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Dr. Rich Edwards

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

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1) Following the boys into the headmasters office and the pan to the headmasters stern face imparts the feelings of dread. The shot pans back and forth between the headmaster and the boys. We are aware of the girl in the back but it isn't until she intentionally drops her purse that the camera pans into her close up and by her facial expressions do we see the ugly side of her however back to the boys they are still in a state trying to figure out what is going on. It was easy to be put in the shoes of the boys.

2) again Hitchcock uses the camera and needs to use little words to convey what is going on. As the saying goes actions speak louder than words.

3) From the first clip we watched to this film shows a graduation of technique. The detail, the panning back and forth of the head master, watching the ongoing expressions of the girl. In addition the body language of the boys. I also noticed when they panned to the girl the scene darkened. It appears that there is more of an improvement to detail.

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1  In my own words, the effect of watching the POV dolly shots/POV tracking shots, definitely took the place of dialogue.  A kind of I'm coming at you moment without the words, getting the point across.  

2.  It adds drama, suspense, intrigue and wonder to his visual storytelling -- it tells the story right there.

3.  What connections I noticed between THE PLEASURE GARDEN, THE LODGER and after THE RING, is Hitchcock patterns of extreme closeups to extract the point of the moment, the storytelling in the face -- again, void of dialogue.  One closeup example handing the money over to her at the end-- ?

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I was struck by how I experienced both POV shots from the boy's perspectives.  For the first shot, as we travel along the track with the boys toward the headmaster, we feel their dread as they approach this stern figure.  We are in their shoes.  In the second POV sequence, as Mabel approaches the boys and we travel with her, I still "felt myself" in the boys' shoes, not in Mabel's.  I felt like she was bearing down on me, even as I was experiencing the scene from her POV.  I'm not sure I'm making sense in describing it.  But it seems like if the two POV sequences were equivalent, I would have felt like I was in Mabel's position during her POV shot -- that I would have felt like Mabel.  But instead, even as Mabel (and I - going along with her) was bearing down on the boys, I still placed myself in their position and felt more dread -- this time as something approached me.  Whereas, in the first POV shot, I felt the dread as I (following in the boys' tracks) approached the headmaster.  It's a very interesting juxtaposition of feeling by using the same technique.  I think what this adds, in my view, to H's storytelling is that the innocent boy has no one to turn to and is besieged on all sides.  He's either approaching danger, or danger is approaching him.  There's no escape.

 

Thanks for a great first week!!!   :D

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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 effect of watching those POV shots is I can feel the tense happening in the room. The message is there's something really important going on. The situation is getting more dramatic by adding the tracking into the POV shots. 


Personally, I like POV shot with the tracking because it is not only giving you a time to walk on the actors' shoes, but also it feels a little bit of hyperbolic that gives another experience/journey for the visual storytelling. To me, a film should provide another level of reality. If not, it would be kinda boring to watch.


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


Just like I mentioned earlier, I think Hitchcock wants more than only regular POV shots. He needs to strengthen the dramatic situation happening between the talents. 


Hitchcock knows really well how to play around with audience's mind. The tracking shot provides a personal feeling that the audience can identify easily to the situation.


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 connections are :


- The montage & The Point of View shots as visual technique that Hitchcock always use in The Pleasure Garden, The Lodger, The Ring and Downhill.


- The same images occur are the shots that focus on certain shape of things that is open for audience's interpretation. For instance, The opening shot of The Pleasure Garden that shows a stair with an action of dancers going down or The tuts piano and the spinning record in The Ring.


- Uncertainty is the motif that occurs in all those films and the theme is always about a person with a problem that makes the person become anxious. 

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The effect of watching the POV dolly shots / POV tracking shots in this scene resonated a 'feeling' of something 'approaching' (judgement or doom). The boys had a look like a deer in the headlights as the camera approached them.
You could feel the sheer power of the director's next move as the lens inched closer.
I feel the technique was meant to make the audience feel dread.
As if a predator was approaching those two boys.
As continous motifs go; I'd say a German Expressionism with women seems to be a trending theme. Victims, props etc.
Men seem to be the driving force of ill natured scenarios.
The use of montage was always very creative in it's expression to convey ideas using no words. And always seemd to increase the intensity of the storyline.
Rarely a dull moment or dead air etc.
Every aspect of each frame has meaning.
From eye stares (The Pleasure Garden), to keeping an eye on the mrs (The Ring), to seeing true fear in a young man's eyes as judgement appraoches (Downhill), Hitchcock still the silent film master, focuses on facial expressions as key story tellers in his films.
 

