Director of the Month Project

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Is this for the month of December or January?
Both since the month has already started and with the holidays i thought it would be best giving us to the end of January. We could finish before then it's just best to have that extra time during a busy time of the year.

Good to see you start Citizen Didn't read your review will do so when i see it, will add it to the first post, don't usually do that since it's only me and Sean usually but with four members there should be more discussion. All i know about Lifeboat is it's set in the one location and has probably Hitch's most famous cameo.
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Actually i'm about to watch a film shortly but later i'm going to go back through the thread and add me and Sean's reviews to the first post. Will be useful if either of us want them for some reason.



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@seanc added our reviews in this thread into the first post. Just in case you're ever looking for them for whatever reason.



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About to post my review. I know you guys know this but just in case, don't read it until you see the film as there's spoilers. I'll put it in the first post so it's easy to find.



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Sabotage




While not close to one of his best i thought this was solid. Slow to start when it got going it became an interesting although familiar film for Hitch, not saying familiar is a bad thing for the record. The story was fairly lightweight for him; a secret agent/terrorist, someone on his tail, plenty of paranoia and suspicion. What i liked was the pacing, it's a short film coming in at around 70 minutes and Hitch used that time very well. It would have been easy to either rush or drag this type of story out, i think it escalated at the right times.

The performances were alright i feel the weak link was Oskar Homolka. He actually pulled some stuff off really well like pretending he wasn't listening or aware of his surroundings when he clearly was, so he certainly wasn't bad. I do think he missed the mark a few times for example the scene where he tells Stevie to deliver the parcel, Stevie procastinates causing Verloc to get anxious as Ted will ask what it is if he gets there before Steve leaves, he then snaps. That's a classic Hitch tension moment over something seemingly small (to the other characters) which is actually very important, what it reminded me of was the scene in Shadow of a Doubt when the main character doesn't want the family to see the newspaper. He sold his growing anxiety really well but i feel he botched the delivery when he snapped and he was even less convincing on the calm "Sorry what i meant..." rebound. It's a small thing but i think that could have been a much better scene if he just made the landing. Actually that's my only example and he pulled other stuff off really well so i kinda think he gave both the best and the worst performance haha.

Most importantly i found it visually interesting something i thought was completely missing from Secret Agent which i watched recently. As much as i love the stories and everything else Hitch's camerawork just may be my favourite part of his films. The parade scene for example. I loved the fade in with the seperate clocks when Stevie was standing watching the parade; this kid who has been really dopey and oblivious throughout gets roped into staying and watching the parade despite being on something time sensitive and he just stands there smiling, it was actually probably my favourite joke in the film and it was a visual one! Especially when it preceeded the bus scene which used the same technique except much quicker and more erratically turning it from goofy to really dark and serious and most importantly suspenseful. I'm not sure about the ending. It didn't bother me much but everything kind of pointlessly wrapped up perfectly which i felt was odd after the brave decision to kill off Stevie. Anyway again certainly not among his best it was a good early Hitch with some of his trademarks present that he'd master later on.

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Watching The Lodger in about an hour. From Sean's rating it doesn't seem like he liked it much, hopefully it works for me more.



The Lodger



I didn't dislike this but my viewing was definitely more of a curiosity, as if I was viewing an artifact. The main reason for this is that the restoration just isn't that great. I realize that's no one's fault but it still leaves a lot to be desired. When you are viewing a silent film that is relying completely on visuals a bad restoration becomes a bit of a deal breaker. There is still a ton good on this and I love viewing it as a precursor to what Hitch becomes. There is a bathtub scene that is very reminiscent of Psycho. There is a pretty great sequence about halfway through the film where the lodger is leaving the house and the women of the house can hear him. It cuts between him and her with a couple of great shots from the top of a staircase. My favorite part of the film by far.

I also appreciate the taste we get for Hitch's use of shadow. A couple times he uses the shadows to frame some shots and it looks great. I like how the story unfolds. You can kind of see where it is headed but it was still tense. There is a lot of tension towards the end of a chase sequence that was well done. All in all glad I saw it but I probably won't watch it again.

