Alfred Hitchcock is one of the most well-known and respected names in British and American cinema. From his initial foray into cinema during the silent era and transitioning to sound cinema before heading to the United States to work in Hollywood, Hitchcock's influences can be traced to three distinct cinema and film styles and periods: German Expressionism, Soviet Constructivism, and Griersonian Documentary Realism. The combination of these three styles and periods are present in The 39 Steps (1935) and The Lady Vanishes (1938), two thriller films from Hitchcock's British Sound Period. Through The 39 Steps's and The Lady Vanishes's editing, mise-en-scene, and narrative, Hitchcock exploits the fundamental elements of German Expressionism, Soviet Constructionism, and Grierson Documentary Realism to create a unified film that draws in a willing and captive audience.
Hitchcock was first introduced to German Expressionism in 1924 when he was sent to work at the UFA studios and…… [Read More]
This ties closely with Hitchcock's belief that "dialogue means nothing" in and of itself. He explains, "People don't always express their inner thoughts to one another, a conversation may be quite trivial, but often the eyes will reveal what a person thinks or needs." Thus the focus of a scene within his movies never focuses on what actors say, but rather on what they are doing. Unlike a painter, or a writer, "we don't have pages to fill, or pages from a typewriter to fill, we have a rectangular screen in a movie house." The reduction of dialogue and focus on action, however minute is a central technique utilized by Hitchcock to build suspense in many of his most memorable movies.
One of Hitchcock's most important techniques was his mastery of the point-of-view editing. Point-of-view sequences can allow Hitchcock to convey shades of meaning that otherwise would have been completely…… [Read More]
According to Francois Truffaut, "Hitchcock is universally acknowledged to be the world's foremost technician, even his detractors willingly concede him this title," and other critics state, "Hitchcock is one of the greatest inventors of form in the entire cinema," while still others assert that "his films remain central to questions of cinematic practice and critical theory" (Kirshner). Psycho was one Hitchcock's favorite films, because he derived his main satisfaction from the fact that "the film had an effect on audiences" (Kirshner). He once told Truffaut, "I take pride in the fact that Psycho, more than any of my other pictures, is a film that belongs to film-makers, to you and me" (Kirshner). In a good film, every shot counts, and the basic element of a film is not the scene, but the shot, one continuous exposure of film (Kirshner). A typical movie has hundreds of shots, and the shower scene…… [Read More]
Among these were women's inaccessibility to birth control and proper information about their own sexuality, the lack of knowledge about which caused many women to suffer health and social problems.
It is not only the overtly sexual scenes that show parts of a woman's body like the famous shower scene in Psycho or the depiction of sexual tension in L.B. Jeffries' room in Rear indow, therefore, that suggest Hitchcock's progressive attitude towards women. Instead, his depicting women as promiscuous reveals that they have choices about their own sexuality, and are not confined to the sexual rules forced upon them by society. Although the promiscuity is often punished by murder, one can argue that this is not a punishment for the women, but rather a punishment for society who did not acknowledge the sexuality of women and now must pay for this oversight.
Although many claim that Alfred Hitchcock's films are…… [Read More]
During the broadcasting of Psycho, Hitchcock asked for the doors to the cinema to be closed for those that wanted to enter.
Psycho is a motion picture that had surely intimidated its audience. From the very start of movie, the viewers feel that they are being presented with a distorted image of an ordinary lunch. Marion and Sam have sex in their hotel room instead of finishing their food. This is a weird moment from the audience, as they consider that the movie is nothing of what they thought it would be. Scenes like that of Marion's look when she's got her back turned on Sam, have the viewer identify themselves with Marion's character, as they have a feeling of intimacy with her. Unlike Sam, Marion is more natural, and more likely to get the audience to sympathize her.
Hitchcock cleverly uses anything from lighting to clothing in order to…… [Read More]
ALFRED HITCHCOCK was born in London in 1899, and came to America in 1940 to make his mark as a film director. He became one of the most renowned and emulated directors of horror and suspense film. Many of his films are still considered classics, such as "The irds," "Psycho," "Rear Window," and "North by Northwest," and they starred some of the biggest names in Hollywood, including Cary Grant, James Stewart, and Grace Kelley. Hitchcock also created many film techniques, but he is probably most famous for creating the "MacGuffin," a plot device that lives on today in numerous films. "MacGuffin (n.) 1. In a film, a plot device whose sole purpose is to set the action in motion, such as a suitcase with unknown contents. Often, the MacGuffin turns out to be a decoy, causing men to make fools of themselves in pursuit of futile ends. Word origin: Coined…… [Read More]
Hitchcock even placed the camera behind the wheel of Scottie's car as he followed Madeleine around the city. In addition, Hitchcock uses the first-person technique to put the audience in the right mind frame of a suspense thriller. "Vertigo" ends in one of Hitchcock's most shocking, abrupt, and negative scenes.
From Scottie's viewpoint: Madeleine!
INT. CHUCH, SAN JUAN BAUTISTA -- DAY
Scottie runs in, stops at the foot of the steps, hears the running footsteps, and looks up. From his viewpoint, we see Madeline running up the open stairway that spirals up along the walls of the high tower. She is already well on her way. Scottie is immediately stricken by the vertigo, and the tall tower seems to slide away from him.