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Trying to catch up here, but I really wanted to see Downhill whole (it was the only Hitchcock silent I hadn't seen) before commenting...

 

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

 

It puts the viewer in the perspective of the characters, Roddy and Tim. It helps to accentuate the dread of what's about to happen. Like someone else said, judgment is coming to them.

 

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

 

It adds a certain surrealist or dream-like essence to the scene. The fluidness of the camera makes it feel almost unreal.

 

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.

 

For starters, one similarity with The Lodger is the trial of an innocent man, which will remain a common theme for Hitchcock, along with lies and deceit. In all his films, Hitchcock focuses a lot on the actors/actresses faces to emphasize their expressions, and so is the case here as we see both the expressions of Roddy and Tim.

 

I was also commenting on Twitter how cynical Hitchcock is at times in regards to love and women. In Downhill, Mabel lied and entrapped Roddy, while Julia betrayed him and left him out in the cold... In The Ring, Mabel (same name?!) was about to betray Joe with his rival (also played by Ian Hunter, coincidence?).

 

Also, both films feature similar hallucinatory moments, both of which also feature closeups of a record spinning, juxtaposed with blurry visions.

 

 

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Given the story behind this scene and the fact that it's not a story that shocks the modern world anymore, the fact that there is no sound in this clip, the dolly shot, and the juxtaposition on the images towards the end make this clip a lot scarier than it should have been. Other than the sound being off for our viewing benefit in this clip, I think that is one of the things Hitchcock managed to achieve so well and why no one can ever touch him.

 

I enjoyed this daily dose very much.

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Again very intense. Hitchcock makes this feel much more personal. The POV and the intensity of the acting. By the men's reaction you know who is the guilty party. The visual during her "recollection" of the incident is brilliantly shaped by close up images of the spinning record, spinning dancing legs and the classless Dance hall all culminating in… I really don't know how to finish this sentence. But it is a new way in which Hitchcock expresses the intensity of filmmaking: POV. And it works!

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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 first dolly shot that shows the POV of the young men walking towards the Dean of the school makes me feel as though I’m walking into a lion’s den.  The slow, deliberate pace is ominous enough to jolt one’s survival instincts.   The 2nd series of dolly shots shows both the woman’s POV and the young men’s POV as the woman approaches.  She appears as a stalking animal coming in for the kill.

 

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

 

There is a sense of discovery of certain details such as the fury of the woman against the fear of these young men by using a slow, deliberate tracking shot.

 

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.

 

I don’t know if many of Hitchcock’s films are considered by film historians and critics as part of film noir.   Certainly, for me, some of the visual and thematic aspects of these four films fit that classification.  For example, all four film clips use dark and moody cinematography where not a wisp of sunlight enters.  The dark cinematography advances the even darker major theme of all his films:  the world is cruel and one must take special care to survive.  In Downhill, the school exhibits a gloomy, foreboding atmosphere in which the future hopes of one of the innocent boys may be dashed forever by a cruel lie at the hands of a treacherous woman and the decision by the unfeeling headmaster.  In The Pleasure Garden, an innocent young woman who wants a job as a dancer in a theater is pickpocketed by thugs who steal her letter of introduction.  She immediately meets two shifty men obviously up to no good after that incident.  Hitchcock sets up the notion that her innocence is going to be taken away in short order.  (Part of dealing with a cruel world is that reality sometimes takes time for some people to understand.)   In The Lodger, the circus atmosphere that surrounds the murder of a young woman is shown in the uncaring faces of the crowd who have come to witness this incident as a spectator sport followed by the sterile but professional news media reporting with shots of newsrooms, presses and teletypes.   In The Ring, the young boxer fights off demons real and imagined in the scenes with the party revelers and his boss.  Much of the cruelty of the world comes from our own imagination perhaps more so than the actual world.  It is this counterbalance of reality and fantasy that Hitchcock so deftly plays.    