I have a question about scoring these silent films that maybe you guys know. Do they usually use the original score or do they always make new ones? The reason I ask is because their is some obvious Psycho stuff going on in this score which makes me think it was scored when they restored the film. I know when I watched The Wind for the Western HOF my favorite aspect by far was the score. When I looked it up it had been rescored in the 90's. Just wondering why this is. Maybe sometimes the music for the original scores are lost. Just interesting to me.
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which has better cinematography, the man who knew two much or sabotage?



The Lodger



I didn't dislike this but my viewing was definitely more of a curiosity, as if I was viewing an artifact. The main reason for this is that the restoration just isn't that great. I realize that's no one's fault but it still leaves a lot to be desired. When you are viewing a silent film that is relying completely on visuals a bad restoration becomes a bit of a deal breaker. There is still a ton good on this and I love viewing it as a precursor to what Hitch becomes. There is a bathtub scene that is very reminiscent of Psycho. There is a pretty great sequence about halfway through the film where the lodger is leaving the house and the women of the house can hear him. It cuts between him and her with a couple of great shots from the top of a staircase. My favorite part of the film by far.

I also appreciate the taste we get for Hitch's use of shadow. A couple times he uses the shadows to frame some shots and it looks great. I like how the story unfolds. You can kind of see where it is headed but it was still tense. There is a lot of tension towards the end of a chase sequence that was well done. All in all glad I saw it but I probably won't watch it again.

I have a question about scoring these silent films that maybe you guys know. Do they usually use the original score or do they always make new ones? The reason I ask is because their is some obvious Psycho stuff going on in this score which makes me think it was scored when they restored the film. I know when I watched The Wind for the Western HOF my favorite aspect by far was the score. When I looked it up it had been rescored in the 90's. Just wondering why this is. Maybe sometimes the music for the original scores are lost. Just interesting to me.
did you view the criterion version? That shot at the top looks quite pretty.


The criterion version says it has a new score so im guessing restorations often have new scores



did you view the criterion version? That shot at the top looks quite pretty.


The criterion version says it has a new score so im guessing restorations often have new scores
Watched it on Filmstruck, so I was getting whatever the latest Criterion restoration is.



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The Lodger




My first Silent Hitch. Thankfully i've been getting really used to silents lately having watched loads of Buster Keaton's Short Films, three of his features, two Silent Chaplin Features, two Chaplin Shorts as well as three of Murnau's, a Silent Ozu and a Silent Von Sternberg in the last couple of months, i'm still not fully there but i'm a far cry from how i was attempting to watch Wings or The Wind years ago.

First of all i watched a Blu Ray Rip of this so i'm not sure if it was the same as Sean's. Personally i didn't feel the same as Sean and while not perfect i don't know how the restoration could have been any better, i thought it looked amazing and i think the imperfections with the restoration most likely played into that. Other than a few scenes that were too dark i loved the look, all of the shadows and at times bluriness in the street scenes created what is pretty much the exact image that comes to mind when i think of foggy, Victorian London. This wasn't set in Victorian times of course but it wasn't that far removed and it was a Jack The Ripper like story of a murderer so it was perfect for me. Other than a few badly lit early street scenes (i'm talking about the first few before we go to the house) on the copy i watched at least everything in the house scenes looked as good as it possibly could, there was some amazing camera angles and lighting choices. After watching i read up on this a bit largely looking for information on the score like Sean and i saw that Hitch was heavily inspired by Murnau and Lang's filming methods and he felt this was his first great film and the first proper "Hitch Film", this is the oldest one i've seen so i can't say whether i agree but i do agree this was a 100% a Hitch film, unlike say Sabotage later which i felt was on its way to reaching his later stuff i felt this was just the same as what he was doing in the 50's and forward except with lesser equipment. Think the only Silent i prefer visually so far is City Girl, gorgeous film.