He makes an attempt to start up the stairs, flattens himself against the wall and struggles up. He claws his way up, crosses over the hand-railing and…… [Read More]
Alfred Hitchcock's Rear indow and focuses on one of the basic theme of the film, The act of Voyeurism. This paper through a viewer's point-of-view analyzes on how the main character of the film, Jeff commits voyeurism and eventually gets into trouble. This paper also highlights how other characters of the film also take part in Voyeurism.
Alfred Hitchcock's Rear indow
Alfred Hitchcock is an esteemed film director who is famous for combining art films with puissant reputation and great prominence among the audience. Throughout his career of filmmaking he has provided his audience with greater entertainment than they had ever imagined. It was Hitchcock, who assisted filmmaking to make a transformation from silent to sound, eliminate the eclipse of black and white movies with color cinema and supervised films which would be captivating not only to the general audience but also to film scholars and critics. Francois Truffaut said,…… [Read More]
However, in Psycho, the main character dies at the end of Act 1.
Given that Psycho varies so significantly from Syd Field's classic three act paradigm, it is possible to define a new paradigm based on Pyscho's plot structure. Psycho follows Field's three act paradigm during Act 1, where the main character, and his or her situation, is outlined. However, the plot point at the end of Act 1 can be seen as turning point, where the story changes substantially from the events set out in Act 1. This differs significantly from Field's inciting incident at the end of Act 1.
In Pyscho's Act 2, new characters are introduced (like the detective), and formerly minor characters (Sam and Marion's sister) develop as the main characters. At the end of Act 2, there is a plot point, which I will call the crisis point, where the newly developed main characters (Sam…… [Read More]
Edgar Allan Poe as seen through the lens of Hitchcock
Several authors have explored the aesthetic relationship between Edgar Allan Poe and Alfred Hitchcock, particularly writers like Dennis Perry and Donald Spoto among others. Although Poe has had major influence on many artists, (with Hitchcock demonstrating many of Poe's influences and gaining worldwide recognition for it) few have truly attempted to understand Poe. The only one who seems to have tried and lived a life similar to Poe's is Alfred Hitchcock. And as people, as men, they share several similarities, both professionally and personally.
Ever since his youthful submersion into Poe lore, Hitchcock consciously or unconsciously continued using Poe as a source for new ideas. One may argue Poe's main legacy to Hitchcock is the masterful generation of emotional reactions in audiences. The key to that legacy is the notion of surrealism and the concurrent experience of (that Perry so…… [Read More]
Alfred Hitchcock has cast several actors in a few of his films. James Stewart, a favorite of Hitchcock's has been in "Rope," "Rear indow," "The Man ho Knew Too Much," and "Vertigo." He is and always has been an actor that grows with his characters. As the relationship between Stewart and Hitchcock grew, so did the character's he played, complexity. Stewart provided Hitchcock what few could in his life and career, a constant, an evolutionary constant. Through analysis of his roles in these four films, the actor-director relationship can be explored as well as how these roles may have changed Stewart and even Hitchcock.
In "Rope" James Stewart plays Rupert Cadell. He is a mentor to the two murderers in the film: Brandon and Phillip. Although Rupert was the catalyst for the logic behind committing a murder, (Rupert had deliberated with both Brandon and Phillip, in a seemingly favorable way,…… [Read More]
The “mother” of all other horror movies, Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho transformed the directorial, cinematographic, and narrative style of cinema (“Psycho - How Alfred Hitchcock Manipulates An Audience”). Especially in the way Hitchcock attempted to involve the audience directly by creating a subjective, unreliable narrator, it was possible to generate the intense suspense and tension that permeates the film. As a result, viewers place themselves into Marian’s shoes. Even though Hitchcock uses editorial cuts at the beginning the viewer is led into it as one long scene, as we become voyeurs looking into the life of the protagonist who is at a sort of crossroads or turning point in her life (“Psycho - How Alfred Hitchcock Manipulates An Audience”). A close-up on the wad of money in the envelope is shown because Marian is thinking about stealing it, an illegal and unethical act carried out for unselfish reasons; the audience is…… [Read More]
visual motifs that Alfred Hitchcock puts into service to tell a film's story cinematically. The focus of the essay will be to discuss such visual motifs as they are to found both in Strangers on a Train and in North by Northwest. Also, we will examine how Hitchcock use editing, performance, doubling and camera movement to cinematically create both suspense and irony in these films. Additionally, we will consider if the films reviewers of the period noticed these Hitchcockian devices.
First we need to define visual motif and what it meant for Hitchcock as a part of his entire filmatic theme's vision. By looking at the films, it is obvious to this author that Hitchcock used film noir in his crime dramas, particularly those that emphasized cynical attitudes with sexual motivations and connotations. This is understandable as Hollywood's classic film noir period is generally seen as extending from the early…… [Read More]
Otherwise, it is a bit abrupt that there is no mention of this film until the second half. Each paragraph is relevant to your proposition. Great choice to include quotes from other crew members that expressed how excited they were to work with Hitchcock. You also offer interesting perspective by choosing a director who was successful among his peers, fans, and critics, who made the shift from mainstream into academia.
