the headmaster.

 

The second set of POV dolly shots, in addition to the dread and unease, definitely add to the suspense of the situation.  We wonder which of the two boys the girl is going to identify as the culprit as we dolly slowly toward the boys and dolly slowly backward with her (eventually right between the shoulders of the two boys, which Hitch has to cheat a bit by having the two boys move back together after the camera has passed between them, a technique I've seen him use in other movies.)

 

I assume Hitch intentionally used the POV dolly technique to literally put us in the shoes of characters in order to add to the sense of suspense and dread.

 

(Side note:  I think I'm going to have to start watching these movies -- at least the ones I haven't seen yet -- before I watch clips or listen to Hitch or others talk about them so that I don't spoil anything for my first viewings.)

 

3. What connections (visual techniques, images, motifs, themes) do you notice between films that came before this (The Pleasure GardenThe Lodger) and a film that came after it (The Ring)? Please cite specific examples. 

 

Later in the scene, Hitch, as in THE RING, again uses the technique of superimpositions, this time as an economical way to recount the girl's story without the use of written description or dialogue in intertitles.

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The POV dolly shots emphasize a sense of inevitability. The feeling that the boys cannot escape their fate intensifies as the camera (and finally, Mable) draws closer to them. It's no accident that Mable's right fist swings threateningly toward Roddy's groin as she approaches him. Hitchcock creates a flashback with montage superimposed on a close-up of Mable's eyes as she relates the sordid details.

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