 

 

 

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Trying to catch up here, but I really wanted to see Downhill whole (it was the only Hitchcock silent I hadn't seen) before commenting...

 

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

 

It puts the viewer in the perspective of the characters, Roddy and Tim. It helps to accentuate the dread of what's about to happen. Like someone else said, judgment is coming to them.

 

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

 

It adds a certain surrealist or dream-like essence to the scene. The fluidness of the camera makes it feel almost unreal.

 

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.

 

For starters, one similarity with The Lodger is the trial of an innocent man, which will remain a common theme for Hitchcock, along with lies and deceit. In all his films, Hitchcock focuses a lot on the actors/actresses faces to emphasize their expressions, and so is the case here as we see both the expressions of Roddy and Tim.

 

I was also commenting on Twitter how cynical Hitchcock is at times in regards to love and women. In Downhill, Mabel lied and entrapped Roddy, while Julia betrayed him and left him out in the cold... In The Ring, Mabel (same name?!) was about to betray Joe with his rival (also played by Ian Hunter, coincidence?).

 

Also, both films feature similar hallucinatory moments, both of which also feature closeups of a record spinning, juxtaposed with blurry visions.

 

There is some sense in many of Hitchcock female characters that they cannot be completely trusted and even outright distrusted particularly in matters of the world.  It's part of the "Eve" Syndrome.  This may have been Hitchcock's personal view of women although he obviously depended a great deal on the power of his wife Alma's intellect.  One could say that it was part of the thinking of the time but it obviously still exists in 2017. 

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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?

 

Watching the POV shots drew me into the scene with the players.  I was witnessing what the character was experiencing.  I was feeling tension, anticipation, fear, and empathy for Roddy and Tim as they walked toward the headmaster.  I was resenting the woman as she approached Roddy and Tim.

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

 

POV shots give the viewer a sense of being included in the action rather than just observing what happens.  It is a great technique for building the story within the viewer's mind, in absence of dialog and sound.  The viewer gets to walk in the protagonist’s shoes.

 

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.

 

In all four films, a woman is the catalyst for the conflict that propels the story.  This will be a common theme in other Hitchcock films.  Hitchcock uses close up shots of character faces to heighten anxiety.  You see he does this slightly in The Pleasure Garden, and he increases the use of close ups with The Lodger, then Downhill, and in The Ring.  The montage is used in Downhill as the woman recalls (in flashback) the events with Roddy.  Then we see a different use of a montage in The Ring, when the boxer's thoughts are presented to the viewer.  Hitchcock is known for often weaving humor into his films.  There's also the use of wry humor in the first two films (the napping woman in The Pleasure Garden, the bystander imitating the shadowy villain as the woman recounts the crime to police in The Lodger).  Then in the later two films, humor is seen as a forced counter to the drama that's developing for the protagonist (Roddy's snarky chuckle to the woman when he's being accused; the boxer's embarrassment when he realizes he was imagining the wife kissing the rival.)  

 

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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? 

 

POV shots help create mood, suspense (the feeling of walking towards doom in the office at the beginning of the scene, the anticipation of which man the woman will accuse.

 

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

 

To make the audience feel like they are in the characters' shoes, creating more empathy and connection = investment in the storyline.

 

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. 

 

Themes of debauchery (the party in The Ring, the dance club in the Pleasure Garden, the flashiness of the murder in The Lodger), superimposition of images over someone's face to show reflection or assumption (The Ring), the use of montage (The Ring, The Lodger), close up and use of eyes, especially of women, the possibility of the wrongly accused character theme (though I haven't seen this film yet, so I'm not sure).