It is a great choice to include how others who worked with Hitchcock felt about working with him. It was actually a great move to not quote Hitchcock directly, but to describe his character through his actions and through the quotations from others. This was a great strategy in presenting your argument. Overall, there was a very clear logic in the paper and you sustained your reasoning from start to close. I also found it good that you began…… [Read More]
The woman, in this type of movie, becomes "isolated, glamorous, on display, sexualised" - which is how not only Miss Torso is presented in Rear Window, but also Lisa
An example of this is Jeff's relationship with Lisa. In the beginning he does not really show any interest in Lisa. He is afraid to commit to her through marriage. Lisa's display of sexuality (a form of exhibitionism accented by her insistence on clothes and jewelry) triggers this sense of fear, the symbol of his castration anxiety, in Jeff, and which he consequently has to try to channel. The female threat has to be eliminated (hence Thorwald's murdering of his wife as Jeff's dream scenario) or neutralized (e.g. y a marriage). Subsequently, Jeff's anxiety for Lisa's sexuality (and exhibitionism) can only diminish when she becomes a part of the world he looks at from his window, when she can be gazed…… [Read More]
Alfred Hitchcock's fascination with psychology and the manipulation of the human mind greatly influenced early spy-thriller masterpieces. During his British sound film period, Hitchcock explored the effect of being unwillingly pulled into a psychologically complex environment has on an individual and the consequences that he or she must deal with. These concepts can be found in The 39 Steps (1935) and in The Lady Vanishes (1938), both spy-thrillers that highlight the dangers of espionage and serve as a warning of the impending social and political threat posed by spies. Hitchcock's infusion of psychoanalytic concepts, and the influence thereof, emerge through The 39 Steps's and The Lady Vanishes's narratives, characters, and film structure and style.
Thriller films aim to "promote intense excitement, suspense, a high level of anticipation, ultra-heightened expectation, uncertainty, anxiety, and nerve wracking tension" (Dirks). The 39 Steps, a tale of an innocent man, Richard Hanney (Robert Donat), is…… [Read More]
Alfred Hitchcok's Psycho was released in 1960, and encapsulates the social, psychological, and political tensions of the Cold ar era. As Raubicheck and Serebnick point out, Psycho could have been a bridge to the 1960s but the film is "less linked to and reflective of the so-called radical sixties than they are of the more controlled fifties and possess more cultural texture of this earlier era," (17). The issues related to gender, sexuality, and sexual repression in the film are likewise reflective of the interest in Freudian psychoanalysis that prevailed during the 1950s. Rebello points out that the popularity of Freudian psychology and theories like the Oedipus complex are played out on the screen in Psycho. Anthony Perkins's character Norman Bates is "connected with a much larger discussion, in the early Cold ar, of political and sexual deviance," (Genter 134). In Psycho, Bates becomes the archetype of the psychopath,…… [Read More]
He consistently uses the technique of lifting the curtain to introduce scenes and essential actions. This kept his films rooted in the early traditions of theater but in a covert manner. Many of these theatrical illusions were portrayed using modern interpretations, such as his use of the curtain effect with the image of an opening door into a new environment. These traditions were at the very root of his style, and he continued to use such dramatizations throughout his career as director.
5. Hitchcockian films represent a sharp and dynamic style which relied on suspense and anticipation. Many of Alfred Hitchcock's most infamous works never showed any real gore on screen. Instead, he placed his emphasis on the film score and visuals in order to build suspense for the act which was occurring slightly of camera. This was one of the major defining aspects of Hitchcock's suspense thrillers, such as…… [Read More]
Postwar America in Hitchcock Films
Post-War America in Film
In the postwar America, expectations for men and women diverged from those that prevailed during the war years. The exigencies of World War II interrupted the evolution of social progress for Americans, substituting a "fast forward" that could better serve the national initiatives. From positions where everyone became focused on the war effort and their roles in supporting it, the postwar period saw a return to the traditional values that had dominated in the past. Supported by the G.I. Bill, men sought education at unprecedented levels and located themselves in business, resuming the positions and leadership they felt were their due. Homemaking and childrearing returned to center for women in postwar America. If women were engaged in business, it was considered to be secondary to their gender-based roles as mothers, wives, and daughters. Some effects of the wartime patterns were resistant…… [Read More]
Hitchcock's universe is also, perhaps more than anything else, common
throughout in its worldview. The uniqueness of Hitchcock's films as
thrillers, suspense dramas or dark comedies goes beyond simple genre
representation. To some extent, "directors' statements of intent guide
comprehension of the film, while a body of work linked by an authorial
signature encourages viewers to read each film as a chapter of an oeuvre."
This perhaps above anything else, helps to reinforce the basic
presumption of this discussion, which is that there is a knowing
relationship between audience and filmmaker-often based on a history
between the two-in which certain conceits of the genre or personnel tend to
reinforce the presence of a stylized illusion, in this case the machismo of
a Mafioso community. This approach is at the heart of filmmaking for
audience and filmmaker alike, with both parties desiring an end product
that sufficiently removes the…… [Read More]
ALFRED HITCHCOCK: A Master of Duality
For many, the name Alfred Hitchcock conjures hazy and disconnected memories of Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman in Rio, Tippi Hedren being chased by killer birds, or Jimmy Stewart in a wheelchair; but for others -- those that are somewhat more experienced with the work of Hitchcock -- the utterance of his moniker means much more. Indeed, many consider Hitchcock to be not only one of the most prolific and entertaining filmmakers, but also one of the most profound. A recurring -- and certainly intriguing -- motif that holds together his body of work is his incessant interest and portrayal of duality: the conflicting, yet in some ways similar, nature of life. That is to say, Hitchcock (and no other, on as prestigious a level) was able to brilliantly compare, reduce, and then reevaluate polar opposites that every human encounters. Love or hate, man…… [Read More]
This part of the movie has little intrinsic value for the movie as a whole, yet is responsible for setting the events in motion that result in Cross's character's subversion. In fact, Cross's jailhouse visits actually aid him in his subversive attempts to destroy Picasso by illicit means when the former breaks into his own police department and steals the one piece of evidence that can free the imprisoned girl and dispel any criminal wrongdoing on the part of her uncle in exchange for her uncle's help in locating Picasso. The fact that the girl's uncle is a criminal, and that Cross is working to both help free him from any wrongdoing as well as to illicitly kill Picasso, demonstrates just how profound his subversion is.
