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FILM 2120 Intro to Cinema

by: Kay Patel

FILM 2120 Intro to Cinema FILM 2120

Marketplace > University of Georgia > Fine arts > FILM 2120 > FILM 2120 Intro to Cinema
Kay Patel

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About this Document

hitchcock, genre, horror
Introduction to Cinema
Dr. Seiving
hitchcock, genre, horror
75 ?




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This 8 page Bundle was uploaded by Kay Patel on Sunday April 17, 2016. The Bundle belongs to FILM 2120 at University of Georgia taught by Dr. Seiving in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 12 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Cinema in Fine arts at University of Georgia.


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Date Created: 04/17/16
04-04 I. Introduction to Alfred Hitchcock A. Evolution of Hitchcock’s critical reputation  Before the auteurists began to focus on Hitchcock, he was as best known as a solid craftsman and at worst he was known as morally objectionable creator of trash  Personally widely recognized  Commercially successful compared to Welles  Work was not taken too seriously  Considered to be a single creator of his films  “Hitchcock: The First 44films”—Claude Chabrol and Eric Rohmer: first book on the study of Hitchcock and his work  Hitchcock’s films by robin woods  Hitchcock by François Truffaut B. Summary of Hitchcock’s career  Three standing periods: early British films, early Hollywood, late Hollywood  “The Trouble with Harry”-1956  Was not a one note maker in style or genre  Early period: Britain  1920-1939  Blackmail  The man who knew too much  The thirty-nine steps  Made movies primarily for middle class audience  Only a few are thought to contain the style to classic Hitchcock  Middle Period: Hollywood  First: Rebecca  Focus on women stories: female stars  Shadow of a doubt  Notorious  Rope: seemingly shot in one very long take; tons of camera movement; elaborate staging  Flashy attention getting style  Later period: Hollywood  Period most studied by auteur critics  Strangers on a train  Rear window  Vertigo  North by northwest  Psycho  The birds  Marnie  He also has a TV show: Alfred Hitchcock presents C. Hitchcock’s public persona  Became a brand name  Also well known for cameo appearances—in the composer’s apartment in the rear window  Life boat cameo—in the newspaper  His name was used to market his films  The auteur critics began to label him as a great artist II. Plots and narrative patterns in Hitchcock’s films A. Ordinary people plunged into danger  Usually naive, innocent  They have unique skills that puts them in a danger spots— Notorious  The innocent person usually gets mixed up in an unfortunate circumstance—the man who knew too much  Pure coincidence drags them into a danger position  North by Northwest—1959; pure coincidence; he spends the rest of the film proving his innocence  The “Wrong Man” variation  The hero is suspected of a crime and must prove his innocence  Also made a film call the wrong man—based on a true story  North by Northwest: framed by the spied; running from the spies and the police B. Transference of guilt  Interchangeability of guilt  Even though the protagonist is the innocence they still hold some responsibility  North by northwest: drew the dead guy out  Doubling: refers to establishing parallels and similarities between the protagonist and the antagonist and once it is established, guilt is then transferred from the antagonist to the protagonist  Shadow of a doubt: Charlie admires his uncle who turns out to be a serial killer and keeps it a secret. Near the end, he is trying to kill someone else. By keeping his secret, she will be partly responsible for his future crimes C. “Sweetness and Light Merely Cover Up That Chaos World”  Tension between the surface normality of the world and the psychosis underneath that surface  Pattern grows often under the fact the innocent people are often shaken by what is beneath the innocent surface  Ex: familiar objects can become threatening and become suspicious  Suspicion—1941; placed a lamp in the glass of milk to point out that it is poisoned  Common location become a location for danger  Ex: mount Rushmore, a school playground  Shadow of a doubt: safe haven where the threat is bough by the uncle; comes from within the family—danger can come from a place close than we can expect 04/06 I. Narration in Hitchcock’s films A. Range of narration  Most unifying element  Manipulates the range of narration in order to create suspense  Unrestricted narration: suspense reaction  Restricted: Surprise  Ex: The man who knew too much-1956  Witnessed to several characters with various knowledge  Almost completely unrestricted  Suspense results from our knowing what is going to happen, but not how  Ex: rear window  Jeff’s apartment  Purpose of unrestricted narration serve a purpose of sense because we know Jeff is in danger, but not Jeff  Ex: the birds  Playground: shift in narration is used to produce surprise rather than suspense  Narration characterized by restricted vs unrestricted narration B. Depth of narration  Perceptual and mental subjectivity  Ex: spellbound  Ex: vertigo: subjective narration  Flashy techniques to know the mental stablility of the character  Perceptual subjectivity is more common through point of view shots  Careful transition from restricted to unrestricted narration is the most important characteristic of a Hitchcock film  Manipulates the range and the depth of narration II. Style in Hitchcock’s film A. POV editing: rear window  Important because  Set in one location  Protagonist is immobile  Need it to make it more interesting  Creates important parallels: the scene where lisa is in thorwald’s apartment and lonelyhearts attempts suicide  Both crying for attention  The connection between us and jeff through powerlessness and we both want the same thing to happen  Transference of guilt also implies to the viewers and it coincides with Jeff’s view  Ex: rope-1948  Moving camera that Hitchcock exploits B. Innovative sound  Ex: blackmail: first British part-talkie; first to have long dialogue sequences  Emphasis on the word knife through mental subjectivity  Ex: Dial M for Murder  Shot in 3d not viewed in 3d  Compliments his objective  The bird: no non-diegetic music at all C. Virtuosic visual style  Developed especially after coming to the US  Conveying essential narrative information through his flashy techniques  Works against the classical Hollywood ideal  Murders scenes are frequently stylized  Ex: Topaz  Violence of act is hinted through flashy device  Flashiness is used to restrict out knowledge and the view of the action  Ex: Strangers on a train  The moment of murder is shot using an exaggerated low angle and distorted in a victim’s eye glasses—very showy and attention getting, but blocks out view 04/11 I. Introduction to genre studies: major approaches  Cat People: Jacques Tourneur  Horror A. Definition/Classification  Genre: a field of familiar conventions that filmmakers can draw on when making films and that audiences can draw on when trying to sense of films. Convention shared by filmmaker and viewers  Common American genres: western, detective films, gangster, suspense, family melodrama, screwball/romantic comedies, war, musical, action and adventure, sci-fi, horror  Setting?  