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The two students enter the office through a cavernous door which resembles the large mouth of a beast about to swallow them.  That starts the tension which builds as the dolly shot leads them to their potential doom.  The title of the film is very apt, as all now appears to be headed downhill. Having not yet seen the film, I don't feel as if Berwick is quite aware of what awaits them.  His expression is of apprehension, but Wakely's is more of dread.  Mabel drops her purse, calling attention to herself. Berwick turns to see the source of the noise and his reaction seems to be a realization of what's going on, as it seems probable that his friend has told him of his escapades. Wakely looks back and is shocked to see Mabel, and his guilt shows on his face.  As the dean speaks, Wakely's right hand is nervously pulling on his trousers.  We even see him gulp, as he is probably feeling quite nauseous. At one point, Berwick drops his arms in resignation, as he becomes the scapegoat. He hesitantly reaches for Wakely, who has been dismissed.  Wakely pauses, feels guilt and shame, but not enough to stop him from exiting the situation. The POV dolly shot is exactly the way I've felt in situations in which I've been called on the carpet.  Hitchcock has captured the anxiety, the mental turmoil, and the feeling of going down the drain as you are led to your fate.

 

Mabel's description of the sordid affair is the same ghostly effect used in The Ring.  The spinning record, the dancing, the exchange of money, the spectre of secrecy and lust, all share the same haze of lurid reveling in that film.  The 'Closed' sign is reminiscent of The Lodger's 'Murder' headline. The boxer's wife and Wakely both have guilt written all over their faces, but then both just continue on.  As Mabel tells her story, the close up on her downcast face and straight forward gaze is like the 'murderer' the lady sees in The Lodger, and again like the final shot of Norman Bates.  Mabel is feigning shame with that pose, but her greed reveals itself in her remark about the wealth of Berwick's father.  She must have done her homework, because the motive seems to be money, and Berwick fits the bill. To me, she seems like the lecherous man in The Pleasure Garden audience, because her hissy fit belies her innocence and motives, as his facial expression reveals his own.

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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 effect of the POV dolly shot on me is that I connect with the young man and feel like she's after me.

 

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

 

Hitchcock maybe using this POV dolly shot technique to create sympathy between the audience and the young man over the traditional sympathy one may have for the female as the victim. It further shows her as the one with the power and control as opposed to the young man who appears intimidated by the aggressiveness of the young lady.

 

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.

 

Since I've not yet watched a Hitchcock movie, this prompt is difficult to respond to. I see a narrowing the area of focus as the edges of the scene are blurred which I noticed on other clips. Also a male as predator or aggressor was common to all four clips. Even though in this last one young man was the one falsely accused, he still grabbed her forcefully.

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If it was one thing I enjoyed the most about the scene from Downhill, it was the POV shots.  Depending on the character, I thought the shot helped tell the audience how to feel.  For instance, when it was from the boys' perspectives, I could feel a sense of dread.  From the moment they walked in, the audience knows they are in some kind of trouble.  As the shot continues to move forward, it seems as though the headmaster never gets any closer, even when the camera stops moving.  I also think, because of this, it gives the idea that the boys seem small compared to the overbearing headmaster -- once again, we feel dread and, almost, scared.

 

When the POV switches to the woman, we get the idea of uncertainty and anxiety.  We know that the fate of at least one boy depends on this woman; therefore, we feel anxious as to which the woman will choose.  However, when the camera shifts from the face to one boy to the other, it can be implied that the woman is uncertain which boy it is, as it seems the camera lingers in question on each face.  It is only until the the camera is out of POV mode that we're somewhat certain that she was unsure when she hastily and dramatically picks the first boy.

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The dolly POV shots join the audience with the two boys as participants in the action.  This effect is created purely by the camera movement and we are brought into the experience of moving toward the headmaster, almost as if being pulled along whether or not we want to.

 

This adds to the visual storytelling by creating a more personal interest in the story for the audience, but more importantly, it allows the audience to share in the emotional state of the boys.  I felt a sense of inevitable dread or doom in the movement torward the headmaster.  The flip side shot, i.e., the woman/camera moving toward them, creates a feeling of entrapment--they are  cornered prey.  

 

Two little shots with this technique but it adds such emotional richness to the scene.

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The POV shots are powerful, not merely in helping you relate to the protagonists, but by actually putting you into the scene. At first you aren't sure what is happening -- like the boys and particularly our hero -- but you gradually pick up on the menace, and in fact, you get to it somewhat before the other characters. The viewer sees the woman sitting there before the boys do. You try to guess which one is guilty, and anticipate -- with horror -- that she is in collusion with the guilty boy and will name the innocent one. It's pretty exciting, really. 