Virtually all of Hitchcock's masterful thriller's end fairly abruptly with a degree of ambiguity that leaves audiences unsure how to feel about the character…… [Read More]
Group Development in Alfred Hitchcock's Lifeboat
The development of groups is divided into five stages. These stages are used to describe the evolutionary process of a group from its formation to its dissolution. These stages represent milestones in this process, such as establishment of leadership or authority or determination of the group's goals. The five stages, in order, are the group formation stage, the intra-group conflict stage, the group cohesion stage, the task orientation stage, and the termination stage. These stages are also identified by a series of easily remembered descriptive names that are indicative of the stage's characteristics. The respective names of the stages are Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning.
Lifeboat was a movie produced by Alfred Hitchcock in 1944. It is an adaptation of a John Steinbeck novel. The movie opens with a view of a sinking ship, a lifeboat with a lone woman comes into view.…… [Read More]
Hitchcock was especially concerned about scenes where he could employ three-cornered arrangements involving sight, sound, and observers. This can be seen at the time when the protagonist in Rear indow, L.B. "Jeff" Jeffries (James Stewart), speaks over the phone with a detective friend and watches the antagonist, Lars Thorwald (Raymond Burr).
Rear indow had a strong effect on film communities at the time when it appeared, considering that it presented them with matters that were virtually amazing. The fact that the film was produced at a moment when Hitchcock was experiencing his apogee most likely contributed to its overall character. One of the surprising facts regarding the film is that it puts across a feeling of warmth uncharacteristic to Hitchcock. This is because of the motion picture's screenwriter, John Michael Hayes, who managed to introduce a series of elements meant to compensate for the depressing feelings that Hitchcock apparently wanted…… [Read More]
Production: Gaumont-British; Producer: Michael Balcon; Screenplay and Adaptation: Charles Bennett and Alma Reville from the novel by John Buchan; Principal Actors: Madeleine Carroll, Robert Donat, Lucie Mannheim and Godfrey Tearle
The 39 Steps was based on the John Buchan novel, written in 1915. Hitchcock freely adapted and changed the premise of the novel that very little of the original plot remained. Buchan, who was also the British Governor General in Canada at that time, was initially upset; but, after he saw the final product, he admitted that the film was much better than his novel.
This was the first time that Hitchcock used the now often-repeated theme of sympathy for the man unjustly framed and on the run, all the while attempting to clear his besmirched name and find the real culprit. Hitchcock also used the techniques of combining two scenes unrelated visually but by sound. The director relied more…… [Read More]
When his dead mother appears in the wheelchair and the viewer realizes he has been recreating her voice himself, and the sheriff confirms this as he relates Norman's story. While "The Birds" ends relatively happily, at least the main characters survive; "Psycho" ends with Norman in a jail cell. All the loose ends are wrapped up, but in one, the end is dark and disturbing, while in the other, there is hope.
Psycho," made in 1960, is shot in stark black and white, which somehow seems to enhance the feeling of terror, because Hitchcock is a master of setting, mood, and lighting, as well. "The Birds," made in 1963, is shot in color, making it seem more modern, and all the more terrifying because the blood from the bird attacks seems more real and menacing, somehow. Hitchcock uses actors who can seem like normal, everyday people with normal everyday feelings…… [Read More]
In contrast to vertical slats and bars that signify guilt, round signifies innocence in this film (as in the double, round collars that Babs wears), plus, Hitchcock uses light to make Guy's wrist buttons shine brightly. We know by this that Guy's hands are good. They are not the hands of a murderer. He is the innocent man, wrongfully accused and working to clear himself.
At a party at Senator Morton's house, during a discussion about murder, Bruno coaxes Mrs. Cunningham, an older woman, to allow him to put his hands around her throat. She is foolishly flattered by his attention and actually lets him. Ann's younger sister Babs happens to come near and when Bruno sees her, we see Babs through Bruno's eyes. She wears glasses like Miriam did (double lenses) and in the lenses of her glasses two flames appear -- the flame of the cigarette lighter, doubled.…… [Read More]
It shows that children, who we expect to be innocent and trusting, can have a very dark side, and that can be horrifying, although I wouldn't really call this a "horror" film, either. I would call this a psychological thriller with a twisted ending. This film doesn't have a lot of the elements of many horror films, although Rhoda could certainly be seen as a monster stalking her prey, anyone who has something she wants. The real focus of the film is her mother, Christine, who can't face what her daughter has done, or do the right thing, such as turning her in to the authorities. Instead, she blames herself, tries to kill her daughter with sleeping pills, and then tries to commit suicide. No wonder the daughter has problems!
