A woman is seen in the bathtub and wearing a towel but no nudity is actually seen.


Film review:Translated by www.rabudo-ru.com


Since the tenant’s appearance, Hitchcock has been guiding the audience to associate him with the real murderer of the series of blonde murders. First, his masked dress startled the landlady. Then, when her husband accidentally fell and her daughter laughed, the director lost no time to cut a close-up of the tenant, so as to remind the audience that this person is particularly sensitive to the voice of young women. The art spring palace painting hanging on the wall upstairs made the tenant very uncomfortable. He asked the landlady to take it off immediately. This is the most obvious psychological hint to the audience in the film. However, the following plot is puzzling: why does he stare at each other like he is attracted by the beauty after his daughter enters the room? Is this not in contradiction with the psychological characteristics of aversion to women expressed in painting?

Handsome tenants, it is not surprising that they are in love with the beautiful landlord’s daughter. Hitchcock used the technique of contrast to show the transfer of love: upstairs, she played elegant chess with her tenants, and the atmosphere was romantic and warm. But when the police boyfriend arrived, the game suddenly turned into handcuffs. He was rude and hurt his wrist. However, it should be noted that there is no difference between the national image and handcuffs in promoting gender interaction. The root of the problem lies in the policeman. He was too anxious to move the program that should have been performed passionately in bed after marriage to the proposal period for rehearsal, which naturally backfired.

In Hitchcock’s early videos, it often appears that the girl’s boyfriend is the police (“blackmail”, “tenant”) or the man’s girlfriend is the daughter of the police chief (“young girl”). This arrangement is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, of course, it can let the police role participate in the story as soon as possible and pose a potential threat to the innocent protagonist. But on the other hand, no matter how much you fear and hate them, the work of the police is still maintaining the legal system and social stability in the final analysis. Therefore, the threat they can create is extremely limited, and it is impossible to bring life worries to the parties. This may explain why in Hitchcock’s most famous early works 39 steps, the lady missing and many middle and later works, the “villains” of the police are replaced by foreign spy agents or abnormal killers.

As the story continues, the girl has more opportunities for tenants to be alone. Her blond hair, scissors, poker and other props have become tools to create tension and suspense. But Hitchcock obviously ignored the psychological effect of “the wolf is coming”. There are too many suspense settings, and most of them focus on the tenants and girls. On the contrary, it gives the audience a sense of mystery. Especially after the real identity of the tenant is exposed, this feeling is particularly strong: if you want to avenge your relatives, why do you dress up in a mask and act secretly as if you were the real murderer? At the end of the video, when the police came to the door to search, the tenant’s reaction brought this “unreasonable head” to the extreme: since the person in the photo is your sister, go to the police station to cooperate with the investigation and eliminate the suspicion. Why run away? Self contradiction also appears in the landlady. One month’s advance rent made her feel more friendly to the new tenant, so that when the police asked whether it was safe to be with the tenant out of concern for her daughter, she vowed, “he is not that kind of person”. But the same old lady was watching the tenant sneaking out without warning, as if she had suspected him for a long time.

Although Hitchcock has experienced the silent film era and often talks about the concept of “pure cinema” in interviews, he personally believes that his silent film level is not very high. In addition to the fact that the plot mentioned above is not rigorous enough and the technique is not as skilled and professional as that in the American period, the lack of iconic comedy style is also one of the important reasons. English comedy is generally a comedy with language humor as the core, but silent films just can’t provide sound. So Hitchcock can’t express his black humor through the characters’ dialogue in the film. Imagine that if it were in the era of audio films, the police in this film would not be so rigid, and the landlord and his wife are likely to be transformed into two vivid comic images.

Finally, let’s talk about Hitchcock’s stunts. When talking about the narrative function of the sound in the silent film era in balaz’s film aesthetics, he cited an example: in a Russian video, the band suddenly played folk songs in the upper class ball, which caused a commotion among the dignitaries. Here, music has narrative function, which is the reason for the change of audience behavior. But because this is a silent film, the audience can’t hear the sound, so they can’t understand why there is an uproar on the scene… In a word, such a plot is not suitable for silent film. In my opinion, the most famous scene in this film, which uses the feet walking back and forth on the transparent floor to represent the rapid pace, belongs to this category. Yes, you can find other ways to indirectly convey the same information, but no matter what you do, it’s better to let the audience hear the pacing directly. Just like the subtitle card played during the character dialogue in silent film, no matter how you deal with it, it’s better to let the audience hear the actor’s dialogue at the same time. In this sense, Hitchcock’s “painting instead of sound” is very imaginative, but it has little substantive contribution to improving video quality. In addition, the shaking of the ceiling chandelier in front of the camera is not real enough. Usually, no matter how restless a person is, his pace can’t make the chandelier tremble downstairs. Only Astaire’s kaliok dance can make such a big noise.

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