 

Seeing the clip without a sound track was very effective. I just might turn the sound off and watch the silent movies...silently. I know that it wasn't done that way originally, but there's a kind of intensity about the experience that is very gratifying. 

 

Certain themes are starting to emerge in the clips we've seen. The innocent man wrongly accused, the scheming female. I am coming to see that innovative camera work is going to be a mainstay, especially if we try to see the film with "fresh eyes." Hitchcock's famous analysis of the Macguffin also came to mind. With so few intertitles, yes, we missed some details of the plot and aren't sure just exactly how the girl was tricked, etc. But that doesn't really matter -- it's a trap is all you really need to know. Hitchcock is very aware of the conventions of story-telling and counts on his audience to fill in the gaps. 

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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 really pull me into the action of the film. I feel like I'm in the room with the characters, experiencing what they are experiencing.


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


I think Hitchcock uses the POV tracking shot for the effect I described above. In more recent films, often it seems to be the dialogue that draws audiences in after the initial visual hook. This POV tracking shot keeps audiences hooked by making them feel part of the action. In this kind of visual storytelling, Hitchcock replaces dialogue by the feelings and emotions the audience experiences as a result of the shot.


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 connection I can make between The Pleasure Garden and Downfall is just the idea that life is messy. In The Pleasure Garden, there is a young woman trying to make her way in the world but is robbed of the tool needed to do. In Downfall, Roddy is accused of being the father of child that he, Tim, and Mabel all know is not his.


A connection I felt between Downfall and The Lodger was just an overwhelming feeling of dread and anxiety. The way Hitchcock shot both films conveys a sense of apprehension without the use of dialogue. In The Lodger, it is the both the music and the constant flashing of "To-Night Golden Curls" that really drive this feeling in, while in Downfall, it is the use of the POV tracking shot.


A connection I felt between Downfall and The Ring was a "rock in a hard place" kind of situation. In Downfall, Roddy is essentially being forced to take responsibility for a situation that does not involve him, as he cannot ignore Mabel without facing social recriminations (even though he really isn't the father). In The Ring, the main character feels that if he leaves his wife, she will betray him, but if he does not train, he cannot match the other man by becoming a 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? 

 

The POV dolly shots / POV tracking shots puts you in the place of the character. It also raises the Suspension.

 

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

 

Hitchcock  is in love of observation. He knows how the viewers/ human beings  are curious and he is smartly playing on raising  this Curiosity in times and satisfying it in other times.  POV tracking makes the viewer more involved in the story, but on the other hand it also satisfies  the Curiosity of the viewer to observe what is happening as if he is in the room which adds a sense of fast motion and Vitality. It also raise the viewer Curiosity and makes him expecting the next step.  

 

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. 

 

Expressing the inner feelings of the characters

Visualizing the subjective ideas in the mind of the character

Fast cuts and revealing the same  action from different angles   

Using the details of the  setting and locations as main factors representing the story  (size, shapes, connections, mirrors, windows, doors.)

Using darkness and light / focus and defocus to create moods and frames

Finding solutions and experimenting new ways to reach the needed visual effects (the use of beats and music to express a human scream. The use of neon and Newspaper titles  instead of title cards,..)

Depending on Montage to create a completely new effect that was not there during the shooting.

 

Using several shooting lengths to create different effects and actually to tell the story from different perspectives  (long medium and close)

 

 

 

 

 

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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 add to the suspense. Initially we are in the view of the boys but it switches to the girl and then back. I think this could have been a very bland scene otherwise - it's a long scene for one room, but you can see that Hitchcock raises the intensity by using the mobile camera. You see the girl react more strongly, and you can see the different reactions from the boys.

 

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

 

It controls the pacing of the scene for me. Instead of just watching the action play out, it's very...slow...steps. It's silent, but it builds a certain amount of tension.

 

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.

 

After the initial POV shots, we have more of the "watching the watcher" theme that we've seen all week. I do also start to see a pattern from a gender perspective - men moreso standing around, reacting to a woman, who is significantly more active (more mobile) on screen.