Like the other films, this film has a message, too, and it has to do with children and what they're…… [Read More]
Even if it successfully brings back to life a story forgotten by the public and distinguishes itself from today's typical films, Disturbia is no match for Rear indow.
It is not certain if Disturbia is homage or a remake to Rear indow, since the two movies are not exactly the same, but they are not very different either. hile some might consider Disturbia to be a rip-off to Rear indow (ilonsky 66), it is not the case here, since copying an idea as long as one does not copy its expression is not illegal. The reaction of the masses to Disturbia regarding the plagiarism involved in it is most probably owed to the film's success, since it is very probable for this condition to have been inexistent if the film were to make little to no money.
Caruso was right in bringing back the story present in Rear indow, considering…… [Read More]
Jeff becomes an investigator with his camera. He is the one in the shadows at first, not the murderer. The murderer is exposed, out in the open. However, the plot evolves in such a way that Jeff becomes from the follower, the one being followed. He becomes the one exposed, as he is the one trapped in his apartment, the murderer passes now into shadow.
We hold our breath in expectation as Franz Waxman's score contributes to the tension sustaining the action and pin pointing to the most intense moments. The introspective, almost intimate, image of the film, the darkness of the movie theatre and the expressive score appeal to our senses and to our curious nature. It is not fear that the viewer feels, it is something more, like anxiousness, which is played upon so well by Hitchcock that you end up feeling disappointed together with the main characters…… [Read More]
He completely looses himself in the image of his mother. He is so dissociated that he does not even know he is the one conducting the action of murder. Norman is "horrified to discover that his mother (actually his sub-personality) has stabbed a woman to death in the shower," (Comer 2003:224). To him, it was his mother, whom he has no control over. When he slips into that state Norman Bates disappears; he dissociates himself from a potentially harmful situation and allows the dominant personality of his mother take over completely. In the end, after all the trauma, Norman completely recedes into himself; "You see, when the mind houses two personalities, there's always a conflict, a battle. In Norman's case, the battle is over…and the dominant personality has won," (Hitchcock 160). His mother, who serves as his safety net, completely takes over when his psychosis is discovered.
His story is…… [Read More]
Film: The Historical Impact of Melodrama
In the first half of the 19th century, classical cinema was the norm in the American film industry, and filmmakers had become accustomed to uniform styles for creating visuals and sounds used in making motion pictures. Due to the dominance of this distinctive cinematic style, viewers had come to anticipate certain stylistic choices for certain narratives. However, by the second half of the century, melodrama had become the most popular kind of theatrical entertainment, and according to illiams, it successfully tested the boundaries set by the classical Hollywood style (353). By definition, melodrama is a genre in film designed to appeal to the emotions of the audience. The style derives its name from the music it uses to create tension, accompany action, and generate mood; and it is characterized by moral polarization, pathos, heightened emotions and extravagant theatricality. Its popularity in the 19th century…… [Read More]
The subject of films is a matter of dreams for many persons though the attraction has come down after the new medium of video has come in. Yet, for some it is still the medium to dream in.
To get into the concept of formalist film theory, one has to talk about the film in terms of the formal or technical elements within the film. These are in terms of its lighting, sound and set design, scoring, color usage, composition of shots and editing. This is the most prevalent method of studying films today. Thus when the theory is considered, it will take into account the synthesis or lack of synthesis of the different elements of film production and the total effects that are produced by the individual elements of the film. One of the common examples of this is to consider the effects of editing and when a…… [Read More]
The contention that Psycho is a comedy, as claimed by its director Alfred Hitchcock is contrary to how the film is usually interpreted by audiences.
Because Psycho was based upon a real-life case, many people have not taken Hitchcock's claim seriously.
The essay on Psycho examines both sides of the argument
It is possible to contend that Psycho is a serious film, given its subject matter of murder
However, Hitchcock's deliberate use of wordplay and irony suggests that a purely realistic, surface interpretation of Norman Bates' murder is not warranted
Both interpretations of the film are necessary to understand to fully appreciate Psycho as a work of art
The goal of the author is to explicate to the audience two different interpretations of Psycho, first separately, and then together.
B. Psycho is at once a very serious film, with real-life parallels but also a film imbued with Hitchcock's classic…… [Read More]
childhood obesity advertising. First, there is the issue of why a young child is overweight. Of course, it can be bad habits and examples portrayed by the parents or guardians or it can be a health issue such as a gland or metabolism problem. Either way, the potential health problems for that child immediately and down the road are hard to miss. The other issue would be the bullying/social side of things. One can take one look at this girl and know that she will be bullied and made fun of for her weight. This picture of her and the implications thereof clearly focus on the former of the two points of analysis listed above rather than the latter. Some might say that the focus on the bullies and their negative actions. However, the root reason for the child being overweight is the cause of everything else and that needs…… [Read More]
There is a direct correlation with, say, Henry Hill's cocaine abuse and the increasingly rapid cuts between shots. Faster-paced narrative parallels quicker-moving shots. When viewers finally see the film in the theater, the finished product reads like a cohesive narrative when in fact the filmmakers strung together disparate shots and cuts and combined them later after thousands of hours of painstaking labor. Analyzing a movie must therefore include respect for the editorial prowess of the post-production crew.