no country old men: western?  Setting does not really help us describe a certain genre  Formal elements?  the big combo: film noir?  Do all suspense movies share the same elements: sounds etc…?  Effects?  Written on the wind: melodrama?  Some genre can be defined by emotional effects  Any single genre is a loose overlapping theory  Core/periphery model  Psycho was not known as a horror film at first  Genre are often classified by the audience and the filmmakers B. Conventions (narrative, thematic, stylistic)  Elements repeated from film to film  Narrative:  Plots/situation, characters  Gangster film often revolve around the rise and fall  Stagecoach: John Ford; 1939  Scream  Cabin in the woods  Depend on the idea that everyone is familiar with what is going on and what to expect  Thematic  General meanings that are summoned again and again  Themes that are bit more specific  Ex: sci-fi: deal with technology as a boon or a potential threat  The man who shot liberty valance; John Ford  Ex: horror: tampering with nature; sexuality (ex: Dracula)  Stylistic  Iconography: visual images that through repetition come to reproduce a certain meaning;  Conventions made tangible on the screen through mise- en-scene  Gun in western: honor  Gun in horror: dangerous  Icon can be a character, costume, motifs, objects etc…  Sounds: action film: dense sound tracks; horror: dynamic range, low pitch sound effects, silence for long periods followed by a spike  Ex: western: placement is important that is enhanced by camera works  Good guys: wear white hats; bad guys: wear black hats C. History/Stages of genre evolution (Thomas Schatz) 1. Emergence  Experimental  On rare occasions genres sprouts from real life  Conventions are still being worked out  Ex: western began early 1900s: The Great Train Robbery: Edwin Porter 2. Development  Classic, refinement, baroque  Classic stage: conventions are understood by the audiences and filmmakers and they start to adapt it  Ex: Stagecoach: John Ford; combination of a standard western plot with better production values, bigger stars, and hella action  Ex: My darling clementine: John Ford; classic western scene; poker scene; 1946; nearly attains a sense of perfection  Refinement: embellishments  Western: Point in which the western hero starts to question that cowboy’s intentions; hero might get fed up of civilization  Baroque: marks the beginning of extreme self- consciousness  Baroque: extreme  Parity and spoofs of the genre  Push the conventions to the point of absurdity  Ex: for a few dollars more; compare it with my darling clementine; takes the convention of two gun fighters and pushes them to absurd extreme  All four stages are not distinct but overlapped  Hybrids: cross genre mixes; mixes two or more genres  Subgenres: subsets, subcategories, not linked to a particular period of time  Cycles: short term fad D. Social function/affect  Genres means something to the audience 04/13 Intro to genre studies: major approaches 1. Definition/classification: what makes a bunch of films genre? 2. Convention: what are the conventions of any given genre? 3. History: how do genres change over time? 4. Function/affect: why are people drawn to genres? I. Andrew Tudor on Horror  Published monsters and mad scientist  Studied horror films  Effective approach should consider the audience’s perception, one that they might not be aware of  Tudor: Horror’s general plot structure 1. Instability introduced to a stable situation 2. Threat to stability is resisted (longest) 3. Threat removed; stability is restored (shortest)  Threat  Supernatural v. secular  External v. internal  Autonomous v. dependent  Secure horror: horror comes from outside; outside the community or our world  It can be defeated  Leads until the 1960; until psycho comes out  Paranoid horror: we produce the monsters  Psycho  Precise in defining the basic convention A. Horror’s conventions B. Horror’s primary historical pattern II. Secure v. paranoid horror A. The universal horror cycle: secure horror  The German expressionist influence  Visual style  Historians claim that the horror movies first emerged in German studios  The cabin of Dr. Caligari; Germany 1922  They more not meant to be horror; they were art films  Ex: Dracula: browning, Universal, 1931  Filmed before in Germany called Nosferatu in 1922  His destruction as a desirable outcome- the world is now seen safe  Early 1930s  Sense of classis horror comes from this period  Secure horror: threat is external and autonomous; it can be defeated; expert characters play a central role in defeating the monster; a return to stability and order is seen as desirable; we are more afraid of losing control than we are afraid of control itself B. Psycho: paranoid horror  The most influential catalyst in creating paranoid horror  No clear boundary between the monster and reality  No expert characters to destroy the monster  Even if there is an expert character, the usually fail  In psycho: the detective, the psychiatrist- although is powerless to cure him  Paranoid horror: a return of normality and order is not as desirable; threat may not be defeated; threat is secular/human: sub-genre- the insanity subgenre; doubtful about outcomes and social order; the roots of the monster are in our society C. Cat people: Tourneur, RKO,1942  Val Newton’s horror film unit at RKO  First of a series of 9 horror films that was produced by Val for RKO  One monster after another approach  Focused less on the monster  The director was given the title


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