Film Analysis: Hitchcock

1328 words - 6 pages

There are four crucial scenes of this film in which Hitchcock shows a change in perspective and identity through the mise-en-scène. Hitchcock’s signature motifs, style, and themes are conveyed through the mise-en-scène.
There are three key scenes that best exemplify Hitchcock’s technical competence. After Alicia’s party and run in with the police, she is shown lying in bed with a hangover. We see a close up of a concoction Devlin made Alicia for hangovers. The next shot is a Dutch angle of Devlin, arms crossed and in shadow. Alicia drinks more of the concoction and camera’s perspective is in Alicia’s point of view. The Dutch angle slanted to the right rotates clockwise to an upside down shot of Devlin because Alicia is lying upside down on the bed. Coincidently, after the elaborate camera work, Alicia sits up and says, “What’s this all about? What’s your angle?”. Hitchcock’s technical competence in this scene is a testament to his authorship.
There are two other scenes that exemplify Hitchcock’s technical competence and ability to connect his vision with the film’s subject matter. A turning part of the film is when Alex realizes he has married an enemy to the Nazi party. He drudges up the staircase, a central facet of a Hitchcock film, to break the news to his mother. Alex, sitting in a chair, delivers the line “I am married to an American agent”. The image of Alex is an overhead close up shot in low-key lighting. This scene denotes a shift in Alex’s character. He is no longer trusting of Alicia because now she poses a threat to his façade for the Nazis.
In the third scene, the camera assumes Alicia’s point-of-view upon discovering her husband and stepmother have poisoned her. Alicia leaps from her chair and announces she wishes to retire to her bedroom. The next shot is of Alex and Madame Sebastian standing side by side, the audio becomes distorted. The image of Alex and Madame Sebastian also becomes distorted and they are shown in silhouette. When Alicia exits the room, the shadows of Alex and Madame Sebastian are cast on the door. All of this evidence supports the doppelganger theme that serves as another Hitchcock theme. Through mise-en-scène elements such as camera angle, audio, and lighting Hitchcock brings his vision to the screen.
In the next scene, Devlin is shown in a frame within a frame as he leaves Alicia’s bedroom. In a long shot, Devlin grabs a record to play for Alicia and he can be seen in a “frame within a frame” or otherwise known as a tunnel shot. Another instance of “frame within a frame” is seen when Alex discusses Alicia with his mother later in the film. He sits in a chair and looks at his reflection in the full-length mirror across the room. At this instance in the film, he finally becomes aware of how trusting he was with Alicia. This moment of self-reflectivity also serves as a reflective moment for the audience. The audience reflects on the times in which they have been too trusting in...

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