Editors must be intimately familiar with the screenplay they work with, especially in films that do not have a linear narrative. For instance, Christopher Nolan's 2000 film Memento describes one man's struggle with memory degradation. elying on a non-linear plot, the filmmaker depended on the post-production crew to adequately convey the disjointedness of amnesia. Other elements like dramatic irony, in which the audience is privy to information that protagonists do not have access…… [Read More]
In 21 Grams, the narrative darkens and is localized. Inarritu deepens his exploration of class differences, but this time on the U.S. side of the New orld Order that has been brought about by the North American Free Trade Agreement. According to Ohchi, 21 Grams consists of three narratives whose protagonists differ from each other, but are interconnected (ibid. 3-4)
Babel is just really Amores Perros and 21 Grams written on an international canvas and echoes much of the social commentary in Inarritu's 2000 maiden film. According to Soelistyo and Setiawan, another term for this type of film is hyperlink cinema. hile in many films, this methodology can result in a film where the interlocking stories spin out of control, in Babel Inarritu is fully in command and retains full control of the stories and plot lines (Soelistyo and Setiawan 176). As the name implies, seemingly disparate story lines are…… [Read More]
Taking Jeanine Basinger at her word would leave us with far fewer war films than we think we have. Basinger is a 'strict constructionist,' accepting as war films only those that have actual scenes of warfare (Curley and etta, 1992. p. 8; Kinney, 2001, p. 21). That means that the four films that will be considered here, and especially the two orld ar II films, are not war films. By Basinger's yardstick, neither Casablanca nor Notorious, neither Born on the Fourth of July nor Coming Home would qualify as war films.
On the other hand, films such as hite Christmas, a lightweight Bing Crosby-Danny Kaye-Rosemary Clooney-Vera Ellen comedy about the aftermath of war for an old soldier might well be a 'war' movie. The opening scene is one in which the old soldier, Dean Jagger, is reviewing his troops when, somewhere in Italy during the Christmas lull, bombs…… [Read More]
Cold War Era
Many films about the cold war era, especially the early films, speak out against its ideals, while others support these ideals. elow is a consideration of selected Cold War era films, and how these were influenced by the Cold War.
Dr. Strangelove is subtitled "How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the omb." Its producer/director is Stanley Kubrick and the film was released during 1964. The film is a satire with the aim of exposing Cold War politics that could result in absurd accidents such as a nuclear attack. The more serious film Fail-Safe, released during the same year, has often been compared with Dr. Strangelove. This is discussed in more detail later.
Part of Dr. Strangelove's theme is the evils of technology. This is the culprit causing the disastrous accident. It is interesting that a disclaimer had to accompany the film's release shortly…… [Read More]
1950s was a decade of change for the U.S. - cinema was no exception, as it modeled itself to accommodate the social changes U.S. society was going through. Films not only provide entertainment to masses but are also believed to express the general outlook of society by the way it sets and adopts trends. 50s was marked by postwar prosperity, rising consumerism, loosening up of stereotype families, baby boom and growing middle-class. It was the time of reaction to the aging cinema, especially by the freedom loving youth who were keyed up with fast food (Mc Donald's franchised in '54), credit card (first in 1950) and drive-in theaters (Filmsite.org). Young people were fed-up with the conventional illustration of men and women. With growing interest in ock-n-oll and break-free attitude prevailing, a social revolution was very much in the offering, and that was to transfer the cinema as well…… [Read More]
Vebell was interested in art from a very early age and he attended the Harrison Art School at the age of 14 where he excelled at life drawings. When he graduated from high school, Vebell won three art scholarships and he attended all three schools -- moving from each throughout the day. He launched his professional illustration career in a busy Chicago agency and then enlisted in World War II. It was not long after this that he was recruited to create images for the Stars and Stripes, a military publication that had also featured Norman ockwell's drawings during World War I. In 1945, he participated in the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial as a courtroom artists, capturing the likenesses of Goering, Hess, Speer, and ibbentrop (now in the collections of the Museum of the Holocaust in Washington, D.C.). He created paintings and drawings for mass circulation magazines like eaders Digest,…… [Read More]
When Stephen Colbert or Jon Stewart use parodies in their shows, the humor delivers an underlying social or political message. When The Simpsons parodies Psycho, the effect is purely playful.
However, even when parody is playful it still has artistic merit. The parody is in some ways like a band covering a song. Only with a parody the idea is to make people laugh. In fact, music is sometimes the object of a parody such as when The Simpsons made fun of the Iron Butterfly song "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" or when South Park ridiculed the Christian rock phenomena.
Often to parody something means to respect and redeliver the original. The object of ridicule may still have meaning to a modern audience, but in many cases the original item has lost relevance through several generations. Its validity may be best understood through parody. From a postmodern perspective, a parody is essential for preventing…… [Read More]
The "Halloween" films that continue to be so popular are prime examples, but just about any horror film made within the past three decades follows basically the same formula, they have just gotten increasingly sexual and violent, as society has continued to embrace the genre. There are literally hundreds of other graphic examples, such as "Saw," an extremely violent film that has spawned six other films, and the examples of so many films being released in 2009. These films do not celebrate the woman, they demean her, and the fact that they are celebrated by society is troubling and agonizing at the same time.