Ivor Novello as the titular lodger was amazing, jesus his introduction. I have to say this felt much more evil than any of Hitch's other films to me by that i mean The Lodger to me is the first purely evil seeming character i've seen in a Hitchcock film. Usually the villain is someone insane like Norman Bates or the Frenzy killer, an opportunist like characters in Dial M For Murder or something similar to that. I guess some can be described as evil but this is the first time i've ever truly felt it coming from a character in one of his films before we get into their story. I'm sure some will find him over the top but i think it worked as most of the other characters were pretty lightweight, because of this in any scene he was in his presence was crushing. Even his different nice behaviour around Daisy was unsettling as he was just as sinister around the old lady then there's the obvious blonde connection. My biggest problem was it was obvious early on it was going to turn out it wasn't The Lodger. While i know that's Hitch's thing i really wish he hadn't went there. Novello's performance was absolutely perfect as a psychotic murderer, even his scenes with Daisy could be explained as her having a particularly strong resemblence to whoever inspired his curly blonde obsession as he turned the pictures of the rest of the blondes around and yet there was something about her, or whatever, i dunno it wouldn't be that difficult to explain his different behaviour around her it could simply be that he was planning on killing her when he leaves so he was getting her under his spell. I will admit though the explanation for his weird behaviour was as good as it possibly could be, emotionally and psychologically damaged over his sisters murder, her obviously fitting the descriptions of the killers victims meaning he has the same aversion to similar looking women. I just think it was kind of a waste as his performance was so good and it wasn't as if it was hard to see coming, although i imagine it would have been back then.

Anyway i thought this was great. @seanc the score was done later, i looked it up after watching. It was great i agree, not sure why i'm guessing his original audio was probably lost like you said.

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I agree with you on the character of the lodger Camo. I was really hoping Hitch would subvert my expectations by not subverting my expectations.



I haven't read any of those reviews yet, but I have The Lodger coming from my library, so will get to it soon. One question my library calls it The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog, is that the same movie you guys watched? I think it is, but want to make sure.
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I haven't read any of those reviews yet, but I have The Lodger coming from my library, so will get to it soon. One question my library calls it The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog, is that the same movie you guys watched? I think it is, but want to make sure.
Same one. It's on the poster i used on the last page.

Camo, you had no motion issues with your Blu-ray? The blue and orange tints at points didn't bother you?
The only problems i had was a few of the scenes being terribly lit before we got to the house, could barely see anything but that was only a few parts in the first five minutes. What were the motion issues like i never noticed them? It went from black and white to a yellowish colour at one point that could be the orange you mean can't remember any blue; could have been in some black and white scenes as they were different shades and i suppose can be seen as blue. Didn't bother me quite a few silent films i've seen turn different colours/shades, as long as everything is clear which this was it doesn't affect my viewing.



Same one. It's on the poster i used on the last page.



The only problems i had was a few of the scenes being terribly lit before we got to the house, could barely see anything but that was only a few parts in the first five minutes. What were the motion issues like i never noticed them? It went from black and white to a yellowish colour at one point that could be the orange you mean can't remember any blue; could have been in some black and white scenes as they were different shades and i suppose can be seen as blue. Didn't bother me quite a few silent films i've seen turn different colours/shades, as long as everything is clear which this was it doesn't affect my viewing.

Weird, quite a bit of the time in mine it was like it skipped frames so it would pixelate is the best way I could describe it. I would chalk it up to Filmstruck having a bad copy but there were two or three ten minute stretches that looked perfect.



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Weird, quite a bit of the time in mine it was like it skipped frames so it would pixelate is the best way I could describe it. I would chalk it up to Filmstruck having a bad copy but there were two or three ten minute stretches that looked perfect.
I don't remember that happening and i think i would have, i hate that more than anything. There's a damaged John Ford film i watched called Up The River and it's full of that, one of the worst films i've ever seen basically unwatchable at least the copy i had. I don't know why Filmstruck would have a bad copy though that seems weird so maybe i did miss that somehow.



filmstruck should have the best copy considering the lodger just got restored



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filmstruck should have the best copy considering the lodger just got restored
This is the one i watched - https://www.ebay.co.uk/i/35060635797...4199341&crdt=0

Think the BFI restoration was two years later, the 2012 one didn't have the problems Sean described or at least they weren't noticeable to me.