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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 loved it. It gives you the sense you are walking toward your doom as the boys felt.

 

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

Comparing it to other points of view it would not be nearly as effective in portraying the feelings Hitch wanted to provoke.

 

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 use of the close up is used in all 4 clips; the dancing girl's glaze in The Pleasure Garden, the murdered girl's scream in The Lodger, the boxer screaming for his wife to stop at the door in The Ring and the young woman telling her story  in Downhill. There is also a running theme of someone in distress at the beginning of each film. A girl with no money, a woman killed, a jealous husband and a pregnant single woman.

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The scene opens on a conventional view of the Dean's (?) office from behind the boys.  Once they enter, the view shows an office altered in appearance; it has greatly lengthened and the Dean is seen at a distance. This change in the office reflects the boys' disturbed, frightened thoughts as they face the Dean. The viewpoint then shifts to facing the boys (POV shot), and the camera moves backward (dolly) as the apprehensive young men approach. In the viewer, the POV dolly shot stimulates synchronous feelings of apprehension.

 

The accusing woman's description of her interaction with the schoolboy is illustrated by a montage that shows only the appendages of the pair; this view emphasizes the impersonal nature of the interaction and also conceals the identity of the young man.

 

The scenes we have seen in the daily doses show Hitchcock's early experiments with methods of controlling the responses of viewers. Hitchcock intends the viewer to get specific thoughts and feelings from a scene. In Pleasure Garden he wants a focus on the attractiveness of the chorus girls, and the opening scene shows them on the spiral staircase with the background blacked out. In the Lodger he wants the audience to be troubled by thoughts of a killer stalking "golden" women, a montage reinforces this response, starting with a very effective view of a woman screaming.   The Ring puts the viewer into the mind of the husband, the husband's distorted thoughts are reflected in transparent, floating images of his wife and the other man and  expressionistic distortions of objects.  In Downhill, synchroneity between actors and viewers is achieved by the use of POV shots.

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Hitchcock’s use of the tracking shots builds suspense of the plot. He uses these techniques to enhance the narrative. As the audience is brought into closer proximity, the girl’s telling of the story because the main focus. Hitchcock uses the superimposed images as she tells her story. The audience is able to compare the story she tells with the action as they watched her and the other young man in their relationship.  Hitchcock prefers to have the audience to watch the events without any mystery, as he stated in the Scott interview. As the audience possesses the knowledge of what happened, they are more aware of the suspense of what may happen. 

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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?


From a technical standpoint, I believe it adds to the 'depth' of view of the scene.   The dolly shots he used here almost stretches the space in the frame, almost to the point that it feels like a modern 3D film.  Additionally, while not a dolly shot, I feel the 'over-the-shoulder' shot of the young man looking at the girl against the wall also adds a ton of depth!   The shot is taken from the POV of the dean looking at the young man, who then looks over his shoulder behind him at the woman.


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


From a creative standpoint, I think it could be another effect of German Expressionism.  The dolly shot puts us in the the character's head.  We feel the same sense of dread the young man is feeling when moving towards the dean's desk and when he in turn approaches us/the young men.  One of the stylistic components of German Expressionism is fatalism and getting into the character's psyche.  I think the dolly shot spoke to both of these elements. 


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. 


I feel like I am copping out on this answer because I feel each film is so different from one another.  I can see an increased use of montage and superimposition in the cuts we saw from The Ring and Downhill.   Other than than, the only themes I can come up with is the darkness of the subjects.


 


Craig


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The effect of actually closing in on the characters draws audiences into the action, particularly in this scene.  We traverse the room with foreboding and heightened awareness of the drama unfolding as we approach the headmaster.

I’m sure Hitchcock sought to invigorate the audience’s experience by incorporating them within the scene—in essence we become the surrogate for the character and experience real emotional investment within the narrative.

 

Once again, I see the framing of windows and doors—also that trope of thresholds and crossing over.  The visual motifs that recur seem to be the superimposing of the record player over the face of individuals; Hitchcock seems to want us to connect with the sound of the music more than in a cursory fashion.  I also noticed how often the shots are close-ups of feet . . . not sure what to make of this yet, though.

 

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