Some of the films that empower women into the hero roles include "Terminator 2," the "Alien" series, "Misery," and other films glorify or at least acknowledge the female predator or warrior, offering up a different view of women as successful anti-heroes. However, most of these films…… [Read More]
She has killed the modern wordsmith Joe, the representation of young Hollywood, and resurrected her reputation, but in an ugly, negative way.
Psycho," like "Sunset Boulevard," ends with an image of the character that has thoroughly unraveled. hile the image of the young Joe Gillis opens "Sunset Boulevard," the image of the insane, older Norma closes the tale, and in "Psycho," the image of the sane Marion Crane opens the film, while the image of her murderer, Norman Bates, closes the film. Even more so than the domineering Norma, Norman Bates takes over the narrative of "Psycho," transforming it into what should have been Marion's tale of liberation and escape into a story of her murder. Likewise, what should have been a story of Joe's success in Hollywood instead becomes a story about Norma, even though Joe is a professional screenwriter.
The idea of 'rewriting' and 'retelling' reoccurs in all…… [Read More]
Josephine Tey's 1951 novel The Daughter of Time is a mystery novel. Alan Grant is a Scotland Yard inspector who undertakes an ambitious project of solving the mystery of who King Richard III really was and why he had been disparaged by the Crown. Like the lead character in Alfred Hitchcock's movie Rear indow, Alan Grant becomes obsessed with the mystery because his leg is broken and he is off-duty. Grant finds a portrait of King Richard III and muses that the man's visage appears kindly, in stark contrast to Richard's characterization by Shakespeare. Shakespeare in fact called King Richard III "this poisonous bunch-backed toad," "that foul defacer of God's handiwork," and "this carnal cur," (cited by Yardley). As Remick points out, Richard III was viewed as a "wicked uncle and murderer!" Alan Grant takes it upon himself to clear Richard III's image and reputation. The title of Josephine…… [Read More]
movie industry in America has been controlled by some of the monolithic companies which not only provided a place for making the movies, but also made the movies themselves and then distributed it throughout the entire country. These are movie companies and their entire image revolved around the number of participants of their films. People who wanted to see the movies being made had to go to the studios in order to see them. They made movies in a profitable manner for the sake of the studios, but placed the entire industry under their control and dominated over it. The discussion here is about some of those famous studios inclusive of that of names like Metro Goldwyn Mayer, Culver, RKO, Paramount Studios, Warner Bros, 20th Century Fox, Walt Disney Studios, Universal Studios, Raleigh Studio, Hollywood Center Studio, Sunset Gower Studio, Ren-Mar Studios, Charlie Chaplin Studios and now, Manhattan Beach Studio.…… [Read More]
Faced with a social system that has no place for him, Tom does not rebel or repress himself, but merely creates a place for himself by dissolving into the background, becoming part of the hidden (and criminal) world that is a de facto product of any inequitable social system.
As mentioned above, Highsmith wrote for a number of comic books in the 1940s, and almost all of them were concerned with white male superheroes who had been given extraordinary powers or technology. There is a subtle joke about this fact early on, when Tom notes that his most recent victim "was a comic-book artist. He probably didn't know whether he was coming or going" (Highsmith 14). Thus, almost from the beginning Highsmith has made a connection between Tom and the world of comic books, a connection that helps explain Tom's eventual narrative journey.
hen looking at Tom's story in broad…… [Read More]
The Royal Tenenbaums is a 2001 film directed by Wes Anderson that explores the factors that drove the Tenenbaum family apart and the factors that lead to a reconciliation between the family members. As The Royal Tenenbaums centers on the issues of the Tenenbaum family, it is important to understand the relationship that each member has with each other and how their individual personalities affect their relationships. In The Royal Tenenbaums, these characters, the film's structure, and various turning points contribute to the film's narrative construction and development.
The Royal Tenenbaums revolves around the Tenenbaum family. At the head of the family is Royal Tenenbaum.[footnoteRef:1] Royal is a former attorney whose disbarment was influenced by his son Chas. Throughout much of the film, Royal demonstrates that he has been less than an ideal father and husband. For instance, not only did Royal steal bonds from Chas's safety deposit…… [Read More]
Dreamed of Creating Magic - and He Does
One of my dreams was to grow up and become a magician. ell, that's what happened. I'm not a science fiction writer. I'm a magician. I can use words to make you believe anything." -Ray Bradbury
Ray Bradbury is one of the classic authors of our day- one of the fathers of science fiction. At nearly 82 years old, and over 500 works later, he is still going strong. He is still writing, creating and producing.
Ray Douglas Bradbury was born in aukegan, Illinois on August 22, 1920. He was the third son of Leonard Spaulding Bradbury, a telephone line worker, and Esther Marie Bradbury, a Swedish immigrant. Bradbury credits his mother, with jump-starting his love of fantasy and the supernatural. His mother was fascinated with the new motion pictures. She would sneak Bradbury in with her when he was only two…… [Read More]
Howard Hawks, Auteur
Giving Howard Hawks the label of film auteur was a bit of revisionist history initiated by the New ave Cinema of France during the late 1940s into the 50s. Championed by directors Jean Luc Godard and Francois Truffaut, the French directors were seeking to justify their own individualism as an answer to the lifting of the quota on American Films after orld ar II, which led to a flood of big budget Hollywood films into French movie houses. The French directors unable to compete with the flash and panache of Hollywood, pointed out that individualism made their films stronger. The French anointed John Ford, Alfred Hitchcock and Hawks as the patron saints of the auteurs. Said Godard,
The great filmmakers always tie themselves down by complying with the rules of the game. I have not done so because I am just a minor filmmaker. Take, for example,…… [Read More]
filmmakers have quite a few options. They may choose to place a character in a realistic spaceship; they may choose to shoot their film from dynamic angles which push the limits of filmmaking; they may choose to have a dinosaur wander through the city or they may choose to shoot the movements of micro-bacteria. They may also make the choice as to whether they wish to shoot their film in black and white, in color, or in a combination of the mediums.
Films such as Schindler's List and Pleasantville are excellent examples of films wherein the filmmakers understood that the juxtaposition of color and black and white have an effect on the audience. In Schindler's List, the audience watches a small girl in a bright red jacket flee Nazis during a raid. She draws the eye and as a result has a profound effect on the audience.
In Pleasantville, black…… [Read More]
Rodney Graham -- ho ill he become next?
Rodney Graham is a Canadian artist, born in Vancouver in 1949. But he could be anyone -- or so his art suggests. In Fishing on the Jetty, 2000, the Rodney Graham renders himself into his on text as a filmed subject. In this film/performance art piece, the vieer is itness to the sight of Graham playing Cary Grant in his on nautical version of Alfred Hitchcock's 'To Catch a Thief.' Graham, ithin the context of the piece is himself, is the character of Grant, and is also the persona portrayed by 'Cary Grant,' the sublimely artificial romantic lead of the 1930's classical film in a ho-done-it about mistaken identity, a film here the actor portrays a constantly misleading man ith a shape-shifting identity.
In much of his ork, hich straddles the line beteen film and photography, Graham is both creator and subject,…… [Read More]
Cold War dominated American culture, consciousness, politics and policy for most of the 20th century. Even after the fall of the Berlin Wall, which symbolized the fall of the Iron Curtain and therefore finale of the Cold War, Cold War rhetoric and politics continued especially in the War on Terror. Depictions of the Cold War in American literature and film parallel the changes that took place in American ways of thinking about its own domestic policies as well as American perceptions of the alien enemy or "Other." Tracing the evolution of American film and literature from the end of World War Two until the 1980s reveals trends in thought. Early depictions of the Cold War were modernist in their approach, with clear distinctions between good and evil and no moral ambiguity whatsoever. Clear delineations between right/wrong and good/evil prevailed, a form of political propaganda and even brainwashing that prepped the…… [Read More]
You are too repetitive, but do not say anything. You talk about mystery, but do not explain what mystery is or how it portrayed in the film. I am surprised that throughout your paper and attempted explanations, you do not reference the scene where Lily is in the Bates house and is about to be attacked by Norman dressed up as his mother and how the swinging light makes this scene more terrifying and suspenseful. Finally, your conclusion is as confusing and unsubstantiated as your introduction. After finishing the paper, it is still unclear exactly how lighting is used strategically -- although I really think you mean stylistically. Overall, I think you need to work on your word choices, your transitions, your explanations, and your organization. You also need to provide evidence to support your claims and do some research into Hitchcock and horror cinema. Your claims on these matters…… [Read More]
Fellowship Proposal: ussian Studies, Sovietology, and Orientalism
The motivation for this proposal is based on personal interest in the former ussian Empire. The proposed dissertation that will result from this research will consist of an introduction that will discuss the importance of this study, followed by three main chapters, and a conclusion that provides a summary of the research and important findings concerning the issues of interest. Each of the chapters will cover a specific historical period characterized by a different set of American views, studies, and assumptions about Central Asia prior to the end of the Cold War period. Ending the proposed dissertation with the early Cold War era is also apt because it was a pivotal moment in the formal establishment of Central Asian Studies, albeit as a sub-discipline within ussian and Soviet studies.
Prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union, Central Asia was comprised of five…… [Read More]
The basic materials might include tin cans, fragments of speech, a cough, canal boats chugging or natural snatches of Tibetan chant (all these are in a work called Etude Pathetique).
Musical instruments are not taboo: one piece used a flute that was both played and struck. Differences in balance or performance can also be used to extend the range of materials. All of this is very similar to the way that the sample integrated into popular music have included news actuality, political statements and fragments of other people's compositions." (2003) Nisbett additionally relates that the "preliminary concrete recording was described analytically in terms of a variety of sound qualities" as follows:
Instantaneous content - frequency spectrum or timbre (which might contain separate harmonics, bands of noise or a mixture of the two);
The melodic sequence of successive sound structure; and Its dynamics or envelope (the way sound intensity varies in…… [Read More]
Because of the differences in their social status to Robert/Travis', they cannot conceive of Harriet/Tai's attraction to and ultimate love for him, the one due to his wealth and the other due to his habits. This change is necessary for the sympathies of the audience to remain intact. Had Cher objected to Travis simply on the grounds of his financial standing, the audience would not have any sympathy for her. But because he is a stoner and somewhat stupid, her desire to find Tai someone better makes some sense. In Austen's time, class and money were everything; people could be cut off for marrying beneath them, so such a seemingly shallow stance on Emma's part would have been not only understood, but expected.
Character is by no means the only -- or even the most important -- adjustment that Heckerling made in adapting Emma into the movie Clueless. The entire…… [Read More]